Subscribe to Our Newsletter





Follow LeftTurn:

Special Offer from PM Press

Now more than ever there is a vital need for radical ideas. In the four years since its founding - and on a mere shoestring - PM Press has risen to the formidable challenge of publishing and distributing knowledge and entertainment for the struggles ahead. With over 200 releases to date, they have published an impressive and stimulating array of literature, art, music, politics, and culture.

PM Press is offering readers of Left Turn a 10% discount on every purchase. In addition, they'll donate 10% of each purchase back to Left Turn to support the crucial voices of independent journalism. Simply enter the coupon code: Left Turn when shopping online or mention it when ordering by phone or email.

Click here for their online catalog.

Toxic Sentence: Prison Labor & Electronic Waste

By: 
Gopal Dayaneni and Aaron Shuman
Date Published: 
March 01, 2006
    If you live in Arkansas and have old electronics to throw away, you can dial a 1-800 number and a little known company called Unicor will send you packing boxes. Throw all your old electronics in the boxes—the computers, monitors, cell phones, and fax machines that make electronic waste the fastest growing part of the municipal waste stream, rising at a rate of 5% a year—and call FedEx. The technology waste will be whisked away, and you'll never have to think about where it ends up again.

In October 2005, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality announced this unique partnership with the US Bureau of Prisons’ Federal Prison Industries (FPI), also known as Unicor.

Reclaim the Future: Striving for Restorative, Economic and Environmental Justice in Oakland

By: 
Joshua Abraham
Date Published: 
March 01, 2006
    The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, based in Oakland, California, is looking closely at the intersection between restorative justice, economic justice and environmental justice, seeking lasting remedies to the problems continuously plaguing our communities. The Ella Baker Center has almost a decade of experience advocating for those stung by police brutality and the prison industrial complex. We know well that holistic solutions in poor communities of color must address the profound effect of the current punishment oriented criminal justice system.

The Ella Baker Center’s new project, Reclaim the Future emerges from a realization that people return from prison to toxic laden communities without hope of obtaining a dignified job.

KIPP-notized

By: 
Lee Glazer
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006
    KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) is a national chain of charter schools that targets low-income Black and Latino communities. Spurred on by more than $40 million from Gap clothing store founders, Donald and Doris Fisher, KIPP has begun an ambitious expansion plan to create geographic clusters of KIPP schools—what one KIPP official called “city-states”—in a number of urban areas, including Washington, DC. Students go to school for 9 hours a day, 6 days a week, and in the summer. KIPP is touted by the likes of Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey as an exemplary educational model for children of color.

Being “KIPP-notized” is how KIPP officials describe orientation into the school’s culture.

Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices From Marinalized Spaces

By: 
Jason Ross
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

The first thing that will strike you when you read Growing Up Girl is its honesty. Like the first time you heard L-Boogie’s Ex-Factor, and she painfully uttered…”It could all be so simple, but you’d rather make it hard…loving is like a battle, and we both end up with scars”. The sincerity in this collection of short stories, poems, and essays is undeniable. Author/Editor Michelle Sewell has masterfully woven the stories and life experiences of a varied kaleidoscope of women spanning the globe. From ages 14 to 60, Growing Up Girl stitches together the emotions, struggles, and triumphs of these women into a beautiful quilt that is womanhood.

Indestructible

By: 
Lailan Sandra Huen
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

Indestructible reads like an autobiography, a personal treatise, and a cultural exposé wrapped into one petite yet fierce 96-page illustrated novel. It is a story of self-love and personal empowerment as resistance to all that is fucked up about the world. It’s about survival, and how bullshit makes us stronger even when it brings us pain. It is the coming-of-age story of now Brooklyn based illustrator and zine writer Cristy C.

Barrel Men

By: 
Sabrina Ford
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

Native Guns’ MCs Bambu and Kiwi didn’t know each other as youths, but both grew up in the Los Angeles Filipino gang culture and went on to become solo rap artists with community-focused messages. The two met when they performed on the same bill at an LA benefit concert.

“We’d both heard of each other and people were telling both of us we should meet. Bambu approached me to be on a song on his solo album. We thought we sounded good together and recorded some more songs. That led to forming a group,” explains Kiwi.

After seeing Native Guns perform live, DJ Phatrick, organizer of the student group UC Berkeley Students for Hip Hop, approached Kiwi and Bambu. “He said, ‘your shows are good but they could be better if you had a DJ,’” recalls Kiwi.

NO!

By: 
Walidah Imarisha
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006
    “Every rape is an assault that happens to every one of us as a people. It also means we are crippling our own folk…at our own hands...Racism wakes up everyday and begins to cripple us.” —Dr. Johnnetta Cole in NO!

I first saw a rough cut of the film NO! at a screening put on by a Black fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania. Though I have been a Black woman organizer for 10 years, this was the only forum I had ever been in where there was a deep and meaningful discussion of assault of Black women by Black men in a public venue. I felt cracked open, exposed. It was concurrently inspiring, moving, powerful and frightening as hell.

Just the same way Aishah Shahidah Simmons’ film NO! is.

Shut Them Down!: The G8 Gleneagles 2005, and the Movement of Movements

By: 
Jacob Blumenfeld
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

Every activist nowadays loves to hate “summit hopping”. Its classist, racist, ineffective, and boring. It’s too liberal, too white, too violent, or too peaceful. The movement that emerged through such massive convergences has come to a self-conscious critical perspective on its origins: we cannot just demonstrate at summits anywhere, we need to organize in our towns, cities, and everywhere else.

In a surprisingly engaging, intellectual, and clear manner, Shut Them Down! speaks from within the specifically anti-authoritarian networks of resistance that organized for years building up to the G8 summit of world leaders meeting in July 2005 in Gleaneagles, Scotland.

Young Jewish and Left

By: 
Dan Berger
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

The truism that Jews historically have been disproportionately represented in the Left is more the material of Woody Allen films than a topic of conversation in the movement. At the same time, the actions of the Israeli state and settlers, the debates of what constitutes anti-Semitism and the visible presence of some reactionary Jews in the US political mainstream often obscure the rich history of Jewish radicals and radicalism. Difficulties have been replicated within many Jewish communities where disputes rage over Zionism, religion, and gender. Many activist Jews face a dichotomy: either one is Jewish or a radical, each with its own set of implicit assumptions.

Mexico Profundo: building a new way of doing politics

By: 
Rodrigo Ibarra
Date Published: 
February 01, 2007

For a tourist in Tijuana, the main street Avenida Revolución provides all that is needed. Its well-paved sidewalks take you right from San Diego to the end of town. All of the decent hotels are located here, as well as the craft shops, bars and restaurants, and, of course, the nightclubs. Even though Tijuana is one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico, Avenida Revolución is quite safe. Policemen speak English, give directions to tourists, and are always in sight.

But there is another Tijuana. The condition of the sidewalks, the buildings’ facades, and the visible wealth fade with every step you take away from the main street.