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Notes from Gaza

By: 
Dr. Mona El-Farra
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

We are tired of the racist and colonial rhetoric of the Israeli government. As they attack Gaza under the pretense of securing the release of one soldier, thousands of Palestinians remain imprisoned for years, often without trial or charges. As one old woman, the mother of a political prisoner told me, “Our sons and daughters inside the Israeli jails are not less dear than the captured Israeli soldier.” Israel’s pre-planned attack on Gaza, named “Summer Rain,” aims to create chaos in the Gaza Strip in order to run down and topple the democratically elected government of Hamas.

Mexican Elections 2006

By: 
John Gibler
Date Published: 
January 01, 0001
    You can hear the drums in the distance, the amplified voices, and the short percussive explosions of bottle rockets all interwoven and echoing off the high stone buildings and down the narrow streets of Mexico City’s crumbling and beautiful historic center. This is the nightly combative serenade of several thousand people who have set up camp in Mexico’s Plaza de la Constitucion—the symbolic core of the nation—and down Madero and Juarez avenues, where their high-roofed plastic canopies turn onto Paseo de la Reforma and extend for miles.

New Hope for the Anti-War Movement

By: 
Francesca Fiorentini and Sasha Wright
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006
    This past June, twenty-two youth organizers convened in the historic Highlander Center in Tennessee to talk strategy on how to end the war in Iraq. The gathering was initiated by the STORY Board, a youth strategy and training group, and was developed by organizers from the War Resisters League (WRL), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and the Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA).

We came together at a time when the traditional anti-war marches had seemingly lost much of their ability to inspire and had come under fire for lacking a more long-term strategy to build on the popular sentiment against the war.

Rebuilding Resistance: Organizing Lessons From One Year After The Devastation of New Orleans

By: 
Jordan Flaherty
Date Published: 
August 25, 2006
    It has been a year since Katrina. Half of the people of New Orleans remain dispersed around the US. Vast stretches of the city lie empty. Bodies are still being found in the devastation of the lower ninth ward. Suicide rates have tripled. The national guard is still patrolling the streets. Most schools and hospitals—especially those serving poor people—are still closed.

This anniversary has brought one last influx of media attention, but after that—barring another round of horrible devastation—the national spotlight will begin to move on. A few months down the line NPR and The New York Times will reassign their reporters. Progressive and liberal foundations will redirect their money to the next urgent priority.

The Fight For Your First Born

By: 
Zein El-Amin
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

Americans resisted the privatization of social security despite the hard sell pushed by the Bush Administration. They rejected entrusting their futures to private interests. Yet they are about to entrust these same private interests with the future of their first-born. In the midst of this climate of “starving the beast” policies—the privatization of all things public—corporate interests are making a grab for our public education system. This is seen as the new frontier for privatization. This grab is most evident in urban areas with significant populations of poor people of color.

The Administration is establishing facts on the ground for the under-funding and closure of public schools using the “No Child Left Behind” act.

Corporate Puppeteers: A Look at Who’s Behind the Charter School Movement

By: 
Basav Sen
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006
    Often billed as a grassroots education reform campaign, a closer look proves that the charter school movement is anything but. Basav Sen presents a case study of two charter school operators in Washington, DC and one of their primary funders: the Walton Family Foundation. The picture that emerges is a complex web of big corporations and right-wing think tanks pushing their agenda to privatize the public school system.

In analyzing the proliferation of charter schools, both in Washington, DC and nationwide, it is critical that we identify the forces that are providing political and financial support. What motivates these charter school backers, and what do they intend to get out of their support?

Israel: Cornerstone of the “New Middle East” Palestine: Cornerstone of Resistance

By: 
Jamal Juma
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

Until the beginning of this year, Israeli colonialist plans had been going ahead smoothly. Almost half of the Apartheid Wall project—that steals 48% of the West Bank land—had been built. The de-Arabization of Jerusalem was progressing rapidly leaving the city almost completely isolated. The Orwellian terminals to funnel goods and workers among the Palestinian ghettos carved out by the Wall were edging closer to completion (for more information see Cementing Israeli Apartheid: The Role of the World Bank in the Oct/Nov 2005 Left Turn).

The Road to Tehran

By: 
AK Gupta
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006

As preparations for war against Iraq intensified in the fall of 2002, neo-conservatives in Washington were fond of remarking that “The road to Tehran runs through Baghdad.” The toppling of Saddam Hussein was to be the first step in remaking the map of the Middle East through military force with Iran as number one on the hit list.

The Bush administration has been obsessed with trying to topple Iran’s government since it came to power. According to James Bamford, writing in a July 2006 issue of Rolling Stone, “War with Iran has been in the works for the past five years.”

“White Man’s Burden”

By: 
Lee Glazer
Date Published: 
October 01, 2006
    Emily Y. Washington has been a community activist, public school advocate, and teacher in the Washington, DC Public schools for more than 35 years. In 1999, she was the first Black woman to be awarded the George Olmsted Prize for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching from Williams College. Emily Y. Washington discusses the racism and ruling class interests at work in charter schools in this interview with Lee Glazer, one of the founders of the Save Our Schools Coalition and the mother of three children in the DC public school system.

Lee Glazer: You’ve described charter school proliferation in Washington, DC, as a “scourge” and “a dangerous exercise in social engineering.” Could you elaborate?

Emily Y.

Latin America Moves Left

By: 
Sasha Wright
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006
    On the fifth anniversary of Left Turn’s coverage of resistance in Latin America, we continue to be inspired by the dynamic and powerful social movements that are achieving huge victories across the continent. While struggles in the US and many places around the globe have been on the defensive, these movements give us hope that we can organize effective resistance and alternatives to neoliberalism and US empire.

With these victories, movements in Latin America must grapple with a new set of even bigger challenges. How should movements relate to the traditional political system? How can autonomous projects continue to flourish in the face of government repression?