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From Below and to the Left…

By: 
RJ Maccani
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006
    Joined by a team of Mexican, gringo, Brazilian, and French journalists, R.J. Maccani reported on the Zapatista’s new national initiative in Mexico from the southwestern state of Oaxaca in the first months of 2006. Here he gives Left Turn an insider’s view into the beginnings of a national movement building popular power beyond the state.

The Zapatista rebels of Mexico’s southeastern state of Chiapas are taking their boldest step since they rose up in arms twelve years ago. Continuing a twenty-two year journey of growth and transformation, they are spreading out beyond their autonomous communities to join with and build a Mexican and global movement for democracy, freedom, and justice.

Stopping the PIC in Its Tracks

By: 
Ari Wohlfeiler
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006
    At its most basic level, the goal of organizing against prison expansion is to prevent the construction of cages, therefore making it impossible to lock people in them. Our job in the anti-expansion movement is to explain what happens when cities of cages are built and used to hold people captive by exposing the myth that more cages create more order.

Taking Back the Streets & the Movement

By: 
Remy Kharbanda and Andrea Ritchie
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006
    Since Columbus first set foot on North American shores, and since the formation of the first state sponsored police forces, slave patrols, state violence and resistance to it have been permanent fixtures of the American experience.

“We Charge Genocide,” presented to the United Nations by the Civil Rights Congress in 1951, documented thousands of incidents of police brutality against African-Americans alone. The Black Panther Party first came together in response to police violence in Oakland, CA.

Building a Political Prisoner Support Movement

By: 
Dan Berger
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006
    Political prisoners, if largely unacknowledged, are at the crux of debates over incarceration. Their presence testifies to the ongoing legacy of social problems, which in itself is central to the cycle of crime and punishment. As the anti-prison movement continues to grow in strength and stature, the question of political prisoners demands attention because these movement veterans remain part of current endeavors for social justice. Their lengthy incarceration, including many with life sentences, speaks to the vengeful mindset governing imprisonment in the US. Parole is almost uniformly impossible—even after decades of incarceration and despite their having met all the requirements for release.

Without Bureaucracy, Beyond Inclusion: Re-centering Feminism

By: 
Andrea Smith
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006

Both scholars and activists have tended to periodize the feminist movement into the so-called first, second, and third waves of feminism. The “first wave” is characterized by the white suffragette movement; the “second wave” is characterized by the formation of the National Organization for Women, abortion rights politics, and the fight for the Equal Rights Amendments. Suddenly, as if having no prior organizing history, women of color make an appearance during the “third wave,” transforming feminism into a multicultural movement.

But the problems with this approach become clear when acknowledging that the histories of feminism extend beyond these narrow waves.

Lessons for the Left from the Radical Transgender Movement

By: 
Alexander Lee and MC Ettinger
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006
    People often fail to realize that although the contemporary gay rights movement is currently utilizing much of its resources for marriage rights, it is a movement that has rebellious, even revolutionary roots. Even fewer people realize the crucial role that multi-racial, mostly working class, transgender and gender variant people played in this history.

The notorious shoe which set off New York’s now famous Stonewall Riot in 1969 was slung by the legendary Sylvia Rivera, a Latina transgender woman. One year later, Rivera co-founded Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which organized transwomen of color in New York until the mid-90s.

Chiapas, Seattle, Hong Kong?

By: 
David Solnit
Date Published: 
June 01, 2006
    It has been over ten years after the imposition of NAFTA and the WTO, the Zapatistas’ uprising and the beginnings of global coordination of actions inspired by this new radicalism. It has been six years since the mass direct actions confronting the WTO in Seattle and the IMF and World Bank in DC. David Solnit explores important questions for these movements: What are the past lessons and future possibilities of summit mobilizations? What major challenges do we face? How do we define victory?

There is no global justice movement.

No One Is Illegal!

By: 
Harsha Walia
Date Published: 
February 01, 2005
    The No One is Illegal Campaign across Canada brings together immigrants, refugees and allies in full confrontation with Canadian colonial border policies. We struggle for the right for our communities to maintain their livelihoods and resist war, occupation and displacement, while building alliances and supporting indigenous sisters and brothers also fighting theft of land and displacement.

Borders, a creation of colonization, are the cartographies of anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggle. As a Chicana protestor declared, "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us." The majority of displaced throughout the world are indigenous peoples in the settler states or from communities of colour in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa.

Organizing To Stop The War Against Women Of Color

By: 
Andrea Ritchie, Tammy Ko Robinson
Date Published: 
February 01, 2005
    “We need an analysis that furthers neither the conservative project of sequestering millions of men of color in accordance with the contemporary dictates of globalized capital and its prison industrial complex, nor the equally conservative project of abandoning poor women of color to a continuum of violence that extends from the sweatshops through the prisons, to shelters, and into bedrooms at home. How do we develop organizing strategies against violence against women that acknowledge the race of gender and the gender of race?”—Angela Y. Davis, keynote address, Color of Violence Conference, April 2000, University of Santa Cruz, CA.

Born out of the first groundbreaking Color of Violence conference held in 2000, INCITE!

Organizing In And Around The Military: Military Families Speak Out – San Diego

By: 
Lynn Gonzalez
Date Published: 
February 01, 2005
    The war becomes really up close and personal when you’re advocating for GIs and their families. Case-by-case, the impotence and raw pain endured by family members and the corrosive aberrant shift in the psyche of the young foot soldier both overwhelms and obsesses you. You get a guttural, visceral sense of war.

It is our intention to undermine militarism — one discarded soldier, one war-tortured Marine, one suffering family at a time. We intend to hold a mirror incessantly in the face of the American public until the mask that tells us “war is glorious” and “we can liberate through warfare” falls away. And, in our own outrage, we are hopeful. Hopeful because something wonderful and exciting is happening here and across the country — there is an awakening occurring.