A significant political breakthrough happened on Tuesday, June 4 when Chokwe Lumumba was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.
As we wrote before, Chokwe ran for mayor on a radical people’s platform. The political establishment tried everything to stop him at every step along the way, but in the end he was elected by a strong margin and will become mayor on July 1. His comments captured the feeling of the day:
“I’m just delighted. I feel wonderfully well about the people and their vote. Our slogan has been the people must decide and the people gave us an outstanding mandate today for positive change in the city of Jackson.”
We congratulate Chokwe Lumumba on his victory, as well as the people’s movement which carried the day through tireless organizing across three election campaigns in a row. And we recommend that anyone interested in justice and self-determination should get familiar with the Jackson Plan of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, to better understand the context and significance of this important election.
This article was originally posted on the blog It’s About Power, Stupid! in December 2012. Although some details are now out of date, the heart of this post is still extremely timely as battles continue to be fought over anti-worker laws around the country.
The signing of “right to work for less” in Michigan is another stark reminder to us all how deep the crisis of labor is. As if we needed another. The fact that the supporters of “right to work” could garner enough votes to pass such a bill in Michigan underscores the determination of our enemies and the extent to which the decline of labor density has weakened labor’s ability to fend off attacks, even in our strongholds.
Right to work will not kill the labor movement in Michigan. If enacted, it will however weaken it substantially. This makes keeping up pressure in the streets, courts and all other points possible to defeat its implementation essential. There is also still time to mitigate and undo the damage done through a variety of legal and legislative strategies. While the fight is far from ending in Michigan, we must look soberly at our priorities as a movement.
Chokwe Lumumba has shaken up the political establishment in Jackson, Mississippi with his success in two elections in a row. Now he is on the edge of becoming mayor, and the time is now to make every effort to support him.
The first vote was the Democratic primary on May 7. Lumumba — who is a city councilmember, a movement lawyer who once defended Assata Shakur, and a founding member of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement — took second place in a crowded field. He beat out many other candidates, including the incumbent mayor. Then he won a primary runoff election on May 21 by a ten-point margin. Now only the general election is the last test before he becomes Jackson’s next mayor.
In past elections the winner of the Democratic primary has been a lock to win the general election. But this year Lumumba’s opponents are continuing to put up a fierce fight. Why? Because Lumumba represents a radical new vision for the city. His people’s platform breaks with politics as usual to highlight the right to self-determination and an economic plan centered on the rights of workers.
Although his victories are already significant, winning the general election is essential so that his plan can be put into practice. Lumumba’s campaign can use any help in the form of donations, volunteers, or public support. Don’t let this precious opportunity slip by!
You can find out more and make contributions at http://www.electlumumbamayor.com/
Late update: In a new series of articles, the Austin Statesman is revealing how federal and Texas state officials are attempting to hide and cover up what happened in West and who is responsible. The first and second articles in this series have been published so far.
This article by Anne Lewis was published on The Rag Blog.
This is about the fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, on the night of April 17, 2013. It’s also about Patrick Bresnan who found himself in West on the night of the explosion and his photographs in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Governor Perry called it a crime scene; the progressive community says, yes, corporate crime. Neither the paranoid fantasy of Governor Perry who is stuck in an ideology that says that companies can do no wrong, nor the abstract politics of progressives blaming the state’s lack of regulation — “We shouldn’t produce fertilizer anyway because it’s not good for the planet,” I overheard in a coffee shop — seem to get at any real truth.
I ask myself the question: how one can be kind and dignified in the face of such sorrow and loss? I try to collect myself and cannot help but think about the Central Appalachian coalfields.
Renowned Indian author Arundhati Roy says her country’s government has declared war on its own people. Her outspokenness earned her an invitation to spend time with Maoist rebels. In a conversation with Making Contact, Arundhati Roy takes us into the jungles of India, as she reads excerpts from her new book Walking with the Comrades.
Listen to the interview here…
You may also want to read:
Here are a few photos from the rallies, marches and celebrations of the workers, immigrants, and oppressed people around the world who took to the streets on May Day.
Women march in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A garment factory collapse near Dhaka last month killed more than 400 workers, mostly young women.
Protesters in New York marched for immigrant rights and against deportations. The Obama administration has deported more than 1.5 million people.
In Sri Lanka, workers march with posters of Marx, Engels and Lenin.
May 1 was first observed as the original Labor Day more than 125 years ago. Since then it has always been tied to the struggles of the multinational working class in the United States and to internationalist solidarity between all the working people of the world.
The rallies and actions for labor and for immigrant rights on May 1 this year continue that tradition. Let this day be another step towards unity and organization for the wretched of the earth!
This article was originally posted at Fire on the Mountain.
Ms. Claudette Colvin speaks at Newark’s Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Ms. Claudette Colvin had more than 200 assembled activists stuck totheir seats as she shared the story of her 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. As a fifteen-year-old youngster who’d heard Black History Week presentations in her high school, she felt the spirit of Harriet Tubman “like a hand on my shoulder forcing me to remain seated,” when the driver instructed her and three other students to move so a young white woman could have a seat alone on two benches.
After her arrest, Miss Colvin became active in the Montgomery NAACP Youth Council organized by Mrs. Rosa Parks, so she had multiple sources of inspiration, though she was taken off the bus and busted some nine months before Mrs. Parks herself was arrested. Continue reading