PHILADELPHIA — A coalition of labor and community groups rallied here May 25 to demand an increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, which has remained frozen at $5.15 an hour for eight years. Rally speakers demanded that the state Legislature hike the wage to $7.15 an hour to provide adequate worker income and to bring it closer to the minimum wage prevailing in nearby states.
This book is a collection of 33 short biographies about the lives and actions of people who are deeply committed in changing the world. As the cover of the book states, “You know the names of Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela.” Yet it questions the reader, “But have you ever heard of Roy Bourgeois, Neta Golan, or Sulak Sivaraksa?” There are many brave men and women who are activists and continue in the tradition of faith-based activism.
NEW YORK CITY — “When Martin Luther King Jr. began to respond to the demands for justice, one of the first persons he called upon was Harry Belafonte,” said Andrew Young, a top aide to King, former congressman and United Nations ambassador. Young was introducing Belafonte at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy annual benefit here on June 8, which honored Belafonte and Arianna Huffington for “Speaking Truth to Power.”
The following are reader responses to an article by Sam Webb, “Communists make key points on racism” (PWW 4/30-5/6). A discussion worth continuing; Our job in fight against racism
It’s admirable that Wachovia Corp., the nation’s fourth largest bank, under pressure from the cities of Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles, finally revealed and apologized for their role in the heinous transatlantic slave trade. (“Wachovia finds role in slavery in its past,” Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2.)
The persistent budget crises in Illinois and Chicago are in large measure created by the Bush administration policies of tax cuts for the very rich, militarization and Iraq war spending that are bankrupting cities, counties and states across the nation. The recently adopted Bush budget projects red ink as far as the eye can see.
The Communist Party USA’s party-wide preconvention discussion shows the overwhelming majority supports the strategic direction of its new draft program and main resolution and also includes many good suggestions to strengthen them. A scattering of members say we should instead retain the 1983 program as the starting point, updating certain points. Most of them characterize the new draft program as going in a “social democratic,” “right opportunist” direction.
“Money doesn’t talk,” Bob Dylan observed. “It swears.” Those words are certainly true for the Bush administration and its attitude toward the environment.
As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Since the bipartisan agreement by 14 senators that resulted in a compromise deal on the Senate filibuster rule, three extreme right-wing judges have been confirmed for the federal bench. The Senate saved its rule, but the courts took a big hit.
Today’s anti-militarist GI confronts a military that has changed enormously since the first Gulf War 15 years ago. The behemoth conscript military of the Vietnam era, with 4 million-plus GIs, bears little resemblance to today’s model.