Since election night 2016, the streets of the U.S. have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this series, we'll be talking with experienced organizers, troublemakers, and thinkers who have been doing the hard work of fighting for a long time. They'll be sharing their insights on what works, what doesn't, and what has changed, and what is still the same.
Walmart, the world's largest retailer (and America's largest private employer), occupies a rather strange place in the business landscape: a technologically innovative company with a down-home reputation – a low-wage, low-benefit employer that prides itself on a family atmosphere. Walmart masks the lousy working conditions that make its profits with its particular form of market populism: millions of "Walmart moms" can't be wrong for wanting to "save money, live better", can they?
Sauda Baraka didn’t pursue a spot on the Bridgeport, Conn., Board of Education thinking it would be a springboard to higher office. As her children went through Bridgeport’s public schools, she saw herself simply as an “involved parent” — until 2004, when the Republican Party recruited her to run for the board. Connecticut reserves three seats on all school boards for a minority party — and at the time in Bridgeport, long dominated by a Democratic Party machine, the minority party was Republican. She accepted, and won.
The emergency room at Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn was crowded when we got there at 5:30 PM on Tuesday evening. We were the third-place team in a race to different Brooklyn hospitals staged by the New York State Nurses Association to dramatize the need to save two facilities in danger of closing. When we arrived, Methodist Hospital nurses were too busy to talk to our group about the ER’s patient load, but the man at the desk said they'd been busier since Long Island College Hospital (LICH) started diverting ambulances at the end of June.
This essay was originally published in Issue 10 of Jacobin.
What You Need to Know About the Seattle Teachers' Rebellion and the Deeply Flawed Test That Inspired It
High school teachers in Seattle are saying no to the spread of high-stakes standardized tests. On January 10, the staff of Garfield High School voted unanimously to refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to their ninth-grade students. For two weeks they've held firm, even as the superintendent of schools has threatened them with a 10-day unpaid suspension, and teachers at other schools have joined their boycott.
The passage of a so-called “right-to-work” law in Michigan recently left the labor movement feeling gut-punched.
“Raising Hell” is what the title of Jane McAlevey's new book says she spent her time in the labor movement doing, and she isn't joking.