|Dan La Botz August 2, 2014|
Daniel Bensaïd. An Impatient Life: A Memoir. Foreword by Tariq Ali. New York: Verso, 2013. Photos. Notes. 358pp. Hardback - $34.95.
Daniel Bensaïd, raised in his Algerian Jewish and French Communist family in Toulouse, was strongly affected as an adolescent by the revolutionary movements in Algeria, Cuba, and Vietnam. At the university, he became swept up in and was soon a student leader of university strikes that set off the great upheaval of May 1968 leading to the strike by 11 million workers.
|Dan La Botz July 29, 2014|
Last Thursday was a national day of protests in solidarity with the people of Gaza, with demonstrations being held across the United States, with follow-up events in many places. There was also a Friday demonstration in New York City that I attended.
|Dan La Botz July 19, 2014|
Will MORENA, the National Regeneration Movement founded and led by former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, be able to change Mexican politics and what sort of change might that mean? We will soon have an idea. Founded in November 2012, MORENA is now a legitimate political party with the right to run candidates in elections.
|Lois Weiner July 13, 2014|
Both US teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), held their national conventions in July. For the first time in decades the conventions were marked by challenges to union leaders on educational policies, including union approval of the Common Core and union leader's unwillingness to take on the Obama administration and Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education.
|Dan La Botz July 7, 2014|
Claudio Lomnitz. The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón. New York: Zone Books, 2014. 594 pages. Notes. Index of Names. Photos. Hardback. $35.95.
If it were a house, Claudio Lomnitz’s The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón would be a rambling, decaying mansion with various jerrybuilt stories and wings, a ramshackle place filled with archives and artifacts, old political posters and antique typewriters, a building straddling the U.S.-Mexico border, a shared abode whose residents are an interesting and odd collection of characters, some of them lovely people, some noble, and others quite disagreeable, coming and going at all hours, sometimes reciting poetry. And don’t be surprised if, while you’re visiting, the place is raided by Furlong or Pinkerton agents, by the police or the Texas rangers who carry off some of the boarders to prison; some of whom will be gone for years at a time.
|Dan La Botz June 29, 2014|
Bernard Duterme et al. Zapatisme: la rébellion qui dure. Alternatives du Sud. Paris: Centre Tricontinental and Éditions Syllepse, 2014. Chronology. Notes. Index. 205pp.
|Dan La Botz June 24, 2014|
|Michael Hirsch June 23, 2014|
We don’t think of philanthropists as ragged: louche, maybe even a tad shabby, as with
trust-fund hipsters or Palo Alto billionaires, but never ragged. In writing his early-twentieth-century British classic, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell (the pen name of Robert Noonan) wanted to drive home his point. The biggest benefactors of the rich are workers. His is a portrait of hard-pressed working people and their counterintuitive respect and political and economic support for their rulers.
|Lois Weiner June 18, 2014|
Guest blog: This week I have a commentary by a reader. Doug Mann provides background about the issue of tenure for teachers in Minneapolis. His analysis, identifying how the Right has pushed this issue and why systemic racism has to be named in defending teachers’ rights to due process, applies in most respects to other urban school districts. Doug is the Green Party candidate for Minneapolis School Board, citywide, and an education activist.
|Dan La Botz June 13, 2014|
Review of: Bryan D. Palmer. Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strike of 1934. Historical Materialism Book Series. Chicago: Haymarket, 2013. Appendix. Bibliography. Index. Photos. 308 pp.
|Lois Weiner June 13, 2014|
Tenure and teacher unions suffered a defeat this week when a California court ruled in the Vergara case that the state's law giving teachers tenure violated California's constitution. I've blogged about why the claims in Vergara were manufactured to pit students against teachers.
|Lois Weiner May 28, 2014|
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) hosted a conference on global education “reform” May 24, bringing together NUT activists with union leaders and scholars from the global south and north. My blog this week adapts my presentation, which along with papers from others (all quite informative) will be published on the Research Collaborative of www.teachersolidarity.com
|Dan La Botz May 26, 2014|
Subcomandante Marcos, the famous voice of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN),announced in the early hours of Sunday, May 26 that he ending his role as the group's spokesperson and military commander. Or as he put it, Subcomandante Marcos, a “harlequin” and a “hologram” created by the EZLN, has now ceased to exist.
|Lois Weiner May 21, 2014|
This brief story about the Philly TAG (Teacher Activist Group) conference suggests what was special about the occasion but it misses what was the most salient political feature of the conclave. Philly teachers who are committed to social justice have formed a caucus in their union, an AFT l
|Lois Weiner May 16, 2014|
In studying urban teacher preparation (the hat I wear professionally when I’m not thinking about teacher unionism), I examine how school practices and organization influence teachers and students. To understand what goes on inside classrooms we have to look at the welter of powerful influences within schools and outside their walls. Blaming “teacher quality” f