MY ROOTS WERE in Texas but war and the New Deal took the family from Dallas to Washington, D.C. where I grew up as a liberal Democrat. My first political experience was getting punched in the nose for wearing a Truman button.
Our family was middle of the white middle class. High school sports were segregated until my last two years of high school, 1955-57. In 1960, Berkeley attracted me as an inexpensive place to get a doctorate in philosophy and pursue a teaching career.
I joined the Independent Socialist Club (ISC, founded 1964) in Berkeley in February, 1966. The Free Speech Movement (FSM) in 1964 radicalized me and got me into unionism as a founder of the first teaching assistants union, Local 1570 of the AFT.
On Sunday March 6th, over 20 Atlanta DSA members gathered outside of the Starbucks at Howell Mill in solidarity with workers fighting to unionize their workplace. Together, organizers flyered the neighborhoods and shopping centers surrounding the store to help raise awareness and build community support for the union as workers face increased pressure from Starbucks corporate.
The controversy over building the proposed Cop City on 150 acres of the Old Atlanta Prison Farm on Key Road is fraught with false narratives, including those in a recent AJC op-ed by George Turner, former Atlanta chief of police. These narratives remain regurgitated by police, reinforce the misunderstood objectives of the City Council, and result in a distorted view of the urgency of law enforcement needs. Police attempt to control the narrative with cooperation by corporate media such as the AJC, whose parent company is paying for Cop City to be built.
Last week, Fox 5 Atlanta interviewed two leaders of Atlanta DSA, including a lead organizer of the chapter’s recently started “Stop Cop City” campaign opposing the Atlanta Police Foundation’s plans to demolish 300 acres of public forest land. While it is refreshing to see a mainstream news station platform socialist organizers, the nature of the coverage and the interview reveals the way our corporate-funded media attempts to influence public opinion in the name of objectivity.
Don’t beat yourself up to save the planet — fight the boss instead.
In capitalist news and corporate media, we are often presented with a binary choice of the environment versus the economy. Both Democrats and Republicans often claim that we can either have a healthy, livable planet or a strong, stable economy, but it’s impossible to have both. Is this really the case? Should we commit to one or the other, or is there a way to fight for the two together?