Climate Crisis Panel with Shahid Buttar, Joye Braun, and Peter Kalmus

Shahid Buttar for Congress Join us Saturday for a powerful panel and live Q&A with Shahid Buttar on the climate crisis with: **Joye Braun- Indigenous pipeline fighter- Indigenous Environmental Network **Shahid Buttar- Candidate for congress running against Nancy Pelosi in CA CD-12 **Peter Kalmus- Climate scientist Topics to be discussed: **nationalizing the fossil fuel industry **decolonization, **intersectionality of climate, health and racial justice **other policy-based solutions to the impending climate apocalypse threatening the survival of humanity. See Less Shahid Buttar for California’s CD12. San Francisco Deserves Real Representation In Congress. https://www.shahidforchange.us/ Twitter – https://twitter.com/shahidforchange Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/shahidforcha… Donate – https://www.shahidforchange.us/donate…

Challenging pro-war Pelosi: candidate Shahid Buttar on Assange, Latin America, & Palestine

The Grayzone Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Shahid Buttar, who is running against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to represent California’s 12th district in the House of Representatives. Buttar explains why he differs from Pelosi on issues of war and whistleblowers. They discuss Buttar’s position on Julian Assange, Latin America, Israel, and more. ||| The Grayzone ||| Find more reporting at https://thegrayzone.com Support our original journalism at Patreon: https://patreon.com/grayzone Twitter: https://twitter.com/thegrayzonenews Facebook: https://facebook.com/thegrayzone Minds: https://minds.com/thegrayzone Mastodon: https://mastodon.social/@thegrayzone

Call to Action to Block a GOP SCOTUS Pick

 By Rabbi Michael Lerner | September 25, 2020 (tikkun.org)
people in green and yellow shirt standing near white concrete building during daytime

Photo by Maria Oswalt

Rabbi Michael Lerner and Rabbi Arthur Waskow have developed a strategy in response to President Trump’s attempt to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

STOP THE CONFIRMATION OF A  REACTIONARY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE

Our Torah urges us to choose life. At this moment, that means blocking the President from choosing the next member of the Supreme Court till the coming election determines who will be the next President. That election gives us a chance to achieve the following:

  1. Health care covered by insurance for all and effective public-health policies.
  2. The independent moral agency of women to make their own conscientious decisions about birth control and abortion.
  3. Protection of Earth and Humankind from the climate crisis and from mass extinction.
  4. The full achievement of racial justice in the US.
  5. The achievement of elections in which every citizen 18 years of age or older is able to vote, and in which it is not possible for the wealthy and their corporations to use their money to dominate elections.
  6. Popularizing the notion that we must build “The Caring Society–Caring for Each Other and Caring for the Earth.”

The present President’s nominee would be almost certain to oppose all of these. Majorities of the American public support them. Yet reactionary (not “conservative”)  Justices have tried to block each one, and one more such Justice could prevent them for decades.

What can we do?

We need your support to bring the kind of analyses and information Tikkun provides.
Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution.

NO CONSENT CAMPAIGN

Every Senator has the power to refuse “unanimous consent” to a myriad of procedural decisions, thereby stalling a bare majority of the Senate from destroying American lives, compassion, justice, and democracy for years to come. Call your own Senators and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urging that they use this tactic until the Majority Leader withdraws all action on a Supreme Court nominee.

Denial of “unanimous consent” for several months would give senators time to reflect more seriously on how to prevent the disaster of a Supreme Court being in position to declare “unconstitutional” every progressive move made by a new President and a more progressive Congress.

Call your friends, relatives, co-workers, members of your religious or civic organization and urge them to also call their U.S. Senator to join this “No Consent Campaign” to stop the President from packing the Supreme Court with another reactionary justice.

A phone call to 1-202-224-3121 can reach each Senator, one at a time. For the sake of your future and that of all our children and grandchildren, call. And call. And call.

~ Rabbi Michael Lerner and Rabbi Arthur Waskow

This New York Times Article also addresses the strategy outlined above. Indivisible is also advocating for this strategy. You can read what they have to say on this issue here.

We urge you to take action as we continue to work for our “unrealistic” (yet realistically necessary) yearnings and policies for a loving and compassionate world.

ABOUT RABBI MICHAEL LERNER

Rabbi Michael Lerner

Rabbi Michael Lerner holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (1972) and a second Ph.D. in psychology (1977), is editor of Tikkun www.tikkun.org, executive director of the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls in Berkeley, chair of the international Network of Spiritual Progressives, and author of 12 books, most recently Revolutionary Love published by the University of California Press (more info about this book at www.tikkun.org/lj). Lerner was recently described by Professor Cornel West of Harvard U. as “one of the most significant prophetic public intellectuals and spiritual leaders of our generation” and Keith Ellison, Attorney General of the State of Minnesota, says: “The caring society is the only realistic path for humanity to survive, and in Revolutionary Love Rabbi Lerner lays out a powerful and compassionate plan for building that caring society.” Talking about his book Revolutionary Love, Gloria Steinem, a founding editor of Ms. Magazine, says “Michael Lerner takes the universal qualities wrongly diminished as ‘feminine’—caring, kindness, empathy, love—and dares to make them guides to a new kind of politics that can challenge the cruelty, competition, and dominance wrongly elevated as ‘masculine.’ Revolutionary Love opens our minds and hearts to a fully human way of living and governing.”

Word-built world: Jedburgh justice

PRONUNCIATION: (JED-buh-ruh juhs-tis) 

MEANING: noun: Punishment before trial.

ETYMOLOGY: After Jedburgh, a town in Scotland, where in the 17th century people were summarily executed. The town lies on the Jed Water river. Earliest documented use: 1698.

NOTES: Jedburgh justice, also known as Jedwood justice or Jeddart justice, is, in essence: Hang now, ask questions later. The term is coined after Jedburgh, a town near Edinburgh, where under the orders of King James VI of England, people were executed without trial. See also: lynch.

USAGE: “A Black defendant is presumed guilty and he or she has a legal duty to prove his or her innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are still no guarantees, however. This is Jedburgh justice.”
Alton H Maddox, Jr.; FDR’s “Raw Deal and Blacks”; New York Amsterdam News; Jun 14, 2007.

The Political Meaning of Bush v. Gore Today

 By Peter Gabel | September 24, 2020 (tikkun.org)
happy birthday greeting card on green and red plant

Credit: Gayatri Malhotra

Donald Trump has now made it clear that he is rushing through a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg so that a ninth US Supreme Court Justice can be in place to decide the outcome of the presidential election if necessary. What he is contemplating is the following perfectly plausible scenario: As election night winds down on November 3, he, Trump, will be leading in key swing states based on the in-person voting that day, but there will be as yet uncounted mail-in ballots by the millions that are highly likely to favor Biden. To prevent a full and fair count of these ballots, Trump intends to allege fraud and have the Supreme Court decide whether to block the mail-in vote, counting on at least his own three appointees plus the very conservative Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito to decide in his favor. And if that strategy somehow fails or is perceived as too risky to assure his victory, he has a back-up plan to use the language of Article III of the Constitution to have the Republican-controlled state legislatures in swing states refuse to follow their states’ popular vote (citing allegations of fraud) and simply appoint their states’ Electors to participate in the all-important Electoral College vote scheduled to take place on December 14 (citing the “true will of the people”). Either way, Trump would then be assured of “winning” the presidency even if he in fact loses the national popular vote by a wide margin and even if he would have lost the Electoral College as well if all the ballots were counted.

We have been through this before, in the year 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore, when the Supreme Court did in fact decide the election in favor of George Bush, even though the facts later showed that it was Al Gore who would have won the decisive state of Florida if the Florida recount had been allowed to proceed. In the decisive Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore, the conservative judges did just what Trump is counting on them to do this time–manipulate the Constitution to reach a conservative result in spite of Gore’s popular victory and what would have been his Electoral College victory if the Florida vote had been allowed to proceed. As Peter Gabel showed in his now-famous article that ran first in Tikkun, “The Political Meaning of Bush v. Gore”, Gore’s lawyers actually inadvertently played into the conservatives hands by arguing for States Rights instead of for the fundamental primacy of the Constitutional right to have every vote counted, thereby politically undermining the legal and moral claim of Gore voters throughout the country in favor of technical arguments relevant only to the state of Florida. We reprint Peter’s article today to remind us of how important the correct universal and democratic legal arguments are to the political movement that will be likely to arise in the days following the November 3rd election this year. As Peter shows, it is essential for the lawyers’ legal arguments to give voice to the moral claims of the voters in the streets, so that what is said in the courts mirrors and augments the cries for democratic justice coming from we, the people, as a whole. Click here to read the original article.

Tikkun Magazine

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

ABOUT PETER GABEL

Peter Gabel

Peter Gabel is editor-at-large of Tikkun. His most recent book, The Desire for Mutual Recognition: Social Movements and the Dissolution of the False Self (Routledge Press, 2018), was nominated for the Kirkus Prize as Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

Foreign Correspondent: The turmoil in Belarus

Belarusian political activists face a difficult situation, caught between a ruthless dictator and a potential Western takeover of their country.

ByREESE ERLICH

-SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 (48hills.org)

In a surprise ceremony on Wednesday, embattled President Alyaksandr Lukashenko was reportedly sworn in for a sixth term after Belarus’s contested elections in August. Opposition leaders are calling the unannounced ceremony a “thieves’ meeting” and a “farce” and are urging condemnation of the action. 

Lukashenko has overseen a kleptocracy. Wikimedia Commons image.

Victoria Martinchik, a 21-year-old attorney in Belarus, is fed up with years of authoritarian rule under Lukashenko. So she and family members have joined tens of thousands of their fellow Belarusians to protest what they consider to be a blatantly rigged August 9 presidential election.

Belarusian political activists face a difficult situation, caught between a ruthless dictator and a potential Western takeover of their country.

“We are tired of enduring this injustice,” Martinchik says in a phone interview from Minsk, Belarus’s capital city. For three days, “riot police threw grenades at us during the protests, beat people, and simply killed us.”

For years, Lukashenko angered Belarusians by mismanaging the economy and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Conn Hallinan, an old friend of mine who works as a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus.

“The demonstrations in the streets are genuine, not foreign-inspired, as claimed by Lukashenko,” says Hallinan in a phone interview. “But Western leaders certainly want to take advantage of the situation to expand their interests.”

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Only a few years after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, President Bill Clinton promised Europe “prosperity and security” through the expansion of NATO. In reality, Eastern European countries and former Soviet republics got impoverishment, kleptocratic ruling elites, and in some cases, neo-fascist governments.

The United States and other foreign powers engineered “color revolutions” in these countries, including an “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine and “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. These were seen as steps toward breaking alliances with Russia and expanding Western economic, political, and military dominance.

Lukashenko was an outlier in that he sought to maintain friendly ties with Russia, even signing a pact aimed at eventually reunifying the two countries. State-owned industries still dominate the Belarusian economy. And while these industries provided much needed blue-collar jobs, profits often trickled up to Lukashenko and his capitalist cronies.

Belarus developed a thriving computer-game and software industry that provided jobs for middle income professionals. The government made a tacit agreement with this sector: if they stayed out of politics, they could enjoy relative economic prosperity.

But, for most Belarusians, the new state-capitalist system has meant a drop in their standard of living, particularly since the pandemic. Unemployment continues to climb, and the country’s GDP is expected to shrink by 3.4 percent this year.

The final straw came when Lukashenko joined other authoritarian leaders, including US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic. Lukashenko even suggested that the virus could be eliminated with saunas and vodka.

“Go to the sauna,” he advised his compatriots. “When you come out of the sauna, not only wash your hands, but also inside [with] 100 grams [of vodka].”

During the election in August, Lukashenko claimed to receive more than 80 percent of the vote, a figure most Belarusians are skeptical of. Rival presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who received 10 percent of the official vote, claims she won a majority.

Tikhanovskaya, who ran as an independent, and other opposition leaders in several parties receive support from Western countries and media as heroic “defenders of democracy.” But their shared political platform, known as the “Reanimation Reform Package for Belarus” is so conservative it could have been written by the International Monetary Fund, or the World Bank.

“The labour market is over-regulated,” states the joint reform package, referring to laws that protect workers’ rights. “The difficulties of hiring and firing workers, the presence of a large number of administrative restrictions, block the modernization of the labor market.”

The party calls for creating a favorable business climate to encourage multinational corporate investment. That includes fully or partially privatizing state-owned enterprises and vastly reducing economic ties with Russia.

Belarusians, most of whom speak Russian, don’t harbor the anti-Russian nationalism of other former Soviet republics, such as Ukraine.

But if the opposition parties were to seize power in Belarus, European countries such as Poland and Lithuania would exert tremendous pressure on Belarus to break with Russia and join NATO.

So far, the Trump Administration has shown little interest in the Belarus crisis, allowing European Union countries to make the usual denunciations of Lukashenko.

It’s not entirely clear whether Trump is making a conscious decision or is just ignorant. “I don’t think Trump knows where Belarus is,” says Hallinan.

As the crisis continues, Lukashenko has sought support from Moscow, which officially is calling for a dialogue between the government and opposition. So far, Russian President Vladimir Putin is backing Lukashenko as the leader who will keep Belarus out of the Western camp and maintain friendly ties with Russia. 

If the opposition ousts Lukashenko, there is, I think, a real possibility of some sort of Russian intervention.

Leftist parties in Belarus and internationally have taken sharply different positions on the crisis. The Communist Party of Belarus, an orthodox Marxist-Leninist group with ideological origins in the USSR, sees the demonstrations as yet another color revolution.

The CPB points to the neo-liberal policies advocated by the major opposition parties and argues that, under Lukashenko, “the state has maintained a system of strong social guarantees for children, young families, the disabled, veterans, and people with low incomes.”

A Just World Party, which split from the CPB in 1996, opposes both Lukashenko and the pro-Western opposition. The Russian Socialist Movement, affiliated with the Trotskyist Fourth International, supports the Belarus demonstrations and denounces any Russian intervention.

Belarusian political activists face a difficult situation, caught between a ruthless dictator and a potential Western takeover of their country. Some ally with Lukashenko as a lesser evil. Others side with the demonstrators, arguing that breaking Lukashenko’s grip on power is necessary before progressive change can take place.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Belarusians continue to peacefully demonstrate every Sunday. The government continues to arrest dozens of activists in an effort to stop the protests. And though blue-collar strikes at factories—an early sign of popular support for the opposition, have stopped—Lukashenko continues, at least for now, to have support among workers in state-owned enterprises, and among the police, the military, and intelligence agencies.

Activists like Martinchik, despite the confusion and turmoil, remain hopeful.

“I fall asleep with tears and wake up with tears,” she says. “Yesterday, against all this background, it seemed that we were losing. But after all darkness comes light.”

Articles ~ Actions ~ Events, On Going Action,; events for Wednesday, Sept. 28 – Wednesday, Sept. 30 (from Adrienne Fong)

*** ASL interpretation – Let me know if your event needs this service .***

Please include Accessibility and ASL info in your events! And if your action is ‘child friendly’

 Am NOT back posting!

Please post your actions on Indybay even if event is digital: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

 See Indybay also for other listing of events.

Listing of other Bay Area Protests & Rallies

ARTICLES

A. Trumps Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance – September 27, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/27/us/donald-trump-taxes.html

B. Provocation on the High Seas: U.S. Naval Adventures Near the Shores of Russia, China and Iran  – September 25, 2020

C. New York Judge Orders Renewed Inquiry Into the Death of Eric Garner – September 26, 2020

https://www.theroot.com/new-york-judge-orders-renewed-inquiry-into-the-death-of-1845191039?utm_campaign=The+Root&utm_content=1601144095&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0lrJShURmzg4iCFaWeIPY6ROrhow8GI56tcW4x_ao9cpP-P0vfpVqiW78

D. Political violence and U.S. policy in Haiti – September 25, 2020

E. City Encourages Corporate Homeless Sweeps by Failing to Condemn Them, Critics Charge  – September 24, 2020

F. Justice for Some, Not for All: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Indigenous Rights  – September 23, 2020

https://www.palestinechronicle.com/justice-for-some-not-for-all-ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-indigenous-rights/

G. US Tells Kenya to Support Israel or Forget Free Trade Deal – September 23, 2020

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/US-Tells-Kenya-to-Support-Israel-or-Forget-Free-Trade-Deal-20200923-0009.html

H. In Breonna Taylor grand jury decision, Berkeley scholars see grave racial injustice  – September 23, 2020

https://news.berkeley.edu/2020/09/23/in-breonna-taylor-grand-jury-decision-berkeley-scholars-see-grave-racial-injustice/

I. He fought wildfires while imprisoned. California reported him to Ice for deportation – September 22, 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/22/california-inmate-firefighter-ice-deportation

ACTIONS

1. Hold ICE accountable for forced sterilizations

https://action.momsrising.org/sign/Shut-Down-Irwin/?akid=14355.8086.k9GoVs&nosig=1&t=19

2. Tell Your Senators: No Confirmation Before Inauguration

https://p2a.co/Yq8kzwo?emci=d1c936b2-f400-eb11-96f5-00155d03affc&emdi=a225c5f5-9d01-eb11-96f5-00155d03affc&ceid=244387

EVENTS

Monday, September 28 – Wednesday, September 30

On Going Action:

Occupy Antioch Police Department – 24/7 Occupation

Antioch Police Dept. (outside)
300 L Street
Antioch

(nr. BART’s last stop in Antioch)

Hx:

On Friday, September 4th, five young activists from the City of Antioch—Shagoofa Khan, Maria Brown, Michelle Parmenter, McKenna Peterson, and Lacey Brown—and Michael James, a former resident of the Mission District of San Francisco, now an East Bay resident, began a hunger strike.

On September 9th the Hunger Strikers officially ended the Hunger Strike but continue to OCCUPY the front of the Antioch Police Department 24/7.

Demands:

1. The immediate termination of Officer Michael Mellone from Antioch Police Department for his known record of illegally using lethal force in the killing of Luis Góngora Pat in San Francisco, and new surfacing allegations of abuse of force in Antioch;

2. The immediate resignation of Steve Aiello as President of Antioch Police Officers’ Association for promoting violence against peaceful protesters;

3. The integration of community representatives as equal participants (unaffiliated with the City of Antioch & its government) to the “Bridging the Gap” forum during which a third-party facilitator will be assisting a discussion on racial injustice and police community relationships. We demand also that the next forum meeting happen within the following 30 days and be publicly announced through the appropriate outlets to maximize attendance.

This year it became known that Ofc. Mellone left the San Francisco Police Department on August 18th—a day before SFPD’s Internal Affairs was set to hand down a historic suspension for violating almost every SFPD rule in the book when he fired two different lethal weapons that resulted in the killing of Luis Góngora Pat—and began working days later with the Antioch Police Department. According to San Francisco D.A. Boudin “…the timing makes very clear that the resignation was aimed at and was effective at avoiding accountability.”

Since the activist started their demonstration they have received multiple threats, have had eggs thrown at them and have also received death threats.

Support welcomed!  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/6Forced2Strike/?notif_id=1599634473005674&notif_t=page_name_change&ref=notif

Monday, September 28

1. Monday, 6:00am – 11:45pm, #ShutDownKKR Day of Action #WetsuwetenStrong –    all day action

Join the #ShutDownKKR communications blockade and rise up for the Wet’surwet’en hereditary chiefs!

Here’s what you can do to join the KKR communications blockade: 

⚡

 Email KKR today by using our easy messaging tool: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/messagekkr

⚡

 Call KKR by dialing their NYC office at 212-750-8300

⚡

 Tweet at @KKR_Co and tell them just how awful they are for ignoring Wet’suwet’en concerns about their rights, the climate, land air and water.

In addition KKR also invests in NYPD pension funds,

Suggestion for call script:

#ShutDownKKR – Call scrilpt:

“Hello KKR, I am calling to demand you respect Indigenous rights and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline from your portfolio immediately. It would lock us into decades of increased fracked gas. It also disregards the lack of consent by the Wet’suwet’en community and negative impacts on the climate, air, water, and Indigenous women who face violence from man camps being built along the route. Lastly, ongoing construction and lack of social distancing is putting the Wet’suwet’en community at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.”

See site for Tweet suggestions & more info

Hosts: Rising Tide North America, Stand.earth, Wet’suwet’en Solidarity UK, Seeding Sovereignty, United for Respect

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/348877819570861

2. Monday, 3:30pm – 6:00pm, We Are Essential (March & Car Caravan)

Meet at

16th Street & Capp
SF

4:00pm – Rally at SF City Hall

The SF Latino Parity Equity Coalition and Latino Task Force invite you to join us for a car caravan and march to City Hall to commemorate our loss, celebrate our survivors and share our plan going forward to recovery.

COVID has taken a sledgehammer to the Latino community in San Francisco

– lost housing, lost jobs, lost lives – lost dignity! The pandemic has hit Latino families disproportionately – we are 15% of the population and 51% of the COVID cases.

Info: SF Living Wage Coalition, Alliance for Social and Economic Justice

3. Monday, 4:00pm (PT); 7:00pm (ET), What’s Happening in ICE Detention

Online register:

https://rightsanddissent.org/live/ice-detention-whistleblower/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=79ea5bd7-cc45-4001-85fa-8b57d8bad1e0

Recently, a whistleblower shocked the world with horrifying revelations about human rights abuses in ICE detention centers in Georgia, including the performing of hysterectomies without proper consent. The whistleblower, Dawn Wooten, is a nurse and is being represented in her complaint in part by Project South.

Join Defending Rights & Dissent board member and Project South’s Legal and Advocacy Director Azadeh Shahshahan to learn what’s really happening in ICE detention. In addition to representing Ms. Wooten, Azadeh has long been involved in documenting human rights abuses at Georgia’s ICE detentions and organizing against.

In this special 15 minute update, Azadeh will explain what the whistleblower revealed, how it fits into the larger picture of abusive ICE detention, and what activists are doing about it.

Host: Defending Rights and Dissent

Tuesday, September 29

4. Tuesday,8:00am (PT); 11:00am (ET), Island Resilience Forum: #SC1.5NCEnotSILENCE

Register: https://marchforscience.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2AdvgM8VRFilrO2yvX0d-w

March For Science, Island Resilience Partnership, Island Innovation, EarthX, PVBLIC Foundation, YOUNGO, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) are uniting voices for a global virtual side-event that responds to the scientific imperative unequivocally set forth in the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report (SR1.5). It will illustrate the ways that island leaders and youth advocates are spearheading the global movement for science-based climate action in the midst of a pandemic.

The event will focus on three elements of the SC1.5NCE Not SILENCE campaign: engage, elevate and expedite.

We will discuss how youth leaders are adapting their organizing and advocacy efforts when in-person advocacy are no longer possible in many parts of the world. The event will also demonstrate the ways that island governments have created innovative and multi-sectoral partnerships to accelerate national energy transitions and improve resilience during the pandemic.

Host: March for Science

5. Tuesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Collective Support and Tenant Clinic

Register Here: https://bit.ly/302R7MX

Join us if you need any support and to learn about what is happening regarding our #CancelRent campaign

EVERY other TUESDAY from 5:30pm – 7:30pm (Beginning 8/18/20)

What to expect:
* Share updates on local, regional, state and national policies
* We will answer questions and concerns
* It will be space for sharing stories and popular education
* Collectively strategize to #CancelRent

Host: Tenants Together

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/307326950478897?event_time_id=307326950478897

6. Tuesday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Bi-Weekly Community Meeting on Police Brutality and the George Floyd Protests

Willow Park (in West Oakland)
Oakland

In the past four months, cities in the U.S. and around the world have risen up in rebellion against white supremacist terror from the police following the despicable murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and now the attempted murder of Jacob Blake. Millions have taken to the streets despite strict shelter-in-place orders and they have been met with a violent response by the police.

 It is important to note that the protests are not solely a response to the murder of George Floyd. They represent a revolt against the general systematic slaughter of black people by police and against the white supremacist-capitalist state as a whole

The problem is that we have been here before. In the past, mass protests against police terror and the white supremacist-capitalist state have occurred, but after initial outrage and police crack downs, the excitement and activity of the protests subsides. Those who are not consistently active in political work disappear while activists and political organizations fail to push the movement forward for the long haul. We need to come together as a community to discuss how we can build up a long-term sustained resistance to white supremacy, police brutality, and the capitalist system.

We cannot afford to tail spontaneous movement after spontaneous movement. We need to organize for the long-term, which means doing much more than showing up to protests every time a black person is murdered by police or voting every two years. The police harassing, terrorizing, and murdering working class people is the norm and politicians will not work to overthrow a system that keeps them paid. 

Host: Revolutionary United Front

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/09/18/18836732.php

Wednesday, September 30

7. Wednesday, 10:00am – 11:00am, How California Polices Being Black, Brown and Unhoused in Public

Online

Register:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtdumuqTMqG9A0WtXlxUQuZbCW_F2-qYGG?fbclid=IwAR3ua35H2ehc3eKL0i6ft2GEAlLY0pAhkW0xUC3D5p_jdye2HoBLWiwsu8M

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF)  announced a new report with groundbreaking data revealing how California polices being Black, brown or unhoused in public.

Police in California issued over 250,000 non-traffic infraction citations in 2019 for offenses that primarily criminalize everyday behaviors such as standing, sleeping, owning a dog, and crossing the street. Data from this report show deep racial disparities in the enforcement: These are not citations police commonly give in white, wealthy neighborhoods.

The result is hundreds of dollars in fines and fees people cannot afford to pay, and, in some counties, warrants and arrests for people who do not either pay or appear in court. This ongoing form of police harassment of Black, Latinx, homeless and disabled people is the cause of ongoing trauma, and enforcement of minor infractions has led to significant police violence.

These citations are not necessary, and in many instances, are absurd: criminally punishing a person for sleeping will not stop the human need to sleep. Californians need a safe place to sleep rather than an officer armed with military-grade weapons and a ticket book. Several categories of infraction violations already have been eliminated in recent years at the state level, including vending without a permit and possession of marijuana.

For more information, please contact Sam Lew at slew@lccrsf.org.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/314235506564440

8. Wednesday, 10:30am -12:00pm (ET) or 6:30pm – 7:30pm (ET), Call to Action: Tell the US Army Corps of Engineers that Our Gulf is Not For Sale!

Call to Action: Tell the US Army Corps of Engineers that Our Gulf is Not For Sale!

Register:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-peoples-hearing-on-industrial-aquaculture-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-tickets-120274741991

Zoom will be provided after registration

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to issue a permit to the first industrial aquaculture facility in the Gulf of Mexico, without any opportunity for the public to weigh in. This attempt to silence stakeholders goes against democracy and existing law, and we won’t stand for it! So we’re taking matters into our own hands to ensure our voices are heard. RSVP now – Join from your phone or computer with the zoom link (to be provided upon RSVP).

Host: Friends of the Earth

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/09/18/18836743.php

9. Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, (PT) 6:00pm – 7:00pm (ET), What’s At Stake: Gender, Health Care & the Supreme Court w/ Health Care Voter

RSVP: https://secure.everyaction.com/HnR6ViNo0EKVpe_6h7FGYg2

Facebook livestream: https://www.facebook.com/healthcarevoter/

What’s At Stake is a web series hosted by April Reign with partners, celebrities, experts,
patient advocates, and lawmakers to highlight what’s at stake for health care as we approach the general election in November 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the national conversation about health care in the United States. Between the steady rise of a GOP lawsuit threatening to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the middle of a pandemic, pharmaceutical megacorporations profiting off of the taxpayer-funded hunt for a vaccine, the legal battles against gender identity-based discrimination in health care, diminishing access to quality health care for low-income people, and the newest preexisting condition of surviving coronavirus, the American people are looking for answers.

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/09/21/18836823.php

10. Wednesday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm, How Fascism Works, and How to Stop It: A Dialogue between Jason Stanley and Andy Zee

Virtual program on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/revbooksnyc/live/and  

YouTube,https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpDI5pAGG5tNM3zXxow8MA

The “F” word-fascism. Can it happen here? Is it happening here? What to do?

Yale philosopher Jason Stanley, author of How Fascism Works – the Politics of Us and Them, and Andy Zee, Revolution Books spokesperson and co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org, will probe this most urgent question of our times. And you will have a chance to engage with them.

Only by understanding and fully confronting the danger we face can we act to stop it, before it’s too late.

* Donald Trump announced on September 23 that he wouldn’t commit to a “peaceful transfer of power” if he loses.

* The Trump/Pence regime spews blatant white supremacy and male supremacy, and xenophobic hatred towards immigrants.

* This regime gives racist “law-and-order” cover and support to police that murder Black men and women like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

* It moves to crush protest and dissent through paramilitary federal troops and armed white thugs.

These are the facts.

Jason Stanley and Andy Zee will explore the lessons of history and the appropriate forms of action…to stop fascism.

Host: Revolution Books Berkeley

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/09/26/18837031.php

11. Wednesday, 5:00pm (PT); 8:00pm (ET), The Human and Scientific Costs of the “China Initiative”

Online Zoom

RSVP:https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hNKVQg9ATX2j4S8DJko5RQ  

The webinars will include speakers from Chinese American and Asian American advocacy organizations, civil rights groups, academia, as well as experts from scientific and legal communities. The speakers will explore the burden this pattern of investigations inflicts on targeted individuals and communities as well as consequences for the broader American society. 

Background:

From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 through the Cold War, racist and xenophobic tropes painting Chinese and Asian Americans as “perpetual foreigners” and threats to public health and national security influenced U.S. government policy. Today is no different. Through rhetoric, rapidly changing policies, and targeted prosecutions, Chinese American scientists and researchers are again caught in a pattern of suspicion and racial discrimination that has harmed Chinese and other Asian communities in the United States for more than 150 years.  

As U.S.-PRC tensions have grown over recent years, we have seen increasingly aggressive and misguided investigations of Chinese American scientists resulting in sensationalized charges that allege an intended subversion of U.S. interests. While the Justice Department’s abandonment of several  of these prosecutions before trial has meant falsely accused scientists experience fewer financial and emotional costs than they would from a full trial, it also deprives them of a public exoneration and an exposure of the racist assumptions underlying these investigations.

Rather than recognize the biases that drove these failed national security investigations, the Justice Department in 2018 initiated an even more assertive strategy, announcing a department-wide “China Initiative.” The Justice Department says its goal is to prioritize trade theft cases that benefit the PRC, but its rhetoric has often conflated the actions of individuals into a global conspiracy. Its prosecutions have further sought to amplify administrative oversights into federal crimes of fraud and false statements. Moreover, despite the China Initiative’s alleged goal of combating economic espionage, the DOJ’s own report on the China Initiative shows that many of the actual charges are not intellectual property theft or economic espionage. Instead, many of the charges are for minor or unrelated offenses including wire fraud, filing false tax returns, and even matters that had previously been handled administratively such as alleged inaccuracies in university conflicts of interest forms.

When the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, spread into a global pandemic, it opened another vector for the current administration to fuel anti-Chinese bias. High government officials repeatedly called COVID-19 the “China Virus,” as anti-Asian hate crimes spiked across the U.S. Once again, spurious public health and national security fears are driving anti-Asian discrimination.

Speakers:

Steven Chu Nobel laureate, and former U.S. Secretary of Energy)

Margaret Lewis  Professor @Seton Hall University School of Law

John Yang: President and Executive Director @Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Moderator: 
Michael German:
 Fellow, the Brennan Center for Justice Liberty, NY University Law School

The Masses

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

June 1914 issue of The Masses. Cover Illustration was drawn by John French Sloan and depicts the Ludlow Massacre
First issue 1911
Final issue1917
CountryUnited States
OCLC1756843

The Masses was a graphically innovative magazine of socialist politics published monthly in the United States from 1911 until 1917, when federal prosecutors brought charges against its editors for conspiring to obstruct conscription. It was succeeded by The Liberator and then later The New Masses. It published reportage, fiction, poetry and art by the leading radicals of the time such as Max EastmanJohn ReedDorothy Day, and Floyd Dell.

History

Beginnings

Piet Vlag, an eccentric Dutch socialist immigrant from the Netherlands, founded the magazine in 1911. Vlag’s dream of a co-operatively operated magazine never worked well, and after just a few issues, he left for Florida. His vision of an illustrated socialist monthly had, however, attracted a circle of young activists in Greenwich Village to The Masses that included visual artists from the Ashcan school like John French Sloan. These Greenwich Village artists and writers asked one of their own, Max Eastman (who was then studying for a doctorate under John Dewey at Columbia University), to edit their magazine. John SloanArt YoungLouis Untermeyer, and Inez Haynes Gillmore (among others) mailed a terse letter to Eastman in August 1912: “You are elected editor of The Masses. No pay.”[1] In the first issue, Eastman wrote the following manifesto:

A Free Magazine — This magazine is owned and published cooperatively by its editors. It has no dividends to pay, and nobody is trying to make money out of it. A revolutionary and not a reform magazine; a magazine with a sense of humour and no respect for the respectable; frank; arrogant; impertinent; searching for true causes; a magazine directed against rigidity and dogma wherever it is found; printing what is too naked or true for a money-making press; a magazine whose final policy is to do as it pleases and conciliate nobody, not even its readers — There is a field for this publication in America. Help us to find it.

The Masses was to some extent defined by its association with New York’s artistic culture. “The birth of The Masses,” Eastman later wrote, “coincided with the birth of ‘Greenwich Village‘ as a self-conscious entity, an American Bohemia or gipsy-minded Latin Quarter, but its relations with that entity were not simple.”[2] The Masses was very much embedded in a specific metropolitan milieu, unlike some other competing socialist periodicals (such as the Appeal to Reason, a populist-inflected 500,000-circulation weekly produced out of Girard, Kansas).

The magazine carved out a unique position for itself within American Left print culture. It was more open to Progressive Era reforms, like women’s suffrage, than Emma Goldman‘s anarchist Mother Earth. At the same time it fiercely criticized more mainstream leftist publications like The New Republic for insufficient radicalism.[3]

Physically Fit, a drawing by Henry J. Glintenkamp, published in the magazine in 1917, that was cited in the indictment.

After Eastman assumed leadership, and especially after August 1914, the magazine’s denouncements of the war were frequent and fierce. In the September 1914 edition of his column, “Knowledge and Revolution,” Eastman predicted: “Probably no one will actually be the victor in this gambler’s war—for we may as well call it a gambler’s war. Only so can we indicate its underlying commercial causes, its futility, and yet also the tall spirit in which it is carried off.”[4]

First trial

Following the passing of the Espionage Act (Pub. L. 65-24, 40 Stat. 217, enacted June 15, 1917), The Masses attempted to comply with the new regulations as to remain eligible for shipment by the U.S. Post Office. The business manager, Merrill Rogers, “made efforts to be in compliance by seeking counsel from George Creel, Chairman of the Committee on Public Post office still denied use of the mails.”[5] Challenging the injunction from the mail, The Masses found brief success in having the ban overturned; however, after bringing public attention to the issue, the government officially identified the “treasonable material” in the 1917 August issue and, shortly after, issued charges against Max Eastman, Floyd Dell, John Reed, Josephine Bell, H.J. Glintenkamp, Art Young, and Merrill Rogers. Charged with seeking to “unlawfully and willfully…obstruct the recruiting and enlistment of the United States” military, Eastman and his “conspirators” faced fines up to 10,000 dollars and twenty years imprisonment.[6]

The trial opened April 15, 1918, and despite the onslaught of prejudicial emotions, the defendants were not very worried. The Masses cohort, aware of the prosecutory artifice, played up a lackadaisical performance of absurdist humor. “Contributing to a carnival atmosphere that first day of the trial was a band just outside the courtroom window patriotic tunes in a campaign to sell Liberty Bonds and disturbing the solemnity within the courtroom itself. Each time the band played the “Star Spangled Banner” Merrill Rogers jumped to the floor to salute the flag. Only after the fourth time that the band played the tune and only after the Judge asked him did Rogers finally dispense with the salute.”[7] Finally, only five of seven defendants even appeared for the trial – Reed was still in Russia and H.J. Glintenkamp was of unknown whereabouts, though rumored to be anywhere from South America to Idaho. Louis Untermeyer commented, “As the trial went on it was evident that the indictment was a legal subterfuge and that what was really on trial was the issue of a free press.”[8]

Before releasing the jury for deliberation, Judge Learned Hand altered the charges against the defendants and attempted to preface the jury of their constitutional duties. Hand dismissed all the charges against Josephine Bell, and dismissed the first count – “conspiracy to cause mutiny and refusal of duty”—against the remaining defendants. Prior to releasing the jurors, Judge Hand stated, “I do not have to remind you that every man has the right to have such economic, philosophic or religious opinions as seem to him best, whether they be socialist, anarchistic or atheistic.”[9] After deliberating from Thursday afternoon to Saturday, the jury returned with two decisions. First, the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the jurors seeking to convict the defendants blamed one juror for being unable to conform to the majority opinion, as he was also a socialist and, consequently, un-American. Not only did the other eleven jurors demand the prosecutor to levy charges against the lone juror, but moved to drag the socialist supporter out into the street and lynch him. Judge Hand, given the uproar, declared a mistrial.

Second trial

In September 1918, The Masses were back on trial, this time joined by John Reed (who had smuggled himself back into the United States from Russia in order to be present at the trial). Aside from new defense attorneys, the proceedings remained very similar to the first trial.

Ending his closing arguments, Prosecutor Barnes invoked the image of a dead soldier in France, stating, “He lies dead, and he died for you and he died for me. He died for Max Eastman. He died for John Reed. He died for Merrill Rogers. His voice is but one of a thousand silent voices that demand that these men be punished.” Art Young, who had taken to sleeping through most of the court proceedings, awoke at the end of Barnes’s argument, whispering loudly, “What? Didn’t he die for me?” John Reed, sitting next to Young responded, “Cheer up Art, Jesus died for you.”[10] As before, the jury returned unable to come to a unanimous decision (though without threats of violence).

After The Masses died, Eastman and other writers were unwilling to let its spirit go with it. In March 1918, their new monthly adopted the name of William Lloyd Garrison‘s famed The Liberator.

The Masses continued to serve as an example for radicals long after it was suppressed. “The only magazine I know which bears a certain resemblance to (Dwight Macdonald‘s magazine) Politics and fulfilled a similar function thirty years earlier,” Hannah Arendt claimed in 1968, was “the old Masses (1911-1917).”[11]

Notable contributors

Politics

The labor struggle

The magazine reported on most of the major labor struggles of its day: from the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912 in West Virginia to the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913 and the Ludlow massacre in Colorado. It strongly sympathized with Big Bill Haywood and his IWW, the political campaigns of Eugene V. Debs, and a variety of other socialist and anarchist figures. The Masses also indignantly followed the aftermath of the Los Angeles Times bombing.

Women’s rights and sexual equality

The magazine vigorously argued for birth control (supporting activists like Margaret Sanger) and women’s suffrage. Several of its Greenwich Village contributors, like Reed and Dell, practiced free love in their spare time and promoted it (sometimes in veiled terms) in their pieces. Support for these social reforms was sometimes controversial within Marxist circles at the time; some argued that they were distractions from a more proper political goal, class revolution. Emma Goldman once tutted: “It is rather disappointing to find THE MASSES devoting an entire edition to ‘Votes for Women.’ Perhaps Mother Earth alone has any faith in women […] that women are capable and are ready to fight for freedom and revolution.”[12]

Literature and criticism

American realism was a vital, pioneering current in the writing of the time, and several leading lights were willing to contribute work to the magazine without pay. The name most associated with the magazine is Sherwood Anderson. Anderson was “discovered” by The Masses’ fiction editor, Floyd Dell, and his pieces there formed the foundation for his Winesburg, Ohio stories. In the November 1916 The Masses, Dell described his surprise years before while reading Anderson’s unsolicited manuscript: “there Sherwood Anderson was writing like—I had no other phrase to express it—like a great novelist.”[13] Anderson would later be cited by the Partisan Review circle as one of the first homegrown American talents.

The magazine’s criticism, edited by Floyd Dell, was cheekily titled (at least for a time) “Books that Are Interesting.” Dell’s perceptive reviews gave accolades to many of the most notable books of the time: An Economic Interpretation of the ConstitutionSpoon River AnthologyTheodore Dreiser‘s novels, Carl Jung‘s Psychology of the UnconsciousG. K. Chesterton‘s works, Jack London‘s memoirs, and many other prominent creations.

Illustrations

John French Sloan‘s satirical take on the Armory Show, captioned “A Slight Attack of Dimentia Brought on by Excessive Study of the Much Talked of Cubist Pictures in the International Exhibition in New York.”

Although the magazine’s birth coincided with the explosion of modernism, and its contributor Arthur B. Davies was an organizer of the Armory ShowThe Masses published for the most part realist artwork that would later be classified in the Ashcan schoolArt Young, who served on the editorial board for the full run of the magazine, is credited with first using the term “ash can art” in 1916. These artists were attempting to record real life and create honest pictures, and they would often use the crayon technique to do so. This technique resulted in “capturing the feeling of a rapid sketch made on the spot and permitting a direct, unmediated response to what they saw”[14] and is commonly found on the pages of The Masses from 1912 to 1916. This type of illustration became less common after the artists’ strike in 1916, which ended with many artists leaving the magazine. The strike occurred when Max Eastman began to assert more influence over what was published and began printing material without first submitting it to the editorial board for a vote. While the majority of the editorial board backed up Eastman, some of the staff questioned “what they saw as Eastman’s attempts to turn The Masses into a ‘one-man magazine instead of a cooperative sheet.'”[15] One of the main issues the artists took up during the strike was that Eastman and Floyd Dell were appending many illustrations with captions without the approval or knowledge of the artists. This particularly irritated John Sloan who saw the magazine as moving away from its original purpose and stated, “The Masses is no longer the resultant of the ideas and art of a number of personalities. The Masses has developed a ‘policy.'”[16] Not agreeing with this idea of a policy, which became more and more serious with the escalation of World War I, Sloan and other artists (including Maurice Becker, Alice Beach Winter, and Charles Winter) resigned from the magazine in 1916.

The Masses (cover), April 1916, A sketch by Frank Walts of Mary Fuller, star of The Heart of a Mermaid (Lucius J. Henderson, 1916)

During the later years of its publication, the magazine embraced more modernist art than before, although it never dropped realist illustrations completely. Several of the cover issues from 1916 and 1917 attest to this shift. Instead of featuring crayon drawings of realistic scenes with gentle social satire, they featured cover girls often clad in modern attire and embodying a modernist style.[17] Frank Walts‘ picture of Mary Fuller has been given as an example of this.[17]

In addition to the realistic and modernist artwork, the magazine was also well known for its many political cartoons. Art Young is perhaps most famous for these; but other artists, such as Robert Minor, also contributed to this aspect of the magazine. The cartoons, especially those by Young and Minor, were at times quite controversial and, after the United States entered World War I, considered treasonous for their anti-war sentiments.

The illustrations published often pushed the socialist agenda for which The Masses was known. John Sloan’s drawings of the working class and immigrants, for example, advocated for labor rights; Alice Beach Winter’s work was known to emphasized motherhood and the plight of working children; and Maurice Becker’s city life scenes satirized the extravagant lifestyle of the upper class. While many of the illustrations in The Masses made a political or social point, Max Eastman did frequently publish art for its aesthetic value and wanted the magazine to be a publication, which combined revolutionary ideas with both literature and art for its own sake.

References

  1. ^ Max Eastman, Enjoyment of Living, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948. 394.
  2. ^ Enjoyment of Living, 418.
  3. ^ The Masses, April 1916, 12.
  4. ^ The Masses, September 1914, 4.
  5. ^ Thomas Maik, The Masses Magazine (1911-1917): Odyssey of an Era, New York: Garland, 1994.
  6. ^ “Socialists to Test The Espionage Act: Editors of Radical Publications Would Establish Their Right to the Mails,” New York Times 10 July 1917
  7. ^ Thomas Maik, “The Masses Magazine (1911-1917): Odyssey of an Era”, New York: Garland, 1994.
  8. ^ Thomas Maik, The Masses Magazine (1911-1917): Odyssey of an Era, New York: Garland, 1994.
  9. ^ John Sayer, “Art and Politics, Dissent and Repression: The Masses Magazines versus the Government, 1917-1918”, American Journal of Legal History 32.1 (1988):42-78.
  10. ^ Thomas Maik, The Masses Magazine (1911-1917): Odyssey of an Era, New York: Garland, 1994.
  11. ^ Hannah Arendt, “He’s All Dwight,” The New York Review of Books, August 1, 1968.
  12. ^ Quoted in The Masses, January 1916, 20.
  13. ^ The Masses, November 1916, 17.
  14. ^ Rebecca Zurier, Art for The Masses: A Radical Magazine and Its Graphics, 1911-1917, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988, 140.
  15. ^ Rebecca Zurier, Art for The Masses: A Radical Magazine and Its Graphics, 1911-1917, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988, 52.
  16. ^ Rebecca Zurier, Art for The Masses: A Radical Magazine and Its Graphics, 1911-1917, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988, 52.
  17. Jump up to:a b Mark S. Morrisson, “Pluralism and Counterpublic Spheres: Race, Radicalaim, and the Masses” in The Public Face of Modernism: Little Magazines, Audiences, and Reception 1905-1920 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001), pp. 167-202.

More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Masses

(Contributed by John Fraser)

PROGRESSIVES WRESTLE WITH HOW TO ADDRESS ALLEGATIONS OF MISTREATMENT IN SAN FRANCISCO RACE

Shahid Buttar is running for election to the U.S. House to represent California’s 12th Congressional District, trying to unseat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

DShahid Buttar is running for election to the U.S. House to represent California’s 12th Congressional District, trying to unseat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Santiago Mejia/The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images

A fierce debate over Shahid Buttar’s congressional campaign has divided leftist organizations along increasingly hardened lines.

Akela Lacy
September 25 2020 (theintercept.com)

A FIERCE DEBATE over the congressional campaign of Shahid Buttar is roiling San Francisco’s Bay Area progressive circles, dividing clubs and leftist organizations along increasingly hardened lines. A fight that began with unsupported accusations of sexual harassment, as well as claims of misogyny and sexism, has shifted to a debate over how voters and activist groups ought to consider accusations of the mistreatment of staff by a boss under fire from former aides.

The battle broke into the open in July, when two types of allegations combined to turn the longshot bid of Buttar, an activist and attorney who is challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, into a left-wing Rorschach test. The claims were unrelated, but were put forward together as part of the same case being made by critics of Buttar. The first was an allegation of sexual harassment in the early aughts by a former acquaintance, Elizabeth Croydon. The allegation remains uncorroborated, her credibility called into serious question. That allegation gave fuel to the second, unrelated charge that Buttar mistreated his staff, particularly the women. He has fiercely defended himself, denying the accusations and suggesting that they were racist and politically motivated, reflect a hostility to his campaigning strategy, and were the product of a smear campaign by his former staffers.

The allegations led to a string of Buttar’s former supporters backing away from him and spurred a broader conversation about the internal dynamics of the progressive movement. Buttar’s defenders warn that ending his campaign on the basis of staff complaints hands a weapon to the establishment that will be wielded relentlessly against insurgent candidates and movements, while his critics say that the movement can’t be successful unless it is led with integrity and respect.

The saga has left the Buttar campaign in ruins, but it has also left progressives with vexing questions about how to handle allegations against a candidate during the heat of a campaign when every day matters, while also respecting the right of victims to come forward and be heard. Campaigns are only likely to see more such situations in years ahead, some based on legitimate and damning claims of misconduct, some in a gray area, and some fabricated and boosted for political gain. In August, former staff to Massachusetts congressional candidate Ihssane Leckey alleged staff mistreatment and successfully persuaded the Boston Democratic Socialists of America to unendorse. Before they could do so, Leckey rejected the group’s endorsement, accusing the group of trafficking in sexist and anti-immigrant tropes. Around the same time, College Democrats in Massachusetts accused candidate Alex Morse of misconduct, charges that were later revealed to have been cooked up as part of a scheme to curry favor with incumbent Rep. Richie Neal. For nearly a week, however, the charges were treated publicly as legitimate and left a mark on Morse’s campaign. None of it is symmetrical: When Tara Reade alleged that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had sexually assaulted her while she worked in his Senate office, many Biden supporters, or opponents of President Donald Trump, dismissed the allegation out of hand. Others showed restraint, delaying judgment until more information was available. And with Trump, there is credible-allegation fatigue: Just recently, Trump was credibly accused of sexual assault, an allegation met with a national yawn.

The debate over Buttar’s campaign was prompted by a draft resolution circulated by the San Francisco chapter of the DSA, or DSA SF, in late July, moving to rescind the chapter’s endorsement and calling on Buttar to participate in a restorative justice process within the chapter, of which he and several of his current and former staffers were members. The draft resolution accused Buttar of “a pattern of abuse including but not limited to sexual inappropriate behavior with his staff and volunteers.” The effort was covered in the San Francisco ChronicleMission Local, and later, The Intercept, which reported on claims of misogyny and sexism from a number of Buttar’s former staff and contractors. The DSA SF draft resolution led to other local political groups also reconsidering their endorsements of the candidate, a process that has fractured San Francisco’s leftist circles, according to several people who spoke to The Intercept. Attacks online and in private meetings have driven those on both sides to take caution with what they say publicly about the campaign for fear of alienating longtime friends and colleagues.The Buttar saga has left progressives with vexing questions about how to handle allegations against a candidate during the heat of a campaign, while also respecting the right of victims to come forward and be heard.

DSA SF ultimately passed a resolution in a virtual meeting on August 4 that stripped out the accusations regarding Buttar’s mistreatment of staff and the alleged sexual misconduct. The amended resolution said simply that DSA SF had ”lost confidence in the management” of Buttar’s campaign “and in Shahid Buttar as a candidate that represents our values.”

Earlier that day, Jasper Wilde, Buttar’s former campaign manager, had written in a Medium post, that his campaign “end[ed] due to allegations of sexual assault.” The post has since been edited to replace “assault” with “harassment.” Wilde said it was a mistake, and she changed the post after it was brought to her attention.

Wilde was one of a number of former staff and contractors on Buttar’s campaign who spoke to The Intercept in July, accusing their former boss of mistreating the women on his campaign. “I can vouch for the culture of misogyny that existed in the campaign,” said Raya Steier, a former full-time field organizer for Buttar’s campaign and member of DSA SF.

Those former staffers and contractors remain steadfast in their conviction that Buttar treated women on the campaign unfairly, and the fallout continued throughout the rest of the summer. “The irresponsible media reports amplifying ultimately baseless accusations about me triggered grave concern among our supporters, including our donors, campaign staff, and volunteers,” Buttar said in a statement to The Intercept. “Every political organization that had endorsed our campaign … and several prominent local leaders, including elected members of our School Board and Board of Supervisors, rescinded their endorsements.”

“Organizations that claim to be progressive or socialist while embodying institutional racism owe their members a more sincere commitment to their own principles,” he added. “On the other hand, while I have been the target of these baseless accusations, the ultimate victim is the movement, and the goals of universal healthcare and climate justice that our campaign seeks.”

DSA SF’S INITIAL resolution, organized by Buttar’s former staffers who had accused him of workplace mistreatment, came after they had learned that Croydon posted a tweet on July 12 accusing Buttar of sexually harassing her, they told The Intercept. According to former staffers and members of groups that unendorsed him, after Croydon went public, former staffers who are DSA members began sharing complaints with the group about their time working on Buttar’s campaign. Some staffers had previously shared those concerns in private. At least one former staffer reached out to Croydon after the tweet to ask about the accusation. On July 21, Croydon published an account of her accusations against Buttar on Medium.

A volunteer who has been with the campaign since February said the allegations from Croydon pushed staffers to reexamine their own experiences with Buttar, harming the broader leftist movement in the Bay Area.

“There is a lack of fact-checking among leftist circles in the Bay Area, media outlets notwithstanding, that allow rumor mills to run rampant and devastate the infrastructure supporting these circles and that to which they propose allegiance,” the volunteer told The Intercept. The volunteer said that Croydon’s allegations led to “a small handful of female staffers on the Buttar campaign to reexamine their experiences with Buttar along gendered lines, despite the fact that these experiences with Buttar were not a uniquely female experience.”

Yet Croydon’s claims have not been borne out. The Intercept was not able to corroborate Croydon’s allegations and has interviewed multiple sources who recounted having disturbing interactions with her that caused them to question her credibility. Buttar has denied the allegations from Croydon, who claimed that Buttar verbally harassed her about celibacy and pressed himself against her at a party. Croydon’s former roommate, however, Stacey Haines, told The Intercept that the accusation sounded remarkably familiar, as it was actually Haines who went through a period of celibacy and was mocked and harassed by Croydon for doing so. Croydon, Haines said, appeared to be taking behavior she herself had engaged in and imputing it to Buttar. (Croydon denied Haines’s account to The Intercept. “That’s not accurate,” Croydon said. “She can allege whatever she likes. Everyone has something to gain by taking potshots at me. I’ve put myself in a very vulnerable position, and I have nothing to gain by coming forward.”)

BUTTAR’S CAMPAIGN HAS claimed that the initial DSA SF resolution was the product of a smear campaign coordinated by some of his former staffers, citing text messages between a former staffer and a campaign volunteer. In the texts, provided to The Intercept, a former staffer asked the volunteer about an incident in which Buttar had asked a staffer to give the volunteer’s phone number to a donor, indicating that they had heard the volunteer felt uncomfortable, and asked if that were true. The volunteer said the story was false and asked the staffer to alert others. “I think some info is getting misconstrued,” they said. “That’s a false story and I don’t know who is pedaling it but I’m telling you it’s false and now it’s your responsibility to alert everyone that you said otherwise to that it is not the case. … Keep me out of this smear campaign for real. Other people’s experiences are their experiences and I can’t speak for Shahid’s conduct toward other people but THIS scenario [a former staffer] is talking about is downright her misunderstanding.”

“I’m so so sorry for this confusion,” the staffer replied. “I was told story by two people and believed it to be true but after talking to you realized there were missing key [details.] the story was brought up without your name just anonymous but will make sure to correct record on this particular event.” The staffer apologized and said they would communicate that it was not true.

Buttar referred to those text messages in an August 13 interview with the Humanist Report, saying that volunteers had emerged “with backstories claiming to have been approached by my former colleagues to participate in their — I don’t even know what to call it. The volunteers have words of their own. One of them shared some texts that were very alarming to me to read.”

He later told The Intercept that the texts “demonstrate that my former staff acted in bad faith when they wrote the DSA resolution quoted in your July story,” adding that the resolution refers to an alleged pattern of misconduct based on a rumor started by one of his former staffers. The draft DSA resolution did make reference to volunteers, alleging “a pattern of abuse including but not limited to sexual inappropriate behavior with his staff and volunteers.”The text messages doshow that the former staff with complaints about Buttar tried to gather testimonies from others involved with the campaign

Buttar’s former staffers and DSA members who spoke to The Intercept about the resolution in July, however, claim the allegation surrounding the request of the volunteer’s phone number was not ultimately part of the resolution put forward to DSA SF members, because the volunteer had squashed it, implying that other allegations that have not been made public were also involved. The ability of the press, the public, and members of progressive groups to adjudicate or analyze allegations is complicated by a situation in which the decision-making process included accusations that were made privately but not presented to Buttar or the general membership of the groups. Buttar said he was allowed to speak in his own defense at a meeting on July 22, but not again later in August when the DSA debated the motion to rescind and that he never had a chance to address any specific allegations. “As different allegations were debunked, the accusations also shifted repeatedly over the course of the past two months,” he said.

The text messages doshow that the former staff with complaints about Buttar tried to gather testimonies from others involved with the campaign — a common organizing strategy in situations like this that is not itself an indication of whether the allegations have merit.

In the days and weeks that followed DSA SF’s unendorsement vote, a handful of other progressive groups in the Bay Area quietly withdrew their support for the candidate, including the San Francisco Tenants’ Union, DSA Silicon Valley, the Progressive Democrats of San Francisco,  Youth for Shahid, People for Shahid, the DSA Muslim Caucus, the California Youth Climate Strike, and r/SandersForPresident, a subreddit group for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Buttar’s current staff and his allies argue that the complaints are the product of disgruntled staff upset that their strategy for the campaign was rejected. The People for Bernie Sanders, the California Progressive Alliance, Bernal Heights Democratic Club, Bay Area for Bernie, Women for Justice, Left Flank Vets, Our Revolution’s East Bay and Contra Costa chapters, New Avenues Democratic Club, and the Public Arts Commission are all still endorsing Buttar’s campaign. He is also endorsed by a number of national activists, like Cornel West, Marianne Williamson, and Medea Benjamin, and local activists like Gladys Limon and Miriam Zouzounis.

Zouzounis, a longtime activist in San Francisco who endorsed Buttar last year, told The Intercept that “shame culture” and “privilege politics” are “par for the course” of electoral politics in the Bay Area. She also suggested that the criticisms of Buttar were part of local “hierarchies of privilege” manipulated by the “white progressive camp.” (Several of Buttar’s former campaign workers who accused him of mistreating them on the campaign are people of color.) “I’m not trying to undermine anyone’s subjective experience, obviously. I’m not here to speak on the accusations themselves, but just how they’re placed is very convenient to the kind of M.O. of the white progressive culture out here,” she explained. “The white progressive agenda doesn’t care about those impacted by national security politics.”“I’m not here to speak on the accusations themselves, but just how they’re placed is very convenient to the kind of M.O. of the white progressive culture out here.”

Gloria Berry, a Buttar ally who is a member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and a Black Lives Matter activist, has charged the former staff with engaging in racist tropes. “They were a campaign staff that was not up to the challenge he needed, and he has a much better staff now,” she wrote on Medium, where much of the debate has played out, in early August. “The Democratic Socialists of America San Francisco are about to ruin the political career of a Brown Muslim man based on no evidence at all because a bunch of mediocre Karens complained he was mean to them.” In an interview with The Intercept, Berry reiterated her support for Buttar. “I never heard of him mistreating women,” she said.

One of Buttar’s current campaign communications volunteers, Patricia Brooks, said claims from former staffers were coordinated and racist. “I sat in on many of the local club meetings and observed the interactions. My assessment is that there is a large group think exercise going on in the San Francisco progressive community, and it is based on smoke and mirrors of a bunch of exaggerated claims,” Brooks, an unpaid volunteer based in Washington, D.C., who joined the campaign on a remote basis on May 1, said in a statement to The Intercept.

The allegations against Buttar came midway between the primary and general election, a critical juncture for an insurgent candidate who has been tremendously outraised. In Leckey’s case, the fight over the DSA endorsement came just a few weeks before her primary, slowing her momentum, said Josh Miller-Lewis, a senior adviser on the campaign. “The whole faux-scandal hurt her. She gained real momentum in July and then had to spend a couple of weeks dealing with the DSA bullshit when she should have been getting some big endorsements and building on the base she built,” he said, an effort that was made more difficult as her opponents “did a good job of weaponizing it quietly against Ihssane.” Leckey faded to fifth, as a conservative former Republican claimed the nomination with 22 percent of the vote.

Brandon Harami, chair of the group Berniecrats — which Buttar said is the only group that gave him a fair hearing and ultimately voted to downgrade its endorsement to a recommendation — said the allegations of staff mistreatment were not necessarily new. “I had known that he had a tendency to yell, and berate, and insult his staff since 2019, because I knew people that were on staff. They had asked me then at that time to not say anything because they weren’t comfortable coming forward with it, and they really wanted to beat Pelosi,” he said, adding that, in the end, “I just didn’t feel comfortable maintaining an endorsement of him when so many of his staff went out of their way to challenge it.”

But that doesn’t mean Harami is happy with how it all unfolded. “All this sucks. I hate it,” said Harami, who was part of a 2018 effort to get the state Democratic Party to repeal its endorsement of Pelosi. “I’m also wondering if it’s really the hill that the left needs to die on?”

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Akela Lacy akela.lacy@​theintercept.com @akela_lacy

Public banking sweeps across the country

Public Banking Institute In the years since the financial crisis, vibrant campaigns for public banks have emerged all across the country. The time for public banks in the U.S. has come. Go to publicbankinginstitute.org to connect with your local group, or start your own campaign. Thank you to all the photographers, filmmakers, and advocates whose work is included here! California: California Public Bank Alliance https://californiapublicbankingallian… Assemblymembers David Chiu and Miguel Santiago CA State Assembly Democratic Caucus: https://asmdc.org/ Oakland: Public Bank East Bay https://publicbankeastbay.org/ San Francisco: SF Public Bank https://www.sfpublicbank.org/ Los Angeles: Public Bank LA https://publicbankla.com/ Revolution LA https://revolutionla.org/ Carlos Marroquin https://www.publicbankla.com/index.ph… Chicago: Amara Enyia https://amaraenyia.com/ Michigan: Former State Rep. Martin Howrylak https://www.facebook.com/RepHowrylak/ New Jersey http://bankingonnewjersey.org/ Governor Phil Murphy New York City: New Economy Project https://www.neweconomynyc.org/ Public Bank NYC: https://www.publicbanknyc.org/ Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Public Bank Project https://www.publicbankingpa.org/ Mike Krauss Philadelphia: Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks http://phillynn.org/issues-actions/pu… Harvey Finkle Vermont: Vermont Independent https://vermontindependent.net Washington: Sen. Bob Hasegawa http://sdc.wastateleg.org/hasegawa/ Seattle: Mazaska Talks https://mazaskatalks.org/, http://www.seattlepublicbanking.org/ Washington D.C. https://www.dcpublicbanking.org/ Nick Brana