Recent discussion on OlyBlog got me to thinking about the problem of big business influence over politics and government. I have been to thinking about the lack of practical difference between Republicans and Democrats. For example, the failure of the Obama Administration to live up to the President's high-minded rhetoric, and promises (think about the promise to close the Guantanamo Bay torture center,) makes it possible to argue that the differences between the two parties are more often in the realm of rhetoric, rather than of material substance.
In America we don't have a political party that represents the interest of common people, nor the interests that all people have in common. What we have is a system that represents interests of the owning class. Both major parties, as well as some minor parties, represent the singular self-interest of some, at the expense of others. And it is important to remember that the wealth of some, including the wealth many of us in America enjoy, is dependent on the mistreatment of the planet, and of many people.
Maybe part of the answer toward successfully organizing against the unjust and destructive status quo is the development of new political parties—parties that go to the heart of the problems in order to radically challenge the unjust status quo. One example of a political party that is organizing to achieve a society that serves the common interests of life and of all people, and for liberation from the multitudinous oppressions of today's world, is the Freedom Socialist Party.
The FSP is holding its National Conference STARTING TOMORROW (FRIDAY JULY 9) AT THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE. I encourage you to check in, you're sure to meet organizers whom are very brilliant and talented, as well as kind and courteous! Following is more information about the conference, from the FSP website and from a press release. And there is also more information on the FSP website: www.socialism.com. ~Berd
Sisters Organizing for Survival, a campaign of Radical Women, was at it again on Friday, agitating for justice and for changes to the way the state treats the poor and economically disadvantaged. Speakers at the rally celebrated women's rights relating to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which guarantees women certain access to reproductive health care regarding abortive measures, that is, for the termination of unwanted pregnancies.
During an open mic segment, one participant addressed the assembled crowd by pointing out that abortion has always been available to the wealthy (regardless of Roe v. Wade,) so that attacks on Roe v. Wade essentially amount to attacks on the economically disadvantaged.
Participants also called for an expansion of basic health services. In a time of revenue shortfall, it was suggested that the best way to cover the costs of basic health care for all would be through progressive taxation of income and wealth, and corporate profits.
[update here is an article from The News Tribune: Roe v. Wade rally attracts supporters to Capitol, there was also TV coverage by KOMO 4 and KING 5.]
Come hear a representative of RAWA (The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan)
Two events on Tuesday, October 27
The Evergreen State College
SEM II E1107
Traditions Fair Trade
300 5th Ave SW, downtown
Among the many excuses for the US war in Afghanistan is that the US is saving the Afghan women. But what do Afghan women have to say about this?
The most outspoken Afghan women's organization is RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan. For over 30 years, RAWA has struggled against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the fundamentalism of both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, and the US occupation of Afghanistan.
Now members of RAWA are touring the US to tell you their story.
Olympia will soon be visited by Zoya (not her real name). At 28 years old, Zoya has been involved with RAWA for half her life. Her parents were killed when she was 14. Zoya has traveled across the world speaking about her experiences and the work of RAWA. She is also the author of Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s Battle for Freedom.
From the accounts I've read I have to conclude there were only two woman involved that night, the responding security officer who was threatened by the mob and the woman who identified the person detained. From what I've seen rioting is a macho, testosterone fueled dick thing. I'm curious: How many women threw punches at the show. How many women threw garbage at the cops? How many women helped to turn over the cop car? I ask these questions because I wasn't there and therefore do not know.
Please do not interpret my words as dismissing the power of women to physically defend their beliefs. Women have a centuries-long history of being on the front lines of the barricades. Women were on the front lines of the WTO police riots in Seattle and they were there at the Port military resistance. Their actions speak louder than any words I can write. What I'm raising for discussion is the role patriarchal bias plays in the conversation over the riot.
This upcoming show will be the last Olympia performance of the annual Sex Workers' Art Show. The SWAS began here in Olympia 11 years ago, and has since developed into an acclaimed nationally-touring show, seen by over 10,000 people each year at colleges, theatres, and galleries across the country. We've been lucky to be able forge connections with all kinds of people, and have become a small blip on the national radar of dialogue about feminism, workers' rights, capitalism, and sexuality. It could never have happened without the support, generosity and compassion of the Olympia community. Below is some information about the show, you can also visit www.sexworkersartshow.com. Thanks and love to everyone who has come to the shows over the years, and I hope you can all make it out for our last hurrah!
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18th 8pm
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets $12 at the door or online