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Mumia SellSheet

Long Distance Revolutionary: a Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal, is a compelling documentary about a riveting historical figure—a passionate, partisan, and persuasive intervention in the not at all "free marketplace of ideas." Mumia Abu Jamal is the most famous political prisoner in the United States--Black revolutionary, author, philosopher, speaker, radio personality, and superhero for a lost generation that urgently needs to see one in the flesh.

NoCutsAs I write, Barack Obama is in constant negotiations with John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives to discuss “the fiscal cliff” that we are about to be thrown over regardless of what deal they cut. He is not meeting with the Progressive Caucus of the Democrats--he has shown great disdain for their politics and their very existence, and anyway, he has their votes. It is essential that Democratic “progressives” vote down the deal that will cut social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and urgent social programs that the president is proposing—but they risk further isolation inside the Democratic Party and great punishment from the Democratic leadership. It will take a real profile in courage for any Congressperson or Senator to reject the Obama/Boehner deal that is in the works but that is what the Movement needs to demand. Let’s be clear. There is virtually no debate going on. The president is proposing that 90% of the alleged “deficit reduction plan” that is artificially created in the first place, would come from cuts in social programs, and 10% or so would come from “raising revenues” what he calls, “just a little bit more taxes” on the wealthy, specifically raising the maximum tax rate from 35% to 39% for the highest tax bracket. This is so little that with all their fraudulent and legal deductions they will not even notice the difference. By contrast, during World War II under Franklin Delano Roosevelt the top tax rate was 94% and stayed above 90% during the Republican Eisenhower administration from 1952-1960. Raising the maximum tax rate to the proposed 39 per cent is a joke, and in typical Beltway logic, Democratic insiders are talking about a compromise on the compromise to 37 percent.

CommunityCareWe are glad to be posting Eric Mann's piece as part of the ongoing conversation on Self and Community Care on Organizing Upgrade. Mann's book Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer has 2 chapters on taking care of self and taking care of others. In this piece he highlights how many people do community care so well and sometimes at the expense of caring for themselves and what that means for the movement. —Ed.

The discussion in Organizing Upgrade on the relationship of self-care to movement-building, initiated by B. Loewe, has been very exciting. Props to B for putting out a clear point of view and encouraging this level of engagement.

Let me explain how I see the integration of "self-care" and "collective care." In the quote B uses, Yashna Maya Padamsee says, "Talking only about self-care when talking about healing justice is like only talking about recycling and composting when speaking of environment justice." But no one I know is only or even mainly talking about "self-care" isolated from the collective struggle—and in fact, way too often it is "self-care" that is urgently needed to keep comrades in the movement.

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About the Author

  • Eric Mann is a veteran of the Congress of Racial Equality, Students for a Democratic Society, and the United Auto Workers, where he spent ten years on auto assembly lines. He is the director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles and the author of Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. He is the host of the radio show Voices from the Frontlines (KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles Pacifica. His radio show and blogs can be found at www.voicesfromfrontlines.com

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Organizing Upgrade 2012 / Built by Union Labor

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