New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Finding the Way Forward

May 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Jerry Elmer, Politics

Freedom Ride Anniversary Prompts Reflection on Movement Tactics

by Jerry Elmer

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Ride. It has been gratifying to see a number of public events commemorating the occasion; too often progressive history goes unmarked and unremarked. For example, George Houser, the last surviving participant in the 1961 Freedom Ride, appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s television program on May 4. Interestingly, some of the recent publicity has identified the 1961 Freedom Ride as the first Freedom Ride. Actually, it was the second Freedom Ride.

The first Freedom Ride occurred 14 years earlier in April 1947.  The reason that some historians get confused is that the earlier event also went by the name “Journey of Reconciliation.”  There were a lot of overlaps between the first Freedom Ride (1947) and the second Freedom Ride (1961). (more…)

Musings on Parenting and Protest

May 09, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Politics, Victoria Law

Then and Now: A Month Before the RNC (2004)

by Victoria Law

Taking New Clear Vision editor Randall Amster up on his challenge to dig up and dust off an old piece of writing, I recently found this essay that I wrote a month before the Republican National Convention was due to hit town in 2004.

I had been feeling paralyzed by the news, by the draconian security measures promised by Mayor Rudy Giuliani, by the added fears as the mother of a small child. I had also been invited to read at a political cabaret in Baltimore that summer. Putting pen to paper reminded me of the importance of struggling to transform the world, especially as the mother of a child who will inherit and live under the policies made (and left unchallenged) now. It also inspired me to push past my fear and, with my daughter in tow (or rather, in stroller), join the week of protests once the Republicans came to town.

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(August 2004, New York City): I have been listening to the news all day. That, in itself, is an unusual occurrence. (more…)

Nothing to Lose But Our Chains

May 06, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Politics, Roberto Rodriguez

Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Ban Ignites a Human Rights Movement

by Roberto Rodriguez

The students wanted to be heard, and so they chained themselves. The symbolism at the emergency meeting of the Tucson Unified School Board — held, in effect, to destroy the nation’s premiere K-12 Mexican American Studies program — could not have been more powerful. And yet it was more powerful. Leading the charge of the mostly Mexican American students from the high school group Unidos was an African American and Native American student.

African American, Native American, Mexican American, and Central American students intentionally chaining themselves, along with white students, too? (more…)

Overcoming the Military Deficit

April 28, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Economy, Michael True, Politics

From the Poverty of War to the Prosperity of Peace

by Michael True

“If voting made any difference, it would be illegal,” according to the late Philip Berrigan. This satirical comment seems especially relevant during our present military and economic crises.

President Obama proposes reasonable remedies, but fails to follow through on them, while Republicans issue counter proposals that are bound to make things worse.

“If it was not clear before, it is obvious now,” according to a New York Times editorial (April 19), that the Republican party “is fully engaged in a project to dismantle the foundations of the New Deal and the Great Society, and to liberate business and the rich from the inconveniences of oversight and taxes.”

Why do we refuse to recognize the economic consequences of our failed policies, or to halt the Bush/Obama war on Afghanistan? According to a U.S. Army lieutenant, “no one benefits from this war…. Only the CEOs and executive officers of war-profiteering corporations find satisfactory returns on their investments.” (more…)