New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Soul of the Longshore

January 31, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Bacon, Economy, Politics

‘We Have the Right to Decide What Kind of World It’s Going to Be’

by David Bacon

Leo Robinson was a Black leader of the longshore union in San Francisco. He died this week.  For many of us, he was a lifelong companion, an example of what being an internationalist and a working class activist was all about.

Leo Robinson came into the International Longshore and Warehouse Union because of a deal made by Harry Bridges and the Communists who led the waterfront strike of 1934.  That strike metastasized and became a three-day general strike after cops shot and killed three strikers.  It was the birth of the ILWU, and changed the political history of the west coast.

The radical leaders on the docks were both black and white. But the bosses who controlled the jobs on the waterfront always showed preference for the white gangs.  Black crews got the worst jobs, when they were hired to unload ships at all.  All workers on the docks were hungry, poor and desperate for work.  But Black dockers were the hungriest of all. (more…)

The Vietnam Women’s Union

April 19, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Harry Targ

An Effective Mass Organization

by Harry Targ

We arrived in time to be ushered into a meeting of a rural Vietnamese women’s club, just outside of Hue. Discussion among the 75 single women was animated, self-assured, and clearly engaged. Members listened to each other, respected what each had to say, and evidenced not one iota of shyness even though their discussion of women’s health, environmental, and other immediate issues was being observed by eight American guests and a Vietnam Women’s Union official from Hanoi.

We had already been to a briefing at the Center for Women and Development’s new building, and the Women’s Museum in Hanoi. We had visited Peace House, a shelter for Vietnamese women victimized by sexual trafficking, part of the CWD project to provide shelter, training, and advocacy for women victimized by domestic violence or sexual trafficking. (more…)

Give the Money Back

April 18, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Will Wilkinson

Are We Missing the Obvious?

by Will Wilkinson

An online headline proclaims “The ‘Key to Recovery’” — which apparently is rebuilding America’s infrastructure — but then the rest of the article mentions that funds for this have been slashed in the new budget.


What’s so difficult about acknowledging the real key to recovery: some Americans have way too much money and some have way too little. So, spread it around.

The idea of “redistributing wealth” surfaced a while back and was immediately branded as a socialist horror. Politicians who preferred to keep their jobs distanced themselves from the concept pronto, but it is the obvious answer. And there’s nothing radical about it at all, actually. What’s radical is what we already have — a huge gap between the rich and the poor. (more…)

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