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DISSIDENT ARTS - NEW MASSES MEDIA: Radical Links

Righteous Babe Records
The independent label founded by Ani DiFranco is true to its cause of presenting some of the best Left-leaning folk-oriented music around. You'll not only find Ani's catalog here, but also recent releases by Toshi Reagon and many more.
CD Baby
The best internet connection for independent musicians and of course for those listeners who want tofind out where the lesser-known artists' CDs are available. An incredible selection of every style. CD Baby carries both of the Flames CDs, among their great collection.
Smithsonian Folkways
The legendary Folkways Records was founded by Moe Asch decades ago and became the label of Woody Guthrie, the Almanac Singers, Leadbelly and a wealth of folk music from all walks of life and all over the globe. Asch's catalog was as daring as it was educational and he never hesitated to release the music of artist's with a profoundly progressive message. The catalog may have died along with him, but Smithsonian picked it up some years ago. Much of Asch's output is again available, plus the new label has released some powerful new/old recordings as well, including the formerly lost Guthrie recording of "This Land is Your Land" which includes some of the lesser-known verses. Smithsonian-Folkways is perhaps the best source for folk music--radical and otherwise--out there.
Woodstock Music Shop
The Woodstock Music Shop is located on historic Rock City Road just off of the famed Village Green in Woodstock NY. This most famous village has an intense arts history dating back over one hundred years and its important that it has its own music store. Ron, the owner makes certain to carry instruments made by locals, as well as name brands. But he also makes certain that there is an affordable range of everything, as he feels encouraging beginners is paramount to the music's expansion into the next generations. He's also available for personalized service and great conversation as well as bringing some excellent teachers into the store's back-room for lessons. Specializing in not only acoustic and electric guitars, basses, folk instruments but also a wide array of frame drums and other hand percussion, this place simply wreaks of Woodstock. Amen to that! PLUS the Shop has a good collection of albums and CDs and among the latter he carries the Flames newest CD "Revenge of the Atom Spies".
Living With War Today
An offshoot of Neil Young's website, LWWT features tons of anti-war songs by artists you've heard of those you never have come across before. The tradition continues...until we can stop writing such songs. As of late may 2006, two of the Flames' songs have been added to the litany of radical songs which speak back to the Bush Administration, achieving first-column status. We are proud to keep such good company!
Woodstock Artists Guild/Byrdcliffe
The Woodstock Artists Guild not only has a gallery/performance space in the heart of this most famous arts village in upstate NY, but they also own the legendary Byrdcliffe Artist Colony located just above Woodstock proper. Byrdcliffe was founded as an independent artsits colony in 1903 and brought waves of artists and intellectuals to this community. Shortly after Byrdcliffe, the Maverick art colony opened, as well as several other important organizations which brought creativity and progressive philosophy to what was once a small farming village. Woodstock continue to be a wealth of creative expression and activism.

Cultural Worker Organizations

The Brecht Forum
Home of the New York Marxist School, this very hip Left performance space is also a lecture center which attracts many important radical writers, musicians, poets, actors, dancers and of course activists since its doors first opened in 1975. The BF maintains several arts-specific series which have celebrated cultural work in amny genres. It has been the site of large-scale events in honor of Mumia and many other cutting-edge issues and our Hanns Eisler Centenary Festival and benefit concert for UFPJ, among others, also occured here. 451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets, New York, NY 10014 Phone: (212) 242-4201 - Email: brechtforum at brechtforum.org
AACM
Internationally renowned for unparalleled contributions to modern music, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Inc. (AACM) has been an inspirational leader within the cultural community since 1965. A non-profit organization chartered by the State of Illinois , the AACM is a collective of musicians and composers dedicated to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music. This collective of dynamic and visionary artists formed the AACM to meet their emergent needs to expose and showcase their original compositions and to create an outlet for the development and performance of their music. Since its inception, one mission of the AACM has been to provide an atmosphere conducive to the development of its member artists and to continue the AACM legacy of providing leadership and vision for the development of creative music. The AACM first coined the phrase Great Black Music to describe its unique direction in music. The AACM pays homage to the diverse styles of expression within the body of Black Music in the USA, Africa and throughout the world. This experience extends from the ancient musics of Africa to the music of the future. The AACM may best be known for its leading-edge public concerts featuring some of the most accomplished, versatile and innovative musicians performing original creative music. The organization takes particular pride in developing new generations of talent through the free music training program conducted by members for city youth, the AACM School of Music. Another equally important aspect of AACM 's mission is the high moral standard members seek to provide in their capacities as performers, artists, teachers and role models. The AACM has continuously achieved international recognition for its contributions in modern music.AACM groups have performed in Moscow, Japan, Europe, Africa, and the USA. Members are regularly awarded grants and commissions to compose music for solo instrument, small ensemble and full orchestra. In 1990, AACM co-founder Muhal Richard Abrams was the recipient of the prestigious Jazzpar Award in Denmark to compose for the Danish Orchestra. AACM member Lester Bowie composed and performed the theme music for The Cosby Show seen on network television. In 1990 the City of Chicago saw fit to honor the AACM by dedicating an evening at the 1990 Chicago Jazz Festival to the music an members of the organization. In 1995, member Anthony Braxton was awarded a "Genius" Grant from the MacArthur Foundation. With the aid of the MacArthur Foundation and Columbia College in Chicago, the AACM produced its 1990 25th Anniversary Festival, a three day celebration of music and lectures featuring musicians in various formats, from solo performance, to a 27 piece orchestra, to a presentation by the AACM School of Music Choir, made up of children from the school. Held at the Getz Theater of Columbia College, the festival was a popular and critical success, playing to standing room audiences each night. In addition to a celebration, the festival was acknowledging the dedication, perseverance, and artistry of its members. The AACM is now the oldest and most venerable organization of it s kind. The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Inc. is supported in part through grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacArthur Foundation, The Chicago Office of Fine Arts, Chicago Community Trust, Soft Sheen Products, Columbia College, members and friends. AACM remains steadfast in its commitment to the free training program for inner city youth. The AACM School of Music offers three ten week semesters with an average enrollment of 75 students per. Classes meet every Saturday at AACM Headquarters on the South Side of Chicago between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Students are as young as five years old with classes also offered for adults.
AACM New York
The New York City chapter of the AACM
Justice for Jazz Artists
Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians has long been the integrated in the work life of jazz artists and so this organization, facilitated by the union, has attempted to make great inroads into the cause. From their website: Jazz is an esteemed American art form, inspiring passionate devotion among generations of fans, and New York City has long been an international jazz mecca. However, unlike musicians who play on Broadway and in symphony orchestras who are protected by union contracts, the skilled jazz musicians who work in major New York City clubs have no guarantee of fair payment, receive no pension or health contributions or state statutory benefits like workers’ comp, unemployment or disability insurance. And not only that—many of these great players find that their gigs have been recorded by the clubs and used without their permission or any royalty payment. Because of these injustices, many of these men and women who sustain this great American music are forced to retire with no income to fall back on in their later years. This is shameful in a country that has recognized jazz as a “National Treasure.” The Justice for Jazz Artists campaign is out to change all of that, by achieving these goals: Fair Pay Adequate Pension Contributions Protection of Recording Rights A Process for Redressing Grievances The fact is, the major NYC jazz clubs like the Blue Note, Iridium, Village Vanguard, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, The Jazz Standard, and Birdland can afford to do right by the musicians who bring patrons through their doors. The musicians union Local 802 wants to work with these clubs to ensure that musicians receive fair treatment. We need to convince the clubs that this is an important issue that affects hundreds of musicians annually. If you want to help, we ask that you sign the Justice for Jazz Artists Campaign petition, and tell your friends to do the same! J4JA! supporters have also been conducting an informational leafleting in front of the six major NYC jazz clubs. If you would like to volunteer, send an email to jazzjustice@local802afm.org Fairness! Dignity! Respect! Now’s The Time!
Occupy Musicians
The musical arm of the OWS movement, still in the development stages as this listing goes up. Many wonderful musicians have signed onto the call....how about you?
Scientific Soul Sessions
Scientific Soul Session is a collective of radical cultural workers, social activists and urban farmers based in Harlem. Founded by noted improvisational revolutionary musician Fred Ho in 2010, SSS is engaging in a series of social justice campaigns which are equal parts activism, eco-socialism and art. Here is some info from their Manifesto: SSS members are united by the drive to pre-figure a new society free of imperialism, colonization, racism, heteropatriarchy, and capitalist exploitation. We stand up against all forms of social inequality, and we stand for the dignity and self-determination of oppressed peoples. The leadership for this movement will first and foremost be women and oppressed nationalities. It is based on excellence and experimentation. We recognize spirituality as an essential element in the struggle for liberation. Our name is Scientific Soul: "Scientific" because we seek answers and solutions; "Soul" because we believe in each self moving beyond its limits, reaching out to people, natural creatures and to the cosmos, imagining and doing the impossible! We bring art and politics together in provocative ways in our quest for excellence and the impossible dream! We see anti-capitalist analysis and anti-imperialist aesthetics as the paradigm for a new way of being and living that is not dictated by Western capitalist values. Through forward-thinking artistic creation and political organizing, we realize SSS leadership principles of commitment, capacity, and clarity.
Progressive Artists' Roster of the US Social Forum
The US Social Forum has expanded its reach this year and opened the doors to cultural workers for, seemingly, the first time. We are very excited by the rpospect, though we are not available to attend this year. We urge all rpogressive artsits, regardless of genre, to get a listing in this roster. It is surely time for the cultural workers to speak out.
Radical Poetry Collective: Women's Political Poetry
A collective of women poets who are writing about injustice, the war and more. This is also an outlet for the sale of a poetry anthology the group has published. The cultural workers speak---loudly!
Graphic Witness
Wow! A brilliant site which celebrates visiual art as activism and even has a special segment of CP cultural worker Hugo Gellert, who was a master Left-wing illustrator, offering drawings, paintings and etchings for 'the Masses', 'the Daily Worker', 'the Liberator' and many other historic periodicals.
AntiFolk
AntiFolk founder Lach remains a vital part of NYC's punk-folk music. His movement, AntiFolk, retains a safe haven in the East Village's Sidewalk Cafe, one of the few sites where acoustic or almost-acoustic musicians can still perform in a club (sadly, NYC is but a shadow of its former self; no way could the current NY spawn the likes of a Bob Dylan or Phil Ochs, for its near impossible for a clubowner to be sustained selling coffee and catering to radical folkies!). Check out the Sidewalk and of course the AntiFolk scene that Lach has maintained since the 80s. If it breaks down a boundary, it has served a purpose---why shouldn't the Clash's "Spanish Bombs" sit comfortably with folk/protest classics like "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall"?
Musicians Against Sweatshops
One might think of this organization as the musical arm of United Students Against Sweatshops, though their membership has a wide range of ages. Here's more evidence that the artists have not gone to sleep during this time of social struggle and war.
Culture Works Collective
Born out of the progressive heart of Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians, this newly founded (2008) collective is one which works toward a ploitically outspken output for the arts. The advisory board includes familiar names like Pete Seeger and the list of affiliated artists seems to run the gamut of style and nationality. Check outmthis well formulated site and be sure to go to the links to each of the musicians involved, especially Joe Uehlein, the collective's founder.
Peoples Music Network
A terrific group of diverse folk-oriented performers who use their network to build annual concerts and other events.
Musicians Alliance for Peace
The Musicians Alliance for Peace is an organization founded in the Long Island New York college, Stony Brook, and it has grown in leaps and bounds within a five year period. Each year they coordinate The Music for Peace Project, which asks musicians all over the world to stage simultaneous concerts with an anti-war theme during the weekend that bridges March and April. In 2006, the Flames became a part of this event, with a concert in Poughkeepsie, NY. M4P is a very important organization that effectively bridges the gap between progressive actions and the arts. The Flames are big supporters of M4P.

Articles by John Pietaro

John Pietaro/THE CULTURAL WORKER
John's blog includes his musings, articles, reviews, essays and fiction as well as an extensive Photo Gallery of historic cultural workers in action and a vast set of Radical Arts Links.
Z Magazine-ZSpace Page for John Pietaro
This is John's ZSpace Page over at zmag.org. Every writer has a dedicated page but unfortunately, this one is woefully empty of the many articles and reviews he's written for Z. You'll find several articles here and hopefully it will soon include all of his writings published in Z.
The Nation
John Pietaro's writers page for THE NATION magazine
PEOPLE'S WORLD: Various articles
This link will bring you to a page with a selection of articles John Pietaro wrote for the People's World. Unfortunately many of his pieces written prior to the paper's transition to a web-only publication did not make it into this selection of articles.
Occupy Musicians
"The Pulse of Revolution" as published on the OCCUPY MUSICIANS web page.
Political Affairs mag--articles by John Pietaro
Political Affairs has been a noted Marxist magazine for generations; John Pietaro has had numerous articles published in their mag or on their excellent website. Some of his pieces are included in this page's selection.
Various articles: H-Labor-Arts
Here is a selection of brief pieces posted to the H-Labor-Art website/newsletter on a variety of topics
Article on Moe Foner celebration at Town Hall, NYC
This is a piece I wrote that was published on the Interactivist Exchange site in 2002. The topic was an amazing evening at NYC's Townb Hall in honor of labor legend Moe Foner
Article on Woody Guthrie Concert
Though not written by John Pietaro, here's a February 2001 article from the People's Weekly World covering a concert organized and hosted by John. The event was called MADE FOR YOU AND ME: OVER 60 YEARS OF 'THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND', which commemorated Woody Guthrie's composition of that seminal ballad and celebrated his music in general. The event was also a fundraiser for the then-striking Domino Sugar workers of ILA.
Article on event organized by John Pietaro
This is another People's Weekly World article, originally published in November of 2001, concerning the Oct 2001 event SOLIDARITY: AN EVENING OF INTERNATIONAL LABOR UNITY, which was a fundraiser for the NYC Central Labor Council's 9/11 Fund. This event occured in Manhattan only weeks after the terorist attacks of 9/11. Though the event was organized by John Pietaro, he was not the author of the article, but its been added here for history's sake.
Woody Guthrie: 95 Years of Fighting Fascists---Labor Arts
This is an article I wrote for general internet consumption and am glad to note that it was picked up by the good people of Laborarts.org, so its here for posterity. This is an article on the 95th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth, and of the legacy in his wake.
Obit of Sis Cunningham-- Z Magazine
John wrote this obituary of the great folksinger/songwriter and activist Sis Cunningham for 'Z'
On Pete Seeger's 85th birthday
John's article on Pete Seeger's birthday went out to theinternet widely and was picked up by many sources including landing in the sermon of a mid-western preacher and in the newsletter of LA Indymedia
Article on David Letterman's battling interview with Bill O'Reilly
This was posted to the internet widely the morning after Letterman's embattled interview with guest Bill O'Reilly, fascistic media commentator
Portside piece on Henry Foner's birthday celebration
This article was posted to Portside several years ago following the birthday celebration for noted labor figure Henry Foner
Z Magazine article
Paul Robeson: Standing Tall" was published by Z in honor of Robeson's birthday commemoration. Robeson remains one of our nation's great heros.
Z Magazine CD review, Michael Franti & Spearhead
"Yell Fire" by Michael Franti and Spearhead is one of the most important albums in the struggle against the Bush years. I happily wrote this review of such a strong and involving CD.
Z Magazine review of ReadNex Poetry Squad
Here's John's review of the CD 'Social Issue' by the radical hip-hop group ReadNex Poetry Squad which appeared in the May issue, 2007.
2004 May Day concert in Union Square Park, NYC (Labor Arts)
Here's a report on a May Day concert organized by John in Union Square Park, NYC in 2004. We did not know it at the time, but this was to be the last of the regular May Day events he helmed in Manhattan---following this point, our May Day events have all been in NY's Hudson Valley area, but ya never know what the future may hold...
Z Mag review of Bev Grant & the Dissident Daughters' disc 'Cheeky Woman'
Here's a review of the latest disc by perenniel folkie Bev Grant. Her latest aggregation is the 3-part harmony drenched Dissident Daughters, featured with her on this CD.
Z Magazine CD review
Review of "Hail to The Thieves Part 3" by George Mann & Julius Margolin
Z Magazine CD review
This is a review of Bruce Springsteen's wonderful album, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" (too bad I did not wait until a few months later when it was re-released and included several cuts of a more distinctly radical nature!)
John's review of a CD by George & Julius
Here's a copy of a review for a CD by George Mann and Julius Margolin from several years ago. Other than being posted to their website, the review was unpublished.

Progressive Radio

WKCR-FM
Perhaps the greatest radio station in existence. Hyperbole? No. Where else is there 24 hours of the most powerful jazz, new music and contemporary sounds? "Bird Flight" explores the art of Charlie Parker every morning with jazz scholar Phil Schapp hosting. "Afternoon Mew Music" is a sonic adventure. At any moment of the day you are likely to hear Eric Dolphy, Amiri Baraka, Archie Shepp, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, John Coltrane, Lenny Tristano, Bird, Miles, Alice Coltrane, Gil Evans, Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson, and a wealth of others. All that plus segments of classical music, more straight-ahead jazz and more. I am a member. You should be too!
WBAI-FM
New York's progressive, listener-sponsored radio station that offers "the other side" to the corporate media stranglehold on the news. 'BAI is a part of the Pacifica Network, but it stands out as a lone wolf in thst classic NYC style. Listen online, even if you are not in range. And while you are at the site, check out the Regional Report page which includes updates of activist-based events happening in the area immediately surrounding the City, especially Don DeBar's 'Up the River' report. Of course this is the original source of Amy Goodman's award-winning "Democracy Now!" and the home of such luminaries as Bob Fass, Bernard White, labor reporters Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg (hosts of "Building Bridges"), and David Rothenberg, whose Saturday morning show offers humorous and serious discussion on oscial issues and the arts.
WNYC-FM
New York City's own....this station is celebrated for its progressive, probing talk but new music holds a huge place in WNYC's legend over the past 20-odd years. John Schaffer's "New Sounds" is still heard every night at 11. He also hosts a live performance show, "Soundcheck" and does intermittent "Gigalert" segments too. David Garland's show "Spinning on Air" has also held a very important place for new music artists for decades.
WFMU-FM
Wow, talk about a station built on eclecticism and variety! FMU, based out of Jersey City NJ but broadcasting throughout the NYC area and also throughout most of NY's Hudson Valley, is an incredible treasure, offering equal space to post-punk and avant garde jazz, garage rock and hip-hop to radical discussion. OKay, we can live without the occasional death-metal but, hey, at least this station is that open. Format? What's that??? That's why we love FMU! Check it out at 91.1 in the NYC/NJ area, 90.1 in the Hudson Valley or anywhere on the net.
Workers Independent News
This internet-based Labor news service is rapidly spreading throughout the country and is also affiliated with the international Labourstart which is based out of London. WIN broadcasts Labor news reports, music and announcements throughout its internet site and also through broadcast radio via a multitude of independent and public radio stations.
Pacifica Network
Pacifica is a network of independent, listener-sponsored radio stations located around the USA. It is the umbrella that produced such great broadcasts as those of WBAI in New York and KPFA in San Francisco. Brilliant, controversial, fearless journalism mixed with some of the best Left music, poetry and discussion. Pacifica was founded on the ideals of pacifism over 60 years ago and they are still leaders in the anti-war movement, but have since broadened their scope to include all areas of social change. Pacifica also broadcasts nation-wide for special events such as gavel-to-gavel coverage on large-scale protest rallies, Congressional hearings, and special cultural events like the annual Clearwater Festival (the Flames are happy to say that we performed live from the Pacifica WBAI sound booth at the 2007 Clearwater Fest which allowed us to offer our songs across country!). It is the people's network, if there ever was one. They take no corporate sponsorship at all---its all from listener donations.
WDST-FM Radio Woodstock
"Radio Woodstock" is the Hudson Valley/Catskill region's best radio station for classic rock (especially deep album cuts), acoustic-based sounds and some of the more interesting cutting-edge artists, too, intermingled with reggae and more. During the run of the Flames of Discontent DST aired music from our "Revenge of the Atom Spies" album and John Pietaro was a frequent on-air guest during the weekday Morning Show. WDST also engages in presenting concerts and other activities to benefit important causes. The station is not only located in Woodstock, NY, but it helps to keep alive the spirit of arts and progressivism that made that village world-renown.
Radio Labourstart
This is the internet radio station of the London-based Labourstart.org, the international news source for issues of concern to workers---that's ALL of us. Radio Labourstart plays a wide array of labor-oriented music as well as regular broadcasts of news from WIN. The Flames have been proud to have songs from our first CD broadcast via this source.
WJFF-FM
Radio Catskill is another gem nestled in the mountains that no one would have expected. JFF is an indie station that is hyrdo-powered (really!) and broadcasts a great variety of music and discussion. A progressive agenda is clear in that they broadcast some Pacifica programming such as "Democracy Now!" as well as more than a few local personalities who are wonderfully outspoken. Intermingled with this is NPR reporting and music ranging from folk to roots to jazz and lots more. Songs from the Flames CD 'Revenge of the Atom Spies' have also been aired on 'JFF.
WVKR-FM
This indie station is out of Vassar College (Poughkeepsie NY) and sports some of the most daring programming we've heard. Two polka shows per week (!) in addition to hardcore punk, free jazz, folk and roots music, forgotten pop, rap, spoken word and several different Left-wing discussion shows. And please note that VKR also broadcasts the award-winning progressive news program "Democracy Now!", produced by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales, each moring AND again each afternoon from 5PM-6PM. You can hear this station on the web, too. Among our favorite music shows is "The Primitive Show" (garage rock), "Folk Rock & Roots" (the name says it all), "The Lost Oldies Show" , "Radio Eclectica", and of course "Scene Unseen", a regional music show of which we've been in-studio guests.
Air America Radio
The Air America Radio network began just a few years ago as a progressive response to right-wing AM talk radio. In NYC it can be heard on 1600 AM, but they have affiliates in mnay major cities all over the US and they also stream live on the internet. Here's the leftie answer to morons like Rush Limbaugh, featuring powerful discussion, humor and more. Sometimes you just need to check in with Air America to relieve yourself of the corporate media!

Cultural Education Foundations

Labor Arts
Labor Arts was founded by Rachel Bernstein of the New York University Labor Library and Henry Foner, perenniel Labor activist and former president of the Furriers' union. The site has a regular permanent collection of historic Labor-oriented art and other pieces, plus usually includes various other exhibits as well.
Max's Kansas City Project
Keeping alive the name of this long-lost-but-never-forgotten iconic NYC rock club, this foundation offers grants to musicians in medical crisis and also has a great youth outreach program as well. Housed in Woodstock NY and run singlehandedly by Yvonne Sewall,the widow of Max's original owner Mickey Ruskin, the Project is tireless in its heartfull mission.
Bread and Roses Cultural Project
Bread and Roses is the Cultural arm of 1199 SEIU, the powerful healthcare workers' union. Bread and Roses maintains a permanent gallery plus runs a series of events and sells a large number of prints pertaining to Labor or other social justice issues.
Sphinx Music
Sphinx is a wonderful organization which aims to counter the obvious inequalities in the classical music field. Clearly, few African-American professional musicians are employed in major orchestras throughout the country, and positions are few and far between for any kind of involvement in what can be a rather exlusionary setting. BUt their mission is a vast one which seeks to bring classical culture out of its box by teaching children of color, presenting musical programs and highlighting the work of noted Black and Latino performers and composers. Sphinx begins their mission with children, exposing Black and Latino kids to concerts and music education and bringing programming into particularly deprived school districts. They also offer higher-level music instruction up to and including major scholarships. Sphinx also has several professional-level performance groups which demonstrate the artistry of their laureates. The organization also sponsors competitions which result in increased educational and performance opportunities. Annually, Sphinx holds major concerts, combining professional musicians with students, at such locations as Carnegie Hall.
Strummerville- The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music
This foundation was established by Joe Strummer's family and friends in the period immediately following his untimely death. The site offers info on the foundation itself as well as events that benefit its mission.

Leftist Educational Resources

Marxist Internet Archive
A treasure trove of Marxist information, this site offers sections on all major left figures in history. Not just Marx and Engels, but Gramsci, Lenin, Debs, Luxemburg and way beyond.
Political Truth blog
Here's a politically astute blog that is progressive to its core and offers articles and video of current happenings, struggles and pol updates. What makes this unique, though is the connection to music via numerous clips of classic rock performances that have some level of connection to the issues (ie--the Beatles performing their great Lennon-penned song "I'm a Loser" with a caption referring to the McCain loss!). Also find footage of great historic political speeches here. You must check this site out....
The Radical Apple
Here's a very handy interactive webpage which allows you to scan over a map of Greenwich Village and the East Village and click onto some locations of revolutionary occurances or other important spots in radical NYC history. Ever wondetred where Emma Goldman lived or Trotsky worked? Now you can virtually go there. Our only complaint is that the sources stop before the map can get to Union Square Park--perhaps the prime site of more labor and other radicalism than any other. NYC has such a rich left history--hopefully this pages map will expand to reflect much more of it. But in the meantime, here's some involuable info. Check it out...
Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library
This is a detailed research collection of Marxism drawn from the teachings of Prof Karl Niebyl, who left Germany to escape the Nazis. His collection was stored at UC Berkley. THe college then took on the collection of African-American activist, teacher and labor organizer Roscoe Proctor. The collection, in total has over 15.000 books, pamphlets and other wiritings on Marxism-Leninism, labor and civil rights history and more.
New Deal Stage
Here's a website dedicated to the WPA Arts Project, specifically that of the theatre program. A great array of info on the Federal Theatre Project including scripts, records, data of all kinds from within the Library of Congress.
The Red Encyclopedia
One of the most thorough sites featuring radical history of most every stripe. okay, so the editor may be opinionated, but then who on the Left isn't? Here are full explanations of Left organizations today and yesterday, as well as organizations in Europe. There's also a map of sorts guiding you through these same organizations and also a section on lingo. Exhaustive, but its vital that someone took the plunge to try to catalog all of this.
Red Globe
"News for your class, not your country"---Red Globe is an international communist and otherwise Left news service with coverage you cannot find in most other places. Most links are for Spanish-language readers, but there are many other articles and links here for everyone.
In Defense of Marxism
A thorough, thoughtful collection of articles and information on Marxism in history and its applications today. This site can be trasnalted into most every language and it was created by the International Marxist Tendency, an outgrowth of the Troskyist movement.
Leninist dot biz
With the most unlikely of designations, this terrific Leninist site offers up vast amounts of information, with multiple links leading to volumes of articles on nearly any topic of interest to those of us on the Left. There are a few technical snags on the site right now, but apparently these problems are temporary. I was able to get around quite well and tap into many, many bits of research in just a few moments. Sure, we'd all feel better if this was a dot-org, but isn't the irony of the title just too good to pass up, comrade?
Antonio Gramsci, Marxist Internet Archive
An amazing collection of Gramsci's writings and philosophy c/o the Marxist Internet Archive. Antonio Gramsci was a groundbreaking Italian Communist who lived for his cause. After spending several years struggling for labor causes and attempting to build workers' councils, he became a delegate to the Communist International and began to develop his own philosophy of socialism. He was imprisoned by the fascist Italian government in the latter 1920s and composed his most famous work, The Prison notebooks in the decade of his incarceration. Gramsci did not survive his sentence, ultimately dying in a prison hospital, but his writings remain among the most important of global Leftist documents.
Black Panther Party, Marxist Internet Archive
As usual, the Marxist Internet Archive has put together an excellent overview of the Black Panthers, including some wonderful excerpts of great writings. The Panthers were demonized by the white conservative establishment, but much of white socia=ety remained fearful of this organization which had as a primary mission the defense of African-Americans. The agenda included educational programs, breakfasts for children in poor communities, opportunities for cultural understanding and pride, as well as a neighborhood watch.
Jay's Radical History Links
We on the Left cannot get enough of ourselves and so here's a site that offers more of Left history and current events than you can possibly digest. This site will offer international links so that you can reach out to brothers and sisters all over the planet. I am sure that Jay is now working on some links to connect us to the Mars Canal Boat Pilots Union and the Saturn Ring Airline Pilots Association as well.

Political Parties for Today's Struggles

Solidarity Network
This site is kind of a clearing house for information of international communist, workers and socialist parties. A great way for comrades around the globe to discover how to find out more about these parties in their own country, or for all of us to keep informed about each others' activities.
Socialist Party USA
The SP was founded by Eugene V. Debs, perhaps our nation's greatest radical leader, in 1901 but experienced many splits and changes of identity over the years. These days the SP remains a dedicated social democratic organization which has run candidates for office through the years, unlike many other radical organizations using the title "party" in their moniker. Deeply involved in labor and peace struggles, among other issues, the SP's HQ in NYC remains very active and, widely, they remain a national party. The SP publishes a small print magazine ('The Socialist') and newsletter as well as a lengthier online edition of 'The Socialist' as well.
Communist Party USA
Scourge of the right-wing for decades, the Communist Party USA is remains alive and well, even if much smaller in numbers these days. If you check out the Party's site and program you'll find a solid activist base that has not been connected to Stalinism in a very long time. Unfortunately the CP has continued its trend further and further away from its revolutionary roots in recent years and though still citing Marxism-Leninism as its philosophy, it has all but dropped this terminology from its written communiques. Founded in 1919, the CP remains a national organization with a HQ in NYC and a branch in Chicago which edits their newspaper, the People's World, as of 2009 an online-only daily.
New York Communist Party Blogspace
This is the blog space for the Communist Party District of New York State. News on events, labor issues, political discussion and more.
Green Party
The Green Party of the United States is a federation of state Green Parties. Committed to ecology, social justice grassroots democracy and non-violence, Greens are renewing democracy in the United States through community-based organizing without the support of corporate donors. Greens provide real solutions for real problems. Whether the issue is universal health care, corporate globalization, alternative energy, election reform or decent, living wages for workers, Greens have the courage and independence necessary to take on the powerful corporate interests opposed to reform. The Federal Elections Commission recognizes the Green Party of the United States as the official Green Party National Committee. The Green Party of the United States is also a member of the Federation of Green Parties of the Americas and the Global Greens. The highest Green Party decision making body is the Green National Committee, composed of delegates from each accredited state party and caucus. We are grassroots activists, environmentalists, advocates for social justice, nonviolent resisters and regular citizens who've had enough of corporate-dominated politics. We devote our attention to establishing a national Green presence in politics and policy debates, while continuing to facilitate party growth and action at the state and local level. The Green Party of the United States was formed in 2001 as an outgrowth of the Association of State Green Parties (1996-2001). Our initial goal was to help existing state parties grow and to promote the formation of parties in all 51 states and colonies. Helping state parties is still our primary goal. Our growth has been rapid since our founding and Green candidates are winning elections throughout the U.S.
The Working Families Party
The WFP is a New York State party of unionists, activists and general progressives. It was formed in order to back "fusion" candidates, largely Democrats, who needed to be pushed a little further to the left. The FP is modeled after the old American Labor Party, which also served a similar fusion-based purpose. As of late, the WFP has also launched progressive candidates of their own, running independent of any Dem candidate.
21st Century Socialism
A powerful British-based site about socialism in our time. Many wonderful kinks in addition to excellent coverage and theoretical talk.

Labor Unions and Associated Resources

The Industrial Workers of the World
The website for the IWW, the Wobblies. This was the very first US-based labor federation that was global and ecumenical from its inception. Its founding convention included such luminaries as Mother Jones, Eugene V Debs, Daniel DeLeon, Big Bill Haywood and Lucy Parsons. The IWW's strongest organizers were also their musicians and this list of names includes Joe Hill. Currently, the IWW is the only union that is organizing workers at Starbucks shops, a chain that is perhaps second only to Wal-Mart in their horrendous anti-worker tactics. Don't buy Starbucks coffee...and please don't shop at Wal-Mart. But DO check out the IWW's site!
Local 802 AFM
The NY area's musicians' union local: "We are the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, American Federation of Musicians Local 802, one of the largest local unions of professional musicians in the world. We unite to fight for the common interests of all musicians by advancing industry standards that dignify our labor and honor and enrich our art. We seek to organize a community of all musicians and aspiring musicians, and we reach out to all who share our interests and our passion. We are committed to upholding the integrity of live musical performance and to advancing the vital role of music in education, and in the economic, cultural and social life of our community and beyond. We advocate for economic and social justice for musicians and for society as a whole."
LaborNet
The latest news on the Labor front, links and historical pieces as well.
Coalition of Labor Union Women
What began as a mere branch of the AFL-CIO has grown into a powerhouse organization which fights for equal rights for women in the workplace---and beyond. CLUW has forged alliances with special women's programs in many unions, such as the Steelworkers, to create a base of activism which has a loud, unified voice.
National Labor Committee
The NLC is best known for having investigated and exposed Kathy Lee's sweatshop, but their detailed reports on Nike and Disney atrocities are also amazing bits of fodder for activists. They also organize a yearly NYC march against sweatshop labor at the start of the winter shopping season. Charlie Kernagen, NLC's founder, is a fearless spokesperson for justice in the workplace. Please check out this group's site and support their global (they should be known as the INTERNational Labor Committee) activities with a membership. These folks are the real thing.
Big Labor
Big Labor is a site associated with Union Communication Services; its title is an apparent response to the rightist zeal over the size of the movement these days. Big Labor offers lots of good info for we in the workers' movement as well as links and offers a 'Song of the Week', too. Several of the Flames songs have been featured as Big Labor features and we are thankful to them for that. But the site also contains weekly updates on labor news in general and in soecific to YOUR union, contact info for all unions, labor joke of the week, much more.
NY Labor-Religion Coalition
An excellent organization that bridges the gap that all too often exists between militant unionism and the clergy. These folks have walked the line with many NY-based unions and have a strong lobby voice as well. NYLRC helps to realize the true nature of solidarity that religion is supposed to be all about!
Union Jobs
Here's the one site that covers all of the unions that are affiliates of either the AFL-CIO or the breakaway Change to Win Coalition unions. This site lists every job related to Labor in every state of the nation. A great resource (yes, John found his current union staff position through this site!)
Unions.org
Here is a union members directory of businesses that provide discounts to members. Unions.org is the largest directory for Labor Unions. The directory is organized by state and by Union. A great tool for working people.
AFM Local 1000
Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians is designated as the "traveling musicians local", but it primairly represents folk-oriented performers, many of which can be described as protest-oriented. While 802 is the much better known New York local, the flexibility of 1000 offers much more to performers who are not members of large orchestras, doing studio dates or playing in Broadway pits. But while its physically based in NYC, Local 1000 includes members from all over the country. It took John a while to become a member, but he now holds membership proudly.
Fair Union Elections
The impact of threatening, intimidating and fear-mongering by management will always have workers running for cover. Sadly, its usually not into the strength of union, but right back into the boss's ever-tightening grip. 1199 SEIU, our nations largest and strongest healthcare workers union, has established this page to offer info on the hiring of anti-union law firms and consulting groups...shedding light on how many healthcare organizations turn their back on their very mission statement. If you or anyone you know is in a "boss fight" while trying to unionize their workplace, this can be a very valuable resource.
Shop Union Made
If you've been walking around with a royal case of the guilts about wearing sweatshop-produced jeans and non-union shirts, you can now avoid all of this and find out how to purchase all union-made clothing.
Union Communication Services
This is a wonderful resource for Labor activists and it includes a great 'Song of the Week' section that we highly enjoy. This organization also produces a very inclusive catalog of Labor books that is a must.
Labour Start
This British-based site is probably the best all-around iinternational resource for Labor activists. Once on it, go to the links for their Radio Labourstart----24 hours per day you can hear a mixture of Labor music and reports from WIN. Make this one of your 'favorites'
US Department of Labor
I know, I know, this is a governmental agency and deemed untrustworthy by most Leftisits. BUT this is the source for information on your rights as a working person. Go to this site to read about the Family & Medical Leave Act or about about the overtime laws or even your diminshing right to organize. The best way for us to fight the power is to make full use of the laws which are actually still on our side. A bunch of those are right here.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
AFSCME represents city and other municipal employees throughout the US and Canada. While often restrained by the dreaded Taylor Law, AFSCME nevertheless offers progresive unionism to its membership and is not afraid to lash out against the right-wing reactionaries in government and the world at large. W
1199 SEIU
United Healthcare Workers East keeps organizing and expanding their membership...and sphere of influence over the healthcare industry. 1199 is also known for their rather unique foray into the cultural field (similar to the CIO unions of old), with the founding of their Bread and Roses program some thirty years ago.
Service Employees International Union
THe "Power of Purple" looms large in the Labor movement. SEIU, one of the more progressive unions, has turned organizing into a science----more power to them. Check out their website for news on their international's actions and campaigns as well as info on their affiliates, such as 1199, NY's Healthcare union.
United Steelworkers
USW recently dropped the "A" from the end of its name, as its bounds have now stretched far beyond America. Joining with industrial unions in Europe and Africa, USW has maintained its dedication to organizing, internationalism and progressive unionism. USW can trace its roots back to SWOC, William Z Foster and Phillip Murray.
UNITE!-HERE
The amalgamation of both the needletrades union (itself the product of the coming together of the two big textile unions--ILGWU and ACTWU) and the hotel and restaurant workers' union brought about this grand acronym. Primarily focusing on organizingand international solidarity, this progressive union is constantly forging new ground.
OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been under threat by the Bush Administration, but through it all, OSHA continued to maintain the laws that protect workers from unsafe working conditions. Check out this site to find out exactly which situations you are experiencing in your work-life which are deemed illegal. Is it too cold? Is the ventilation poor or perhaps releasing impure air? Contact OSHA.
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
RWDSU is based out of NYC but covers our nation and Canada. Fighting the steep uphill battle against monoliths like Wal-Mart, the union continues to maintain strong organizing drives and even win battles (check out the success of their grocery workers in California!). RWDSU had their quadrienniel convention in July of 2006 and the Flames were happy to have been a part of it, performing for the con's final day. Solidarity Forever!
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