Activist Julia Wallace discusses the housing affordability crisis in California. Julia is a longtime movement and socialist activist, a contributor to Left Voice, has served on the South Central Neighborhood Council, and is a member of SEIU Local 721. Julia joins our host Alex Coy for this important topic. (56 minutes) brought to you by Socialist Resurgence Radio
Socialist Resurgence Radio interviews Doug Greene, Marxist historian and author about his forthcoming book, A Failure of Vision: Michael Harrington and the Limits of Democratic Socialism (Zero Books, 2021). In the current period, democratic socialism seems ascendant with the rapid growth of the Democratic Socialists of America. Many on the left have embraced the notion that the Democratic Party is an arena of struggle.
Harrington was the foremost champion of the concept of “realignment” — the notion that socialists can work inside the Democratic Party and make gains for working people. Greene joins our host Alex Coy to explode myths about Harrington, the Democratic Party, and democratic socialism.
More of Doug’s writing can be found at The Blanquist. Doug Greene is also the author of Communist Insurgent: Blanqui’s Politics of Revolution (Haymarket)
An interview with Dan Piper, Socialist Resurgence candidate for state representative in Connecticut. Piper is a union member and school teacher who is running as an independent revolutionary socialist.
Piper is running for office to oppose the sacrifice of working-class lives demanded by President Trump and by Governor Lamont and his fellow Democrats such as House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (the present representative in District 1).
Dan Piper is a 37 year-old Hartford resident, public school teacher, union member, and longtime activist. Dan joins our host, Alex Coy, for a conversation on politics, class struggle and socialism.
“Our campaign will strive to expose the bosses’ parties, to show the alternatives, to show how working people can win when they unite across sectors and fight independently from their employers, to help build the fightback against the coming attacks on workers, and to show that working people should run this society.”
Andy Barns reads his Earth Day article from the Socialist Resurgence Website, Planet Earth and Why We Must Protect It. He writes: “The Earth is our only habitat and will be so for a long time. We are, like it or not, the stewards of our planet. It is our highest duty to maintain a future for the human race and all life on this amazing and special planet. We won’t have that future if capitalism destroys it.” Andy joins our host, Alex Coy, the Red State Red. (19 minutes)
For more information, check out https://socialistresurgence.org/
In the episode, Marxist economist Osman Keshawarz explains some of the basics of Marxist economics. This includes concepts like Wage Labor, Commodities, Capital, and Alienation. Osman is interviewed by our host, Alex Coy. This is the first of two episodes dealing with economy.
Check us out at https://socialistresurgence.org/
Wednesday night, October 15th, more than 40 college students gathered at the campus kickoff of ‘15 Now Temple University’, a new formation of undergraduate and graduate students who have joined the fight for a $15 minimum wage in Philadelphia and across the country. The teach-in featured several student speakers, many of whom are struggling to attend classes and pay for college, while working low wage jobs.
Jill Richards, who helped organize the meeting, said “This group is doing real work for real change, and we can’t survive on the current minimum wage. Once I heard Temple was starting its own chapter, I knew I had to do something about it.”
Richards and several other organizers spent several weeks planning the meeting, inviting friends and coworkers, canvassing the community, and handing out flyers to students on campus. The high turnout mirrored the level of interest in boosting wages that citywide organizers have found in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.
During her testimony, Temple student, worker and 15 Now organizer Nadia Adam explained, “I work retail full-time at $10.50 an hour, and I am a neuroscience major part time, which is not the easiest major to have. My child is in daycare all day, but these are the choices I have to make if I hope to make it out of poverty anytime soon. Making $15 an hour would let me escape some debt later on and have some spending money for my child.”
The students also led breakout group discussions on “$15 an hour vs. $10.10,” “$15 an hour and intersectionality,” and “the history of student movements.”
At Temple and universities across the country, students are increasingly positioned to join broader working class movements fighting for better living conditions. Student Jaq Basilis said, “The history of Temple is as a working class institution. It used to be a place where people could come get an affordable education and a decent job. Now our school is becoming privatized and exponentially more expensive. Only certain types of people can afford to go here, or we leave in tens of thousands of dollars of debt.”
Students left the meeting pledging to join 15 Now Philly, help canvass surrounding North Philly neighborhoods, and lobby city officials to take on the fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Basilis added “I don’t want to feel like I’m in a different community on campus and in my neighborhood at 17th and Girard. We are part of the same struggle.”
Minimum Wage – Time to turn up the heat!
The past few years have seen an increase in activity among low-wage workers. Many are demanding “$15 and a union.” As income inequality has increased, the number of workers forced to eke out a living at the minimum wage has grown.
The food preparation and restaurant industries are by far the largest pool of minimum wage workers, with more than 1.5 million employees. Other industries—such as sales, clerical, and warehousing—also employ hundreds of thousands of minimum wage workers. Many more workers subsist on wages above the minimum but well below well below $15 per hour.
Millions of workers would immediately see an increase in standard of living through an increased minimum wage. $15 is a minimum goal for working people to begin to achieve an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families. Anything less still leaves too many people below the poverty line.
The recent strikes by fast food workers for decent jobs and a living wage show the potential for struggle across the spectrum of low-wage industries. The retail giant Walmart has also been the target of worker organizing. Even the President acknowledges that the minimum wage, as it currently stands, is inadequate. Obama and the Democrats say they want to raise the minimum to an insulting $10.10 per hour. With this promise, they seek, in part, to neutralize the movement for $15.
Of course, the bosses claim that raising the minimum wage will destroy job creation. This is contradicted by the facts. In cities where the minimum has been increased unemployment has decreased.
While individual unions, like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), have done a commendable job, the whole labor movement should make the $15 minimum a centerpiece of a united organizing campaign. There is a rising tide of working-class militancy in the U.S. Minimum wage campaigns are sprouting up across the country, and $15 an hour has been enacted in Seattle. Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot! Unions have the resources and organization to build and lead these movements to win concrete gains for the working class.
We are students of Temple University and residents of the Philadelphia community. We stand in solidarity with your struggle for social justice at Colgate University. We, too, have dealt with racism, classism, heterosexism, transphobia, misogyny, ableism and other forms of oppression on our campus and in the larger community. We continue to deal with it on a daily basis, not only in the form of individual words and acts of hate, but also in the form of systemic exclusion of certain groups and the privileging of others at our university and other institutions.
We have petitioned and organized rallies, protests, and sit-ins, around these causes and in response to specific transgressions against us and our allies perpetrated by the University, the Police, and other forces. We will continue to fight for social justice at our university and in society at large. We believe that we, the students as well as staff, professors, and other workers deserve democratic control over the function of the institutions that would not exist without our labor. What you are doing at Colgate by staging a days long sit-in at the admissions office is a critical step in this direction. We applaud you.
Temple University Chapter of 15 Now