Interview with American social justice activist and writer Mark Vorpahl Mark Vorpahl is an American social justice activist, union steward and anti-war writer. He mostly writes for the Workers Compass but his writings have also appeared on a number of international journals and news websites such as Common Dreams, Global Research, CounterPunch and Counter Currents. [...]
U.S. workers and those who are unemployed are frequently told that the current presidential elections are among the most important in this country’s history. With continuing high unemployment and underemployment, declining wages, and looming massive cuts to social programs that help workers, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we are at a grave point [...]
If foxes are put in charge of rebuilding a chicken coop, it is a given that the chicken’s new quarters will be less than secure. In terms of rebuilding the economy, with the predatory interests of Wall Street dictating the “solutions” proposed by both the Republicans and Democrats, it is a given that their plans [...]
The issue of unemployment and underemployment loomed above the hype of both the Republican and Democratic Party conventions with the cold stare of a harsh judge. Many promises and dubious claims were made from the respective party podiums, but no real solutions were put forward.
The unions remain the only organizations in this country built by and for workers to be a collective fighting force to defend and improve the members’ standard of living. While only a minority belongs to unions, all workers’ fate depends on their strength. Unfortunately they have been taking a serious beating. How has the leadership [...]
Many of today’s social expectations and political outlooks of the Labor Movement, and workers in general, were formed in the post World War II economic expansion. While the economy was expanding and there were steady jobs to be had, it appeared to be enough for many people to focus on improving their immediate community or [...]
Mark Vorpahl Though, for most, the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate (Libor) interest rate fixing scandal appears to be distant and far too complex to understand, its potential consequences may be as economically devastating as a world war.
Mark Vorpahl Echoing the story of David vs. Goliath, janitors in Houston are on strike and taking on such corporate giants as JPMorganChase and Exxon Mobile in an effort to pressure the janitorial companies they employ to agree to the workers’ modest demands. It is these big business behemoths that are the real powers behind [...]
Mark Vorpahl Haciendo eco de la historia de David vs. Goliat, los conserjes en Houston están en huelga y enfrentándose a corporativos gigantes como JPMorgan, Chase y Exxon Mobile en un esfuerzo para presionar a las compañías de conserjes que los emplean a acceder a las modestas demandas de los trabajadores. Son estas colosales compañías [...]
On Friday, July 6, President Obama signed into law a bill that would renew transportation programs and extend low interest rates on student loans for one year.
Mark Vorpahl During the week of July 1st to 7th an international cabal of corporate lobbyists will be meeting behind closed doors in San Diego. Their aim is moving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) towards completion.
Mark Vorpahl Any day the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most at risk is this act’s “individual mandate” which requires everyone to buy health insurance from a private insurer or face a steep fine.
Mark Vorpahl Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker not only defeated the recall, he did so easily taking 54 percent of the vote.
Introduction Forget the November elections. As the article below shows the most significant political event in the near future will take place shortly after, regardless of whether it is Obama or Romney in the White House. That will be the bipartisan austerity attack plan known has Simpson/Bowles. This measure will inflict massive cuts on Medicare [...]
Mark Vorpahl In this presidential election year, when the outcome hinges on the economy, the phrases “job creation” and “job creators” are quick to roll off the candidates’ tongues. It is not hard to see why. With up to 24 million unemployed and underemployed, and those working subject to the downward pressure this creates in [...]
Introduction by Mark Vorpahl With a historically massive student strike that is now expanding to all sectors of society, the Canadian Province of Quebec has become the new center for an international-wide popular response to the devastating cuts capitalism is forcing on workers and students. The world’s economic and political elites have their program of [...]
Mark Vorpahl Since President Obama made his very calculated public statement announcing that he was “personally” in favor of same sex marriage, among the many commentators who have rushed to his support have been a significant number of Labor leaders. Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, stated “Look, I support that position. We support it [...]
Mark Vorpahl At the annual Wells Fargo shareholders’ meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at least 150 “shareholders” were denied their lawful right to attend by means of the use of police force and barricades. True, none of them were big shareholders and their priorities in attending were not to cheerlead the [...]
Mark Vorpahl Weeks after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey has announced that his killer, George Zimmerman, will be charged with second degree murder. Though originally allowed to walk scot free without any charges, Zimmerman is now behind bars. It is hard to think of another case that has swung so [...]
Mark Vorpahl The current debate that has erupted within Occupy circles was built into this movement’s foundation. It has been sparked by much needed soul searching in the wake of a series of confrontations with the police, most notably in Oakland, that ended disastrously. It should be news to no one that the police easily [...]
The Democrat’s agenda is closer to the Republican’s than it is to addressing the needs of rank and file unionists. The Democrats have nothing to inspire people with and much that must be fought against, because the policies they pursue are ones that favor Wall Street. The union leadership is facing the alternative of either contributing to a mass movement in the streets based on the needs of workers, or a trickle into the polls to elect Obama who, as many know, gets vastly more campaign contributions from Wall Street than from unions.
As this article indicates, he was clearly in a position to try to use the respectability of the police force to blame poor police response times on Occupy Portland. This has been the City’s strategy all along and with the nationwide consultation of other mayors, police groups and law enforcement agencies including President Obama’s U.S. Justice Department, the FBI and Homeland Security, the key has been from the beginning: tarnish the Occupy movement by isolating activists.
Mark Vorpahl Two back-to-back victories, from the point of view of those in power, has left some commentators speculating that U.S. foreign policy has turned a page towards a less militaristic approach under the guidance of President Obama. These events are the killing of Colonel Qaddafi, leading Libya’s new leaders to declare liberation, followed by [...]
Mark Vorpahl Fueled by a long simmering anger over the economic crisis, the continuing enrichment of a tiny corporate elite who brought this crisis on, and the lack of any political voice for the great majority of people, the Occupy Wall Street Movement has spread to hundreds of cities across the nation, mobilizing hundreds of [...]
Mark Vorpahl Though it is likely that some of our readers are already familiar with the following video, since it has gone viral, it merits comment. The BBC interview with financial trader Alessio Rastani on the Eurozone rescue plan reveals far more than an “expert’s opinion” on this one topic alone. Unrestrained by any concern [...]
Mark Vorpahl Anyone who still believes that U.S. workers and the labor movement are incapable of mounting a struggle against the conditions that the economic crisis is forcing on us has not been paying attention. Evidence to the contrary was vividly provided on the morning of September 8th, when 500 International Longshore and Warehouse Union [...]
Mark Vorpahl After the end (for now) of the strike against corporate giant Verizon, with 45,000 Communications Workers (CWA) and Electrical Workers (IBEW) participating, it would be timely to consider the significance of strikes and the role they can potentially play in organizing and politically empowering working people. Strikes in Decline Many in the labor [...]
Por Mark Vorpahl En el teatro político exhibido el pasado mes de diciembre, donde la extensión de 13 meses del seguro de desempleo fue ligada para continuar el recorte de impuestos a los ricos, un tema significante fue dejado fuera del drama, aunque su impacto afecta directamente las vidas de millones. El tema es el [...]
“This victory is all the more impressive when taking into account that St. Charles Hospital is the largest employer in Bend, a city which last November had an unemployment rate of 14.3 percent. Such high unemployment inclines workers to keep their noses to the grindstone, and just be happy they have a job…to a point.”
Mark Vorpahl In the political theater exhibited last December where 13 months of unemployment extensions were linked to continuing tax breaks for the rich, a significant issue was left out of the drama, though it directly impacts the lives of millions. That is the fate of those who have become known as the 99ers. The [...]
For Anarchists, classes exist because of the state. Without the state, society would by definition be classless. Therefore, Anarchists main aim is to liquidate the state. Only after this will it be possible to build a classless society based on mutual cooperation.
For Marxists, in contrast, the state arose as a result of class conflict to assure the victory of a powerful minority class against the majority. It was the development of different classes, arising out of societies evolving productive means and relationships, which necessitated the creation of the state.
The fact that these trade deals are being pushed during hard times for U.S. workers is another example of how the U.S. political establishment is captive to corporate and Wall Street big money interests as opposed to the aspirations of the majority who voted for Obama in hopes of change. What U.S. workers need is a serious, massive jobs-creation program now, not dressed up policies that result in job losses.
The recent wave of strikes in China, most visibly at Honda factories, are testament to a growing movement of labor unrest in the country This development is of great importance for international working class struggle. For the capitalists, China holds a key position in the global system of generating profits. The demands of China’s workers [...]
What of Clinton’s claim that this agreement is about fighting drug trafficking? Based on U.S. efforts in Colombia to date, her claim has no credibility. The agreement is extensively an enlargement of Plan Colombia in terms of pursuing a war on cocaine production. Since the start of Plan Colombia, the power of the drug cartels remains intact. According to a 2005 UN report, overall attempted coca cultivation increased from 2,467 square kilometers in 2003 to 2,506 square kilometers in 2004.
Mark Vorpahl While the anti-war movement has primarily targeted the Iraq occupation in its protests and events, opposition to the Afghanistan occupation has always been understood as a shared point of agreement among the vast majority of participants. The Afghanistan occupation has been not as prominent in the minds of protesters because of fewer lives [...]