Labor’s Renaissance: Bold Organizing and Partnerships Needed in the New Economy

From Dissent Magazine In 2011, Wisconsin public sector workers demonstrated to fight changes to their state collective bargaining laws, and upwards of 100,000 workers assembled on the state capitol.  Rightly, the workers saw this change by Governor Walker as an effort to bust unions, given that union density in the private sector had decreased to 7%, but in the public sector it is at 35%.  Pitting public sector unions against the…

August 28, 2013

Florida’s Strange Fruit

I hear you when you say don’t be surprised by the acquittal of George Zimmerman. With the lingering stench of racism, even the enlightened of us can begin to forget that our criminal legal system is rotten at its core.   Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition reminds us of the pungency of Florida’s Jim Crow atmosphere. We are all lulled by the sweet scent that a trial…

July 14, 2013

(inter)Generation Movement Lawyer 2.0

In the 1960s, the term movement lawyer emerged to identify the lawyer that provided legal support to the social movements of the time from civil rights to women rights.   Movement lawyers fell along a wide ideological spectrum from Thurgood Marshall as the lawyer for NAACP to William Kunstler.   There were less publicly known lawyers such as Leo Branton Jr. who represented Angela Davis. Since then, lawyers who see their work…

June 14, 2013

Bangladesh Building Collapse Has Political Consequences in US

Bangladesh collapse has political consequences in US Raising the level of standards for workers’ rights If workers rights are given, will they ask for more accountability

May 22, 2013

New York’s Pro Bono Requirement: Impetus to Incorporating a Social Justice Curriculum in the First Year of Law School

— Martin Luther King, Jr. , 18th April, 1959 Last year, in 2012, Chief Judge Lippman announced a new pro bono requirement for all applicants seeking admission to the New York State Bar to perform 50 hours of legal services under the supervision of an attorney.  Pro bono service is defined generally as any law-related activity performed for low income or disadvantaged individuals.  This new requirement was intended to address…

May 15, 2013

Crushing Greed; Building Transnational Labor Solidarity

“The hierarchy of poverty has deadly consequences.” Born during Bangladesh’s war for independence, our home was bombed and I survived as the family tale goes cocooned by the rubbles of concrete and iron bars. Soon after, in December 1971, Bangladesh gained its independence.  Intertwined with the genesis of Bangladesh, I grew up on a steady narrative of survival stories from political unrest, floods, and garment factory tragedies. Bangladeshis would repeat…

April 27, 2013

If There’s a Movement, and NYT Doesn’t Cover it, Is it a Movement?

Police Crush Pro Democracy Movement – 1987 Nobel prize poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore has a famous song cherished by Bengali activists which loosely translates to:  If no one heeds your call, then travel the road by yourself.  This has been interpreted as a call for courage and an inspiration to chart a path for social justice on one’s own.  But does that make a social movement? Of course, quotes abound…

April 16, 2013

Perpetual Trespasser

To be in the margin is to be part of the whole but outside of the main body.       We looked both from the outside in and from the inside out.                                    We understood both.  This mode of seeing reminded us of the existence of a whole universe, a main body made up…

February 26, 2013