Campaign for Children Impacted by Rana Plaza Tragedy

  United Students Against Sweatshops and International Labor Rights Forum  have an ongoing campaign to seek compensation for the children of Rana Plaza.  For more information, see: The Orphan’s Place (http://orphansplace.com)  The Children’s Place produced apparel at Rana Plaza before the factory collapsed in a horrific industrial homicide, killing 1,132 garment workers and leaving children without a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister.

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Perspectives: Democracy, we have a problem: Religion

Lailufar Yasmin is an Associate Professor with Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and currently undertaking research on ‘secularism in International Relations’ at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Immanuel Kant, a principle theorist on secularism proposed that human beings should assume responsibility for their acts in the public sphere instead of taking refuge to some divine explanation for such acts. Referring to the principles of secularism, Kant suggested that…

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Bioethics, Scientific Research and the GMO Debate

“Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors…in order that the creations of our minds shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind.  Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.” – Albert Einstein’s Speech to students at California Institute of Technology on February 16, 1931 “Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to…

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Perspectives: Black Workers, the Public Sector and the Future of Labor Unions

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is an internationally known racial justice, labor and global justice activist and writer.  The attacks on the public sector over the last several years by the political Right have brought forward increasing concerns about the impact of such assaults on communities of color generally, and workers of color in particular.  Economists, such as Dr. Steven C. Pitts at UC-Berkeley Labor Center, have called attention to the impact…

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Perspectives: What’s There to Celebrate on Labor Day

Jonathan Harris is a Brooklyn based labor lawyer and former organizer “Most holidays we celebrate ain’t nothing but scams and lies and tricks and all the real meaning be lost/For me it’s time-and-a-half or just another day off ”  from “Holiday Pay” by rapper Tahir, 2001 (Raptivism) Many workers today think that unions are not for them.  They may tell you that an older relative was in a union at…

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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…

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Perspectives: Worker Centers and the AFL-CIO National Convention

Victor Narro is the Project Director for the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, and a lecturer at UCLA Law School and UCLA School of Urban Planning. On September 8, the AFL-CIO will kick off its national convention in Los Angeles.  The last time it was held in L.A. was in 1999, when the AFL-CIO announced its historic declaration for a legalization program for all undocumented immigrants, increased workplace…

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Perspectives: The First Immigration Public Defender System: New York City 2013

Professor Mark Noferi teaches a Civil Rights and Immigration Seminar at Brooklyn Law School, as well as legal writing. http://www.brooklaw.edu/faculty/directory/facultymember/biography.aspx?id=mark.noferi On Friday, July 19, the New York City Council allocated $500,000 towards the “nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation,” as the New York Times described it.  $500,000 may seem small.  But New York’s pilot project shows that immigration appointed counsel is achievable, politically, financially, and logistically.  More importantly, the New…

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Eggplant and the Constitutional Right to Health and a Balanced Ecology

Pamphlet to Farmers from ABSP-II funded by USAID Imagine if people living in the United States could petition the courts on the grounds that they have a constitutional right to their individual health and a balanced and healthy ecology.  Imagine if companies were required to demonstrate with full scientific certainty that any product entering into the market for human consumption is free from harmful consequences or food produced would not…

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