When do we SNAP?: Against Cuts, Low Wages, and Food Stamp Discipline

The following was written a few months ago by comrades of ours, the Florence Johnston Collective, a reproductive workers group in NYC. Today, November 1st, 2013, marks the day that SNAP budget cuts go into effect.

Introduction

As political campaigns to raise the minimum wage grab headlines, there is a decrease in the federal minimum wage on the horizon that nobody is talking about. The coming reduction in the wage for working class people in the United States, employed and unemployed, will come from a two pronged reduction in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, better known as food stamps. These cuts will affect the 50 million people struggling to feed themselves and their families in the current economic depression. And these nationwide cuts, effecting every recipient, just may provide workers with the broad basis for action against the system that keeps them broke, overworked, and dependent on their boss and the state just to survive. Continue reading

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Why CopWatch Doesn’t Work

I was recently invited to participate in a new attempt to start a Copwatch grouping in Philadelphia. This is far from the first attempt in Philadelphia at forming a Copwatch group, and all attempts to construct a Copwatch organization here have ultimately failed. These failed attempts are not isolated to Philly, but mirror the failure of the Copwatch model through the entire United States, even in its most advanced forms. Continue reading

What Is Capitalism? How Do We Break Free From It?

We live in an economic system called capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system where a group of people (the workers) have only their labor to sell to another group of people (the capitalists/bourgeoisie) who own all the businesses, factories, land, transportation, buildings, etc. These are the two main classes in capitalism. Other classes include small business owners who work in their own enterprises, as well as a small class of managers, administrators, and police, who discipline the working class. But the two largest and most powerful classes are the workers and the capitalists. Continue reading

A Response from Noel Ignatiev

To the editors,

I read with interest the article by Arturo in the July-September issue, “Why Prisons Are Built As Schools Are Closed Down.” I was particularly struck by the report that the closing of schools has led to as many as fifty students per class and students sitting on the floor because there are not enough chairs, no ESL programs, and no guidance counselors. Continue reading

Why Prisons Are Built As Schools Are Closed Down

The crisis of the public education system is one of the many great disasters of American capitalism. In the city of Philadelphia, this disaster has reached an unprecedented level. Over the summer, the governor-appointed School Reform Commission (SRC) approved budget cuts that included the laying-off of 4,000 school workers and the closing of 23 public schools, disproportionately in black working class communities. Many schools across the city started the 2013-2014 school year on September 9th with half the staff and double the students they had last year. This means as many as 50 students per class, students sitting on the floor because there are not enough chairs, digging through garbage because there is not enough paper, no librarians, no ESL programs, and no guidance counselors. Continue reading