This week we’ve been closely following the dramatic developments in Wisconsin, where tens of thousands of teachers, students, and workers rallied in opposition to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s all-out assault on organized labor, pushing legislation that would strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and impose dramatic cuts to hard-earned benefits.
Nation Correspondent and seventh-generation Wisconsinite John Nichols has been on the ground in Madison live-blogging as events unfold, helping to raise the voice of Wisconsin’s working people. Earlier in the week, John sat down with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz to discuss the protests. And just today, John joined Wisconsin Democratic State Senator Chris Larson and Madison teacher Susan Stern on Democracy Now! to discuss how the Governor’s attack is less about saving money and more about politics. Don’t miss his rousing speech last night defending workers of his home state with an awe-inspiring crowd of teachers, students, and workers. Be sure to take a look at our slideshow of the protests in Wisconsin, and stay tuned for our continued reporting…
In this remarkable moment of civic action, we’re proudly publishing for the first time in the US, an essay by Stephane Hessel, a 93-year-old former diplomat, hero of the French Resistance and drafter of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His small book, “Indignez-Vous!”, which topped France’s best-seller list selling nearly two million copies, calls on a new generation to embrace non-violent activism; to oppose the forces that would impose brutality, corruption and inequality, and to stand up and resist.
As I argued yesterday in “Time for Resistance”, the events in Cairo, throughout the Middle East, and now in Wisconsin and in Ohio show us that this is indeed a moment of extraordinary possibility.
WELCOME: Guest Blogger Laila Lalami
This week, we’re proud to welcome renowned author and critic Laila Lalami, who will be blogging with us for the next two weeks. Born and raised in Morocco, Laila will be covering the uprisings sweeping the Middle East, US foreign policy, and double standards in how offensive speech is handled here at home. Be sure to check out her post, “The Attack on Lara Logan”, where she calls into question the media’s reaction to the egregious physical assault of the CBS Chief Foreign Correspondent.
NATION CONVERSATIONS: Jane McAlevey on Why Unions are Not the Problem
In this week’s issue of The Nation, organizer, activist and author Jane McAlevey discusses the well-funded and coordinated attack to dismantle labor unions in her piece, “Labor’s Last Stand.” Executive Editor Betsy Reed sat down with McAlevey to discuss the history of right-wing assault on organized labor, and how progressives can embrace the larger struggle for workers’ rights to counter this attack. Read the piece here and be sure to listen to the interview, available here.
SLIDESHOW: Celebrating Black History Month
Also, this week, The Nation celebrates Black History Month with a new and compelling archival slideshow, presenting a collection of the many articles highlighting issues of race and civil rights from The Nation’s 146-year history.
Each slide links to a Nation archival piece, featuring articles written for the magazine by Martin Luther King, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Nation Co-Founder E.L. Godkin, Williams Pickens, the late Howard Zinn reporting from Mississippi in 1963, and much more. The slideshow is available here.
And, Associate Publisher and Blogger Peter Rothberg highlights the many groups fighting to advance the issues of race and civil rights today. Read his blog post here.
VIDEO: Bill McKibben on Climate Change
The Nation.com continues its “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” video series with Karen Rybold and On the Earth Productions—running a video a week through the end of March, featuring an impressive array of activists, thinkers and writers about the global challenges of climate change. This week’s video features author Bill McKibben, founder of the international environmental organization, 350.org. McKibben offers a critical warning that without a coordinated response to address ecological devastation, we’re dooming our planet and ourselves. He aptly reminds us that the consequences to take action are already playing out: extreme weather in Russia, Pakistan and elsewhere. It is a sobering reminder to mobilize collective action against big polluters and force them to incur the costs of the damage they’ve already done to the environment. Be sure to watch it here.
BLOG: The Budget Should Focus on Jobs, Not Cuts
On Monday, President Obama unveiled his budget proposal, which calls for $3.73 trillion in spending for the next year and $1.1 trillion in cuts over the next decade. As Contributing Writer Ari Berman aptly explains in "The Obama Budget: Challenging or Appeasing the GOP?", Obama’s proposal plays on the wrong frame. “At a time of 9 percent unemployment,” he argues, “neither party is laying out a roadmap for how to put people back to work and lift the country out of its economic morass.” I joined Reason's Nick Gillespie on CNN’s Parker/Spitzer to explain that we’re having the wrong debate about the budget and the deficit. Read Ari's post and watch the video here.