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Nation Topics - Activism

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"Former Yankee virtues, common sense, scepticism if not suspicion of authority, a belief in the mastery of the future, have been driven underground.

Once confined to the closet, gays are now making headway in mainstream society.

In the wake of losses before and after September 11, labor unions gear up for the next tough fights.

Civil liberties get short shrift in this perilous time of antiterrorism measures.

Embattled campus activists hone their message about the crisis in Afghanistan.

Most Americans are probably
unaware that "the Dark Ages were not all bad and the Enlightenment
not all good." Or that "homosexuality [is] a sin worthy of death." Or
that one of the greatest threats to the country is "the Feminization
of American Life." Or that we should still be debating the question:
"Who Was Right in the War Between the States: the Union or the
Confederacy?"

If you are active with the Christian
fundamentalist organization American Vision, however, this is
mainstream thinking--or, more precisely, the thinking you hope to
force down the throat of the mainstream. The Georgia-based group's
president, Gary DeMar, preaches about "the necessity of storming the
gates of hell" and cleansing public institutions of "secularism,
atheism, humanism, and just plain anti-Christian sentiment." He may
soon be dispatching a prominent foot soldier to do just that. J.
Robert Brame III, American Vision's board secretary, reportedly tops
President Bush's list of likely appointees to the National Labor
Relations Board, the five-member agency that determines the fate of
workers seeking union recognition and helps define how federal law
protects women, gays and lesbians, and others seeking representation
in the workplace.

Brame, a management lawyer, previously
served on the board from 1997 to 2000. Technically appointed by Bill
Clinton, he was actually a choice forced upon the former President by
Senate Republicans who refused to act on Clinton's appointments
unless he gave Brame the job. During those three years, Brame was the
most frequent dissenter from the board's pro-labor decisions. He
opposed moves to make it easier for temporary workers, graduate
students and medical interns and residents to unionize. He was a
lonely advocate of steps to limit the ability of unions to use dues
money to pay for organizing. Brame even complained about NLRB rulings
that "facilitate union organizing in the modern work
place."

Brame's record, his association with American
Vision and the very real prospect that he could end up chairing a
Bush-appointed NLRB majority by the end of the year have energized
opponents. Taking the lead is the gay and lesbian labor group Pride
at Work, which aims, says interim executive director Marta Ames, "to
make enough noise so that Bush decides it's not worth it to appoint
someone who is associated with the viewpoint that LGBT people are
'monsters' who should be stoned."

"Gays and lesbians,
women, people of color and young people are harassed on the job all
the time, and that harassment becomes vicious when we're trying to
organize into unions," says Sarah Luthens, a Seattle union organizer
active with the Out Front Labor Coalition. "To think that someone
like Brame would be in a position to decide whether that harassment
represents a violation of labor laws that are already too weak is
horrifying."

Despite statements to the contrary, the rule is resulting in tragic circumstances for women abroad.

Durbin, South Africa, will see the coming together of a large cohort with its own pressing agenda.

Only hours into the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) national conference in Chicago--before half of the participants had even arrived--students were walking the picket line in s

Blogs

Thrity-two people were arrested at an SEIU-organized rally for liveable wages and a paid Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

January 21, 2014

The civil rights movement has resonated deeply with generations of musicians.

January 20, 2014

Here is a little known fact about the famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail." 

January 20, 2014

We’ve supported boycotts before, but this time engagement is the way to go.

January 18, 2014

The Obama administration is in the midst of negotiating a peaceful solution to Iran's nuclear program but a bill introduced by Senator Robert Menendez could destroy this historic opportunity.

January 17, 2014

It’s far past time that we make this necessary and common sense change. 

January 15, 2014

The resistance against right-wing policies grows to Georgia with Moral Mondays and South Carolina’s Truthful Tuesdays.

January 15, 2014

NPR does a segment on Following the Ninth, a new film co-produced by Greg Mitchell.

January 14, 2014

A court has struck down net neutrality protections. But the commission has the authority to undo the damage.

January 14, 2014

Cornell's decision to update its policy has been framed as the administration’s unprompted decision to do the right thing, but students and faculty have been calling for change for some time.

January 14, 2014