United States of America

Chaos reigns in Washington

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As the White House lurches on in turmoil, Lewis Nielsen draws up a balance sheet of Donald Trump’s term so far, looking at the White House, Congress and movements on the streets.

The general consensus among commentators and politicos is that Trump’s first months in the White House were chaotic rather than decisive. The fact that at the time of writing, questions are seriously being asked as to whether Trump should face impeachment is an indication of this. But the rumours of underhand links and leaks to Russia are just the latest saga in a tumultuous first few months for the new president.

Jack London: Flawed revolutionist

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American novelist, journalist and socialist Jack London died 100 years ago. Dave Gibson outlines his passionate activism for workers' rights and his political novels, as well as the contradictions in his work.

When Jack London died on 22 November 1916 he had been one of the best known American socialists. His fame was built on both the realism of his novels and his socialist journalism and public speaking.

Solidarity forever: 'Undesirable citizens'

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Part two of our series on the Wobblies looks at the bosses' attempt to have Bill Haywood framed and executed.

When the IWW was formed in 1905 the most important constituent was the Western Federation of Miners (WFM). Under the leadership of Bill Haywood and Charles Moyer, the WFM had fought strikes in the West that sometimes assumed the dimensions and characteristics of small wars.

Black Lives Matter

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The rise of Black Lives Matter in the US marks an end to the Civil Rights movement's claim that black people in high places could be the solution for all, writes Brian Richardson

“Hands up, don’t shoot!” “I can’t breathe.” These slogans have emerged based on reports of the last desperate actions and words uttered by Michael Brown and Eric Garner before they died at the hands of the police in Ferguson Missouri and New York City in 2014. In the wake of these atrocities, a new movement, Black Lives Matter, was born and protests erupted across the US.

Founded on the class struggle

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In a new ten-part column John Newsinger tells the the remarkable story of US revolutionary trade unionists the Industrial Workers of the World, known as the Wobblies

On Tuesday 27 June 1905 Bill Haywood of the Western Federation of Miners called the first and founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) to order. He told the 200 delegates assembled in Brand’s Hall, Chicago, that they had come together “to confederate the workers of this country into a working class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working class”.

Hypocrite Trump saves himself

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Donald Trump, now almost sure to be the only candidate with enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination, is well known for his climate change denial.

It seems his claims that climate change is a hoax and his opposition to “so-called green energy” don’t apply when it comes to his own interests. Trump has applied for permission to erect “coastal protection works” — that is, a wall — to protect one of his golf resorts in County Clare, Ireland.

Joe Hill ain't never died

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On 19 November 1915 Joe Hill was executed by the State of Utah on trumped up charges. Dave Gibson reminds us of the power of Hill's organising and songwriting skills at a time of upheaval in US politics.

When Alfred Hayes wrote the words “Joe Hill Ain’t Never Died” in a poem about Joe Hill’s murder, he could never have imagined that this would still be true a century later.

Paul Robeson popularised Hayes’s poem, now set to music. So did Joan Baez and Pete Seeger. Other writers have celebrated Hill’s life and exposed the injustice of his judicial murder through historical accounts, novels, plays and film.

US workers strike for a living wage

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Fast Food striker

Julie Sherry joined a delegation from the British bakers’ union to support a day of strikes by US fast food workers in North Carolina.

The movement of thousands of fast food workers in a series of strikes, spanning 150 cities across the US, has captured the eye of the international media. It’s easy to see why. The movement symbolises something incredible — non-unionised workers, those on the lowest pay, many of them black, many of them parents living in poverty, who work in the most difficult conditions with no job security — have now lost their fear.

The strikes raise questions about the power of the working class today and the challenges facing the trade union movement.

Ferguson, St Louis: Echoes of the past

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Hands up. Don't shoot!

The shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, a suburb of St Loius in Missouri, sparked a wave of anger and protest in America. Weyman Bennett attended the memorial service for Michael on behalf of Stand Up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism campaigns. Here he looks at what has changed, and what has not, for black people in the US.

You could feel the anger on the streets of Ferguson even after the days of demonstrations had peaked. Families in this relatively nice suburb of St Louis were sitting outside their homes in deck chairs with home-made placards demanding justice for Michael Brown.

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