Don’t call it a “march.” It was a “stand” — and a first stand at that, not a last one. The People’s Climate March, billed as the largest climate demonstration in history, more than exceeded expectations and was an experience that has yet to desert me. Its moment couldn’t have been grimmer in global warming terms. That week, record-breaking concentrations of greenhouse gases were reported in the atmosphere, with the added grim news that the oceans and the forests, the planet’s major “carbon sinks,” were starting to absorb less CO2. Under the circumstances, I had the urge to do my bit to make the march huge and so organized a group of 16 friends and family members, ranging in age from 2 to 72. Marchers were to gather on New York’s Central Park West between 86th Street and Columbus Circle at 59th, where the event was to kick off at exactly 11:30 a.m. At 11, when our crew arrived at 72nd Street, designated as a meeting place for children, families, and oldsters like me, the main route along Central Park West was already jam-packed and feeder streets like ours were filling fast.
|By: Tom Engelhardt Thursday October 2, 2014 6:02 pm|
|By: Todd Gitlin Sunday November 11, 2012 1:59 pm|
In 1977, The Daily Californian, Berkeley’s student paper, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents bearing on FBI surveillance in Berkeley during the 60’s and early 70’s. In 1981, Seth Rosenfeld, then a Daily Cal reporter, started reading those files that the FBI turned over. He published some initial reports. Later that year, having observed how many files were missing or blacked out (“I wondered whether the bureau was America’s biggest consumer of Magic Markers,” he writes), he filed an additional request for “any and all” records on former UC President Clark Kerr, former Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio, and more than a hundred other individuals, organizations, and events.
Five lawsuits, many more Magic Markers, and 30 years later, he had succeeded in retrieving more than 300,000 pages of records, a federal judge having ruled that the FBI had no legitimate law enforcement purpose in keeping them secret. His venture in unearthing records about illicit espionage and political operations by America’s chief cops extended throughout, and outlasted, Rosenfeld’s distinguished career as an investigative reporter for San Francisco’s Examiner and Chronicle.
The resulting book is not only about campus surveillance but political causation.
|By: Todd Gitlin Sunday September 9, 2012 7:00 pm|
In the course of our vivid exchanges in the Book Salon yesterday, I mentioned recent polls on public opinion toward Occupy in polls over the summer. Below are the specifics. But first, let me address the objection that these assessments don’t accord with a reader’s sense of how the population is feeling. In the early weeks of the Occupy movement, last fall, majorities in the polls did support Occupy. (I give some of the particulars in Occupy Nation.) They liked this movement. Accordingly, Occupy supporters liked those polls. But we don’t get to cherry-pick the polls we like and discard the rest, not if we’re honest with ourselves.
|By: Joe Macare Saturday September 8, 2012 1:59 pm|
Right now, members of Occupy Wall Street are preparing to mark the one year anniversary of the occupation of Zuccotti Park on September 17 with an event halfway between a celebration and a protest. Meanwhile, Occupy’s energy and influence can be seen in a range of activism and dissent that stretches from coast to coast in America and beyond, from anarchist grand jury resisters in the Pacific Northwest to the solidarity networks supporting the forthcoming teachers’ strike in Chicago.
|By: Todd Gitlin Sunday June 10, 2012 1:59 pm|
Linda Hirshman has written a pungent history of how gay and lesbian Americans transformed themselves, in less than half a century, from a despised minority that dared not speak its name—or did so on pain of bashing in Greenwich Village, assassination in San Francisco, crucifixion in Laramie, Wyoming, snickers and agonized death everywhere—into the vigorous core of a new moral majority that occupied American culture (not without opposition), changed pharmaceutical testing, became an electoral bloc and spawned new specialties in wedding planning.