Category Archives: Events

COMMUNITY MEETING ON COLUMBIA STRONG MAYOR REFERENDUM

Correct flyer

Community Members

As you know, there is a Special Referendum on Dec. 3 to decide whether the City of Columbia will retain a council-manager form of government or change to a mayor-council form.  I am hosting a community meeting next Thursday, Nov 21 at 6:30pm at Bishop’s Memorial AME Church on Washington St to discuss the ballot measure.

The proponents of the change will spend A LOT of money over the next 2 weeks trying to convince you that we need to change but I would like to make sure you are armed with the practical realities of what may or may not change under a different form of government.  Please share this invitation with your communities and invite anyone interested to come out and find out what this change really means for us as a community.

There are already meetings scheduled for Districts 3 & 4, but if you know of anyone in those districts who would like to attend, please feel free to invite them.

Tameika Isaac Devine

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Kevin Alexander Gray Explains How a Strong Mayor System Would Hurt Minority Communities

Presser 2013

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Filed under Actions, Actions | Events, Events, Events & Actions, Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, Meetings, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics

SC Progressive Network Needs Election Day Volunteers

Network Needs Volunteers to Help Voters on Election Day

The SC Progressive Network is working with the Election Protection Coalition to help voters with election-related problems between now and Nov. 6.

We are training volunteers from across the state to respond to requests for assistance from voters on Election Day.

The Election Protection Coalition is supported nationally by most major nonpartisan organizations and is managed by the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under the Law. Our state partners are the Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., League of Women Voters of South Carolina, and the ACLU of South Carolina.

The National Hotline number is 866-OUR-VOTE, and in Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA. Signs with this number have been made available to all of South Carolina’s 2,183 precincts.

In 2008, we fielded nearly 1,400 calls on Election Day from South Carolina voters. Most of the calls were from confused voters, and the problems were easy to fix. Other calls required on-the-ground follow-up at precincts or county election offices.

Columbia training: Oct. 30, 5:30pm, Room 138, USC Law School
Charleston training: Nov. 2, noon-2pm, Room 333, (3rd floor) Charleston School of Law, 385 Meeting. St.

To RSVP for training, or to arrange to be trained at another time, call the Network at 803-808-3384.

Download the Election Protection Hotline sign here.

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Filed under American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Events, Human Rights

CHURCH & COMMUNITY TRIBUTE BENEFIT for Efia Nwangaza, The Malcolm X Center for Self Determination & WMXP Community Radio

Efia Nwangaza

Greenville’s black leadership is calling on local churches and civic organizations to rally in tribute and aid of human rights organizer Efia Nwangaza, the Malcolm X Center and WMXP/95.5fm Community Radio which were founded by Nwangaza. The Church and Community Benefit will be held on Sunday, September 16th, 5:00pm, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 400 South Hudson Street in Greenville, South Carolina. The Tribute will feature gospel music, praise dance, acknowledgment of her community service and a “Giving March of Presentations.”

For over 20 years, The Malcolm X Center for Self Determination (http://wmxp955.webs.com/aboutus.htm ), also known as the Afrikan Amerikan Institute, has served as a volunteer grassroots, community based, volunteer staffed, owned and operated action center. Founded in 1991, it serves as a non-profit, public space for developing, testing, training and implementation of approaches to popular education, strategic planning, and communications skill enhancement for human rights, self-determination, self-advocacy and wide ranging performing and organizing skill development. The bookstore, reading room and multimedia action center serves as a community based think tank  to insure broad based community analysis.

The Malcolm X Center & Bookstore

WMXP-LP 95.5 FM – The Voice of the People (http://wmxp955.webs.com/) is a community based, volunteer programmed, listener and local business supported non-commercial educational radio station. It’s mission is to give voice to the voiceless with local music, local talk, local news, local people doing local programming.

The Greenville Leadership Breakfast Group, which is sponsoring the fundraiser, is a broad based coalition of religious and civic organizations. It includes elected, appointed, and volunteer leaders— professional and grassroots of all ages— who meet monthly to address issues that effect the African American community. It’s work has ranged from challenging the disproportionate expulsion of Black students to challenging recent redistricting.

Donations may be made directly and securely online at www.wmxp955.com or by mail at P.O. Box 16102, Greenville, SC 29607. All proceeds are used for community services and programming. WMXP is FCC licensed to and a project of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for Self Determination, housed at the Malcolm X Center, 321 W. Antrim Dr, Greenville, SC 29607.

CONTACT: : Brenda Murray, Coordinator bmurray@divaex.com, Leola Robinson Simpson ~ robinsimp@charter.net, Rev. Oliver T. Hill,DD~ Othill2009@gmail.com, Efia Nwangaza 864-239-0470~ enwmxp@gmail.com Continue reading

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BOMB PLANT NEWS | Upcoming Meeting of Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board

HELP PREVENT SOUTH CAROLINA FROM BECOMING NATION’S “INTERIM” RADIOACTIVE WASTE DUMP!

AND STOP UNNECESSARY TRANSPORT OF LETHAL NUCLEAR WASTE–NO FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14 IN AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA

Savannah River Site

The Savannah River Site Citizen Advisory Board (CAB) meets on Tuesday August 14 in Aiken, South Carolina from 6-8 pm. We encourage you to attend, ask questions, express concerns and speak out!

Why? Because South Carolina could become the first national commercial high-level nuclear waste storage site.

That’s right. Upcoming likely changes to radioactive waste laws could put the Savannah River Site in South Carolina at the front of the pack for an “interim” radwaste storage site.

The storage site idea is nothing more than a parking lot with a fence, radioactive waste shipment containers lined up like bowling pins, and a couple of guards. All that is really needed is for Congress to change to the law (likely in 2013), someone saying “YES” (nuclear business leaders in SC already have)–and all of us remaining silent…

They’ve tried this before at various places across the country–Oak Ridge Tenn., Mescalero Apache land in New Mexico, Skull Valley Goshute land in Utah, Yucca Mountain, Nevada itself (yes, they wanted to put a storage site there too)–and we beat them all. Now it looks like it’s South Carolina’s turn. Your help will be needed to stop them here.

Note: this is the first item on the agenda — at 6 pm. So please arrive early! Public comment is at the end of the meeting at 7:50.

Location: DOE Meeting Center
(At Rear of Aiken Design Center)
230 Village Green Blvd., Suite 220
Aiken, SC 29801

GOOD NEWS: The Chair of the SRS Citizens Advisory Board, Ed Burke opposes the idea of bringing commercial waste from all over the U.S. to South Carolina. Please come out and support Ed’s opposition and other South Carolina voices saying NO to moving radioactive waste anywhere at this point. Stop Fukushima Freeways! There are better alternatives.

Why Moving Radioactive Waste Today for Storage is a Bad Idea ~

*The waste in question is irradiated fuel from a nuclear reactor and some defense wastes. Millions of times more radioactive than “fresh fuel,” this material will deliver a lethal dose in less than a minute if unshielded, and will remain a hazard to health for more than a million years.

* Until all reactors close, a “temporary” storage site for irradiated fuel will not solve any problems. It will just add one more contaminated site. It will take decades to move the 70,000 tons of this waste we have now, and, in the meantime, each reactor will generate more.

* Only a small amount of this type of waste has ever been moved. Each container will emit penetrating radiation like X-rays (equivalent to 2 chest x-rays an hour at 6 feet); while a severe accident would contaminate an area smaller than Chernobyl or Fukushima, it could be just as bad in that area. No Fukushima Freeways!

* Leaving the waste where it is now, but in hardened dry storage, is more responsible until there is a viable program to permanently isolate the waste. Even a few decades of storage on-site reduces the intensity of the radioactivity and the thermal heat in the waste.

For more information on the meeting, contact Tom Clements (tomclements329@cs.com), with Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (www.ananuclear.org).

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
nirsnet@nirs.org
www.nirs.org

Stay Informed:

NIRS on the web (stay up-to-date with the Nuclear Newsreel section on the front page, featuring the day’s most interesting news on nuclear power and other energy issues): http://www.nirs.org

NIRS on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nuclear-Information-and-Resource-Service/26490791479?sk=wall&filter=12

http://www.facebook.com/nonukesnirs

http://www.causes.com/causes/49098-no-nukes-nuclear-information-and-resource-service

NIRS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/nirsnet

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Filed under Actions | Events, Department of Energy, Environmental, Events, Events & Actions, Nuclear materials, Nuclear waste, South Carolina, Work of Comrades

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Reading Marathon

The Uncle Tom’s Cabin  reading marathon will be held on April 12 beginning at 8:00 am at the The Modjeska Monteith Simkins House at 2025 Marion Street in Columbia and will run until the entire novel has been read.
 
The event is being held on April 12th  in response to the many Civil War “commemorations” going on across the South and nation this year. April 12th is  the 150th anniversary of the start-up date of the Civil War.   The date is also significant in that the Confederate flag was first placed atop the SC Statehouse dome in 1962 during the centennial observances of the Civil War.
 
Since many of those commemorating and celebrating the “Lost Cause” want to write African enslavement out as a core reason for the war, many of us feel that it’s important to set the record straight in a historically connected way.
 
We want to tell the enslaved Africans and abolitionists’ side of the story. 
 
Why This Book?  When Abraham Lincoln met the Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862 he is said to have remarked, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Though slave narratives were immensely popular, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin reached the broadest audience prior to the Civil War.  Stowe’s anti-slavery message was less threatening to white audiences than were ex-enslaved Africans.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin had a tremendous impact.  Most blacks responded positively to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Frederick Douglass was a friend of Stowe’s; she had consulted him on some sections of the book, and he praised the book in his writings.  Most black abolitionists saw it as a tremendous help to their cause.  Some opposed the book, seeing Uncle Tom’s character as being too submissive and criticized Stowe for having her strongest black characters emigrate to Liberia.

The character Uncle Tom is an enslaved African who retains his integrity and refuses to betray his fellow slaves at the cost of his life.  His firm Christian principles in the face of his brutal treatment made him a hero to whites.  In contrast, his tormenter Simon Legree, the Northern slave-dealer turned plantation owner, enraged them with his cruelty. Stowe convinced readers that the institution of slavery itself was evil, because it supported people like Legree and enslaved people like Uncle Tom. Because of her work, thousands rallied to the anti-slavery cause.

Only 5,000 copies of the first edition were printed. They were sold in two days. By the end of the first year, 300,000 copies had been sold in America alone; in England 200,000 copies were sold.  Southerners were outraged, and declared the work to be criminal, slanderous, and utterly false. A bookseller in Mobile, Alabama, was forced out of town for selling copies. Stowe received threatening letters and a package containing the dismembered ear of a black person. Southerners also reacted by writing their own novels depicting the happy lives of slaves, and often contrasted them with the miserable existences of Northern white workers.
 
Individual participants will read for 10 minutes. Slots are filling up but we are still asking fraternities and sororities, high school and college english classes, churches, social groups, politicians, theater people, kids, etc., to get involved.
 
The event is being sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, the Columbia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the South Carolina Progressive Network.

Partial List of Participants: Vanzell Haire, Rev. Sandy Jones, Rev. David Edmonds, Tom Clements, Bill Roberson, Hi Bedford Roberson, Kevin Alexander Gray, Scott West, Frances Close, Eva Moore, Tom Turnipseed, Lyn Phillips, Don Frierson, Cassandra Fralix, Gerald Rudolph, Mattie Haynes, Roland Haynes, Becci Robbins, Marjorie Hammock, Michael Watts, Brett A. Bursey, Efia Nwangaza, Catherine Fleming-Bruce, Meryl Truesdale, William Felder, Patricia Daniels, Guy Fowler, Marjorie Trifon, Camille Gray-Felder and many others.
 
For more information and press inquiries call 803.386.4759 or email Kevin Gray @ kevinagray57@gmail.com.
 
http://uncletomscabin.clarity-dev.com/

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_123476781058591&ap=1

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Filed under Abolitionism and Civil War, Actions, Actions | Events, American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Events, Famous South Carolinians, Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics, Special Events, white supremacy

Talking Joint Political Strategy @ 2010 US Social Forum

Green Party & Progressive Democrat Leaders, Community Organizers and Others Talk Joint Political Strategy @ US Social Forum - June 24th 

2010 US Social Forum

Five organizations have collaborated to organize a “progressive strategy dialogue” at the United States Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan. The dialogue will be one of 50 People’s Movement Assemblies during the USSF. It will take place on Thursday afternoon, June 24th, from 1 to 5:30 pm in Cobo Hall, room W2-67.

The dialogue was initiated by the Independent Progressive Politics Network, which has organized similar dialogues a number of times over the past decade. Co-sponsors are the Green Party of the United States, League of Revolutionaries for a New America, Progressive Democrats of America and the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy.

Three major issues will be addressed:

  • What can be done to stimulate independent, grassroots activism around key issues like unemployment, the housing crisis, racial justice, the climate crisis, corporate control of elections, immigrant rights, war and empire and universal health care;
  • An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as far as the building of a popular progressive movement; and,
  • How to develop a “united progressives” network that brings together Greens and other third party activists, progressive Democrats, and labor, community and issue-based organizers into an on-going, independent, progressive alternative to our corporate-dominated political system.

Among those participating in this dialogue:

  • Tim Carpenter, executive director, Progressive Democrats of America
  • David Cobb, leader of the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy, Green Party 2004 Presidential candidate
  • Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States
  • Ted Glick, co-founder of the Climate Crisis Coalition
  • Kevin Alexander Gray, South Carolina community organizer and author
  • Logan Martinez, leader of National Jobs for All
  • Brent McMillan, executive director, Green Party of the United States
  • Sandra Rivers, education activist, former Harlem, N.Y. school board member
  • Jerome Scott, leader of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America
  • Laura Wells, Green Party of California gubernatorial candidate

 All USSF attendees are welcome to take part in this dialogue.

For more information contact George Friday – ippn@igc.org    704-691-3627

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The 1979 Greensboro Massacre

Nelson Johnson

Nelson Johnson at the body of Jim Waller

Late morning, November 3, 1979, at the corner of Carver and Everitt Streets in Greensboro, North Carolina, forty Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis handed each other shotguns and automatic weapons from the trunks of their cars and opened fire on black and white anti-Klan demonstrators and union organizers who had gathered at Morningside Homes, a black housing project.

ssmith
Sandi Smith

Sandi Smith, a nurse who’d been active in the black student movement and was at the time trying to unionize textile workers, was shot between the eyes. 

The KKK and Nazi members shot at anyone who wasn’t hiding while four television news teams and one police officer recorded the action.  They then got back into their cars and sped away after which the Greensboro police arrived and began arresting protestors.

In the aftermath five people were killed and 11 wounded in the attack.   All five were members of the Workers Viewpoint Organization (WVO), and four were rank-and-file union leaders and organizers.

*Murdered were:

Sandi Smith,  president of the student body and a founding member of the Student Organization for Black Unity (SOBU) at Greensboro’s Bennett College. She was a community organizer for the Greensboro Association of Poor People (GAPP) and became a worker at the textile mill where she and others formed the Revolution Organizing Committee (ROC) to unionize the plant. Sandi was a leader of a march of over 3,000 people in Raleigh to free the Wilmington 10, ten young activists jailed on false charges to stop them from organizing. In her work at a Cone Mills textile plant, she battled sexual harassment, low wages, and unhealthy working conditions.  

Jim Waller

Jim Waller

Dr. Jim Waller who received his medical degree from the University of Chicago and trained at the Lincoln Hospital Collective in New York City. In 1973 at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, Waller organized medical aid and set up a clinic to aid American Indian Movement activists under siege by the FBI. When he moved to North Carolina to teach at Duke University he coordinated Brown Lung screenings in textile mills, co-founding the Carolina Brown Lung Association. He later gave up his medical practice to organize workers becoming vice president of the AFL-CIO local textile workers union  Waller and went to work in a Cone Mills textile plant in Haw River. From inside he helped organize and eventually became president of the AFL-CIO union local after leading a strike in 1978 that helped the union grow from about 25 members to almost 200.

wsampson
Bill Sampson

William “Bill” Sampson was a student anti-war activist and president of his college student body. He studied at the Sorbonne in Paris during college, received his Masters degree in Divinity from Harvard in 1971, then studied medicine at the University of Virginia. As a medical student he organized health care workers to support the liberation struggles in southern Africa. Bill left medical school to work and organize in one of Cone Mills’ Greensboro textile plant, where he built the union and focused on training new leaders. The workers had chosen Bill to run for president of the local.

Cesar Cauce
Cesar Cauce

Cesar Cauce was a Cuban immigrant who graduated magna cum laude from Duke University, where he was a campus leader in the anti-war movement. He rejected a full scholarship to study history at the University of California at Berkeley and instead to help to unionize Duke Hospital workers. Cesar organized strike support for union struggles throughout NC and was a regular participant in the Goldkist strike, a campaign to organize poultry workers in Durham. He also traveled extensively throughout the South, writing about class struggles for the Workers Viewpoint.

Michael Nathan
Michael Nathan

Dr. Michael Nathan, chief of pediatrics at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, a clinic that helped children from low-income families. Nathan had been an anti-war and civil rights student activist at Duke University. He organized and led a chapter of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR), an organization that fought for improved health care for poor people. Mike studied child health and treated sick children in a mountain clinic in Guatemala in 1972 and 1973, and was a leader in a movement to send aid to liberation fighters who eventually toppled the apartheid system is what’s now Zimbabwe.

The permitted march and rally, declaring “Death to the Klan” was organized by the WVO, which was active in the poor neighborhoods and textile mills in the area. It advocated antiracism, unionism, and communist revolution. The group had previously clashed with Ku Klux Klan members prior to the deadly November encounter.  In July 1979 anti-racism protesters disrupted a screening of a pro-white supremacist film, “Birth Of A Nation” in China Grove, North Carolina. Continue reading

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