Night Sky

homeless, housing, equality, food

Accord­ing to a UN 2005 study there are at least 100 mil­lion home­less in the world. I imag­ine there are more now, not less. A study by Habi­tat in 2015 found 1.6 bil­lion peo­ple lacked ade­quate hous­ing. In the Philip­pines 22.8 mil­lion peo­ple are home­less out of a pop­u­la­tion of about 105 mil­lion. One in ten school chil­dren in New York City is home­less. In Los Ange­les Coun­ty, 8% of the pop­u­la­tion is Black. 40% of its home­less pop­u­la­tion is Black. The UN fig­ures about 795 mil­lion peo­ple of the 7.3 bil­lion peo­ple in the world (1 in 9) suf­fered from chron­ic under­nour­ish­ment in 2014–2016. While the vast major­i­ty of those were from the devel­op­ing world, this does not mean the devel­oped world is doing so great. In the US, one in six of us face hunger on a reg­u­lar basis. I’m just throw­ing some num­bers around. The real sto­ry is in the liv­ing of home­less­ness and hunger, the out­rage and the rob­bery that caus­es it.

Look­ing for a hol­i­day card or wall cal­en­dar with this image? Go to Syra­cuse Cul­tur­al Work­ers, https://www.syracuseculturalworkers.com/products/holiday-card-night-sky and https://www.syracuseculturalworkers.com/products/type/calendar

Break the Links

Slav­ery was not an aber­ra­tion of a new soci­ety, but was cen­tral to the shap­ing of the Unit­ed States. The estab­lish­ment of Jim Crow laws and lynch­ing con­tin­ued the degra­da­tion and vio­lence against African-Amer­i­cans that is cen­tral to our soci­ety. Then, as Michelle Alexan­der shows us in her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incar­cer­a­tion in the Era of Col­or­blind­ness, these links of oppres­sion held firm between Jim Crow and our mas­sive prison sys­tem, which locks up astound­ing num­bers of African-Amer­i­cans. In this poster, the auc­tion block, the hangman’s noose, and prison bars are linked as they are in real­i­ty. We need to break those links.

No Nukes

The U.S. needs to join the respon­si­ble human race and sign the Unit­ed Nations nuclear ban treaty. For infor­ma­tion, check out The nuclear ban treaty: a missed US oppor­tu­ni­ty that can be redeemed in Sep­tem­ber, by the Bul­letin of Atom­ic Sci­en­tists: https://thebulletin.org/2017/07/the-nuclear-ban-treaty-a-missed-us-opportunity-that-can-be-redeemed-in-september/ 

 

Corporate Deform

I designed (and, now, revised) this poster to respond to the heavy-hand­ed and bla­tant role cor­po­ra­tions play in shap­ing our edu­ca­tion­al poli­cies. Edu­ca­tion should be shaped accord­ing to the needs of the human com­mu­ni­ty, not cor­po­rate prof­it. We want all chil­dren, youth and adults to have access to a qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion that enhances our/their lives and the com­mu­ni­ty as a whole. List­ed are just some of the poli­cies that move us away from that goal. If you would like to read a tremen­dous new book on this sub­ject, check out Mise­d­u­cat­ing for the Glob­al Econ­o­my: How Cor­po­rate Pow­er Dam­ages Edu­ca­tion and Sub­verts Stu­dents’ Futures, hot off the press, July 2018, by Ger­ald Coles. It is a must-read for any­one want­i­ng to under­stand edu­ca­tion today.

 

Which is the Crime?

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of immi­grants are being kept (and forced to work) in immi­grant deten­tion cen­ters for cross­ing a bor­der every year. Along with the nec­es­sary ques­tion of Who Ben­e­fits? (large­ly pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions), this rais­es oth­er ques­tions: Which is the crime? Cross­ing a bor­der? Or keep­ing immi­grants cap­tive for mon­ey? This is not new in the age of Trump. Oba­ma (who deport­ed more peo­ple than all oth­er pres­i­dents of the cen­tu­ry before him, com­bined) detained large num­bers of fam­i­lies in prison set­ting the stage for Trump’s poli­cies today. For more on this stage set­ting, check out Cru­el and immoral: Amer­i­ca must close the doors of its immi­gra­tion pris­ons by C.C. Gar­cia Her­nan­dez, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/family-separation-family-detention-immigration. If you would like to see stats on immi­grants in deten­tion cen­ters check out Free­dom for Immi­grants site: https://www.freedomforimmigrants.org/detention-statistics/

 

We All Could Be Refugees

I once worked in a refugee camp in Azer­bai­jan on an edu­ca­tion project. The prin­ci­pal of their makeshift school told me one day he was a prin­ci­pal in a large school with one hun­dred staff. Days lat­er he was in a camp strug­gling to set up some sem­blance of a school with a hand­ful of teach­ers. He did not plan on being a refugee. Yet, there he was. He could be me. They could be us. Mil­lions and mil­lions of refugees, thrown from their homes by war. Why?

 

Hands Off Iran

Let’s not buy into the hor­rif­ic actions and threats against Iran. Turn off major media and look to oth­er sources for our news. Check out Michael Klare’s piece Gear­ing Up for the Third Gulf War: a Future Cat­a­clysm between US, Israel, Sau­di and Iran? which you can find on Juan Cole’s site: https://www.juancole.com/. While you are there, check out more of what you can find on Cole’s site.

Women Move

women, migration, women refugees, women migrants

Women leav­ing their home coun­tries, flee­ing war, domes­tic and social vio­lence, pover­ty and polit­i­cal, gen­der and reli­gious per­se­cu­tion, find that even their jour­neys are fraught with vio­lence, abuse and exploita­tion. Eighty per­cent of women and girls leav­ing Cen­tral Amer­i­ca for the US are raped or abused. It is such a com­mon occur­rence, they take birth con­trol along to avoid unwant­ed preg­nan­cies. Women in many parts of the world, set­ting out for a new life, are grabbed and caught by elab­o­rate net­works of sex traf­fick­ing, one of the three most lucra­tive illic­it busi­ness­es inter­na­tion­al­ly (the oth­er two are drugs and ille­gal arms deal­ing). Sure­ly safe pas­sage is an impor­tant issue for fem­i­nists.

Women Walk

water shortage, women, water carriers

Every day women around the world spend 200 mil­lion hours col­lect­ing water for their fam­i­lies. While they walk, pri­vate own­er­ship of water, exces­sive use of water for vast mono-cul­tur­al agribusi­ness­es, deforestation/desertification prac­tices, and cli­mate change go unchecked, cre­at­ing and wors­en­ing this sit­u­a­tion. Their paths are not roman­tic, safe or easy. They can walk for hours then trip, fall and lose their days work. Their backs, inter­nal organs break down from the inces­sant, cum­ber­some weights they car­ry, some­times three times/day at all hours. Sure­ly, this is some­thing that must be attend­ed to.

Ghosts of War

anti-war

Every war is fought long after the last phys­i­cal bat­tle. It is the sus­tained bat­tle for a dom­i­nat­ing, rul­ing sto­ry about that war. Why did we go to war? How did we fight? Who were the right­eous and glo­ri­ous? The evil and devi­ous? Who were the vic­tors? What were the costs? War after war, a  repeat­ing pat­tern. In this Unit­ed States, it is a lethal pat­tern pro­pelling us  into accep­tance of the next war — and the next. The ghosts of war ask us to be skep­ti­cal.

Women live…

feminism, anti-war, international women, solidarity, sisterhoodIt won’t help us to elect women to offices of pow­er, if they turn around and vote for huge mil­i­tary bud­gets. This recent­ly hap­pened in the vote for the US Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act of 2017, the largest “defense” bill in his­to­ry which passed 89–8 in the Sen­ate.  Of the 21 women sen­a­tors vot­ing (16 Democ­rats, 5 Repub­li­cans), only one Demo­c­rat woman vot­ed against it. That means 15 Demo­c­rat women betrayed, and made inse­cure, women here and around the world. There are approx­i­mate­ly 3.8 bil­lion women in the world; 126 mil­lion in the U.S. For whom does our fem­i­nism stand?

 

 

Frack=Earthquakes

FrackEarthquake copy

Mess around with the bones of the earth and there is liable to be trou­ble. Earth­quakes are appear­ing in new, star­tling places like Ohio, Okla­homa, Texas, Nether­lands, not known for earth­quakes but sites for frack­ing.  It’s mad­ness. Check out  Like Thun­der in the Ground, (Tom Dart, The Guardian, 1/5/18) to find about frack­ing and earth­quakes in north Texas and what an envi­ron­men­tal group, Live­able Arling­ton, is doing in response.

Balance?

Balance3

We will be hear­ing the word “bal­ance” a great deal with the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick doc­u­men­tary series on Viet­Nam com­ing up this fall. Ques­tion the notion. When a mega pow­er invades a small coun­try and then tells the sto­ry, there is no bal­ance. The telling of the dom­i­nat­ing per­spec­tive is anoth­er war (this time for our minds) even when coat­ed with mis­di­rects, niceties and seduc­tions. If you want to arm your­self before lis­ten­ing to the Burns-Novick work read John Marciano’s The Amer­i­can War in Viet­nam: Crime or Com­mem­o­ra­tion or go to the Vets for Peace Full Dis­clo­sure site.

Earth Not War 2

earth, ecology, environment, climate change, department of defense, war, pollution, ecocide

Here’s anoth­er poster protest­ing the U.S. military’s role in pol­lut­ing the earth. The Depart­ment of “Defense” pro­duces more haz­ardous waste than the five largest U.S. oil com­pa­nies com­bined! At the same time, the Pen­ta­gon is exempt from all inter­na­tion­al cli­mate agree­ments!!! How can this be? For anoth­er arti­cle on this issue, check out Project Censored’s US Depart­ment of Defense is the Worst Pol­luter on the Plan­et.

Earth Not War

environment, sustainability,ecology, anti-war,

When we think about envi­ron­men­tal destruc­tion, we must think about war because mod­ern war­fare (most par­tic­u­lar­ly com­ing from our own mil­i­tary) is the num­ber one ene­my of the earth. Eco­cide — the destruc­tion of the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment, espe­cial­ly when delib­er­ate — is both a strat­e­gy (i.e., Agent orange) and a con­se­quence of our mil­i­tary prac­tices (i.e., oil use) of U.S. wars. So, we fool our­selves if we think we can address cli­mate change and the envi­ron­ment with­out being anti-war. If you would like to check an arti­cle on this top­ic, read Karl Mathieson’s What is the Impact of Mod­ern War­fare in the 11/06/2014 issue of The Guardian.

Protect Our Breath

environment, oxygen, air, forests, ecology, deforestation

We need our forests to breathe. Accord­ing to Amer­i­can Forests, two mature trees pro­vide enough oxy­gen for one per­son to breathe over the course of a year. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Oh, wait. Forests also improve our health by remov­ing dust, ash, pollen, and smoke. Check out oth­er for­est facts and spread the word. As we work to pro­tect our forests, we also need to pay atten­tion to the safe­ty con­di­tions of our for­est work­ers who suf­fer nine times the fatal­i­ties of the gen­er­al US work pop­u­la­tion. For more infor­ma­tion on for­est work­er safe­ty check out http://lohp.org/forestry-workers/

Connect the Dots

private property, poverty, class, injustice, economyDo you know what I mean about prop­er­ty here? Not my house, my car, or even my small busi­ness I’m doing the best I can kind of prop­er­ty. I’m talk­ing about that gigun­da, grab­bing up all liv­ing space, air, water, seed, bones, mega-fac­to­ry, cor­po­rate sprawl­ing pur­vey­or of mis­ery we call cap­i­tal­ism. That kind of prop­er­ty. It sucks to feed itself. Life. Pos­si­bil­i­ty. Out of most of us. Makes us unrec­og­niz­able to each oth­er. My class. Your class. Yes, it sucks. But for every action, there is a reac­tion. That’s physics. So, what do we do?

Humanity in Motion

refugees, immigrants, displaced persons, survival

Accord­ing to UN fig­ures, there were 19.5 mil­lion refugees world­wide at the end of 2014. The num­ber of peo­ple inter­nal­ly dis­placed by per­se­cu­tion, war or con­flict reached a record num­ber of near­ly 60 mil­lion peo­ple. Then we have all the num­bers who scram­ble from place to place because of their eco­nom­ic con­di­tions. We move to sur­vive, not to cause trou­ble or dis­com­fort for oth­er peo­ple.

Beloved Sister

Beloved Sister

We are sup­posed to iden­ti­fy with nation above human­i­ty or sis­ter­hood, to sup­port end­less wars, to not-see our government’s crimes dressed up in “human­i­tar­i­an inter­ven­tions.” Let’s not. We should be out­raged that women and their loved ones all over the world are being relent­less­ly tram­meled by the injus­tice of our wars. Wars, now, not just led by men, but also by women of great pow­er and decep­tion.

Common Ground

Let’s remem­ber there are many things we have in com­mon. The need for love, secu­ri­ty, food, shel­ter, health, hous­ing. Watch­ing our chil­dren grow into their amaz­ing possibilities.Working jobs that respect our dig­ni­ty.  Grow­ing into old age hon­ored and pro­tect­ed. How is fan­ning the flames of dis­trust between us block­ing our right to meet those needs?

My Sister Would Never

war, peace, feminism, sisterhood, internationalism,protest,

I’ve said it else­where on this site, but feel com­pelled to repeat this mes­sage over and over. Women mov­ing into key posi­tions of pow­er under the name of fem­i­nism, then push­ing the but­tons of impe­r­i­al wars, no mat­ter what name they give those wars is an out­rage. It is not an advance of women or fem­i­nism, it is a pro­found loss. I hear women say it helps us all when women get in these places. It’s the oppo­site. We helped them get in pow­er as they claim vic­to­ry in sis­ter­hood. It’s a twist­ed mock­ery of sis­ter­hood. Let’s make it real, deep and inter­na­tion­al.

Shine A Light

Vietnam commemoration, full disclosure, lies of war,antiwar

Pres­i­dent Oba­ma  called for a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Amer­i­can War in Viet­nam last­ing from 2012–2025. Dur­ing this peri­od we are being regaled with all the mythol­o­gy of that war. Vets for Peace and Viet­nam Full Dis­clo­sure are attempt­ing to counter that mythol­o­gy. Check out www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org  to learn more. And buy a t-shirt or hood­ie with this design to sup­port them. All pro­ceeds go to Vet­er­ans for Peace.

Schools or Prisons?

schools, education, prisons, school-prison pipeline, racism, class

Today, I heard anoth­er instance of there being “not enough mon­ey”  to appro­pri­ate­ly fund a pre­dom­i­nate­ly Black and Lati­no high school’s course offer­ings. This time the school is Jef­fer­son High in Los Ange­les. Stu­dents will not get the cours­es they need to grad­u­ate on time. Stu­dents will have to repeat class­es they have already passed. Where do they turn? What does that slick say­ing “When one door clos­es, anoth­er one opens” mean for young peo­ple in this school? What options are we giv­ing our pre­cious youth when “not enough mon­ey” is seen as a good enough rea­son to block vital oppor­tu­ni­ties for some, when there is plen­ty of mon­ey avail­able for war, pris­ons, and yachts? Is this democ­ra­cy? Jus­tice?

Who is UnCivil?

civility, political strategy, social movement

I believe it is impor­tant for activists to be dis­ci­plined in our dis­cus­sions about social issues. We need to speak to allies and poten­tial allies in a way that edu­cates, sup­ports, ral­lies and sus­tains peo­ple rather than vent­ing at peo­ple of pow­er. This is not a moral issue, but one of prac­ti­cal strate­gic sense. We need to keep build­ing. How­ev­er, we must ques­tion the source of this cur­rent push to empha­size civil­i­ty, an inces­sant point­ing the fin­ger of con­dem­na­tion at the enraged expres­sions of oppressed peo­ple. It puts the onus of “civil­i­ty” on peo­ple who do not call the shots, rather than on the those who do. Hmm. A mis­di­rect?

Schools Not Prisons

school prison pipeline, racism in education, prison industrial complex

It’s mind-bog­gling that a soci­ety pro­fess­ing moral demo­c­ra­t­ic supe­ri­or­i­ty around the world would stand by as Black and Lati­no chil­dren get pushed out of schools into what very like­ly will be an incar­cer­at­ed future. And yet, that is what is hap­pen­ing here and now. If you would like to know about the school to prison pipeline check out ACLU’s source page.

No Walls

No-Walls

I used to teach first grade before I even con­sid­ered the pos­si­bil­i­ty that I might be an artist. One day I ten­ta­tive­ly drew a stick fig­ure (impov­er­ished school, lousy resources)  and received unan­i­mous acco­lades from a room­ful of lit­tle bit­ty peo­ple. I was delight­ed. So I think of them and still do art from time to time that I think they might be able to “read,” despite the seri­ous top­ics I deal with. Chil­dren can under­stand injus­tice, when it is hap­pen­ing to them or when it hap­pens to oth­er peo­ple.

Glistening Brooks

 

water scarcity, water rights, water democracy

When I was a kid, my friends and I could hop on our bikes, ped­al a mile or so and cup our hands to fetch and drink deli­cious, clean, ice-cold, fresh spring water. We knew the water was safe and nev­er dreamed that it would dis­ap­pear or that oth­ers could not have what we did. When I hear of the phe­nom­e­nal num­bers of peo­ple in the world with­out access to clean water, I am stunned. When I find myself not trust­ing the water flow­ing out of my tap or hear about impend­ing and already occur­ring scarci­ty, I am stunned. Water and humans go togeth­er. There should be no assign­ing of priv­i­lege with access to this basic ele­men­tal right. Nor should there be cor­po­rate prac­tices that hoard, mis­use, or defile our water. If you’d like some facts on water, check out this Unit­ed Nations fact sheet. Stag­ger­ing.

La Bestia

La Bestia

Imag­ine being 7 or 12 or 15 and being afraid to leave your house for school, play, errands, life. Imag­ine your par­ents equal­ly fright­ened, des­per­ate, being forced to leave you or send you away in a scram­ble to help you sur­vive. No par­ent, no child would under­take the very dan­ger­ous jour­ney across bor­ders to an unknown, haz­ard­ly mount­ing a train called la bes­tia — the beast. Eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal injus­tice push­es chil­dren out. Injus­tice sends them back.

Wedding Plans

WeddingPlans

Birth­days. Funer­als. Com­mu­ni­ty events. Wed­dings. The impor­tant life affirm­ing events of any human soci­ety. Times to be cher­ished, hon­ored. The US gov­ern­ment does nei­ther, how­ev­er. Rather it sees those events as prime oppor­tu­ni­ty to seek and destroy with its high-tech weapon­ry. If we val­ue human cul­ture we must end drone war­fare.

Which Way Justice

Which Way Justice

Take 2 min­utes, Google “eco­nom­ic jus­tice info-graph­ics,” and we can find plen­ty of stag­ger­ing infor­ma­tion on eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty. Check out Rick Wolff, lis­ten to his very acces­si­ble lec­tures or read his work for indis­pens­able the­o­ry and knowl­edge to turn around our eco­nom­ic real­i­ty. Not only is eco­nom­ic injus­tice dev­as­tat­ing for us in the U.S., it’s our num­ber one export.

Rape

RAPE, women, gender, hate crimes,

Vio­lence against women is a hate crime and should be clas­si­fied as such. Yet, accord­ing to the FBI’s Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics (2012)  hate crimes are based on race, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, dis­abil­i­ty, ethnic/national ori­gin, and reli­gion. Gen­der is left out. Why? Rape is not sex out of con­trol. It’s an act of hatred, con­tempt and destruc­tive­ness against a spe­cif­ic class of peo­ple — women and girls. Mis-cat­e­go­riz­ing is not an inci­den­tal issue as it has an impact on how rapists are viewed and pun­ished and it lim­its women’s con­scious­ness and sol­i­dar­i­ty as a tar­get­ed peo­ple.

Fracking

FrackingOnceFarms

I was moved to design this poster on frack­ing after watch­ing the doc­u­men­tary, “Gasland,” writ­ten and direct­ed by Josh Fox. Lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple whose lives have been imme­di­ate­ly affect­ed by frack­ing on or near their prop­er­ty is an eye-open­er and a call to action.  While frack­ing occurs or may begin in many dif­fer­ent envi­rons, includ­ing in my city, I used the red barn in this image because of the threat to my beau­ti­ful beloved home state of New York. I warm­ly remem­ber count­less rides with my grand­par­ents through the lus­cious coun­try­side, being taught to love nature, to hon­or our farm­lands, to val­ue those dis­tinc­tive red barns. Those kinds of places are now suf­fer­ing from or being threat­ened by  envi­ron­men­tal destruc­tion due to frack­ing.

Austerity

 

Austerity

What is aus­ter­i­ty pol­i­tics? It is cry­ing “NO MONEY” to cut human ser­vices,  the oxy­gen of large seg­ments of human­i­ty,  destroy­ing the life chances of far too many. It is cry­ing “NO MONEY” while the wealthy bla­tant­ly engage in a super fren­zy of spend­ing. flaunt­ing and hoard­ing. It is cry­ing “NO MONEY” while the US mil­i­tary spends spends spends to destroy peo­ple all over the world. THERE IS MONEY! Put it in the right places.

Private Prisons $$$

private prisons, cca, prison profiteering

Pri­vate Prison Cor­po­ra­tions, such as Cor­rec­tions Cor­po­ra­tion of Amer­i­ca (CCA) and the GEO Group, are in the busi­ness of mak­ing mon­ey. One of the ways they do this is to make sure their pris­ons are filled to the max since they are paid per pris­on­er. Immi­grants, minor offend­ers, the aged, peo­ple up for parole are kept locked up. These com­pa­nies insert a “lock-up quo­ta” into con­tracts to ensure states keep their prison 80–100% filled. They work to ensure leg­is­la­tion that will bring more peo­ple into the sys­tem, and fight against alter­na­tives to jail time by hir­ing dozens of lob­by­ists to act on their behalf. Some­thing is not right here.

Corporate Seeds

FARMERSBLEED

Here’s anoth­er poster on the pri­vate con­trol of seeds. Such a heavy cost on farm­ers, and con­se­quent­ly on us all. If you’d like to see a short video on this top­ic, check out Seed: The Untold Sto­ry. It’s a quick, elo­quent overview of our sit­u­a­tion with a par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant moment as a woman describes the impact forced depen­dence on cor­po­rate seeds has on her abil­i­ty to pro­vide for her fam­i­ly.

No War

NoWar

This is not a cliché. Unfor­tu­nate­ly. We are caught in an end­less war. Our gov­ern­ment has a wait­ing list of wars as if the ones they have going now are not enough. On and on we (?) bomb, shoot, sab­o­tage, rape, poi­son, and tor­ture to serve the few. So, as an artist, I must do this poster that will be con­sid­ered by some to be a cliché, but is not.

Wars Rage, Cities Crumble

A soci­ety bent on war can­not take care of its own. When we destroy the lives, homes, and pos­si­bil­i­ties of peo­ple around the world we can­not fund, pro­tect or nur­ture own lives, homes and pos­si­bil­i­ties. We destroy our­selves.  With a col­lec­tive fist, which should hold right­eous­ness and gen­eros­i­ty, we hand over our own lifeblood to forge a relent­less attack on the human rela­tions we have nev­er both­ered to know. We acqui­esce in a ter­ri­ble deci­sion. Or do we?

Commune (The Verb)

It is easy when doing polit­i­cal posters to focus on our trou­bles. There are many, after all. Some­times, how­ev­er, I nudge myself to con­cen­trate on our vision of a bet­ter life, to remind myself why I got involved in move­ments in the first place. The pow­er and joy of deep con­nec­tion with earth, the nat­ur­al world, with oth­er human beings. The impor­tance of cre­at­ing eco­nom­ic sys­tems and social insti­tu­tions that hon­or and sup­port those con­nec­tions. Doing this poster brought me back to those first excit­ing, very con­nect­ed days way back when.… Sigh.

Choose Your Long Haul

LongHaulChoseWeb

But­ter­flies grace us with their pres­ence as they alight quick­ly, ten­ta­tive­ly on blades of grass, a quick kiss on their long dis­tance jour­neys.  We watch, trans­fixed and delight­ed. They make our days a lit­tle more spe­cial, beau­ti­ful.  And, yet, they are dying in stag­ger­ing num­bers, vic­tim to an econ­o­my which digs up, paves over, pol­lutes and just gen­er­al­ly mess­es up the frag­ile paths our winged friends trav­el. Do we real­ly need this kind of econ­o­my, rep­re­sent­ed here by our mechan­i­cal, more destruc­tive long haulers?

Water Democracy

 

H20Right

Water. Fun­da­men­tal. Lav­ished on large-scale, cost­ly, inef­fi­cient, mono-cul­tur­al, cor­po­rate agribusi­ness­es. Squan­dered on, den­i­grat­ed by fos­sil fuel extrac­tions. Poi­soned by care­less indus­tri­al prac­tices. Sent into hid­ing, dis­ap­peared by the rough treat­ment of frag­ile ecolo­gies. Siphoned off for pref­er­en­tial liv­ing arrange­ments. Hoard­ed by pri­vate busi­ness­es for prof­it. Water. Clean water. 1.7 bil­lion with­out access to clean water. 2.3 bil­lion peo­ple suf­fer from water-borne ill­ness­es each year. How we han­dle water is a demo­c­ra­t­ic, human rights issue.

Support Not Punishment

SupportNotPunishment

There has been a stag­ger­ing increase in the num­bers of women in prison in the last few decades, large­ly due to the “War on Drugs”  Many of these women began their jour­ney as bat­tered women seek­ing solace in an envi­ron­ment devoid of sup­port ser­vices. They turned to drugs or alco­hol to numb pain and then to pet­ty crimes to pay for the numb­ing. Do they real­ly need prison? Or do we need stronger economies, com­mu­ni­ties and sup­port­ive social insti­tu­tions?

Share Seeds

ShareSeeds

For thou­sands of years farmers/peasants have worked the soil with nature’s gift. Seeds. Every har­vest peo­ple of the land gath­ered the seed of pre­vi­ous crops to con­tin­ue this vital cycle. Now, cor­po­ra­tions, with a mind-bog­gling bun­dle of tricks, claim to hold a more fun­da­men­tal right —the patent! This  forces strug­gling farmers/peasants to buy expen­sive and trou­ble­some ter­mi­na­tor seeds — seeds which can­not bring on the next gen­er­a­tion of crop. Mas­sive farmer sui­cides around the world attest to the dam­age done by this pri­vate, self­ish own­er­ship of seed. To see work aim­ing to put seeds back into people’s hands, check out  NAVDANYA, a project of Van­dana Shi­va and oth­ers in India.

Sisterhood is Refusing

sisterhood, feminism, anti-war, peace

A few decades ago, one of my favorite posters was “Sis­ter­hood is Bloom­ing Spring­time Will Nev­er Be The Same” by the Chica­go Women’s Lib­er­a­tion Union. It cap­tured the excite­ment and opti­mism of the women’s move­ment at that time. I still smile when I think of it. Yet, I am dis­tressed to see so many women who call them­selves fem­i­nist ignore, sup­port — and in cas­es of women in pow­er, wage — war against oth­er women all over the world. So I decid­ed to bor­row from this ear­li­er poster to make a new state­ment on sis­ter­hood.

Agribusiness Kills Farmers

 

AgribusinessKillsFarmers

Every 30 min­utes a farmer in India com­mits sui­cide. That means in the 2 decades since large seed cor­po­ra­tions have plant­ed them­selves in India, almost a quar­ter mil­lion farm­ers have killed them­selves, leav­ing behind fam­i­lies in impos­si­ble debt, loss and despair. Export focused, non-food mono-cul­tur­al crops, forced use of ter­mi­na­tor seeds, pes­ti­cides and fer­til­iz­ers requir­ing recur­ring loans cre­ate stag­ger­ing finan­cial bur­dens, rob peo­ple of their capac­i­ty to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies. But don’t think this is India’s prob­lem alone. The rate of farmer sui­cide in the U.S. is more than dou­ble that of any oth­er occu­pa­tion.