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  • Inside the Clinton Command Center, DNC ’92

    Inside the Clinton Command Center, DNC ’92

    No presidential convention has been brokered since 1952, when both Vice President Dwight Eisenhower and Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson needed more than one ballot to get their party’s nominations. This year, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton arrived at their conventions with enough delegates to win. Still, the conventions have been anything but uneventful. Just as the Bernie Sanders people are a thorn in the side of the Hillary Clinton campaign, so was Jerry Brown a force that Bill Clinton’s … Continue reading

  • GOP, Meet Stoney Burke

    GOP, Meet Stoney Burke

    “You have to put all your intelligence in your back pocket and you can talk to these people”                                                                                   -Stoney Burke Last night’s Republican production reminded us of conventions past. In 1992, performance artist Stoney Burke provided an inside view for … Continue reading

  • Rostenkowski on Politics 101

    Rostenkowski on Politics 101

    “The game is compromise. That’s politics.” -Dan Rostenkowski This month The Atlantic published an article titled “How American Politics Went Insane,” diagnosing the cause of the pervasive political disintegration in Washington, D.C. as “chaos syndrome.” Joining the choir of complaints about the chaos undermining American politics, the author, Jonathan Rauch, offers a new tune: “Our most pressing political problem today is that the country abandoned the establishment, not the other way around.” Rauch contends that in the course of reforming … Continue reading

  • [Unknown performance]

    [Unknown performance]

    Fragments from what appears to be some sort of staged performance. The footage is sparse and cuts in and out, sometimes with loud feedback noises. Continue reading

  • A Gary Tape

    A Gary Tape

    An organizing workshop led by activist Staughton Lynd at Indiana University Northwest on 9-16-71 to discuss organizing around tax policy and investigating grocery pricing in Illinois and Indiana. A month earlier, President Richard Nixon had issued an executive order freezing wages for 90 days. In response, supermarkets were pressured to suspend price increases, although this group felt they were not adhering to this promise. Continue reading

  • Salt of the Earth vs Chambers

    Salt of the Earth vs Chambers

    This video documents a post-screening discussion with Virginia Jencks about the 1954 film “Salt of the Earth.” Jencks was a labor leader who played herself in the film. It portrays a real-life strike that occurred at Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico and most of the roles in the film were played by the real life miners and union organizers. The film was directed by Herbert Biberman, who was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), and it was not shown for many years after its completion. Continue reading

  • “They aimed to kill the young ones because they were the rebels.” —Boris Ross

    “They aimed to kill the young ones because they were the rebels.” —Boris Ross

    On May 30, 1937, Memorial Day, Chicago police opened fire on unarmed workers demonstrating against Republic Steel in one of the bloodiest events in our nation’s labor union history. Earlier in the year the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) had worked out a union deal with U.S. Steel, which workers had hoped would push the smaller steel companies to recognize their own unions. Instead, many of the smaller steel companies fought bitterly against union organization. That Memorial Day, the workers … Continue reading

  • Right On: A Friend Remembers Fred Hampton

    Right On: A Friend Remembers Fred Hampton

    “Right On: A Friend Remembers Fred Hampton” [1989 |18 minutes] Veteran community activist Jorja English Palmer [1930-2005] talks of the events of 1948-1969 which led Fred Hampton to the leadership of the Illinois Black Panther Party and to his murder by Chicago police as part of the FBI’s secret counter intelligence program – COINTELPRO.