Monthly Archives: June 2010

On Building Revolutionary Consciousness in Practice: Some Brief Reflections on the Insights of Paulo Freire

by Thomas

Recently during a discussion on organizing strategy that I was observing, more than participating in, a friend and comrade of mine emphasized the importance of listening in organizing.  He wasn’t talking about listening in the sense of listening only to figure out how to market your ideas in more attractive language, or the kind of listening where you pretend to listen so that the other person is more willing to listen to you; he was talking about the kind of listening that attempts to really understand and consider what the person you’re communicating with is saying.

The point he was making wasn’t to submit to someone else’s point of view, instead of trying to impose yours; his point was to recognize that both you and the person you’re dialoguing with are equal human beings with something of value to contribute to a conversation.  This doesn’t always mean that we can find common ground in dialogues; but it does mean that we should try to engage in dialogues in ways that open the possibility of finding common ground where it can be found; and where it can’t: clarifying and truly understanding our differences.

At the time, I really appreciated and still appreciate my friend’s emphasis on listening and the role of true dialogue and communication in organizing, which is based on speaking with rather than a speaking to other folks. Therefore, in an attempt to highlight and continue with this discussion, I wanted to draw on Paulo Freire’s fundamental piece on libertarian education, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It’s not Freire’s only piece of writing; but it is definitely his most widely-read and influential work, and I believe that it has important insights to consider in thinking about how revolutionary consciousness is built: dialogically and in collective struggle. Continue reading

Batay Ouvriye- A Worker’s Flag Day (May 18)

Batay Ouvriye
Port-au-Prince, May 27th, 2010

In the context of the Workers Mobilization Month launched during the camps’ first march on April 28th, 2010, and following up on the various activities developed May First, May 18th was a major date (see our previous document: “The mobilization is launched!”).

In Haiti, May 18th is Flag Day. 1803 was when the revolutionary forces decided to have a flag of their own, of struggle and freedom. A crucial date, to establish once and for all direct confrontation with the already open state of occupation-trusteeship upon us today. Continue reading

Twin Cities Nurses Prepare For Largest Nurses Strike in History

by S. Nappalos

Minnesota nurses prepare for strike Wednesday June 9th

Over 12,000 Minnesota nurses are set to strike in 14 hospitals across the Twin Cities area. Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association, a union for nurses, are presently in contract negotiations with hospitals in their region. Negotiations have stalled over patient-to-staff ratios, with the union demanding strict safe-staffing ratios, and hospital management claiming that present staffing is already sufficient. Nurses have called for the strike in an effort to win mandated safe-staffing in all hospitals under the union contract. Continue reading

Justicia Divina

por Carlos

El Padre Anselmo, somnoliento y errático aún, activó la cerradura de la puerta doble que le separaba del resto  de la residencia parroquial, (y básicamente del resto del mundo), para encontrarse ante la incomoda respuesta de un crujir trabajoso y rechinante hasta el ruido.  Lamentó no estar en sueños y que su cuerpo le importunase de tal manera, con presiones intestinales que anunciaban una tarea harto vulgar a tan altas horas de la noche. Sometió a completa apertura el panel móvil, y una ausencia total de efectos ópticos golpeó brutalmente sus narices pasmándole toda voluntad. Semejante a una gran mole de sombras, imposibilitando el cálculo de las distancias, la ubicación de obstáculos y senderos transitables, el espacio físico del convento se extendía   incompresiblemente  ante sus ojos en una cruda carencia de imágenes. Continue reading