Thursday, September 30, 2010

Glenn Beck plays with magnets, mentions the ISO

In a segment airing on September 28th on his Fox News channel show, Glenn Beck broke out his chalkboards to play with a bunch of magnets. Attempting to paint all leftist organizations that would be attending Saturday's One Nation Working Together rally as a giant web of "evil," largely funded by George Soros and ideologically represented by Van Jones, he weaves his way through glib stock phrases while slapping up logo-magnets of groups like Planned Parenthood and the National Council of La Raza among pictures of Jeremiah Wright and Howard Dean.

Eventually he arrives at the ISO: "Now, here's a great one--the International Socialist Organization. They say socialism is not only possible, it's worth fighting for." He even features some of the ISO's tenets on a fancy Fox News telescreen.

Beck manages to conflate a number of groups, representing many specific ideologies with nuanced differences, as one large, organized mass of froth that's out to get your children. He also reduces a complex legacy of Marxist thought into a muddy slop, saying that "Marxism is evil, and the only thing it has contributed to the history of mankind is mass graves."

But a broken clock is right twice a day, and so sometimes his whining carries some truth: "All of these groups...want nothing short of fundamental transformation of America."

The ISO shout-out begins around 6:20.

Join the Socialist Contingent at the October 2nd One Nation Rally!

Hundreds of thousands of Americans organized by labor and civil rights organizations will gather in Washington, D.C., on October 2 to demand a change in the direction that our nation is heading.

We are proud to join this march to demand jobs, to demand an end to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and for a society that is fairer, more equal and more just. We believe it important to be in the capital on that date to help create a counterweight to Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and Republicans, their reactionary politics, ruthless economics and their racism.

We do not, however, share the goals of the AFL-CIO, the NAACP and other organizations which hope to achieve jobs and justice by supporting Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in the national elections on November 2.

We believe that it has become quite clear now that neither Democrats nor the Republicans are capable of solving the country's three great crises--the economy, the environment and the wars--in a way that will be good for the American people. The goals of a full-employment economy, real environmental sustainability and peace cannot be achieved by our capitalist system and the corporations motivated only by profit. We need a new direction toward a new system.


So, Pittsburghers, join the socialist contingent at the rally!

One group that is providing free same-day bus services to D.C. and back is the NAACP. These buses will leave from the Hill House at 1835 Centre Avenue at 4:00 a.m. and will return to Pittsburgh immediately following the march, with an expected return of about 10:30 p.m. To reserve your free place on the bus, e-mail, or contact Celeste at 412.670.0937. More information about their generosity at

Once in D.C., the ISO will be marching within the socialist contingent, with a meeting place of 12th and Constitution Avenue (NW) at 10:00 a.m.

After the rally's events, the ISO will be holding a forum entitled "Socialism for the 21st Century." Join us at 5:00 p.m. at Busboys & Poets, at 2021 14th Street (at V Street). Featured will be Dan La Botz, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and others.

To meet up with ISO Pittsburgh's group in D.C. on Saturday, contact Paul at 412.760.9716, or look for our banner among the socialist contingent. It'll be an exciting, energized day, and we hope to seeing you there. We have a world to win!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Workers' Republic" Documentary Screening

Next Tuesday's meeting, September 28th, will feature a screening of Workers' Republic, a documentary telling the story of the workers of the Republic Windows & Doors plant in Chicago, who, when laid off without severance in 2008, staged a sit-in with the help of the United Electrical (UE) workers union and won their due compensation.

The screening starts at 7:30 p.m., with a presentation and discussion by Al Hart, editor of UE News.

Sponsored by the Economic Justice Committee, a project of the Thomas Merton Center, and with support from University of Pittsburgh's ISO group, this event will take place at ISO Pittsburgh's usual meeting place in Dining Room A at the William Pitt Student Union Building.

RSVP to our event on Facebook.

Pakistani Flood Relief Show at Shadow Lounge

This summer, monsoon floods swept over Pakistan, killing thousands and displacing millions. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN, called it the "worst disaster" he's ever witnessed. The Washington Post reported that "more than 8 million people are in need of emergency assistance."

Springing to action, the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign has launched Revolutionary Flood Relief and Protest Committees across Pakistan, especially in the intensely affected areas, to conduct an efficient and effective rescue and relief effort. Fifty seven camps of this campaign have been set up in various regions and is appealing for help.

Locally, the PTUDC is co-sponsoring a benefit show featuring a number of bands:

The Edukators
The Pheromones Underground
Old Accusers
Code Orange Kids

The show is taking place at the Shadow Lounge at 5972 Baum Boulevard on September 26th, starting at 5:00 p.m. Cover is $5, which is going to this urgent relief effort.

Co-sponsoring the show along with the PTUDC, is the Workers International League, the Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor, the Economic Justice Committee of the Thomas Merton Center, University of Pittsburgh's branch of Students for a Democratic Society, and ISO Pittsburgh.

Read more about this natural disaster and what can be done to help.
RSVP to our event on Facebook.