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Resources

Texas Labor History Study Group | Readings and Study Questions

This is a 4-week reading and discussion group designed for organizers and union members to establish an understanding of the history of labor struggles in Texas. In our current social and political climate of “business friendly” Texas, working class people are disconnected from this forgotten/erased tradition of workers’ organizing to improve conditions.  The goal is […]

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Interview

What happens next | Interview with David McNally

As the first strikes and wider fightbacks flare amidst a cratering economy and an exploding pandemic, David McNally, a professor of history at the University of Houston and an award-winning author of numerous works including Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance and forthcoming, Blood and Money: War, Slavery and the State, […]

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Review

Rethinking Disaster Capitalism in the Age of Coronavirus

Ralph Bivins, Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up. Fifth Estate Media, 2018. 160 pp. Review by Sans C. Naomi Klein thinks the coronavirus pandemic is another example of disaster capitalism. The concept she pioneered has become enormously influential – even shorthand – for how the Left thinks about moments like our own. The […]

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Reprint

‘Asking for help. A petition to the City Council from Fifty Seven Women’ | Reprint from a 1903 Texas Pandemic

In light of today’s pandemic and as many Texas cities go under lockdown, Section 44 reprints a petition authored by domestic workers in Laredo, TX on October 19th, 1903 in the Laredo Daily Times. The border town fell under army-enforced quarantine during that year’s yellow fever epidemic, inducing many local elites to flee, taking their […]

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Review

Towards a People’s History of Texas

Texas Labor History, ed. Bruse A. Glasrud and James C. Maroney. Texas A & M University Press, 2013.  448 pp. Review by Snehal Shingavi Each time an activist movement breaks out in Texas—think for example of the War on Texas Women protests in 2013 or the large protests around the Black Lives Matter movement—the commonsense attitude […]

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Interview

Women, Work and “Directly Confronting Capitalist Power” | Interview with Sue Ferguson

While conducted weeks previously, this interview goes online amidst a pandemic, exposing and aggravating a profound crisis of social reproduction. In this installment, Seth Uzman interviews Houston-based, socialist-feminist Sue Ferguson, author of the recent book Women and Work: Feminism, Labour, and Social Reproduction, about socialist-feminism, capitalist childhoods and contemporary social struggles today. Her other recent interviews with […]

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Review

Keeping Austin Cleared

The Green New Deal’s (GND) growing popularity presents a potential sea-change for popular movements in the US. A growing audience for a public and sustainable reorganization of everyday life offers plenty of oxygen for left-wing ideas. But because who gets what, why and how will be decisive either publicly or behind closed doors, understanding how these questions are being answered today is essential if we want to fight for meaningful change. Eliot Tretter’s Shadows of a Sunbelt City: The Environment, Racism and the Knowledge Economy in Austin is a model for future research into these problems in Texas. Bearing the reputation of an environmentally conscious, liberal stronghold, Austin today is not only among the least affordable cities in the US but also among the most racially segregated. The novel leaders and political blocs that Tretter uncovers behind Austin’s knowledge economy are ones that movements in Austin and elsewhere will have to identify and disarm, to win the GND and challenge the ruling class. {…}

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Interview

“We don’t have money; but we‘ve got people and that’s our power” – Houston Teacher

On January 8th, the Travis County District Court granted the Houston Independent School District (HISD), in a motion filed by the Houston Federation of Teachers (HFT), an injunction against the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) state takeover of the school district. The court decision followed months of organizing and protest from teachers, staff, students and parents against the elimination of community control in a majority African American and Latino school district. Seth Uzman spoke with Ruth Kravetz, a teacher, HFT member and leader in Community Voices for Public Education about the struggle for public education in Texas and the fights that remain ahead in the city. {…}

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Review

The Ethnic Cleansing of Texas

Before today’s concentration camp in McAllen, TX, there was the one in Crystal City during the Second World War for interred Japanese and German families. Both were established in South Texas cities on or near the U.S. Mexico border. Monica Martinez’ recent book, The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas, is in many ways about how these cities along the Rio Grande became a magnet for state terror. The history of the Texas-Mexico border reads like the history of a death-squad. {…}

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Interview

“We are copper miners, we age faster than others” – ASARCO Striker

As the ASARCO Miners’ Strike in Texas and Arizona entered its fourth month, Snehal Shingavi spoke with Eduardo Placencio of USW Local 937 about the strike, its stakes and what lies ahead. {…}