Iranians have been taking to the streets in numbers not seen since the Revolution. Their government is cracking down on protesters both physically and virtually. All cell phone traffic in Tehran has been blocked. The protesters have been using social media sites, especially Twitter, to coordinate and communicate among themselves and with the outside world.
You can help.
If you have an itsy bit of technical skill, go to this guide and turn your computer into a proxy for Iranians to use to access Twitter and other web tools, circumventing government censors. This guide is in windows, it has another for Linux.
One of the difficulties faced by small and independent businesses around the country lies in paying employees competitively with larger corporate firms. We see this especially in the retail sector, but it is a difficulty faced across the board. We can't be too naive about this- the problem often enough is a corrupt boss with no accountability to shareholders and little vulnerability to major lawsuits. But often enough small businesses simply can't afford to give employees the wages and benefits they deserve.
The wage rates in Austin are fairly low, outside of the state, university and tech sectors. A $10 an hour job is a lucky break for many. This despite the fact that a living wage for Austin lies closer to $14 an hour.
This is one of the best write-ups I've ever read of the importance of the UAW. I've been reading left history since I was 13 or 14, so it's easy for me to forget that this stuff isn't at the back of everyone's minds when they encounter the world we live in today. But the UAW is the equivalent in reality to what FDR was in myth. We wouldn't even have the dull vestiges of a decent society without them. So next time you feel like shit-talking the overpaid line workers at GM (cause god knows how dare line workers expect to make a decent living in return for throwing their lives away for a fucking boss and an assembly machine) read this and think it over again.
Submitted by GustavLandauer on Sat, 12/20/2008 - 8:11pm
This is a repost from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the original link is here along with links to examples in various communities and cities.
"Set-Asides for Local Retail
One way communities can ensure that redevelopment projects and new retail centers include locally owned businesses is to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with the developer that stipulates how much of the project's retail space must be set aside for local businesses.
Submitted by GustavLandauer on Sun, 12/14/2008 - 4:19pm
Every Monday at Monkeywrench, we show a documentary focusing on where our society is and how we've gotten there. They range from anthropological to political to biological to historical. Free, 7:30-9:30.
This Monday: The Human Animal, hosted by Desmond Morris.
"The Immortal Genes" focusing on the evolutionary significance of human childrearing, and "Beyond Survival" explores the origins and implications of human cultural life that we pursue once basic needs are met.
Solidarity Demonstration for UE Local 1110 of Chicago!
TODAY! Wednesday, 12noon, Bank of America, 515 Congress Ave., Austin
Today across the nation people will be holding demonstrations in solidarity with workers at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago. The Bank of America shut down the credit for their factory, laying off hundreds of workers with three days notice. This, despite the fact that BoA received $25 BILLION in federal bailout money, PRECISELY to encourage them to loan to job-creating industry.
Republic manufactures high-efficiency windows and doors, so not only are they axing hundreds of jobs, they're axing hundreds of GREEN jobs!
As many have read, 200 of the 240 workers at this plant decided enough was enough, and they occupied their factory last Friday. They're receiving incredible support for this daring act, from the city of Chicago all the way up to President-Elect Obama!
On the morning of November 11, 150 police officers, most of which belonged to the anti-terrorist brigades, surrounded a village of 350 inhabitants on the Millevaches plateau, before raiding a farm in order to arrest nine young people (who ran the local grocery store and tried to revive the cultural life of the village). Four days later, these nine people were sent before an anti-terrorist judge and “accused of criminal conspiracy with terrorist intentions.” The newspapers reported that the Ministry of the Interior and the Secretary of State “had congratulated local and state police for their diligence.” Everything is in order, or so it would appear. But let’s try to examine the facts a little more closely and grasp the reasons and the results of this “diligence.”
Today is Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and it is conventionally known as Black Friday. That means that this is the day most retailers go from red to black, turning their first overall significant profits. Today is normally the busiest shopping day of the year, as people rush out for holiday sales in anticipation of Christmas.
Today is also Buy Nothing Day, a holiday declared in opposition to the disgusting consumerist nightmare holiday season has become.