Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Support the Saigon Grill Strike

Come learn more about the Saigon Grill boycott and how you can
fight for workers' rights!
Monday, April 23rd @ 8 pm
Hamilton 517
Columbia University

You've heard about the long hours, poor wages, and stolen tips,
sweatshop conditions and illegal lockouts endured by the workers of
Saigon Grill. Learn about what you can do to fight for better
working conditions and fair pay with the employees of the Saigon
Grill and the Chinese Staff & Workers' Association (CSWA).

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Losheng Sanatorium

(Above: Losheng Sanatorium after the government's plans to reduce it to 41 percent of its present size--after already reducing it significantly).

Why does it matter that the Taipei government wants to wreck an old leper's asylum (or much of it) to make way for mass transit? Why has it ignited such a storm online?

I must admit, at first I couldn't quite figure out myself. I still don't entirely get it, but I now see a reason that--at least--makes sense to me:

It matters because you have to fight for what's good in what's old---right up until history moves past you.

It's like Liu Bei in the "Three Kingdoms." You can't judge entirely whether change is good. You can only use the best of your judgment in the here and now. And fight. And you just might come out on top and history will change direction.

For more on the Losheng Sanatorium, see:

EastSouthWestNorth piece

English version of activists' case

The Losheng Petition can be found here:


Friday, April 06, 2007

Graphic Work: Imaging Today's Labor Movement

April 5 to April 30
Opening Reception
Thursday, April 12
6pm to 9pm

Gallery 1199
Open M-F: 9-5
310 W 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
For more information contact Zoeann Murphy:

The US labor movement has created some of the
most effective political graphics and images in
history. However, work and workers, along with the
labor movement are often depicted as experiences
of the American past: photographs of children in
factories in the early 1900s, paintings of historic
strikes and Rosie the Riveter. Now the labor
movement needs new images of the issues
confronting workers today. Graphic Work, curated
by Josh MacPhee and Zoeann Murphy is a collection
of 40 posters aimed at representing the new face of

Graphic Work is a project of the Workforce
Development Institute, the Bread & Roses Cultural
Project of 1199SEIU, and

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hope in Nepal

Arguably one of the most hopeful stories in the last couple years has been the peace process in Nepal, which has pulled off the near-impossible: justice AND peace.

A corrupt, brutal monarch has been taken down a peg (and may lose his throne entirely), a disciplined and politically savvy leftist insurgency is integrating itself into mainstream decisionmaking, a tired parliamentary system with old windbags and distant parties is getting new life and meaning, and old issues of caste and privilige---the reasons behind the insurgency---are beginning to get the attention they deserve.

Now, if only the international environment holds...

The recent shortage of funding for the camps disarming Maoists was worrying. China and India's meddling is disturbing (but potentially beneficial if redirected). And the king may still be a wild card.