January 19: Protesting Apartheid

A group of teenagers who were graduates of the progressive, secular Sholem Sunday School in Los Angeles occupied a building belonging to the South African consulate on this date in 1987 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, twenty-five years ago. They were acting  in solidarity with sit-ins taking place around the world in the struggle […]

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January 14: Murray Bookchin

Leftwing anarchist writer and philospher Murray Bookchin was born in New York to Russian Jewish leftwing immigrants on this date in 1921. Bookchin’s thought followed an arc from Stalinism to Trotskyism to anarchism to libertarianism and communitarianism, which emphasized political and economic decentralization and ecological awareness. His first book, Our Synthetic Environment, was published just […]

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December 11: Grace Paley

Fiction writer, poet, and social activist Grace Paley was born in the Bronx on this date in 1922. Her short stories (in three collections, including Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, 1974), poetry and essays have been translated into 92 languages around the world. Paley’s own language is infused with Yiddish cadences, and her best […]

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A Declaration of the 99%

by Dan Brook The current wave of non-violent protests across the U.S. and around the world is growing everyday in numbers, locations, and passion. Inspired by the massive protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Wisconsin, Spain, Greece, Israel, India, and elsewhere in 2011, and the shout-out by Adbusters over the summer, Occupy Wall Street started on September […]

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November 28: Do It!

Jerry Rubin, who partnered with Abbie Hoffman to form the Youth International Party (Yippies) and helped lead flamboyant protests against the war in Vietnam, died on this date in 1994, two weeks after being struck by an automobile. “To call on Rubin,” wrote Norman Mailer, “was in effect to call upon the most militant, unpredictable, […]

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November 17: The Hobo Doctor

Ben Lewis Reitman, an anarchist doctor who served and consorted with hobos, prostitutes, the poor, and other outcasts in Chicago, died on this date in 1942. Reitman provided abortions, under risk of prosecution, and served six months in prison for advocating birth control — the longest sentence handed out under the Comstock Laws. He suffered […]

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October 12: Arthur Ocean Waskow

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center and a key leader in the renewal of Judaism and progressive Jewish identity since the late 1960s, was born in Baltimore on this date in 1933. From 1963 until 1977 he was a senior analyst in Washington at the Institute for Policy Studies. Deeply involved in the […]

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