Indy Blog

Michael Steven Smith is a radical lawyer and author whose activist resume dates back half a century. He has written five books, including Notebook of a Sixties Lawyer: An Unrepentant Memoir and Selected Writings. Most recently he was a co-editor of Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. He has also co-hosted Law and Disorder at WBAI-99.5 FM since 2004. The show currently airs Mondays 6-7 am. 


Indypendent: How did you meet your two co-hosts, Michael Ratner and Heidi Boghosian?

Since the news broke on Saturday that the Brecht Forum will be closing after 39 years there has an outpouring of reactions at indypendent.org and on social media from the Brecht's far-flung community of artists, activists and intellectuals. Below is some of what Brecht's supporters are saying.

For 39 years the Brecht Forum has provided a vital space for Marxist popular education and movement building. Earlier today Brecht's Board of Directors sent out an email entitled "An Ending Is Also a Beginning" announcing that the organization will soon be closing its doors. The closing was brought on by several factors -- a difficult economic climate, soaring rents and the debts Brecht incurred at its former home in the West Village which it left for Brooklyn last fall. Brecht's Board of Directors will hold a public meeting at the Brooklyn Commons on Wednesday April 16 at 7:30.

In a brilliant creative action, an art collective with the help of enthusiastic locals unfurled an enormous poster in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of a young girl who lost her parents and two younger siblings to a drone strike in August 2009.

 

Last week, as schools from Montauk to Buffalo hunkered down for three straight days of state testing, more than 30,000 New York students pushed their pencils aside. They’re part of a national movement boycotting tests in opposition to accountability policies that narrow the scope of schooling to what appears on annual multiple-choice exams.

“Choke me with the dead cat,” she pants over the phone. Theodore stops masturbating. “Okay,” he says cautiously, “I’m choking you with the dead cat. I’m pulling the dead cat’s tail around your neck.” She orgasms, says thanks and hangs up. In the awkward quiet, he pulls the ear bud out and stares blankly into the bedroom.

With the same cynicism and ruthlessness that their beloved charter schools employ to toss out any students who threaten their sacred test scores, billionaires have instructed our elected officials in Albany to toss out the will of the people and the well being of the 94 percent of New York City public school students which threatens the ever increasing plutocratic dominance of education.

Last week’s regional National Labor Relations Board ruling that college football plays are workers opens up the possibility for a wave of organizing in collegiate sports.

The ruling that players at Northwestern University with athletic scholarships have the right to vote on whether they want a union challenges the “student-athlete” principle whereby players receive scholarships in exchange for competing in sports on behalf of their schools.

Back in 1996, Adolph Reed wrote a waspish piece in the Village Voice, “Liberals, I Do Despise,” which made something of a splash and was hard to refute as he attacked a coterie of Clintonistas for “a politics motivated by the desire for proximity to the ruling class and a belief in the basic legitimacy of its power and prerogative.” He called it “a politics which, despite all its idealist puffery and feigned nobility, will sell out any allies or egalit