Monday, December 29, 2008

"The 1930s CIO as a Youth Movement"

Two decades in the 20th century, the 1930s and the 1960s, witnessed the maturation of a large youth population. In both periods they became involved in social movements. Much more has been written about the 1960s generation than about the 1930s generation. In fact, historians only are beginning to recognize the large role that young workers played in shaping the history of the 1930s, especially in the new industrial unions. Several local studies highlight the role of young workers of eastern and southern European background. Their CIO leadership was extensive both locally and nationally, and the movement was aware of it.As the CIO News, reported in early 1939,

"All observers at the Pittsburgh CIO convention were agreed that the outstanding feature of the convention was the youthfulness of the delegates. True, there were delegates who carried in hair and beard the snow of many winters and they ably represented the unions who proudly selected the veterans of many battles. But in every delegation the majority were young men and women who made it evident to all that this is the day and age. They were willing to listen to counsel from their elders and to accept it if it stood the test of analysis; but at the convention youth knew what it wanted, and these youthful delegates, in the expression of their aims, proved themselves full worthy of the tasks entrusted them by their unions."

The youth of labor's new millions had been noticed earlier. When James B. Carey,25, was elected president of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) in 1936, Len DeCaux observed, "A man-sized mantle has fallen on the youthful shoulders of James B. Carey.... Carey may be but 25 or so, but his union is no more than six months old. The industry in which he operates is also young. So too are the tens if not hundreds of thousands of workers it employs.”

Carey was not the only "boy leader." While young workers had limited access to national posts in the former unions of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), they made considerable advances in the newly organized unions. The trend was pronounced in metals. For example, the top UE leadership also included treasurer Julius Emspak, 33, and union director James Matles, 27. The International Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers was headed by 28 year old Reid Robinson and the leadership readily acknowledged that "most of the local unions are officered by those young in years."" While President Homer Martin of the United Automobile Workers was only 34 at the UAW's founding, other important leaders were even younger. (Emil Mazey, 24; George Addes, 27; Walter Reuther, 30; Richard Frankensteen, 30) There was ample reason for the UAW to note in 1936, "Two qualities stand out like beacons in the composition of the General Executive Board just elected in South Bend. One is youth and the other is trade union, consciousness and aggressiveness. The great majority of the Board are thirty-five or under."

Young workers also led the smaller CIO metal unions. Grant Oakes, the head of the Farm Equipment Workers, was 32. Nicholas Zonarich, president of the Aluminum Workers of America, was 29. Edward Cheyfitz, the executive-secretary of the Die Casting Workers, was only 24. Even in the large Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) young workers such as David McDonald and Harold Ruttenberg played important roles alongside veterans Philip Murray, Van Bittner and Clinton Golden.

The national CIO articulated a special awareness of the problems of young workers. They maintained that "youth's problemsare labor's problems," recognizing that "American youth is, afterall,in large part the sons and daughters of America's workers." In 1937, approximately four million workers between 17 and 25 were jobless, totaling almost one-third of all the unemployed. John L. Lewis advocated a major expansion of government jobs programs especially to reach unemployed young workers, and CIO officials urged that a billion dollars a year was not too much to spend. In general, the AFL showed less concern than the CIO about the problems facing young workers. They emphasized that youth joblessness was a threat to the social order because, "In the totalitarian states the regimentation of youth has been the basis by which dictators has sought to perpetuate themselves." C. Wright Mills emphasized the youth of early CIO leaders in The New Men of Power: America's. Labor Leaders (1948). Hal Seth Barron and Walter Licht's study of more than 3,500 labor leaders during the New Deal Years found younger ages for CIO leaders than for AFL leaders.

Several CIO unions even went as far as to present "youth" as the ideal which best described the identity and culture of the new labor movement. The UAW, while granting the value of experience and maturity, proclaimed, "Our union has the virtues of youth -- courage, enthusiasm, the idealism of labor unionism, the will to win." Mine-Mill hoped the CIO would bring "the young and old together, with the vigor of I youth and young ideas." Organizationally, the newness of the CIO was compared to an adolescent making the transition to adulthood. As DeCaux wrote in 1938, "When Junior has reached his full stature, he starts filling out. The new powers of manhood develop within him and soon he will be playing a man's part in the world of affairs."


As Baron and Licht note, there is little question that "the CIO challenge to the AFL represented not only an ideological challenge but a generational one as well." Would the CIO have succeeded during the 1930s without the leadership of the younger generation, especially the children of immigrants of Eastern and Southern European background? In many of America’s industrial cities, this rising generation toiled for low wages and looked to union organizing to advance their interests and to remake the workplace. Scholars often emphasize that the working class is remade from without by immigration and by changes in the structure of the labor market. We should consider that recomposition of the working class also may occur from within along generational family lines.

During the 1930s, this generational consciousness among the young was rooted in a common experience of hard times. In 1938, factory worker Ladislaus Michalowski of New Britain, Ct., voiced the particular problems of "The Young Industrial Worker" at a conference sponsored by a local Youth Council. Not only did he find factory labor monotonous and tiresome. Young workers were unable secure a stable position in the labor force." The young factory worker starts out and ends with the cards stacked against him. Speed-ups systems sap his energy. Labor saving devices make his job insecure ... Ideas which a young man may have of reaching the top are soon knocked out of him because of the dull routine of his work and the competition from hundreds who want his job."

Unlike their parents, young workers did not know first-hand that industrial life could be better than these hard times. Deprivation appeared to be a chronic state of affairs. Their position was more insecure than it was for their fathers, and many believed that factory life could not support them or their families. Michalowski saw his father debilitated by his work. The elder Michalowski worked for many years as a factory brass molder. When he reached his forties he developed silicosis, a deadly occupational disease common in metal and mining work. Ladislaus, who graduated from the local public high school, thought about attending college, but his labor was needed to help support the family. He took a factory job after graduation and quickly saw the need for collective worker unity. He told the Federal Writers' Project in 1939, "1 came to realize that I was destined to be a worker all my life as millions of others, always struggling to maintain and extend what little security I had ... Although workers were effectively organized, they would gain tremendously in their power to deal with the company."

Factory worker Edward Smolenski, head of New Britain's Industrial Union Council, was only 25. This Polish-American UAW president gained a citywide reputation after leading a five-week strike in early 1937. Other young leaders also hailed from New Britain, such as Nicholas Tomassetti, the head of Labor's Non-Partisan League (LNPL), who was only twenty-two. Tomassetti began his union efforts in a SWOC drive and then served as an UE business agent. This Italian-American wage-earner quickly became one of Connecticut's top union leaders, serving as president of the state LNPL organization by 1940. The roster of other young leaders is impressive. Michael Stein, at nineteen, held the post of recording-secretary of LNPL. Robert Barrows, 24, served as the vice-president of the Industrial Union Council. Mike Petannovitch, the UE's chief organizer, was only 22t. Petannovitch, the son of Ukrainian immigrants, coordinated the UE drives and wrote a regular column ("The Organizer Speaks") in the People's Press.

Among this young leadership,old-stock Americans comprised a small minority. There were a few immigrants, such UE 207 president Dan Dragone and UE 232 business agent Joseph Salwocki. These young pioneers championed high energy and militant leadership style. The union press described Salwocki as a "determined young man," and a veritable "spark plug." Dragone's remarks at union-management meetings were "punctuated by prodigious table pounding, especially if it concerns grievances."

The life stories of workers during the 1930s tell us about the hard times experienced by those at the bottom of the economy. Dragone entered the workforce when he was eleven because his father's income as a sand blaster could not support the family.Dragone found work delivering milk. "Every morning I got up at two o'clock, walked over to the other side of town to the dairy, got out the horse and wagon and covered my milk route. I always came late to school." When Dragone was thirteen his father died from tuberculosis. The family believed the disease was work-related. As the oldest of six children, Dragone then left school to become the primary support of the family. "More than once I took milk home from my delivery wagon and took bread and cookies from a bakery while the driver wasn't around. I did the same thing for coal. I am not ashamed of having done these things because it was either I got them or the family would freeze and starve.”

Tomassetti's early life developed along similar lines. His father died when Nicholas was only four years, leaving six children. The boys found jobs at early ages and Tomassetti's mother took in washing and worked as a domestic servant. Tomassetti was the only male child in the family to attend high school and he felt fortunate to get an education. After graduation he took a factory job and continued to be acutely aware of the bitter struggle he and his family waged for existence. He was one of the first in his shop to sign a union card.

Michalowski graduated near the top of his high school class. "I was known to the teachers as a 'model student' and to my fellow students as a 'bookworm'." Salwocki not only excelled academically, but also was very popular among his peers. The high school yearbook described him in the following terms: "Behold the enlightening mien of this young philosopher. He will soon shatter the theories of Freud! Those who will read his works will feel the influence of the personalty of this young genius. It is impelling that a certain charm lingers around everything or everybody with whom the young sage comes in contact .... this young wit will reach the zenith of success." Salwocki wanted to be a teacher, but ethnic discrimination undermined his efforts. He bitterly recalled an English instructor who advised him "to leave writing and teaching to the Americans." He said, "As a result of this stupid remark, I became determined to get down to the bottom of the whole question in order to give myself some answers as whether I'd have a place in the world later on in life." His life experience taught him that "when you mention that you are of Polish descent ... you are given the menial jobs."

What type of culture sustained the activism of these young workers? In considering the second generation, it is important to recognize a cultural context outside of both ethnic and American values. Rather, one based in multiethnic experiences. To a great extent young workers constructed a cosmopolitan culture. This occurred even in the tight-knit Polish enclave. As the Federal Writers' Project observed, "An important item in the gatherings of the [Polish] second generation is their apparent trend toward a cosmopolitan association with their friends. They entertain many friends who are not Polish, among them being Italian, Irish, Armenian, French, etc., something the first generation didn't do at all."

This multicultural awareness had several sources. For the UE's Salwocki, public schooling was critical. He resided in the Polish enclave and his parents stressed the preservation of Polish culture. Yet, in public school Salwocki made friends with Italian, German, Russian and English students. The public school, rather than serving as a top-down Americanizing agent, provided intercultural training among students. Other CIO leaders experienced cultural heterogeneity in their neighborhoods. Important Italian-American CIO leaders resided in mixed ethnic areas. For example, Tomassetti lived on a block in which only twenty-five percent (14 of 59) of the residents shared his Italian background. This type of residential community helped to broaden the cultural awareness of young workers.

Inside the CIO, multiethnic cooperation characterized the leadership. The young leaders were sensitive to include different groups in the union and they shared power across ethnic lines with little overt conflict. In UE 232, an Italian-American was elected the first union president. A Polish-American was then chosen in 1938. At that time, the union Executive Board consisted of three Polish-Americans, two Italian-Americans and one worker each of American, Swedish and German background. In UE 207, the Executive Board included four workers of Italian-American background, two of Polish, and one each of American, Austrian, and Cuban background.

The class spirit of these young leaders did not wane near the end of the decade. Although the New Deal movement for reform was on the decline, the second generation was coming into its own. Perhaps Michalowski represented an exceptional view, but in 1939 he was certain that "eventually the workers will set up some form of a nationwide 'labor party' to carry forward their fight." There was ample evidence for such optimism. In 1938, the CIO entered local politics. Tomassetti, running as a Democrat, won a seat in the state legislature. Union members were encouraged to vote for him because,"He is a worker. He is a member of the CIO. He is a real part of labor. He knows and understands what workers want and need."

As importantly, the Tomassetti campaign spearheaded a CIO effort to bring about a local New Deal. In the same election the CIO lobbied vigorously to elect the city's first New Deal mayor. The new Democratic mayor, George Coyle, recognized the CIO effort by appointing two of the young UE leaders to serve in the municipal administration. "What the workers in New Britain did, you can do, no matter how big or small the town you live in," the national UE reported.

"FOIA Request to FBI on W. Mark Felt (Deep Throat)

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Records Information/Dissemination Section
170 Marcel Drive
Winchester, VA 22602-4843
fax: (540) 868-4995

Dec. 29, 2008

This is a noncommercial request under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts.

I request a complete and thorough search of all filing systems and locations for all records maintained by your agency pertaining to and/or captioned:

W. Mark Felt (FBI official)

He died on Dec. 18, 2008. An obituary is enclosed.

I only am interested in material dated Jan. 1, 1970, to the present.

This request specifically includes where appropriate "main" files and "see references," including but not limited to numbered and lettered sub files and control files. I also request a search of the Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Index, or any similar technique for locating records of electronic surveillance. I request that all records be produced with the administrative pages. I wish to be sent copies of "see reference" cards, abstracts, search slips, including search slips used to process this request, file covers, multiple copies of the same documents if they appear in a file, tapes of any electronic surveillance, photographs, and logs of physical surveillance (FISUR). Please place missing documents on "special locate."

Please provide the material to me in an electronic form on CD-ROM.

Sincerely,


Dr. Ivan Greenberg
2105 Wallace Ave. #5A
Bronx, NY 10462
Igreen7047@aol.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Sit-Down Stikes by Women in 1937"

As America faces a great recession in late 2008 and 2009, workers need to embrace their history to chart new strategies for the future. The example of strike militancy by women workers in 1937 offers hope (Yes We Can) that ordinary people will make their voices heard in these hard times.

Students of labor and working class history have searched the past to find examples of female militancy in the workplace, including strike activity. As strikers, women may be very militant, challenging authority of management and even the police, risking arrest for their activism. During the legendary “sit-down” strikes of 1937, the substantial female role largely has been neglected. First, it is important to establish a “We Were There” perspective, explicating working women’s role in the key labor struggle of the 1930s, which helped establish the CIO. What factors led to female participation? What strike demands were made? How did these strikes, which involved the occupation of workplaces for days and even weeks, evolve?

Overall, nearly 500,000 workers engaged in about 400 sit-downs between September 1936 and June 1937. The early strikes of rubber workers in Akron, Ohio, and automobile workers in Flint, Michigan, are the most celebrated, yet they present a misleading impression of the female role. At Akron and Flint, women were a small percentage of the factory work force and were sent home by the unions, forbidden to engage in the sit-down strikes. They were active only in an “auxiliary” fashion – providing food and clothing for the male strikers and rallying support in the community. As we will see, after Flint and Akron many CIO unions dropped their opposition to female workers joining male workers in sit-down strikes. The AFL also sent in organizers where women were striking on their own. Strike activity broke out in a diversity of settings: auto and electrical manufacturing, where women were a minority of the work force; cigar, shoe, and clothing manufacturing, female dominated-industries ; and the diverse service sector (among waitresses, sales clerks, and kitchen, laundry, and hospital workers). Overall, I located 115 strikes with female participation. Forty percent of the strikes were waged exclusively by women. The greatest activism occurred in the large industrial cities of Detroit and Chicago but women also organized in many small and medium-sized urban areas, with the exception of the South.

The Context
The sit-down strike captured widespread public attention. Time magazine glibly noted, “Sitting down has replaced baseball as a national pastime.” Life magazine sternly reported that these strikes were the “Nation’s No. 1 problem.” Although they gained few prominent supporters outside the CIO, and most national labor leaders declined to encourage them, the sit-down proved to be highly effective, forcing management to shut production. The technique had revolutionary implications: workers seized private property in industry to press their grievances and there was no shortage of conservative critics decrying socialism. According to early 1937 Gallup polls, about two-thirds of Americans condemned the strikes and a majority believed the police forcibly should evict the workers. Still, one-third of poll respondents favored the sit-downs, which is a considerable constituency considering that Gallup polls were known to under represent the opinion of women, blacks, and low socio-economic groups. Within working-class culture, the idea of sitting down developed as part of the insurgent “Spirit of 1937”: ordinary people organizing to make demands to reshape society. They contested the rules regulating relations of production, including the pace of work, seniority rights, equal pay, paid vacations, and, critically, reducing the arbitrary power of the foreman.

This contested context did not deter women strikers, who found several sources of support for their activism. First, many looked to Washington: strikers believed that the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt quietly supported their efforts. FDR and Labor secretary Frances Perkins declined to criticize the strike movement until relatively late in 1937 – Perkins first expressed disapproval in July, Roosevelt not until early September. Female strikers also received support among men in local working-class communities. While there were no male auxillaries, many men seemed to recognize a common class interest in supporting female unionism, if only because they could not adequately earn a living wage on their own during the Depression. We know of community support for female strikers in Philadelphia, Detroit, Bridgeport, Ct. and New Castle, Pa.

Moreover, during 1937 the sit-down tactic gained mass approval as a method of expressing grievances. Protest by sitting down entered the popular consciousness as a form of collective action and was appropriated in a wide variety of settings outside of the workplace. The mainstream press encouraged the trend, with articles about sit-down actions by children, cats, dogs, beer drinkers, sports teams, and angry widows.

Female activism could be critical in mobilizing a city labor movement. In Bridgeport, a sit-down by about 50 women at the Casco plant in early April was the city’s first and became a critical test of CIO strength. Strike leader Agnes “Scotty” Robinson recalled, “All of Bridgeport came to see the sit-down strikers. Food was brought to them, and bedding was prepared. Some of the workers [who had been locked out] managed to get in by scaling the window at night.” Many of these women were first and second generation Hungarians, and local shopkeepers donated food to the strike kitchen. Mayor Jasper McLevy, a Socialist, conferred with officials on both sides to try to reach a settlement. James Emspak, a national leader of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) union, came to town to rally support for the strikers. After the strike, women elected several of the leaders to local union office of UE 210. Robinson became business agent and was appointed to the executive board of the Bridgeport Industrial Union Council. As importantly, the strike encouraged women to run for union office in other CIO locals. I have collected data on 62 CIO officials in Bridgeport between 1937 and 1939. Women comprised a substantial 29 percent of the union leadership, most commonly elected as recording-secretary and financial-secretary of the new locals.

Several social historians suggest that female workers may be more militant strikers than male workers, though not necessarily more violent. The sit-down strikes offer support of this thesis. In Detroit, 79 women and 41 men were arrested after a 37-day occupation. The Detroit News reported, “The woman were the last to leave the plant. They came out bedraggled, weeping, screaming and singing.” In another Detroit strike, 30 women and 8 men were arrested. Before police entered the factory, several dozen women, armed with heavy wooden cigar molds, stood at the main door of the plant with a sign that announced, “We won’t weaken.” As police moved in, the women jeered them. Vorse asked, “Just what happened in Detroit to make delicate females so bloodthirsty?”

The example of five and dime store clerks in New York underscores a related point. Very few of the women who initiated the actions defected along the way and they demonstrated their labor solidarity by requiring journalists to show proof of union membership before they would agree to interviews. Strikers slept in company executive offices, and appropriated store beach chairs and blankets for their comfort. They helped themselves to company food. Management acted quickly, fearing the spread of female activism at their 2,000 stores nationwide. In Brooklyn, police evicted 20 women – and arrested 16 – soon after they sat-down. The strikers directed “loud and boisterious language” toward the store manager as police carried them away. Meanwhile, when 55 female workers in Manhattan started a hunger strike, police entered the store and arrested 44 of the strikers. A “virtual siege warfare” preceded the arrests, and the women screamed, wept and tried to hold onto counters to prevent their eviction. A variety of photographs in national newspapers depict the evictions. The Chicago Daily Tribune showed women being carried out by the police. A caption read, “Molly Kirsh tells policeman plenty as they lead her from a New York Woolworth store with other strikers.” More than 50 additional workers and allies were apprehended when they tried to seize the store the following day. A “New York Times” editorial criticized the women’s “lawlessness” and “seizure of other people’s property.”

I identify 28 sit-downs at chain and department stores. The fiercest battles occurred when the workers were the least skilled and lowest paid. An unsympathetic observer has commented: “March 1937 will long be remembered among retailers as the month when lawlessness and intimidation reached its high point in labor relations.” Women deserve much of the credit, with disorderly actions that unsettled business and middle-class sensibilities.

The response of management to female militancy changed over time. At first, management often tried to avoid confrontation. Boss paternalism tried to forestall the strikes. When five and dime sales clerks organized the first sit-down in Detroit, management’s initial response was to serve them free lunch in the hope that they would then return to their work stations. The women ate the free lunch and sat-down for a week. In St. Louis, 21 laundry workers sat-down in late February. The New Republic reported: “First, recognizing his role as host, he [the manager] sent his twenty-five year old daughter in the plant as official hostess. Beds were sent in and warm bedding…Coffee was supplied the strikers and finally a ping-pong table, lotto, checkers and cards were brought in by the hostess. At the end of three days the host himself appeared and announced he was ready to sign a contract and grant the demands of his guests.” But the women’s special treatment did not last long as soon as it became clear that the workers planned on sitting down for several days or weeks. Then management reacted to the female strikers in the same way they treated male strikers. Police were asked to evict the workers; mass arrests occurred; and neither the police nor management seemed reluctant to use force.

One scholarly debate concerns the social basis of women strikers. Do activists come from non-traditional family backgrounds? Do single women outnumber married women among strikers? It appears that both single and married women went out on strike, including women with children, although precise data is hard to compile. In addition, ethnic origins varied widely depending on the work setting. Store and restaurant workers usually were native born because management rarely hired immigrants or women of color for these face-to-face service jobs. On the other hand, female industrial workers claimed diverse European backgrounds, such as Polish, Italian, Hungarian, and Slovak, much like the working class as a whole. Some strikes were built on ethnic solidarity. In Detroit, cigar makers of Polish descent were aided by local Polish political and union leaders. But, in Milwaukee, the multiethnic work force of German, Polish, Italian, French and Scandanavian workers united to demand their rights. An important exception concerns race, with few strikes by African-American women, who often were excluded from these jobs. But, black women sat down where they could, and several of their strikes are featured in the black press. These include wet nurses that conducted an occupation at the Chicago Board of Health to demand a raise from four cents to ten cents an ounce; women on sewing relief projects occupied WPA offices to protest the end of funding; and laundry and kitchen workers sat down in several New York hospitals.

Female allies came from both the working and middle class. The UAW’s Women’s Auxiliary aided several female strikes in Michigan. Auxiliary members provided aid to Detroit cigar makers and store clerks, and organized a mid-March public forum in which strikers discussed, “Why I Sat Down to Stand Up for My Rights.” The middle-class allies included professional women and wives of ranking New Dealers in Washington, D.C, who walked the picket line in support of 375 clothing workers who occupied the National Pants company.

We also should consider if sit-downs by women advanced a woman-centered workplace consciousness or helped to increase their representation and power with the union movement? First, we know that most of their demands largely consisted of the same demands that male workers advanced: wage increases, better working conditions, regularity in hiring and dismissal, vacations with pay, and often, but not always, union recognition with either the AFL or the CIO. In fact, the question of union recognition raises a gender difference. Women were less likely than men to seek union advice and involvement. While the majority of their strikes were associated with unions, they were not reluctant to initiate them independently. In many cases, union representatives appeared on the scene only after sit-downs already began. Union interest among the women was greatest when the AFL or the CIO sent in female organizers. In several strikes of cigar workers in New Jersey, the workers turned away leaders from the AFL Cigarmakers union, which had a history of exclusionary craft unionism.

Occasionally women strikers articulated gender-based grievances. Store workers complained about carrying heavy stock and protested when management required them to wash their own uniforms. Textile workers demanded the end of homework. Women also interpreted standard union demands according to their own experiences. The renewed union effort to limit the arbitrary power of foreman and supervisors became a women’s issue, viewed as a means to curb sexual harassment. However, there was little discussion of wage differentials based on sex, which were written into union contracts. Perhaps this demand for equality could not have been won, and a “practical feminism” made it a low priority.

Ruth Milkman has written about the beginning of a women’s movement in the CIO during the 1940s. In all likelihood, the earlier sit-down strikes helped to increase female interest in unions and provided a training ground for new leaders. This did occur in Bridgeport Ct.

Lastly, the mass arrests of women workers raises doubt about their adherence to dominant middle-class standards of domesticity. Up until this time, women wage-earners in labor actions were arrested in far greater numbers than any other group of women (with the exception of WWI era suffragists). The sit-down strikes represent a neglected aspect of female public activism and disorderly conduct, as women played a central role in the labor insurgency of the 1930s. Yes We Can.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Why Liberating Information is Part of the Modernist Project"

There is no need to liberate information for post-moderns. They have no faith that information as a discrete entity is worthy. It is all relational. No one bit of information is unrelated to its position to another. Moreover, the very integrity of information is called into question: The slippery slope that information provides in an ever shifting context. But, this modernist wants them to understand the context I study: suppressive and repressive state power, a powerful entity situated in the FBI.

Politics demand that we position the activity of the state in full context, and the full truth of their conduct must be studied and exposed. Information is integral to power. I am trying to construct a bottom-up, lived experience and point of view which challenges dominant government practices. (Now, I am aware of the difference between suppression and repression. I use these words carefully.) State power in America is suppressive on a mass level. It is repressive on on small level.

Liberating information from the government is a peoples' project. People are at the heart of modernism. People's rights, human rights in a democratic society, matter greatly and liberating information is part of a "reckoning" with the past. In the U.S., we need a truth commission to investigate the crimes by the state. More broadly, information access is critical to democratic, "open" societies.

Can the idea of an "open society" fit into a post-modern framework? I subbornly think of openness as one modernist counterstrategy by people without power to ensure that those at the top represent their interests. What use is openness when we are viewing a shifting, unstable, nonpermanent, and relational society, the post-moderns argue in my head.

What happens when an "open society" advocate is forced to encounter the secret FBI? My politics changed to open society advocate around 1998, when I went online for the first time and began researching the history of civil liberties, the FBI, and surveillance practices. At this time, I acted in politics: I started to use the Freedom of Information Act in an activist ways with multiple requests for FBI files. A decade later, I have have filed about 85 requests to the Bureau, using the information I get as primary sources in my writing.

Open society in a post-Cold War context is a progressive cause. During the long and wasteful Cold War, only right-wing conservatives discussed open society. They called it political freedom, embracing the U.S. government's wasteful fight against domestic and international Communism. An outlet such as Freedom House, although founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, echoed the worst elements of the Red Scare. Suppress dissent; suppress views in opposition to the government; equate disagreement with disloyalty. For them, freedom exists only in the context of conservative capitalist democracies.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Children of Professors"

So their parents are smart, way too smart. But not about all topics. Their emotional intelligence may be lacking, just as it is for others. Let’s say they read lots of books. They talk about ideas. Is it bad to have smart parents? It depends on what other traits they have. If they are absent-minded intellectuals in everyday life, it may be an obstacle to overcome. If they don’t talk about money, one has to learn the capitalist culture elsewhere, or reject it. I never was schooled in capitalist culture in the sense of thinking of ways to make money; thinking about ways to get ahead at work; thinking of schemes with money to advance one’s standard of living. We were not hungry by any means. Both of my parents worked and they bought a home in Manhattan and a vacation house on Long Island before both areas were gentrified.

Smart parents who are intellectuals have a tendency to eschew the consumerism and material values of the middle class. I am a child of a bohemian, intellectual world. Very successful people who are outsiders in critical ways. Professors often do not fit easily into the larger society. The intellectual life is always on the margins in an intensely capitalist society.


In Ithaca, the children of the Cornell professors were often a mess, according to my father who taught at Cornell in the early 1960s. The children of the faculty he knew did not do well as adults. At least some of them had problems, which surprised him. Cornell professors make lousy parents back then? Their high mindedness in the classroom may extend artificially to their families, and their kids feel the pressure and crack-up or rebel away from educated success. I know, it is hard to define what a “success” means in America? For some, it is about amassing wealth. “I am not a success unless I make $100,000.” For others, success means becoming famous or well known in the society – gaining popular or professional recognition. For professors, it means having a rich intellectual life, with a lot of energy focused on scholarship.

I once told my mother that I valued a balanced, enlightened life. I look down on lousy people. If these lousy people are achievers in intellectual life, it only raises their value modestly from my perspective. “Enlightened? That is a different model than the ‘life of the mind.’” She is right. By balanced, I mean with work, family and eight hours for what we will. In vernacular, it is okay for intellectuals to lift weights or work out the gym. As I tell my son, “Work hard and party hard.” Combine the two. My smart son rejoins, “Dad, that is what the Greeks said.” Yes, a balanced life, which includes diverse activities and perspectives. When I repeated my philosophy – “work hard and party hard” – to my mother, she replaced the word party with play. “Don’t you mean work hard and play hard?” I say, “No there is a difference between party and play. I want Andy to experience partying hard. But I repeat to him, ‘Don’t forget to work (study) hard.’”

Not all intellectuals are Ph.D’s, like professors. There is a big difference between a Ph.D. intellectual and a non-Ph.D. intellectual. There is a certain rigor in methodology that Ph.D.’s learn, which other intellectuals often lack. I’m not saying that non-Ph.D.’s are inferior. Their particular training and learning may produce first-rate minds of originality and distinction, but they never went through doctoral training, which is a very particular experience.

To what extent should professor parents “teach” their children? If they treat them as students, it is negative. Show some love! Teachers never show love to their students. I hope professor parents know the difference between their students and children.

Some professors are very standoffish toward their students. They may condescend toward them. They treat the students as inferior because they are not yet smart enough. If the professor as parent treats his children in this inferior way, it is negative. Now, smart students get more attention from the teacher. What if a professor’s kid is not smart?

I write from a dual perspective. I have been the child of a professor. I also have been a professor with students and a child. I know a lot about the subject matter. People may disagree with me, but I never fake it. One boss remarked to me that I am a very good teacher, showing solidarity with the students, because I am displacing my love for my son, who at the time lives far away, across the nation. I smile at him. He is a smarty pants History Ph.D. on his own, who helps to coach his son’s baseball little league.

Should professors show off their high intelligence to their children? Should they tell their kids about the fact that they are publishing articles and books. “Here son is my latest book. I partly dedicated it to you.” If you do that, it may create too much of an impact. Kids are not supposed to know too much of their parents’ lives away from home, and that includes professors.
What does my son know? This is an important question. I do not only control the flow of information to him. The ex-wife tells him about me in ways she denies to me. I am not talking about lies necessarily.
(Oct. 2005)

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Suing the FBI for Spying, 1969-1980"

Dear Prof. John Fabian Witt:

I wish to present a paper at the ASLH conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 16-19, 2006, entitled, “Suing the FBI for Spying, 1969-1980,” which is drawn from my book in progress, Trouble Times.

Because of current large-scale government spying in its “War on Terror,” civil litigation against the FBI for rights violations is especially relevant. The materials I would present unearth the early history of resistance to spying, focusing on the years 1969 to 1980, the first period in which aggrieved individuals and groups initiated lawsuits to stop spying and to win damage awards. For this period, I have uncovered 34 lawsuits.

In analyzing this group of lawsuits, I study both the views and strategies of plaintiffs and the response of the Justice Department. I rely on declassified FBI files released to me under the FOIA; the published legal record; newspaper articles; as well as the historical scholarship on social movements, civil liberties, and government suppression.

The vast majority of lawsuits were won by plaintiffs, with the exception of several early 1970s cases featuring warrantless wiretapping. A few lawsuits were initiated after a single incident of alleged rights violations, while others lawsuits contest decades of intrusive surveillance. Typically, the government agreed to cease surveillance and seal their records. The largest monetary awards went to radicals associated with the Black Panther Party, who were victimized under the FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program).

The plaintiffs who contest COINTLEPRO include Jane Fonda, William Albertson, Frank Wilkinson, Stew Albert, Judith Clavir, Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammed Kenyatta, David Dellinger, Dorian Weinberg, John Sinclair, Keith Forsyth, Abdeen M. Jabara, Julius Hobson, Richard Moore (Dhoruba Bin Wahad), Fred Hampton, Huey Newton, Elmer ji Jaga Pratt, Sara Blackburn, Lewis Cole, William A. Price, Deborah Offner, and Johanna Lewrenson. Organizations which sued include the Socialist Workers Party, National Lawyers Guild, Institute for Policy Studies, Philadelphia Resistance, Black Panther Party, Fifth Ave. Peace Parade, Republic of Africa, Honeywell Project, and the Jewish Defense League.

My perspective on these issues reflect my historical training and interest in the interaction of social and political processes. I received a Ph.D. in U.S. History in 1990 and have taught at the college level for 10 years. At present, I am an Independent Scholar.

A c.v. is attached. I can submit a draft paper in short time if you request it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ivan Greenberg

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Terror" Painting























What type of terror?
In the face. In the face of society. Anti-War on Terror.
Anti-War on Psyche.

Side portrait. Punk attitude.

Reading the eyes, small pupils say:
hello to all.

Who owns this painting?
Who is the lucky one?


Ivan Greenberg
Terror (2004)
30" x 23"
Acrylic on canvas

Thursday, December 11, 2008

FOIA Appeal to U.S. Justice Department, Clarence M. Kelley FBI file

Director
Office of Information and Privacy
U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Ave., NW, Suite 11050
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Aug. 20, 2008

Re: Freedom of Information Act Appeal

Dear Director:

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act.

By letter dated July 9, 2007, I submitted a FOIA request for records “pertaining to and/or captioned: Clarence M. Kelley, FBI Director."

My request was initially assigned Request No. 1088203-000 on December 7, 2007, but on January 7, 2008, it was reassigned as Request No. 1104839. By way of a telephone conversation on April 3, 2008, I was informed by FBI representative Tonya Robinson that the estimated scope of responsive records was approximately 58,000 pages.

By letter dated June 22, 2008, the FBI released to me 493 pages. The letter indicated that redactions had been made due to the applicability of FOIA Exemptions b(2), b(6) and b(7)(C).

The letter did not reference any other responsive records that had been identified

I hereby appeal the adequacy of the FBI’s search and the redactions made with respect to the 493 pages already released. I also am requesting that any documents or records produced in response to this appeal be provided in electronic (soft-copy) form wherever possible. Acceptable formats are .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .tif.

For your convenience, I have enclosed a copy of my original FOIA request.

Thank you for your consideration of this appeal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ivan Greenberg
2105 Wallace Ave. #5A
Bronx, NY 10462

FOIA Appeal to U.S. Justice Department, L. Partick Gray III FBI file

Director
Office of Information and Privacy
U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Ave., NW, Suite 11050
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Sept. 23, 2008

Re: Freedom of Information Act Appeal

Dear Director:

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act.

By letter dated July 9, 2007, I submitted a FOIA request for records “pertaining to and/or captioned: L. Patrick Gray III, FBI Director”. My request was initially assigned Request No. 1088166-000 on December 7, 2007, but on January 7, 2008, it was reassigned as Request No. 1104977. By letter dated April 28, 2008, the FBI stated that approximately 1,116 pages were potentially responsive to my request.

By letter dated September 11, 2008, the FBI released to me 250 pages. The letter indicated that redactions had been made due to the applicability of FOIA Exemptions b(2), b(6) and b(7)(C)-(E) and that one page in its entirety had been withheld. The letter also indicated that a search of the FBI’s electronic surveillance indices had been conducted and that no responsive records had been identified.

I hereby appeal the adequacy of the FBI’s search and the redactions made with respect to the 251 pages identified as responsive. Pursuant to my conversation with FBI representative Charlie Miller on September 22, 2008, I understand that all future releases by the FBI pertaining to this request will be made in electronic (soft-copy) form. Please note that acceptable formats are .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .tif.

Thank you for your consideration of this appeal.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ivan Greenberg
2105 Wallace Ave. #5A
Bronx, NY 10462

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Favorite Painting of Mine



I used to display this image on the Ward-Nasse Gallery Web site under my name.

I notice an Analytical Cubist influence. A face and many planes in red and blues, a complicated painting, even intellectual. Early on, I admired the Cubists – Picasso and Braque are masters at creating new forms; Juan Gris added color to Cubist forms. In select works, they advanced the study of the face, although the still life was their favorite subject matter. Repeated to visits to study “Le J.” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A regular at MOMA, as well as the other big ones, the Whitney and the Metropolitan. I memorize the permanent collection.

I went through a phase in which I privileged the use of blue and red. These two colors dominated the work, a color series. Unlike academic painting. Ienjoy the contrast of blue and red when side by side. I use more than one shade of blue. Ultramarine blue as well as a lighter mixture, which the company labels Light Blue Permanent.

Size: 48” x 40”
Acrylic on canvas.

Late 1990s

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Teaching Notes, 1992-1995, "Political Repression"

Ivan Greenberg
(Teaching notes on “Political Repression” lectures in History 219, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, 1992-1995)

Lecture One: History of Government Surveillance
development of “national security state” in 20th century

basic problems/ tensions:

a) right of free speech & assembly
1st Amendment guarantee (Bill of Rights 1791)
cornerstone of Am. Democracy

“Congress shall make no law….abridging the freedom of speech…or the right of the people to peacefully to assemble and to petition the gov’t for a redress of grievances.”

v.

need for gov’t to preserve stability in society
gov’t to monitor groups or individuals who engage in potentially illegal or “subversive” activity –
such as terrorism
or advocate violent overthrow of the gov’t (undemocratic means)

b) intelligence & undercover gov’t surveillance to monitor groups –
collect evidence for prosecution of potential illegal activity

v.

active gov’t. efforts to disrupt, destablize, harass political groups based on their controversial views;
critics call it “political policing”; “official political repression”

extreme form – use of agents provocateurs (beyond informants)
infiltrate and actively promote factionalism and sometimes violent activity to discredit the target group or individual

Q: nature of government surveillance – when does it step over the bounds of legitimate activity? Whne is spying a crime? Does the government act illegally?

c) is gov’t surveillance applied w/o political motives – i.e.
directed equally against groups on the Left and the Right, and across ethnic and race lines?

or

disproportionately against certain groups w/ a particular politics
How does gov’t define who is a potential threat to the social order?

Example: COINTELPRO (1956-1971)
against socialists, communists, anti-war
against militant black, Hispanic and Native-American groups.

Less effort historically on Right-wing groups – KKK or neo-Nazi
Today, are right-wing militias under surveillance?

No effort to define several thousand lynchings of blacks in the South as terrorist activity (1860s-1950s)

Ex: 1980s – about 40 bombings of abortion and planned parenthood clinics
FBI does not define as terrorist activity in its stats
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms is put in charge of surveillance & prosecution (about 30 arrests; 400 agents active)

How do we know about history of gov’t. surveillance and counterintelligence activity?
facilitated by:

Freedom of Information Act (1966)
part of liberal democratic legislation of Great Society years.

Weak until mid-1970s when Congress tightens what gov’t can
w/hold on national security grounds.

Provides citizens access to government files
allows for the courts to review gov’t w/holdings

Gov’t still has large discretion—w/holding legitimate if considered to impact on-going investigation;
protect identity of undercover informers & sources

Congressional investigations mid-1970s (Church and Pike Committees)
substantial spying information made public for the first time
reacting against abuses of COINTELPRO


Journalists & academics – leaders in getting out new information
Recent efforts by scholars to put material on microfilm to facilitate research.
Declassified documents – Ex: Churchill & Vander Wall book

Origins of Government Surveillance (Gary Marx, “Undercover”):
Western frontier – criminal activity – esp. after the Civil War
Era of train and bank robberies
cattle and horse thieves

some cases of outlaws switch over to law enforcement
Ben Thompson, Tom Horn

police (sheriffs, marshals) infiltrate outlaw ganags – Butch Cassady gang

Cities :
Gov’t. surveillance slow to develop in 19th century.
Since the Revolution, Americans generally distrust military and police government interventions domestically.
esp. view secret police practices as undemocratic, tyrannical
reminding them of English monarchy
denial of liberty by a strong gov’t.
Founders include in Bill of Rights 4th Amendment --
5th Amendment --
7th Amendment –

city police est. first undercover surveillance squads – early 1900s.
Ethnic Squads
Red Squads
as well as special alcohol, vice, narcotics, & gambling squads

Example: NYC 1906 – “Italian” undercover police squad.
(Italians 2nd largest immig. group in NYC, next to Jews)
infiltrate Italian organizations, esp. ethnic foreign-lang. Socialist groups, anarchists, Wobblies; & secret Italian societies.
(all viewed as threat to established order)
Other ethnic squads – Jews, blacks, Chinese

First federal undercover law enforcement:

1890s – U.S. Postal Service – esp. stop distribution of pornography
(Postal agents pose as customers & order contraband literature through the mail. Arrests of those who mail contraband.)

1920-33 – Prohibition – narcotics and alcohol undercover units est. by Treasury Dept., 4,000 agents during the 1920s.

Palmer Raids/ First Red Scare (1917-1920)
beginning of political policing
w/ U.S. world industrial power and new foreign expansionism came a perceived need to keep track of dissenters in U.S.
new accentuated fear of subversion after 1917 Bolshevik Rev.

Espionage Act 1917
made illegal “false statements” designed to impede war mobilization

Sedition Act (1918) -- unlawful to use
“disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive” language against the govt, Constitution, the flag & military uniform

Upheld by Supreme Ct. in 1919 free speech cases

Debs arrested 1918 – for speaking out against Wilson & U.S. war involvement. (ten yr. sentence; pardoned 1921)

IWW & SP under gov’t. surveillance,
in addition to anarchists and communists.
Gov’t raid headquarters & arrest many leaders

U.S. Congressman Victor Berger – SP, Milwaukee, German, anti- war;
indicted under Espionage Act but still elected to U.S. Congress;
1919 –convicted, 20 yrs sentence; U.S. House refused to seat him.
1921 conviction reversed; elected again 1924

Palmer Raids 1919-20
--AG A. Mitchell Palmer & young, 24 yr old J. Edgar Hoover of new Bureau of Investigation (What about Wilson’s “new freedom”?)
--dozens of raids on radical groups: 4,000 arrested; 900 deported
--suspicion of “subversive” activity – favoring overthrow of U.S. govt. (no evidence in most cases)
--60,000 files on radicals by 1919
--social context of 1919:
--strike wave in industry, especially when 250,000 steel workers walk out; perception that radicals organized these strikes (partly true)
--Red Summer race riots (25 cities)– perception that blacks who riot influenced by socialist groups. (false)
historians – very negative interpretations of Red Scare

1920s: new and old targets of surveillance
Red Scare continues without raids/arrests

one new focus – Marcus Garvey (UNIA), black nationalism
racial pride & solidarity
back to Africa
4-6 million followers in N. cities, Harlem based
FBI wonders: Why were so many blacks interested in Garvey? influenced by communists?
was Garvey – a threat to U.S. society?
Surveillance found no illegal political activity, except fundraising, use of mails for fundraising. Arrested 1925 mail fraud. Deported 1927 – UNIA collapses

Other black leaders under FBI surveillance -- NAACP, W.E.B. DuBois

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Teaching Notes, 1992-1995

Ivan Greenberg
“Conclusion: Violence and Social Change in the U.S. ”
(Teaching notes for final lecture in History 219, delivered at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, 1992-1995)

(My teaching style consists on consulting notes in the following manner. I write down specific ideas and events as a guide in my notes, including historical detail. As I stand in front of the class, I ad-lib, improvise based on the notes. I never just read the notes to the class. I think the notes out in front of the class, with links to previous lectures.)

Summing Up – The past and the future

The “consensus” model: Does it hold?

Is violence Un-American?

How does recognition of violence in U.S. past inform our view of American society and politics?
In early 1960s, the “consensus” model dominates U.S. popular culture and academic analysis.
US, unlike most other nations, characterized by shared social and political values;

Americans had a special genius/character to resolve disputes by compromise, w /o violence
Little violence in US

American Exceptionalism

No longer adequate; U.S. violence is diverse and persisting:
a) must recognize slavery as a social system based on violence and fear of violence;
no Western “democratic” nation had enslaved so many people for so long;
4 million in 1860 (how many millions before?);
a famous consensus book, Hofstadter, “The American Political Tradition”
ignores slavery completely

b) history of westward expansion from 1600s to 1800s –
history of subjugation of Native Americans
pushed off their lands;
treaties w/ US gov’t. broken
forced onto Reservations

c) racial, ethnic & religious – violence from the beginning
religion/ethncity-
Puritans v. Puritans (Ann Hutchinson, Roger Williams)
Puritans v. Catholics (Maryland)
Puritans v. Quakers (Boston)
Protestants v. Catholics
anti-Catholic sentiment (19th century, WASPs, Protestant nativism)
anti-Chinese (California 1850s, 1870s)
anti-Japanese (WWII)
anti-Jewish (1890s-1930s)
anti-Mexican riots – west – WWII

inter ethnic conflict in neighborhoods – even among Catholics
Poles v. Italians
Irish v.Italians
Korean v. African-Americans
other recent examples

racial conflicts
anti-black riots – 1870s South to 1919 Red Summer
race riots – 1930s, 1960s, 1990s
1980s Hispanic-Cuban, Florida

d) Violence during the Am. Rev.
kick the British out
violence against Loyalists who opposed the Am. Rev.

e) resistance against the early U.S. gov’t. actions
Shay’s Rebellion – farmers, ex-soldiers worried land confiscation
Whiskey Rebellion – tax

f) labor violence –
based in strikes and management disputes
attacks on scabs;
Pinkerton guards
Conflict w/ law enforcement trying to disperse crowds;
police protecting private property and commerce
evicting sit-down strikers (1930s)

g) more men than women engage in social violence. Why?
Female examples -- in labor disputes (as strikers and as sympathetic in community groups);
--temperance efforts 1830s, 1870s
Carry Nation and sit-downs in salons, 2000, west
attack on private property
--suffrage
--1950s & 1960s & since – gender composition of protestors more evenly balanced than ever before.
--Rosa Parks and women—early civil rights rights mobilization
Scholars find that during protests, women often more militant than men.

h) 1960s upsurge – new scale for the U.S.
1,700 protests
100,000 arrests
6 million people
renewed tradition of peoples’ protests in the streets

i) anti-war protests (1776-1990)

j) anti- anti-protest violence significant
esp. racial question
abolitionists attacked in the 1830s & 1840s
(those who speak out against slavery)
KKK & civil rights activists in 1950s & ‘60s
(meaning of racial equality v. civil rights)
attacks on anti-war protestors
WWI
Vietnam

k) tremendous fear of subversion by U.S. gov’t. and FBI in 20th century.
surveillance in national security state
active disruption during COINTELPRO era
Govt. Red Sacres, 1919 and 1950s (periodical or permanent?)
Has the FBI Really Changed?

l) assasination attempts on ¼ presidents
several dozen other attempts, elected officials,
not all political motives

m) overseas coercive expansion -- imperialism
esp. 1890-1920 era

Have other nations been plagued by social violence?
Yes – India Muslim-Hindu conflict,
last 3 riots – 700 killed,
worst since late 1940s

U.S. distinctive:
--high level of racial conflict
--most labor violence during late 19th century of any industrial nation
--most civil disobedience of western nations in 1960s
(though not necessarily the most deadly)

U.S. “peaceful transition of power” also more firmly planted than in other nations.
since 1800
little violence at election time despite voting irregularities

Legacy of ‘60s: democratic culture and credibility gap
More people resort to nonviolent protest than ever before – wide variety of issues
Protest considered legitimate, part of a democratic culture.
racial equality & justice
anti-war,
anti-nuclear
environment
animal rights
women’s issues
gay and lesbian issues
AIDS
community improvements
labor unions

(Protest not limited to U.S.
effect in Western Europe also
demonstrations are effective and legitimate part of the political process)
Gender dimension: 1960s & since – female protest participation broadens (Gurr neglects)

Changing roles of women in society -- as women have more active role in society outside the home.

They saw protest as legitimate activity for them beyond issues involving moral reform (anti-prostitution, temperance, 19th century) or suffrage (1890s-1920) or labor strikes (1906-9, 1912, 1930s)

Historical Amnesia:
Why things sometimes appear more “peaceful” than they are –
as individuals & as societies, we often “forget”/repress painful experiences;
encouraged by gov’t. leaders & by mass consumer society – “historical amnesia”

(who in popular consciousness still remembers the 1992 L.A. riots (or thinks about the conditions which provoked them?)

(will Americans worry about or care about Somolia in a month?)

With so much violence in U.S. history – regular episodes – is it a myth to assert that violence is “Un-American”? –

rare occurrences by deviant or subversive groups or mobs
or
a regular feature of U.S. society and politics (like other nations)

Protests have had results: (some progress through protest)
--helped labor gain recognition and advance their interests – 8-hour day, social security
--helped civil rights laws to pass 1960s.
--helped end U.S. involvement in Vietnam
--success of the American Revolution – protests – in mobilizing the population.

Prospects for future:
A return to 1960s protest and violence? Likely or unlikely?
Changed terrain – re: race and ethnic rebellions
a) presence of many black and Hispanic elected officials in cities today (200+ mayors)
this symbolic access makes prospect of local residents less likely to riot? even though social conditions for them not significantly better overall.
or
intensify protest as people view them as ineffective or traitors?

b) spread of illegal drug trade – averts/deflects social rebellion?
focus discontent of youth away from social activism?
What if the energy and organizational skills of thousands of youth were directed from gang activity to political organizing?
The drug trade demoralizes/undermines oppressed communities.

c) labor unions decline since the 1960s --
will lead to more or less labor violence? (Brecher: unions restrain violence)

Are there new forms of revolt for the future?