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New Media We Recommend

February 26, 2013

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

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Against Equality: Prisons Will Not Protect You, edited by Ryan Conrad – This is the third book that the group Against Equality has produced and like the first two books, this one is packs a mean punch. The 10 essays in this volume challenge the notion that sending people to prison for hate crimes makes us safer. The reality is that hate crimes legislation not only strengthens the prison industrial complex, it doesn’t do anything to make the LGBTQ community safer. In fact, hate crimes legislation has been used disproportionately against communities of color. In addition, arresting individuals for systemic problems not only is not a solution, it prevents us from having to creatively come up with ways to deal with violence in our communities instead of allowing the state to brutalize people in the prison system. Highly recommended.

Greenwashed_cover-e1344907833318Greenwashed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way To a Green Planet, by Kendra Pierre-Louis – The title pretty much sums up the analysis of the book. However, one should read this book to get the analysis of why green consumerism is not a real solution for ecological integrity. Greenwashed will not only provide you with the necessary analysis to combat green capitalism, it will be a useful tool in challenging the litany of environmental organizations that have bought into this notion that you are more environmentally responsible if you drive a Prius, work in a LEED certified building or only eat organic foods. The author provides analysis by products and a section on larger structural false green solutions such as bio-fuels. An important contribution to the discussion of why capitalism and ecological integrity are incompatible.

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The Civil Wars in US Labor: Birth of a New Worker’s Movement or Death Throes of the Old?, by Steve Early – In this recently published book, longtime labor journalist Steve Early draws on scores of interviews and on his own union organizing experience to explain why and how these labor civil wars occurred. He examines the bitter disputes about union structure, membership rights, organizing strategy, and contract standards that enveloped SEIU, UNITE HERE, the California Nurses Association, and independent organizations like the Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico and the new National Union of Healthcare Workers in California. Along the way, we meet rank-and-file activists, local union officers, national leaders, and concerned friends of labor who were drawn into the fray. An important book for those involved in labor politics and those interested in the future of social movements in the US.

America the Beautiful (DVD) – America the Beautiful uses the story of the rise and fall of a young model’s budding career to examine America’s obsession with youth and beauty and the damage that occurs when women try to live up to impossible standards of physical perfection.

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