New York City

Podcast: Verizon delenda est

In Episode 22 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg rants in anguish about how he has been deprived of phone and Internet access by Verizon's cynical design to let its copper network deteriorate and impose the transition to cellular, fiber and wireless on consumers against their will. There is no reason to believe this outage will be temporary. The illusions of freedom of choice and communications convenience has left the CounterVortex editor and main ranter with no choice and no ability to communicate—or to produce the journalism he needs to daily produce to make a living. Weinberg contends that his right to work—guaranteed by Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—is being violated with impunity. Verizon is in violation of international law, as well as New York state law. Weinberg calls upon the New York Public Service Commission to enforce the law on Verizon. He also calls upon the New York Public Utility Law Project to reach out to metro-area consumers similarly left without land-line service, and organize a class-action lawsuit against Verizon. Much more ambitiously, he calls for a public expropriation of Verizon, and the redirection of its technology, infrastructure and capital toward serving the social good rather than private profit. Listen on SoundCloud, and support our podcast via Patreon. (Photo: IBEW)

New York City

Verizon threatens survival of CounterVortex

CountertVortex editor and main contributor Bill Weinberg (that would be me) is currently without phone service, and only intermittent Internet access, due to a Verizon equipment failure. The last Verizon chat-jockey I spoke with said "it is major cable issue and will need some time to be solved." That basically means they don't intend to fix it. I use DSL and a land-line—going through the old copper wires that Verizon is trying to phase out. If my service is not restored, I will have no means of producing CounterVortex—or the journalism I must write every day to pay the rent. Many people in New York and around the country are in the same position. We urgently must press Verizon to maintain the old copper-wire infrastructure we depend on—which they are required to do by law. (Photo: IBEW)

New York City

The dangers of standing up to Bashar Assad …in New York City

The Syria Peace Vigil in New York's Union Square was threatened by followers of the pro-Assad "Party for Socialism and Liberation," one of whom actually took a swing at one of the vigilers. It is hardly surprising that supporters of genocidal dictators will resort to violence to try to intimidate those who stand against those regimes. The question is why do the "anti-war" forces in New York and the United States continue to view PSL and its front groups like the ANSWER Coalition as legitimate allies? (Photo: Syria Solidarity NYC via Facebook)

New York City

Standing for Gaza and Ghouta in Union Square

Protesters for both the besieged Gaza Strip and the besieged Syrian enclave of Ghouta gathered in New York's Union Square on Friday night. Those standing for Gaza and Ghouta should be natural allies, but there was little interaction between the two protests. And some (by no means all) among the Gaza protesters were followers of Stalinist factions that support the dictatorship of Bashar Assad—who is raining death down on Ghouta just as Israel has serially rained death down on Gaza. What will it take to provoke the conversation that needs to be had on the American left, and build the unified but multi-issue movement so desperately needed at this dangerous moment, with fascist forces on the advance worldwide? (Photo: Syria Solidarity NYC via Facebook)

New York City

Why do people treat the word ‘Jew’ as an insult?

From anonymous radical-right xenophobes in Britain came the call to make April 3 "Punish a Muslim Day." Letters were sent to addresses across England, calling for violent attacks on Muslims. Police were on alert, and women who wear the hijab were advised to stay home. There were also reports that some of the letters had arrived in New York, causing the city's Muslim community to mobilize and the NYPD to beef up security. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined multi-faith leaders to condemn the threats. His comments were laudable in intent, but revealing in their wording: "Our message must be just as loud. Not punish a Muslim, let’s embrace a Muslim, let’s embrace a Christian, let’s embrace a person of Jewish faith…" Why has the word "Jew" become taboo, and especially in progressive circles? (Image: frgdr.com)

New York City

Crypto-fascists exploit anti-fascist struggle

Pseudo-left sectarian outfits in the orbit of Workers World Party, which is actually in league with international fascism, now aggressively seek to exploit the anti-fascist upsurge in the United States for purposes of party-building and spreading their toxic politics. These supporters of genocidal dictators like Bashar Assad also sat down at a Russia-hosted Euro-fascist confab with the very neo-Confederates and white nationalists they now claim to oppose. It is imperative that activists do not take their bait.

New York City

Oscar López Rivera, terrorism and semantics

The controversy over liberated political prisoner Oscar López Rivera's participation in New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade opens a window on the political uses of the term "terrorist."

New York City

NYC: protest Gilad Atzmon at Theatre 80

Professional Jew-hater Gilad Atzmon will be appearing at Theatre 80, a venerated neighborhood institution in the East Village—with New York antifas preparing to protest.

New York City

Activist attorney Lynne Stewart dead at 77

Lynne Stewart, the fighting activist attorney who gained fame with her 2005 conviction for "providing material support" to terrorism, died at her home in Brooklyn.

New York City

NYPD reaches new deal in surveillance lawsuit

The New York Police Department reached a new settlement providing greater oversight of intelligence-gathering programs, after a federal judge rejected an earlier deal.

New York City

NYC: Chelsea bombing suspect charged

The suspect in the Chelsea bombings apparently expressed admiration for al-Qaeda and ISIS in his personal journal—which will be exploited by the media and ISIS alike.