The Kronstadt Uprising: A View from within the Revolt
In March 1921, an uprising on the island fortress of Kronstadt shook Russia, starkly illustrating the conflicts within the Russian revolution. To observe the 100-year anniversary of the revolt, we present an overview of the questions that were at stake in the struggle, following by a full chronology of the events, illustrated by selections from contemporary historical documents—including the entire text of all 14 issues of the newspaper published by the Kronstadt rebels, the Izvestia [news] of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Sailors, Soldiers, and Workers of the Town of Kronstadt. Though many different factions have attempted to portray the Kronstadt uprising according to many different ideological frameworks, this is a rare opportunity to see the rebellion from the vantage point of the rebels themselves.
50 Years Ago Today, Activists Burglarized the FBI and Exposed Its Undemocratic Abuses
Even though the FBI assigned two hundred agents to solve the mystery of who burglarized the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, the bureau could not find them. Only in 2014, when five of the participants were advised that the statute of limitations had passed, were any of their identities revealed. The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI gave the documents to the media, yet few were willing to expose the FBI. Most journalists, including those at the New York Times, actually mailed the documents back to the FBI. Only Betty Medsger of the Washington Post was willing to publish the documents. (In 2014, when five of the activists went public, it would again be Medsger who would tell their story). One of the documents bore a cryptic acronym: COINTELPRO. NBC news correspondent Carl Stern set out on his own quest to discover what exactly COINTELPRO was. He asked officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI, but they were tight-lipped. No one in official Washington would answer his question so he tried a then-novel approach. Stern filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which had only been passed a half decade earlier. The FBI tried to get out of complying with the request, but a judge demanded they turn over the documents. Two years after the break-in, NBC Nightly News reported to the nation that “the late J. Edgar Hoover ordered a nationwide campaign to disrupt the activities of the New Left.”
International Women’s Day is About Class Struggle. Down with Liberal Feminism
March 8 is celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day. Throughout the day, politicians, celebrities, and corporations will put out statements about the importance of women, and their commitment to #feminism. But liberal feminism is firmly on the side of capital and corporations. Perhaps there is no better example of liberal feminism than Kyrsten Sinema, the freshman senator from Arizona. Today she tweeted her “feminist” International Women’s Day statement, trying to position herself as being on the side of women. Sinema, celebrated as the first ever bisexual elected to the Senate, was initially a social media darling for her fashionable outfits and #girlboss brand of feminism. However, last week, she joined seven other Democratic Senators in voting against the $15 minimum wage. The way she did it was almost a satire of how the emptiness of liberal feminism. After literally eating cake on the Senate floor, Sinema walked to the front of the chambers and dramatically made a thumbs down to indicate her opposition, and then walked out. The video went viral with many being legitimately outraged by how cavalier Sinema was about sentencing millions of people to lives of poverty — especially the Black and Latina women who are most likely to have a job that pays the poverty wage of $7.25 an hour. This is liberal feminism in a nutshell: breaking the glass ceiling, only to leave the majority of working-class women to clean up the glass.