N.A.M.E. Hope to see you there!

September 30, 2013


23rd Annual International Conference

November 6-10

Oakland City Center Marriott Hotel & Oakland Convention Center

Over 200 workshops by people doing social justice and multicultural education work.

·        Keynote speakers include Carl Grant, James Banks, and Angela Davis.

·        Panels on Chicano-Latino teaching; on Asian American education; and on international issues (including guests from Venezuela, Palestine, and Korea).

·        Conference also includes intensive institutes, time to meet and share and act, social and cultural events, school and community visits, youth day and teacher day on Saturday.

Register at www.nameorg.org

Juvenile Solitary Confinement

September 29, 2013

What country is this???


On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePEf4cOisDk

The War to Explain the War against Viet Nam

September 23, 2013

Please sign on to this important initiative:




Governments Lie!

September 22, 2013

I know, it’s not big news.
But Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and Anonymous bring us fresh examples everyday—governments lie casually, gratuitously, aimlessly, and viciously.
All governments lie some of the time; some governments lie all of the time. The role of any honest or self-respecting journalist (thank you Amy Goodman!) is to find out what the lies are, who’s telling them and why. Journalists who fail to start there are simply stenographers for power, no matter how they pump up their image.

Putin Acheives the Impossible: The US Political Class Unites!

September 18, 2013

President Vladimir Putin managed to unite the entire chattering class from Fox News to MS-NBC, as well as politicians from the most liberal Democrats to the farthest right Republicans in their outrage and unanimous condemnation of the Russian head of state, by uttering a simple truth on the op-ed page of the New York Times:

It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too.

He’s right of course.

“American Exceptionalism,” in common with reactionary nationalism everywhere, insists on  seeing similar sets of facts in dramatically different ways: torture, rendition, imprisonment without trial, nuclear threat, manufacturing or storing chemical weapons, extrajudicial killings, assassinations, drone strikes and the bombing of civilians—all of this and more is condemned as evil or embraced as good by the governing class and its “amen chorus” of nationalist/patriots depending on only one item: who did the deed?

“American Exceptionalism” insists that our cause is always just, the American heart always pure, and “our” side always righteous. We won’t hold ourselves to the standards others must follow because we are the chosen ones, the superior group, above the law and common norms of behavior. We’re exceptional!

That’s nonsense; it’s the way of lawlessness, permanent war, crimes against humanity, and a breakdown of any hope for a world at peace and in balance.

The US should spend time practicing how to be a people among peoples, a nation among nations. We can start by agreeing with that short bit Putin wrote above. And we can then work toward discovering our own deepest humanity by fully embracing the humanity of all others.

A Quick Test!!

September 16, 2013


Since Syria has signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC) bringing the number of states who are party to the CWC to 189, what state in the region has failed to ratify the Convention?

Got it?

OK, hint one: some hidden agreement or secret informal censor assures that you will hear no mention of this in the corporate media.


OK, hint two: it shares a border with Syria.

Still searching?

OK, hint three: beyond manufacturing and storing banned chemical weapons, it has a huge stockpile (officially unacknowledged) of banned nuclear weapons.

Right : it’s Israel.

Unless you embrace the perverse and racist idea of Israeli Exceptionalism—little cousin to American Exceptionalism—it’s time to push for a comprehensive ban.

Mindless, reactionary nationalism includes the manufactured and sometimes imposed capacity to see similar sets of facts in dramatically different ways. Torture, rendition, imprisonment without trial, nuclear threat, manufacturing or storing of chemical weapons, extrajudicial killings, assassinations, drone strikes and the bombing of civilians—all of this and more is condemned as evil or embraced as good by the governing class and its “amen chorus” of nationalist/patriots depending on only one item: who did the deed.

“Israeli Exceptionalism” like “American Exceptionalism” is the magic potion nationalist/patriots drink in order to justify these specific atrocities and other human rights violations when carried out by the Israeli or US states: the Israeli moves are always defensive and necessary, we are assured, the American cause is always just, the American heart always pure, and “our” side always righteous.


How the Anti-War Movement Won the Hearts and Minds of the Public by Bernardine Dohrn

September 15, 2013


A decade of protests paved the way for Americans to say ‘no’ to Syrian strikes.


This moment of popular resistance to the military option as the only option shows that what we do does make a difference. Not immediately. Not obviously. Not in a straight line.

Who knew there was a wide and deep anti-war consensus in the United States?!
Apparently not the president, who appears blindsided by the growing opposition to U.S. military attacks on Syria, nor the always hawkish Sens. McCain and Graham, who speak for the aging national security elite, nor the New York Times, which flacked for a violent strike on the first day of Obama’s war announcement but made an about-face the next day, running a devastating front-page photo of “rebel” forces executing their trussed, face-down young prisoners point-blank.
Indeed there is a freshly expansive, growing, tidal wave of sentiment that permanent war is neither in the interest of the American people nor the global community. It’s become evident to large sectors of the population that the long war of occupation in Afghanistan, now sputtering toward withdrawal of foreign troops, is a total disaster; the invasion and occupation of Iraq—based on fraudulent evidence—is a complete failure; the military rush to interfere in Libya will have blowback across Africa for decades; and U.S. military interventions and drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Mali, Bahrain and Afghanistan continue to result in bitterness, widespread deaths, displacement, corruption and tyranny. People do not believe official promises that US military action will be either “surgical” or limited. They do believe that U.S. military attacks in Syria will surely lead to civilian deaths.
These are terrific victories for peace and social justice activists, and they are the fruit of years of work. Iraqi and Afghan veterans have agonizingly educated the American people about the harsh realities of war and return. The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington threw into sharp relief the linkages between war, poverty and injustice first identified by the Black Freedom Movement. As Dr. King put it, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government.” He continued, “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” 
Nor could the sea change in public sentiment have come about without the tens of thousands of small demonstrations by peace and justice activists, the anti-war contributions of musicians, playwrights, filmmakers and comedians, and the imagination and persistence of CodePink. It is clear, too, that the large and determined opposition to the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago—although forced to demonstrate inside a massive police occupation of an emptied and barricaded city at an enormous cost to taxpayers—educated the public and served notice that global military meetings would not be welcome in urban North America. Official talk about NATO has been muted in the current run-up to war. And the recent revelations about domestic and global spying have aroused resistance and diminished U.S. and corporate credibility.
Resistance to military recruitment in high schools across the country has made a difference as well. And a number of progressive struggles—for immigrant rights, for quality public education, for living wage jobs, for ending reliance on fossil fuels, for racial justice, for ending the carceral state, for dignity and equal rights, and for healthy food and safe water—have raised consciousness about how the furnaces of permanent war abroad and the national security state at home are usurping resources for basic human needs. People are increasingly saying, “Enough!”
This moment of popular resistance to the military option as the only option shows that what we do does make a difference. Not immediately. Not obviously. Not in a straight line. 
Greater moral imagination is required to create alternatives to missiles, drones, arial assaults and devastation. During the hundred days of the Rwandan genocide, U.N. General Dallaire noted that the world community could have saved lives and manifested its outrage by jamming Radio Rwanda’s airwaves to disrupt the continuous directions of who to kill. That would have been a non-violent, partial disruption of war crimes. But US military intervention and humanism almost never go hand-in-hand, no matter how passionate the “moral” rhetoric. It seems that great sectors of the US population has learned this, at a terrible costs to the people whose countries and lives have been ravaged.
But the people’s resistance to endless war, right here in the heart of empire, shows that our efforts toward peace and justice can take root. 
Amilcar Cabral wrote: “Claim no easy victories.” But also consider: Manifesting resistance to war and injustice creates waves and subverts what was once the the taken-for-granted.


Bernardine Dohrn is a social justice activist, children’s rights and international human rights law professor, writer and speaker. She lives in Chicago and has three sons and three grandchildren.


Some weird praise and crazy threats!

September 14, 2013

Here are some comments earned by my last memoir, Fugitive Days. I’m girding myself for the coming barrage when Public Enemy hits the streets in October, sharing these with you now:

Bill Ayers is a total genius; he writes like Ernest Hemingway…Brilliant.  Donald Trump, newsmaker

I’m just a curious American…I’m curious to know how Bill Ayers wrote this book. Sarah Palin, curious American and serious troublemaker

A serious student of literature, Ayers has written thoughtfully on the role of the first person narrator in the construction of a memoir…To be sure, there are other postmodernists in Chicago, but few who write as stylishly and as intelligibly as Ayers. Jack Cashill, author, Deconstructing Obama

[W]allows in familiar Marxist incitement. David Horowitz, poster boy for New Left apostasy

[Ayers committed] absolutely, I mean literally, incoherent and reckless acts in the name of nonsensical beliefs. Todd Gitlin, self-appointed CEO of the Sixties, Inc.

An unrepentant New Leftist. Alan Wolfe, scholar

[Ayers was] play-acting with violence. New York Times, newspaper of record.

And more of what people are saying about me:


He’s that unrepentant domestic terrorist…Bill O’Reilly,

You are a despicable, sordid sack of elitist shit. Anon. Houston, Texas

I’m coming to get you and when I do, I’ll water-board you. satan@hell.com

The poster boy for un-Americanism…Sean Hannity

Resign all and leave the country or you will be whacked. Joe Americo, Boca Raton, Florida

May you die a long slow and painful death. I’d kill you with my bare hands given the opportunity. Anon. Fresno, California

Please come to South Mississippi and speak…Keep staying public.  I would love to give you what you deserve. AND I WOULD NOT BE STOPPED.  (shiprek03@yahoo.com)

My friends and I will pay a visit shortly. We’ve got the address. (scott_noie_@hotmail.com).

Advance Notices on Public Enemy

September 13, 2013

Angela Davis:

With incisive humor, Bill Ayers’ captivating memoir reveals that behind the fearsome “public enemy” lies a deeply dedicated parent, compassionate teacher, and principled revolutionary activist, representing this country’s best hopes for a democratic future. 


Publishers Weekly:  

[A] witty and spirited follow-up to Fugitive Days. . . . Among the book’s many edifying elements, including insight into the inner life and deep humanity of a man portrayed as a “cartoon character,” are the author’s conversational style and whimsical sense of humor. . . Through humor and self-reflection, the book offers a complex portrait of Ayers, including his experiences as an early education specialist, professor, husband (to former Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn), father of three, author, and activist. . .Often times riotously funny, yet also plainspoken and serious, this is a memoir of impressive range.


Amy Goodman host/executive producer Democracy Now! :

In Public Enemy Bill Ayers writes eloquently of the profound challenges, the joys, and the toll of embracing a deep, lifelong commitment to social change.  He has confronted power for more than half a century, in the civil rights movement, against the Vietnam War, living underground for over a decade, and during his long career as a respected educator. This deeply personal memoir spans the gap from the ’60s to the present day, framing the current, so-called ‘war on terror’ in a critical, urgent light.

Junot Diaz:

The legendary Ayers is at his spellbinding best in Public Enemy—a brilliant, spirited document of a revolutionary life in our not-so-revolutionary age.  One of the most compelling insightful memoirs of the year.  


Aleksander Hemon:

Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident is an inspiring, ripping read. Apart from being a committed activist, engaging thinker, brilliant parent, Bill Ayers is a great storyteller. If only our true enemies were anything like that!


Adam Mansbach:

Bill Ayers is a master teacher, a master storyteller, and a clarion-clear voice of conscience and commitment. Here he is, standing calmly at the center of the never-ending maelstrom, a Public Enemy trying to make meaning and change and sense of it all.


BOOKLIST (June Sawyers):

This compelling sequel to Ayers’ Fugitive Days—published on September 11, 2001—describes the author’s chaotic life after he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, became the topic and target of conversation during Barack Obama’s first run for the presidency. Accused of being a domestic terrorist, Ayers, a popular professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, learned to navigate his new role as the nation’s “public enemy.”

He begins his story in April 2008, when he was watching the presidential primary debate between Hillary Clinton and Obama with a dozen of his graduate students, and one of the debate moderators, George Stephanopoulos, asked Obama to explain his “friendship” with Ayers, a member of the radical 1960s Weather Underground. Ayers describes the nightmares that ensued: hate mail, death threats, cancelled lectures, being denied entry into Canada. He owns up to his activities as an “unrepentant terrorist” with the Underground but points out no one was killed or harmed: “Our notoriety, then and now, outstripped our activity.” Demonized and blacklisted, Ayers maintains not only his sanity but also his humor. When a reporter notes that he doesn’t look like a real Weatherman, Ayers laughs and asks her what a real Weatherman looks like.

A wonderful homage to free speech.Image

Tour Schedule…Come on Out, Please and Thank You!

September 12, 2013

Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident

Tour Schedule, October/November 2013



Tuesday, October 8th 

7:00pm – B&N at the University of Michigan

530 S. State Street

Ann Arbor, MI


Wednesday, October 9th

6:00pm – 57th Street Books, event at the International House/ University of Chicago

1414 E 59th Street

Chicago, IL


Thursday, October 10th

7:30pm – Skylight Books

1818 N. Vermont Avenue (between Hollywood Blvd & Franklin)

Los Angeles, CA


Wednesday, October 16th

7:00 pm – People’s Book Cooperative

804 E. Center Street

Milwaukee, WI


Thursday, October 17th

5:30pm – 6:30pm: Pre-event Reception

7:00pm – Wisconsin Book Festival

Capitol Theater

Overture Center for the Arts

201 State Street

Madison, WI


Friday, October 18th

7:30pm – Women and Children First

5233 N Clark Street

Chicago, IL


Tuesday, October 22nd

7:00pm – Common Good Books

38 S. Snelling Avenue

St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN


Wednesday, October 23rd

7:00pm – Left Bank Books

399 N. Euclid Avenue

St. Louis, MO


Friday, October 25th

6:00pm – Octavia Books

513 Octavia Street

New Orleans, LA

Wednesday, October 30th

7:00pm – Elliot Bay Book Company

1521 10th Avenue

Seattle, WA


Thursday, October 31st

7:30pm – Powell’s City of Books

1005 W. Burnside Street

Portland, OR


Friday, November 1st

7:00 pm Tsunami Books

2585 Willamette Street

Eugene, Oregon  


Wednesday, November 6th

7:30 pm – KPFA Radio Event

The Hillside Club

2286 Cedar Street

Berkeley, CA


Thursday, November 7th

7:30 pm – The Booksmith

1644 Haight Street

San Francisco, CA


Tuesday, November 19th

7:30 pm – Book Thug Nation,100 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn

Event venue: indieScreen

289 Kent Avenue

Brooklyn, NY


Wednesday, November 20th

7:00pm – Barnes & Noble, Upper West Side

2289 Broadway at 82nd Street

New York, NY


Thursday, November 21st

7:00pm – Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse

30 W. North Avenue

Baltimore, MD


Friday, November 22nd

7:00pm – Politics & Prose Bookstore

5015 Connecticut Ave NW  

Washington, D.C.


Saturday, November 23rd

6:00 – 7:30pm – Busboys & Poets

5th & K location (1025 5th Street NW)

Cullen Room

Washington, D.C.


Sunday, November 24th

Time TBA – Miami Book Fair

300 N.E. Second Ave. #4102-1

Miami, FL


Monday, November 25th

7:00 pm – Harvard Book Store

1256 Massachusetts Ave.

Cambridge, MA


Tuesday, November 26th

7:00pm – Broadside Bookshop

247 Main Street

Northampton, MA