My Lai, Viet Nam—50 years ago today

March 16, 2018

Remember My Lai—50 years ago today.
And remember, too, that it was not accidental or unusual: war crimes were committed every day by US military as a matter of policy (free fire zones; pacification, body counts, tiger cages) not choice. Invasion and occupation are always murderous. Resist! Build a powerful antiwar movement NOW!

Speaking of Betsy DeVos

March 15, 2018

Singing in Dark Times…March 13

March 10, 2018


March 13, 2018/ 6PM/ 57th Street Bookstore


In the dark times, will there also be singing?

Yes, there will be singing.

About the dark times.

~~Bertolt Brecht

In December, 2017 we  held the inaugural gathering of a discussion group designed to open a public space for serious and challenging conversation in these troubling days: Singing in Dark Times.

Eve Ewing, Rachel DeWoskin, Kevin Coval, and Bill Ayers started us off, and over 40 people joined in to try to make sense and make meaning of our lives and our work—to shine a bright beacon of hope and possibility into the gloom.

It was an electrifying evening for those of us in attendance, but it was only a start.

On January 13, 2018 Singing in Dark Times convened again—this time Bill Ayers welcomed Lisa Lee and David Stovall in an opening dialogue, quickly broadening into a conversation embracing everyone who chose to join in.

It too proved to be a provocative and powerful evening pushing toward a question that drives so many of us: What is to be done?

The next Singing in Dark Times forum will gather on March 13, 2018, and will include Bill Ayers in conversation with the brilliant artist/activist/movement-makers Monica Trinidad and Ethan Viets-VanLear.

Please join this emerging public space, this intentional community-in-the-making.

As the public is being steadily eroded and eclipsed, and as neoliberalism persists and fascism lurks close by, the goal of those of us who believe in freedom is to take full responsibility to reimagine, revitalize, and create anew a public square, a public presence, and a wide range of participatory public spaces.

An impressive array of wildly diverse artists and grass-roots activists are  on the move and on the rise—resistance is breaking out all over, and a revitalized public square is in-the-making. In Chicago, a cinema guild is running a series of films on authoritarianism followed by wide ranging teach-ins on the political environment we find ourselves in; the Co-op hosted a series of conversation led by U Chicago professors investigating contemporary issues under the banner “Free University of Chicago;” and Women and Children First’s “The Conversation” brings writers, artists, and politicians together to talk about an issue of political, social, or cultural importance. Elsewhere, a chain of restaurants in Detroit calling themselves “Sanctuary Cafes” is offering weekly facilitated  conversations (as well as bail to neighbors caught up in the system); a collection of renowned playwrights has joined forces to dramatize the Bill of Rights; block clubs around the country are hosting monthly pot-luck dinners to allow folks to face one another authentically and figure out what is to be done. 

The legendary Seminary Co-op/57th St. Bookstores in Hyde Park, Chicago, has always been a destination bookstore and a vital public space. Please join us as we reimagine the public square—the essential conversation continues.

Hollywood Will Not Save Us

March 9, 2018

My Lai: Never Again!

March 9, 2018

Hidden History: Immigration

March 8, 2018

Celebrate International Women’s Day— March 8!

March 8, 2018
This political moment challenges the deeply embedded cultural practices that have held women as inferior human beings, shackled by dehumanizing myths, objectified and dominated by others. Women who’ve been manipulated and controlled, forced to see themselves as passive objects but not the active agents and subjects of history, are standing up and speaking out. Men who believe in freedom must stand up as well.
When male politicians and commentators declare, “I believe the women,” let’s take responsibility for testing that hypothesis. Do they believe that women, non-binary people and trans-people should have control over their own bodies, should be able to make their own reproductive choices freely, and should they be free to express their sexuality in any way they choose? Do they think that people of all genders must receive equal pay, and have a living wage/stipend where needed? That no one should be forced to be married in order to access basic needs like health insurance and decent housing, as well as free child care while attending school or job training or work?
If we are to “believe the women,” we must acknowledge these structures of inequality that oppress and exploit them. Even as we fight against individual acts of sexism, let’s work to end the patriarchy and the structures of male supremacy.