Monday, April 19, 2010

Save the libraries, and the planet

Library gashers: In January I noted that NYC Mayor Bloomberg's vicious budget-cutting plan would result in many branches of the Queens library system being closed on Saturdays. Turns out it's worse than that. According to a piece in the Queens Courier, a little neighborhood tabloid I picked up at the supermarket Saturday, "the proposed budget cuts of $14.1 million would drastically cut the service hours of Queens Public Libraries, in addition to the loss of 350 jobs." Twenty-four branch libraries would be closed four days a week! Another 24 branches would be closed five days a week! This just sickens the gut, does it not? Billionaire Bloomberg gashes city services sitting pretty in his Upper East Side townhouse. You can sign a petition to save the Queens Library here. Nothing wrong with that. But oh my dear sisters and brothers, it's going to take a lot more than petitions to start beating back all these attacks -- on public education, on abortion rights, on immigrants and more -- all these attacks on our class. Pretty soon now. Any time now. Folks are going to start really fighting back.

Mother Earth rescuers: Sooner than the big-business befoulers of the planet might expect, in fact, on the climate change front. Like right about now. This afternoon saw the opening session of the World People's Conference on Climate Change & the Rights of Mother Earth, in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Called and convened by Bolivian President Evo Morales as a counterweight and corrective to the dismal failure at Copenhagen last year where the U.S. sabotaged any and all attempts at moving the world toward real action to save the environment, the Cochabamba gathering brings together real representatives of the world's working class, peasants, and oppressed peoples. There is great hope that a real working plan for concrete mass action might emerge. My comrade and lover Teresa Gutierrez is there. If by any chance she posts any photos I'll pop them up here.

I may not be too terribly lit-oriented in my postings this week as there's other stuff worth attending to. I will get back to books, and my on-again-off-again mosey around questions of their political worth, soon.