'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's That Time Again 

Charitable contributions for alternative, left and radical causes. Here are some of the ones that I posted last year, and they remain equally suitable today:

KDVS Community Alternative Radio

Now, I admit that I broadcast on KDVS, so my self-interest is rather obvious. But KDVS is a station that is cooperatively managed by students and community programmers, with very little oversight by the UC Davis administrators. Programmers are free to broadcast almost anything outside of the commercial constraints of the marketplace. If you live beyond the confines of Northern California, look for a station with similar values, and consider financially supporting them, and remember NPR stations don't qualify.

Common Ground Collective

Hurricane Katrina has exacted a terrible toll upon New Orleans, one that endures to this day. Both the federal government and institutions, such as the Red Cross, have failed to respond adequately, requiring local, grassroots organizations to step forward: Common Ground's mission is to provide short term relief for victims of hurricane disasters in the gulf coast region, and long term support in rebuilding the communities affected in the New Orleans area. Common Ground is a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. The work gives hope to communities by working with them, providing for their immediate needs and emphasizes people working together to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways.

Middle East Children's Alliance

Living conditions for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are dire, with more than one in four Palestinians considered deeply impoverished, as are the prospects for the creation of a Palestinian state that would acknowledge their right to self-determination. Western governments have withdrawn funds because of the electoral success of Hamas, seeking to collectively punish them as a means of forcing them to elect a new government more agreeable to them. The Middle East Children's Alliance, or MECA, raises funds for food and medical supplies for them, as well as for the people of Lebanon.

AK Press

As described by wikipedia, AK Press is a collectively owned and operated independent publisher and book distributor that specialises in radical and anarchist literature. It has published numerous books that describe social movements within the US and around the world that have been depreciated or otherwise deliberately erased from public memory by both the mainstream as well as the institutionalized left.

Last year's reissuance of The Subversion of Politics, by Georgy Katsiaficas, is an excellent example, and, having read it myself, a real page turner, as the suppressed memories of the past are remembered. Consider becoming a Friend of AK Press to assist in the continued publication of books that challenge the mainstream view of history, social relations and the origins of political change.

And, just to bring things up to date, living conditions in Gaza remain horrible, so a contribution to the Middle East Children's Alliance remains as important as ever, while AK Press has published a number of excellent books in the last year or so, including Marina Sitrin's Horizontalism and Ben Dangl's The Price of Fire. A contribution will enable it to continue to release more excellent works of this kind.

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