Social Ecology Blog

Janet Biehl reviews Dan Chodorkoff’s “Loisaida”

My favorite parts of Dan Chodorkoff’s debut novel are the scenes in the squat. The young bohemians who find affordable housing there have no running water and draw electricity from an extension cord running from an outdoor lamppost. Plugged into it are the hot plate on which they cook and the space heater that takes the chill off the leak-spattered room. Milk crates are their furniture, and they dumpster-dive for everything else. When they get angry, they write graffiti with spray cans on walls, and circle letter A’s, while muttering “Die, yuppie scum.” The Lower East Side of Manhattan has been home to radicals, immigrant and domestic, socialist and anarchist, for generations; these mid-1980s squatters are among the more recent. Not that they really know what they mean by anarchism: “it was more a feeling than anything else,” the narrator tells us. Full review at http://new-compass.net./node/231.

Social Determinants of Health

by Peter Prontzos (Langara College, Vancouver, BC) Research has now clearly established that economic, and social variables - more than individual or family behavior - are the most salient factors overall in determining a child’s well-being [...]

Novelist Lily Hoang interviews Dan Chodorkoff

Lily's introduction begins: He’s not the typical writer we would promote here. He’s got a head full of silverfox hair and an unironically killer moustache, and his writing is unabashedly political. His first novel, Loisaida, is a bildungsroman, following the development of a young anarchist, Cathy, as she fights “the man” from her squat. A viciously honest rendition of the naïve privilege of many young anarchists, Cathy learns the nuances of activism and politics. Part history lesson, part political guidebook, Loisaida is a book for anyone who’s carried a protest sign, shouted chants, felt the camaraderie of mass demonstrations, and had it all matter for shit. Full interview at http://htmlgiant.com/author-spotlight/an-interview-with-dan-chodorkoff/

200th Anniversary of the Luddite Uprisings

November 2011 – January 2013 are the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprisings: a great opportunity to celebrate their struggle and to redress the wrongs done to them and their name. Today science and technology raises many more critical social, environmental and ethical issues, but from GM food and eugenics to plans for engineering the planets climate, from surveillance to nuclear power, these issues are rarely addressed properly, partly because anyone who raises criticism is denigrated as a ‘luddite’. History has been written by the victors and the Luddites are portrayed as opposed to all technology and progress: it is ironic that while the ideology of technology as progress has hardened into a rigid dogma, which must condemn all critics as ‘anti-science’, in fact the Luddites opposed only technology ‘hurtful to commonality’, (i.e. the common good). They destroyed some machines whilst leaving others, and earnt their living using a complex piece of technology, the hand loom. In their spirit, we make no apology for calling for real democratic control over science and technology. Public meeting in London, Weds. June 8th.

Greece: Urgent call for international solidarity

From ISE alum and former staff member Pavlos Stavropolous: I have just received the following urgent call for international solidarity from comrades in Greece. We would all appreciate it if you can circulate it widely. As you probably already know, the situation in Greece has been critical for quite some time but it is getting worse. Hard fought-for rights and social gains are being laid on the butcher block. The Greek parliament has become nothing more than a rubber stamp for the marching orders from the IMF. Greece has been marked for becoming an example for the world, an example of how international capital can beat a country into subservience. Yet, throughout all this there has been a lively and ongoing resistance within Greece. This resistance needs international solidarity now more than ever. While the mainstream media focuses on the repugnant attempted rape of a chambermaid by the head of the IMF, they disregard the ongoing rape of entire countries and peoples by the IMF itself. It is up to people of good conscience to make sure that the real story of resistance and hope doesn't get buried.

North & South, Ecology and Justice, Part 3

by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero  (Last of 3 parts)

New beacons

Fortunately, there are a fair number of beacons in the quest to form and inform a reconciliation of “progresismo” with ecology and thus carry out the unfulfilled mandates of 20th century “tercermundismo”- these include eco-socialism, social ecology, the global climate justice [...]

North & South, Ecology and Justice, Part 2

by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero (Second of 3 parts)

Beyond sustainable development

Sustainable development as defined by the Brundtland Commission and the documents that came out of the Earth Summit did not question the basic assumptions of Western-style development, it merely offered some policy safeguards and technological fixes. According to Chatterjee and [...]

“Loisaida” reading this Friday

ISE co-founder Dan Chodorkoff will be reading from his new novel Loisaida this Friday, May 20th at Shiretown Books, 9 Central Ave, Woodstock, Vermont, starting at 7PM.  Woodstock is on US Route 4 between White River Junction and Rutland, Vermont.  All are welcome.

North & South, Ecology and Justice, Part 1

by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero (First of 3 parts)

The movements for ecology and justice face a particular set of opportunities and perils at the start of the second decade of the 21st century. Those who seek to transform North-South relations to advance sustainability and the eradication of poverty and hunger would [...]

Brian Tokar on “Alternative Radio” this week

During the week of May 9th, David Barsamian’s weekly Alternative Radio program is featuring Brian Tokar’s recent talk on climate justice, recorded at Naropa University in Boulder, CO this past March.

If your local public or community radio station doesn’t broadcast A.R., now’s a good time to let them know [...]