We are happy to announce an upcoming SURJ webinar: “David Gilbert and SURJ: The Necessity of Cross-Class Organizing to end White Supremacy.” The webinar will take place on Monday, July 23 from 8:00-9:30pm EST/ 5:00-6:30 PST. Register for the webinar, here.
The bizarre and dangerous rise of Donald Trump did not just pop up out of the thin air. The very foundation of the U.S. is white supremacy. This country is, at its core, imperialist, patriarchal and based in a range of ways human beings are delimited and demeaned. Nor are the specific and terribly virulent politics of racial scapegoating brand new. Always a part of U.S. culture, that approach became more central in mainstream politics, with various ups and downs in the rhetoric, since the end of the 1960s. A stable imperialism prefers to rule by keeping the population passive, ...........READ MORE
David Gilbert, a political prisoner held in New York State since 1981, wrote the following text in 2015, examining the the ways in which capitalism is confronted by, and contends with, crises in surplus absorption and realization, in the imperialist age.
In the 2014 Certain Days calendar, political prisoner David Gilbert wrote that the “War on Crime” which began in the early 1970s was in fact a conscious government counterinsurgency strategy to decimate and disrupt Black and other people of color communities across the United States.
In this pamphlet, interviewed by Bob Feldman, David uses this observation as his starting point to discuss the ongoing catastrophe that is mass incarceration, connecting it to the continued imprisonment of political prisoners and the challenges that face our movements today. This interview was conducted by mail in March 2014, by Bob Feldman. A shorter ...........READ MORE
David Gilbert, a longtime anti-racist and anti-imperialist, first became active in the Civil Rights movement in 1961. In 1965, he started the Vietnam Committee at Columbia University; in 1967 he co-authored the first Students for a Democratic Society pamphlet naming the system “imperialism”; and he was active in the Columbia strike of 1968. He went on to spend a total of 10 years underground, building a clandestine resistance.
David has been imprisoned in New York State since 10/20/81, when a unit of the Black Liberation Army along with allied white revolutionaries tried to get funds for the ...........READ MORE
This interview originally appeared in Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture, 5:2, 259-270. For a PDF of the interview, go here. Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Mass Incarceration: An Interview on Contemporary Social Movements with David Gilbert
David Gilbert interviewed by Dan Berger, 2012
In the 1960s and 1970s, many activists looked to the prisons for political leadership, while viewing prisons themselves as institutions of repression and social control integral to larger systems of oppression. Around the world, the prisoner emerged as an icon of state repression and a beacon of liberation. If the prison served ...........READ MORE
In the 1960s it was common for protesters on the streets to get their ideas right through the bars–from the fiery scribes of the prison revolutionaries like George Jackson, Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X. Now, in a fresh 21st century when everything including prisons are morphing, prison revolutionaries are still tugging on our coatsleeves. These two writings are alike in being strong-minded, in being anti-imperialist, but ...........READ MORE
The United States, Structural Adjustment and Global Poverty
by Walden Bello, with Shea Cunningham and Bill Rau
148 pp. Illustrated. 1994.
Oakland: Food First. $12.95. (pb).
You’ve probably been taught about systems of debt-peonage that prevailed in more sinister eras or lands. The share cropper or laborer was forced to work to pay off perpetual debt to the landlord or the company – who of course set the prices and kept the accounts. This system was nothing but a thinly disguised form of slavery, with the peons in bondage and worked to the bone to enrich the overlords. ...........READ MORE
to read reviews of this essay click hereAn Almost Perfect Fit
AIDS – which can so heartlessly take people away in their prime of life – is the lethal scourge of our day, and it is still light years away from being brought under control. This epidemic seems to have an uncanny knack for attacking people that the dominant society considers “undesirable”: gays, injection drug users (IDUs), and prisoners. And AIDS has increasingly become a grim reaper in the Black and Latino communities within the U.S. and among Third World people internationally.
Today’s world is wracked by a proliferation of bitter and bloody conflicts, as divisions and hatreds crack open around a labyrinth of national, ethnic, religious and tribal fault lines. In addition to intolerable pain and suffering, it becomes harder to see where any of it can lead except to planting the seeds for unending generations of strife. Many activists of the 60s have grown nostalgic for that decade when there seemed to be real hope that oppressed – particularly the national liberation struggles – were reshaping the world by creating more humane, societies. Now, in so many situations, we don’t ...........READ MORE