Archive for October, 2011

A reminder that the deadline for the November issue of Raging Chicken Press is approaching quickly.

November marks a kind of unofficial start of the 2012 elections. There is more at stake than election of a president. Across the nation and increasingly here in Pennsylvania, state legislatures are rolling back workers rights, gutting funding for public schools and services, signing over huge tax breaks to corporations while slashing jobs, and making exercising your right to vote more difficult than ever before. PA Governor Corbett’s proposed electoral college change would effectively hand the bulk of PA’s electoral votes to the Republican candidate in an end-around the will of the people (see Richardson’s article in the October issue).  We are looking for people who are willing to put on their wonk hats and expose the radical right’s agenda. This becomes even more important as millions and millions of dollars is pouring into PA from right-wing front groups such as ALEC and the American Federation of Children.

We welcome all submissions that seek to give voice to progressive, activist communities of resistance. Become a Raging Chicken.

If you are interested in submitting your work, you can do so by sending an email to ragingchickenpress@gmail.com.  Please take a few minutes to review our Submission Guidelines to familiarize yourself with the kind of work we publish and the purpose of our publication.

Deadline for the November issue is Monday, October 31st [extended from 10/28…Halloween seemed more appropriate!]. 

As always, the earlier you get us your submission the better. We look forward to hearing from you!

Kevin Mahoney | Editor Zero, Raging Chicken Press


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With work on the November issue of Raging Chicken Press already underway, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some of the plans we have for Raging Chicken Press in the upcoming months.  The current form of Raging Chicken Press – a monthly, independent, progressive web-based publication – only scratches the surface of what is possible to do at this moment. In many ways, I view the publication of Raging Chicken Press as the launching pad for a much more ambitious project for networking progressive media, advocacy and direct action training, and materially supporting social movements. The Occupy/99% Movement, to echo the Zapatistas, has opened a crack in history that opens new possibilities, new imaginations of our collective futures. And we have seen an explosion of DIY efforts to renew and rebuild what we might call a social movement infrastructure–the kind of infrastructure that can help sustain our movements in the years and decades to come. I’d like to think that we can learn from the right-wing in this country did: they spent decades investing in an infrastructure of media, think tanks, and publications. From Wisconsin, to Ohio, to Pennsylvania, we are seeing how those investments have paid off. The commons is being systematically disassembled. But, finally, we are seeing the birth of a movement with the power to roll back the right-wing attack.

Raging Chicken Press plans on being around for the long haul. And to do that, we are taking steps to make our work sustainable.  The Raging Chicken Store, while a small operation, has earned Raging Chicken Press enough to pay for our hosting costs and associated services.  This coming February. Raging Chicken Press will be at the PA Progressive Summit in Philadelphia.  Next summer, Raging Chicken Press will be attending Netroots Nation in Providence, RI to learn from the experience of other media activists and to deepen our political networks. This spring, Raging Chicken Press will take on its first intern. We are working to provide at least three paid internships a year beginning summer 2012. In short, a lot is going on.

Our most ambitious project will be related to raising funds to help Raging Chicken Press on a sound financial footing.  In the next couple of weeks, Raging Chicken Press will be putting out a fundraising appeal through Kickstarter.com. Rather than being forced to rely upon advertising or smaller fundraisers, we will attempting to raise $20,000 through this amazing, community based fundraising tool. While some readers have already begun to donate to Raging Chicken Press though our PayPal donation button on our site and we thank those donors immensely.  However, we recognize that our expenses will soon out pace what we are able to raise through small donations and the Raging Chicken Press store.

I can’t begin to thank all the people who have written me to say how excited they are about Raging Chicken Press. With this kind of support we will be able to build a strong independent, progressive voice for PA and beyond. For now, keep reading and consider contributing to the November issue of Raging Chicken Press!


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Over the past several years I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of projects faculty and students could organize around that would have meaningful impacts on the university and the community. During my first two years at KU, I was the faculty adviser for a group of amazing students who wanted to found a chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops. In less than a year, the students researched the history of USAS, of KU’s licensing agreements, and the range of tactics students could use to persuade the university to join the Workers Rights Consortium–an independent group that monitors textile factories around the world and organizes against sweatshop labor. The short story is that the students convinced the university to join the WRC and for a period of several years, you could be assured that if you were donning the KU logo on your clothing, that you were not supporting sweatshop labor. One year, President Cevallos even mentioned the university’s WRC membership in his opening address — even though he never acknowledged that it was STUDENTS who responsible for the university signing on. I just checked the WRC web site only to find that Kutztown is no longer a member of the WRC. It just goes to show, once the spotlight is turned in a different direction, the university will ditch any stated commitment to human rights.

Anyway, the fact is that students’ activist made a tangible, concrete change in the university. If that student organization had continued after a couple of the key organizers graduated, we might still be able to say our KU apparel was not made in sweatshops. In the light of the current recession and budget-cut mania, I’ve been thinking about the kind of things we could do locally that would have real, tangible effects and that would provide some degree of mutual aid to our communities. Ever since the Occupy Movement exploded on the scene, I’ve been having conversations here and there about just this issue. And today’s Occupy Kutztown rally was an encouraging place to begin a conversation about organizing locally and retaking a piece of the commons. With that in mind, here are some projects you will be hearing more about on the XChange in the coming weeks and months. Here are some concrete things we can demand our university does:

  • For starters, 50% of all food served in the dining halls and other locations on campus should be locally sourced from family farms
  • 75% of all university supplies should be manufactured in Pennsylvania, when possible, at union shops. This includes office supplies such as paper and pens as well as larger items such as desks and walkway lighting.
  • All new building projects should be build using union contractors from Pennsylvania.
  • Space should be set aside on campus for a farmers’ market
  • All university banking accounts should be moved out of “big banks” and relocated to community based banks in the area.
These are just some places to start. The basic idea is that changing these policies at the university would have positive, concrete effects in our communities. They will help sustain and create jobs. I can’t wait to begin organizing around these issues. It just feels good to start having this kind of conversation.

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I could not have asked for a better way to start my day. As I drove in to work this morning, I swung by the local Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Whiteoak and Main Street to see if the Occupy Kutztown action had gotten underway. Despite the rain and cooler weather, there were already at least a couple dozen people in brightly colored rain ponchos, homemade signs, and an energy that seemed to light up that little corner of Kutztown. I honked my horn, put down my passenger-side window and yelled “I’ll see you all in a little bit!!!”

What a way to start the day.

After I get done with my first round of office hours this morning, I am going to head down to Occupy Kutztown and and my voice to the protest as well as gather some stories and photos for Raging Chicken Press. I wish I could be there all day.

I am hoping that my colleagues, union members, union leaders, and students will take some time out of their days to join Occupy Kutztown in front of the Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Whiteoak and Main. After today’s action, the question will be where do we go from here? I have a host of ideas for what we can do locally to nurture this emerging social movement. After all, the Wall Street created economic crisis is not limited to a few blocks in New York City as we are well aware.

Bruce Levine, author of Get Up Stand uP has given me some ideas about the need to rebuild solidarity and our self-respect. Levine appeared on the Rick Smith Show back in April and I just transcribed the interview and published it in the October issue of Raging Chicken Press. Levine uses the example of the Populist Movement in the 1880s to get at the kind of organizing that needs to take place today to get back our self-respect and confidence.  Here’s a bit of what got me thinking:

But what they did—Populist organizers—was real smart. They realized, hey, our guys are getting ripped off by the banks and they’re getting ripped off by the railroads—that was the oligarchy of the time that was screwing them—the grain elevator operators. Why? Because they had to go into debt to plant their crops and when they finally got around to getting their crops sold, they couldn’t get enough money to pay off their debts, and so they were going deeper and deeper into debt, and losing their farms and all that. So, the great organization of that era was called, the short term for it was the Alliance, and what they did was they did some thinking about it. How could we come up with some kind of economic, self-help here that we could pull off that doesn’t take a lot of money, that could reduce these folks’ pain economically. And what they did was they just came up with the first, gigantic scale, working peoples’ cooperative where they basically cut out the middle-man. These farmers got together and they pulled their crop, cut out the middle-man, got great prices for their crop and word spread—they didn’t need twitter, they didn’t need facebook—word spread in a hurry that this was a great deal, this Alliance. They weren’t just an organization preaching at us, they were taking away our pain, giving us back our self-respect, giving us confidence.

The Occupy Kutztown action opens the possibility for a collective discussion about how we–right here where we live and work–can retake the reigns of the future by looking at alternatives to the mantra of “budget cuts” and manufactured “fiscal crisis.”  We shall see how the Kutztown community responds to the question posed by Eminem — a question that has been ringing in my ears for the past several weeks:

Look…If you had…one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted…in one moment, would you capture it? Or, just let it slip?

The opportunity of a generation is here. An opportunity to begin to retake the initiative, to right decades of wrongs, and to gain back our confidence to do more that throw our hands up in the air and say, “there is nothing I can do.”

I hope to see you today at Occupy Kutztown.

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In case readers of the XChange missed the launch of the October issue of Raging Chicken Press, here you go!

It’s amazing what can happen in a month. When people gather together and say “Enough!” another world seems possible once again. Since the September issue of Raging Chicken Press the #OccupyWallStreet movement has exploded to more than 1,173 cities nation-wide. That’s not a typo. One thousand, one hundred and seventy-three cities. By the time you read this, the number will have probably increased once again. Does the Occupy movement mark the emergence of a new social movement that can meet the challenges of the 21st Century? Will we see the birth of a mass-based movement that will finally stop the corporate profiteers in their tracks? What we know at this point is that laboratories of democracy are popping up across the nation and for the first time in decades, everyday people are relearning deliberation and democratic praxis.

This issue of Raging Chicken Press was initially billed as Part II of our Back to School issues. It seems that school has moved out of the classrooms and into the street. The Occupy movement has taken a more central place in this issue. In completely unpredictable ways, the Occupy movement has emerged in answer to several questions posed by writers from our last issue.  Given the rapid development of the Occupy movement, we will be focusing much of our November issue on the movements and the traditions of radical democracy with which they are in dialogue.

The October issue of Raging Chicken Press introduces a new feature: The Rick Smith Files. Beginning this month, each issue will feature at least one interview or segment from the Rick Smith Show. We believe that the work Rick Smith and his crew are doing is critical to helping build new social movements. Thanks especially to Rick and Brett for jumping with us into this experiment in networked media.

This issue also features several videos from other sources that help contextualize the Occupy movement and begin to respond to some critiques–especially those critiques coming from the left. We hope you’ll take the time to watch them as we think they represent important contributions to how “we” make sense of what’s going on.

Here’s the rundown of this month’s issue:

I want to thank all our contributors for their excellent work on this issue. I also want to put in a special plug for Dustin Slaughter’s David and Goliath Project Media Fund. Dustin has been traveling up and down the East Coast–from Philly to Boston to New York to DC–covering the growing Occupy movement. Any contribution you can make to the Fund will help make it possible for Dustin to continue his work and will help fund the documentary film about the Occupy movement he is working on. You can donate here: David and Goliath Project Media Fund.

You will probably be hearing from me a little bit more over the next couple of weeks as I get ready to take Raging Chicken Press to the next level. In the meantime, please don’t forget to take a peek at the Raging Chicken Press Store. We have all sorts of political swag for your progressive soul–t-shirts, bumper stickers, posters, and more. All purchases help fund this project. I’ve been surprised at the number of people from out of state-Wisconsin, Boston, Chicago, Florida, and even Maine–who have picked up some gear at our store. I can’t thank you enough. Every little bit helps build independent, progressive media for PA and beyond.

Oh! For readers in Kutztown or the surrounding area, I just got word that students are organizing an Occupy Kutztown event on the corner of Whiteoak and Main (in front of Wells Fargo) at 11 on Wednesday, Oct. 12.  If you can come out, please do. Look for me and let me know what you think of Raging Chicken Press!

Bread and Roses,

Kevin Mahoney
Editor Zero, Raging Chicken Press

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That’s right folks! The cornfield and picturesque campus were no match for the Occupy movement. It’s here.

Here’s the details:

  • When? Tomorrow! Wed. October 12 beginning at 11am
  • Where? Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Whiteoak and Main, Kutztown
  • What? A rally of the 99% . Here’s the official call to Occupy Kutztown:
    • INVITE EVERYONE!We are the 99%. Stand up to Wall Street, stand up to the Banks. Stand up to the 1% of the population that have been destroying the American Dream.Since we can’t leave campus because of class, why not bring it to Kutztown. Meet outside the Wells Fargo on main street. A company that took 25 billion dollars from the American Tax Payers. They continue to take people’s homes. They support the 1%. Who do you support?

      For more information about the movement please go to – www.occupytogether.org

      please note this is to be a peaceful demonstration.

  • Word has it that the Reading Eagle will be there along with 69 News. And, of course, Raging Chicken Press will be covering the event as well.
Hope to see you there!

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