The skanner. (Portland, Or.) 1975-2014, January 17, 2018, Page Page 2, Image 2

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    Page 2 The Skanner January 17, 2018
Challenging People to Shape
a Better Future Now
Bernie Foster
Is the Israeli-Palestinian Two-State Solution Doomed?
Bobbie Dore Foster
Executive Editor
Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?
Jerry Foster
Advertising Manager
Christen McCurdy
News Editor
Patricia Irvin
Graphic Designer
Melanie Sevcenko
Monica J. Foster
Seattle Office Coordinator
Susan Fried
The Skanner Newspaper, es-
tablished in October 1975, is a
weekly publication, published
every Wednesday by IMM Publi-
cations Inc.
415 N. Killingsworth St.
P.O. Box 5455
Portland, OR 97228
The Skanner is a member of the
National Newspaper Pub lishers
Association and West Coast Black
Pub lishers Association.
All photos submitted become
the property of The Skanner. We
are not re spon sible for lost or
damaged photos either solicited
or unsolicited.
©2018 The Skanner. All rights re served. Reproduction in
whole or in part without permission prohibited.
Local News
Pacific NW News
World News
Jobs, Bids
Community Calendar
n F
Updated daily.
d ay ! • L i ke u s o
o k • learn • co
Fletcher Jr.
The Global
tories by seizing the best land
and forcing the Palestinians
into a situation that is further
reminiscent of the Bantustan
settlements established by
will conclusively be no cohe-
sive territory that the Pales-
tinians can exist upon. Their
land will be formally — rath-
er than de facto — divided
according to the wishes of the
Israeli government; the Pales-
tinians will have no access to
the sea; and little assurance of
access via the air. While the
Palestinians may have a flag,
they will have little else.
Trump’s unilateral decision
The Israeli political establishment
has made it impossible for a re-
alistic two-state solution to come
into existence
apartheid South Africa, pre-
The Israeli political estab-
lishment has made it impos-
sible for a realistic two-state
solution to come into exis-
tence. If Israel goes forward
with this annexation, there
to move the American em-
bassy from Tel Aviv to Jeru-
salem—a decision that was
publically condemned by
dozens of world leaders—the
Israeli political establishment
has thumbed its nose at the
once again. To add insult to
injury, the Israeli political es-
tablishment and their allies in
the United States continue to
relentlessly pursue efforts to
suppress non-violent oppo-
sition to Israeli government
policy, i.e., opposition to boy-
as a tactic to pressure groups
For those of us who consis-
tently oppose racism, annex-
ations and apartheid, 2018
must represent a continua-
tion of the struggle for Pal-
estinian rights and freedom.
There is no room to back
down. The Israeli govern-
ment has made its stand more
than clear: there are no Pal-
estinian rights that they feel
bound to respect.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a talk show
host, writer and activist. Follow
him on Twitter @BillFletcher-
Jr, Facebook and at www.billf-
Remembering the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike
y •
n kicking off the new year,
the central committee of
the right-wing, governing
Israeli party — the Likud —
unanimously adopted a reso-
lution calling for the annex-
ation of Israeli settlements
in the occupied West Bank.
Though this was technically
an advisory opinion, most
observers recognize that this
represents the views of Prime
Minister Netanyahu’s admin-
For years, the Israeli gov-
ernment has been doing a
dance where they have, on
the one hand, increased the
illegal settlement of Pales-
tinian territories while, on
the other hand, claiming that
they uphold the ultimate goal
of a two-state solution to the
Israeli/Palestinian dispute.
The announcement of the
Likud resolution puts to bed
any further pretense; Likud
seeks to eliminate Palestin-
ians from the occupied terri-
Never Forget Why Martin Luther King, Jr. Was in Memphis
Telephone (503) 285-5555
Fax: (503) 285-2900
in y o u r c o m m u n
r. Martin Luther King,
Jr. didn’t plan to get in-
volved in the Memphis
garbage worker’s strike.
He hadn’t planned to be there
on the fateful day when he
was shot on April 4, 1968.
King was pressured to go the
first time and found the gar-
bage worker’s strike compel-
ling. He promised to return,
and felt it important to keep
his word, despite a packed
Memphis was so very im-
portant, because the 1,300
Black men who worked in the
city’s sanitation department
were treated despicably. Two
workers had been crushed in
a garbage compactor in 1964,
but the faulty equipment had
not been replaced. On Feb-
ruary 1, 1968, two more men,
Echol Cole, 36, and Robert
Walker, 30, were crushed in
the compactor. The two men
were contract workers, so
they did not qualify for work-
men’s compensation, and had
no life insurance. The city of
Memphis paid $500 plus one
month’s pay for their funer-
al expenses. Robert Walker’s
wife, Earline, was pregnant at
the time of his death.
Memphis garbage workers
were notoriously ill-treated.
They were poorly paid, at
$1.60 (the minimum wage) to
$1.90 per hour. They were not
paid overtime, even though
they were often required to
work more than 8 hours a
day. Their pay was so low that
many held second jobs, or re-
ceived public assistance. They
were not paid to work when
there was inclement weather,
like rain or snow. And their
supervisors, mostly White,
were much better paid, no
matter what the weather. Af-
ter the deaths of Echol Cole
and Robert Walker, garbage
workers demanded better
wages, better working condi-
tions, and union recognition.
We must
resist the
current ad-
attempts to
all of workers
The city council agreed, but
the racist, indifferent mayor,
Henry Loeb, vetoed the city
council’s action. The men
went on strike on February 11,
1968, and stayed out 64 days,
until April 12.
Have we forgotten the poi-
gnant pictures of grown men
carrying hand-lettered signs
that said “I Am A Man,” and
the irony of these hard-work-
ing men having to declare
that which should have been
perfectly obvious? Memphis
Black garbage workers were
not treated as men, but as
disposable beings considered
only useful for dealing with
other people’s rubbish. They
weren’t the only ones. Many
Black people, even after the
passage of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, received unequal pay,
and thoroughly unacceptable
terms and conditions of work.
The city of Memphis was vi-
olating national labor laws,
but, because the people they
were abusing were Black, no-
body cared, and nobody no-
ticed until the garbage work-
ers went on strike.
The Association of Federal,
State, County and Municipal
Employees (AFSCME) is the
union that the Memphis gar-
bage workers were affiliated
with. They have developed a
campaign called “I AM 2018,”
that is focused on organizing
and on a series of events to
commemorate the strike, to
honor the memories of Cole
and Walker, and to focus on
the dignity of work.
The “I AM 2018” campaign
is needed now, more than
ever, as worker dignity is con-
tinues to be assailed. The U.S.
Department of Labor seems
to be on a campaign to rescind
Obama-era rules that improve
life for workers. For example,
an Obama rule would require
employers to pay four hours
of wages to workers who are
“on call” whether they are
used or not. Why? Because, if
the workers are on call, they
are tethered to the telephone
and need to be paid for their
time. Since “45,” was elect-
ed, though, many companies
have lined up to ask the De-
partment of Labor to rescind
the proposed rule. They say
that the rule is too costly for
corporations and businesses
and that it will cost the nation
jobs. New York State Senator
Chris Jacobs says the pro-
posed rule will be a “devastat-
ing blow” to business. In this
aggressively and myopically
pro-business climate, who
wants to bet that the proposed
rule will be rescinded?
Just as King stood with
Memphis garbage workers,
he would now stand with
the “I AM 2018” campaign,
and with the “on call” work-
ers who can’t get respect or
compensation for their avail-
ability. We are still not fin-
ished with the work Dr. King
started, not finished with the
struggle for economic justice.
We have not attained equali-
ty or developed an economic
agenda for shared prosperity,
for workplace dignity and for
human rights.
We must remember Echol
Cole and Robert Walker, who
were killed because Mem-
phis just didn’t care enough
to have working equipment
for their garbage workers.
We must remember the au-
dacity that Black men had to
strike and a time when they
might lose their jobs for sim-
ply talking back; And we must
reclaim audacity and resist
the current administration’s
attempts to dehumanize all of
us. The struggle for justice
clearly must continue.
Julianne Malveaux is an au-
thor, economist and founder
of Economic Education. Her
latest book “Are We Better Off?
Race, Obama and Public Pol-
icy” is available to order at and at www.juli- Follow Dr.
Malveaux on Twitter @drjlast-
nt •
lo c a l n e w s •