by Bill Weinberg, The Villager

This May Day season has been a real political eye-opener for me.

On International Workers' Day itself, I was part of the Free Syria bloc at the Foley Square rally—consciously dissident, in repudiation of the growing flirtation by elements of the American left with the genocidal dictatorship of Bashar Assad. In our contingent was a woman from Syria's Idlib—capital city of the province of that name, where last month the regime carried out a deadly chemical attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun.

It was heartening that we got a lot of positive reactions from the crowd. One young woman who gave us the thumbs-up had a handwritten sign reading: "I am the product of Mexican & Syrian immigrants. This is what an American looks like."

But some other moments were not so heartening—indeed, downright disturbing.

New York City
Lopez Rivera

Oscar López Rivera, terrorism and semantics

The controversy over liberated political prisoner Oscar López Rivera’s participation in New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade opens a window on the political uses of the term “terrorist.”