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[This is a huge victory, Mountaintop Removal is a horrible destructive practice of coal mining in Appalachia that destroys communities and the environment. Organizers, including Rainforest Action Network and many members and chapters of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), have been fighting this for a long time through creative nonviolent actions and pressure, and today we can celebrate a major victory as Bank of America caves to our demands! – alex]

From Bank of America’s website:

“Bank of America is particularly concerned about surface mining conducted through mountain top removal in locations such as central Appalachia. We therefore will phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through mountain top removal. While we acknowledge that surface mining is economically efficient and creates jobs, it can be conducted in a way that minimizes environmental impacts in certain geographies.”

We are thrilled that just two and a half weeks after RAN’s day of action against coal and coal finance, Bank of America has made a public commitment to stop financing the devastating practice of mountaintop removal mining. This has been a major demand of the banks for the Global Finance campaign and we applaud Bank of America as it takes a step in the right direction – a step away from coal. Congratulations to everyone who has helped to pressure Bank of America to end it’s financing of coal and mountaintop removal – this is a truly incredible grassroots victory!

We will have more information about Bank of America’s announcement soon, as we work with our team and our allies to respond. For now, let’s celebrate!

Originally posted by Annie on Rainforest Action Network’s website.

Issue 6 of the Bulletin is up, roaring and ready to go!

SHARE it widely, with your chapter, campus and community.

The SDS News Bulletin Working Group worked hard to bring you our sixth issue. It wasn’t easy, but with your help we’ve filled it. Whether you want a report from the National Convention or an answer to the question, “where do we go from here?” this newest bulletin has got it all.

Here it is:

(You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed
on your computer to view the PDF file, which is FREE software you can download from this website:

Enjoy! and Distribute widely!

Send us your stuff to be published in Issue 7:

“No Surrender: Writings from an Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner”

by David Gilbert

2004 Abraham Guillen Press/Arm the Spirit

I recommend this book. David Gilbert, lifelong political prisoner in New York since 1981, and former member of the Weather Underground (now being exploited in McCain political ads), here writes on many subjects of interest to all anti-imperialist activists.

David’s a great writer; very straightforward, focused, but with tenderness and humor, and he has a way of making sense of complicated and terrible political dramas in short and effective little essays. In addition to essays on Gilbert’s own history in SDS and Weather, the best samples here are on the U.S. white working class historically, the prison system, Colombia, Afghanistan, and neoliberalism. But Gilbert delves into a wide array of subjects from feminism to AIDS to institutional racism in many forms, and always with an amazing insight without requiring a lot of effort on the part of the reader.

It’s a damn shame that this man is behind bars, but luckily he’s still able to share his wisdom with us. Check this out!

“Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity”

by Dan Berger
2005 by AK Press

Outlaws of America is an interesting and refreshing look at a somewhat overdone subject, the Weather Underground. The use of interviews with David Gilbert, Bernardine Dohrn and many other former members of WUO, as well as an array of former members from revolutionary groups like the Black Liberation Army and Puerto Rican nationalist groups really brings the subject to life. Dan Berger also emphasizes throughout the book the relevance to today’s movements, and points particularly to the prison abolition and global justice movements as places where the legacy of Weather can be seen.

The book delves into the difficult past/present of armed struggle and state repression, and does a good job of keeping criticisms of the group grounded in the bigger picture of state violence. Some of the 70s history is unnecessary for most readers, but there’s also a lot of proactive criticism of the lack of feminist and queer analysis or practice within Weather, and even the racist mistakes which happened too often and too dramatically for comfort. These are the most important lessons I drew. Read the rest of this entry »

PRINT and DISTRIBUTE to your Chapter, Campus and Community!

The SDS News Bulletin Working Group is proud to bring you our fifth issue, the best yet. From front cover to articles to action reports to poetry to art, we loaded this issue up for maximum pleasure, and once again you made it all possible by sending in your work, thoughts, ideas and love.

Now here’s the result:

(You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view the PDF file, which is FREE software you can downloadHere)

Enjoy! and Distribute widely!

Send us your stuff to be published in Issue

Want to join the bulletin working group? Get involved by signing up for our email listserv:

-The SDS News Bulletin Working Group

“Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman”

by Cathy Wilkerson
2007 by Seven Stories

This is probably the most important book on the Weathermen written by one of its participants, tackling the many difficult inner complexities and questions that haunted the explosive project while remaining deeply committed to progressive social change and anti-racist organizing. In the end, this book taught me quite directly how and why the WUO went astray, and how a lack of open and participatory democracy can distort even the brightest of movements. Read the rest of this entry »

“Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960s Anti-War Movement”

by Carl Oglesby

2008 by Scribner

Carl Oglesby, former top-security-clearance defense contractor stooge-turned SDS President, writes a personal view of SDS and the movement against the Vietnam War that is insightful, amusing, and cutting. However, Oglesby has a clear bias and it’s hard to know how much of his account (which is largely based on his memory of various heated conversations) is completely fair or accurate. Also, Oglesby’s account ends up being more depressing than inspiring, as he falls into some pessimism about the prospects for movement building in the US, largely based on his experience of SDS cannibalizing itself.

Worth reading though, mostly because it’s a quick and interesting read that cuts through a lot of bullshit about the romantic 60s, and attacks the reality of war and social change with simple and rough words like so many arrows. Read the rest of this entry »

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