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Papa Q: The Challenge of Creating a 21st Century Left Politics

BILL FLETCHER: What We Need to Do

Wednesday, 30 September 2009 23:01 Published in Community Organizing

What We Need to DoJoseph Phelan of Organizing Upgrade interviewed Bill Fletcher Jr. by phone in early June 2009.

Joseph: Bill, the first thing I want to get to with you is: What do you think are the most significant things happening right now in the world? What are the shifts that left organizers in particular need to be paying attention to?

Bill: We are living through the convergence of three crises: economic, environmental and a crisis of state legitimacy.  It is a moment where we’re dealing with more than a recession or even a depression. We’re dealing with these forces that are coming together and opening up tremendous possibilities in terms of the development of a new set of politics and a new political practice. But at the same time, it’s very dangerous and very scary.

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About the Author

  • Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a longtime labor, racial justice and international activist. He is an Editorial Board member and columnist for and a Senior Scholar for the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. He is the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and a founder of the Black Radical Congress.

    Fletcher is the co-author (with Fernando Gapasin) of Solidarity Divided, The Crisis in Organized Labor and A New Path Toward Social Justice (University of California Press). He was formerly the Vice President for International Trade Union Development Programs for the George Meany Center of the AFL-CIO. Prior the George Meany Center, Fletcher served as Education Director and later Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO.

    Fletcher got his start in the labor movement as a rank and file member of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America. Combining labor and community work, he was also involved in ongoing efforts to desegregate the Boston building trades. He later served in leadership and staff positions in District 65-United Auto Workers, National Postal Mail Handlers Union and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

    Fletcher is a graduate of Harvard University and has authored numerous articles and speaks widely on domestic and international topics, racial justice and labor issues.

Recent Bill Fletcher Posts

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