Civil Rights

MOVE members flee after bombing

Editor's note: 30 years ago, police ordered the bombing of the Philadelphia headquarters of the black liberation group MOVE, killing eleven people including four children. As Baltimore reels after the death of twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody, we remember this tragic episode of state-sponsored violence with a Comment from our July 1985 issue.

Lesbian couple poses with judge after wedding ceremony

For Wisconsin couples, the road to equality has been paved with fear, hope, uncertainty, and joy.

Police cars in Baltimore

Exclusive documents obtained by The Real News show how police officers engaged in a pattern of abuse before the killing of Freddie Gray by arresting teenagers who were waiting to take the bus back home in the same neighborhood in Northwest Baltimore that would erupt and lead to the chaos seen this week.

Diana Bryant

“Trust is everything with treating mental illness,” Bryant says. “We don’t have any, and there are damn good reasons why we don’t.”

In a massive win for the public interest, Comcast abandoned its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable on Friday morning.

Wheelchair ramp in front of modern log-cabin house

April is Fair Housing Month--and the Fair Housing Amendments Act has improved housing opportunities for people with disabilities.

We’ve heard the lie before. When accused murderer and former North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager’s lawyer said his client “felt threatened,” it wasn't his life that had been threatened. What was threatened was his sense of authority.

The Progressive is fortunate to have footage of speeches and interviews featuring prominent activists, writers, and leaders from Naomi Klein to Kevin Alexander Gray among its archives. In partnership with On the Earth Productions, we present this series in conjunction with our regular coverage of education, pacifism, money in politics, civil rights, and environmental sustainability.

The threat of a nationwide boycott on the eve of the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament sent Republicans in Indiana scrambling to amend their anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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Activists say no wall can be built that will keep them from standing together for immigration reform.

In this 1963 letter from his Birmingham jail cell Martin Luther King Jr. pushed back against the idea that civil...

From drone strikes against Americans overseas to broad surveillance powers to indefinite detention, Obama certainly...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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