All Over Minneapolis...
Wednesday 26 November @ 14:17:54
Progressive Gift Guide
by Lydia Howell
Refusing to support sweatshops, unfair trade or ecologically unsustainable excess, some boycott gift-giving. There are alternatives created by fair, Green and local labor, that advance progressive ideas and organizations. Think of gifts that “give twice” both to the recipient and to a better future for the globe. (Organization memberships are something people choose to DO, not receive gift-wrapped).
Avoid “big box” stores; corporate chains rarely support local artists, regional economies or social justice. Where we spend our money matters. Longtime feminist Amazon Bookstore and literary hub Ruminater are both in financial trouble. May Day and Arise! bookstores are both nonprofit, volunteer-run, focused on progressive ideas. Having worked for a bookstore giant in the 1980s, I know those entities see books as just “product;” you won’t find poetry chapbooks, multicultural perspectives or anything “radical” there.
Every War Has Two Losers edited by Kim Stafford. Writings out of a lifetime of pacifism by his father, National Book Award winning poet William Staffford (1918-1993). Eloquent poems, thought-provoking insights.
9/11 Families For Peaceful Tomorrows:Turning Grief Into Actions For Peace by David Potorti, who lost his brother in the WTC and co-founded the organization. Powerful stories from Afghanistan, Iraq and home. Even the most avowed war-supporter will be moved.
A Right To Be Hostile: Boondocks Comic by Aaron McGruder, African-American characters and critical thinking about current collection.
100 Red Hot Years by Edwardo Galeano. Little history book by the Latin American writer (PROGRESSIVE magazine columnist), a terrific stocking-stuffer.
Sing, Whisper, Shout, Pray: Feminist Visions For A Just World edited by locals Sharon Day, Lisa Albretch and others. Multicultural, literary, daring, this anthology contains some of today’s most brilliant women thinkers.
A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn. NOT your high school textbook of generals, presidents, tycoons! This is “ordinary people” resisting oppression, building American democracy. Zinn is a national treasure of empathy, wit and honesty.
Michael Moore, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower each know big laughter makes hard truths about the state of the nation easier to hear and they’ve all got new and old books.
Wonderful, inexpensive gifts, and good for “they’ve got everything” people. Beautiful photography supporting Amnesty International, environmental groups; War Resisters League datebook is also vegatarian cookbook!; SHEROES is a wealth of women from global history.
Muticultural selection, Arise! Books, 2444 Lyndale Ave. South.
Independent magazines give all year: The Progressive(monthly based in Madison,WI), The Nation (bi-weekly), YES!(postive change), The SUN (progressive, literary), MIZNA (the only Arab-American literary magazine based here!):http://www.mizna.org.
Wage Peace T-shirts support Veterans for Peace 612-338-3407. Support independent media: KFAI Radio has new red T-shirts. 612-341-3144. For the irreverently radical check out local artist Christopher Loch’s political T-shirts at http://www.contempl8.net.
(Available at Electric Fetus, North Country Co-op)
Voices in the Wilderness 3-CD set of Twin Cities artists (diverse rock, folk)protesting war on Iraq. Affordable. Proceeds go to peace organizations.
Karen Lyu & Global Jazz Inventive drawing on international sources (Latin,Palestinian, Asian) with bop. Lyu’s voice is gritty Sarah Vaughn.
Yuletide Solstice KARI TAURING (Cedar Cultural Ctr. Dec. 20). Accoustic/rock, originals, Celtic traditionals.
Northland Poster Collective, 1613 East Lake, Union-printed. Progressive portraits of Malcolm X, Neruda, Emma Goldman, more. Features local artist Ricard Levins Morales.
Hopeful visions of a future by local painter/peace activist Jane Evershed (posters,T-shirts,too). http://www.janeevershed.com.
Intermedia Arts’(nonprofit) 30th anniversary set of 12 ($10). Supporting community-building through multimedia arts!
Local art, crafts, music, food, fun—and support TC peace and justice groups.
Friends For A Non-Violent World Crafts Sale, DEC.5: 4 p.m.-9 p.m.,DEC.6 (10AM-3 p.m.) Minneapolis Freinds Meeting , 4400 York Ave. South Meeting.Quilts, jewlry, childrens’ books.
DEC. 6, 3 p.m.: May Day Books Holiday Party. Homemade treats, short peace films and Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” starring Geroge C. Scott as Scrooge. $3 donation (Titles above available). 301 Cedar Ave. S (basement Midwest Mountaineering) West Bank.
DEC. 6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Women’s Art Fair, El Colegio School, 4137 Bloomington Ave. S.
DEC. 13-30: Babylon Gallery (nonprofit). Local art, jewelry, handmade books, 1625 East Lake
DEC. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Craft Fair with Rachel Nelson,TC peace activist/singer-songwriter. Her debut cd “Change Is A Thousand Hearts” available. Coffee Grounds Cafe, 1599 Hamline, Falcon Heights, St. Paul
Fair Trade coffee, KFAI mug—supporting local co-op, Latin American economy and community radio!
Co-ops are also great sources for vegatarian/wholistic cookbooks and fun kitchen stuff. Still stumped? Northern Sun Merchandising (2916 East Lake) has T-shirts, posters, myriad of progressive products. For more shopping sources see http://www.supermarketcoop.com.
Reflection (rather than consumption) should mark this year’s holidays. American soldiers and Iraqi people are maimed and killed while Bush escalates the “war at home” (giving to the greedy, taking from the needy). Celebrations can lead to reconnection, if we transform them; exploring new spiritual/cultural differences, to discover kindred spirits. Whatever our income, being mindfull spending money, we can be part of the solutions, instead of intensifying problems.
All the spiritual traditions have light at their center: Muhammed’s first revelation during the Night of Power (ending Ramadan); guidance of the Bethleham star; Kwanza’s kinara of seven candles to the Jewish menorah of eight. Longer nights can draw us inward to contemplate the passing year, consider our purpose for the new one—with faith the sun returns. Harder is knowing the light within ourselves. As the Buddhist greeting “Namaste” translates, "The Light within me beholds and reveres the Light witinh you.” With that recognition of each other, we’ make peace on Earth.