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I have been publishing and sending out my e-newsletter, The Mason Missile, since late in 2005, and I am proud of how well people have responded. Every writer needs a platform to show their work.

In my next Missile, I will accept payment for advertisements, to pay for costs; I believe I am worthy of payment for my work, due to my education and the content I put out. (I am still happy to accept donations.) I would be happy to speak to you about payments, to advertise you organization or small business. Thanks.


Upcoming, August 14, 2018

I will be joining members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) in a rally at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, tomorrow, August 15, 2018, at 4:00 PM, to protest the detaining of immigrants and the separation of children from their parents. The policies pursued by this regime is nothing short of conscious cruelty, and racism is the only reason behind it-the idea that certain groups of people are less worthy of respect. To stand against this is the only right way to go.

Following that, I will join with other fine Philadelphia poets at the poetry reading, sponsored by the Moonstone Arts Center (http://moonstoneartscenter.org/) for their weekly poetry reading at Fergie’s Pub (http://www.fergies.com/), 1214 Sansom Street in Philadelphia. I will take part in the open reading following the featured readers’ performances. I continue to support Moonstone and their work in promoting poetry among working people; the arts are not a luxury, they are a necessity for all of us.

At the NWU Delegates Assembly

Over the past weekend I attended the Delegates Assembly of the National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981. (I’m Secretary of the Philadelphia chapter.) I was joined by Irving Jones, Chair of the Philadelphia chapter.

Tim Sheard, a member of the New York branch, handed out copies of the catalogue of his independent press, hardball Press, which publishes Labor-oriented histories, fiction, and children’s books. Another member presented a resolution supporting an” International Tribunal on US Colonial Crimes in Puerto Rico,” condemning the fiscal crisis imposed upon the island and the administration’s willful ineptitude in recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Guest speakers included Lice Soskloine, from the group WAGE (Working Artists and the Creative Economy), which fights for appropriate wages for visual and dance artists. (http://wageforwork.com/home)  Soskloine spoke of the “Womanifesto” that outlines the mission of WAGE, and the need to remunerate the artists for their work; she also spoke of the certification program for art institutions that pay artists fairly for their work.

Another speaker, Matt Taylor, spoke of the work of organizing writers for online news cites focusing on Vice Media. Taylor spoke of how receptive young workers are now to union organizing, and of how many of these sites, such as Slate, Salon, The Onion, Talking Points Memo, and MTV News project an image of progressive politics. Other speakers were Julia Salazar, who is running a progressive campaign for the New York State Senate (compatible to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’ campaign for the US House of Representatives) and Cedric O’Bannon, an African-American journalist who was arrested while video-taping a Neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento.

On Saturday evening, several of us delegates went to East Harlem,   where we visited a museum dedicated to graffiti art-and yes, graffiti is now an art form-and the proprietor of the museum, James Top, spoke to us about the evolution of graffiti. Top showed samples of the current exhibit, “Ladies First,” honoring the work of female graffiti artists in a still-predominantly male field. We then moved to the El Paso Mexican restaurant, and after a nice Mexican dinner we listened to an address by Ginger Adams Otis, a writer for the New York Daily News.