Against the Current, No. 188, May/June 2017
What Kind of Opposition?
— The Editors
Learn from Malcolm X
— Malik Miah
Trump and the Middle East
— David Finkel
Regulation -- Who Needs It?
— Dianne Feeley
- Rasmea Odeh Accepts Plea Agreement
What is Reproductive Justice?
— Angi Becker Stevens
- A Note on Terms
Latin America: A Conservative Restoration?
— Marc Becker
Science for the People with the EZLN
— John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto
The Russian Revolution and Workers Democracy
— Suzi Weissman
Baba Jan, Pakistani Prisoner
— Farooq Tariq
Time has long passed that you could rob the fattest bank in america
— Kim D. Hunter
Franz Kafka: In His Times and Ours
— Alan Wald
C.L.R. James and His Times
— Anthony Bogues
E.P. Thompson's Socialist Humanism
— Dan Johnson
Detroit Radicals' Odyssey
— Bill V. Mullen
Race and the Real California
— Seonghee Lim
Market Uber Alles
— Kim D. Hunter
Leonard Weinglass in History
— Matthew Clark
- In Memoriam
Reflections on Tom Hayden
— Howard Brick
Seymour Kramer (1946-2017)
— Patrick M. Quinn
Remembering a Friend
— Mike Davis
Regina Pyrko McNulty (1923-2016)
— Dianne Feeley
SEYMOUR KRAMER, A founding member of Solidarity, and longtime labor union activist in the San Francisco Bay area, died of complications of diabetes in Berkeley, California, on January 20, 2017 at the age of 70.
I first got to know Seymour in the mid-1960s when we were both members of the Young Socialist Alliance (the youth organization of the Socialist Workers Party) in Madison, Wisconsin, and were actively involved in the movement against the war in Vietnam. Seymour, originally from New York, had come to Madison as a student at the University of Wisconsin.
Seymour and I became friends soon after I met him. It was immediately evident to me that he was a bright, outgoing, friendly, independent-minded person, highly articulate and a very good public speaker.
One of the first memorable political activities that Seymour and I collaborated on was to call up Muhammad Ali, the World Champion heavyweight boxer who then lived in Atlanta, Georgia and had publically expressed his opposition to the U.S. war against Vietnam.
We asked him if he would be willing to come to Madison to speak against the war in Vietnam at a public forum that we would organize. Ali readily agreed to do so. He came to Madison and spoke to a capacity audience at the Stock Pavilion on the west side of the University of Wisconsin campus.
With the proceeds of the small admission fee that the Madison Committee Against the War in Vietnam had charged for Ali’s speech (which we shared with the Black Student Union), the MCEWV purchased an electrically-powered mimeograph machine which churned out hundreds of thousands of anti-war and other political leaflets over the ensuing four years.
After Seymour graduated from the University of Wisconsin, he returned to New York for a short time before moving to San Francisco where he was active in the labor movement and became president of the School Bus Drivers Union. I would get together with him whenever I visited the San Francisco Bay area.
In 1986, Seymour and I were both founding members of Solidarity. But Seymour continued to support progressive members of the Democratic Party, including Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential primary campaign. He reluctantly concluded that such a political position was incompatible with Solidarity’s so he resigned his membership.
Despite his political differences with Solidarity, Seymour remained a committed revolutionary socialist, labor union activist, and an ardent champion of the working class. Seymour was one of the best socialist militants that I have ever had the good fortune to know. I will miss him and always treasure the political journey that we shared as young socialists.
Seymour is survived by his wife, Laura Goldsmith, daughters Hannah and Sasha Kramer, and his sister Karen Florman.
May-June 2017, ATC 188