Author: Peter Rugh

Pushing back to move climate forward


You have to exercise your core muscles. That’s what any physical trainer worth his or her salt will tell you. The same goes for your “moral core.” And Michael Brune, head of the Sierra Club, assures us our president has a strong one.

Historic rally set to push climate movement forward

by Peter Rugh. Despite a strategy of ignoring climate change during his first term, President Obama appears ready to make it a top priority. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, he told the American people, “For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate […]

How the battle of Brooklyn College backfired

by Peter Rugh. A line of people formed around the block in front of Brooklyn College last Thursday evening. Dozens of police officers scrutinized the overflow crowd entering the school’s student center for weapons. Across the street, officers separated demonstrators whose opposing chants intermingled in the freezing cold wind. Members of the press weren’t allowed […]

‘Mi lucha es tu lucha’ – Occupy Sandy’s collective recovery

by Peter Rugh. It was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and the sound of pounding drums mingled with subway steel rattling underground, sending a hot pulse through the high-arched edifice of a humble house of worship in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. As Nina Simone sang in her blue soliloquy to the slain civil rights leader, “The […]

As New York fracking moratorium nears expiration, activists vow to take action

by Peter Rugh. Hundreds of clenched fists were raised Wednesday afternoon at Albany’s Empire Convention Center. Behind a security checkpoint defended by state troopers in rigid-brimmed campaign hats, New York governor Andrew Cuomo delivered the annual State of the State address to a room packed with clapping hands. In the longest such speech in the […]

Sanity in a culture of mass murder

by Peter Rugh. The mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 young school children and seven adults (including the shooter himself) has not only reignited the debate over gun control in the United States, but also a discussion over how communities deal with madness in their midst. Adam Lanza showed signs of mental illness […]

Hurricane Sandy relief turns to protest

by Peter Rugh. The stakes are high for people in the Rockaways. More than month and a half after Superstorm Sandy, winter is setting in and many of the ten thousand residents of this Queens neighborhood still lack heat or electricity. Many have no hot water. And there’s another festering crisis: mold. It’s lurching up […]

Low-wage workers rising up in New York City

by Peter Rugh. The line typically forms at the door of this Wendy’s in Downtown Brooklyn during lunch hour. Not today. That’s because a picket line circles the Fulton Street sidewalk in front of the restaurant and organizers with New York Communities for Change (NYCC) stand by the entrance distributing leaflets, urging costumers to eat […]

Strike launches largest union drive in U.S. fast food history

by Peter Rugh. While the emblems of Wendy’s, McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s and other greasy dynasties are hard to escape in the American landscape, those who cook, clean, ring up orders and otherwise serve as the fulcrum of these franchises often go unnoticed. These workers, however, were hard to miss today as they stepped off burger […]