Ed Asner

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Ed Asner
Ed Asner

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Edward Asner is an actor, a president of the Screen Actors Guild and a long time member of Democratic Socialists of America[1].

CES event

June 3, 1975, Coalition for Economic Survival honored Rep. Parren Mitchell, at a banquet at the Airport Hyatt Inn, Los Angeles. Mitchell was being honored because of his Transfer Amendment - which would redirect several billion from military to social spending.

CES chair Rev. Al Dortch presided. Sharing the podium with Mitchell were William Robertson, exec secretary of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, and Humberto Comacho of the United Electrical Workers.

Ruth Yanatta, newly elected Santa Monica councilor and CES founder, was also an honored guest.

Assemblywomen Maxine Waters also presented an award from the state legislative black caucus, to Mitchell and CES.

Honorary co-chairs of the event included Ed Asner, former US rep Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, US reps John Conyers and Ed Roybal, and actor John Randolph.[2]

Communist front sponsor

In 1984 Ed Asner was one of the "co-sponsors" of the Ninth Annual Banquet of the Labor Research Association . This organization was identified as a Communist Party USA front. It cooperated with the Soviet international front group, the World Federation of Trade Unions.

The banquet honored Democratic Congressman Charles Hayes. Other cosponsors included Howard Metzenbaum and Bella Abzug.[3]

Chicago DSA dinner

In 1985 Vicky Starr was honored with a Debs-Thomas-Harrington Award at an event that featured fellow Democratic Socialists of America member and then Screen Actors Guild President Ed Asner, and keynote speaker Congressman Lane Evans. In the years since, she remained a faithful patron of the dinner, attending nearly every one.[4]

Opposing loans to Chile

In 1987, Joanne Landy, Thomas Harrison and Gail Daneker, Directors, Campaign for Peace and Democracy/East and West, New York, circulated a statement Against Loans to Chile calling upon the Reagan Administration to oppose all loans to Chile.

It has been signed by leading "peace, labor, human rights, religious and cultural figures from the United States, Western Europe and Latin America." They were "joined by a large number of activists and writers from the USSR and Eastern Europe, many of whom have been persecuted in their own countries for work in independent peace and human rights movements."

Ed Asner endorsed the call.

The majority of signatories were affiliated with Democratic Socialists of America.[5]

Socialist Debs award

Every year since the mid 1960s the Indiana based Eugene V. Debs Foundation holds Eugene Debs Award Banquet in Terre Haute, to honor an approved social or labor activist. The 1987 honoree, was Ed Asner.[6]

Anti-capitalist

In a fund raising letter of May 1990, on Democratic Socialists of America stationery, Asner stated:

Arbitrary power in the East has met its match and has been relegated to the dustbin of history by the power of the people. Arbitrary power in America has not. In America that arbitrary power has a name: capitalism.[7]

Asner went on to say:

DSA believes in a fundamental redistribution of wealth and power in this country...Join with progressive public officials like Congressman Ron Dellums and San Francisco City Supervisor Harry Britt. . .who are working through DSA to bring together the day-to-day battles for social change with the longer-term strategies and visions.
Your contribution of $20. $35. $50. $100 or more will make you a "card-carrying" democratic socialist. It will push forward the work of promoting democratic socialist alternatives and building a progressive majority in the Nineties.

DSA potential donors list

On January 21, 1992 Steve Tarzynski, National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America, wrote a letter to "Harold" (probably Harold Meyerson).

"Following is the list of possible major donors I can think of to pledge support for Trish and our program in southern California. Additions and comments sorely needed."

Question marks in original list.[8]

Los Angeles DSA potential donors list

On July 26 1992 California Democratic Socialists of America leader Steve Tarzynski wrote a draft "major donor letter" for Southern California DSA, inviting donors to join the Upton Sinclair Club of DSA[9]

We know you have been generous in supporting DSA's important work in the past. We'd like to develop a core of at least twelve people who will pledge 1,000 annually to keep our Organization working for Southern California DSA. We invite you to be one of those people. This select group of members and friends would have a key role in rebuilding a democratic left opposition in California.
This unique group of individuals would form the "Upton Sinclair Club" which will act in an advisory role meeting with the Southern California DSA leadership at an annual brunch. Sinclair Club members will receive a quarterly bulletin reporting on Southern California DSA's progress, and will have an opportunity to meet international DSA spokespeople and international guest speakers in more intimate small group settings. Admission to all local, statewide, and national DSA events in the Southern California would be complimentary with membership in the Sinclair Club.

The draft was accompanied by a "List of Potential major donors to DSA"

Peace for Cuba Appeal

In 1994 Edward Asner was an initiator of the International Peace for Cuba Appeal, an affiliate of the Workers World Party dominated International Action Center.

Other prominent initiators included Cuban Intelligence agent Philip Agee, academic Noam Chomsky, Congressman John Conyers and Charles Rangel[10].

Open Letter to the Colombian People, Press and Government, Aug. 1996

"Stop the Bloodshed in Uraba, Due Process for Jose Antonio Lopez, Nelson Campo and others, and an End to Faceless Justice and Political Repression".

We, the undersigned, are North Americans and others who are deeply disturbed by the human rights situation in Colombia.
Massacres, disappearances and torture happen continually in the anguished region of Uraba. We can not understand how paramilitary groups operate so freely in this militarized region where the Colombian army is present in massive numbers, and which does not perform its constitutional function of defending the civilian population. And we can not understand why the regional paramilitary leader is not apprehended and brought to justice for his crimes against humanity.
We call upon all armed parties -- paramilitary units, guerrillas, army, police, urban militias and commandos -- to immediately cease all attacks upon both the civilian population and upon each other. Justice, peace and a fruitful life is never found through murder, torture, kidnapping and intimidation.

Ed Asner signed the letter, from the Colombia Support Network .[11]

Rosenberg Fund for Children

In 2003 Ed Asner was on the Advisory Board of the Rosenberg Fund for Children[12].

Ed Asner serves[13]on the Advisory Board of the Rosenberg Fund for Children.

Endorsed "In These Times"

Not In Our Name

In August 2004 Edward Asner an Actor endorsed an anti “Bush Team” Protest at the Republican National Convention in New York, organized by Not In Our Name, an organization closely associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party[14].

911 "Truther"

Ed Asner was one of 100 "prominent Americans" who signed an October 26 2004 statement[15]circulated by 911Truth.org calling on the U.S. Government to investigate 9/11 as a possible "inside job".

...we have assembled 100 notable Americans and 40 family members of those who died to sign this 9/11 Statement, which calls for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.

Sheinbaum fund raiser

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the first Member of Congress to call on the President to bring our troops home, was be in Los Angeles on Saturday February 4th 2006, for a 'very exciting but critical fundraiser against the most well-known, well-financed challenger she's ever faced". woolsey was facing a primary challenge from a termed-out Assemblyman Joe Nation, a moderate Democrat who has been critical of her stand on the war and on bringing home our troops. He is raising money from people who have given money to Tom DeLay and Bush-Cheney and his legislative district covers 60+% of Congresswoman Woolsey's district. Congresswoman Woolsey is a "champion of equal rights, civil liberties, protecting the environment and fighting for single payer healthcare. Congresswoman Woolsey must be re-elected by the same victory margin she has had in the past to send a message to progressives everywhere that's it IS OK to be courageous, and to not back down on issues that matter."

The Host Committee for this fundraiser includes:

Ben Affleck; Ed Asner; Warren Beatty; Jodie Evans; James Cromwell; Matt Damon; Tom Hayden; Wendy Herzog; Mimi Kennedy; Norman Lear; Stephen Rohde; Susie Shannon; Stanley Sheinbaum & Betty Sheinbaum; Lorraine Sheinberg; Kathy Spillar; Gloria A. Totten; Peg Yorkin; Senator Barbara Boxer; Congressman Joe Baca; Congressman Xavier Becerra; Congresswoman Lois Capps; Congresswoman Jane Harman; Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald; Congresswoman Grace Napolitano; Congresswoman; Lucille Roybal-Allard; Congresswoman Linda Sanchez; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; Congressman Adam Schiff; Congresswoman Hilda Solis; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Congresswoman Diane Watson; Senator Sheila Kuehl and Assemblywoman Karen Bass.

The fundraiser was at the Stanley & Betty Sheinbaum residence in Brentwood. Both Sheinbaums have been members of Democratic Socialists of America.[16]

Independent Progressive Politics Network

In 2009 Ed Asner served on the Advisory Committee of the Independent Progressive Politics Network[17].

46th Annual ACLU Garden Party

Ed Asner, Stanley Sheinbaum
Ed Asner, Stanley Sheinbaum

Sunday, September 20, 2009, at the home of Stanley Sheinbaum & Betty Sheinbaum Southern California ACLU held its 46th annual Garden Party.

Paying Tribute To These Champions of Civil Liberties:[18]

  • Stanley K. Sheinbaum Award - Ed Asner
  • Legislator of the Year Award - Karen Bass, Speaker of the California Assembly
  • Activist of the Year Award - Laura Chick, California Inspector General
  • Chapter Activist of the Year Award David V. DuFault, Desert Chapter
  • Chapter of the Year Award Pasadena-Foothill Chapter

Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Asner is listed as an endorser of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, as of March 15, 2010.[19]

"Free the Cuban 5"

From an April 8,2011 letter.

"Dear President Carter:

We, Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, want to extend our deepest gratitude for your recent visit to Cuba, as well as our support for your statements promoting improved relations between our countries.

Your call for the release of Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, Antonio Guerrero Rodriguez, Fernando Gonzalez Llort, Ramon Labanino Salazar, and Rene Gonzalez Sehwerert, known as the Cuban 5, and your willingness to visit with their family members in Cuba mean a great deal to all involved. We strongly agree that there is no reason to keep these men, who were simply trying to protect their country from terrorism, imprisoned any longer...

Further, we enthusiastically support you in having subsequent discussions with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and hope you will call for urgent action on their part to make right this unjust situation.

Again, we thank you and look forward to the possibility of improved relations and future visits to Cuba.

With respect,

Ed Asner, Co-Chair
, Danny Glover, Co-Chair, Jackson Browne
, James Cromwell, Mike Farrell, Richard Foos, Elliott Gould, Chrissie Hand
, Francisco Letelier, Esai Morales, Graham Nash
, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Sarandon, Pete Seeger, Martin Sheen
, Betty Sheinbaum, Stanley Sheinbaum, Andy Spahn, Oliver Stone
,Haskell Wexler[20]

60th Anniversary of the Rosenberg Executions

Ed Asner, Mike Farrell, Los Angeles Workers' Center
Ed Asner, Mike Farrell, Los Angeles Workers' Center

June 19th, 2013 was the 60th anniversary of the executions of Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Rosenberg, according to Peoples World, "seen by many as a grave injustice in our nation's history".

In 1953, the Rosenbergs were sent to the electric chair at the height of the McCarthy era in an atmosphere of hysterical anti-communism with undertones of anti-Semitism.

Longstanding progressive activist actor Ed Asner and fellow actor and anti-death penalty activist Mike Farrell marked the occasion by co-sponsoring a screening of the 1983 Sidney Lumet film "Daniel" at the Communist Party's Los Angeles Workers' Center. HollywoodProgressive.com, LAProgressive.com, and the Communist Party USA co-presented the event.

"Daniel," starring Timothy Hutton, Mandy Patinkin, Ellen Barkin, and Lindsay Crouse, is a fictionalized account of the Rosenberg case, focusing on the traumatic experiences of the children of persecuted Communist activists. The Rosenbergs were charged with "conspiracy to commit espionage" under the Espionage Act of 1917 (as was Bradley Manning). Prosecutors painted the Rosenbergs as traitors, responsible for providing the Soviet Union with "the secret of the atomic bomb."

Event organizer Rossana Cambron began the evening by reading a letter written by Julius and Ethel's son, Robert Meeropol, for the occasion. In it he described how his parents' case mirrors the current "War on Terror" in that "human rights and civil liberties take a back seat to national security." Meeropol went on to say that the government insists that the terrorist threat "is so dangerous that it justifies massive surveillance, expanding secrecy, indefinite detention, and even torture. The Rosenberg case resonates from the inmates at Guantanamo to Private Bradley Manning to the Oval Office of the White House."

Folk singer Ross Altman followed the reading with his moving song, "Ethel and Julius," written in 1993 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their execution.

In a short talk reviewing anti-Semitism in the McCarthy/J. Edgar Hoover era, Eric Gordon said, "The Rosenberg case has to be seen in its historical - and hysterical - context. ... America needed a show trial, and what better case than this one to prove Communist sympathies among Jews?" He also reminded the audience that in New York, a city with a 30 percent Jewish population, the prosecution made sure that not one Jew sat on the Rosenberg jury.

Asner (who played the defense attorney in "Daniel") spoke of the anti-Semitic character of the Rosenberg trial, drawing parallels with the show trials arising from Stalin's "Doctor's Plot" in the Soviet Union around the same time. He noted his own outspoken opposition, as president of the Screen Actors' Guild, to the Reagan administration's brutal anti-communist policies in Central America in the 1980s.

Asner, recalled how "Daniel" wasn't received well in the mainstream press. The Rosenberg case was still controversial, despite 30 years having passed. The 1983 New York Times review regarded the film's redemptive portrayal of political activism disdainfully, reflecting the neo-Cold War mentality of Reagan's America.

Asner lamented the ongoing "antipathy in this country for people of differing opinions," and offered this advice: "Be the opposition."[21]

The Event Focused On:

1) Remember the Rosenbergs

2) Oppose the Death Penalty

3) Free All Political Prisoners

Free Bradley Manning ~ Hands Off Julian Assange & Glenn Greenwald[22]

External links

References

  1. http://www.dsausa.org/LatestNews/2005/DSA%20membership%20grows.html
  2. [Peoples World Southwest, May 26, 1975, page 2]
  3. Communists in the Democrat Party, page 33
  4. DL Spring 2010
  5. New York review of books, Vol 34, Number 10, June 11, 1987
  6. Eugene V. Debs Foundation homepage, accessed March 14, 2011
  7. Communists in the Democratic party, page 54
  8. January 21, 1992 Steve Tarzynski, letter to "Harold", Tarzynski papers Southern California for Social Change
  9. Steve Tarzynski DSA major donor letter draft July 26, 1992, Tarzynski papers, Southern California Library for Social Change
  10. International Peace for Cuba Appeal - letterhead, Nov. 14, 1994
  11. Open Letter to the Colombian People, Press and Government: Stop the Bloodshed in Uraba, Due Process for Jose Antonio Lopez, Nelson Campo and others, and an End to Faceless Justice and Political Repression, August 1996
  12. Rosenberg Fund for Children Letterhead June 19 2003
  13. http://www.rfc.org/staffandboards
  14. http://www.revcom.us/a/1247/rnc_protest_nion_call.htm
  15. 911 Truth statement
  16. Progressive Talk, Posted on Friday, 3 February 2006 1:51:50 p.m. by angelsonmyside
  17. http://www.ippn.org/IPPN_People
  18. ACLU SC website, accessed Sept. 19, 2011
  19. Endorsers
  20. [http://mltoday.com/subject-areas/cuba/letter-from-san-antonio-activists-supporting-the-cuban-5-1231.html, Marxism-Leninism Today, Letter from San Antonio Activists Supporting the Cuban 5 PDF Print E-mail Oct. 2, 2011]
  21. PW, Legendary Hollywood activists mark Rosenberg executions’ 60th anniversary, by: Chris Elliott June 24 2013
  22. [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/laamn/message/30183, Yahoo groups, REMEMBERING The ROSENBERGS ~ 60th Anniversary Commemoration ~ Wednesday, June 19th, 7:00 PM at The Los Angeles Workers' Center ~ Co-Hosted by Ed Asner & Mike Farrell ~ Julius & Ethel Rosenberg Were Electrocuted on June 19th, 1953 Posted By: Anon Mon Jun 10, 2013]
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