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Eric Lee
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  • London
  • United Kingdom
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Eric Lee's Page

About me

Born in New York City in 1955, Eric Lee has been active on the democratic Left for over forty years. Initially involved in the anti-Vietnam-war movement, he joined the Young People's Socialist League, the youth section of the Socialist Party USA, in 1971. He chaired its second largest chapter (at Cornell University) until 1975 and was elected to serve on the organization's National Executive Committee.

His first jobs were with the trade union movement -- working with the United Federation of Teachers' Youth Vote Project in 1972 and as an intern with the Textile Workers Union of America in 1974. In 1975, he went to work (briefly) for the YPSL, which was by then the youth section of Social Democrats USA. In late 1975, he joined the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, chaired by Michael Harrington, and a year later began work on its national staff.

He spent nearly all of 1976 living and working in Israel, on Kibbutz Beit Hashita, where he studied Hebrew and worked in the kibbutz's olive factory and in its grapefruit orchard.

In 1977 he founded The New International Review, a quarterly journal of democratic socialist theory and analysis. It continued publishing until 1989.

A member of DSOC's National Board representing its largest chapter (in New York City), he helped organize the opposition in 1980 to the merger between DSOC and New American Movement which resulted in the formation of Democratic Socialists of America.

While living in New York City, he worked for the Mayor's Office of SRO Housing (1979) and, in 1980, Helsinki Watch (now, Human Rights Watch). He wrote for a wide range of publications including Democratic Left, In These Times and others.

In 1980, he spent 6 weeks living in Toronto where he worked on the successful election campaign of New Democrat Neil Young (no, not that Neil Young). He published several articles on Canadian politics for left publications in the US.

In 1981, he moved to Israel where he became a member of Kibbutz Ein Dor. There, he worked on the shop floor of its wire and cable factory Teldor, milked cows, cared for children, and learned to program computers.

He began programming on an IBM S/34 midrange computer in 1984 and continued on the S/36 and AS/400 models, becoming proficient in RPG II and successor languages. Several of his programs were published in professional journals such as Scope/36 and Midrange Computing.

He lectured regularly on political issues at the Givat Haviva center, a kibbutz educational facility, and wrote for a wide range of newspapers and magazines in Hebrew and English, including Davar, Ha'aretz, and the Jerusalem Post. In 1987 he began writing regularly for the daily newspaper Al Hamishmar, covering foreign affairs. In 1990, he was elected a member of the Central Committee of the United Workers Party, Mapam.

In 1991, he completed his first book, Saigon to Jerusalem: Conversations with Israel's Vietnam Veterans, which was published in the United States. It was well-received by critics and sold 4 copies.

In 1993 he began work for the International Federation of Workers Education Associations as founding editor of its quarterly magazine, Workers Education, which was published in English, French and Spanish. Later that year, he published a special edition of the magazine devoted to computer communications and the labour movement.

During the mid 1990s he completed writing his second book, Mole: Stalin and the Okhrana, which despite a foreword from George F. Kennan and a contract from a US publisher, was not published. However, a portion of the book is available online. He intends eventually to find another publisher and bring the book to print.

In 1996, immediately following the election victory of Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, he launched the highly popular (and controversial) BibiWATCH website.

Later that year his third book, The Labour Movement and the Internet: The New Internationalism, was published in Britain by Pluto Press.

In 1997 and again in 1998, he lead the annual "Internet Blackouts" to commemorate (and mourn) Netanyahu's election victory.

In 1998, he began work in London as the ICT Co-ordinator for Labour and Society International, and launched the LabourStart website. That same year, "The Labour Movement and the Internet" was published in Korean.

In 2000, he ran as an independent labour candidate in the first (and last) elections to the ICANN Board. He placed 4th out of 54 candidates in what the winner called a "strong expression for organized labor". As part of his campaign, he published his fourth book, The Internet Belongs to Everyone. The book was published in electronic format only -- in PDF, HTML, Palm and Microsoft Reader versions.

In 2003 he helped to launch Labour Friends of Iraq and served on its executive. He was a supporter of the Euston Manifesto.

In April 2005, Lee published his fifth book, How Internet Radio Can Change the World. The book was published using cutting-edge print-on-demand technology and is primarily being sold online.

In 2008 he was active in Democrats Abroad, and supported the unsuccessful candidacy of John Edwards. He was, for a time, a member of the Council of Democrats Abroad UK.

In early 2009 he helped launch Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP).

In late 2008 he launched the first version of UnionBook, running on the Elgg platform, and in August 2010 launched this revamped version, running on Ning.

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Industrial Workers of the World

Latest Activity

Suzanne Adely liked Eric Lee's group Solidarity with the people of Egypt
May 24
Mario Caonabo commented on Eric Lee's group Solidarity with the people of Egypt
"Hi everybody! Hope to see more discussions in this group."
Mar 31
Mario Caonabo joined Eric Lee's group

Solidarity with the people of Egypt

A place for trade unionists to discuss what we can do to help our brothers and sisters in Egypt in their historic struggle for democracy.
Mar 31
Peter Moore liked Eric Lee's profile
Oct 25, 2015
Henry D Brown liked Eric Lee's group Solidarity with the people of Egypt
Oct 7, 2015
Eric Lee posted a status
"UnionBook is now back online. Thanks for your patience."
Sep 17, 2015
Eric Lee posted a status
"Kyrgyzstan: Stop union-busting, reinstate Zhanaydar Ahmetov - http://www.labourstart.org/go/kyrgyzstan Spread the word - build the campaign"
Sep 10, 2015
Eric Lee posted a status
"Check out LabourStart's Book of the Month for September - Joelito's Big Decision: http://bit.ly/1i04fZm Buy it from a unionized bookshop!"
Sep 10, 2015
Eric Lee posted a status
"Striking workers at London's National Gallery need our support today - http://www.labourstart.org/go/nationalgallery"
Sep 3, 2015
Becca Kirkpatrick joined Eric Lee's group

Getting things done - for activists

A group to discuss personal productivity issues for activists - or how we cope with overflowing inboxes, to-do lists, etc. Let's trade tips and tricks, learn from each others' experiences and become more effective at what we do.See More
Aug 30, 2015
Eric Lee commented on Haji Muhammad Saeed Arian's blog post Pakistan Labour Federation Solidarity support with the General Federation of Syrian Trade Unions – FGTU! for their heroic resistance and the struggle of the Syrian people!
""We are not supporting the Assad government" doesn't fit well with "the elected government of Bashar AL-Assad that, in his sovereign positions and his haughty solidarity with the Palestinian people, is undoubtedly the mainstay of…"
Jul 31, 2015
Eric Lee posted a status
"ActNOW: Union-busting at factory producting €1,000 leather bags - http://www.labourstart.org/go/mulberry"
Jul 21, 2015
Eric Lee posted a status
"The problem with Bernie Sanders: http://www.ericlee.info/blog/?p=1076"
Jul 20, 2015
Marco Patriarca joined Eric Lee's group

UnionBook Help & Support Network

If you have any questions or comments, or if you think you might able to answer people with questions or problems, this is the place to go. Please use the Discussion Forum to do so - click on the Start Discussion link at the bottom.See More
Jun 24, 2015
Marco Patriarca joined Eric Lee's group

Getting things done - for activists

A group to discuss personal productivity issues for activists - or how we cope with overflowing inboxes, to-do lists, etc. Let's trade tips and tricks, learn from each others' experiences and become more effective at what we do.See More
Jun 24, 2015
Eric Lee posted a status
Jun 24, 2015

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Eric Lee's Blog

Musicians wanted for the Big Red Band - socialist and labour movement marching and protest band.

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 10:55 0 Comments

The Big Red Band is a group of players who come together for protests and demonstrations. We're friendly and fun, and we play international socialist favourites. There is a wide range of abilities and we've got easy parts for most instruments and we'd love you to get in touch and join us. Write to thelondonbigredband@gmail.com to learn more.

The June Days in Turkey: an update - by Emre Eren Korkmaz (DISK)

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 13:18 0 Comments

The June Days of the massive mass mobilization in Turkey continue.
Last Saturday (22.06) hundred thousands gathered in Taksim Square for commemorating martyred comrades of the resistance, However while people were leaving the Square peacefully at 8 pm, police once again attacked over…

Turkey: Report from Director of Organizing and International Relations at DISK

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 7:22 0 Comments

Dear Friends, Comrades,

The people's resistance and mobilization is in its 20th day. Since 8 pm last night, in Taksim Square and many districts there have been non-stop clashes with police. Police attackes over peaceful protestors with excessive violence, with pepper and tear gasses, water cannons and water with liquid pepper gas and plastic bullets.  
On Friday early morning, PM Erdoğan had to meet with Taksim Solidarity representatives including DİSK General Secretary…

Turkey: Journalists' union president speaks out

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 7:18 0 Comments

Dear colleagues,

Everything is getting worse.

In Istanbul, yesterday evening, police entered Gezi Park by using tear gas, water cannon towards civilian people including women and children. Police also used tear gas within hotels around where the peoples got in…


Comment Wall (10 comments)

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At 15:19 on July 13, 2012, Ira Wechsler said…

Eric,  I lost my friends list on Union Book sometime back when you were reorganizing something on the web site. Is their any way you can recover it for me. I had some old acquaintances from days in the 60's student movement whose names I don't remember  but are definitely members of this site. I would like to be able to say hello to them.  I would greatly appreciate it.

At 22:48 on July 16, 2011, Stuart Elliott said…
Happy birthday, Eric.
At 15:58 on July 14, 2011, John Wood said…
Many happy returns Eric!
At 9:25 on October 26, 2010, Donghwan Ko said…
2 or 3 years ago, I met you online through email by chance. I have recieved a lot of email from you and acted sometimes for workers around world.(send off messages to capitalists and governments) Anyway happy to meet here, and I'm really honored of your activity. Thanks.
At 0:01 on September 12, 2010, Gordon Glick said…
Question: what is SIGTUR? What does the acronym mean?
At 10:00 on September 10, 2010, Christopher Land-Kazlauskas said…
Eric, first of all, happy new year to you! Hope your wish for the new year comes true.

Thanks for your message. I'll be heading into the office for a bit this afternoon (public holiday here) and will come back to you ASAP!
At 10:53 on August 29, 2010, MICHAEL CHAI said…
At 2:28 on August 24, 2010, Teresa K Morgan said…
awesome thanks!
At 3:41 on August 21, 2010, Mark f Christopher said…
Thanks for doing this mate!
At 11:14 on August 19, 2010, Mikko Hakkarainen said…
So you're the grand master & creator of the site, if I've understood right? Thumbs up, looks good!

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