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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.

Profile Information

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Industrial Workers of the World

Latest Activity

Eric Lee posted a status
"Swaziland: Attacks on trade unionists intensify - support the online campaign - spread the word! http://www.labourstart.org/go/swazi"
Eric Lee posted a status
"The Putinisation of Israel - my view of the Israeli election this week: http://www.ericlee.info/blog/?p=1055"
Eric Lee posted a status
"Solidarity with Kenyan truck drivers - support the online campaign - http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=2677"
Mar 18
Eric Lee posted a status
"Ecuador: Reinstate Jimena Lopez this International Women’s Day http://www.labourstart.org/go/jimena"
Mar 4
Eric Lee posted a status
"I just signed up to support this campaign. Will you? http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=2647"
Feb 10
Eric Lee posted a status
"No merger without workers rights! Build the campaign - spread the word - http://www.labourstart.org/go/nomerger"
Jan 15
Eric Lee posted a status
"Our first campaign of 2015: http://www.labourstart.org/go/maltepe Please sign the campaign, like this and share it, and spread the word!"
Jan 8
Eric Lee posted a status
"Do you have copies of UK union magazines that you're willing to part with? I need some for training. ericlee@labourstart.org Thanks!"
Jan 5
Eric Lee posted a status
"Check out our new Italian feed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LS_Italia"
Jan 4
Eric Lee posted a status
"Happy new year, brothers and sisters!"
Jan 1
Eric Lee posted a status
"It's Human Rights Day - free our brother Huber Ballesteros! Sign up to the online campaign: http://www.labourstart.org/go/freehuber"
Dec 9, 2014
Eric Lee posted a status
"Union organiser faces deportation from the UK due to his work organising cleaners. See http://savejason.wordpress.com/ Protest on Wednesday"
Dec 5, 2014
Eric Lee posted a status
"Peru: Attack on trade union rights on eve of climate change summit http://www.labourstart.org/go/cop20"
Dec 4, 2014
Eric Lee posted a status
"How can you combat human trafficking without involving trade unions? http://www.equaltimes.org/how-can-the-osce-combat-human?lang=en"
Nov 28, 2014
Eric Lee posted a status
"Wizz Air: Stop union-busting now! http://www.labourstart.org/go/wizz"
Nov 26, 2014
Eric Lee posted a status
"McDonald's Korea union member dismissed for fast food activism - http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/campaigns/show_campaign.cgi?c=922"
Nov 24, 2014

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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 (11 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 12:23 on August 19, 2010, Jill Biddington said…
Hey Eric - Good move to have another go at setting up Union Book. How come we have a photo of you and a car instead of you and a grandchild??

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