Michelle Chen

Michelle Chen is a contributing editor at In These Times. She is a regular contributor to the labor rights blog Working In These Times, Colorlines.com, and Pacifica's WBAI. Her work has also appeared in Common Dreams, Alternet, Ms. Magazine, Newsday, and her old zine, cain.

Articles by this author

A man rides through as grocery store workers and others stage a protest rally outside the Whole Foods Market, in the South End of Boston, to demand personal protective equipment, added benefits if needed and hazard pay, during the coronavirus pandemic on Apr. 7, 2020. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) Views
Monday, May 25, 2020
A Spontaneous Rebellion of Low-Wage Workers Is Rising Up Amid Pandemic
At a time of record unemployment, Cintya Medina feels lucky to have a job at the Barnes & Noble warehouse in Monroe, N.J.—but she does not want a job that puts her in danger. When Medina and her coworkers learned of several confirmed Covid-19 cases at the warehouse, they organized a protest on...
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New Jersey Department of Corrections. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) Views
Friday, May 15, 2020
Prisons Are Using the Pandemic to Impose Lockdowns
When New Jersey issued its stay at home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic, residents holed up in their homes and businesses shuttered. But for the thousands of residents whose home is behind bars, it was a different kind of “lockdown.” "People are calling home crying saying that they...
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One of the top countries for pollution-related death is among the richest: the United States ranks number seven, with some 197,000 deaths due to pollution.  (Photo: ribarnica/Flickr/cc) Views
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Dirty Air and Water Is Killing Us
The way we live is killing us. Pollution—whether it comes from a car’s tailpipe, a coal-fired power plant, or a toxic waste dump— claimed more than eight million lives around the world in 2017, fully 15 percent of all deaths. That’s according to a new report published by the Global Alliance on...
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Friday, November 15, 2019
Can Google’s Soul Be Saved?
With its ubiquitous and astronomical digital infrastructure, Google has put the world at our fingertips. But in some ways, it’s also making the world dirtier and less democratic. Under the slick veneer of clean, youthful, innovation-loving Silicon Valley, big tech firms like Google have colossal...
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A protester makes a gesture during a protest on June 12, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. (Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)   Views
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Hong Kong Protesters and Militant Chinese Workers Point the Way to a New Kind of Internationalism
Just as the “Made in China” label insinuated itself into our retail stores in the 1980s, China today insinuates itself into most of our mainstream news coverage, as one of the largest global markets, the top carbon emitter, the biggest workforce, and the biggest geopolitical rival to the United...
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There is no future in which workers are not on the frontline of climate-driven social transformation, either as survivors, or as agents of change. (Photo: By ZoranOrcik/shutterstock.com)   Views
Friday, June 21, 2019
'Hardhats vs. Hippies': How the Media Misrepresents the Debate Over the Green New Deal
A recent Politico article about the Green New Deal resolution put forward in February by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) features many grumblings from blue-collar union members about the potential economic disruption and the loss of jobs—even though the...
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Rep. Deb Haaland speaks at a reception hosted by the Congressional Native American Caucus in Washington on Jan. 3, 2019. (Photo: Brian Snyder / Reuters) Views
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Two Native Women in Congress Isn't Enough to End the Systemic Violence Native Girls Face
A shifting power balance on the Capitol — including the first two N ative women elected to the House — might change the political landscape for disenfranchised indigenous communities. For now, though, Washington remains gridlocked and native communities persevere as sites of resistance, struggling...
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A Central American girl travelling in a migrants' caravan, rides a bus outside a temporary shelter in eastern Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on December 6, 2018. (Photo: Guillermo Arias / AFP - Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Trump's Caravan Problem Isn't Which People Are Coming, But What Kind of Country America Will Choose to Be
A bleak irony is emerging in Tijuana's border zone. For all the raging conservative rhetoric about how Central American migrants are lawbreakers who refuse to just “get in line” and enter the “legal” way , the asylum seekers are actually "getting in line ” — or what passes for a line — by forming...
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Even with the proposed pay hike, teachers’ salaries are still devastatingly low, despite being years into the economic “recovery.” Views
Friday, April 06, 2018
The Oklahoma Teachers’ Strike Is a Mutiny Against Austerity
Oklahoma teachers proudly marked themselves absent from school since Monday, and they had an excellent excuse: They made themselves present in politics instead, with a historic march on the Capitol in hopes of finally capturing the legislature’s undivided attention Lawmakers thought they could eke...
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"So while the decennial census should be a comprehensive social survey, it has no business questioning our citizenship." (Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images) Views
Friday, March 30, 2018
Trump Wants to Reframe the Census to Fit His Definition of America, Not Protect Americans
The purpose of an accurate census count is to help the government understand the people for whom it is responsible — full stop. A fully inclusive census is vital for informing policy-making, whether determining how many roadways are required for a region’s population, monitoring local public health...
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