Progressive Calendar 03.07.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 05:19:44 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.07.06
                          caucus edition

1. Dave Berger for State Auditor, GP
2. Jay Pond for US House CD5(Hennepin)

3. Caucus/web/resolutions
4. Single-payer health resolution
5. Stadium resolution
6. Clean indoor air resolution
7. Coldwater spring resolution
8. ed - Caucus party guide in 2 easy questions

9. Green Left Weekly - Venezuela: creating socialism in this century
10. Fischer-Hoffman  - Venezuelan women lead social change
11. ed               - The worst of early re/pre

--------1 of 11--------

Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 00:14:03 -0600
From: "Berger, Dave" <dberger [at] inverhills.mnscu.edu>
Subject: Dave Berger for State Auditor, GP

Dave Berger has announced that he will be seeking Green Party endorsement
for Minnesota State Auditor.  Berger was the endorsed Green Party
candidate for State Auditor in 2002.  That year he garnered nearly 4
percent of the vote which was the highest percentage received by a
state-wide Green Party candidate during that election cycle.

Berger is an instructor of sociology at Inver Hills Community College.

Information on Berger's campaign can be found at www.daveberger.org and
www.berger4auditor.org

When asked why he was running for this office, Berger stated, "Like most
people who run for office, I feel I would do a good job in the position I
am running for.  In addition, I am fighting for the right for the Green
Party to exist as an option in this state.  We need a good showing in a
state-wide race if we are to remain a viable political choice in the
future in Minnesota."


--------2 of 11--------

ed
Jay Pond for US House CD5 Hennepin

At a recent Green Party meeting, Jay Pond announced his candidacy for US
House CD5(Hennepin). The incumbent is many-term DFLer Martin Sabo.

Sabo is being challenged inside the DFL by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, who
replied to a question from Jay Pond, that, of course, he would "honor the
endorsement" - meaning, if he does not win endorsement against incumbent
Sabo, he will not run against him, and perhaps endorse him publicly (as
the DFL is likely to demand as a condition for N-P being considered at
all). If all goes as the DFL hacks would like (and probably have long
planned), Sabo will be endorsed, and N-P will ask his supporters to
support Sabo. A sad but all-too predictable end. (Remember when Kucinich
endorsed Kerry?)

To me this shows that 1) N-P has let himself be used, 2) "honoring the DFL
endorsement" is a poison pill for any anti-war reformer, and 3) a lot of
anti-war activists have wasted good time they could have spent on issues,
or working for candidates in an independent (eg Green)  party.

Fortunately, rather than to be bait-and-swtiched to Sabo, progressive
anti-war supporters now have Jay Pond (GP) to work for. More from him
soon.


--------3 of 11--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Caucus/web/resolutions

FIRST, to find your precinct caucus location, go to
 www.mngreens.org    or 612-487-9700 (Greens)
 www.dflcaucuses.org or 651-293-1200 (Democrats)
 www.mnip.org        or 651-487-9700 (Independents)
 www.gop-mn.org      or 651-222-0022 (Republicans)

Tuesday, 3/7, 7 pm, RESOLUTIONS for the precinct caucuses.

Many worthy organizations have prepared model resolutions which you might
introduce at your precinct.
 For one on immigration, go to www.americas.org.
 For Peace First!, go to www.peaceintheprecincts.org.
 For universal health care, check out www.uhcan-mn.org.
 Against torture, click on http://ga3.org/ct/_1AaO061dztQ/
 For Department of Peace, modify the Berkeley resolution from
www.thepeacealliance.org/resolutions/berkeley.htm (You get the idea.)
 Get it written out on your party's official forms (see party websites
above).


--------4 of 11--------

From: joel michael albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org>
Subject: Single-payer health resolution

Single-payer Health Care Resolution Precinct Caucuses 2006:

Whereas the U.S. (and MN) has the most expensive health care system in the
world in terms of absolute costs, per capita costs, and percentage of
gross domestic product,

Whereas despite being first in spending the World Health Organization has
ranked the U.S. 37th among all nations in terms of meeting the needs of
its people,

Whereas 45 million Americans (and MNs), including 8 million children, are
uninsured with tens of millions more inadequately insured,

Whereas racial, income, and ethnic disparities in access to care threaten
communities across the country, particularly communities of color,

Whereas dollars that could be spent on health care are being used for
administrative costs instead of patient needs,

Whereas any health care reform must ensure that health care providers and
practitioners are able to provide patients with the quality care they
need:

Now, therefore, be it resolved that our caucus, _______________________,
endorses implementation of a universal single-payer health care system for
the United States and Minnesota.

ref: Minnesota Universal Health Care Action Network.

Universal Single-payer definition: Publicly financed (replaces private
premiums with public taxes), publicly administered (by one government
payer), social insurance (everybody in, nobody out) health care system
that's Privately practiced (not socialized medicine).


--------5 of 11--------

From: Dann Dobson <dddobson1 [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Stadium resolution

WHEREAS, the owners of the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings propose
to use public tax dollars to build separate new sports stadiums costing
hundreds of millions of dollars; and

WHEREAS, the owners of the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings want to
use sales tax increases as the funding source for their new stadiums; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota statute 297A.99 Local Sales Tax Subdivision 3A requires
approval by voters of local sales tax increases; and

WHEREAS statewide surveys have consistently shown that a vast majority of
Minnesota citizens support the requirement of a referendum for local sales
tax increases;

NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that if any professional stadium or ballpark
is to be funded by a local sales tax increase, such sales tax increase
shall require a voter referendum as required by Minnesota state law.

--
Dann Dobson No Stadium Tax Coalition Summit Hill - Saint Paul
dddobson1 [at] yahoo.com


--------6 of 11--------

From: Jeanne Weigum <jw [at] ansrmn.org>
To: SPIF <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Clean indoor air resolution

A Resolution encouraging the _________Party of Minnesota's Platform to
include support for a comprehensive state law protecting all workers from
secondhand smoke.

WHEREAS, secondhand smoke kills at least 38,000 Americans die every year
from cardiovascular disease and lung cancer; and

WHEREAS, work sites and public places are locations where both members of
the community and employees of those establishments are exposed to
secondhand smoke, and

WHERE AS, Minnesota law protects most workers from secondhand smoke, and

WHERE AS, restaurant and bar workers are among the most exposed, most
vulnerable, least likely to have health insurance and least protected from
secondhand smoke in the workplace, and

WHERE AS, only one third of the states population is protected from
secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants by local ordinances,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the _____ party supports Minnesota's Freedom
to Breathe Act ensuring that all work places, including bars and
restaurants, become smoke free and include this support as an Action
Agenda Item in the ____on going platform.


--------7 of 11--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Coldwater spring resolution

Coldwater Spring Resolution
Minnesota Political Caucus
Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Whereas historic Coldwater Spring is the last spring of size in
Minneapolis, flowing at 100,000-gallons per day, (1) and

Whereas Coldwater Spring is on the National Register of Historic Places,
is where the soldiers lived who built Fort Snelling, and is called the
Birthplace of Minnesota, and

Whereas the Mendota Dakota Community formally requested a "conservation
easement" for the entire 27-acre Coldwater campus "in perpetuity" to
protect land considered "forever sacred" and "forever neutral" by Dakota,
Ojibwa and other Native peoples, (2) and

Whereas legislation and resolutions to protect the flow of water to
Coldwater have been passed by the Minnesota Legislature, the City of
Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the American
Indian Movement, (3)

Therefore be it resolved that the 27-acre Coldwater campus located between
Minnehaha Regional Park and Fort Snelling State Park be returned to open
green space, and be preserved and protected for the future. (4) (Please
see notes on reverse.)

NOTES: Coldwater Spring Resolution

(1) "Last spring of size": The Great Medicine Spring in Theodore Wirth
Park was permanently dewatered in the late 1980s (along with nearby
Glenwood Spring) by MnDOT construction of I-394 west out of Minneapolis.
Coldwater's flow comes out of limestone bedrock. The Frederick Miller
Spring (off 212, by Lion's Tap in Eden Prairie) comes out of a pipe beside
Spring Road.

(2) Request made on August 28, 2000, to the National Park Service by Linda
Brown, Administrative Assistant for the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota
Community.
 In court-ordered testimony on March 19, 1999, Ojibwa spiritual elder
Eddie Benton Benais from north central Wisconsin said: "My grandfather
told how he and his family, he as a small boy traveled by foot, by horse,
by canoe, to this great place to where there would be these great
religious, spiritual events. And that they always camped between the falls
and the sacred water place (Coldwater Spring)..We know that the falls
which came to be known as Minnehaha Falls, was a sacred place, was a
neutral place.and that the people (Dakota, Ojibwa, Sauk, Fox) all having
used and recognizing and mutually agreeing that that is forever a neutral
place and forever a sacred place."

(3) The Coldwater protection bill was signed into law by Gov. Jesse
Ventura, May 15, 2001. MnDOT proposed legislation to repeal the protection
on February 7, 2002, at the beginning of the next legislative session. A
series of resolutions to maintain Coldwater protections soon passed.
The City of Minneapolis resolution passed February 15, 2002.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board resolution passed March 3, 2002.
The American Indian Movement resolution passed February 17, 2002.

(4) Coldwater has been federal land since the 1805 Dakota-Pike treaty.
Until 1920 Coldwater furnished water to Fort Snelling-and then became
parkland. Between 1959 and 1996 the Coldwater campus was used by the U.S.
Bureau of Mines as a Cold War metallurgy and mining research facility.
Since 1996 the office buildings have been abandoned and are degraded with
asbestos and mold. Some of the 4 warehouses and garages are used by
various agencies. The National Park Service agreed to sell the Coldwater
campus for $6-million to the airport for parking and storage space. The
deal fell through after 9/11.
 Congressman Martin Sabo secured a $750,000 appropriation in 2003 to
determine the "disposition" of this Mississippi bluff-top parcel. The fate
of the spring and surrounding land should be announced by the end of 2006.
At the time of European settlement, 1820, the area was a prairie-edge,
burr oak savanna. Currently eagles, hawks, owls, foxes, deer, coyotes,
rabbits and a symphony of birds and insects live around the spring. FFI:
Friends of Coldwater www.friendsofcoldwater.org


--------8 of 11--------

ed
Caucus party guide in 2 easy questions

 1) Do you have a heart (yes, no)

  If NO, caucus Republican.    If YES, 2) is your heart Green? (yes, no)

                                          If YES, caucus Green
                                          If NO, caucus DFL
                                          If no answer, caucus Independent


---------9 of 11--------

Venezuela: Creating Socialism in this Century
Green Left Weekly - February 22, 2006
http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2006/657/657p12.htm

Long-time Venezuelan activist and deputy to the Latin American Parliament
Carolus Wimmer will be touring Australia in late February-early March,
hosted by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Green Left Weekly's
Jim McIlroy and Coral Wynter interviewed Wimmer in Caracas about the
challenges facing Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution.

Wimmer has been a member of the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) since
1971 and is the party's international relations secretary. He is the
founding director of the journal Debate Abierto (Open Debate) and produces
several radio programs on Venezuela's state-run National Radio.

Green Left Weekly: What is your opinion of the present stage of the
revolutionary process in Venezuela?

Carolus Wimmer: The process has gone forward in very many important areas
in the last few years. We have to remember that it is a political
struggle. We still have a capitalist system - we don't have the illusion
that we are yet living in the "socialism of the 21st century".

That's the future. But President Hugo Chavez has demonstrated that he
wants to change important parts of the system, and this may be the first
step in a transition to a post-capitalist system. There is a deep, ongoing
understanding that we must get rid of the capitalist system. To do that,
we must be successful in implementing the social programs. There are five
areas for revolutionary change: political, economic, social, territorial
and international.

In the political sphere, we have gone forward with the new constitution.
It is very democratic, especially in regards to the rights of working
people, rather than the upper class. We have had seven different
elections, including the half-term recall referendum in 2004 - a
remarkable demonstration of a new, more democratic system.

Now, we have the struggle for participatory democracy. The aim is to give
the people more rights and direct participation in the decision-making
process. It's not enough just to ask for the people's opinion, and then
still do whatever those in power want.

At present, too many people in political positions are still thinking in
the old way. This struggle for participatory democracy is now centred in
the local municipal councils, where there is a real discussion and
participation by the people.

In future, we have to advance in the way candidates are selected. It's too
centralised at present. The PCV now has eight members in the National
Assembly (AN), including the second vice-president. But this is due to the
close relationship between Chavez and the PCV. Previously, we were mostly
excluded from the parliament.

In the government coalition, the Movement for a Fifth Republic [MVR,
Chavez's party] represents 90% of the voters - because it represents a
vote for Chavez. Other parties included are Podemos, the PPT [Fatherland
for All] and the PCV. The PCV has the most votes of these three, and for
that reason is represented in the National Assembly, the Latin American
Parliament and the Andean Parliament.

There is now a special situation, because the opposition parties are not
in parliament [after they boycotted the December AN elections]. It could
be that they will not participate in the presidential elections, either.
They have no chance, but will not admit it. They will probably go with
abstention, and say: "We have 50-60% against Chavez!" We hope not, but it
is possible they will boycott the election.

GLW: Why was the voter turnout relatively low in the AN elections?

CW: There are a number of different reasons. Many of the people support
Chavez, but not the political parties. The PCV started two years ago to
work with the organised popular movement. Last year, we said to the MVR
that the popular organisations need to be represented at the round table
of discussion and decision-making, but there is a typical vision of a
strong ruling party that rules alone. This opinion is different to that of
Chavez and most of the main leaders, however.

The PCV ran in the elections for mayors and the AN, not with the parties,
but in alliance with the social movements. It was important that we had a
list of candidates including PCV members and members of the social
movements. We had great success. We jumped from 50,000 to 150,000 votes.
It changed the vision of our party. The PCV is an old, historic party,
with a strong public image relating to our martyrs and our political
prisoners, but a bit old-fashioned. This marks a new stage; these
elections have allowed us to grow stronger.

GLW: What is the chance of building a new party, or alliance, to unite the
MVR and the other political parties and create a new leadership?

CW: The future will show if this can happen. There is widespread agreement
that we need it, but at the moment we do not propose a new party - we're
not yet ready. A party needs a program, a more or less united ideological
vision and a more or less agreed idea of a structure. And a lack of
egoism.

There are some important historical leaders, like the director of the
newspaper Diario Vea, who have been arguing for a new party. But, in my
opinion, any decision of the leaders to establish a new party without the
involvement of the members will not be accepted unless it is fully
discussed from the bottom to the top.

On the other hand, there are great ideological differences. The MVR, for
example, is a movement around Chavez, but it is not Chavez. He stands
outside the party. There are even some right-wing people, originally from
Democratic Action [AD] and COPEI, who are now in the MVR. Some members are
just looking for jobs in the strongest government party. And if you are
looking for a program of the MVR, you won't find it.

It is very difficult to agree among the parties at present. We are looking
for an alliance. It is important that we sit around the table to make
common decisions, but right now there is no table. Widespread political
discussion is essential. Also, it is not enough to make an alliance only
for elections. Our objective is not just to have eight parliamentarians.

GLW: What is the current state of the right-wing political opposition?

CW: After the defeat of the coup in 2002, there was a great debate among
the opposition as to who was to blame. This is a welcome change, as it has
usually been the left who have been divided after defeats!

The opposition forces have great ideological differences, and have nothing
to offer their supporters. "Chavez must go!", they say. But, after him,
what? There are different leaders, and it has been impossible to agree on
a united opposition candidate for president.

In 1998, the US forced them to present a united candidate, Salas Romer,
but the right-wing parties would not accept him. Very few members of AD
would accept the candidate from Primero Justicia, Julio Borges, for
example. He is white, separated from the people, and is anti-women.

GLW: Where does the middle class in Venezuela stand today?

CW: Frustrated at home. They lost a lot of money through their small
commercial businesses [during the oil boycott and bosses' lock-out of
December 2002-February 2003 that aimed to destabilise the Chavez
government]. They were forced to close for three months, vainly hoping
that Chavez would disappear. Many of the leaders of the opposition are now
in Miami. They are seen as "traitors". They cannot mobilise anybody.
Carlos Ortega [the former head of the pro-boss "union" CTV and a leader of
the 2002 failed coup] is now in prison, and does not receive any
solidarity or support from anybody.

Very few people in the middle class have changed their position.
Politically, they will not agree with Chavez. But they will not go on a
second adventure with the opposition. They are very divided and
leaderless.

The lack of organised opposition is a problem for Chavismo also. There are
things that don't work in the system and there is still much corruption.
At the big rally [on February 4, protesting US aggression against
Venezuela] and on Alo Presidente [Chavez's weekly television show, on
February 5], Chavez spoke about the corruption, the bureaucracy, and
faults.

GLW: What is the role of the social missions and the social movements, in
putting mass pressure on the bureaucracy?

CW: The major transition will begin in 2007. Before that there is great
danger. If Chavez wins the December 2006 presidential election, the main
discussion of socialism will begin then.

It is a very difficult subject. Nobody knows what socialism is and
previously people commonly thought of it as a bad thing. Chavez is not
prepared to discuss it in detail at this stage. The US will try to use the
issue of "socialism" to attack Chavez prior to the election. Venezuela
faces a real danger from the US in this period.

Next year, assuming Chavez wins the presidential election, the subject of
socialism will be widely discussed. To build socialism in Venezuela is
very difficult; it must be seen within the context of the economy of all
of Latin America.

Another danger in the lead-up to December is that [the employers'
organisation] Fedecameras is trying to accommodate to this theme, saying,
"Let's participate, let's build a better 'national socialism' to better
exploit the workers".

In this discussion of socialism, we need to stress the transformation of
the state. The missions [which are providing health care, education, food
and other basic needs to the poor majority] mean that the existing state
apparatus is not working.

For example, you have a huge ministry of education, with a minister who
says he is a Chavista, with 100,000 employees, who are not going to work
beyond 5pm. We can't just say to the people that we will have a five-year
plan, and then we will show you the first results. Chavez needs to show
results immediately. The existing ministries of education and housing
don't show results. [The health mission] Barrio Adentro is the real
ministry of health.

The solution is class struggle. For us in the PCV, soon there must be a
great explosion between the capitalists and their bureaucracy and the
working class. At the moment, it is undercover. You don't have official
representatives of the capitalist class operating. They are all working
outside the country in the counter-revolution. This struggle will come,
and we can't say for sure who will win. The US is also playing a key role
in this battle.

GLW: The US is currently bogged down in Iraq. What is it doing to confront
Venezuela and the rising Latin American revolution in its own backyard?

CW: Undoubtedly, the US has made many mistakes, but it is trying to
control the whole world and can't do it. The US has shown that it is not
able to construct, but it has the clear capacity to destroy.

Chavez says it will be a 100-year war, but Venezuela knows that the major
fight may come very soon. Chavez spoke of needing more arms, of the need
for 1 million reservists to be ready. We hope it will not come soon, but
the US cannot accept the Venezuelan revolution continuing for another
seven years [another presidential term].

A great problem for us is Brazil. If Lula loses the presidential election
in November - and the US will do everything to make sure he loses - it
will be very hard for us. Latin America without Brazil is not the same.

Although there have been many criticisms of Lula, if Lula loses, the
difficulties for Venezuela would be very great. There are also many
problems in Argentina. But without Lula and [Argentinian President Nestor]
Kirchner, Venezuela would face severe pressures.

We think that the experience of the April 2002 coup indicates that the
Bush administration was not united in its approach to Venezuela. The State
Department had one approach and the Pentagon another.

A military solution is advocated by those interested primarily in the oil
industry. Direct military intervention means exploitation of Venezuelan
oil for the US. In his January 31 State of the Union address, President
Bush said he will invest in new energy solutions, accepting that the US
cannot resolve the energy crisis. The idea that he can take Iraqi oil for
the US has failed completely. It would take some years for the US to build
a political opposition in Venezuela. We don't believe they can do it.

The other position is advocated by the CIA - assassination. The problem is
that the US is not acting alone. There is Mossad, for example - the
Israelis have interests here. There is also Colombia, the oil interests,
the narco-traffickers. All would like to murder Chavez. It is a very
dangerous situation. At the moment, a political solution is very far away
for the US - it will not prevent Chavez from winning the Venezuelan
elections.

On the other hand, no-one knows what will happen if Chavez is eliminated.
Maybe a revolution. At the moment, there are more opportunities for the
revolution than two years ago. The social missions continue to grow
stronger.

But there are many challenges. There is the problem of corruption. And
Chavez has promised many things that cannot yet be delivered, such as the
resolution of the housing crisis. But, on the other hand, there is also
the possibility that Latin America will change completely in our favour in
the near future.

GLW: Tell us about the relations between Cuba and Venezuela.

CW: The relationship between Cuba and Venezuela is essential to the
Venezuelan revolution and the close friendship between Chavez and [Cuban
President] Fidel Castro is very important to this process.

Many administrative problems can be solved at the highest level. To
construct socialism we need the experience of the past. The missions were
initiated by the Cubans, because Venezuelan professionals did not
understand their importance.

Through this international solidarity, the Cuban people are also creating
a different future for themselves with Venezuelan help. Venezuelan oil
helps Cuba, as do other products.

We are engaged in bilateral assistance and we are working together to help
other Latin American countries. Both Cuba and Venezuela are involved in
Mision Milagro [Mission Miracle for operations on eyesight] in Bolivia.
The literacy campaign will be transferred to other Latin American
countries, with Cuban knowledge and Venezuelan personnel and finances.

GLW: What is the importance of international solidarity for Venezuela?

CW: In the end, the fight will be in our own countries. We must understand
the aim of Che Guevara to create "Two, three, many Vietnams!" With the
power of the US, and its massive destructive capacity, it's impossible to
build socialism in one country.

To give a concrete example, the 2002 coup was closely related to Iraq. The
US thought it could rapidly control Venezuela, and then move on Iraq.

People will struggle historically, but the outcomes will depend on the
political detail. On the reverse side of the equation, the fact that the
Iraq situation is so difficult for the US has benefited Venezuela.

The most important thing for international solidarity is that there is a
struggle in your own countries against neoliberalism and globalisation so
that your own governments are preoccupied with these struggles. The role
of the international media is important. For example, we don't find out
what is happening in Australia through the normal media outlets. We get a
false image of the fight inside these countries. We need newspapers like
Green Left Weekly to get a true picture.

The brigades are important to international solidarity. It would be good
to bring a group of doctors and other professional people to see the
reality of Venezuela. In this digital world, the important thing is direct
human communication.

For the left, it is very important to discuss the new examples here in
Venezuela. Maybe you can't export the idea of the missions, or maybe you
can. For us in the world left, it is important to discuss the Bolivarian
revolution and the idea of socialism in this century.

In Latin America, after the historic defeats, we thought it was impossible
to do anything against the dominant capitalist system. But now we can see
it is possible. Promotion of solidarity is very important, with the
exchange of visits, and direct personal communication and theoretical
discussion. This is how we can advance international solidarity from both
sides.

[Perhaps, given the importance of Latin America for a humane future, we
should be happy the US has its hands tied in Iraq. Unfortunately, before
we get rid of them, the ruling class will kill a lot of people.  It's what
they do best.  -ed]


--------10 of 11--------

Venezuela Leads the Way:
Welfare Mothers and Grassroots Women Are the Workers for Social Change!
by Cory Fischer-Hoffman
MR Zine (Monthly Review online supplement) - February 15, 2006
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/cfh150206.html

There is screaming, hugging, chanting, and many shhhs; the group takes a
momentary pause in their celebration to hear the news.  A delegation of 70
women from all over the world, including, India, Uganda, Guyana, the UK,
and the US, stand together in the community of La Padera, Venezuela,
awaiting the details.

Juanita Romero, also known as Madre, explains that President Hugo Chávez
has just given the news that we have all been waiting for: the
implementation of Article 88 of Venezuela's Bolivarian Constitution.

This diverse group, which makes up the Global Women's Strike, has been
visiting the grassroots projects that are the foundation of the Bolivarian
Revolution.  After three exhausting days of visiting medical clinics, land
committees, food program houses, and educational missions, the Global
Women's Strike has been strongly impressed that it is the grassroots women
who are building this process.

"Women are the ones that are leading the projects.  They are always there
and they are always the majority," says Nicola Marcos from Guyana.

The Global Women's Strike was formed to win economic and social
recognition for unwaged caring work.  Since the addition of Article 88 in
the Bolivarian Constitution (1999), the Global Women's Strike has built
many relationships with grassroots communities in Venezuela.

Article 88 declares:

"The State guarantees equality and equity between men and women in the
exercise of their right to work.  The State recognizes work in the home as
an economic activity that creates added values and produces social welfare
and wealth. Housewives are entitled to Social Security."


The Global Women's Strike has consistently commended the inclusion of
Article 88 in the Bolivarian Constitution.  While participating in
numerous Venezuelan Solidarity groups, and criticizing the United State's
attempts to destabilize the process, the Global Women's Strike has been
also pushing for the implementation of Article 88.

Due to the persistence of Nora Castańeda of the Women's Development Bank,
and the grassroots women of Venezuela, Article 88 will be realized.
Coinciding with the Global Women's Strike highly publicized delegation,
Chávez announced that this unprecedented right would be implemented

On February 2nd, in a speech delivered in the Teresa Careńo theater in
Caracas, Hugo Chávez proclaimed that, on the first of May, International
Worker's Day, 100,000 Venezuelan female heads of households would receive
380,000 Venezuelan Bolivares per month ($185).  This is about eighty
percent of the Venezuelan minimum wage.  In the following six months,
another 100,000 women will begin to receive payments in recognition of
their work.

"Caring for others is accomplished by a dazzling array of skills in an
endless variety of circumstances.  As well as cooking, shopping, cleaning,
laundering, planting, tending, harvesting for others, women comfort and
guide, nurse and teach, arrange and advise, discipline and encourage,
fight for and pacify.  Taxing and exhausting under any circumstances, this
service work, this emotional housework, is done both outside and inside
the home."  says Selma James, international coordinator of the Global
Women's Strike.

It is not only the work in the home, but it is also the caring work in the
community that serves as the base of the Bolivarian Revolution.  In the
community of Los Teques, like so many others, this vital work is
overwhelmingly led by women.  President Hugo Chávez has claimed that he
will "eliminate poverty by giving power to the poor"; in Los Teques, a
city that is both rich and poor, urban and rural, the poor are not waiting
to be given the power -- they are taking it.

In a poor barrio where many of the community members have squatted their
land, the nurses and doctors of the San Juan Evangelista Health Clinic
describe the free preventative, curative, and rehabilitative health care
that they provide to the community.

The Clinic is part of the Barrio Adentro Healthcare Mission, where
Venezuelan and Cuban doctors live in the communities in which they serve
and provide free healthcare to some of the poorest in Venezuela.

San Juan Evangelista Health Clinic serves 400 families and works in close
collaboration with the health committee, one of the many community
committees that have formed to assure that government programs and
missions reach the grassroots and that the community members play a role
in shaping them.  The Health committee includes nurses and doctors who
work in the clinic in addition to community members, mostly women, who do
the unwaged community work.

One of the nurses from the San Juan Evangelista Health Clinic shared, "I
am in the health committee, the land committee, and I am the spokesperson
for my community; people trust me.  I do all of this work as social work,
without receiving any wage."

Sharon Lungo, an activist from Los Angeles who participated in the Global
Women's Strike's delegation noted, how in Venezuela, the focus is on
building and "addressing the injustices by building the alternatives."

At the bottom of a steep hill, Sylvia Gonzales Rodriguez met the 70 women
from the Strike with a big smile.  She is in charge of the "food house"
which feeds 150 people in the community: mostly people who are unemployed,
have drug addictions, are pregnant and nursing women.  She works with four
other women preparing hot food from scratch with the staples she receives
from the state subsidized food program called MERCAL.

"There are other food programs that are not involved in the revolutionary
project, which give food to children.  We ensure that the whole family
eats, not just the children," says Sylvia.

This food kitchen is an integral part of all of the other Missions.  If
there are children or parents who receive food and have never learned how
to read and write, they are integrated into the Educational Missions.  If
there are unemployed people who lack certain skills, they are integrated
into Vuelvan Caras, the mission that provides job training to establish
cooperatives.  "This is the basis of the [Bolivarian] process, that you
learn by doing."  Sylvia added.

In addition to mothering three children and running the "food house,"
Sylvia is a midwife; she receives no wages for her work, which is so
essential to taking care of her family and community.

In every project it was consistent: women were working to maintain the
Revolution.  We asked many of the women how they sustained themselves.
Some women were married and shared in the low wages of their husbands;
others worked in the informal economy, selling food or doing domestic
work.  Most of the women were forced to obtain some waged work so that
they could support their unwaged caring work.

We had walked along train tracks that were two centuries old, until we
arrived in the small barrio of La Pradera.  Standing in front of another
shiny new Barrio Adentro Clinic, an ecstatic Venezuelan woman shared with
the group that Chávez had just announced that female heads of households
would begin to receive a payment in recognition of their work, beginning
on May 1st.

Everyone began to cheer shouts of Victory; the implementation of Article
88 would set a precedent for which the Global Women's Strike and the women
of Venezuela have been struggling for decades.

A number of women in the community mentioned that they would be eligible
for this payment, and one woman enthusiastically joked, "Now I will work
with more love!"

How Is Article 88 Different from Welfare in the United States?

Welfare in the United States has not been designed to acknowledge and
award the labor of mothering.  It is based on the premise that work can
only be done outside of the house and that women must enter the workforce
in order to contribute to society.  The US Welfare system, in fact, does
not award women who work in the home with social security but rather gives
mothers a small amount of cash assistance, while they are forced to search
for paid work.  The basic idea is that children who are born poor are
innocent and deserve some basic support, but once they grow up and become
mothers (or fathers) themselves, they have no "excuses" for being poor.

Women who have worked in the Welfare Rights movement have protested the
oppressive cycle that forces women to place their children into
under-funded childcare and themselves into low-wage work; instead, they
demand that the care that they provide for their children and communities
be acknowledged, valued, and remunerated.

Before Welfare Reform, AFDC (Assistance to Families with Dependent
Children) provided some safety net for families in poverty, but, in many
cases, it was not enough to live on.  Then, in 1996, Welfare Reform passed
under then President Bill Clinton, the son of a single mother who pledged
to "change Welfare as we know it."

Mothers lost their entitlement to benefits, with states administering
welfare, slashing budgets, enforcing degrading and exploitative "work
programs," inflicting strict sanctions, and in some cases establishing a
lifetime time limit for receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy
Families).  Mothers who have still access to benefits struggle harder to
live on the insufficient cash assistance programs.

Our lesson from Venezuela is that the very same women who are fighting for
better schools, for health care and for community control of resources are
the ones who become, out of their commitment to justice, to their
families, and to their communities, the most important builders of the
basis of a caring economy.

Nora Castańeda, president of the Women's Development Bank in Venezuela,
says, "The economy must be at the service of human beings, not human
beings at the service of the economy.  We are building an economy based on
cooperation and mutual support, a caring economy.  And since 70% of those
who live in conditions of poverty in the world are women, economic changes
must start with women."

C.C. Campbell-Rock, a native of New Orleans, who was forced to leave her
home on August 28, 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina, participated in the
Strike Delegation to share about the efforts of the Hurricane Evacuee
Council of the Bay Area (HECBA).  When asked what lessons her time in
Venezuela has brought her, she replied, "It appears that the Venezuelan
grassroots are really getting their 40 acres and a mule, and we are still
waiting, after 400 years."

An exhausted Juanita Romero, who chairs the land committee and who has
been arranging all of the logistics of this huge delegation, reminds us:
"If we organize, nothing is impossible."

Cory Fischer-Hoffman currently lives in Caracas, Venezuela, and she
participated in the Global Women's Strike Delegation in February, 2006.
She is a member of the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition in Olympia,
Washington.
toplab [at] toplab.org http://www.toplab.org

[Capitalism represents the settled interest of the ruling class. The only
thing it wants from us is work, work that makes it richer. Our major
interest in life is to be unceasing work, work more important than family
love fulfilment sex friendship community art humanity. Sex and family are
important in generating new supplies of workers, but it should stop there,
while we all run off to work work work. We are seen as slaves were seen -
of no intrinsic value, just tools or beasts to be manipulated used and
discarded.
 Thus women in America are rewarded financially for work outside the home
(where the rich can steal their cut), but not at all for service inside
the home (no money for the rich in that, so to hell with it).
 Every natural human bond is to be cut, so the rich can replace each with
their outstreched money-demanding hands. We are dehumanized, impoverished,
depressed, squeezed, pushed down, blinded and deafened, by the millions,
so the few can live as arrogant pigs. Life for us is as drab as the ruling
class can make it. If we want a better life, we have to find out how they
have done this to us, and put an end to it. -ed]


--------11 of 11--------

The worst of early re/pre.

So many places do "the best of". Justice would dictate equal time for "the
worst of". The second-rate (or worse) stuff that someone brainstormed but
didn't flush down the toilet. The clear signs that so-and-so really has a
pretty mediocre brain/imagination/insight, and for god knows what reason
just got lucky with a few best-of quality products. So here are the bits
of film from off the cutting room floor, that show the editor is human all
too human, just some guy with a little bit of luck now and then. Sigh.

 Preaction	Response before the event
 Preal		What real stuff is made of
 Prebell	Rise up before they hurt you
 Prebuke	Censure before the deed
 Precant	Disavow before avowing
 Precapitualte	Say it again, then say it
 Precent	A bit before recent
 Preciprocal	Get them before the equal and opposite reaction
 Precline	Lean forward
 Precollect	Remember the future
 Precruit	Avoiding the military
 Pred		Where red comes from
 Pred Cross	Puts you in the hospital before you get sick
 Pred herring	Diverts attention from the red herring
 Pred light	Step on it
 Predact	Cross out your words before you write them
 Pre-do		Do it over, then do it
 Prefutation	I don't like it, therefore it's false
 Pregattas	Boat races before there were boats
 Pregret	Sorrow before sin
 Prejuvinate	Fix what ain't broke
 Premunerate	Pay now, fly later
 Prenounce	Give it up before you get it
 Preprisal	Preemptive punishment

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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