|Progressive Calendar 11.07.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 09:56:14 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.07.06 VOTE 1. Vote/info 11.07 2. IRV/YES ChAmend 161 11.07 3. Green Party 11.07 8am/12noon 4. Colombia/SPNN 11.07 5pm 5. CO status 11.07 5:30pm 6. Election salon 11.07 6:30pm 7. Mortenson party 11.07 7pm? 8. Refuseniks 11.07 7:30pm 9. GP election party 11.07 8pm 10. Mn Daily excludes minor parties: more developments & comments 11. Alexander Cockburn - GOP should lose, Dems don't deserve to win 12. Jesse Hagopian - Aaron Dixon: Black Panthers to the Green Party 13. ed - The last thing we want (poem) --------1 of 13-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vote/info 11.07 Tuesday, 11/7, 7 am to 8 pm, GENERAL ELECTIONS; VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE PEACE CANDIDATE. For polling places, go to: http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/ --- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> VOTE!! To the End of the Ballot: Including Judges Voting to the End of the Ballot: Casting Informed Votes in Judicial Races Visit <<http://ewomenwin [at] mnwpc.org/press/newsletter.cfm?NewsletterID=212>http://ewomenwin [at] mnwpc.org/press/newsletter.cfm?NewsletterID=212>. --------2 of 13-------- From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org Subject: IRV/YES ChAmend 161 11.07 Tuesday, November 7th there will be a charter amendment put forward to voters in MPLS that I believe is more important than any other choice on the ballot that day. The citizans of MPLS have a chance to change the way we count our votes. It is called Instant Runoff Voting or IRV. I am sending this out because, much to my surprise, just a few days ago I spoke with several folks in NE MPLS and NONE of them knew anything about Charter Amendment 161. IRV will remove "the spoiler" factor that is so often used against Third Party candidates because it will allow a voter to rank the candidates in the order of the voter's preference. It also makes sure that who ever is eleced recieves a MAJORITY ot the votes, 50% plus 1, not a plurity, which is what Governor Pawlenty was elected with. You can visit the local website for the amendment and learn more about IRV by visiting www.betterballotcampaign.org This seems like suce a no-brainer to me but was shocked to meet so many folks that know nothing about it so Please DO spread the word and vote YES on Charter Amendment 161 November 7th. feel free to give me a call if you have any questions about IRV, Tom Taylor 612-788-4252 -- From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at] earthlink.net> From: Jeanne Massey NEWS AND HOT TOPICS 1) Star Tribune Commentary gives boost to IRV campaign Former Minneapolis Mayor Don Fraser urges voters to Vote YES for Instant Runoff Voting - Minneapolis Star Tribune, September 23rd. "Don Fraser: Citizens, 'instant runoff' is a better way to vote" http://www.betterballotcampaign.org/node/467 2) New endorsements Field, Regina, Northrop Neighborhood Association and Armatage Neighborhood Association have joined 10 other neighborhood associations in endorsing Instant Runoff Voting for the City of Minneapolis. See full list of endorsements at http://www.betterballotcampaign.org/BBC/endorsers. 3) IRV Flash Video Better Ballot Campaign has a new flash video about the Minneapolis Instant Runoff Voting campaign available here: http://www.betterballotcampaign.org/BBC/video It's an entertaining take on The Dating Game TV show that is also an easy way to educate voters about why they should vote YES for Instant Runoff Voting on November 7. Check it out, and forward to your friends and neighbors. --------3 of 13--------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: Green Party 11.07 8am/12noon Go vote, then come help us Get out the Vote. Greens will be out together reminding voters to get to the polls and Vote Green. If you have the day, or part of the day open to helping us please meet us at one of the following locations to help Get Out the Vote! Stop in to pick up lit, and signs, and to join others in phone banking, lit dropping, and visibility activities. 8am-12noon Green Party of Minnesota Office 621 West Lake Street Suite 205 (corner of Lake and Lyndale) Minneapolis, MN 55408 12noon-6pm Kelly Inn - Prentiss Room 161 Saint Anthony Ave Saint Paul, MN 55103-2362 -------4 of 13-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Colombia/SPNN 11.07 5pm St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" airs at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each Wednesday on SPNN Channel 15. 11/07 and 11/08 "Plan Colombia: A War on the People" Interviews with Anti-War Committee and Colombia Action Network members Katrina Plotz and Erika Zurawski. Hosted by Eric Angell. "Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists. The show is (mostly) local and not corporately influenced! For information about future programming of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to eric-angell [at] riseup.net. --------5 of 13-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: CO status 11.07 5:30pm Tuesday, 11/7, 5:30 to 8 pm, Vets for Peace classes to prepare families for conscientious objector status, basement of St Stephens school building, 2123 Clinton Ave S, Mpls. $10/family. RSVP Kim at 612-721-6908. -------6 fo 13-------- From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Election salon 11.07 6:30pm Tuesday's salon will be to to talk about the election and to watch some of the returns on tv. Then people can go on down to Black Dog or The Kelly Inn to continue the watch. Last week we did discuss the state constitutional amendment ballot question on Transportation. Before voting yes or no please read up on it. There is a little discussion of pro and con on page VG9 of the Voter's Guide that came w/Wednesday's paper. Some think it would be best to leave it up to the legislature to decide this and not have a constitutional amendment. So, you decide. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------7 of 13-------- From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at] riseup.net> Subject: Mortenson party 11.07 7pm? Cahoots on Selby/Snelling is graciously hosting Jesse Mortenson's election party tomorrow night. They'll be providing a tv, their space, and free wi-fi. We ask that you please not bring any of your own beverages and say thanks by ordering some coffee, tea, soda, or any of the other great food and beverages there. We will have some snack food for everyone that comes (provided by Jesse's mom). Andy Hamerlinck Treasurer, Jesse Mortenson for 64A --------8 of 13-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Refuseniks 11.07 7:30pm Tuesday, 11/7, 7:30 pm film "Refuseniks" about Israelis refusing military service in occupation of Palestine, followed by discussion with labor historian Peter Rachleff and others, Jack Pine Collective, 2815 E Lake St, Mpls. info [at] thejackpine.org --------9 of 13------- From: Krisrose02 [at] aol.com Subject: GP election party 11.07 8pm GREEN PARTY CANDIDATES GATHER FOR ELECTION DAY 2006 St. Paul** Green Party Candidates for Federal, State, and local office, and Green Party supporters and volunteers, will gather at the Kelly Inn in St. Paul on election night, November 7, 2006 from 8:00 pm - 12:00 am to celebrate and watch the returns come in. The candidates will be available to meet and speak with the press. The Green Party is founded on the values of Grassroots Democracy, Non-Violence, Social and Economic Justice, and Ecological Wisdom. Ken Pentel for Governor, Danene Provencher for Lieutenant Governor: _www.kenpentel.org_ (http://www.kenpentel.org) Papa John Kolstad for MN Attorney General : _www.papajohnkolstad.org_ (http://www.papajohnkolstad.org) Dave Berger for State Auditor: _www.daveberger.org_ (http://www.daveberger.org) Michael Cavlan for US Senate: _www.cavlan.org_ (http://www.cavlan.org) Jay Pond for US House 5th Congressional District: _www.jaypond.org_ (http://www.jaypond.org) Julie Risser for MN Senate: _www.voterisser4senate.com_ (http://www.voterisser4senate.com) Jesse Mortenson for MN House, Dist. 64A: _www.jessemortenson.com_ (http://www.jessemortenson.com) Farheen Hakeem for Hennepin County Commissioner: _www.farheenhakeem.org_ (http://www.farheenhakeem.org) For more information on the Green Party candidates, see: _www.mngreens.org/candidates_ (_http://www.mngreens.org/candidates_ (http://www.mngreens.org/candidates) ) For more information on the Green Party, see: _www.mngreens.org_ (_http://www.mngreens.org_ (http://www.mngreens.org) ) Green Party of Minnesota Contact: Rhoda Gilman, Green Party of Minnesota Politics Chair, (651) 224-6383 --------10 of 13-------- Mn Daily excludes minor parties - further developments & comments --a-- Timothy R. Franzen Readers' Representative The Minnesota Daily wrote: John, I'm sorry, but I should have been more specific about our deadlines for Monday's paper. Fran hadn't received anything from you by the time she was starting to lay out the opinions page for Monday. So she didn't get your opinion piece in-time. The deadlines for Monday's paper are much earlier than any other day of the week, which I should've made clear. However, In addition to my column explaining what happened, I am publishing a letter to the editor from Cam Gordon that lists candidates' information from the Green Party. I believe that this is sufficient. Good luck in the election on Tuesday. Take care, Tim Franzen Readers' Representative The Minnesota Daily Tel: 612-435-1989 tfranzen [at] mndaily.com --b-- Date: Sun, 05 Nov 2006 17:40:52 -0600 From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com> To: Timothy R. Franzen <tfranzen [at] mndaily.com> Subject: Re: column Submission/ More disception Sunday, November 5, 2006 To Tim Franzen/MN Daily (and Opinion Editor Fzerr) My deep concern for the incompetence of the Daily and staff has just been greatly increased. I have worked on this piece for many hours, and confered with others to get it down to the right length. I have postponed other work and returned from out of town early to complete this per your instructions. I did this after having several conversations with you and Editor Anna Weggel. If you can't get me in Monday's Daily because of misinformation you provided me, then print it in Tuesday's paper. I strongly disagree with your statement that your article and Cam's are enough. Cam is not running for Office and has not been excluded from anything. I have. I don't know what you are planning to say, but I expect it will be a self-serving marshmellow. Therefore, I am submitting my piece here and now for inclusion in the Tuesday edition. It is frightening to experience the arrogance and incompetence of the staff of the Daily. The Daily has much power and influence. With power comes responsibility. I see neither responsibility nor professionalism from the Daily regarding your lapse of journalistic ethics. If you think there is nothing that we can do about your conduct, then you are making another mistake. $450,000 of student money will be up for review and challenge. I have cut and pasted my Opinion piece below the ******. Papa John Kolstad 612/722-6649 & 612/321-2007 (h) ********* MN Daily Opionion Piece November 3, 2006 The Voter's Guide printed by the MN Daily November 1 is a highly disturbing document involving discrimination, bias and prior censorship. One would hope a University newspaper would insist on providing students a complete overview of choices in the coming election. However, the Daily has deliberately excluded an entire segment of the candidates legally on the ballot in Minnesota, in essence cutting them off from consideration by thoughtful University voters. The Daily included only the "major parties", meaning the DFL, GOP and Independence Party. They specifically excluded all Green Party candidates and other candidates. The Daily Editor, Anna Weggel, told me they have a First Amendment right to do this, but, assuming she is correct, this does not address the ethical and political questions that arise. The Daily failed in their fundamental responsibility -- to inform their readers. This exclusion of legitimate candidates from your Voter's Guide demonstrates contempt for your readers and a total disregard for the concept of free and open elections. State law sets the requirements for how a candidate must qualify to be on the ballot. For the Daily to choose only some of these qualified candidates and not others is selective and presumptuous. It is unethical because your readers will be lead to believe that these are their choices. It is dishonest because you do not reveal that the list of candidates is incomplete. This also constitutes interference with this election, which is beyond unethical and is un-American. The irony is that students are being crushed by dramatic tuition increases and the people included in the Guide, the DFL and GOP, are those responsible. The Greens, who were excluded, have strongly advocated reduction of student tuition The Daily has a great deal of automony, which is good. However, the Daily owes its existence to the publicly supported University. Though the Daily generates much of its own revenue, it is not a free-standing business and it does get over $450,000 from student fees every year -- so the Daily should live up to at least some minimum standard of journalistic ethics and conduct. The Editor has made it is clear that this exclusion was a conscious decision and therefore the Daily deliberately harmed candidates legally and legitimately on the ballot, as well as voters expecting a comprehensive listing of ballot candidates. I asked the Editor of the Daily to rectify their error and print the names of the candidates excluded with an explanation of the oversight. The Editor refused. I do wonder if the arrogance, biased and unethical actions of the Daily editor and staff are a reflection of the failure of the School of Journalism, the Daily Advisors, the University in general or if the Daily has been taken over by renegade, antidemocratic students. The very reason for the First Amendment is to provide a safe avenue for political reporting, that the electorate always be informed. The Daily has abandoned that sacred responsibility. I am a proud graduate of the U of M - '66 and have always respected the MN Daily. At one time I thought the Daily was the best daily newspaper in town. As an Alumni and Green Party Candidate for Attorney General I am shocked by the flagrant disregard for fairness and balance by the Daily that are the hallmark of journalistic ethics. This week's outrageous blunder and the response of the Daily management demands that a serious review of the Daily's ethics, standards, procedures and professionalism be undertaken immediately by the proper authority. Students need to ask whether they want their student fees to contribute to half truths. If students want to be badly informed, they can watch Fox News for free. Sincerely, Papa John Kolstad University of Minnesota '66 President, Mill City Music Candidate for Minnesota Attorney General - --c-- Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 17:42:27 -0600 From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com> Subject: RE: Daily Reader Rep Makes things worse. Below is the response of the Readers Rep. It is interesting that other than Cam the DAily has not printed what the actual objections were. Again, the Staff of the Daily are lying. The Greens have been consistent that everyone on the ballot be included. He states that the Greens only wanted the Greens on the ballot. This insipid fool continues to defend their outrageous breech of fundamental journalism. I had several discussion with each of these people. Consistently I stated that the voters guide should contain all who are legally on the ballot. Can this Franzen really be such a fool as to not be able to distinguished what inclusion means? If this is a sample of our future then we are in worse condition than even I had feared. John Kolstad ****** [by Tim Franzen] Intending to inform the voters, the Daily's staff has received some very harsh and unwarranted criticism. In the first Daily of the month, the policy desk in the newsroom published an election guide. People have been flooding Jim Hammerand, the policy desk editor, and Anna Weggel, the editor in chief, with angry e-mails and phone calls. Most of these have been in regards to the exclusion of the Green Party. Some people are outraged at the "undemocratic behavior" the Daily exhibited by excluding a former major party from its discussion of candidates. The rhetoric is compelling. Third-party candidates often represent a vote of change to the entrenched political parties. They operate without millions of dollars and outside of the media spotlight thrust upon Democrats and Republicans. All they want is some attention, and if candidates are on the ballot, the voters should know something about all of them. The election guide was published with the intent to inform voters to the best of the staff's ability about the candidates' real positions on issues. But the Daily is a completely student-run newspaper. It lacks the staff and the resources necessary to cover every political candidate in a meaningful way. The Daily's staff had a choice: Inform the public about all the political candidates superficially or exclude some parties in order to cover some of the candidates better. It was quantity vs. quality, and the editors chose quality. The editors decided to cover only major political parties and exclude all minor parties. The major political parties in Minnesota are currently the Republican Party, the DFL Party and the Independence Party. Majority status is given to parties that fulfill certain obligations, one of which is that the party must have received at least 5 percent of the vote in the previous election. Minor parties include the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the Quit Raising Taxes Party, the American Party and more. To include the Green Party and exclude any other party with candidates would not be fair. It would elevate the Green Party above the other minority parties for no legitimate reason. Some have pointed out that the two major Twin Cities newspapers both included many third-party candidates in their election guides. But these critics should know we simply can't compare to the resources of the major metropolitan newspapers. The Star Tribune was able to publish a 60-page voters' guide and the Daily published a 10-pager. While the full-time Star Tribune staff was putting together its voters' guide, many of our part-time reporters were sitting in classes. The Daily staff recognized its limitations. So the newsroom here tried to deliver something you couldn't get in the other papers. The Daily's election guide featured interviews with candidates. Reporters actually spoke with the people, asked targeted questions and received real answers. The Star Tribune published 100-word essays submitted by the candidates. In this way, the Daily's election guide was far superior to the other papers' election guides. What the guide lacked in breadth, it made up for in its depth. While it is unfortunate that the Daily could not cover every political party, the Daily acted in a completely fair way. Democracy was served with the Daily's election guide, not tarnished. I encourage everyone to visit www.politics1.com/mn.htm and get some information on the third-party candidates that the Daily was unable to feature. Tim Franzen is the Reader's Representative. --d-- Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 18:53:58 -0600 From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com> I was pleased to hear from Frances Zerr, who does the opinion pieces for the MN Daily, who told me that my piece expressing horror with the Daily's Voter Guide would be printed Tuesday, November 7, 2006. A little late, but better than on the 8th. JK Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 17:59:53 -0600 From: "Frances A. Zerr" <fzerr [at] mndaily.com> Thanks for your submission. It will run on Tuesday. Let me know if you come across any changes to be made, I'll be sending it through production tomorrow around 330. --e-- From: John Kolstad <mailto:jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com> [comment] This has been a painful and frightening experience. Any one who believes that we still have fair and open elections in America is living in an illusion. I don't know who has done it and specifically for whose benefit, but some how, every media outlet and every debate spontaneously created the exact very same criterion for any inclusion. This criterion had absolutely nothing to do with the candidates creditials, experience, ability, strength or weakness of issues or qualifications for the office sought. No, it was ridgidly based on the results of an election 4 years ago. This election is being managed, controlled and manipulated. I understand the Major commercial newspapers and the Very Corporate MPR ( we call it Major Party Radio) have to please their corporate clients and stock holders, but how do you explain The MN Daily, funded by student money? --end of Kolstad et al-- --f-- Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 17:38:33 -0600 From: "Nancy Catlin" <emmett001 [at] centurytel.net> Sent to Jhammer at Minn Daily: Sir: I am shocked at the lack of professional journalism in The Daily's "Election Guide 2006". To deliberately exclude any candidates from a listing that is purported to the public as complete is not only idiotic, it is downright criminal, a warped sense of logic and total lack of fairness and honesty. In my mind the U of M's school of journalism always stood for the public's right to know. My very first class in Journalism started off (and continued throughout the course) with the statement that good journalism means to fully inform the public and that the constitutional right to a free press obligates that 'free press' to do so. I can remember (in eons past - I'm revealing my age, aren't I???) when The Daily waded hip -deep into controversial issues regardless of whose toes were trod on. I am deeply stunned at the growing deterioration of our democracy and our democratic rights, and I am grievously saddened that our media is aiding that deterioration. Sincerely Yours, Nancy Catlin -- I noticed an editorial comment regarding all the complaints they've received regarding the green party. Their boilerplate comment was something to the effect that if they acknowledged the Green Party, they'd have to acknowledge 3 or 4 other "minority" parties...... I was tempted to reply to that by telling then they need to change their perspective: - Since the 'Two Major Parties' have swamped the entire news media, everybody except possibly for someone living under a viaduct already knows all about what they stand for, and therefore any commentary about them is redundant and a voter's guide could have been better to concentrate on the lesser-known party issues that Media has completely closed out. That way the public can learn what the major parties want to squash..... --g-- Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 14:58:56 -0600 From: audrey thayer <athayer [at] paulbunyan.net> My response to the Minnesota Daily: I am appalled that the Minnesota Daily Election Guide did not include minor party races....how ignorant of your paper. The truth of democracy is to know all the individuals that you have to vote for....these candidates are running and on the ballot. Last election cycle, the Green Party of Minnesota was considered a major party - they were listed. This time around this party is still a very strong party with no recognition or comment of the candidates. The same goes for other third parties. Please let us educate truly educate our students, future decision makers and list all the parties - their mission, their candidates... Educational institutions are just that.....to educate and inform! audrey thayer po box 133 bemidji, mn 56619 (218) 55606239 --------11 of 12-------- The GOP Should Lose, the Democrats Don't Deserve to Win The Message of Campaign 2006 By ALEXANDER COCKBURN CounterPunch November 6, 2006 Is the half-hidden message of the 2006 campaign season that in the presidential showdown in 2008 we'll have Senator John McCain running as both a Republican and a Democrat? It would certainly sweep away any remaining doubts that there is any difference between the two major political parties. And maybe it would open up some space for outside challengers, assuming all vociferous opponents have not by that time been arrested and stuck behind barbed wire in an internment camp in the western deserts. And what candidate would be more appropriate as the next commander-in-chief than the mad ex-POW who now serves as Arizona's senior senator? McCain, don't forget, was under consideration by his senatorial colleague, Democrat John Kerry, as his vice presidential pick in 2004 before he picked John Edwards, whose prime distinction is that he is married to Elizabeth Edwards, the only Democrat I've seen in recent times to display any of the qualities one might hope for in a Democratic presidential nominee. McCain is obviously aware of his impending responsibilities as the fusion candidate. As the US congress prepared its craven assent to President Bush's destruction of Habeas Corpus with the Military Commissions Act, he was one of three Republican senators who raised a bleat of protest. True, as is always the case with McCain, it was a very brief bleat, but as against the complaisance of Democrats such as Joe Biden (who chortled happily that Democrats would be happy to "sit on the sidelines" as the Constitution thumped into the trash bin) this counts as a lion's roar. Even the word "bleat" is a fierce overstatement of the noise raised by any U.S. senator, including McCain, as Bush finally junked legal restrictions on the role of the U.S. military in domestic law enforcement, a deed consummated with his signature on the same day, October 17, that he signed the Commissions Act which permits warrantless incarceration and torture of suspected terrorists. Speaking of what is now Public Law 109-364, Senator Pat Leahy whispered into the Congressional Record on September 29 that he had "grave reservations about certain provisions of the fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill Conference Report". The language of these provisions, Leahy said, "subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military's involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law." At least when the Military Commissions Act was striding through Congress, the press did demurely note the fact, albeit without alarm sirens that Habeas Corpus is headed towards a display case in the Smithsonian. The only story I've seen on the significance of Public Law 109-364 came from Frank Morales, on Uruknet, describing its license for the President to "declare a 'public emergency' and station troops anywhere in America, taking control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to 'suppress public disorder.'" Does McCain's latest statement on Iraq--a call for 20,000 fresh U.S. troops to be sent there--square with the Democrats' position on the war? The answer to this is of course that the Democrats don't have a position on the war beyond the de facto one of trying to make sure no peacenik candidates slipped past the guard post supervised by Rahm Emanuel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. As is the case with the American people overall, the majority of ordinary Democrats want US forces leave to quit Iraq in the immediate or relatively near future. This was not the posture of Democratic candidates approved by Emanuel, particularly in tight races. Most of them have talked about withdrawal as a matter of many months. The Democratic leadership would sign onto a McCain beef-up plan in minutes, flailing away at Bush for the next two years for losing the war. For the left position we'll probably have to wait for the commission headed by James Baker or a mutiny by the generals, aware--just as they told Rep John Murtha this time last year--that the war is a bust and it's time to quit Iraq. Campaign 2006 has shown us clearly enough that about the outer limit of popular sanction is the ability to lodge a formal protest on Election Day. Such protest can only have actual consequences in the very few remaining congressional districts not gerrymandered into permanent incumbency or rotted out with vote fraud. Mostly the voters seem to have felt that both parties are pretty awful, but as the outfit that's been running the country without opposition for six years the Republicans deserve to get a kick in the pants. The fact that this protest is purely formal is attested by the adamant refusal of the Democrats to offer anything by way of a substantive alternative, beyond saying Bush is an incompetent fellow. Indeed, the substantive effect of Campaign 2006 has been to state in terms plain enough for a simpleton to understand, that resistance is futile, since both Republicans and Democrats agree that the Bill of Rights is a dead letter and that wars must go on, and jobs to disappear, despite overwhelming popular disagreement with such policies. Pick a topic--the war, the economy, a two million-plus prison population, the environment, the condition of organized labor, the Bill of Rights--and can you recall any Democrat this fall having said anything suggesting that in the event Democrats recapture either the House or the Senate or both anything of consequence might occur? The week before polling day the New York Times had a story about the Business Lobby's plans to sweep away all irksome laws and regulations passed in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals. Did anyone cry, "that's just the kind of corporate villainy we need the Democrats to guard us from!" Of course not. It would be as unrealistic as to hope that a Congress controlled in both chambers by Democrats would simply vote to deny Bush the money for the war in Iraq. As things stand in organized politics today a purely formal protest is the most we can hope for, and the significance of this fall's campaign is that no one has pretended otherwise. [Nevertheless, we will continue to have faith in the Dems. Not that there are any facts or deeds or platforms to back up that faith. But that's just what faith is - belief even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Faith is a comfort in hard times; it doesn't have to be true, it just has to be comforting. And comfort is what we want and pray for and bend over backwards to get. Because facing today's facts is scary. We don't like scary, so we do the comfort thing by revving up faith in the Dems. It is a cheesecloth comfort - all too easy to see through to the monsters on the other side - but with closely defocused vision we can make ourselves feel sort of not too terrible at least half the time. Of course it makes us sitting ducks, but nothing is free. -ed] --------12 of 13-------- An Interview with Aaron Dixon >From the Black Panthers to the Green Party By JESSE HAGOPIAN CounterPunch November 6, 2006 Aaron Dixon is the Green Party candidate for the US senate seat in Washington state. He is challenging Democratic Party incumbent Maria Cantwell. YOU'VE NEVER run for any political office before. What made you decide to run for the Senate? WHAT MADE me decide that this was a good time to run for office was my experience traveling in Latin America, and meeting with and talking to a lot of people from Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil--and seeing the democratic changes that have taken place in those countries where grassroots leaders have been elected to office. In effect, the poor are now in power in places like Bolivia and Venezuela. It's the same way in Brazil and Argentina. Also, Spain elected a socialist president, and the Palestinian territories elected Hamas, which is a big departure. There is a movement going on around the world, where the grassroots are electing representatives from the ranks of the people. I have seen the expression of some of those movements at the World Social Forums, both in Brazil and Venezuela. I marched with 300,000 people in Brazil, demanding an end to neoliberalism and so-called "free trade." I experienced the power of people--many of whom were inspired by the Black Panther Party that I helped to build years ago--at the World Social Forum in Venezuela this past year. It's time for that movement to take place in this country again. As a matter of fact, it's already begun. There are a number of other campaigns across the country that are the results of grassroots organizing efforts. The timing was perfect for the Green Party to ask me to run, because I knew it was time for us to start to build a movement right here in Washington state. WHY ARE you running against the Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell, and as a Green? MY RUNNING against Maria Cantwell is an opportunity to draw attention to the war in Iraq, NAFTA, CAFTA and the rest of the right-wing agenda pushed by the Bush administration that Maria Cantwell has supported. She has gone back on many of the things she promised to deliver to voters. My running was an opportunity to bring a lot of those issues to the forefront. Just as important, I wanted to help people understand that there is really very little difference between Republicans and Democrats. If you look at history, the Democratic Party started most major wars that we have been in. So we will never escape war and poverty with this same two-party system. We need a multi-party system--that's why I am running as a Green. MARIA CANTWELL says that she wants to make 2006 a year of transition, where the U.S. begins to redeploy troops and hand over security to the Iraqis. What do you think of her position? BUSH HAS said that he doesn't want to keep the troops in Iraq forever as well, but that isn't an antiwar position. Everything Maria says, Bush has already said it. She says that the U.S. can leave when Iraqi forces can maintain security, but the truth is they will never be able to maintain security as long as the target of U.S. troops remains in Iraq. There is already a civil war in Iraq--a U.S. general recently admitted that. What is really amazing about Cantwell's position is that for months during the campaign, she said she had "no regrets" about voting to authorize the war on Iraq. It wasn't until a couple of months ago, when her Republican challenger, Mike McGavick, came out to her left and stated that he wouldn't have authorized the war in Iraq, that Cantwell changed her position. She has now gone back on her original decision to authorize the war, but just two weeks ago, she voted for another $70 billion to be spent on the war. So we can see her position is still for the war. HOW DID you develop your political understanding of the world? A LOT of it had to do with my family and the upbringing my parents gave me. I grew up with my great-great-grandmother in the house. She had been a slave. I grew up on stories of slavery at home, and you could be sure that I wasn't going to ever let us go back to those days. WASN'T YOUR father a radical? YES, HE was. But it was a process. He became a radical through his experiences in the military. He had joined his high school ROTC, and he went off to fight in the Second World War. At one point, his company was stationed at a military base in Mississippi. There came a time when he and the other Black soldiers were supposed to be able to go on furlough, but the commanding officer ordered the Black soldiers to stay on the base and clean the white soldier's latrines. My father wasn't going to take this, and he led a rebellion of the troops to demand justice. Another time, my father and the Black soldiers were marching around the bivouac in Mississippi, some 10 or 15 miles, and they came upon a farm and asked the white farmer if they could cross the field. He told them that, "No niggers are allowed near my property," and he chased them off with his shotgun. My father was supposedly fighting for democracy against Hitler's fascism, and he and his Black platoon were called niggers right at home. Black soldiers in Mississippi at that time had to literally fight for their lives in their own country. My father wasn't going to stand for it, and he and the soldiers went back to that farmer's barn with torches that night. After my father got out of the military, he joined the Communist Party and Paul Robeson's Youth Brigade. These were the stories I grew up on, and they gave me an understanding of some of the fundamental problems with this country. Besides my upbringing, you have to look at the conditions that existed when I was growing up--being exposed to the civil rights movement and the assassination of political leaders. This all played a part in shaping my political consciousness. YOU FOUNDED the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. What made you decide to be a Panther? MY BROTHER and the younger people we ran with were looking for a way to organize against racism and the other issues we felt needed to be addressed. At first, we thought a Black Student Union (BSU) would satisfy that, and it didn't. We did have some successes. We were able to pressure the University of Washington to implement a Black Studies Department, but many people in that organization were more into academics and not as much into action. So then we started a Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee chapter. But that didn't end up satisfying us either. Remember, Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, and we felt it was a time when we had to do more. So soon after that, we had an opportunity to go down to Oakland for a BSU conference. But I cut out of the conference and went to go see the Black Panther Party give a memorial service for Little Bobby Hutton, who had just been murdered by the police. I saw Bobby Seale deliver the most dynamic speech I have ever heard. He had just come from the funeral where he had to bury his comrade. He was very emotional about what happened, and that was the first time I heard anyone speak so directly. This was first time I experienced the brashness of the Black Panthers--and I liked it. We recognized immediately that this was what we wanted to be a part of. We understood that was what this country needed: an organization like the BPP that was putting theory into practice--that was out in the community doing some very important work. WHAT WAS some of that work? WE HAD the Free Breakfast Program, the free medical clinics, free legal aid, food banks and more. In fact, the campaign headquarters that we have now was the site of our free medical clinic back in 1972. All of the programs that we started--we had some 60 different programs--showed that the people had the ability to control their own destiny. They had the ability to address their own issues by uniting and working together. That is the legacy the Black Panther Party left to the world--the people have the power to make the changes to improve their lives. THE ELECTION is just days away as we speak. What would you say you've accomplished with this campaign? WHETHER WE win or lose on November 7, this campaign has accomplished a lot. We have given voice to people all over the state who are fed up with the current two-party system that maintains illegal wars, which are sucking out our resources that should be used to strengthen our communities. We brought that message to over a dozen towns across Washington in our "Out of war and into our communities" tour. We got thousands of people talking about where our money would be better spent. Here in Seattle, for example, they are proposing to close 10 schools in neighborhoods that are predominantly people of color--and the parents have had to file a lawsuit. Whether we win or lose the election, we have raised issues that would not even have entered the mainstream debate--immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, a national health care program for all Americans, a living wage, rebuilding New Orleans. We exposed the contradictions in the electoral process that claims to be democratic, but is really corrupted by obscene wealth. This point was made for thousands of people last week when they arrested me for trying to participate in the televised Senate debate. It's hard to even call it a debate when they expressly stated that only millionaires could participate. Most importantly, we've brought together poor and working-class whites with Latinos, African Americans and Asians to oppose this war and the cost it is having on our communities domestically. This campaign is just the beginning of a new fight for justice. Jesse Hagopian is the campaign manager for Aaron Dixon for U.S. Senate. Jesse can be reached at: jesse [at] dixon4senate.com. For additional information on the Aaron Dixon for U.S. Senate campaign, or for details Aaron Dixon's "Out of War...and Into Our Communities" tour visit our website. -------- The last thing we want is to piss *them* off. They smile when we're on our knees. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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