|Progressive Calendar 08.30.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 02:29:31 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.30.07 1. UofM workers 8.30 12noon 2. Stadium outrage 8.30 4pm 3. NWN4P Minnetonka 8.30 4:30pm 4. Eagan peace vigil 8.30 4:30pm 5. Northtown vigil 8.30 5pm 6. Joe Carr 8.30 7pm? Sherburn MN 7. Impeach/Council 8.31 8:30am 8. LWV/Fair 8.31 9am 9. EcoActivists/KFAI 8.31 11am 10. pReNC 8.31-9.04 12noon 11. Palestine 8.31 4:30pm 12. Iraq for Sale/f 8.31 9:30pm 13. 11th hour/film 8.31-9.06 14. Vets4Peace 9.01 10am 15. GreenPartyStPaul 9.01 12noon 16. Peace/RNC/picnic 9.01 2pm 17. South America 9.01 3pm 18. Internet/terror 9.01 9pm 19. Ron Jacobs - Why politicians won't end the Iraq War 20. Marx/Kelly - Who will rule? Citizens movements take on corporate power 21. BLZ Bubb - Report from Hell: Lesser Evil Party urges vote for Hitler --------1 of 21-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: UofM workers 8.30 12noon Solidarity Rally to Support U of M Workers Thursday August 30, Noon University of Minnesota, Morrill Hall, 100 Church Street Southeast, Minneapolis. Four AFSCME Locals (3260, 3800, 3801, 3937) representing 3,500 campus workers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Crookston, and Duluth voted last Thursday to authorize a strike. Join union members, students, faculty, and other community members in demanding the University's administration make a fair offer to clerical, health care, and technical employees before the September 4 strike deadline! Sponsored by AFSCME locals 3260, 3800, 3801 and 3937 and the Community Strike Support Committee. FFI: Kate Kleckner, 612-226-2713. --------2 of 21-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: Stadium outrage 8.30 4pm The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Twins stadium is this Thursday. We should be there to protest the twisted priorities that tax us to build a private stadium while the 35W bridge is lying in the middle of the river. You may recall that we originally organized to be present for the groundbreaking ceremony on August 2, four weeks ago. But that turned out to be the day after the bridge collapsed. So the groundbreaking, and the Twins game preceding it, were postponed out of respect for the dead - though I suspect the Twins public relations people were also acutely aware that it would be a bad time to call attention to their monument to greed. Four weeks later, it is still just as outrageous to be using our public resources for a stadium while the infrastructure deteriorates. So we should be there to make clear our opposition: ***** Thursday, August 30, 4pm - 7pm. (If you can't get off work by 4pm, meet us as early as you can.) Protest with banners and signs against the Twins groundbreaking, at the stadium site: on North 7th St., just west of where 3rd Ave. N used to be. INFO FOR THOSE WHO CAN BE PRESENT FOR THE FULL EVENT: In order to organize our efforts as a group, we need about 5 to 10 people we can count on as our core group. We need some SOLID commitments from those of you who can be present starting at 4 pm. If you can definitely be there, respond to this email ASAP.... please. Email dave [at] colorstudy.com or sharinminneapolis [at] yahoo.com. Or call Dave at 612-276-1213. We will get details to you about all the particulars of what we have planned. NFO FOR THOSE WHO ARE PLANNING TO COME BUT CAN'T BE THERE BY 4:00: For those of you who cannot be on site for the full event, the meeting place details are still the same from our previous plans: come to North 7th Street & North 2nd Avenue (outside the NorthWest corner of the Target Center -- at Glenwood Avenue ). Show up when you can -- there will be someone there to meet you and direct you to the larger group. The official ceremony starts at 6:00, so even if you can't get there until then, it would be worthwhile to show up. The Twins event starts at 4:00 with music, etc., to entertain the fans. This is more important than just expressing our anger at a fait accompli. (though some of us will find that to be personally satisfying) The collapse of the 35W bridge has opened up a new public conversation about government spending and taxing priorities. It is very unlikely that the Hennepin County .15% sales tax can be re-directed to projects that would actually serve the people (though it should be). But the time is ripe for us to call attention to the very real disasters that have occurred - and that await us - from our policies that subsidize the rich while letting the commons deteriorate. Remember, too, that more stadium plans are coming: the Vikings are just itching to get their hands on our money. This is a perfect opportunity to call for a general re-direction of our government priorities. There will be public and media attention to the groundbreaking ceremonies. It is our responsibility to assure that the people's voices are heard in the midst of this celebration of greed and the subversion of the democratic process. There will probably be live media coverage of the groundbreaking on the 5:00 local news. Bring your own signs so you can make your point. Or use ours - we have a number of large signs that can be seen from a distance. I hope to see you there. And remember, let us know if you can join us at the beginning and help set up. - Dave Bicking 4 p.m. Event Opens to Public at the New Ballpark Site 4:15 p.m. Concert Begins 5:30 p.m. Concert Ends 6 p.m. Official Ceremony Begins 7 p.m. Official Ceremony Concludes [May Carl Polhlad rot in hell. Ditto for the traitor officials who helped in this billion-dollar theft from the public. And since major league sports demand free stadiums, we should boycott them and call for their elimination. -ed] --------3 of 21-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 8.30 4:30pm NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:30 to 6 PM at the corner of Winnetka and 42nd. You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot near McDonalds; we will be on all four corners. Bring your own or use our signs. --------4 of 21-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 8.30 4:30pm CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------5 of 21-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 8.30 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------6 of 21-------- From: "Boardwalk52 [at] yahoo.com" <boardwalk52 [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Joe Carr 8.30 7pm? Sherburn MN Activist Joe Carr will appear at the Noah's Ark Center for Peace, Sherburn, MN Thurs. Aug. 30th. you can find Joe's full bio at www.lovinrevolution.org but here's the press release via cutnpaste: Peace Presentation in Sherburn Thursday August 30th Noah's Ark Center for Peace is hosting a peace presentation, "Hip Hop of Resistance" by Activist Joe Carr in Sherburn this Thursday evening, at the former Sherburn Bakery, 103 N. Main Street. Joe Carr is a full time social justice activist from Kansas City, MO. He spent January to April of 2003 coordinating for the International Solidarity Movement in Rafah, Palestine, & witnessed Israeli soldiers murder US peace activist Rachel Corrie, & British activist Tom Hurndall. He later became a full-time activist with the Christian Peacemaker Teams and spent three months in At-Tuwani, a Palestinian village struggling to survive Israeli violence and settlement expansion. In January 2005, he released his first album "Plant the Olive Branch", and did a two-month speaking tour of the Mid-West. He's spent the last three years traveling between the US and the Middle East doing human rights documentation, nonviolent intervention, and community organizing in Palestine, Iraq, and the US. Thursday he will use stories, sounds, poems, pictures, and maps to demonstrate and analyze oppression and resistance in the Middle East and in the US. Come be educated, entertained, and challenged by this unique and topical presentation. There will be a candlelight vigil at 7pm to remember the human cost of the war, followed by music from local area performers and Joe Carr's presentation at 8:30pm. For further information on the event call 507-236-8315, or visit Joe Carr's website at www.lovinrevolution.org. --------7 of 21-------- From: Minneapolis Impeach <lists [at] impeachforpeace.org> Subject: Impeach/MplsCouncil 8.31 8:30am Friday [at] Minneapolis City Council Minneapolis citizens, it's our time. For some time, pressure and support have been building for our city to defend the constitution through impeachment. And today we're asking for your help to get us to the finish line. Joining us on August 31st at 8:30am when we will again be a presence at the Minneapolis City Council Meeting: http://impeachforpeace.org/impeach_bush_blog/?p=2172 Additionally, we need you to contact your City Council Member with a request for an impeachment resolution. Forward this email to all your friends, and let's finish what we've started. Below you'll find contact information for the City Council Members as well as talking points. Here is the contact info for city council people: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/ WARD 1, Paul Ostrow, 612-673-2201, paul.ostrow [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:paul.ostrow [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 2, Cam Gordon, 612-673-2202, cam.Gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:cam.Gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 3, Diane Hofstede, 612-673-2203, diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 4, Barbara Johnson, 612-673-2204, barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 5, Don Samuels, 612-673-2205, don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 6, Robert Lilligren, 612-673-2206, robert.lilligren [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:robert.lilligren [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 7, Lisa Goodman, 612-673-2207, http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-goodman.asp WARD 8, Elizabeth Glidden, 612-673-2208, http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-glidden.asp WARD 9, Gary Shiff, 612-673-2209, http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-schiff.asp WARD 10, Ralph Remington, 612-673-2210, ralph.remington [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:ralph.remington [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 11, Scott Benson, 612-673-2211, scott.benson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us <mailto:scott.benson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us> WARD 12, Sandy Colvin Ray, 612-673-2212, http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-roy.asp WARD 13, Betsy Hodges, 612-673-2213, http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/contact/email-form-hodges.asp Reasons for impeachment: http://impeachforpeace.org/evidence/ A copy of the impeachment resolution we're suggesting is here: http://impeachforpeace.org/impeach_bush_blog/?p=2195 Is Bush/Cheney Impeachment a City Council?s Job? - City Council members take an oath of office promising to "protect and defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. They don't take an oath to fix potholes. If the Constitution is in danger then their primary duty is to defend it. - Cities and towns routinely send petitions to Congress for all kinds of requests. This is allowed under Clause 3, Rule XII, Section 819, of the Rules of the House of Representatives. This clause is routinely used to accept petitions from cities, and memorials from states, all across America. Is Impeachment a Local Issue? - If a federal action has a significant negative impact on this city, then it is appropriate for this city to defend itself. - Citizens from this city may be sent, or have been sent, to Iraq to fight in an illegal and unjustified war. - Tax funds from this city that could have been spent locally have been spent in Iraq for war. Tax money from this city has been wasted in no-bid contracts with companies like Halliburton with deep ties to the Bush administration. Yet this city can barely afford the emergency services, libraries, and schools that we need. - The State National Guard should be available to protect this city from floods or other disasters. But instead, President Bush has sent them to Iraq. --------8 of 21-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: LWV/Fair 8.31 9am August 31: League of Women Voters Minnesota at the Fair. 9AM-7PM. Stop by the LWV booth in the MPR tent at the Minnesota State Fair. Our theme is "State of Democracy", and we are interested in your comments and experiences in democratic government. Complete our short survey and receive a free gift! [Ask them for equal rights for third parties - don't let the corporate parties ban third parties from debates. If the Corpocrat says he won't come if third parties appear, have the debate anyway, with an empty chair for the Corpocrat. At least chairs don't make promises or break them. - ed] --------9 of 21-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Eco-activists/KFAI 8.31 11am TUNE IN FRIDAY AUG.31, 11am on KFAI to hear from Twin Cities eco-activists working on this case. CATALYST, hosted by Lydia Howell, Part of the Hour of Power--people power that is! - followed by Northern Sun News at 11:30am hosted by Don Olson KFAI Radio 90.3 fm Mpls 106.7fm St Paul all shows archived for 2 weeks after broadcast at httP://www.kfai.org Link to Green Is The New Red.com <http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog> Green Scare MN Grand Jury In a country where so many people get most of their news from The Daily Show, and 1 in 4 people read ZERO books last year, I can only imagine how many people get most of their information about the legal system from Law & Order. In Law & Order episodes, grand juries (if they're mentioned at all) help the good guys investigate the bad guys who did bad things and must be brought to justice. Grand juries aren't so benign. True, in Law & Order, and in real life, they help bring indictments against bad guys. But they can also be used to push a political agenda. They can intimidate, harass, and imprison political activists. They've been used against suspected communists, against antiwar activists, against Black Panthers, against independent journalists like Josh Wolf, and they've been used frequently against the environmental and animal rights movements (recently in the case of Jeff Hogg and activists in California When you walk into a grand jury, you check your rights at the door. You have to answer questions about your political beliefs and political associations. You don't have the right to remain silent. If you refuse to cooperate and "name names," you can be sent to jail. So when a new grand jury subpoenas activists, it should raise red flags for not just other activists, but civil liberties advocates and criminal justice watchdog groups. That's why I wanted to highlight this for everyone, even though details are limited right now. What I know is that this week two people were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Minneapolis, MN on September 6. Based on their personal accounts, it looks like the grand jury is investigated so-called "eco-terrorism," and could relate to the Operation Backfire cases <http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/2007/05/24/nature-editorial/>. Both individuals - Tony Wong, in Seattle, and Brandon Elder, in Chicago - say they were told by law enforcement that someone named Ian Wallace has been cooperating with them for several months. Wong says <http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2007/08/363764.shtml> that Erik Swanson of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and University of Minnesota Police "showed me a couple color copy photos of some type of vehicle or machine. The photos were dark and unclear and I couldn't really tell what exactly he was trying to show me or why. Then Officer Swanson told me that I knew what he was showing me and if I cooperate it'll be better for me." Swanson also told Wong that law enforcement had been working with Kevin Tubbs and Stan Meyerhoff. Tubbs and Meyerhoff are two of the defendants who cooperated with law enforcement, and offered information on other activists in the Operation Backfire cases. "The entire time they never actually told me what they were investigating or why I was being called to testify," Wong said. --------10 of 21--------- From: RNC Welcoming Committee <rnc08 [at] riseup.net> Subject: pReNC 8.31-9.04 12noon [Place etc not stated, presumably to fend off unfriendlies. So if you want to go, you'll have to ask the right people... -ed] A Statement read by Bea Bridges at an August 27th RNC WC Press Conference: 08.27.07 Good morning, members of the Press. Thank you all for coming. My name is Bea Bridges, and the RNC Welcoming Committee has asked me to show you this video and read a statement. [see trailer at http://www.rncwelcomingcommittee.org/2007/08/27/112/] The Welcoming Committee is a group formed specifically to respond to the 2008 RNC in St. Paul. However, we hope the work we are doing fosters the growth of stronger radical communities in the Twin Cities and beyond. We are not single-issue focused, and we will not be satisfied by merely stopping the war or ending Neocolonialism (although that would be a great start). Instead, we focus closer to the roots of oppression. We believe in radical change - in ending Capitalism, Imperialism, Patriarchy, and all other forms of hierarchy, and in replacing them with direct, participatory democracy, sustainability, individual autonomy, and personal relationships built on empathy and a desire for mutual aid. As you know, the RNC Welcoming Committee is hosting the pReNC this coming weekend. The pReNC is a gathering of anarchists and anti-authoritarians one year in advance of the Republican National Convention. Its purpose is to share skills, network, and develop a strategic framework for the 2008 protests. Many of you have wondered if we plan violence, confrontation or mayhem for this weekend. We do not. The pReNC is not intended as an arena for protest and direct action. Rather, it is a time for learning, building, and planning for next year. We expect a few hundred people to attend the pReNC, and we estimate about half of the attendees to be coming in from out of town. It is hard to give a more exact number, given that some people might just come for a workshop or two, or a meal, while others may participate for the entire weekend. The main feature of the pReNC is Sunday's strategizing session, where individuals from every region of the country will bring together the plans and ideas they have been developing. Together, we will establish an anarchist goal for September 1-4, 2008, which attendees will bring back to their communities and develop into action over the course of the following year. We cannot provide you with further details because we don't know, and don't want to make assumptions about, what will come out of the strategizing session. Some of you have asked how we plan to prevent police infiltration of the pReNC. Though it is not foolproof, we have a security protocol in place and a security team to facilitate said protocol. Further information about our security practices has already been made public and is available on our website. We are aware of the Patriot Act and its relation to the "National Security Event" designation of the RNC. As you know, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are also making attempts to further codify repression. However, we will not allow the state to regulate our resistance. You will not find us in the protest pens nor will you find us asking permission to demonstrate. The State asks that we only resist in ways it finds convenient and easy to contain, promising repression of those who act outside the parameters it sets. This is a threat - a violent threat with which the State hopes to terrorize us into submission. Therefore, there exists no "peaceful" option. Some among us may choose to resist State violence using pacifist tactics, while others use whatever methods they deem necessary and appropriate. But, no matter how we respond to it, violence is already present at the protests through no fault of our own. Lastly, we know some of you have been wondering about our media policy, which has been one of "no real time engagement." Media will not be welcome at the pReNC; this is so that the pReNC remains an event for participants, and not a spectacle for the press. We don't know yet what will come out of the pReNC, but we will be having a poStNC press conference next Monday, September 3rd, at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. We may have more to say about the weekend at that time, and hope to see you all there. We will not be taking further questions today, but if there is anything else you'd like to know regarding anarchism, our media policy, or our group, we have extensive info available on our website, www.NoRNC.org. --------11 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine 8.31 4:30pm Friday, 8/31, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine, Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul. Karen, 651-283-3495. --------12 of 21-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Iraq for Sale/f 8.31 9:30pm You're invited to an Exclusive Showing of: "Iraq for Sale" With the Director and Producer Robert Greenwald Join Progressive Majority for an exclusive showing of Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers Friday, August 31, 2007, 9:30 p.m. Riverview Theater, 3800 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55406 Tickets are only $12 --------13 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: 11th hour/film 8.31-9.06 8/31 to 9/6, documentary "The 11th Hour" about the last possible moment to change things before wrecking the earth's ecosystems, Lagoon Cinema. 1320 Lagoon Ave, Uptown Mpls. www.landmarktheaters.com --------14 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vets4Peace 9.01 10am Saturday, 9/1, 10 to 11:30 am, meeting of Homeless Veterans for Peace, Peacehouse, 510 E Franklin, Mpls. Bob 612-789-9020. --------15 of 21-------- From: Andrew Abruzzese <spreadleft [at] hotmail.com> Subject: GP StPaul 9.01 12noon The GPSP monthly membership meeting for September 2007 is this coming Saturday, September 1, 12:00-2:00, at Mississippi Market, 2nd floor (Selby/Dale). Meeting Agenda: Treasurer's Report Committee Reports * IRV * Membership/finance * Action * Communications MUHCC update Update from GPMN Rep Late-2007 fundraiser --------16 of 21-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Peace/RNC/picnic 9.01 2pm Community Rally and Picnic: Prepare to Protest the War Machine at the RNC Saturday, September 1, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Mears Park, 221 East 5th Street (between Sibley and Wacouta), St. Paul. This Labor Day weekend marks the one-year preversary of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul. The organizing has already begun to call for a change in national priorities away from militarism and corporate greed. To kick off a year of organizing, come to a community rally and picnic. This will be a family-friendly event with political-themed games, music, poetry, a few speeches, and information tables. People are encouraged to bring their own picnic items. Sponsored by: The Anti-War Committee. Endorsed by: Iraq Peace Action Coalition (IPAC). FFI: Visit <www.antiwarcommittee.org>. --------17 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: South America 9.01 3pm Saturday, 9/1, 3 pm, Christine Frank speaks on the influence of resource conflicts and environmental degradation on the left upsurge in South America, Mayday Bookstore, 301 Cedar Ave, Mpls. coreymattson [at] maydaybooks.oprg --------18 of 21-------- From: *Eric Angell* <eric-angell [at] riseup.net <mailto:eric-angell [at] riseup.net>> Subject: Internet/terror 9.01 9pm Dear Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am. Households with basic cable can watch! 9/1 9pm and 9/4 8am "The Public Intellectual, the Internet and the War on Terror" Professor, author and blogger Juan Cole engages an audience on issues of privacy, the Internet, and US foreign policy in the Mideast and Asia. Hosted by the U of MN. --------19 of 21-------- Taking It to the Streets Why Politicians Won't End the Iraq War By RON JACOBS CounterPunch August 27 2007 In the coming months, Washington DC, San Francisco, New York and several other cities will be the sites of a number of actions against the US war in Iraq. These protests, which include and encampment and march the week of September 22 - 29, a protest on September 15th in DC and Los Angeles, and a number of regional protests around the date of October 27th, are being called by a number of national organizations, including UFPJ, Troops Out Now, and ANSWER. In addition, the Iraq Moratorium Project is calling for nationwide locally organized actions across the country every month beginning on September 21st. While these efforts are commendable and serve the purpose of rallying the committed forces, they also tend to dilute the potential power of the antiwar movement. Unlike many more cynical folks opposed to the US debacle in Iraq, I believe that the antiwar movement is a viable and growing movement. If it has a problem, it is not from the lack of numbers or the lack of commitment from the grassroots. After all, this movement has turned out in incredibly large numbers over the past five years despite the ever obstinate refusal of the White House to acknowledge the depth of opposition to its wars. No, the antiwar sentiment among us regular folk continues to grow, not diminish. Unfortunately, this has yet to translate into a cessation of US action and a withdrawal of US forces. Instead, we have seen an increase in US forces since January 2007 and a renewed determination by the Bush administration to sink US forces even deeper into the morass of war. In addition, the Iraqi and Afghani people have suffered the results of an increased use of military airpower as US planes strafe and bomb whole villages and city neighborhoods in their attempt to destroy the resistance. These air operations have caused untold numbers of civilian deaths and increased the local hatred for the imperial forces on the ground while increasing support for the resistance. Why has the war escalated while polls show an increasing number of US residents oppose the war and want the troops to come home? (In fact, a recent poll by Harris Polling showed that 42% of US residents polled want an immediate and unconditional withdrawal). Of course, one can point to the man in the White House and his accomplice Dick Cheney and blame the entire phenomenon on their obstinacy and commitment to the ideology of the neocons. One could even speculate that George Bush has some kind of psychological complex that explains his inability to see things for what they are and exacerbates his stubbornness. Or, they could just say that he's so stupid he doesn't care about the facts. While all of these may have an element of truth to them, they do not explain why the US continues to occupy Iraq and bomb Afghanistan. What they do do, however, is obfuscate the other reasons the US military finds itself deeper in the Iraqi and Afghani quagmires in August 2007 than anyone in official Washington was willing to predict in 2006. Those real reasons have much more to do with the role of Congress than the White House. It is Congress that provided Bush and Cheney with the legitimacy for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent occupation of that country. It is Congress that provided the White House with the legal ability to invade Afghanistan in 2001 and it is Congress that continues to provide the legitimacy and the funds to continue the US military actions in that country. Furthermore, it is the US Congress that legitimized the US involvement in Somalia, its continued incursions into Pakistan and its covert operations inside Iran - operations that might erupt into full scale war if we are to believe the growing number of leaks from official Washington in this regard. Congress is not just collaborating here, it is providing the White House and Pentagon with the funds and legal ability to carry out the Project for a New American Century. This is the case no matter whether the congressional majority is Republican or Democratic. Furthermore, the occasional outbursts of opposition that we have witnessed since the November 2006 elections have not only been fruitless, they have served to provide the prowar forces with the cover of democratic legitimacy because all of the bills even mentioning a withdrawal of forces have either been defeated or watered down to the point where they would have changed nothing on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan. >From where I sit, this does not appear to be an accident. Indeed, it looks more and more like this is what the Democratic leadership wanted all along - a pretend antiwar opposition to the war in Congress that would take the wind out of the movement in the streets of the United States and insure the continuation of the war in the streets of Baghdad. [I agree. Lesser evil - hah! -ed.] The next step in this plan would entail antiwar citizens involving themselves in the Democratic campaigns for president and, after the leadership quashes all attempts to make the Democratic Party the party of immediate withdrawal by marginalizing those candidates who are on record supporting just such a move and quashing any attempts to place any such demands in the party platform. [Sounds exactly right. Yet another betrayal by the "people's party". -ed] This would then leave the antiwar movement with little choice but to vote for its [expletive-deleted] candidate. Of course, as any observer of US party politics can foresee, that candidate will most likely be someone that is not for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and in favor of continued aggression in Afghanistan. For those of us with a sense of history, this scenario played itself out in 1968 and left many antiwar Democrats with the choice of voting for the prowar Humphrey or not voting at all. So, what is to be done? Plain and simple, the antiwar movement must be wrested back from those who would sell it to the Democratic Party. [Amen] This means, plain and simple, that antiwar actions must not champion presidential candidates at the expense of the stated goal of immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq. We must understand clearly that the only way to end US involvement in Iraq is by ending it once and for all. That means no more troops, no more CIA, no more mercenaries, and no more military actions from the air. It also means that the only monies that should be expended by the US in Iraq should be to expedite the withdrawal of all forces and for reparations once an infrastructure is created to insure those funds get to the people and communities that deserve them, not the corrupt Iraqi officials currently in control. The only role that a political candidate should play in the antiwar movement is to endorse this position. No organization in the antiwar movement should endorse a candidate. It is up to them to endorse us. In order to precipitate this process, however, it will be necessary for the movement to gather its strength into a unified and powerful mass. Such a thing can only happen when the grassroots insists that the leadership set aside their political and personal differences and coalesce around one or two simple demands and back national actions that will demonstrate the strength and breadth of the US people's opposition to this war. The antiwar actions coming up this fall are not contrary to this potential. Indeed, it might be useful to see them as the seeds of a movement like that outlined above. I believe the sentiment and determination exists among the American people to build a movement capable of ending these wars. My doubts arise only when I reflect on the fractured nature of the current national antiwar organizations and the seeming inability of those groups' leadership to put aside their differences for the greater cause of ending the US occupation of Iraq now. The antiwar movement was able to help elect a Democratic majority last November because that is where it focused its energies. It can also get a million people in the streets demanding an immediate withdrawal. Now is the time to begin organizing such an effort. Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625 [at] charter.net --------20 of 21-------- Who Will Rule? Citizens Movements Take On Corporate Power by Michael Marx and Marjorie Kelly Published on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 by YES! Magazine Corporate power lies behind nearly every major problem we face - from stagnant wages and unaffordable health care to overconsumption and global warming. In some cases, it is the cause of the problem; in other cases, corporate power is a barrier to system-wide solutions. This dominance of corporate power is so pervasive, it has come to seem inevitable. We take it so much for granted, we fail to see it. Yet it is preventing solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our time. With global warming a massive threat to our planet and a majority of U.S. citizens wanting action, why is the U.S. government so slow to address it? In large part because corporations use lobbying and campaign finance to constrain meaningful headway. Why are jobs moving overseas, depressing wages at home, and leaving growing numbers under- or unemployed? In large part because trade treaties drafted in corporate-dominated back rooms have changed the rules of the global economy, allowing globalization to massively accelerate on corporation-friendly terms, at the expense of workers, communities, and the environment. Why are unions declining and benefits disappearing? In large part because corporate power vastly overshadows the power of labor and governments, and corporations play one region off against another, busting unions to hold down labor costs while boosting profits, fueling a massive run-up in the stock market. Why were electricity, the savings and loan industry, and other critical industries deregulated, contributing to major debacles whose costs are borne by the public? In large part because free market theory, enabled by campaign contributions and lobbying, seduced elected officials into trusting the marketplace to regulate itself. With all this happening, why do we not read more about the pervasiveness of corporate power? In large part because even the "Fourth Estate," our media establishment, is majority owned by a handful of mega-corporations. Big corporations have become de facto governments, and the ethic that dominates corporations has come to dominate society. Maximizing profits, holding down wages, and externalizing costs onto the environment become the central dynamics for the entire economy and virtually the entire society. What gets lost is the public good, the sense that life is about more than consumption, and the understanding that markets cannot manage all aspects of the social order. What gets lost as well is the original purpose of corporations, which was to serve the public good. A Movement for the Public Good The solution is to bring corporations back under citizen control and in service to the public good. The main components of such a movement already exist - including organized labor, environmentalists, religious activists, shareholder activists, students, farmers, consumer advocates, health activists, and community-based organizations. We've seen the power of ordinary people working together on the streets of Seattle in 1999, challenging the World Trade Organization. We've seen them achieve impressive results curbing sweatshop abuses, limiting tobacco advertising, challenging predatory lending practices at home and abroad, and protecting millions of acres of forests, to name just a few successes. We've also seen the growth of community-friendly economic designs like worker-owned enterprises, co-ops, and land trusts that, by design, put human and environmental well-being first. Focus on Corporate Power Each of these movements advocates for healthy communities, for a moral economy, and for the common good. If they acted together, they would possess enormous collective power. But as yet there is no whole, only disconnected parts. Despite many achievements, the gap in power between corporations and democratic forces has widened enormously in recent decades. Activists and citizens are beginning to turn this around. We can build on this work. But if we are to close the gap in power, our strategies must evolve. We need to dream bigger, to speak with one voice across issue sectors, and to act more strategically. We need to focus less on symptoms of corporate abuse and more on the underlying cause-excessive corporate power. We must recognize that ultimately our struggle is for power. It is not just to make corporations more responsible, but to make them our servants, in much the same way that elected officials are public servants. We need what the movement now lacks: a coherent vision of the role we want corporations to play in our society and a strategy for achieving that vision. It's about putting We the People back in charge of our future, rather than the robotic behemoths that set their sights on short-term growth and high profits, regardless of the consequences. The streams of many small movements must flow together into a single river, creating a global movement to bring corporations back under the control of citizens and their elected governments. The urgent need for unified action impelled a small group of organizations to initiate a long-term Strategic Corporate Initiative (SCI), of which we are a part. A Way Forward Over the past 18 months, the SCI team interviewed dozens of colleagues and progressive business executives to develop a coherent, long-term strategy to rein in corporations. Three major strategic tracks emerged: 1. We need to restore democracy and rebuild countervailing forces that can control corporate power. At the community level, this means elevating the rights of local municipalities over corporations. Communities should have the right to determine what companies will do business within their jurisdiction, and to establish requirements like living wage standards and environmental safeguards. At the national level, restoring democracy means separating corporations and state. Corporations and the wealthy should no longer be allowed to dominate the electoral and legislative processes. At the international level, the task is to create agreements and institutions that make social, environmental, and human rights an integral part of global economic rules. 2. We need to severely restrain the realms in which for-profit corporations operate. Most extractive industries (fishing, oil, coal, mining, timber) take wealth from the ecological commons while paying only symbolic amounts to governments and leaving behind damaged ecosystems and depleted resources. The solution is to develop strong institutions that have ownership rights over common wealth. When commons are scarce or threatened, we need to limit use, assign property rights to trusts or public authorities, and charge market prices to users. With clear legal boundaries and management systems, the conflict over the commons shifts from a lopsided negotiation between powerful global corporations and an outgunned public sector, to a dispute resolved by deference to the common good. 3. We need to redesign the corporation itself, as well as the market system in which corporations operate. Companies' internal dynamics currently function like a furnace with a dial that can only be turned up. All the internal feedback loops say faster, higher, more short-term profits. And maximizing short-term profits leads to layoffs, fighting unions, demanding government subsidies, and escalating consumerist strains on the ecosystem. To prevent overheating, the system needs consistent input from non-financial stakeholders, so that demands for profit can be balanced with the rights and needs of employees, the community, and the environment. To end "short-termism," company incentives - including executive pay - should be tied to measurements of how well the company serves the common good. Stock options that inflate executive pay should be outlawed or redesigned. Speculative short-term trading in stock should be taxed at significantly higher rates than long-term investments. Companies should be rated on their labor, environmental, and community records, with governments using their financial power - through taxes, purchasing, investing, and subsidies - to reward the good guys and stigmatize the bad guys. At the same time, we need to celebrate and encourage alternative corporate designs, such as for-benefit corporations, community-owned cooperatives, trusts, and employee-owned companies. The paths outlined here do not represent impossibilities. With a citizens. movement, we could turn these musings into reality in 20 years. Building a Global Citizens' Movement How can we change laws regulating corporate behavior when corporations dominate the political process? The answer is that change begins with the people, not their government. It always has. Civil society organizations and communities can align their interests to produce a wave that government leaders must either surf upon or drown within. The people control the vital issue of legitimacy, and no system can long stand that loses its legitimacy, as fallen despots of the 20th century have demonstrated. Corporations have already lost much of their moral legitimacy. Business Week in 2002 found that more than four out of five people believed corporations were too powerful. A national poll by Lake, Snell, Perry, and Mermin two years ago concluded that over three-quarters of Americans distrust CEOs and blame them for the loss of jobs. An international poll by Globe Scan recently found corporations far behind NGOs in public trust. Trigger events lie ahead that will create further openings for change. We can expect to see new global warming catastrophes, unaffordable energy price spikes, and new corporate scandals. We can capitalize on these openings if we can help people connect the dots - making the link, for example, between excessive CEO pay, companies. short-term focus, and the inability of the private sector to manage long-term problems like the energy crisis and global warming. We also need conceptual frames that link various movements together into a common effort. Currently our economy is dominated by a Market Fundamentalism frame, based on the belief that when self-interest is set free, Adam Smith's "invisible hand" will create prosperity for all. Also dominant is the Private Property frame, which justifies actions by executives and shareholders to exploit workers, communities, and the environment in order to maximize the value of stockholder and executive "property" in share ownership. We can advance new frames. "Moral Economy," for example, is a frame that puts the firing of thousands of employees and simultaneous awarding of multimillion-dollar bonuses to executives in a moral context. Suggested by Fred Block of the Longview Institute, the Moral Economy frame invites the introduction of new system forces into market dynamics in order to protect the moral order, and to counteract the amoral, short-term, self-interested behavior promoted by Market Fundamentalism. Within the overarching framework of a Moral Economy, other frameworks like Community and the Commons challenge the supremacy of individualism and self-interest in the Market Fundamentalism frame. Community well-being becomes the standard by which business practices are judged, and communities themselves the arbiters of whether standards are met. The Commons represents our shared property and wealth, which is not to be exploited for the selfish benefit of the few. New conceptual frames, trigger events, a crisis of legitimacy-elements like these can serve to help build a citizens. movement. But we cannot simply wait for this movement to form spontaneously. At the international level, we need regional organizations to come together to agree on overarching priorities. At the national level, we likewise need discussions that forge strategic priorities. At the community level, we need to create a network of municipalities working together to challenge corporate rights, to promote alternative business forms, and to inventory and claim our common wealth assets. Communities can also take the lead in creating public financing of campaigns, and in tying procurement and investment policies to corporate social ratings. The idea is not that people will drop their issues and adopt new ones, but that we can learn to do both at once. We can knit ourselves into a single movement by adopting common frames and by integrating strategic common priorities into existing campaigns. For example, campaigns covering any issues from the environment to living wages could demand that targeted companies end all involvement in political campaigns. As individuals, we can relegate our identities as consumers and investors to secondary status, elevating to first place our identities as citizens and members of families and communities, people with a stewardship responsibility for the natural world and with moral obligations to one another. We can stop buying the story that government is inefficient and wasteful, grasping that the real issue is how corporations and money dominate government. We can stop thinking that the solution is more Democrats in power, and realize it is more democracy. The transformative changes we need will not be on any party's agenda until a citizens' movement puts them there. It's up to us to build that movement. By joining together - by taking on the common structural impediments that block progress - we can make it possible for all of us to achieve the variety of goals we're currently struggling for. How would reducing the underlying power of corporations affect today's issue campaigns? Ending corporate campaign contributions and political advertising would benefit a great many public interest causes. How often in recent years have initiatives to protect forests, increase recycling, provide healthcare coverage, and raise minimum wages been defeated by corporations who outspent their civil society opponents by a ratio of over 30 to one? We've all witnessed elected leaders move to the political center once they started receiving a steady flow of corporate contributions. Likewise, if we could reduce the 13,000 registered corporate lobbyists in Washington, D.C. and end the revolving door between government regulators and corporations, would a handful of companies be allowed to own the lion's share of our media? Would savings and loan, energy, transportation, and tobacco companies still have been de- or unregulated? Would oil and coal companies still drive our national energy policy? Imagine . Imagine what it might be like in 20 years if our efforts are successful and people could once again govern themselves. A line would be carefully drawn between corporations and the state, reducing financial influence over elections and lawmaking, making possible a whole new generation of progressive elected officials committed to social transformation. In 20 years, imagine that the institutions of the global economy are overhauled so that labor and environmental issues are integrated into trade policies, and impoverished nations are freed from unpayable international debts. Trade and investment rules promote fair exchange, and national governments have the policy space to support social and environmental goals at home. Transnational corporations that take destructive action are held accountable in a World Court for Corporate Crimes. In 20 years, imagine community self-governance has become the new norm. No longer can companies open new stores in communities where they are unwanted, or play communities off one another to extract illegitimate public subsidies. We value and protect our precious common wealth, from ecological commons like air, water, fisheries, and seeds, to cultural commons like music and science. In 20 years, imagine that it is a violation of fiduciary responsibility for corporations to pay CEOs obscene amounts, or to aggressively fight unions and lobby against environmental safeguards. Responsible companies protect the environment as though there is a tomorrow, and they view worker knowledge and company's reputation in the communities where they operate as their greatest assets. Imagine such companies receive preferential treatment in government purchasing, taxation and investment policies, while irresponsible companies find themselves barred from government contracts. Imagine we have a new national policy to make employee ownership as widespread as home ownership is today. And alternative company designs - like cooperatives and new, for-benefit companies - grow and flourish. Imagine, in other words, that We the People are able to reclaim our economy and society from corporate control. Daring to dream that such a turn of events is possible - and charting the path to get there - is a critical challenge of our new century. Michael Marx is director of Corporate Ethics International (CEI) in Portland, Oregon. Marjorie Kelly is with the Tellus Institute in Boston and the author of The Divine Right of Capital. They are part of the Strategic Corporate Initiative, a group unifying efforts to curtail corporate power, and igniting change toward a more humane, sustainable democratic society and economy. Read more about the SCI and read their full report: .Strategic Corporate Initiative: Toward a Global Citizens. Movement to Bring Corporations Back Under Control.. 2007 YES! Magazine These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. --------21 of 21-------- Report From Hell Lesser Evil Party urges vote for Hitler by BLZ Bubb aka ed Hell - Tomorrow is the election to determine who will run Hell for the next four years. Running for the Fallen Angel Party (FAP) is the old standby, The Devil. He promises to raise fires of Hell by 5 degrees F. Running for the Lesser Evil Party (LEP) is Adolph "Schickelgruber" von Hitler. He promises to raise the fires of Hell by only 4 degrees F. In all other respects their platforms are identical. LEP spokesperson Eubedda Blevitt addressed the UTS (Union of Tortured Souls) yesterday: "Some holy fools say there is 'no difference' between Hitler and The Devil. No difference?? Bull crap! When the fires of hell are cracking your skin open all over your body, you'll be damn happy for that one degree less! 5005 degrees IS a damn sight worse than 5004 degrees! "Now, some ask, 'Why does it have to go up at all? When most of us got here it was only 2000 or 3000 degrees. In fact, why can't it go down? But every election for the past several thousand years, FAP goes for 5 degrees up, and LEP for four. Whoever wins, it's always worse.'" "Well, dear Tortured Souls, it ain't gonna happen. This is, after all, Hell, where the only progress is toward higher temperatures - sort of like global warming. Like the frog in the pot of water, all of you get used to the heat, however high, so the only way to achieve our quadrennial corporate goal of increased pain production is to raise the temperature. "Now suppose, just suppose, the Lesser Evil Party were actually to come out for pain reduction. They'd be laughed out of hell! The powers that be would not be able to believe such impractial pie-in-the-sky purist twaddle! 'Things' would happen to the LEP and its leaders; if you think hell-fire is bad, you should see what they have in store for activists who don't want to play by the rules of the system! "The long and short of it is, here in Hell, the land of the free and the brave, it's either up 5 or up 4. That's it. Anything else is delusional. "Therefore, my friends (and you are my friends), my UP 4 friends, the only logical, the only moral, the only rational and thinkable vote is - Hitler! Seig Heil, baby! Hitler's The One! Fourth degree SI fifth degree NO!" --BLZ Bubb, reporting from Hell. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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