Progressive Calendar 11.19.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 04:53:46 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.19.07

1. Politics/elections 11.19 10:45am
2. Report news        11.19 4pm
3. LRT scam           11.19 5:30pm
4. Race riot/film     11.19 6:30pm
5. RCTA memories      11.19 7pm
6. New e-tools        11.19 7pm

7. IRV/MN Senate      11.20 10am
8. No thanks Gov P    11.20 12noon
9. 35W bridge         11.20 5pm
10. Palestine/CTV     11.20 5pm
11. WarMadeEasy/f     11.20 6:30pm
12. Asian America     11.20 7:30pm
13. Nonprofit         11.20

14. Peak oil/KFAI     11.21 11am
15. Iraq redacted/f   11.21

16. Mike Whitney      - 15,000 or more US deaths in Iraq war?
17. Roberto Rodriguez - On the verge of democracy collapse disorder
18. Adolfo Gilly      - Bolivia's ongoing revolutions & spirit of revolt
19. ed                - Reform from inside  (poem)

--------1 of 19--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Politics/elections 11.19 10:45am

Monday, November 19: American Association of University Women Minneapolis
Branch. 9:30-10:30AM: Writing and Re-writing a Life with Patricia Hampl.
10:45-11:45AM: Politics of Elections. 1:15-2:15PM: Autism and the Brain:
What We Know so Far with Charlene Myklebust, Psy.D., 2115 Stevens Avenue,

--------2 of 19--------

From: Mary Turck <editor [at]>
Subject: Report news  11.19 4pm

The Daily Planet is a citizen journalism project. We welcome and invite
people in the community to write stories and submit them. Not many do so.
I suspect that there are several reasons that people do not contribute

1) Writing takes time. Lots of us have more ideas than time.

2) Writing news articles may be intimidating. Prospective citizen
journalists may have questions about style, substance, fact-checking,
fairness, quotations, sources, etc.

If you have some time and want to write news articles about our community,
or want some help in shaping an opinion article or letter to the editor,
help is here! The TC Daily Planet writers' group is at Rondo Community
Outreach Library November 19, 4-6 p.m. in the Children's Room

Come with your ideas. Come with the beginning of a story. Come and find
out what you can write about. Help us to make citizen journalism work in
St. Paul.

--------3 of 19--------

From: Amber Garlan <agarlan [at]>
Subject: LRT scam 11.19 5:30pm

LRT meetings in St. Paul. The meetings are held at the Central Corridor
Resource Center, 1080 University Avenue (University & Dale).

[Don't let developers tell you LRT is a "done deal". They only wish it
were, along with all the big bucks they hope to make off gutting
University Avenue. All they care about is the $$$, and not a bit about how
it will harm the city and small businesses, making historic St Paul more
like the seen-one-seen-em-all suburbs. If we have to have it, why not
along 94? Oh oh, developers don't like it because there aren't as many $$
in it for them. Well, must we continue to let these greedy exploiters make
city policy? We owe them nothing. Wake up and look anew. -ed]

11/19/07: Lexington
11/20/07: Snelling
11/26/07: Dale
11/27/07: Rice
12/3/07: Westgate
12/4/07: Raymond
12/5/07: Fairview

The meetings begin at 6:30, with an open house at 5:30.  These are good
places to voice concerns about protecting small business owners and
working class homeowners, and to find like minded people who share these

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
I believe that Light Rail, as currently operating and as proposed in the
Twin Cities, is an outrageously expensive boondoggle that undermines our
ability to fund much more extensive and desperately needed improvements to
our transit system (primarily buses).  Light rail has some nice benefits
and amenities (I use it frequently myself), and it has been shown to
attract those who would otherwise drive.  It also has some drawbacks, in
addition to the cost.  It is inflexible - the route can not be easily
adapted to conform to future land uses, it can not detour around temporary
obstacles or construction, and it can not allow express service on the
same route, because trains can not pass one another.  It also exacerbates
traffic congestion, rather than reducing it - thus causing more, rather
than less, energy use and pollution.

One fundamental issue, for me, is that - while drawing people out of their
cars is important - our FIRST priority must be to provide better public
transportation for those who are transit dependent.  This includes
children, the elderly, the disabled, and those too poor to afford a car
(or a second car for a two-adult household).  It also includes those who
have chosen to give up their car to rely totally on transit!

--------4 of 19--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Race riot/film 11.19 6:30pm

FREE Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "Rosewood"
Monday, November 19, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall,
4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

"Rosewood" tells the story of the 1923 racist rampage of Rosewood, Florida
where white residents hunted down and murdered the black majority.
Sponsored by: WAMM Third Monday Movies. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.

--------5 of 19--------

From: Jeff Martinka <jeffreymartinka [at]>
Subject: RCTA memories 11.19 7pm

Resource Center of the Americas Story-telling Evening
Monday, Nov. 19th, 2007  7-9 p.m.
Community Room, Holy Trinity Church
2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis

Share the triumphs and trials of the Resource Centers' first 24 years
with key former staff and volunteers in an informal exchange of memories
and ideas for the future.  For more information, please e-mail Adriana
Barboza at adbarboza [at]

--------6 of 19--------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at]>
Subject: New e-tools 11.19 7pm

New Tools for Public Participation
Rondo Library (University and Dale)
Monday, November 19
7:00 - 8:30 pm

As part of our ongoing E-Tools For All series at the Rondo Library, St.
Paul E-Democracy will be offering a workshop on New Tools for Public
Participation, Monday, November 19, 7:00 - 8:30 pm.

In this workshop, St. Paul E-Democracy volunteers will demonstrate
powerful internet tools for organizations and individuals wishing to be
more active in their communities. Bring your ideas and questions!

Also, we are currently looking for presenters!  Presentations would be
10-15 minutes in length, would describe a "cool" internet tool, and would
be geared towards an introductory to intermediate audience.  Anyone
interested should contact SPED-Outreach [at]

As always, the workshop is free, all are welcome to attend, and no
registration is required.

Please go to for a
complete schedule.

--------7 of 19--------

From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: IRV/MN Senate 11.20 10am

St. Paul Better Ballot Campaign Supporters -

Please consider attending a hearing of the Minnesota Senate Subcommittee
on Elections next Tuesday, November 20th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in Room
123 of the Capital Building.  There will be presentations on and
discussion of Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Runoff Voting).  If you can't
attend, please contact your senator to let him or her know of your

This hearing will include presentations by FairVote Minnesota, City of
Minneapolis, Ramsey County Elections, Secretary of State's office and
election authorities from cities using Instant Runoff Voting. Minnesota
Voters Alliance, an opponent of Instant Runoff Voting, has also signed up
to testify.

The hearing comes in advance of possible legislation in the 2008 session
that would support Ranked Choice Voting implementation in Minneapolis and
elsewhere in Minnesota where it becomes adopted.

Key messages about why IRV is an important municipal election reform:

Ranked Choice Voting eliminates low turnout municipal primaries and
consolidates the primary and the general election into a single ballot in

The benefits...
* Increased voter participation and choice of candidates
* Broader, more accurate representation
* Shorter, more affordable, civil campaigns
* Saves tax-payer dollars with just one election to administer

What: State and Local Government Operations and Oversight - Subcommittee
on Elections
When: Tuesday, Nov. 20th, 10:00 am - noon
Where: Room 123 Capitol Building, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

Committee Members:
Dan Larson
Chris Gerlach
Joe Gimse
John Marty
Sandra L. Pappas
Ann H. Rest

Contact Senator Dan Larson's office at 651-297-8061 if you wish to testify
or if you would like additional information about the hearing.

For the FairVote action alert go to:
Thanks for your support of Instant Runoff Voting (Ranked Choice Voting),
Beth Mercer-Taylor
St. Paul Better Ballot Campaign for Instant Runoff Voting

--------8 of 19--------

From: Welfare Rights Committee - Alt Email <welfarerights [at]>
Subject: No thanks Gov P 11.20 12noon

Come to the Welfare Rights Committee's our annual "No thanks!" Thanksgiving
week protest at the Governor's mansion!
Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
12:00 noon
Governor's Mansion, 1006 Summit Ave., Saint Paul

Join us to tell Governor Pawlenty to quit being a turkey [how can he go
against his nature?] and to stop him from gobbling up poor people's money!
Every year, the governor and others try to steal welfare money from the
state budget and use it for other things. We have to put them on notice
that we will not let it happen!

During the 2008 legislative session, the Welfare Rights Committee will be
building our successes of last year. We will be fighting to...
--Raise the grants
--Outlaw workfare/slave labor
--Undo the rest of the 2003 budget cuts (like the family cap, the $50 cuts,
MA co-pays, medical cuts to immigrants and others.)

For more info:
Welfare Rights Committee 612-822-8020
welfarerightsmn [at]

--------9 of 19--------

From: Jeff Hartman <hartm152 [at]>
Subject: 35W bridge 11.20 5pm

"Integrated Design: Sustainable Community": A talk with Lance Neckar
Tuesday, November 20, 5:00 p.m.
100 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis

Lance Neckar is a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University
of Minnesota. This event is part of a series on the I-35W bridge
collapse and its consequences, Telling River Stories: The I-35W Bridge,
the Mississippi River, and Rebuilding Community Connections.  More
information can be found at

--------10 of 19--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine/CTV 11.20 5pm

St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings and
Wednesday mornings.  All households with basic cable can watch!

11/20 5pm and midnight and 11/21 10am  "Ali Abunimah: Where Next for
Palestine-Israel?" Part 2.  Palestinian American talks at the U of M on

-------11 of 19--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: WarMadeEasy/f 11.20 6:30pm

Tuesday we will show the film, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death.  The film is narrated by Sean Penn. It is
Norman Solomon's (Fair and Accuracy in Reporting) analysis of how
governments, with media complicity, makes the case for war.  It is about
75 min. long.

Pax Salons ( )
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.

--------12 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Asian America 11.20 7:30pm

Wing Young Huie discusses his new book Looking for Asian America
(University of Minnesota Press) 7:30pm Tuesday, November 20 at Magers and

In search of contemporary Asian America, celebrated photographer Wing
Young Huie--the only member of his family not born in China--traveled with
his wife, Tara, through nearly forty states to explore and document the
funny, touching, and sometimes strange intersection of Asian American and
American cultures. "Looking for Asian America" illustrates their rich and
surprising journey across the United States.

Through Huie's eyes, keenly aware of his own Midwestern roots and
perspective, we witness such images as a Vietnamese Elvis, Miss
Congeniality on her cell phone in San Francisco's Chinatown, a Hmong
street sign in rural North Carolina, a meditating Falun Gong protestor in
Washington, D.C., a bubble tea Valley Girl, and a Chinese theme park in
Orlando. Huie's camera captures ABCs (American-born Chinese), FOBs (fresh
off the boat), and a self-described "redneck Chinese restaurant owner"
near the Okefenokee Swamp. Taken together the photographs reveal a complex
portrait of the U.S. cultural landscape, and their dignified elegance
invites a closer, deeper look.

Accompanied by the personal reflections of both Wing and Tara Huie, the
nearly one hundred spectacular photographs tell a story that both mirrors
and contradicts stereotypes of Asian Americans, ultimately questioning
what it means to be ethnic and American in the twenty-first century.

"Looking for Asian America shows real people engaged in the full range of
human activity. This is no small accomplishment for the photographer or
his subjects. For Asian Americans, both the newcomers and the native born,
it is extraordinary to be merely ordinary. To others even if not
themselves, Asian Americans appear to be contradictions of identity--a
Chinese Yankee is a knock-off."--Frank H. Wu, from the foreword

Wing Young Huie documents the socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural
realities of his home state, Minnesota. His photographs have been
exhibited at the Walker Art Center, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and
the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and he is a recipient of the Bush
Artist and McKnight fellowships. He is the author of Frogtown: Photographs
and Conversations in an Urban Neighborhood and Lake Street USA.

For further information, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611
davidu [at]
55408 612-822-4611

--------13 of 19--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at]>
Subject: Nonprofit 11.20

I just heard about a series of free workshops in nonprofit leadership
offered by Hamline University and the Greater Minneapolis Council of
Churches. Registration is required but there's no fee. Word following the
first on Tuesday is that it was excellent.
More info:

Here are some of the sessions coming up:
   Nov 20 - Conflict resolution
   Nov 27 - Nonprofit fundraising: research methods
   Dec 4  - Grant writing

--------14 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Peak oil/KFAI 11.21 11am

TRUTH TO TELL/: Wednesday Nov 21 at 11AM
KFAI 90.3FM Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul - Streaming @


TTT's Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen lead an important conversation
about the dangers of ignoring the numbers and signs that our reliance on
oil is leading to economic and energy calamity -- far sooner than we might

Is the sky really falling and are the wells really running dry as crude
prices edge over $100 per barrel and we pay higher and higher prices for
using this finite resource and ts energy?

What might replace it as reliable, renewable, and affordable

Can the idea of Localism , that is, can Twin Citians and Minnesotans alter
our personal and cultural behavior to ensure a secure energy future no
matter what happens elsewhere?

Philipp Muessig, geologist and MPCA Sustainable Communities analyst
Michael Noble, Executive Director, Fresh Energy (formerly ME3), St. Paul
John Farrell, Research Associate, Institute for Local Self-Reliance,
Brian Merchant, Peak Oil activist and advocate, St. Paul

--------15 of 19--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iraq redacted/f 11.21

opens 11/21, Brian De Palma's film "Redacted" about the points of view of
soldiers, media and local Iraqis, Edina Cinema, 3911 W 50th St, Edina.

--------16 of 19--------

Pentagon Cover Up
15,000 or More US Deaths in Iraq War?
November 17 / 18, 2007

The Pentagon has been concealing the true number of American casualties in
the Iraq War. The real number exceeds 15,000 and CBS News can prove it.

CBS's Investigative Unit wanted to do a report on the number of suicides
in the military and "submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the
Department of Defense". After 4 months they received a document which
showed - that between 1995 and 2007 - there were 2,200 suicides among
"active duty" soldiers.


The Pentagon was covering up the real magnitude of the "suicide epidemic".
Following an exhaustive investigation of veterans' suicide data collected
from 45 states; CBS discovered that in 2005 alone "there were at least
6,256 among those who served in the armed forces. That's 120 each and
every week in just one year."

That is not a typo. Active and retired military personnel, mostly young
veterans between the ages of 20 to 24, are returning from combat and
killing themselves in record numbers. We can assume that "multiple-tours
of duty" in a war-zone have precipitated a mental health crisis of which
the public is entirely unaware and which the Pentagon is in total denial.

If we add the 6,256 suicide victims from 2005 to the "official" 3,865
reported combat casualties; we get a sum of 10,121. Even a low-ball
estimate of similar 2004 and 2006 suicide figures, would mean that the
total number of US casualties from the Iraq war now exceed 15,000.

That's right; 15,000 dead US servicemen and women in a war that - as
yet - has no legal or moral justification.

CBS interviewed Dr. Ira Katz, the head of mental health at the Department
of Veteran Affairs. Katz attempted to minimize the surge in veteran
suicides saying, "There is no epidemic of suicide in the VA, but suicide
is a major problem."

Maybe Katz is right. Maybe there is no epidemic. Maybe it's perfectly
normal for young men and women to return from combat, sink into
inconsolable depression, and kill themselves at greater rates than they
were dying on the battlefield. Maybe it's normal for the Pentagon to
abandon them as soon as soon they return from their mission so they can
blow their brains out or hang themselves with a garden hose in their
basement. Maybe it's normal for politicians to keep funding wholesale
slaughter while they brush aside the casualties they have produced by
their callousness and lack of courage. Maybe it is normal for the
president to persist with the same, bland lies that perpetuate the
occupation and continue to kill scores of young soldiers who put
themselves in harm's-way for their country.

It's not normal; it's is a pandemic - an outbreak of despair which is the
natural corollary of living in constant fear; of seeing one's friends
being dismembered by roadside bombs or children being blasted to bits at
military checkpoints or finding battered bodies dumped on the side of a
riverbed like a bag of garbage.

The rash of suicides is the logical upshot of the U.S. war on Iraq.
Returning soldiers are traumatized by their experience and now they are
killing themselves in droves. Maybe we should have thought about that
before we invaded.

Check it out the video at: CBS News "Suicide Epidemic among Veterans"

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at:
fergiewhitney [at]

--------17 of 19--------

On the Verge of Democracy Collapse Disorder
by Roberto Rodriguez
Published on Sunday, November 18, 2007 by

Colony Collapse Disorder: this is the name given to the dying off of the
world's bees, which spells an impending global crisis. It's not that I
want to make light of this diagnosis. Quite the reverse; it's that the
name could just as easily be applied to the state of the nation. Though
Democracy Collapse Disorder is what comes to mind.

When historians look back to examine the origins of this latter disorder,
it will be determined that it began in 2000, compliments of the U.S.
Supreme Court when its intervention resulted in the ascension of George W.
Bush to the presidency of the United States.

Lacking the tradition of contesting government, the opposition meekly
accepted the results. Yet, by governing from the middle, the highly
contested presidential election might have simply resulted in an asterisk
next to the president's name. Instead, he began to govern as if he had
received an overwhelming mandate from both, the electorate and God,
helping to usher in the most greedy, corrupt, anti-science, secretive and
unaccountable administration in the nation's history. Under the guise of
Christianity, POTUS or the President Of The United States single-handedly
helped to usher back in The Dark Ages.

Just as plans for the Iraq invasion were in place long before, 9-11, the
designs for Democracy Collapse Disorder were also in place, long before
the president's installation. Yet, President Bush, a blue-blood son of a
former president, was not an innocent bystander; to carry out the
neoconservative agenda of world dominance simply required the notion of a
unitary executive in which all power resides in POTUS. Given 9-11, the
attack gave him an opportunity to accelerate that agenda, which included
the de-Constitutionalization of the United States..

The seven primary components of Democracy Collapse Disorder include
assertions by the president that he has the right to:

1) wage preemptive permanent war against any potential enemy, while
coddling tyrannical blood-thirsty dictators who support the U.S. agenda of
world domination.

2) declare that the United States is in fact in a permanent state of
worldwide war against "Islamo-fascism".

3) disregard the rights of anyone, including the right to secretly detain
anyone indefinitely, without due process and without the right to legal
representation, including the right to torture.

4) disregard any law, create any law, or interpret any law to his favor,
to be able to operate outside of the U.S. Constitution, while also
asserting the right to interpret his illegal actions as lawful.

5) operate outside of the Constitution during this time of permanent war,
without being subject to any checks and balances.

6) operate outside of international law and in disregard of international
treaties and conventions.

7) pardon, grant amnesty and grant retroactive immunity to anyone under
his control who violates the Constitution or any international law.

If these were but theoretical assertions of power, that would be dangerous
enough. But this president has actually carried out his assertions and
aside from engaging the United States in a disastrous illegal war and
occupation, he has also been wrong about everything. Wrong in a moral
sense. Wrong in a legal sense. And wrong in a strategic sense.

Enter the Democratic Party and the 2006 elections: its leaders are given
an overwhelming mandate to stop this runaway president who has been
plundering the public treasury to wage his illegal war. Yet, their first
order of business is to grant him and his war cabinet unconditional
amnesty and retroactive immunity.

That is the definition of Democracy Collapse Disorder.

If Congress had an alternate and effective plan to actually terminate the
illegal occupation of Iraq, that would be one thing, but worse than being
impotent, the refusal to hold the president accountable has emboldened him
to continue his criminal endeavors worldwide, including threatening to
wage yet another unsanctioned war against Iran.

To its credit, Congress has at least now taken a firm stand in support of
"the rule of law". Joining the likes of Lou Dobbs and Sen. Tom Tancredo,
who represent the lunatic and fanatical wing of the political spectrum,
Congress has taken a firm stand against amnesty, that is, no amnesty for
Mexicans. No amnesty for brown Spanish-speaking dishwashers and maids. At
least they are consistent. There will also be no amnesty for those in the
U.S. government whose lies have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands
in Iraq. Similar to Scooter Libby, instead they will be granted immunity,
pardons and commutations.

That too is Democracy Collapse Disorder. It also sounds like the
definition of insanity.

Rodriguez can be reached at XColumn [at] His columns are archived

(c) Column of the Americas 2007

--------18 of 19--------

Bolivia's Ongoing Revolutions
The Spirit of Revolt   [If only our spirit here were half as strong! -ed]
November 15, 2007

Prologue to Forrest Hylton and Sinclair Thomson, Revolutionary Horizons:
Past and Present in Bolivian Politics (Verso 2007)

In Bolivia in mid-October 2003, a popular insurrection had been going on
for days in El Alto, a city of 800,000 workers, peasants, migrants, and
petty merchants, most of them indigenous. 400 meters below,
insurrectionary alteos [residents of El Alto] controlled the gateway to La
Paz and blocked the supply of fuel to the capital of the republic.
Surrounded, the government decided to break the blockade with a military
convoy that opened a path up to the city by firing on, and killing, dozens
of people. This is how it cleared the way for trucks loaded with gas
cisterns to get down to the capital.

Alteos collected their dead, held wakes in their churches and homes, and
said, "Enough!" With the strength of men and women, young and old, they
pulled train cars along the tracks from the station and pushed them off a
bridge, so that many meters below, the cars blocked the highway leading
from La Paz to El Alto-the very route by which the truckloads of soldiers
had come to make way for the gas cisterns. "Enough! No one else gets
through here!"

The following day, they started to descend, by the dozens, or perhaps even
hundreds of thousands, to occupy the city of La Paz, while from the other
side of the valley, more unending columns of Indians ascended, with the
same goal: to take the capital and overthrow the murderous creole regime
of Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada. By then, the middle class in La Paz supported
El Alto and demanded a government ceasefire. The army did not dare to keep
killing. The government fell, and Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada fled to the
United States.

The history of this fraction of time that explodes out of quotidian time
as a sort of shift in destiny; the history of this instantaneous time
called revolution, its past, its ancestors, its protagonists, their
reasoning and motives, is the subject of this book by Forrest Hylton and
Sinclair Thomson. They were there, and have spent years studying Bolivia's
indigenous revolts and revolutions.

A classic revolution, at the very beginning of the twenty-first century,
has taken place in Bolivia, a cycle of popular rebellion that began with
the "Water War" in 2000 and culminated in the indigenous insurrections of
2003 and 2005, which twice seized the capital, and forced early elections
in December 2005. With an absolute majority, and for the first time in
Bolivian history, an Indian leader became president of the republic.

This book boldly and rightly affirms that what happened was a revolution,
and demonstrates it through history, analysis, and chronicle. A
revolution, that which no longer existed, a violent and liberating
revolution like all others in history: here it was again, bringing back
the spirit of revolt out of grievance and out of the past.

* * *

After chronicling the cycle of popular mobilization since 2000 that led to
such an outcome, Hylton and Thomson seek out its roots, premonitions, and
precursors in the long time-spans of history. Bolivia is an Indian
country, a place where two-thirds of the population recognizes and
declares itself to be Aymara, Quechua, Guaran, or of other indigenous
groups governed since Spanish conquest by a white and mestizo minority.
Since the sixteenth century, the relationship between rulers and ruled,
and between dominant and subaltern groups, has had a specific feature,
indelible as skin color. As in the rest of the colonial universe born in
that century, the relationship took the form of racial subordination.

The first great indigenous insurrection against this domination - which
preceded the Wars of Independence - was led by Tupaj Katari in 1781.
Indian armies imposed a prolonged blockade of La Paz, which was only
broken with the arrival of troops from the distant city of Buenos Aires,
capital of the Viceroyalty of Ro de la Plata.

Defeat did not erase the memory for indigenous people, who have known ever
since that they once laid siege to the city of the "seores," nor for the
white and mestizo minority, as successive generations have transmitted
until today the fear - negated, but always living on at the threshold of
consciousness - of a new siege on the city by a limitless dark-skinned

In April 1952, a popular insurrection exploded in defense of a
presidential election stolen by the dominant oligarchy. Known as the
"April Revolution," rebels took the city of La Paz, dispersed the army,
overthrew the president, established a mestizo government that
nationalized the mines - the principal Bolivian industry - decreed an
agrarian reform, and had to live for years with the parallel power of
miners', workers', and peasants' unions, their armed militias, and
community radio stations. Of course, miners, workers, and peasants were
Indians, and their indigenous languages were used to debate in their
assemblies and to talk during their celebrations and in their homes.

After a long period of vicissitudes and tenacious resistance, beginning in
the 1980s the new power of the neoliberal world reorganized Bolivia,
closed the mines, dismantled trade unions, and dispersed workers and their
settlements. The April Revolution was no more than a historical reference.
Order was re-established. Once again, Indians were put in their place.

But like all domination with racial roots, nationalist ideology and the
shared symbolism between dominant and subaltern groups was merely a thin,
formal layer, and hegemony a fractured and fragile covering. Underneath
lived the persistent and vast human community of the indigenous, those
life-worlds that filmmaker Jorge Sanjins called "The Clandestine Nation."
Since Tupaj Katari, and even before, those worlds never ceased to emerge,
here and there, to break up the surface of domination with violent local
revolts which were rapidly put down and punished, but not forgotten.

This nation, negated by the liberal republic, was also nearly invisible
for the republican left, which confused it with Indian positions in
economy and society: peasants, factory workers, miners, petty merchants,
artisans. The republican left did not, therefore, see the ancient place
that this nation occupied in the colonial world and that persisted in the
republic: Indians, people the color of the earth; Aymaras, Quechuas,
Guaranes, Urus, those who, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, claim to be the
most ancient of human beings.

Each time the country today called Bolivia begins to move, the clandestine
nation reappears, or better, makes itself violently visible and audible,
as Edward P. Thompson put it, taking leading places on the stage
previously occupied by noisy politicians, bureaucrats, military men,
investors, and their scribes.

That is how it made itself present in October 2003 when people descended
on La Paz and took it over, unfurling their flags and symbols and putting
forth their bodies, and their dead, as Thomson and Hylton note: "Beginning
with Warisata in September, and spreading to El Alto in October, the
mourning of martyrs provided a time to express grief and fury, to bolster
the spirit through ritual and reflection, and to dedicate ongoing struggle
to those who had lost their lives. The martyrs also provided a new example
of indigenous patriotism in Bolivia, insofar as Aymaras were the ones
defending the nation against foreign control."

Revolutionary Horizons speaks to us of continuities and ruptures in time,
of the cruelty and fragility of internal colonial domination, of
centuries-old dispossession and impious exploitation; of the immaterial
inheritance of memories and experiences; of how the spirit of revolt has
been transmitted across generations through protest, mass clandestinity,
and everyday life amidst discrimination and difference. The inheritors and
bearers of Andean civilization might well say, "Generations come and
generations go, but the earth lasts forever."

The authors put it as follows: "In this book, we approach revolutionary
'horizons' not only as those perspectives of men and women in the past who
looked upon the possibilities of future social transformation. For there
is another sense of the word. At an archeological site, the phased strata
of the earth and the remains of human settlement that are exposed by
careful digging are called 'horizons'. We offer this then as an excavation
of Andean revolution, whose successive layers of historical sedimentation
make up the subsoil, loam, landscape, and vistas for current political
struggle in Bolivia."

Thus the revolution of October 2003 and its aftermath in June 2005 are
presented as the condensation, in two decisive moments, of the previous
experiences of rage, humiliation, and desire: a resounding explosion, an
illumination that lights up an instant, a break in the time of everyday
life in which linear time, circular time, and messianic time whirl and mix
together. This temporal break passes, and does not last, but its
resonances and dissonances never die down. They come to be known as years
and lives unfold, Thomson and Hylton tell us at the end of their book.

* * *

A victorious revolution, like the Bolivian one in October, implies a deep
change in institutions and political leadership, which happened in the
presidential elections of December 2005 and the inaugural ceremony of
Indian President Evo Morales in January 2006. Although connected, the new
political leadership and the revolution that brought it about are two
phenomena that differ in substance.

The new power is a result of the revolution, not its embodiment. In their
final reflections, Hylton and Thomson tackle this crucial question. People
do not go into a revolution on behalf of an image of the society of the
future, Leon Trotsky noted, but because present society has become
intolerable. Their revolt nurtures itself on the image of enslaved
ancestors, not the ideal of liberated descendants, wrote Walter Benjamin.

A revolution means that nothing goes back to being what it was before in
the spirits of the living and their relations with each other. It also
pays homage to the dead, rescues the memory and the trials and
tribulations of humiliated ancestors, and renovates the symbolic universe.
That is why a revolution has repercussions in place and in times yet to
come. But its duration is short. And if, when it manages to triumph, a
revolution engenders a new political leadership, the insurrection is
neither embodied by nor prolonged in it, and the break in time closes:
"mais il est bien court le temps des cerises." What then follows concerns
a subsequent time, even as the new leadership continues to affirm, "I am
the revolution."

It is important to debate and assess the composition and subsequent
changes in political leadership that arise out of a revolution. But to
subsume its analysis and its meaning in this fashion is to lose one's way
and to enter into a shadow play. This is frequently done by those who,
without suspecting it, have themselves become shadows of real life, which
goes on elsewhere, far from them.

The history of revolutions is usually treated in terms of the
consolidation of a new order. In other words, revolution is a necessary
prelude to the new order. This is not the way this book considers the
third Bolivian revolution, which inaugurated the twenty-first century on
the altiplano.

Thomson and Hylton concede the importance of the Movement Toward Socialism
(MAS), headed by Evo Morales, as a channel and political instrument for
the popular insurrection, in which social movements played the leading
role. They note, "Morales and MAS tail-ended, rather than led, the
insurrection of 2003 and 2005. [But] in the electoral arena, Morales and
MAS have served as the only effective vehicle for national articulation of
the heterogeneous movements."

Nevertheless, they continue, this does not authorize the leadership to
uphold that in the future indigenous sectors do not need representation as
Indians (in the Constitutional Assembly, for example), on the grounds that
"they have already received representation - through MAS." Instead of
continuing to resist, the official argument runs, these sectors "need to
locate themselves in this new time of occupying structures of power."

Both historians go against such an argument: "Whatever their intent, such
statements de-authorized, marginalized, and silenced indigenous demands.
It was a new example of the condescension that has plagued Indian-Left
relations historically and that has pushed indigenous activists into more
radically autonomous positions." An indigenous president is not enough to
turn the clandestine nation into the Republic.

It is necessary, of course, to understand the inelastic limits that those
who govern run into, whether it be the ferocious resistance of the classes
that have been displaced from power, and their political and economic
representatives, foreign as well as domestic; or the steel cage in which
the new global neoliberal order encloses possibilities of action, along
with the imminent presence of its powerful material base - the Pentagon,
the military force of the United States; or the material limits of
scarcity, national isolation, and poverty.

In the words of the authors, "There are consequences of the present whose
force will be difficult to obstruct or reverse in the near future. And
yet, if history has shown that revolutionary moments leave an indelible
mark on the future, it has shown that internal colonialism and class
hierarchies are durable structures as well."

But for this very reason, the popular movements that gave rise to the new
configuration of state power cannot lose themselves in it. They must
maintain not indifference or neutrality, but rather their autonomy and

* * *

We need to treat the history of revolutions as the history of those unique
moments in which the forgotten, the oppressed, the humiliated - those who
make the world with their hands, bodies, and minds - rise up and suspend
the time of contempt to inaugurate a new time; moments, unforgettable
whether long or short, of revelation of their own being, their own
intelligence, and their own inheritance, which is that of all human

"Not man or men but the struggling, oppressed class itself is the
depository of historical knowledge. In Marx it appears as the last
enslaved class, the avenger that completes the task of liberation in the
name of generations of the downtrodden," wrote Walter Benjamin in his
"Theses on the Philosophy of History." There, the spirit of revolt
survives and burns in secret, in diverse times and places.

Those moments in which that spirit comes to light and stirs like gale
winds, those breaks in time whose duration should be multiplied by their
intensity, can later be suspended and converted into memory and the past.
But they also become lived experience and, as a result, ongoing
reverberations into all the possible futures of those who lived through
those moments as a people.

These are the themes of this exceptional book, which is the work of two
historians who have followed and lived Bolivian life. Revolutionary
Horizons is a chronicle, a history, and an archaeology of indigenous
insurgency on the Andean high plains, and, at the same time, a mature
fruit of study, experience, and reflection.

A longtime participant-observer of Latin American revolution, Adolfo Gilly
is a professor of history at the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico
(UNAM) and the author of numerous books on history and politics, including
the classic The Mexican Revolution: A People's History (New Press, 2006

--------19 of 19--------

        205 AD

 NB: I'm working
 reform the Roman Empire
 from inside. Vinces!


 Achtung! I'm working
 to reform Naziism
 from inside. Sieg heil!


 Hey all! I'm working
 to reform the Dem Party
 from inside. Think pink!


 (Sigh). I'm still working
 to reform the Dem Party
 from inside. Next year!


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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