|Progressive Calendar 09.26.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 08:47:10 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.26.08 1. Felien/streets 9.26 11am 2. RNC/lawsuit/press 9.26 3pm 3. Palestine 9.26 4:15pm 4. Art/democracy 9.26 6pm 5. Take back night 9.26 6:30pm StCloud MN 6. KR Plotz - Solidarity with diverse tactics at RNC 7. Lydia Howell - Solidarity with diverse tactics at RNC 8. ed - Chop till you drop (serial haiku) --------1 of 8-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Felien/streets 9.26 11am FRI.Sept,26, 11am KFAI Radio CATALYST:politics&culture, hosted by Lydia Howell Tune in for a conversation with ED FELIEN, talking about his just-published book TAKE THE STREETS!. Felien's observations span activism opposing the Vietnam War & continued resistance today to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Felien is most known in the Twin Cities as the longtime editor/publisher of PULSE, "your grassroosts alternative newspaper of the Twin Cities" (which ceased publication last year) and SOUTHSIDE PRIDE, a community newspaper in south Minneapolis. Felien has been engaged in social justice and anti-war activities since the early 1960s and served one term on the Minneapolis City Council in 1972-73. TAKE THE STREETS was written during and just after the May 1972 University of Minnesota student strikes against the Vietnam War. Students effectively HELD THE U OF M CAMPUS FOR ALMOST A WEEK USING DIRECT ACTION. Felein combines vivd storytelling and sharp political and strategic analysis. It's a book that should be read by every peace activist today - whether they are a religious pacifist, a liberal Democrat, Leftist or anarchist. KFAI 90.3fm Mpls 106.7fm St.Paul http://www.kfai.org EVENT SUN.SEPT.28, 3pm: ED FELIEN & his book TAKE THE STREETS! May day Books,a non-profit,volunteer=run progressive bookstore 301 Cedar Ave. S.(basement of HUB Bicycle), West Bank, Minneapolis (612_333-4719 Protesting the war(s): Lessons from 1972 By Lydia Howell , TC Daily Planet September 23, 2008 As the U.S. occupation of Iraq grinds into its sixth year and activists address the militarized police response to protests at the Republican National Convention, a remarkable just-published historical document should be required reading. Ed Felien's Take the Streets! was written in 1972, during and immediately after that year's tidal wave of Minnesota protests of the Vietnam War. Felien's eyewitness account balances reporting with an analysis of politics, tactics, and strategy that remain sharply relevant to today's anti-war movement. Felien, his shoulder-length hair now more gray than blonde, but still wearing t-shirts and jeans, is best known as the publisher and editor of the Minneapolis newspaper Southside Pride and the now-defunct Pulse of the Twin Cities, a "grassroots alternative" weekly newspaper. In 1972, Felien- who holds a Ph.D. in European drama from the University of Minnesota - was an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota's Experimental College. He paid a price for his anti-war organizing on campus. "They worked hard to fire me. I heard from other professors that the university put the word out. I was purged, and then blacklisted, from academia," laughs Felien. "They weren't interested in the kind of theater I was teaching!" On May 8, 1972, President Richard Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong harbor and the carpet-bombing of any place that could be deemed "military" - this policy led to huge civilian casualties. In response, student protests and strikes soared: from Berkley to Boston, from the University of New Mexico to the University of Minnesota - even in Minnetonka. For almost a week, students stopped business as usual on the U of M campus. "You have to understand," says Felien, "that the 1960s really goes from 1963 to 1974 - when the Vietnam War ended. You can't really appreciate that period without the music - the Beatles, Bob Dylan's "With God On Our Side" and "Masters of War." The first day we took the streets, we built a barricade on Washington Avenue. We tore down the gate of the [campus] Armory. A fraternity on the corner had a car in their backyard that was to be towed away. They gave us the car and we turned it over in the street and set it on fire. Made for dramatic pictures - but it wasn't stolen like the media said!" "That same fraternity," continues Felien, "also had stereo speakers blaring from a second story window, playing the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man." That's the way we felt. This is the moment - go for broke! We're going to put an end to this war! This is no time for compromise solutions!" In his book, Felien gives a rare insider's view on how protest actually happens: the debates and divisions, the challenges and the victories. Then as now, there were debates about passive resistance versus direct action. There were activists like Marv Davidov of the Honeywell Project (now protesting AlliantTech every Wednesday), Students for a Democratic Society (resurrected on some campuses last year), faith communities, and others similar to those in today's peace movement. Perhaps the most significant difference between 1972 and now is the military draft. Felien argues for the draft to be reinstated. "If everybody is subject to the draft," he says, "then everybody has to think about what that means. Do I support the war? Am I willing to go to Iraq? Right now, it's easier to not think about it. It's easier to think about Darfur. We had motivated students in 1972 because they were subjected to the draft and being sent over to commit genocide!" "If everybody is subject to the draft, then everybody has to think about what that means. Do I support the war? Am I willing to go to Iraq?" Also, notes Felien, "it's more unlikely that drafted soldiers will fire on protesters than professional soldiers will. There was a political movement inside the military during the Vietnam War, primarily among drafted soldiers." In the wake of the RNC protests, tactics and strategy are up for debate. Student protests in 1972 went beyond candlelight vigils to what Felien calls "a kind of insurrection" - a movement that took place across the country, reversing the escalation of and, finally, ending the Vietnam War. Felien packs in a great deal of critical analysis while telling a dramatic story that can't be put down. Take the Streets! is a counterweight to the "politicians and generals" perspective of traditional history - especially history written about war and peace. Ed Felien has given today's activists inspiration as well as practical knowledge. "I think of (WWII conscientious objector and lifelong peace activist) Dave Dellinger calling his autobiography More Power Than We Knew. That's a beautiful slogan. We do have a lot more power than we believe. It's in the interest of the government and the ruling class to get us to think we're weak and powerless." Felien smiles broadly. "We put up those barricades to say to people, "I want you to stop and think about what's happening to all of us." That's the point of a barricade: not to close something off, but to open something up!" Lydia Howell, a winner of the 2007 Premack Award for Public Interest Journalism, is a Minneapolis independent journalist writing for various newspapers and online journals. She produces and hosts Catalyst: politics & culture on KFAI Radio on Fridays at 11 a.m. For several years, she wrote for Ed Felien's publications Pulse of the Twin Cities and Southside Pride. --------2 of 8-------- From: Jess Sundin <jess [at] antiwarcommittee.org> Subject: RNC/lawsuit/press 9.26 3pm Lawsuit seeks $250,000 in damages for police violence against anti-war protester at RNC Press Conference - Friday, September 26, 3pm In front of City Hall, 15 Kellogg Ave, St. Paul The first lawsuit resulting from police violence at the Republican National Convention will be announced at a press conference Sept. 26. Notice is being served on the cities of Saint Paul, Bloomington and Minneapolis, along with Ramsey County that lawyers representing Mick Kelly will seek $250,000 in damages. Kelly was shot at close range and injured by police with a high velocity marking projectile at a demonstration organized by the Anti-War Committee on the fourth day of the RNC, Sept. 4. Said Katrina Plotz of the Anti War Committee, "Those responsible for attacking our protest against the war on Iraq need to be held accountable. Nearly 400 people were arrested. Riot police repeatedly met our demonstration with tear gas and concussion grenades. We have every right to speak out against the war. We demand all charges against anti-war protesters are dropped. Those who stood in the way of our right to protest will now answer for their actions." Mick Kelly was carrying the lead banner in the march to the Xcel Center. Police blocked the march route at 12th and Cedar. He was shot after police tore the banner off the poles that was holding it aloft. Kelly, who was among the organizers of the massive anti-war march on the first day of the RNC, has another lawsuit pending against the city of Saint Paul stemming from an incident where he was arrested on June 5 for passing out leaflets promoting an anti-war protest outside the Obama rally. The lawsuit is being pursued by attorneys Ted Dooley, Gena Berglund and Peter Nickitas, all members of the National Lawyers Guild. Ted Dooley will be among the speakers at the press conference. Attorney Ted Dooley states, "Saint Paul took on the trappings of a police state during the Republican National Convention. This lawsuit is about obtaining a measure of justice for those who had their rights trampled on." For further information contact: Katrina Plotz , Anti-War Committee, 651-769-4474 Attorney Ted Dooley, 651-292-1515 Mick Kelly, 612-715-3280* --------3 of 8-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine 9.26 4:15pm Friday, 9/26, 4:15 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end US military/political support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, corner Summit and Snelling, St Paul. --------4 of 8-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Art/democracy 9.26 6pm Friday, 9/26, 6 pm, internationally known artist Suzanne Lacy keynotes Public Art and Democracy conference with keynote address, Macy's Skyroom, 12th Floor, 700 Nicollett Mall, Mpls. http://www.ias.umn.edu or 612-626-5054. --------5 of 8-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Take back night 9.26 6:30pm StCloud MN September 26: St. Cloud State University Women's Center. 19th Annual Take Back the Night Rally with speaker, Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of "Telling: A memoir of Rape and Recovery". 6:30 PM in St. Cloud's Barden Park, located across St. Cloud State University's Miller Center on 5th Avenue South. March through downtown St. Cloud and through SCSU campus. --------6 of 8-------- Anti-War March Organizers Express Solidarity and Respect for Diverse Tactics by KR Plotz on Thu, 09/25/2008 Shortly after the RNC, Francisco Gonzalez, a guest blogger for Engage Minnesota wrote an article called "March organizers failed to protect message." http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/09/08/march-organizers-failed-... This article was later posted on the Twin Cities Daily Planet website. As a member of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, I felt compelled to respond. Gonzalez suggested that those who organized the permitted anti-war march on the opening day of the RNC should have tried to prevent "unruly elements" from engaging in direct action or should have denounced those who did the next day. He suggested that our message was stolen by "a few who acted mindlessly" and that we should have stood "side by side with police" to denounce them. I was troubled but not surprised by this analysis. Blaming fellow protesters for police violence and judging those whose tactics involve risking arrest have often marked the aftermath of mass actions. This pattern of backstabbing and finger pointing has left movements fractured and demoralized. In St. Paul, we deliberately tried to create something different: principles that would allow us to focus our energy on the injustice we oppose, engage in the tactics we feel are most strategic, and do so in a way that would build our capacity and inspire unity, even among activists of differing ideological backgrounds, experience levels, and philosophies. As someone who helped organize the permitted march on September 1, I want to be completely clear about how we anticipated our demonstration interacting with other protests that day. We were fully aware of well developed plans to engage in direct action and civil disobedience on September 1. We were not surprised this took place and do not agree that our message was "highjacked" by anarchists. We worked in coalition with several groups including the RNC Welcoming Committee to establish principles of unity that would prevent counter-productive, "good protester-bad protester" labeling. The "St. Paul Principles" we established included a respect for a diversity of tactics (not just legal, permitted ones) and we agreed that different tactics would be separated by time or space so that we could complement, rather than interfere with each other. This was achieved with great success. On September 1st, 30,000 people from a diversity of backgrounds, income levels, ages, and struggles marched together under one banner: U.S. Out of Iraq Now; Money for Human Needs Not War; Peace, Justice, and Equality for All. Also on September 1st, a significant number of people chose to directly confront those most responsible for war, poverty, and injustice by engaging in blockades and other methods of direct action. Organizers of the permitted march supported their decision to do so. Many of us believe that elements of civil disobedience and direct action are appropriate and necessary for any movement desiring to mount a serious challenge to the violent, imperialist forces that are exploiting and destroying the lives of millions. In his article, Gonzalez claimed that the RNC Welcoming Committee's website indicated a desire for "violent confrontation." Anyone who was present in downtown St. Paul during the RNC could see that it was the police who were constantly unleashing violent confrontation. Who was it that brought riot gear, tasers, rubber bullets, batons, and chemical weapons to the streets of St. Paul? It was the police, whose only mission was to protect power and privilege and crush anyone in their path. The very use of the word "violence" to describe the actions of protesters in the face of the police state we witnessed is ridiculous. Pepper spraying a girl repeatedly in the face after she attempted to hand a flower to a police officer is violence. A broken Macy's window is not. And even though some activists don't prefer property damage as a tactic, maintaining some amount of perspective is important. What is a broken window compared to a million Iraqis killed, or entire cities destroyed by the U.S. occupation forces? A whole lot of windows get broken when the U.S. drops bombs. Which is the bigger concern? Which is a real reason to be pointing fingers? I and other members of the Coalition to March on the RNC stand in solidarity with all who spoke and acted against the Republican agenda in St. Paul. We didn't denounce each other before the action and we aren't going to start now. And we would never, EVER stand with the police at a press conference and denounce our partners in the struggle. The very suggestion is absurd after the systematic way the police attempted to violently shut down ALL dissent at the RNC. On September 4th, members of our coalition were shot at close range with rubber bullets while holding an anti-war banner, tackled to the ground while chanting for an end to the war, and attacked with pepper spray while holding signs demanding peace and justice. This occurred in response to a large crowd who dared to march after a city-issued permit had expired. We demand that all charges be dropped against the 818 people who were arrested September 1-4, including the RNC 8, who are unjustly accused of "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism." The only terrorists in St. Paul that week were the police and the war criminals in the Xcel Center. Anyone professing a sincere commitment to justice should make an effort to hold police accountable for their crimes at the RNC and to end the criminal policies of war and oppression waged by the U.S. around the world, rather than criticize march organizers for failing to shun our fellow activists. We are committed to building and strengthening a diverse movement for just social change. We are not interested in betraying and judging one another. Anyone waiting for us to do so or advocating such hypocrisy needs to wake up. The most dangerous people in St. Paul that week were the delegates to the Republican National Convention, as well as the army of mercenaries who attacked people on their behalf. Anyone who opposes violence and property destruction should join us in opposing current U.S. policy as a top priority. Our military, police, and anti-immigration agents engage in violence and property destruction every day for the benefit of wealthy politicians and corporate executives. The system works against us. We must work together, in diverse ways, against it. -Katrina Plotz Anti-War Committee Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War [If Gonzalez didn't exist the government would have to invent him - and maybe it has. -ed] --------7 of 8-------- Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 09:16:15 -0500 From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Solidarity with Diverse Tactics at RNC NOTE: Those of us who have been subjected to and/or witnessed ACTUAL PHYSICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST HUMAN BEINGS find it obscene to call 3 broken windows at the RNC protests "violence". It insults those of us who directly know what ACTUAL violence is TO EQUATE real violence against people with the broken windows at the RNC (which by the way, may well have been at least in terms of the Macy's window BROKEN BY AN UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER, according to witnesses - in order to give cops a justification for violence). To say the "message was stolen" by anarchists is to remain in denial of how corporate media operates. How often do local media REPORT ON ANY ACTIVITIES OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT? Instead of protesting on the bridge every Wednesday afternoon, perhaps, going in front of WCCO or the Strib would be a better location! Those of us who have worked over decades to get some kind of accountability to the public who PAY the police to allegedly "protect and serve" are deeply offended that some in the peace movement are more concerned by minor property damage than by actual violence and an assault on civil liberties by law enforcement at the RNC. (Of course, those of us working on police accountability are NOT surprised by some white, middle-class "peace activists" standing WITH police since these same people are SILENT when the police beat, taser, choke and shoot 4 to 30+ bullets in to UNarmed civilians - the majority of whom are people of color and /or poor) on a regular basis. Human rights abuses only seem to count when they happen in OTHER countries - NOT our own, NOT even in our own cities!) It's long overdue for privleged people who are never (or rarely) subjected to the violence of the State to recognize the role police play - on our streets and at the RNC: protesting the ruling elites - NOT We The People. As the old labor song says, "Which side are you on?" I stand in total solidarity with the Commentary commentary and hope others will consider it for themselves. Lydia Howell, MInneapolis --------8 of 8-------- The people chopper, knives whirling, advances on the protesting crowd. Just blood and bone bits. The crowd is 'dispersed'. "That'll show 'em!" laughs Cheney. "Next time I'll have 'em pureed, fed to steers, T-bone presents for my friends." -------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
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