Progressive Calendar 10.25.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2008 08:44:51 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.25.08

1. Peace walk       10.25 9am Cambridge MN
2. Chile/rights     10.25 10am
3. NWN4P Mtka       10.25 11am
4. Book sale        10.25 12noon
5. Africa/Cuba/lib  10.25 1:30pm
6. Northtown vigil  10.25 2pm
7. GulfStates bash  10.25 2pm
8. Main St/Wall St  10.25 3pm
9. Nader film       10.25 8:30pm
10. Lebanon/CTV     10.25 9pm

11. Ghosts/atheists 10.26 9am
12. StillwaterVigil 10.26 1pm
13. Pentel/ecology  10.26 3pm
14. Stolen lives    10.26 6pm
15. RNC 8 benefit   10.26 6pm

16. Max Kantar     - The opium of the masses
17. Mickey Z       - Chomsky, Zinn, and Obama
18. Benjamin Dangl - Bolivia rejects neoliberalism

--------1 of 18--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 10.25 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street

--------2 of 18--------

From: biego001 [at]
Subject: Chile/rights 10.25 10am

Coffeehour at the Resource Ctr of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S., 10am
Saturday, October 25:

Please join us Saturday October, 25 at 10am for "Human Rights in Chile:
The Legacy of Londres," presented by Lisa Hilbink. Professor Hilbink will
offer this talk following a two-week visit to Chile, where she
participated in an international conference on the national and
international legacy of the Pinochet detention in London ten years ago.
The presentation will focus on changes and continuities in judicial
responses to human rights claims in Chile since 1998. cf.,

--------3 of 18--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P Mtka 10.25 11am

NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7
and 101.  Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the
fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available.

--------4 of 18--------

From: Tom Taylor tom [at]
Subject: Book sale 10.25 12noon

[Feeling stupid? Of course you are! More books, lots more books, will fix
that. At least, the time you spend reading is time you will not be making
stupid remarks in public, so people will think you're much less stupid
than you used to be. Even better is the long silent time if you _write_ a
book - people might come to think of you as a minor genius. Just don't go
and spoil it all by publishing so that people can read what you think, the
way the unwise authors of all those books you bought did. -ed]

100s of books are up for sale THIS Friday and Saturday at the Casket Arts
Building, 681-17th Ave in lovely lower NE MPLS.

If you have not gotten a chance to see this cool building that is an
additional plus besides the very affordable books. tt

From: "Jennifer Young" <youngj3 [at]>

This coming weekend there is a huge book sale happening at the Casket Arts
Building during the building's Open Casket event. For more info about Open
Casket go to the website

During the event studio #162 has thousands of books for sale for $1 or
less. New, used, rare, first editions and coffee table books!

Open Casket
Fri Oct 24th, 5-9 p.m.
Saturday Oct 25th, 12-8 p.m.
Casket Arts Building
681-17th Ave NE

--------5 of 18--------

From: Joan Malerich <joanmdm [at]>
Subject: Africa/Cuba/lib  10.25 1:30pm

This is one you will NOT want to miss.

1.  Are you a concerned Black--African American or immigrant?  If so,
learn about the real liberation of Angola from the South African Apartheid
and how the Cubans made it possible.

2.  Are you a concerned Native American Indian, White, Latino, Asian,
Mid-Easterner or other human being who wonders why we have never succeeded
in having a real sustained liberation movement (not a "civil rights"
movement with the "glory" of being able to "vote" in corrupted elections
but a real liberation movement of basic human rights--universal single
payer health care, free education through college, decent food and clean
water for all, living-wage jobs, housing for all)??

3.  Are you concerned about the endless wars of US imperialism that have
killed at least 10 million people and have maimed and/or tortured tens of
millions more innocent people and are now bringing down the US economy in
the same manner our CIA has done to third world countries since WW II?

IF YOU ARE any of the above, then it is essential that you attend this
event and learn about "the way of thinking" that both liberated the Cubans
and made it possible for them to continue their revolution and the Cubans
connection to Africa that compelled them to become part of the African
struggle for liberation.  It is a humanitarian way of thinking based on
the national hero of Cuba, Jose Marti's philosophy: MY HOMELAND IS

Time to set aside a whole day from 1:30 to 9:00 PM Saturday, October 25.
This is a day that will not be wasted but will compel all to begin to
think in terms of humanity instead of "individualism," to see the equality
of humanity that is needed before imperialism can be stopped.

PS:  /Conflicting Missions:/ /Havana, Washington and Africa, 1959-1976/ is
an amazing book.  Contact Mayday Books 612-333-4719, (301 Cedar Avenue - 2
blocks from Blegan Hall - Minneapolis to see if they have it in stock.
Read the first chapter and you will not be able to stop. The parts on CHE
in Africa and Che's show the inner Che and his commitment to liberation of
all the oppressed.  Book is about 400 pages plus 200 pages of notes.

Blegan:  (go to for map)
Metro transit information go to or call 612-373-3333)


Cuba's Contribution to Africa's Liberation: A film and lecture Saturday,
October 25, Blegen Hall 10, University of Minnesota

1:30 FILM /Cuba: An African Odyssey/

7:00 PM Prof. Piero Gleijeses, Author of /Conflicting Mission:/ /Havana,
Washington and Africa, 1959-1976 /

>From 1961 until 1989 Cuba was directly involved in Africa's liberation
struggles by providing military and humanitarian assistance. The story of
Cuba's role is the focus of a day-long public forum that features
Professor Piero Gleijeses of the School of Advanced International Studies,
Johns Hopkins University and author of the award-winning book,
/Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington and Africa, 1959-1976/ . He will
present his most recent research on Cuba's role in the defeat of South
African troops in Angola, the critical event that paved the way for the
freeing of political prisoners like Nelson Mandela and the transition to
the new South Africa.

Prior to the lecture, Jihan El Tahri's 2007 prize-winning three hour
documentary, /Cuba: An African Odyssey/, will be shown, its upper midwest

Both events are free and open to the public.

The program takes place on Saturday, October 25, at the University of
Minnesota, West Bank, Blegen Hall 10.
The two-part film will be shown at 1:30
Prof. Gleijeses's presentation will begin at 7pm.
Between the film and lecture, Cuban foods/snacks will be provided by
Victor Valens.

The program is sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of
Global Change, the Institute of Global Studies, the Departments of
Political Science and History, the Black Student Union and the Minnesota
Cuba Committee.  For more information, contact animtz [at]
<mailto:animtz [at]> or 612-624-1512.

--------6 of 18--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.25 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------7 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: GulfStates bash 10.25 2pm

Saturday, 10/25, 2 to 7 pm, free cultural celebration "Underneath the Oil
of Desert :Lands: Celebrating the Gulf States" (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia,
Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) with food, dance and
music, Cahoots Coffee Bar, 1562 Selby Ave, St Paul.  651-644-6778.

--------8 of 18--------

From: Michael Wood <mwood42092 [at]>
Subject: Main St/Wall St 10.25 3pm

Protest to Save Main Street Not Wall Street!

Saturday, October 25 at 3:00 p.m.

Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis, 90 Hennepin Ave. downtown (by corner of
Hennepin Avenue and N. 1st St. - Near South Side of Hennepin Ave. Bridge)

Initiated by Gus Hall Action Club, a Marxist-Leninist Communist club, but
you donąt need to be a Communist to attend!!

Life becomes worse for the working class as capitalists intensify their
drive against our living standards. But the U.S. government's given more
than $700 billion dollars to bail out billionaires and bankers!! This
swindle gives almost unlimited authority for doling out billions to Wall
Street fat cats. This bailout bill is not geared to help working-class
homeowners, workers in debt or our entire working class. Instead, it
shifts the burden of the capitalistąs financial crisis unto the backs of
the working class. The bailout of the banks is a bailout of the
crisis-ridden system of capitalism. William Z. Foster of the Communist
Party USA of yesteryear pointed out that capitalism is "legalized robbery
of the working class." Financial crisis and the bailing out of
billionaires and bankers is not capitalism "gone wrong." Bailing out
bankers is not "socialism." It is the fullest expression of what
capitalism really is.

The history of capitalism shows that the capitalist ruling class always
tries to throw the burden of economic crisis unto the shoulders of the
working class. We need a class struggle program to wage an organized fight
to save Main Street not Wall Street. The demands of our protest on October
25 are: Bail Out Main Street Not Wall Street! Finance Projects Needed by
the Working Class! Tax the Rich! For a Moratorium on Home Foreclosures and
Evictions! Protect Workersą Pensions and Savings! For a Law Against Plant
Shutdowns! Nationalize Industry to Prevent Job Loss! Freeze all Workplace
Closings and Job Layoffs! Stop Cuts in the Budgets of Social Programs!
Slash the Military Budget!

Please feel free to make a sign with some of these slogans and bring it to
the rally at 3:00 on Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Federal Reserve Bank,
Minneapolis, 90 Hennepin Ave. downtown (by corner of Hennepin Avenue and
N. 1st St.)!

Socialism is the final answer to the exploitation, terrors and hardship of
rotting capitalism, breeder of crises and war. See our blog:

--------9 of 18--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Nader film 10.25 8:30pm

Viewing of the documentary, "An Unreasonable Man" - RESCHEDULED FROM LAST

Movie Night at the Matchbox Coffee Shop
Located at 1306 2nd St. NE
NE Minneapolis
Saturday, Oct 25th @ 8:30pm

--------10 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Lebanon/CTV 10.25 9pm

Mighty Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!  Households with basic cable may

Sat, 10/25, 9pm and Tues, 10/28, 8am

"Tragedy in South Lebanon: The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006"
Author Cathy Sultan talks about her latest book and the media
under-reporting of Middle Eastern affairs.

--------11 of 18--------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at]>
Subject: Ghosts/atheists 10.26 9am

Minnesota Atheists' "Atheists Talk" radio show.
Sunday, October 26, 2008, 9-10 a.m. Central Time

"Ghosts of Minnesota" and "American Atheists"

Just in time for Halloween, we interview John Funk about his website
"Ghosts of Minnesota."  John says, "I'm fascinated with stories of ghosts
and hauntings despite my skepticism, both as cultural phenomena and as
compelling works of living fiction superimposed onto real geographic

Then we interview Ed Buckner, the newly hired president of American
Atheists.  What are American Atheists' plans for the future?  Ed has a
distinguished career in the atheist/humanist movement, having previously
worked for the Council for Secular Humanism.

We welcome questions during the program at (952) 946-6205 or
radio [at]

"Atheists Talk" airs live on AM 950 KTNF in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
To stream live, go to

Podcasts of past shows are available at or
through iTunes. Program Notes are available at

--------12 of 18--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 10.26 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------13 of 18--------

From: James Mayer <info [at]>
Subject: Pentel/ecology 10.26 3pm


Of the People this Sunday, October 26 at 3pm on AM 950 KTNF (formerly Air
America Minnesota) with Host James Mayer.

Call-in line: 952-946-6205

Of the People brings you guests who see when something's wrong in our
society, and use the tools of democracy to fix it.  That describes the
focus and call to action of the ECOLOGY DEMOCRACY NETWORK.  Join in the
conversation with its lead organizer, Ken Pentel, nominated three times by
the Green Party as its candidate for Governor of Minnesota, and host James
Mayer this Sunday afternoon at 3:00.

Threats to the health, strength and endurance of healthy democracy,
society and environment don't go away for the weekend.  Neither does the
bad news the corporate media establishment uses to make us feel alienated
from one another, shocked, depressed, or even helpless, and to distract us
from real priorities, realistic solutions and positive actions we can take
together. But for a few weekend moments you can refresh and regenerate
your energy with James Mayer on Of the People, a place to go for good news
that the "news" corporations monopolizing our airwaves seldom let through:
people taking action together, on real solutions.

To listen to Of the People on AM 950 KTNF (formerly Air America
Minnesota), go to 950 on your AM radio dial, or Listen online:

Again, our call-in number is 952-946-6205.

Please take a moment to call or send this to your contacts and friends,
asking them to do the same and join us on:
Of the People this Sunday, October 26th at 3 p.m. on AM 950I

**Additional Note: we have opportunities for volunteers for the Program of
the People.  To inquire about volunteering or pass on ideas to us, please
reach us by phone at 651-238-3740, by e-mail at info [at], or by
U.S. mail, address: James Mayer, 970 Raymond Ave, St. Paul, MN 55114.

--------14 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Stolen lives 10.26 6pm

Sunday, 10/26, 6 pm, memorial for the Stolen Lives of more than a dozen
people who have died at the hands of law enforcement officers in Minnesota
in the last year, Walker Community Church, 3104 - 16th Ave S, Mpls.

--------15 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: RNC8 benefit 10.26 6pm

Sunday, 10/26, 6 pm, dinner/pre-ween party/show to benefit the RNC 8, with
food from Food Not Bombs, a corny haunted house, zombie flicks and bands
(Terracide, Atraveho) at 7, Arise Books, 2441 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls.  $5 to
10 donation (no one turned away).

--------16 of 18--------

The Opium of the Masses
by Max Kantar
October 25th, 2008
Dissident Voice

This November, Americans face a choice. But the choice not between John
McCain or Barak Obama; it is between submitting to the will of the
corporate-military establishment or taking a moral stand in boycotting
their rigged institutions of fake democracy.

Democracy, in any meaningful sense, is a system that allows people to have
a say in decisions to the degree that they are affected. Do we have that?
With popular support for the Bush administration continually hovering at
around 20% and support for the mostly Democratic congress struggling to
maintain double digits, you can decide whether we have a democratic system
or not for yourself.

They tell us to vote if we care about the economy. Vote for whom? Obama
could not reiterate enough times in the "debate" how much he "agreed" with
McCain on the issue of the near trillion dollar Wall Street bailout,
despite overwhelming public opposition to it. The message to the public
was clear: "We don't care what you think. Our job is to protect the wealth
of those who own the country, not those who built it".

They tell us to vote if we care about war, foreign policy, and the
horrendous image of the US around the world. Vote for Obama or McCain,
both who vow to enact a "surge" of US occupying forces into Afghanistan,
in spite of the sharp rise in US-NATO bombings of civilians, most notably
the massacre of 90 innocent people in late August, two thirds of which
were under the age of 15.

We can vote on Iraq, but our choice is not between war and peace. The
choice is between two war strategies. One continues the Bush-Cheney-Rice
plan, and the other entails significant US troops, privately contracted
mercenaries, and the maintenance of extravagant foreign (US) military
bases, not to mention potential US operations in the future in Iraq. Both
plans continue the aggressive war against the wishes of the Iraqi public,
the American public, and the international community.

Not to be outdone by the Maverick's burning passion for imperial violence,
liberal Obama has declared that he strongly supports military strikes in
Pakistan, further threatening the already trembling stability of the
region by violating sovereign territory with killings and assaults.

Should we vote if we care about peace in Israel-Palestine, a conflict with
global implications? Unlike the slight deviations of policy mentioned
above between those who wish to rule over us, we have a truly bipartisan
commitment to continue blocking a peaceful settlement through providing
the overwhelming military, economic, and diplomatic support for the
US-Israeli illegal military occupation of Palestinian land, illegal
colonial settlement expansion, and the starvation and imprisonment of the
1.5 million human beings trying to stay alive in the Gaza Strip.

Either way we vote, we give money to kill Palestinians, support Israeli
terror, and avoid peace based on international law and human rights. That
has been US policy for decades.

Turning to the health care crisis, both candidates refuse to recognize
what has been the population's wish for decades: the abolition of
for-profit healthcare. Thousands of insured Americans are going to die in
the next four years because both candidates refuse to support preexisting
legislation that guarantees all necessary medical treatment to everyone.1

America has the most prisoners of any country in the world. Our corporate
built prisons are a reflection and symbol of a violently unequal and
racist society where black men are incarcerated at a rate of nearly 400%
more than whites. Black men in America are locked up at a rate nearly six
times that of Black men under the notorious South African Apartheid regime
in the early 90s.2

Our prisons are filled with the poor and disenfranchised: social
conditions that transcend race in American dungeons. This
socioeconomic/human rights issue is off the debating table. Neither
exclusively Democratic nor Republican, this is an American policy.

Let us not forget either, that a vote for either presidential hopeful is a
clear declaration of support for the continued Bush-Cheney
anti-constitution program of illegal spying and wiretapping of American
citizens. Are we really willing to accept this as a permanent American

Elections in the US are nothing more than ratifications of illegitimate
power and approval of concentrated wealthw. So long as we continue to
rationalize our vote by selecting the "lesser of two evils" vying for
Chief Terrorist Commander and Upholder of Elite Interests, we will be
giving our tacit approval to and consent of the continued human rights
violations committed by the bipartisan power structure.

This business of selecting indentured servants of existing power is more
symbolic as a means of conquest of the popular will rather than that of
democracy. Perhaps we were never taught that the wonderful advancements
our country has made over the years came as a result of popular struggle,
not electoral politics.3

When we place our political energy into elections, power and privilege
always win while our movements die. In our country, voting is the opium of
the masses.

When we cast our ballots for the McCains and Obamas of this country, blood
continues to be shed on the battlefields of justice, not only around the
world as the US continues its imperial crusade to protect the world from
the threat of democracy, but at home as well in America's prisons,
hospitals, factories, courts, ghettos, working neighborhoods - in essence,
on America's "main street".

We cannot be, in good moral conscience, participants in this deceitful and
superficial process legitimizing crimes of the powerful and an economic
system erected for the wealthy. "After all, is there not a sort of blood
shed when the conscience is wounded?"4

Yes, let us make a choice in November, a choice to stop "tinkering with
the machinery" of the Washington-Wall Street establishment of exploitation
and violence and commit ourselves to taking matters into our own hands to
bring about self-determination and justice for our countrymen/women and
our fellow human beings around the world.5

1. House Resolution (H.R.) 676 is the bill introduced in February of 2005
by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) which guarantees single payer, not for
profit, healthcare to every American. In addition to its obvious humane
benefits, it will save the US several billion dollars annually, according
to The Citizens Alliance for National Health Insurance. [.]

2. According to the organization, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,
(LEAP), under South African Apartheid in 1993, Black men were incarcerated
at a rate of 841 per 100,000. In the US in 2004, Black men were
incarcerated at a rate of 4,400 per 100,000. [.]

3. For a further discussion on social change, elections, and popular
struggle in American history, please see Howard Zinn's book, A People's
History of the United States. Using impeccable sources and research, Zinn
illustrates to the reader how when mass movements in the US attempted to
press their demands through the electoral process, the movements fizzled
out with little or no results. [.]

4. Quoted words are pulled from Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay,
"Resistance to Civil Government" or also known as "Civil Disobedience".

5. The quoted words, "tinkering with the machinery," are the words of the
late US Supreme Court Justice, Harry Blackmun, who famously noted that he
would "no longer tinker with the machinery of death". Blackmun was
referring to the institution of the death penalty as a form of criminal
punishment. [.]

Max Kantar is an undergraduate at Ferris State University. He can be
reached for comment at: maxkantar [at] Read other articles by Max.

This article was posted on Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at 7:01am and is
filed under Democracy, Elections. ShareThis

--------17 of 18--------

Chomsky, Zinn, and Obama
by Mickey Z.
October 24th, 2008
Dissident Voice

You don't stick a knife in a man's back nine inches, and then pull it out
six inches, and say you're making progress.
 - Malcolm X

Another Election Day approaches and I'm reminded of something the late
Pakistani dissident, Eqbal Ahmad said about Noam Chomsky in the book,
Confronting Empire (2000): "He (Chomsky) has never wavered. He has never
fallen into the trap of saying, 'Clinton will do better". Or 'Nixon was
bad but Carter at least had a human rights presidency'. There is a
consistency of substance, of posture, of outlook in his work".

But along came 2004 - when Chomsky said stuff like this: "Anyone who says
don't care if Bush gets elected' is basically telling poor and working
people in the country, 'I don't care if your lives are destroyed"". And
like this: "Despite the limited differences [between Bush and Kerry] both
domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of
immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes".

Standing alongside Chomsky was Howard Zinn, saying stuff like this:
"Kerry, if he will stop being cautious, can create an excitement that will
carry him into the White House and, more important, change the course of
the nation".

Fast forward to 2008 and Chomsky sez: "I would suggest voting against
McCain, which means voting for Obama without illusions". And once again,
Howard Zinn is in agreement: "Even though Obama does not represent any
fundamental change, he creates an opening for a possibility of change".
(Two word rejoinder: Bill Clinton)

This strategy of choosing an alleged "lesser evil" because he/she might be
influenced by some mythical "popular movement" would be naive if put forth
by a high school student. Professors Chomsky and Zinn know better. If it's
incremental change they want, why not encourage their many readers to vote
for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney? The classic (read: absurd) reply to
that question is: "Because Nader or McKinney can't win".

Of course they can't win if everyone who claims to agree with them
inexplicably votes for Obama instead. Paging Alice: You're wanted down the
goddamned rabbit hole.

Another possible answer as to why folks like Chomsky and Zinn don't
aggressively and tirelessly stump for Nader or McKinney is this: 2004
proved that the high profile Left is essentially impotent and borderline
irrelevant. Chomsky and Zinn were joined in the vocal, visible, and vile
Anybody-But-Bush ranks by "stars" like Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon,
Medea Benjamin, Sean Penn, Barbra Streisand, Manning Marable, Naomi Klien,
Phil Donahue, Barbara Ehrenreich, Martin Sheen, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie
Vedder, Cornel West, etc. etc. and John Kerry still lost.

News flash: The "poor and working people in the country" that Chomsky
mentions above are paying ZERO attention to him or anyone like him - and
that's a much bigger issue than which millionaire war criminal gets to
play figurehead for the empire over the next four years.

Zinn talks about Obama and the "possibility of change". It seems odd to be
asking this of an octogenarian but: Exactly how much time do you think we

Every twenty-four hours, thirteen million tons toxic chemicals are
released across the globe; 200,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed; more
than one hundred plant or animal species go extinct; and 45,000 humans
(mostly children) starve to death. Each day, 29,158 children under the age
of five die from mostly preventable causes.

As Gandhi once asked: "What difference does it make to the dead, the
orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the
name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"

I promise you this: The human beings (and all living things) that come
after us won't care whether we voted for Obama or McCain in 2008 - if they
have no clean air to breathe, no clean water to use, and are stuck on a
toxic, uninhabitable planet. They'd probably just want to ask us this: Why
did you stand by and let everything be consumed or poisoned or destroyed?

Conclusion: A vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama is - at best -
an act of criminal negligence.

Mickey Z. is the author of the recently released Bizarro novel, CPR for
Dummies, and can be found on the Web at Read other articles
by Mickey.

This article was posted on Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 7:02am and is
filed under "Third" Party, Democracy, Democrats, Elections.

--------18 of 18--------

"Now We Have Made History"
Bolivia Rejects Neoliberalism
October 24 / 26, 2008

After months of street battles and political meetings, a new draft of the
Bolivian constitution was ratified by Congress on October 21. A national
referendum on whether or not to make the document official is scheduled
for January 25, 2009.

"Now we have made history," President Evo Morales told supporters in La
Paz. "This process of change cannot be turned back...neoliberalism will
never return to Bolivia."

If the constitution is approved in the January referendum, a new general
election will take place in December of 2009.

Leading up to Congress's approval, Morales participated in sections of a
march from Caracollo in Oruro to La Paz, a distance of over 100 miles and
involving an estimated 100,000 union members, activists, students, farmers
and miners.

The march took place to pressure opposition members in Congress into
backing the constitution and referendum. When marchers arrived in La Paz
they packed the center of the city to historic levels. Some media outlets
said the march, which stretched 15 kilometers, was the longest one ever in
the capital.

"Those who have been kicked out to the chicken coop, those who have been
hidden in the basement, are jailed no more," Vice President Alvaro Garcia
Linera said of the approval of the constitution, according to the
Associated Press.

The road to this new constitution has been a long, complicated and often
violent one. One key event in this process was the July 2, 2006 election
of assembly members to the constituent assembly to rewrite the
constitution. Later, in December of 2007, the new constitution was passed
in an assembly meeting in Oruro which was boycotted by opposition members.

Given Morales' support across the country, this new constitution is
expected to pass in the January 2009 referendum. "The public support
expressed for [Morales] Monday, coming on top of the 67 percent vote of
confidence he was given in the Aug. 10 recall referendum, make it clear
that he is the most popular president in the last 26 years of democracy in
Bolivia," Franz Chavez reported in IPS News.

The draft constitution includes, among other things, changes to allow the
redistribution of land and gas wealth to benefit the majority of the
country, and give increased rights to indigenous people. Questions still
exist regarding what was fully changed in this version of the constitution
which led to opposition politicians supporting it. For example, it's still
unclear to what extent eastern provinces will be granted autonomy.

However, in what was perhaps Morales' biggest concession to the
opposition, a change was made to the constitution which prevents him from
running for two additional terms, as an earlier draft of the constitution
allowed. Under the new changes . if the constitution is approved in the
referendum . Morales will run for his last consecutive term in general
elections in December of 2009.

This move indicates that the opposition got at least some of what they
wanted in negotiations, and that the Movement Toward Socialism, Morales'
political party, may have plans to diversify its central leadership.

Morales commented on these changes in a speech in La Paz, "Here we have
new leaders who are rising up, new men and women leaders who are coming up
like mushrooms to continue this process of change."

Benjamin Dangl is the author of "The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and
Social Movements in Bolivia," (AK Press). He is an editor at, a website on activism and politics in Latin America,
and, a progressive perspective on world events. Email


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