Progressive Calendar 05.15.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 15 May 2010 08:00:43 -0700 (PDT)
           P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   05.15.10

1. Peace walk        5.15 9am Cambridge MN
2. Work justice      5.15 10am
3. Latinos/SEIU      5.15 10am
4. Mpls Greens       5.15 1pm
5. CUAPB             5.15 1:30pm
6. Northtown vigil   5.15 2pm
7. Packinghouse tour 5.15 2pm
8. Colombia/prison   5.15 3pm
9. Cop bond/charter  5.15 4:30pm

10. Stillwater vigil 5.16 1pm
11. Amnesty Intl     5.16 3pm

12. Ron Jacobs - Socialism, now more than ever

--------1 of 12--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 5.15 9am Cambridge MN

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

--------2 of 12--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Work justice 5.15 10am

May 15: Workplace Justice Support/Networking Meeting. 10 AM - Noon at the
Minnesota Women's Building, 550 Rice Street, St. Paul. More information:

--------3 of 12--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at]>
Subject: Latinos/SEIU 5.15 10am

5. Coffee Hour: Latinos and Unionization with SEIU Local 26 - May 15
Saturday, May 15
At the Resource Center of the Americas
Presented in English

This presentation will be about the work done by the SEIU Local 26
Contract Campaign 2010.

SEIU Local 26 is a local property service union that represents over
5,000 workers in the Twin Cities in the 7 county metro area. Including
the Security Officers and Window Cleaners.

They will talk about their more recent Contract win in approving a
contract that affect the lives of 4,000 working families in the 7 county
metro area, primarily Latino immigrants, but also includes African
immigrants and people from other countries.

Iris Altamirano has been Political Director of SEIU Local 26, a union that
represents Janitors, Security Officers, and Window Cleaners in the 7
county Twin Cities metro, since 2006. Iris is first generation US Latina
and was raised on a non-union janitor's salary in a small town in
South Texas. Iris went on to be the first person in the history of her
school to attend and graduate from an Ivy League, Cornell University.

Mrs. Altamirano has worked toward social justice professionally for the
past 8 years in community, political, and now union organizing, however
was organizing long before that, without even knowing it was "organizing."

CONTACT Iris Altamirano Email: ialtamirano [at] Phone: 612-703-2812

--------4 of 12--------

From: Susan Leskela <sleskela [at]>
Subject: Mpls Greens 5.15 1pm

The Membership and Endorsing Meeting will be held on May 15, 2010 at the
North Regional Library - 1315 Lowry Ave S, 55411. Starts at 1PM.

There are 2 candidates asking for 5CD Green Party endorsement:
Dan Craigie for State Representative 59B
Doug Mann for School Board

--------5 of 12---------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 5.15 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

--------6 of 12--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 5.15 2pm

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

--------7 of 12--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Packinghouse tour 5.15 2pm

MN History Day
South St. Paul Packinghouse Tour
Saturday, May 15, 2 pm
Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E.

Dave Riehle's annual labor history tour revisits South Saint Paul's
turbulent labor history from the 1904 national packinghouse workers'
strike to 1984's dynamic Iowa Pork strike. From organizing in the early
20th century by Serbian, Croatian and Polish workers at the giant Armour
and Swift plants, to the protracted but successful struggle by immigrant
Latino workers to unionize at Dakota Premium in
 the 1990s, the struggle continues.

*/Space is limited, so please call The Friends at 651-222-3242 to
reserve your seat on the bus./*

--------8 of 12--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Colombia/prison 5.15 3pm

Freedom for Colombian Political Prisoners
Saturday, May 15, 3:00 p.m. Mayday Bookstore, 301 Cedar Avenue South,

The U.S. has spent almost 6 billion dollars since 2001 on Plan Colombia.
Plan Colombia [started under that bastard Clinton -ed] funds war and
misery because our tax dollars are spent by the right wing Colombian
government on death squads which target all forms of resistance -
including trade union activists. Colombia has horrible distinction of
being the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist and the
worst human rights record in the Americas. [Thanks Bill -ed]. The FARC-EP,
the largest revolutionary group in Colombia, is fighting for the
liberation of their country. They want Colombian resources to be in the
hands of the people not U.S. corporations or the elite of Colombia. [How
un-American of them. -ed]

Come hear from activists who know the struggle in Colombia and hear about
their revolution. Lili Obando is an activist with FENSUAGRO (the national
union of peasants/campesinos), and is under house arrest and on trial for
her political opposition to the U.S. free trade and military policies in
Colombia. Come hear more about her case. Ricardo Palmera is a negotiator
for the FARC-EP. He was kidnapped by the U.S. in Ecuador in 2004 and U.S.
courts tried him four times in order to get the guilty verdict they
wanted. Now he is being tortured in the Colorado Super Max Prison. [Par
for Kapitalist Amerika. Anything to help the rich screw the poor. -ed].

Speakers include: Erika Zurawski, Freedom Road; Karen Sullivan, Anti-War
Committee; Meredith Aby, Colombia Action Network. Come hear how you can
demand an end to his torture. Organized by: Freedom Road Socialist
Organization. Endorsed by: WAMM.

--------9 of 12--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Cop bond/charter 5.15 4:30pm


During last weekend's Mayday festival, CUAPB launched a new initiative to
amend the Minneapolis city charter so that police officers will have to
purchase individual professional liability policies to cover police
brutality and misconduct. This initiative is long overdue as misconduct by
the cops costs taxpayers millions each year - money that could have been
used for housing homeless people, keeping our libraries open or any number
of other important items. Not only will this relieve the burden from
taxpayers but it is an ingenious way to add an element of risk management
to local policing - if a police officer gets too many complaints/lawsuits,
he or she will be dropped by the insurance company and would no longer be
able to be a cop in Minneapolis.

For this initiative to be successful, we have to get it on the ballot and
that means we need to collect the signatures of 15,000 registered
Minneapolis voters by July 1.  That's where you come in. We need lots of
canvassers to go door to door in selected neighborhoods in Minneapolis to
explain the charter amendment and ask people to sign to put it on the
ballot.  From our work last weekend, we found that many people are eager
to sign on once we explain the amendment.  You'll work on a team with
others and will be trained and have a script to follow.

If you can be part of this historic effort, please come to a training
session on Saturday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave
S, Minneapolis or call our hotline at 612-874-7867 to let us know you can

--------10 of 12-------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 5.16 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

--------11 of 12--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 5.16 3pm


Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, May 16th, from 3:00 to 5:00

We will share updates on our current casework and activities in defense of
human rights around the world.

All are welcome, and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the Center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:

--------12 of 12--------

Rewriting the Rule Book
Socialism, Now More Than Ever?
May 14 - 16, 2010

I just finished watching a television ad for somebody running for a
congressional seat in South Carolina.  The man was either a Republican,
Tea Partier or both.  The bulk of the ad's thirty seconds was an attack on
"socialized medicine" coming from Washington, DC.  Now, of course most of
us understand that the health care reform known as Obamacare is anything
but socialized medicine.  Yet, there is a sizable minority of US residents
who honestly believe it is.  This misunderstanding of what socialism
actually is can be attributed to a few things, foremost among them are the
monopolization of the media by mostly rightwing believers in the free
market.  The other fundamental reason for the lack of understanding about
socialism in the United States is the failure of socialists to get the
word out as to that system's true nature.  Of course, some of that can be
blamed on the very nature of media ownership in the US, but the rest of
the blame rests with socialists who have failed to vocalize their
philosophy and creatively work to spread the real meaning of a socialist

It is not my intention to place blame here, but even if it was, there is
one man active in the US socialist movement who would remain without
blame.  His book The Case for Socialism has been updated once again and is
the most readable text available in English to explain what socialism is
and why a socialist society is necessary if most of us are to live in a
world worth living in.  Barren of political jargon, replete with anecdotal
tales of those to whom capitalism has been cruel or just unaware of in its
pursuit of profit; and packed with responses to questions about the nature
of socialism, The Case for Socialism is perhaps the closest thing today's
socialists have to the granddaddy of all socialist texts for the average
man (and woman)--The Communist Manifesto.  This isn't a step-by-step
guidebook to revolution, nor is it a dissertation-like cataloging of the
ills of modern capitalist society.  Instead, it is a clearly written look
at the history of modern US capitalism and the left's struggle to make it
more humane, despite the odds.  Maas explains that the concessions made by
industry and the world of finance--the eight hour day, an end to
segregation, women's rights, etc.--were not given out of the kindness of
the capitalists' hearts, but were the result of struggle.  He also answers
concerns many might have regarding the true nature of a socialist society
and its relationship to democracy and freedom.  Put simply, real democracy
cannot exist in a society where elections are bought by those with the
most money.  Yet, reforms to that system like limiting campaign funding
from Wall Street do not work either.

Why?  Very simple, says Maas: because reforms  can be taken back when the
capitalist system is in trouble.  One need only look at the current
situation regarding the loss of benefits, civil rights and civil liberties
for verification of that fact.  If one looks at the history of the past
thirty years or so, the concessions given up by labor because capitalism
was in crisis prove Maas's point even further.  Or, if that isn't enough,
why not just take a look at the current imperial occupations/wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq.  Despite a very clear mandate from US voters to
remove all troops from Iraq, the majority of them remain almost a year and
a half after Obama's inauguration.  On top of that, the rumblings are
growing that the removal of several thousand of US combat troops from Iraq
scheduled for August 2010 will now be delayed.  When one reads in between
the lines, the only reason given is because Washington and its cohorts in
the financial sector are still not sure they will get what they want from
an Iraqi nation without US troops inside its borders.  Yet, socialists do
fight for reforms.  After all, they make workers lives better and they
show that fighting for change does work.

It is 2010.  Monopoly capitalism has gambled itself into massive debt and
now wants the workers to pay for it by dismantling any financial security
they thought they were working for.  Meanwhile, the bigwigs in government
and finance make certain that their class is taken care of.   So, just as
in the case of reforms, when the times get tough for the ruling class,
they rewrite the rule book to insure their continued wealth and dominance.
That, writes Maas, is why the only way to prevent the repetition of this
dynamic is to bring a socialist government into existence.  That will only
occur when the popular will demands it.  It will take more than Maas's
book, but it will not take place at all without an understanding of why
socialism might very well be the solution so many in today's world are
looking for. Reading The Case for Socialism is certainly a good place to
begin that understanding.

Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather
Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill
Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex,
Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is
published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625 [at]

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