|Progressive Calendar 09.29.11 /2||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:24:18 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.20.11 1. Eagan peace vigil 9.29 4:30pm 2. Northtown vigil 9.29 5pm 3. Eastside vigil 9.29 5pm 4. Free activist dinner 9.29 5:30pm 5. Kathy Kelly 9.29 7pm 6. Bread for the world 9.29 7pm 7. Howard/CityCouncil 9.29 7pm 8. Arun Gupta - The Revolution Begins at Home: Join the Wall Street Occupation 9. Lisa Romero - What the Media Aren't Telling You About American Protests --------1 of x-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 9.29 4:30pm PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------2 of x-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 9.29 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------3 of x-------- Carla Riehle stpaul49 [at] hotmail.com Eastside vigil 9.29 5pm Eastside Neighbors for Peace to continue weekly vigils St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace will hold weekly vigils each Thursday in September opposing ongoing U.S. wars. The vigils have also been endorsed by St. Paul's Sacred Heart Church Peace and Justice Committee. Vigils were held each Thursday in August, with enthusiastic responses from motorists driving by. They will continue each Thursday, September 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm at the corner of East 6th Street and Mounds Boulevard (I-94, exit 243). Signs will be available or participants can bring their own. Everyone is welcome. --------4 of x-------- luce guillen-givins luce [at] riseup.net Free activist dinner 9.29 5:30pm come enjoy delicious chili and show your support for local activists being targeted by the fbi for their anti-war and international solidarity work. when: thursday, sept 29, 5:30-7pm where: walker church, 31st st and 16th ave s, mpls and if you can't make it tomorrow, don't despair! we do this dinner every month, so mark your calendar for october 27th and we'll see you then! for more info on the case, see: http://mnstopfbi.wordpress.coma --------5 of x-------- WAMM Kathy Kelly 9.29 7pm Presentation by Kathy Kelly: Prophet People Forum Thursday, September 29, 7:00 p.m. St. Luke Presbyterian, 3121 Groveland School Road (near the intersection of Highway 101 and Minnetonka Boulevard), Minnetonka. Kathy Kelly, peace activist and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will speak at a community forum. The event, one in a series of Prophet Speaker events, is free and open to the public. Kelly is a U.S. peace activist, author, and a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She has been described as “probably the most respected leader in the American peace movement.” As a participant in peace team work in several countries, she has traveled to Iraq 26 times and to Afghanistan four times. Her presentation “Courage for Peace in Afghanistan . . . Following the Children,” will reflect her recent experiences working with Afghanistan citizens and youngsters to help them overcome their fears of living in a war-torn country. Sponsored by: St. Luke Presbyterian Church Peace and Justice Focus Group. FFI: Call 952-473-7378. --------6 of x-------- Bread for the world 9.29 7pm Subject: Bread for the World "Primer on the Economy" evening Do you want more (better?) information on the United States economy? Do you want to know how the economy affects the hungry and the needy - - beyond knowing that, of course it does? Come to an evening presentation by Bread for the World, Thursday September 29 at 7:00 p.m. This event will be at Corpus Christi Church, Roseville, on the corner of Fairview and County Road B. Follow Highway 36 to Fairview, turn south to County Road B -- the church will be on your right on the corner. --------7 of x-------- Amber Garlan Howard/CityCouncil 9.29 7pm Please join me for a meet and greet fundraiser to support Johnny Howard's campaign for the St. Paul Ward One City Council seat. It's set for 7-9 pm, Thursday, Sept. 29, at Fabulous Fern's, 400 Selby Ave. in St. Paul. I'm an enthusiastic supporter of Johnny's campaign, and I believe you will be too after you get a chance to meet him and learn more about his experience and concerns. He got his start fighting for neighborhood improvements in Frogtown as founder of the Thomas Dale Block Clubs. He was a key figure for almost two decades in a well-known Ward One football/youth development program. He's a great listener and a powerful advocate who will serve Ward One well. You can learn much more about Johnny at his website, www.johnnyhoward.org . I hope you can join us on Sept. 29. This is a great opportunity to start making Ward One a better place to live, work and do business. Peace,Amber Garlan --------8 of x-------- The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation by Arun Gupta Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 by The Indypendent commondreams What is occurring on Wall Street right now is truly remarkable. For over 10 days, in the sanctum of the great cathedral of global capitalism, the dispossessed have liberated territory from the financial overlords and their police army. They have created a unique opportunity to shift the tides of history in the tradition of other great peaceful occupations from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s to the democratic uprisings across the Arab world and Europe today. While the Wall Street occupation is growing, it needs an all-out commitment from everyone who cheered the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, said “We are all Wisconsin,” and stood in solidarity with the Greeks and Spaniards. This is a movement for anyone who lacks a job, housing or healthcare, or thinks they have no future. Our system is broken at every level. More than 25 million Americans are unemployed. More than 50 million live without health insurance. And perhaps 100 million Americans are mired in poverty, using realistic measures. Yet the fat cats continue to get tax breaks and reap billions while politicians compete to turn the austerity screws on all of us. At some point the number of people occupying Wall Street – whether that’s five thousand, ten thousand or fifty thousand – will force the powers that be to offer concessions. No one can say how many people it will take or even how things will change exactly, but there is a real potential for bypassing a corrupt political process and to begin realizing a society based on human needs not hedge fund profits. After all, who would have imagined a year ago that Tunisians and Egyptians would oust their dictators? At Liberty Park, the nerve center of the occupation, more than a thousand people gather every day to debate, discuss and organize what to do about our failed system that has allowed the 400 richest Americans at the top to amass more wealth than the 180 million Americans at the bottom. It’s astonishing that this self-organized festival of democracy has sprouted on the turf of the masters of the universe, the men who play the tune that both political parties and the media dance to. The New York Police Department, which has deployed hundreds of officers at a time to surround and intimidate protesters, is capable of arresting everyone and clearing Liberty Plaza in minutes. But they haven’t, which is also astonishing. That’s because assaulting peaceful crowds in a public square demanding real democracy – economic and not just political – would remind the world of the brittle autocrats who brutalized their people demanding justice before they were swept away by the Arab Spring. And the state violence has already backfired. After police attacked a Saturday afternoon march that started from Liberty Park the crowds only got bigger and media interest grew. The Wall Street occupation has already succeeded in revealing the bankruptcy of the dominant powers – the economic, the political, media and security forces. They have nothing positive to offer humanity, not that they ever did for the Global South, but now their quest for endless profits means deepening the misery with a thousand austerity cuts. Even their solutions are cruel jokes. They tell us that the “Buffett Rule” would spread the pain by asking the penthouse set to sacrifice a tin of caviar, which is what the proposed tax increase would amount to. Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to sacrifice healthcare, food, education, housing, jobs and perhaps our lives to sate the ferocious appetite of capital. That’s why more and more people are joining the Wall Street occupation. They can tell you about their homes being foreclosed upon, months of grinding unemployment or minimum-wage dead-end jobs, staggering student debt loads, or trying to live without decent healthcare. It’s a whole generation of Americans with no prospects, but who are told to believe in a system that can only offer them Dancing With The Stars and pepper spray to the face. Yet against every description of a generation derided as narcissistic, apathetic and hopeless they are staking a claim to a better future for all of us. That’s why we all need to join in. Not just by liking it on Facebook, signing a petition at change.org or retweeting protest photos, but by going down to the occupation itself. There is great potential here. Sure, it’s a far cry from Tahrir Square or even Wisconsin. But there is the nucleus of a revolt that could shake America’s power structure as much as the Arab world has been upended. Instead of one to two thousand people a day joining in the occupation there needs to be tens of thousands of people protesting the fat cats driving Bentleys and drinking thousand-dollar bottles of champagne with money they looted from the financial crisis and then from the bailouts while Americans literally die on the streets. To be fair, the scene in Liberty Plaza seems messy and chaotic. But it’s also a laboratory of possibility, and that’s the beauty of democracy. As opposed to our monoculture world, where political life is flipping a lever every four years, social life is being a consumer and economic life is being a timid cog, the Wall Street occupation is creating a polyculture of ideas, expression and art. Yet while many people support the occupation, they hesitate to fully join in and are quick to offer criticism. It’s clear that the biggest obstacles to building a powerful movement are not the police or capital – it’s our own cynicism and despair. Perhaps their views were colored by the New York Times article deriding protestors for wishing to “pantomime progressivism” and “Gunning for Wall Street with faulty aim.” Many of the criticisms boil down to “a lack of clear messaging.” But what’s wrong with that? A fully formed movement is not going to spring from the ground. It has to be created. And who can say what exactly needs to be done? We are not talking about ousting a dictator; though some say we want to oust the dictatorship of capital. There are plenty of sophisticated ideas out there: end corporate personhood; institute a “Tobin Tax” on stock purchases and currency trading; nationalize banks; socialize medicine; fully fund government jobs and genuine Keynesian stimulus; lift restrictions on labor organizing; allow cities to turn foreclosed homes into public housing; build a green energy infrastructure. But how can we get broad agreement on any of these? If the protesters came into the square with a pre-determined set of demands it would have only limited their potential. They would have either been dismissed as pie in the sky – such as socialized medicine or nationalize banks – or if they went for weak demands such as the Buffett Rule their efforts would immediately be absorbed by a failed political system, thus undermining the movement. That’s why the building of the movement has to go hand in hand with common struggle, debate and radical democracy. It’s how we will create genuine solutions that have legitimacy. And that is what is occurring down at Wall Street. Now, there are endless objections one can make. But if we focus on the possibilities, and shed our despair, our hesitancy and our cynicism, and collectively come to Wall Street with critical thinking, ideas and solidarity we can change the world. How many times in your life do you get a chance to watch history unfold, to actively participate in building a better society, to come together with thousands of people where genuine democracy is the reality and not a fantasy? For too long our minds have been chained by fear, by division, by impotence. The one thing the elite fear most is a great awakening. That day is here. Together we can seize it. © 2011 The Indypendent A founding editor of The Indypendent, Arun Gupta writes about energy, the economy, the media, U.S. foreign policy, the politics of food and other subjects for The Indypendent, Z Magazine, Left Turn and Alternet. Gupta is a regular commentator on Democracy Now! and GritTV with Laura Flanders. He’s writing a book on the decline of American Empire to be published by Haymarket Books. From 1989 to 1992 he was an international news editor at the Guardian Newsweekly. --------x of x-------- What the Media Aren't Telling You About American Protests by Lisa Romero Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 by OpenSalon.com I am lately reminded of an assignment when my metro editor sent me to cover a “gentle protest” over the Gulf War of the 1990s in Jackson, Mich. (Don’t remember that war – or what it was about? That’s OK – because it was probably “security” and “oil,” and George W. ultimately righted his dad’s failure to see that war action through to its completion: killing Saddam Hussein, or at least dismantling his government. But I digress.) It was an after-hours event, likely on a weekend (as that was my beat). And when I arrived at the designated time, well after sundown, I found one lone woman walking the length of a wall at an armory or similar government-type outpost with, not a flashlight, but a real, flickering candle. Back and forth, in the dark, trudging in the snow. No one else had shown up – except me, that is. The place was deserted and, as I recall, not on a busy road. I actually had to drive by twice before I even saw her candle and a small chair she set up for herself when she got tired. It occurred to me that, if I walked away, it would have been the same as if she’d never been there at all. Yet, incontrovertibly, there she was: protesting a war that, at the time, no one was particularly riled up about. It wasn’t a story, really. But I decided to speak with her anyway. I walked with her for about an hour and asked questions. Apart from understanding that my editors expected my story for the next day’s edition, I also sensed that there could be a story to tell – and that, if I didn’t, no one might ever consider an opposing view that, while solitary, might be worth listening to. I’d have to dig through years of clips to find that story now. (I’m sure it resides in the Jackson Citizen Patriot morgue). But it’s not the story that’s important to me now. It’s that I covered it at all – and that my editors were grateful I did. And that readers seemed to value the fact we were there to capture a moment in their community they would otherwise not have known about. More than a week ago, a small band of peaceful protesters descended on Zuccotti Park (formerly Liberty Park) in New York City, not far from Wall Street. They dubbed their little movement “Occupy Wall Street.” And, on the first weekend, starting Sept. 17, they had quite a number of people join them in marches and speeches that essentially claimed the 99% of Americans who aren’t the 1% of uber-rich are disenfranchised – and have critical needs related to unemployment, cost of living, and a range of other social issues that are either being ignored outright or largely swept under the rug by our finance-focused government. These young people, accompanied by like-minded Xers and a few Boomers, didn’t get much coverage to start. (I doubt any authentic movement, at the outset, ever does.) The media that did arrive briefly aired the same complaint: “They are a loosely organized group of disaffected youth who are more like hippies and have no real goal,” they yawned. “Nothing to see here, but we’ve done our job by ‘covering’ it in our blogs,” they seemed to say to New Yorkers and anyone outside the Big Apple paying attention. “This too shall pass.” The only problem is, it hasn’t. And I suspect after this weekend, it isn’t going to. Now in its 10th day, protestors are very much entrenched at Zuccotti Park (with people across the United States and around the world watching their activities via live-streaming video, as well as sending them supplies and money, even pizza via local vendors). This past Saturday afternoon, there was a large march to Union Park, through Washington Square (and, at times, through moving traffic – which was pretty incredible to watch in real time) – and all seemed to be going well with chants and songs as the trek was covered by Occupy Wall Street’s new media team, such as the young woman Net followers dubbed “50/50 Anchor Lady,” with hair that was half blonde, half brownish-black. As I say, all was well – that is, until a phalanx of NYC police moved in and started making mass arrests. Twitter was the only way most of us knew it actually happened; the media team, scarily, was picked off shortly after the march gained momentum near Washington Park. It’s not like no one was aware the police were coming. I myself could hear what was going down on the police scanner, which I alternately monitored while toggling back and forth between live-streaming and searching for news updates on Google. The tension was building - you could feel it while watching from hundreds of miles away as the protestors kept dodging orange fencing and an increasingly ominous presence of officers. The marchers were peaceful - but resolute in their efforts to keep marching. Then, right in the thick of things, the live-streaming ended just before the mass arrests and some disturbing instances of outright police brutality (documented and later distributed via cellphone photos). But, I should note, not before the world had already witnessed some of those protestor/cop encounters. It was shocking, actually, to watch people pushed with real force or slammed to the ground when, to my eye, they hadn't provoked anything remotely requiring that kind of police-state response. I had been one of the hundreds, then thousands, to witness the march from nearly beginning to end – and that was not how I’d expected things to turn out. But, almost on cue (as if to underscore the government's fear this would spread), things escalated quickly and publicly in the glaring view of the Twitterverse, very likely to the chagrin of the NYPD, Michael Bloomberg and anyone on Wall Street who didn’t want this little movement to earn attention or gain credibility. Within a matter of minutes, thousands of people were logging into the live-streaming site or retweeting the police presence. Yet, the media still weren’t covering the event, except as an aside, almost. I recall the Village Voice reported on several key tweets from Occupy Wall Street – laudable in providing “real time” updates, but I never could tell if they sent an actual reporter to the site at the time. (Back in the day, my own editors would have pushed me out the door. And sent back-up reporters.) Not to be flip, but if 60-80 people were arrested for dog-fighting, or for wrangling outside a tony nightclub, or protesting at the United Nations, that might have gotten coverage. I’m pretty sure that would have received some attention. But this: In my humble opinion, it got very little. Some, finally - but people had to be hurt, and the police department's reputation tarnished, when neither was necessary if the media were operating as it should. Since then, media coverage has been defensive. (Said one reporter, and I’m paraphrasing here: “It’s not fair to say Occupy Wall Street hasn’t been covered.” And then a short list of stories was included to prove the point.) And the coverage has been light: I was impressed Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and even Stephen Colbert have noted this is more than dismissive hippy-ism; but no major news organization has (to the best of my knowledge) paid more than the barest attention thus far. Why? Perhaps it’s because no one wants a popular movement or peaceful rebellion to spread at a time when many Americans are fed up with their dysfunctional government leaders. We have enough problems, the leaders and media friends might be thinking: Why stir the pot? Perhaps it’s because they sense, as does Bloomberg, that once a train like this gets going, it can be hijacked by the wrong people and cause real damage. (That, alone, is worthy of another story altogether.) But is that a reason to quell coverage, really? In the end, though, a large-scale failure to acknowledge and cover this “small” group of protestors – now growing in numbers, thanks to outrage at the rough-housing NYPD, and quickly propagating similar groups in other cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., etc. – is akin to a media blindness. The media’s job is not to turn a blind eye. The media’s job is to report. Period. Which is yet another reason why Americans are not trusting the modern media. And I have to say, given what I’ve witnessed in recent days in and around Zuccotti Park, that I clearly understand why my profession is much maligned these days. If people are there, and they have something worthwhile to say – regardless of whether it is popular or potentially alarming or against the political status quo – it is news. Good reporters should be covering it, regardless of their personal political preferences – and let Americans come to their own conclusions. Is it a media blackout? Sure seems that way to me. If I can cover one voice about a Gulf War, and contribute to society’s understanding of our greater human experience, then the media can certainly begin paying attention to thousands of marchers - and what appears to be the beginnings of an American movement. I would call upon our news organizations to acknowledge their collective mistake in ignoring this story, remember that their calling is higher than the profit motive, and begin covering news that engages our thinking skills. America needs the media now more than ever. To find it absent, while the entire world is watching this unfolding and increasingly important story (and they are) is a travesty and a statement about how far we have fallen as a nation built on freedom of speech and thought. These are voices worth hearing at this time of trouble and strife. Hundreds of those voices are gathering in New York and other cities right now, representing diverse people and backgrounds and views - and trying to send a message that change, Real Change, must happen. I want to hear what they have to say. As an American, I need to hear. As a media consumer, I demand to hear. Don't you? © 2011 OpenSalon.com Lisa Romero is a journalist and writes a blog at OpenSalon ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CloveCoveDroveGroveJoveRoveShoveStoveTroveWove
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