|Progressive Calendar 11.30.11 /2||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 13:14:51 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.30.11 1. Occupy Mpls 11.30 5:30pm 2. Kevin Zeese - No to co-option: MoveOn is the opposite of the Occupy Movement --------1 of 2-------- fromDave Bicking davebicking [at] gmail.com dateWed, Nov 30, 2011 at 6:14 AM subject: Occupy Mpls 11.30 5:30pm Occupy needs all of you tonight (Wednesday evening and overnight) Dear friends, After nearly two months on People's Plaza, Occupy Minneapolis is at a critical point as we approach winter. Can we retain the central strategy that has distiguished the Occupy movement? That strategy has been the determination to not go away, to keep a visible and inconvenient (to the authorities) presence in the heart of the financial district, as a base for other actions. No one could have imagined how successful that would be in bringing people together, building support throughout the country and the world, and changing the national conversation regarding inequality and corporate domination. Continuing this successful work through the winter, in Minnesota, means we need some protection from the elements. The right to peaceably assemble is meaningless unless we have the right to survive while doing so. Hennepin County is denying us the ability to exercise our rights, by continuing to tighten their restrictions on our activities at the plaza. So this evening, we will be challenging those restrictions: ***** Wednesday, November 30, 5:30 mass rally, followed by setting up and occupying tents, continuing through the night and as long as possible: 99 Tents for the 99% Action, People's Plaza (also known as the Hennepin County Government Plaza, by the LRT stop). Details and complete announcement below. I think that this is very important - important enough that I plan to occupy a tent and risk arrest for doing so. I hope you will join us. We need as many people as possible who are ready to risk arrest. The more who do so, the less likely we are to actually be arrested. Most people can't or won't risk arrest, which is fine - we also need as large a gathering as possible to support us and to convey the message that we are determined to continue challenging the greed and corruption of the 1%. Please come for the rally and stay as long as possible. Or come at any time during the evening or throughout the night. It is critical to keep our numbers up late at night when the police are most likely to take action. While there can never be a guarantee, it is extremely unlikely that anyone who wishes to avoid arrest will be either arrested or attacked. Our right to shelter is critical to our right to assemble. But we are not asking special priveleges for ourselves. The homeless who must sleep outdoors should also have the right to erect tents or other shelter for their comfort and protection. It is not legal to sleep in a tent anywhere in Minneapolis. It is not even legal to sleep inside a cardboard box. The police tend to be nasty and brutal when they enforce this. This system, this government, is truly evil. We call for all to have the right to shelter. In fact, several of our strongest supporters, who spend the most time with us at the plaza, have no other home to go to. We need to protect their rights as well. There are those who are saying we should move along and adopt new strategies as winter comes and the movement matures. We ARE doing that, of course. In Mineapolis, we are occupying a foreclosed home, with more to come. There are other actions in the planning stage. If we can't use tents, we have some backup possibilities for where to stay, while maintaining a much smaller presence on the plaza. So we are not just focusing on a desire to "camp". I call it assembling, as in the First Amendment; if I wanted to camp, I would go to a State Park! Our focus must be on our issues, but we shouldn't give up the very strategy that has been so successful and gotten us to this point. We will not be forced to go away! There is a coordinated, national effort to kill the Occupy movement. The last two weeks have seen evictions in dozens of cities. As I write this, police are mobilized to shut down Occupations in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma City. Cities that used to allow tents are now forbidding them. Though there has been some lip service in support of the organization and its goals, nearly all politicians are determined to destroy this movement by any means necessary. Nearly all politicians, no matter what they may say, are reliable servants of the 1%. Those who do feel some personal sympathy for our cause are under tremendous pressure from the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Council, and the banks. The good news is, in spite of evictions and repression in dozens of cities, I have not heard of a single city in which the authorities have actually stopped an Occupation. Everywhere, people regroup and return. This is powerful. We can be especially inspired by the incredible determination and bravery of the people who have returned to occupy Tahrir square in Egypt, as their revolution continues. Fortunately the Occupy movement, here and nationally, has built a powerful network of allies. Now is the time for all those allies, both groups and individuals, to defend our rights and our movement. For those who have been to the plaza, tonight is the time to return in support. If you have never been to the plaza, please come down tonight. In addition to offering support, it will be a great time to learn more about what we are doing, meet the people, check out the kitchen, and feel the solidarity. For those who feel physically capable, please consider spending an overnight at the plaza - tonight especially, but any night is good. When I have slept over, there have been 20 to 25 others. Good company, good conversation, and just a very good experience. There is lots of bedding available at the plaza; bring your own sleeping bag if possible, and use our tarps, padding, and blankets. If you can bring a tent tonight, that is great (keeping in mind that the cops may confiscate it, at least temporarily). There will be enough tents to sleep in for anyone wishing to risk arrest, even if you can't bring a tent of your own. Below is the complete event announcement, followed by brief announcements of other upcoming actions. I would love to see you there tonight. Please join me. Dave Bicking 612-276-1213 Announcement of "99 tents for the 99%" action: Wednesday, Nov. 30, Rally at 5:30 pm 99 Tents for the 99% Rally at the Plaza at 5:30 then mass action Join us at The People's Plaza for a mass action to prepare for winter. Mass shelter action -- 99 tents for the 99% Defend the occupy movement as winter sets in. Shelter is a human right. With the ACLU having filed a lawsuit in Federal court to protect the rights of Occupy Minneapolis, it's time to enforce our rights to peacefully assemble on government property. Come with tents or come to occupy a tent or come to celebrate our freedom and keep a watchful eye on how our government reacts. The more people and tents the better. We can always have multiple groups of 99 tents each and multiple clusters of 99 people standing around them. Note: The last tent action resulted in tents being removed and not yet returned, but no arrests. INDIVIDUALS: Bring yourself, some friends, and your tent! ORGANIZATIONS: Bring a tent with signs and images to represent your organization! EVERYONE: Bring sleeping bags and lots of warm clothes! We are working on getting community organizations, labor & labor leaders and others to bring tents and to challenge the no tent policy. Calling on organizations to bring multiple tents with their organization names and slogans to show that WE ARE ALL the Movement! And we are there to DEFEND OUR Movement! Let us all put slogans on our tents so it is not just a tent city, but a massive tent city with a message! Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/142319985873482/ Thursday, Dec. 1st - 12:00 - 2:00 pm Foreclose on US Bank Meet at People´s Plaza at 12:00 pm to respond to the violent eviction of Sara's home and send a message to the banks that we won't allow them to foreclose on our communities. US Bank is responsible for the foreclosures of Sara Kaiser and Monique White and have been completely unwilling to negotiate with them to find a reasonable solution to keep them in their homes. If they won't stop foreclosing on our communities they can expect us to start foreclosing on their banks. More info to come. Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/298594510161390/ Tuesday, December 6, time to be announced later Beginning of occupation of another home in foreclosure in south Minneapolis Ongoing: Occupation of home in foreclosure in North Minneapolis: 3310 N. 6th St. Drop by during day or evening to check out what is happening, offer support, volunteer for neighborhood outreach or other tasks, bring food, whatever. Ongoing: Come down to the plaza! Any time! Check it out, talk to folks, hold a sign, find out how to become more involved. Check out the General Assembly, the decision-making process that has characterized the Occupy movement, most evenings at 7pm. --------2 of 2-------- No to Co-Option: MoveOn is the Opposite of the Occupy Movement MoveOn’s History of Undermining Progressive Causes in Support of the Corporate-Dominated Democratic Party by Kevin Zeese / November 28th, 2011 While most of the comments about my article on Van Jones and our GeneralAssembly’s call for independence from the Democratic Party and Democratic Party front groups were positive, a few people don’t seem to know the history of MoveOn. Please do not misunderstand my criticisms of MoveOn and other organizations in this article as criticism of the many good people in these organizations. We have some people from MoveOn and other groups working with us at Occupy Washington, DC. It is the leadership of these groups that misdirects people into the Democratic Party, supporting Democratic candidates and weak and often counter-productive Democratic Party positions. We welcome MoveOn members to the Occupy Movement, but we do not want their leadership misdirecting the movement into the Democratic Party which is dominated by Wall Street and other big business interests. Many occupiers are growing increasingly concerned about the attempted co-option of the Occupy Movement by Democratic Party operatives. I focused on Van Jones because he has been appearing in the media talking like he is occupying somewhere. I don’t think he is sleeping in a tent in any Occupy, but he sure gets a lot of attention from the corporate media as if he were an occupier. The corporate media seems to want to anoint him as the leader of the Occupy Movement. And his Rebuild the Dream website makes it look like it was the Occupy the Highway Movement, even though no one from Rebuild walked the 220 mile journey from New York to Washington, DC. But I am equally concerned about groups like SEIU – a union that has already endorsed President Obama – and has been described by Glenn Greenwald as attempting to co-opt the Occupy Movement. Also of concern is Campaign for America’s Future which holds annual conferences that seek to spotlight Democratic candidates and get people to spend their time and resources electing Democrats. If their strategy is to elect Democrats that is fine, just do it somewhere else. The Occupy Movement is the opposite – we are independent of the two parties. We see the system as corrupt and working to elect people in that system as joining the corruption rather than stopping it. Regarding MoveOn, which has done mailing after mailing using the Occupy Movement, it consistently supports the Democratic Party and undermines progressive causes. They started as an advocacy group for the Democratic Party and have remained such. It began seeking to end the impeachment of President Clinton for lying under oath about sexual harassment. They work hard to keep liberals and progressives inside the Democratic Party so that they will not form an independent movement to hold Obama and the Democratic Party, as well as Republicans, accountable. MoveOn refuses to acknowledge their constant betrayals of the people by the Democratic Party. Using non-profit front groups to undermine progressive movements is consistent with the tactics of the Democratic Party. In return for big funding from Democratic Party donors these groups are told what they can do and say by Democratic Party operatives. During the health care reform debate MoveOn was part of a coalition called Health Care for America Now. The name of the coalition was eerily similar to the long-established single payer advocacy group, Health Care Now. But rather than advocating for an end to insurance-dominated health care as single payer would do, the well-funded Health Care for America Now (spending at least $50 million to support ObamaCare) advocated for the Obama health law, which is a more deeply entrenched insurance industry domination of health care. A law that even forces Americans, for the first time in history, to buy a corporate product and in this case a seriously flawed product. Rebuild the Dream, a MoveOn Project, continues to undermine real health care reform by using the new language of the single payer – “Improved Medicare for All” – in their issue demands. But, Rebuild waters down this demand to protect the insurance industry. When you read the details rather than a real improved Medicare for All system that eliminates health insurance they merely advocate that people be offered the opportunity to buy Medicare as another insurance policy. Their last paragraph makes all the arguments for single payer, but then pulls back to merely offering Medicare as one insurance option. Their language is essentially the public option using single payer language. No doubt the vast majority of MoveOn and Rebuild the Dream members support single payer (two-thirds of Americans do) and real progressive change, but Van Jones’s Rebuild uses similarities in rhetoric to fool them and keep progressives inside the Democratic Party rather than developing the kind of unified independent movement that is needed to push for real change. We need to challenge the insurance industry, not work with Democrats who take millions in donations from them. MoveOn did this to the peace movement in 2007 after an anti-Iraq War vote gave the Democrats control of the House of Representatives. The anti-war movement was in full force pressuring members of Congress. The Democratic leadership put forward a bill to end funding for the war unless “benchmarks” were met and allowed war funding for four big exceptions that would allow the war to continue, such as fighting terrorism, protecting American interests, and training the Iraq military. Twenty peace groups united to oppose the Democratic plan to continue war funding. Every vote was needed by the corporate-Democratic Party leadership to continue war funding. At the last minute, MoveOn came out in support of the weak Democratic plan and provided cover to Democrats, relieved constituent pressure, and allowed the war funding to continue. Not surprisingly, there is confusion among liberals and progressives who support the common agenda of ending the wars, economic justice and environmental protection. We’re sometimes asked if Rebuild the Dream is part of Occupy Washington, DC. The answer is an unequivocal NO. Occupy Washington, DC is an independent movement that will hold the system, big business and both parties accountable for corporatism and militarism. And we will not go away or be absorbed by MoveOn, Rebuild the Dream and its Democratic Party allies. We are critics of the machine, the corrupt, dysfunctional system, which the Democratic Party has always been and continues to be part of. We welcome Dream supporters. We would even welcome the leadership. All they need to do is renounce the Democratic Party and President Obama. MoveOn and Rebuild the Dream can prove us wrong if they come forward with a non-partisan statement saying they will fight against any elected official, of any party, in any office, who has not lived up to the anti-militarism and anti-corporatist agenda, especially the president. Until that statement is made Democratic Party operatives and their allied groups should back off the Occupy Movement. You have a different strategy – working inside the Democratic Party, working inside the limits of the corrupt machine while we want to transform American politics. Get out of our way. Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace. Read other articles by Kevin, or visit Kevin's website. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jove Shove
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