Rally Against Racism, Rev Barber in ABQ, & a Poem to Inspire

A very tough week between North Korea and Charlottesville. But below are an array of opportunities to come together as a community that says yes to justice and no to war and racism. And since it has been such a rough week, I also include an inspiring poem and the video that brings both tears and inspiration every time I watch it. Yes, Valarie Kaur. She always delivers.

The Week Coming and Last Week in Review

Monday, Aug 14, 6pm. Rally Against Racism.  The Mayor has asked Santa Feans to come together as a community and rally at the bandstand, Monday, Aug 14, 6pm. Join us in an act of solidarity. Charlottesville represents yet another manifestation of the depths to which our culture is descending and we must raise our voices to say: This is not what we have become. Let’s stand in solidarity with those who had the courage to stand up against racism and to those injured and killed. Below is an excerpt from a brilliant Truthout report on Charlottesville, describing it as the act of terrorism it was and Trump’s non-response. Click here to read the full report….hope to see you at the rally.

“According to everything we have heard from the federal government about vehicles being used as weapons worldwide, everything we have heard from the White House and Homeland Security on the issue, everything we have heard in the news media after London and Paris, this was an ISIS-style terrorist attack deliberately perpetrated against a crowd of innocent people to lethal effect. This was terrorism. By the book. Someone should probably tell the president. He doesn’t seem to get it.”

Tuesday, August 15 at 7:00 pm.  Reverend Barber Comes to ABQ:  Do I ever need a dose of inspiration right now….and the Reverend Barber is just the one to deliver it. Join co-chairs Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis for a Mass Meeting for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on Tuesday, August 15 at 7:00 pm at Central United Methodist Church, 201 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Learn about the inspiration, vision and strategy of the PPC. The Campaign will build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement — rooted in the leadership of the poor and dispossessed as moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings — to unite our country from the bottom up.  For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Tuesday, August 15, 5pm-7:30pm. Town Hall with Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. 107 West Barcelona. Unitarian Universalist Church. Click here for details.

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 4pm. Community Conversation Canvassing Launch.  1420 Cerrillos. Click here for information on why and how we are engaging our neighbors in conversation.

Thursday, August 17, 6-8pm. 1420 Cerrillos. Retake Our Democracy Activist Research Team. Conversation about the planned use of the 65 acre property Santa Fe University of Art & Design and review of research briefs on housing and transit from members of the group. Click here to RSVP on Facebook or email us at volunteer4retake@gmail.com.

Saturday, August 19, 3-5pm. 1420 Cerrillos.  Retake Our Democracy Town Hall: An Open Conversation with Richard Ellenberg: Dissent without Division. The Town Hall will include a few minutes devoted to current Retake strategies: Community Conversations Canvassing, Activist Research Team and Roundhouse Activism Team. But most of the Town Hall will be spent in moderated conversation with Richard Ellenberg and Paul Gibson. A portion of that discussion will be spent exploring the common priorities of attendees. We will use this common ground to frame our discussion of areas where there may be differences and explore how dissent and constructive criticism can be delivered in a way that can be welcomed and considered without its being viewed as divisive.

We may even take a stab at resolving the elephant in so many Democratic Party assemblies, the lingering resentment between Hillary and Bernie folks. This is something that simply must be resolved and overcome. Here is the candid reality: Most Hillary folks feel that if Bernie supporters had campaigned harder for Hillary, she would be President. Most Bernie supporters feel that if the DNC hadn’t tilted the scales, Bernie would now be President. Let’s face it, given the horrifying daily reality of the President we have, it is easy to understand the depth of resentment felt by both wings of the Party. And it really doesn’t matter if either side is correct in their understanding of what happened, this is really about our deepest feelings. But given where we are now and given how much we share in terms of priorities and values, it is imperative we find a way to join forces to oppose the appalling political reality in which we now live. Let’s start the healing process and the conversation on Saturday. To RSVP on Facebook, click here. To do so by email, just write to volunteer4retake@gmail.com.

Sunday, Aug. 20, 4pm. Community Conversation Canvassing Launch.  1420 Cerrillos. Click here for information on why and how we are engaging our neighbors in conversation.

A Week In Review

I took a good deal of the week off last week with family in town. so there are only three posts to reflect on and the first two together provide a good insight into why the GOP has such a strong grip on the American political scene and the third tells you all you need to know about why it is so important that in 2018 the Democrats retake the House.

Democratic Party Decades in Decline. Why? The post examines the parallel time frame from when wages froze in America while neoliberal policies created the largest wealth gap in our history.  Click here.

Neoliberal Policies Drive Democratic Defections, Not Dissent. The post examines the policies of the Clinton and Obama administrations and how they correspond to the increasingly fragile economic situation for most Americans.  Click here.

More Trump Corporate Giveaways. Trillions Falling from Helicopters? An examination of the shameful GOP tax and budget plan.  It is simply brazen. Click here.

The combination of North Korea, Charlottesville, and our President’s entirely inadequate response to what amounts to an act of political terrorism, a bit of inspiration is needed. So below is a poem sent by my friend Mariel and below that a reprise of my all-time favorite and entirely inspiring video. I guarantee it will lift your spirits, an increasingly difficult task. But as this poem describes, the antidote to despair is engagement and forming a community engaged in struggle together.

An Untitled Poem I Received from Mariel Nanasi Sunday Morning

What can they do to you?
Whatever they want..

They can set you up, bust you,
they can break your fingers,
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can’t walk, can’t remember.
they can take away your children,
wall up your lover;
they can do anything you can’t stop them doing.

How can you stop them?
Alone you can fight, you can refuse.
You can take whatever revenge you can
But they roll right over you.
But two people fighting back to back
can cut through a mob
a snake-dancing fire
can break a cordon,
termites can bring down a mansion

Two people can keep each other sane
can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.

Three people are a delegation
a cell, a wedge.
With four you can play games
and start a collective.
With six you can rent a whole house
have pie for dinner with no seconds
and make your own music.

Thirteen makes a circle,
a hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity
and your own newsletter;
ten thousand community
and your own papers;
a hundred thousand,
a network of communities;
a million our own world.

It goes one at a time.
It starts when you care to act.
It starts when you do it again
after they say no.
It starts when you say we
and know who you mean;
and each day you mean
one more.

– Marge Piercy

Retake is trying to form exactly the kind of community of activists described in this poem. A community of people who say no to tyranny and yes to justice. But I will be candid, you need to show up to form that community. We have:

  • an action team canvassing, meeting with their neighbors, having deep conversations about justice and identifying people who want to become active;,
  • An action team researching, discussing and formulating solutions to local housing, transit, homelessness, and jobs challenges;
  • Another group researching state legislation and forging alliances to advance progressive legislation in the Roundhouse.
  • And we have a Town Hall this Saturday, click here to RSVP on Facebook or simply write to us at volunteer4retake@gmail.com. We need to know who is coming!

But we need you to be there.  Don’t sit on the sidelines, join our community. As Piercy wrote: “It starts when you act.”

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

And now Valarie Kaur. Click for a boost to get you through the week.


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1 reply

  1. gosh i would love to see rev barber but i am not in new mexico right now. he is a most amazing intelligent and admirable human being.

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