It was a packed weekend and much going on in relation to the Mayor’s race. But the main reason today’s post is very short and merely previews what is to come is that what is to come is requiring a good deal of thought as some closed doors are being flung open thanks to Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
What Vision Looks Like
Every once in awhile you read something, meet someone, or hear a speech that freezes you in your tracks. That was our weekend with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, co-founders of the Weather Underground and lifelong advocates for justice. We are endlessly grateful to Mariel Nanasi and Jeff Haas, who included Roxanne and I in Jeff’s 75th birthday weekend. Since Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers have been good friends of Mariel and Jeff from their civil rights work in Chicago in the 70s, they came for Jeff’s birthday and Roxanne and I spent a good deal of time in conversation with them. The key take away could be captured in this quote that appears on page 2 of Bill’s book, Demand the Impossible: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum–even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” Noam Chomsky.
I am still reading Bill’s book, but have enough fodder for a dozen posts. The bottom line takeaway is that over the past 50 years we have been lulled to sleep or, more accurately, the world of possibilities, the options we have for creating a just society, have been persistently, strategically winnowed to a narrow band of what is ‘acceptable’ to the 1%. What is left is nothing like what could be possible if we expand our vision and reach for the previously unthinkable. The next few posts will focus on this situation and present a a range of policy options currently on the table but not supported by our Democratic elected officials—and we will ask you to hold them accountable. The posts will also include an array of options not commonly discussed in public policy debate because they might actually lead to less profit for our mega corporations and more sacrifice from the 1%—to the almost unimaginable benefit of the rest of us. And so, our next few blog posts will be devoted to helping us re-invision America and to Demand the Impossible. Thank you Bill and Bernadine.
In the meantime, some very compelling opportunities to get informed this week.
A Few Important Opportunities for This Week
Roundhouse Activism Team, Thursday, Sept 28, (3pm-5pm this one time so participants can attend event below at 5:30 pm). 1420 Cerrillos, the Center for Progress and Justice. We will hear a report on the 2016 primaries and general election results on our list of targeted GOP and Democrat legislators. This will help us identify legislators who might be vulnerable in 2018. From conversations with progressive lobbyists and others, these legislators have been identified as persistently blocking progressive legislation. The team will now weigh which of these legislators could be vulnerable to a challenge in the primary (Dem) or general election (GOP). We will also continue to work on our list of priority bills that will soon be finalized and posted on a statewide online poll to obtain input from throughout the state. Click here to review our strategy, although at this meeting we may adjust it with input from you!! Click here to RSVP on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Regular meetings of this group are 2nd and 4th Thurs. of every month from 6 to 8 p.m.
THE URGENCY OF NOW: A PATH TO JUSTICE, Thurs., Sept. 28,
5:30–7:30PM, Santa Fe Community College, Jemez Rm.
6401 Richards Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87508
Join us for a presentation and interactive discussion with three transformative thinkers and doers dedicated to healing the climate: RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW, founder of The Shalom Center and climate activist; DR. TODD RINGLER, a climate modeling expert working in the Theoretical Division at LANL; and LYLA JUNE JOHNSTON, a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages, a musician, performance poet, and a fellow at the Center for Earth Ethics.
They will offer science- and faith-based perspectives on the goal of 100% renewable energy, take part in a dialogue about the moral, scientific, spiritual, and political challenges of attaining that goal, and invite audience members to envision their own roles in healing the planet and our societies. All three inspiring speakers are recipients of many honors for their work.
Attendees will also enjoy a special performance by Albuquerque Poet Laureate Manuel González. RSVP HERE.
September 30-Oct. 1. Second Annual Red Nation Native Liberation Conference. Saturday, 4PM to 10 PM at the Gallup Cultural Center, 201 East Highway 66, Gallup, NM, and Sunday, 9 AM to 5 PM at the El Morro Events Center, 210 S. Second Street, Gallup, NM. This is an all-ages event, open to the public, no admission fee or registration required. All are welcome!
There will be various workshops and forums facilitated by Native organizers and revolutionaries based out of Gallup, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Window Rock, and elsewhere. Learn how to organize and fight settler colonialism, capitalism, heteropatriarchy, police violence, the rising tide of fascism, and more! Click here for more details and to RSVP. Roxanne and I will be there.
Seminars and workshops will focus on a range of topics including:
╋ Anti-fascism and Antifa
╋ Justice for Palestine
╋ Making relatives and the role of kinship
╋ Native struggles in the Trump era
╋ Native community organizing
╋ Police violence
╋ Fracking in the Four Corners
╋ Indigenous feminism
╋ Political prisoners
╋ The movement to protect Chaco Canyon
╋ Native nationhood, sovereignty, and self-determination
╋ Bordertown justice
╋ Abolishing racist holidays, imagery, and memorials
╋ #NoDAPL today
Retake Our Democracy on KSFR every Saturday at 11am. On September 9, I interviewed Eric Griego, director of the Working Families Party of New Mexico. On September 16, I spoke with Daniel Werwath, a local expert in the design, development, and operation of affordable housing. On September 23, I spoke with the founder and director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Douglas Meiklejohn to discuss the sprawling Santolina development in Bernalillo County, LANL pollution of the aquifer, and other legal aspects of climate change. I’ll keep you posted on who I will be interviewing this Saturday. If you miss any of the shows, they are available on the KSFR website by podcast, so you can go back and binge listen to Retake Our Democracy by clicking here. It usually takes a few days for a new show to be posted, so be patient.
In tomorrow’s post, I will begin a discussion of how we can begin to Demand the Impossible. You won’t want to miss the next few posts.
Paul & Roxanne