1,800 miles in 4 days to get here, more rain than we’ve ever seen, a hacked computer, an inspiring march to the Capitol. And Sunday a day to rest and reflect. Today’s post includes a 6-minute video of the march and a brief report on the Look, Listen, Learn Road Trip.
This Week’s Actions. There are two important Retake meetings this week, one Monday (TODAY) for the Local Action Team and one Thursday for the Roundhouse Advocacy Team. These teams are actively organizing locally and statewide. Participating in either of these teams is a way to make activism a part of your life. And it is pretty obvious that in these times, we need more people incorporating routine activism in their lives. Click here for information about these meetings.
New Energy Economy is not just our planet’s tireless advocate at the Roundhouse and the PRC, they also organize solarization projects throughout the state. And they just completed raising the funds to solarize the Cochiti Pueblo.
Learn more about the Cochiti Pueblo Solarization Project here. If you have not yet chipped in please do so at New Energy Economy’s site. All of the donations will go towards their next solarization project which will be for a Senior Center in Santa Clara, that serves the three traditional Hispanic mining communities of Bayard, Hurley and Santa Clara. For some seniors, this Center provides the only food that they will eat that day.
Solar matters! So Does New Energy Economy
Report on the Poor People’s Campaign March
I am pretty sure that the mainstream media won’t report much on this remarkable event. So we are happy to be able to report what we saw. You may want to check out Democracy Now! tonight or on KSFR at 3pm as I am sure Amy Goodman will be reporting, as she was very much there.
Roxanne and I made it across the country to march with thousands of others from across the country. In the rally that preceded the march, representatives from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and many native tribes spoke. The rally featured Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, and Rev. Barber, but the majority of speakers were people directly impacted by social, racial, economic, and environmental injustice, putting a face to the impacts of bad US policy.
The march itself stretched for many, many blocks, culminating at the north lawn of the Capitol where Rev. Barber and the state representatives sought police approval to deliver the campaign’s demands to our representatives in Congress. We hung around while negotiations continued and honestly are not sure if anyone ever was arrested or was able to present the demands. And, of course, the media is not reporting much at all about the march. I could find nothing, and suspect I’ll have to wait until Amy Goodman reports in Democracy Now!. She was present at the rally and so I imagien Monday’s show will be devoted to the march.
We ultimately left the march to go to the Holocaust Museum, an utterly horrific display of what man is capable of doing and a reminder that with the calls from the White House about how those crossing the border are less human than the privileged who were immigrants years, decades, or centuries ago, a reminder that we need to be very vigilant and resist every expression of racism and xenophobia. The Holocaust Museum made it clear that as bad as this administration is, things can get much, much worse if we do not resist.
Thoughts from Roxanne on the Trip, the March, the Holocaust Museum, and the Future: After 4 days of driving from Santa Fe to Washington DC, covering 1,800 miles, much of it through blinding downpours, we spent Saturday on the National Mall with the Poor People’s Campaign, a revival of the campaign begun by Martin Luther King 50 years ago.
It was an emotional roller coaster of a day, standing and marching in the drizzling, warm rain (80+ degrees), knowing it had rained 50 years ago when MLK launched the original Poor People’s Campaign on the same spot: There was the excitement and optimism of convening with thousands of people from across America with a common purpose, people of all races, all genders, all ages, all cultures. There were the gut-wrenching stories from people impacted by the injustices of racism, poverty, militarism, and environmental degradation. There was the uplifting feeling of thousands of us singing together as we marched shoulder-to-shoulder to the Capitol. Then there was the wall of Capitol police, blocking us along the north lawn, and Rev. Barber attempting to negotiate passage, accompanied by Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, and other long-time civil rights activists. We were grateful to be part of it, and our determination to stay in the movement, to keep on fighting, was renewed.
We had just a couple hours left to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum where we were engulfed by 3 floors of photographs, videos, stories, maps, and artifacts of the heinous rise of the Nazis and the monstrously evil slaughter of six million Jews. While thinking about the rise of fascism in our own country, I kept saying to myself, and then out loud to Paul, “This could never happen again. Not here. People would rise up and stop it.” And he replied, “I’m not so sure.”
Then we came to the room full of shoes––thousands of shoes confiscated from prisoners arriving at the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland. A vast, dark hill of women’s shoes, men’s shoes, girls’ shoes, boys’ shoes, baby shoes, sandals, dress shoes, boots––a dreadful display more powerful than any photo, train car replica, or diary page. The shoes of the murdered women, men, and children, horrific reminders of the evil that humans are capable of.
I couldn’t help but think about the thousands of immigrant children being torn from their parents by our government and how one evil often leads to another larger. I wondered, why aren’t more people out in the streets protesting?
On the ride back to Falls Church where we’re staying until Monday before driving on to Baltimore and Philadelphia, an enormous rainbow appeared across the sky and I felt happy…for just a moment. I thought about our country and all the comfortable people, the people who don’t have time to care, the people who think everything will be okay, the people who have the luxury of feeling joy from a rainbow. How do we wake people up before it’s too late? We may not find the answer, but we’re going to learn a hell of lot on this road trip.
Reactions to the June 16 Commentary on the Horrors of Family Separation & a Video from Noam Chomsky on the Crimes of Our Presidents. Tue. June 19. Many comments on family separation posted on June 16 noted that I had never been more ashamed of our country with its horrific Zero Tolerance border policy. Click here to review the original post on family separations. In last Tuesday’s post, many readers pointed out that US history is replete with far worse offenses. This post featured those comments, a video from Chomsky, and a kick-off to the Look, Listen, Learn Road Trip. We are on the road! Click here to review the full report.
Results from Speak Up New Mexico, Retake Our Democracy’s 2019 Legislative Priorities Survey. Thursday, June 21. New Mexico has spoken,complete results to Retake’s 2019 Legislative Priorities Survey. This is not the final word on NM priorities, but more of an interim report. Our challenge now is to reach out to communities outside ABQ, Santa Fe, and Districts 41 and 46 where we had a very high response rate. That will be the work of the Roundhouse Advocacy Team that meets this Thursday from 4:30-6:30 at New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda. The Interim Report provides bar graphs and percentages of support on 29 bills in 13 issue areas. The post also includes a brief report on the hurdles encountered on our 1900 mile journey to D.C. Click here to review the survey results.
Today we examine the underpinnings of the current US political and economic systems. Truth-Out did a brilliant job of describing how capitalism began, evolved and currently defines the US condition and then we present an alternative model in a video of a model of local commitment to worker-owned collectives, Cleveland’s Evergreen Collective. A model developed by the Democracy Collaborative, a think tank founded by Gar Alperovitz. We will be visiting the Evergreen Collective and a replication of that effort in Rochester NY. Click here to review the post.