US Awakens and Erupts & Mexico Swings Far to the Left. A Look Back and Forward with Update on Weekend Protests

Also this post includes a brief preview of what is next on our Look, Listen & Learn Road Trip, local actions planned and Retake launches a targeted outreach effort to engage and activate supporters. We need many more of you in the game for more than rallies.

HUGE Win for the Left In Mexico….and It Wasn’t Close

This is VERY good news. According to the NY Times, the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected president of Mexico on Sunday, in a landslide victory, handing him a sweeping mandate to reshape the country.  López Obrador’s victory puts a leftist leader at the helm of Latin America’s second-largest economy for the first time in decades, a prospect that has filled millions of Mexicans with hope — and the nation’s elites (and likely the world’s) with trepidation.

Needless to say, Mexico will not be contributing to Trump’s wall any time soon.

While beyond delight about this victory and what it could foretell elsewhere, it is also the kind of quantum shift to the left that the oligarchy does not abide for long and so it will be interesting how the right begins to retell this story and work to usurp the threat it clearly poses.The win is a repudiation of globalization and policies that favor the elite over the poor and will pose an interesting challenge to a corporatocracy that has been accustomed to dictating not just to Mexico, but to the world. It also could serve as inspiration to activists throughout the US and the world.

Not only did López Obrador take the presidency, but with his coalition partners, it looks he will take control of Congress, as well, allowing him to reshape Mexico significantly. “I call on all Mexicans to reconciliation, and to put above their personal interests, however legitimate, the greater interest, the general interest,” he said. “The state will cease to be a committee at the service of a minority and will represent all Mexicans, rich and poor, those who live in the country and in the city, migrants, believers and nonbelievers, to people of all philosophies and sexual preferences.”

The core promises of Mr. López Obrador’s campaign — to end corruption, reduce violence and address Mexico’s endemic poverty — were immensely popular with voters, but they come with questions he and his new government may struggle to answer. We will be watching this closely, as I suspect that Donald Trump will find López Obrador someone who will not bend a bit to his imperious will. The Western Hemisphere just got a big more interesting.

Coming Opportunities for Action

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Below are some events in the coming week(s). I am sure there are a number of immigration-related actions that will be announced over the coming days and we will update you as they are finalized either in this blog or on our Facebook page. Click here to get to our Actions and Opportunities page which is updated regularly.

Roundhouse photoRoundhouse Advocacy Team. Thursday, July 12 & 2, 4:30-6:30pm at New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda. The Roundhouse Advocacy Team (or the Rat Pack) has been meeting for a year to develop a 2018-2019 Election and Legislative Strategy. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, same time, same location.


Local Action Team Mtg. TODAY, Monday July 9.  6-7:15pm at New Energy Economy 343 E. Alameda. The Local Action Team has been organizing around issues in Retake’s 22-pollicy People’s Platform but is now focusing on transit and affordable housing issues. This is a great team and could use more volunteers.


Update on Look, Listen & Learn Road Trip.  We took the weekend off from visits with activists and leaders of progressive programs addressing social justice. We were in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania celebrating the wedding of our son, Josh to his now bride Holly Gibson (Hubbard). “Boiling” was the apt term as the temperature hit 95 with humidity well north of 50%. Sweat poured from all the celebrants and dancing went on well past midnight. Roxanne and I are very proud of Josh and Holly. Hard to imagine a happier couple. This was the first wedding for any of our three kids and it was great to reunite with all three and the many friends who made the journey to Pennsylvania.

Retake Launches Engagement Strategy. Members of our Roundhouse Advocacy Team and our Leadership Team will begin making calls and sending emails inviting conversation to many of you who have been at rallies, have appeared at the City Council and Roundhouse or at various protests. The intent is to encourage more of you to become engaged in the work of one of our two action teams: The Local Action Team and the Roundhouse Advocacy Team. These teams meet on a regular basis, have clear strategies for advancing progressive priorities at a state and local level. We will also be asking you if there are forms of sustained involvement you would engage in, if it were organized. Bottom line: we are in perilous times

While no one would begrudge anyone taking time off to celebrate your son’s wedding, I admit it felt odd swilling champagne and dancing the night away while protests were erupting across the nation (below). Today, we head to Buffalo where we will visit organizers of the just formed Fruit Belt Community Land Trust, before heading to Rochester to meet with city officials who have launched the systematic development of worker collectives: the Market Driven Community Collectives. Look for reports on these visits next week.

Protests in Hundreds of US Cities

Protests were held in hundreds of US cities yesterday, including in NM: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, Gallup .  Six days after the order to stop family separation actions was signed, only six children had been reunited with their parents — meaning more than 2,000 children were still in limbo, feeding the furor and raising questions about whether the government actually has a plan to reunify families.

A federal judge this week ordered a halt to most family separations at the border and the reunification of families. Within 14 days, children under 5 were to be back with their parents, and within 30 days, children 5 and older were to be reunited with theirs. But very little progress is being made in reuniting parents with their children and there is very reasonable suspicion that this administration could care less about reunifying families. In this context, it is highly likely that protests will continue and escalate over the coming days and weeks.

According to organizers, protesters have three demands:
  • They want separated migrant families to be reunited immediately.
  • They want the government to end family detentions.
  • And they want the Trump administration to end its zero tolerance policy.
Saturday’s protest drew people from both sides of the aisle with many Republicans participating in protests for the first time. CNN reported:  “It’s unconscionable, immoral. None of the words are quite strong enough,” said Allison Thompson, 49, a lawyer from Fayetteville, North Carolina. She said she was a registered Republican attending her first protest. “Separating a child from a parent — as a parent — is the most inhumane thing ever,” the mother of two said. “There is just nothing worse to me.”
According to a CNN, some of the chants and themes of the marches included:
And many signs indicated what will likely be a theme throughout the summer: “Vote Them Out,” which will certainly be a banner Retake will carry as we will be supporting voter registration efforts and the campaigns of a number of NM Democrats in critical campaigns to strengthen our capacity to advance progressive legislation. Look for more on that soon.

Correction: I want to make two small corrections in my reporting on Dist. 46, : 1) I stated that Heather Nordquist and Martha Trujillo had launched a petition drive to get Amadeo Ortiz on the ballot as an Independent. Only a candidate can file or create such a campaign, but the two were identified as the contact people for individuals who wanted to support Ortiz’ petition drive. 2) I also sought for both Nordquist and Trujillo to be removed from their roles as Democratic Party Ward Chairs. They had resigned prior to announcing their support for Ortiz. Oddly, they supported the petition drive of a candidate they now plan to run against. No comment. As will surprise no one, Retake is strongly endorsing the Democratic Party candidate, Andrea Romero. It is truly sad that with so many critical state and national issues around which all of us need to unify, we now have a redux of the vile Dist. 46 campaign.

A Look Back at a Most Eventful Week

Direct Action Against Governor Martinez as Activists Demand a Halt to Zero Tolerance Policy. The post also includes thoughts from Cecile Lipworth, from our Leadership Team who protested in Tornillo, TX this past weekend as she artfully connects the policies with her own personal experience and status.  Nice work. Also the post includes info on civil disobedience planned against the Gov. on Thursday as we get serious about separations and detentions. As was reported on Thursday and again on Saturday, those protests led to hundreds of arrests across the nation. Click here to read the entire blog from Tuesday June 26.


Huge Progressive Wins Including a Massive Upset in NY and a New Progressive Hero.  Immigration Action: Rallies in NM, bus trips to Texas border, Spanish-speaking interviewers needed to interview separated children. Judge orders reunification within 30 days. Progressive successes across the nation including a look at each state’s primary results with a focus on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her shocking win over Joe Crowley. At 29, Ocasio-Cortez could become a beacon of the left as she is an unabashed democratic socialist. NM Children: New report ranks NM children dead last.Click here to read the full post from last Thursday, June 28.


The Truth Behind How Trump Had Coaxed & Seduced Justice Kennedy to Retire and Protests Erupt Across Nation & NM with Many Arrests.  Saturday, June 30. Also in this post: reports that Dist 46 Dem. Ward Chairs are subverting the party to advance opposition to Dem. nominee Andrea Romero — a divisive effort at a time when unity is needed more than ever.  Click here to read last Saturday’s full report.

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3 replies

  1. Regarding the “stop-family-separation” protests, I attended the one in Santa Fe and was pleased to observe a very good turnout, larger by far than any of the Poor People’s Campaign events. However, the message was: “this is caused by Trump” and “vote Democratic”. I would haved liked some correct political education of the large crowd from at least some of the speakers. For example, this.
    A segment of the American working class are Trump supporters and oppose immigration for natural reasons–immigrants compete for limited jobs and bring down wages. This includes hispanics in Santa Fe, some of whom are Trump supporters. The Capitalist class naturally favors immigration–it lowers labor costs and acts to further weaken organized labor. The Capitalist class also favored NAFTA. Some two million Mexican farmers ( have been forced to leave their farms since NAFTA, and many of these sought to emigrate to the U.S.
    Voting for Heinrich, Udall, and Lujan, as we were exhorted to do by one speaker, pretends that the Democrats represent the working class, and I believe this is not the case (

  2. Thanks for the correction and retraction, Paul.

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