A most unsettling week culminated in three days of peaceful protest. Today we reprise those events and pledge to focus on our legislature in the coming weeks, while continuing to juggle reports on the chaotic international news.
Update on Saturday’s
Yesterday’s march drew about 200 protesters under the watchful but restrained eye of the police, but utterly ignored by the media. After 30 minutes of talks from students from Iran and Lebanon, an attorney and activist from Egypt, a Syrian American poet who also offered words from Lyla June Johnston, candidate for NM House, from Teresa Leger de Fernandez, candidate for US House District 3, a civil rights attorney, and a member of YUCCA, we marched and chanted to the Plaza and back and were welcomed by a constant honking of horns, thumbs up, and peace signs. Afterwards about 15 of us convened at Tumbleroot for a bite to eat.
The talks were inspiring and powerful, as we heard more human stories about the impact of US hegemony on people — families of the people giving testimony, not dry statistics. And several speakers made clear that US policy is embedded in capitalism and colonialism, imperious systems of thought that never served anyone’s purpose but the elite and must be replaced to ever achieve social, economic and climate justice. It was an inspiring day.
As usual on Mondays, we reprise all of last week’s posts for those who may have missed them. To be expected, we focused to a high degree on the act of war, protests in NM, and a tribute to activist Lynne Fischer. We will continue to keep you posted about Iran, not with the news of the day (as that is inescapable), but with insights from experts who might help you understand the understory and the implications.
We also inject some humor here and there, and so today at the end of the post, we include a segment from Stephen Colbert. If you watched the news this week, you likely saw Rep. Mike Lee (R) and his comments that the administration’s presentation on Iran to Congress was “the worst I’ve seen in 9 years in the Senate.” A Republican. Well, he said a good deal more than that and Colbert nestles several more quotes along with Colbert’s standard razor sharp wit. We offer also a segment of Colbert’s interview of Bernie Sanders where Bernie clearly defines how America should behave in the Middle East.
This week however, barring breaking news on impeachment or war, our focus will be on the Roundhouse and the upcoming legislative session:
- Posts will focus on bills, the need to press the Governor to put good bills on the call, and insights from advocacy groups & legislators.
- KSFR show on Saturday, Jan. 18 will feature Speaker Brian Egolf, who will share his well-informed views on what we might expect in the legislative session that opens the following week.
- I (Paul) will be traveling to Las Cruces (W) and Silver City (Th) to work with activists in those communities to prepare for the 2020 session and the June primaries.
Stay tuned, there are so many rumors swirling about regarding what bills will be introduced, put on the call, and considered in the legislature. Retake researchers are hard at work reviewing bill language, while others are reaching out to allies to get clarity on their priorities, and the leadership team is sorting through which bills we should support and which we should oppose.
If you are a detail-oriented person who likes to do research, we could use a few others to help with reviewing bills. If you would like to help out, please write to Katie Bruell at Ktbruell@gmail.com.
By January 21, we will be ready, but will you? If you have not signed up for legislative alerts, there is a link at retakeourdemocracy.org to do so. The alerts will provide nearly daily emails with info on bills to be heard in the next day or so. Alerts will include bill number and name, contact info for legislators voting on the bill in committee or a chamber floor, and speaking points to help you raise your voice. You will not get this information in this blog, so do sign up for the alerts.
A Look at Last Week: Impeachable Acts of War, Marches & Tribute to Lynne
It has been a rough start to the year, with impulsive acts of war followed by inconsistent, incoherent explanations and then inexplicably, restraint from both Iran and the US. Throughout it all, a sorrow hangs over the Retake community, as we mourn the loss of a friend, one of our Leadership Team members and an inspiration to all who knew her, Lynne Fischer. We miss you Lynne.
An Impeachable Act of War: US Assassinates Qasem Soleimani
Tuesday, January 7. Incorporating one report from the NY Times and two from Truthdig, we lay out clearly all that is wrong with what Trump has done and the peril in which he has placed our nation. Plus info about Saturday’s march. If you missed this post and want to understand something about just how consequential Trump’s attack has been and the potential consequences, this includes some excellent writing from Chris Hedges, as insightful a political commentator as we have today.
A Tribute to Lynne Fischer
Wednesday, January 8. Retake leadership understood that Lynne was quite ill and Roxanne and I had been in communication with her up until December. We knew she had ceased treatment and gone home, and so we knew what that meant. So, when the email came, we were not exactly surprised. Nonetheless, the news was heartbreaking and lingers strongly today. Lynne meant so much to so many and for good reason. She inspired us to be our better selves by always modeling her better self. We miss you Lynne. In this post, we paid tribute to Lynne with comments from activists with whom she worked and from Roxanne and I.
We Can’t Trust Trump: Demonstrations Thursday, Friday & Saturday
Thursday, January 8. In a stunning turn of events, Iran showed remarkable restraint, alerting Iraq of its intent to launch missiles on two Iraqi military bases. With time to prepare, damage was minimal and there was no loss of life or injuries. This was CLEARLY Iran’s intention, to respond with a message that was not retribution.
While many were equally stunned by what pundits called a surprising act of diplomacy from Trump, as he appeared to invite renewing negotiations with Iran. Trump would not be Trump were his efforts at diplomacy did not include a threat and a hammer: increased sanctions. Make no mistake about it: economic warfare is an act of war and while less dramatic and visual, can kill as many or more innocent civilians, as evidenced by reports that in Iraq more children died from US sanctions than there were casualties in the war.
Click here to read this brief report describing why Trump can’t be trusted, the message he has likely heard from the week’s events, and why this is so dangerous.
No War on Iran Protest & March, As Trump’s Rationale for Assassination Unravels
Saturday, January 11. We outline how Trump’s explanations and the administration’s pathetic presentation to a select group of Congressional leaders together represent a complete failure of the administration to explain their actions to Congress or to the people. The takeaway is that this is a man who simply can’t be trusted and a Congress incapable of restricting his actions. A very frightening prospect for the future. And so we marched.
Only 3 Minutes: Great Rep. Lee (R) Soundbites
Bernie on Trump’s Act of War
Paul & Roxanne