Archive for October, 2007

General Strike: Getting Ready for November 6

Monday, October 29th, 2007

What can we do about the deplorable state of the nation?  We can join the General Strike called for election day, Tuesday, November 6, 2007.

What this is going to look like for me is:

1) I will not work.  Unlike some people who have a job and are paid even if they do not show up, I do not get paid if I do not show up.  Even so, I will not work and have let the production know I will not be coming in.

2) I will not buy anything with the possible exception of food if I cannot get organized ahead of time to have what I need.  Any food I purchase will be at a locally owned establishment and not at the retail outlet of any corporation.  No Starbucks, no Whole Foods, no corporations will get a penny from me.

3) I will vote in the morning.

4) I will proceed to Union Square at noon to join with others to sing, read the Constitution, enjoy the company of others who want to save the nation.  We will not give nor listen to speeches.  We will just sing and read the Constitution and talk.  George is bringing a guitar and I will bring a small portable speaker.  If we can, we may bring food to share with anyone who wants it.

5) I will wear a red, white, or blue sweatshirt.

6) I plan to bring a folding chair to sit on.

7) I plan to bring a camera to make photographs to load here as a record of our day.

I look forward to seeing friends there as well.  Please join us for all or a part of the time.

Below are links to Naomi Wolf’s article suggesting a way to do this General Strike.

You can scroll down to the post titled House Party, General Strike, October 23rd to find the links to the articles we read.

Till Tuesday, the 6th of November at Union Square.

Paula Reports on the March in San Francisco

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

marchanswer-ort_small.jpgYesterday, 10-27-07, I marched against the war in San Francisco. It was a beautiful day, about 65 degrees and sunny. The overall march was organized by ANSWER, as many marches are. The Code Pink folks had a “convocation” starting at the Civic Center at 10:00, featuring my friend, Betsy Rose singing and getting the group to sing. At 11:00 there was a rally in the same Civic Center area by the larger group, with many groups and individuals getting a few minutes at the mike, including Code Pink. I was glad to see two other people/groups used music. It attracts people and sets a positive rather than combative mood. It unites people. One young Filipino man did “rapping” that was quite cool. The Episcopal bishop of the entire state of California spoke against the war. An immigrant rights group talked about the hypocrisy of the government trying to get undocumented workers out of the country but actually encouraging them to sign up for the military, which some do hoping they’ll be legalized (I need to educate myself on what our policies are about this). The march then set out down Market Street to a park about 2 miles down. A bit into the march they had a symbolic “die in”: starting from the front of the march, people were asked to lie down in the street for three minutes (this was not blocking anything and was not violating a law because we had a parade permit to use the street). Betsy had a mike, her guitar, and someone carried some speakers for her mike on their back and we had the Code Pink group and people around us singing songs like “We Shall Not Be Moved.”Another code pinker had a boom box in a wagon and had brought CDs and led a group in some cross between a jazzercise class and country western line dancing. The participants and spectators liked that. At one point, Betsy was singing along with the CD. As in DC, the visual effect of all the bright pink shirts, banners, peace signs makes the Code Pink group very apparent. Cindy Sheehan, running for Congress now, came up and introduced herself to me, probably because I was wearing a Code Pink shirt.

The march was very San Francisco, with colorful and diverse contingents. A big banner of “Queers against the War” with men and women, some of the men marching in the nude (just shoes and backpacks!). A big group of Arab Americans marched together. Then there was a huge labor presence from a number of surrounding cities: pipe fitters, service workers, a lot of union folks. Therapists for Peace. Nurses for Peace. Grey Panthers. Several Marxist groups (one called Socialism and Liberation, another with Sparticist in the name). Palestinian right-of-returners. And lots of individuals who just came to speak against the war. The ANSWER website says 30,000 were there; I was hearing estimates more like 6-7,000.

Today, two feminist economists came to visit me at my home, one from out of town. I was pondering with them why the democrats won’t just do the one thing that is impervious to Bush’s veto power: fail to vote up a supplemental funding bill for the war. Is it because they think they will be seen as not supporting the troops, or that it will really hurt the troops (more than staying there as things are will)? Offering a different hypothesis, one was saying that watching a recent television documentary on World War II convinced her that Americans really don’t like to admit defeat or that something was a bad idea, and she thinks that is a factor. Consistent with her hypothesis is the fact that reports revealed after the fact that many making decisions believed Viet Nam couldn’t be won but couldn’t admit defeat on their watch so continued. I don’t know what Congress is thinking.


Thursday, October 25th, 2007

The McClatchy newspapers are not in the pockets of the Bush regime.  They have continued to practice good journalism and to do the job of the only profession protected by the US Constitution.  Here is a link to an article that shows how the Regime’s disastrous tax laws work in practice.

If you see not only injustice in this situation but also danger for the future of the US and the world, what are you willing to do about it?

House Party, General Strike

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

A few of us met at my place to read some articles together and discuss them.  We read Garret Keizer’s Specific Suggestion: General Strike published in Harpers, Frank Rich’s The “Good Germans” Among Us from the New York Times, and Carolyn Baker’s The Police State Is Right Here, Right Now, published on Information Clearing House.  The links are below.  Please read these and feel free to post reflections or responses to them or to send them to me and I will post them for you.

Here are the links to the articles:

Those of us who were here decided that we will strike on Election Day, November 6, 2007.

If anyone else chooses to do that and would like to report here on what it is like, please do that.  Or, again, let me know and I will post for you.

My Government Intimidates and Suppresses Dissent

Saturday, October 6th, 2007


Here is a link to an interview with Ann Wright.  Thanks to Patrice for it.


Doing Something

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

I just telephoned my Congresswoman and my two US senators to remind them that I will not vote for anyone who is not actively working to end the illegal occupation of Iraq now and restore our democracy beginning with impeachment of Bush and Cheney.  I received word that Dennis Kucinich is working on the floor of the House of Representatives right now to bring about a vote on impeachment.  It seemed like a good moment to call.

I keep doing what I can.  I keep trying to have faith that our efforts can be fruitful.  Even when I don’t have that faith, I keep taking actions.

A conversation with an old friend who is a union member and laments what has happened to the unions in this country was revealing.  He is distressed about what he sees, is suffering from the effects of this economy, and still he has no sympathy for activists.

For my part, I was frightened that he alludes to the ability of humans to endure injustice and oppression, managing to survive somehow in places in Africa that are now experiencing some of the worst human rights abuses in history.  He did not mention Iraq, but certainly, some people are managing to survive there, too, in spite of the horrors the US is inflicting right now.  He seems to think that we should just endure this and hope for the best.

Is that what many Americans believe, too?  What has happened to us?

I received an email from Barbara which includes this quotation:

“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels – men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”  —  Dwight David Eisenhower

The Bush regime has worked skillfully to suppress dissent.  Can we connect to our ancestors and our roots and speak and act for the good of our nation?