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After The DNC-RNC We Can’t Breathe: Keep The Struggle In The Streets!

31 Aug

The Two Parties Have Failed The People

At the Democratic Convention, no one used the phrases Medicare for all, Green New Deal, tuition-free college and vocational school, universal basic income, or wealth tax, even though all of these issues are supported by the majority of voters. Sen. Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Andrew Yang were silenced on issues they had championed during their campaigns.

At the Republican Convention, if those policies were mentioned, they were derided or called ‘socialist.’ The two parties did not talk about economic, health, and environmental policies because neither has any solutions. Instead, the bi-partisan policies they support have created the economic, public health, and environmental crises we are facing.

The United States is in crisis because the two-party system has failed the people and the planet. On a global scale, the United States is rated as a “flawed democracy” and corruption is on the rise. Studies within the United States find that popular support for a policy has no impact on whether it will be made into law by Congress, while wealthy interests have a significant impact over whether a law passes or fails. This is consistent with the United States being a plutocracy ruled by the wealthy.

As we have written in the past, the United States is a mirage democracy where the candidates are largely chosen by the power holders and the people get to vote for one or another corporate-approved candidate. A few progressive candidates are elected from time to time but they are marginalized at the federal level. If they do gain power, the elites move swiftly to rein them in or redistrict them out.

Third party candidates are kept out of the debates and the media, even left-leaning media like Democracy Now has not interviewed the Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins although he’ll be on the ballot in most states. Third party candidates have to fight to be on the ballot in each state, a challenge often made more difficult by Democrats and Republicans challenging them and tying them up in court.

For this reason, many people throw up their hands and decide that trying to work within the two-party system is the only available option, as flawed as it is. But, where has that gotten us? Federal elections these days are more commonly about voting against what you don’t want rather than voting for what you do want. Lesser evil voting has driven a race to the bottom in the quality of the candidates because as long as people are voting out of fear, it doesn’t matter who the candidate is or what they stand for.

Trump and Biden as the major party presidential candidates this year are the result of the system we have. Whichever one wins in November, the outcome will still be a plutocracy. The climate crisis will still rage on with climate-transformed wildfires, derechos, and drought that destroy crops and strong hurricanes that flatten towns but the Green New Deal will be off the table. The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to sicken and kill hundreds of thousands but Medicare for All won’t be an option. Workers will still be forced to work for low wages in unsafe conditions, families will lose their homes and students will be buried under heavy loans, but when Wall Street corporations or banks need help, the Federal Reserve will whisk their troubles away to the tune of trillions of dollars. Wars and interventions will continue as the Pentagon receives record budgets year after year, but for some reason, there isn’t enough money to fund our public schools, feed hungry families, or rebuild our failing infrastructure.

This system is protected by a security state that has no regard for human life, especially if you are black or brown. Time and again, the legal system lets the police get away with cold-blooded murder. This lack of accountability emboldens law enforcement. And now, it is clear from the recent events in Kenosha Wisconsin, and even before that, those right-wing militias are an unofficial arm of the security state. If this continues and they are not held accountable, they will also be emboldened to kill with impunity.

This is the reality in which we live. It is not the first time in history that this situation has existed in the world but it is unique to our generations in this country. We are living in a dark period, a failing state, and changing this situation is going to take hard work and sacrifice, but history also teaches us that people do have the power to take on the power elites and win.

Building Power To Lead From Below

We are in the midst of a national uprising on multiple fronts of struggle. There are widespread protests against racist police violence and there have been more than 900 wildcat strikes since March over worker safety and low pay. Teachers are striking over school reopenings. There are ongoing protests stopping pipelines and extreme energy extraction projects as well as demanding action on the climate crisis. Just last week, there was a national day of protest involving actions in hundreds of cities to save the US Postal Service.

Since the Occupy protests of 2011, which focused on wealth inequality and political corruption, but also included system-wide change on low wages, police violence, the climate crisis, and student debt, people have been building deeper movements in all of these areas. During the Obama-era, the Fight for $15 began, along with Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights, climate, and debt protests. When the pandemic and recession began, people started organizing General Strike and Rent Strike campaigns

The potential for people power has never been greater. Hundreds of thousands of people are ready to take the streets and stop business as usual. This is a time when every one of us has a role to play, whether it is sharing information in our communities (being the media), starting conversations in our social circles (education), organizing and mobilizing people in the groups we belong to or providing support for our neighbors and people who are in the streets (mutual aid). Learn how social movements create transformational change in our free online course.

No matter what happens this November, the protest movement must continue to fight for economic, racial, and environmental justice as well as peace. The next presidential Inauguration Day will need to be a day of protest when more people come to Washington, DC to make demands of the next president than are there to celebrate him.

The growing movement of movements has a broad foundation of education, organization, and mobilization on which to build. We have the ability to make this country ungovernable and if we use that power, we can make demands that cannot be ignored.

Our mailing address is: “Because a sustainable future depends on the people willing to see the truth for what it is, and for those to stand up in unison in order to make a difference.” — Jake Edwards Keli’i Eakin
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Tucson, AZ 85713

DEMOCRATS ARE OFFICIALLY REPUBLICANS!

30 Aug

By Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report.August 29, 2020 | EDUCATE!

The Democrats Claim To Be The Opposition Party, But They Seek Out Republicans, Hate The Left Of Their Own Party, And Don’t Seem To Care If They Lose The Election.

“Biden’s slogan may as well be He’s Not Trump because that is all the Democrats had to say.”

Become;

The Democratic Party has ended any debate or dispute about its true nature. It is a party representing neo-liberal interests and international gangsterism, just like their putative opposition, the Republican party.

Even a cursory observation of the recent Democratic National Convention proves that this assessment is correct. There were paeans of love to the late warmonger John McCain and even an appearance from his widow. A special segment was set aside for Republicans like John Kasich whose speech was used in part to beat down progressives and make clear that Joe Biden wants nothing to do with them. Not to be outdone with Kasich and McCain’s ghost, war criminal Colin Powell was dragged out to put the bipartisan imperialist seal of approval on Biden.

The convention was high on production value but skimpy on details. Speaker after speaker repeated that Donald Trump is a very bad, terrible, awful, pandemic denier who cozies up to dictators. They didn’t say how they would undo his evil deeds or make life better for the average person in this country. The awful Biden slogan of Build Back Better is meaningless. That of course is why they use it. The slogan may as well be He’s Not Trump because that is all the Democrats had to say.

“War criminal Colin Powell was dragged out to put the bipartisan imperialist seal of approval on Biden.”

No one knows that there are any Biden Republicans. The presence of Republicans at the convention and a handful of prominent people known colloquially as “never Trumpers” didn’t help Hillary Clinton in 2016. New York Senator Charles Schumer can never live down his 2016 prediction. “For every blue-collar Democrat we will lose in western Pennsylvania we will pick up two, three moderate Republicans in the suburbs of Philadelphia and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.” The Democrats are letting us know two things. One, they are de facto Republicans and seek out Republican voters by espousing conservative policies. Two, they aren’t particularly concerned about losing. They hope to thread the needle and win by using a strategy proven to be a failure. But devotion to their donors and their interests outweigh everything else, including winning. Disappearing any expectation of progressive policies is a victory for them.

The serious Democratic campaign took place earlier this year, when the party establishment took great pains to defeat Bernie Sanders. Black people were played by their misleaders into supporting the same neo-liberal policies that are destroying their lives. It was not difficult to do with a voting block that has whittled down its demands to just one, keeping Republicans out of office. Black primary voters were the marks in the con game, as the Democrats coalesced around Biden and Sanders agreed to play the role of dupe.

“Black people were played by their misleaders into supporting the same neo-liberal policies that are destroying their lives.”

Lest we forget, Barack Obama once declared himself to be a “moderate Republican.” Not that he needed to say it after repeatedly proclaiming his admiration for Ronald Reagan. There should be no surprise that his party now dispenses with any pretense. If Democrats choose to vote for Biden it should be with honesty and eyes wide open. There will be no holding feet to the fire, moving anyone left, or expecting Medicare for All or a minimum wage increase. A Republican will be inaugurated president in January 2021. No one should expect anything different.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

In the Midst of Covid-19, Elites Have Begun to Prepare For the Uprising.

20 May

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Maybe it’s time we do!

In the wake of a global pandemic that has left ninety thousand people dead and brought tens of millions of people to their knees financially here in the United States, it should go without saying that in the richest nation on earth, the citizens should be able to look to the government for some relief during these unprecedented and traumatic times.

One need only look at the HEROES Act that recently passed the Democratic Majority House of Representatives for the latest example of how our government has failed to take wellbeing of the American people in to consideration. No paycheck guarantee act, no recurring $2000 checks for the duration of the crisis, no automatic stabilizers, and no improvements to ensure people get the relief they need more quickly and efficiently.

With a record 30 million people filing for unemployment over the past couple of months and losing health insurance along with their jobs, at a time when 78 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck before this crisis even began, desperation is growing with each passing day. Government inaction makes it increasingly clear that we will be starved in to submission. The people who have made this the richest, most profitable country on the planet will be sent back to work, risking not only our lives and health but that of our family and friends as well while the government hands the taxpayer money that our labor generated to big banks and corporations. At the same time that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is reportedly projected to become the world’s first trillionaire, his company has cut the measly two dollar an hour hazard pay for his workers.

The American government and the elites who they work for are playing with fire, so no wonder they’ve begun to prepare for the uprising that’s coming.

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Lee Fang at The Intercept writes:

“The Federal government has ramped up security and police-related spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including issuing contracts for riot gear, disclosures show.

The purchase orders include requests for disposable cuffs, gas masks, ballistic helmets, and riot gloves, along with law enforcement protective equipment for federal police assigned to protect Veterans Affairs facilities. The orders were expedited under a special authorization “in response to Covid-19 outbreak.”

The Veterans Affairs department, which manages nearly 1,500 health care care facilities around the country, has also extended special contracts for coronavirus-related security services.While the pandemic has coincided with a historic drop in violent crime across the country, analysts have expressed concern that the rapid spread of the virus will fuel confrontations.

There have been multiple inmate riots in response to Covid-19 outbreaks in prisons and jails, which have become dangerous hotspots for the disease. The economic upheaval and disagreements over coronavirus-related policy have also fueled demonstrations across the country.

…The federal funding requests contrast sharply with the rosy rhetoric from President Donald Trump, who has lavished himself with praise for his response to the crisis and issued optimistic predictions that recovery is around the corner. Last month, the federal government secured a contract to purchase 100,000 body bags to dispose of deaths related to the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Every step along the way as this crisis has unfolded, the American people have been treated as nothing more than collateral damage. Whether it be the Trump administration turning down an offer for millions of masks back in January, Nancy Pelosi seeking to bail out health insurance companies after the bundled “donations” to the democratic party from their lobbyists, or Mitch McConnell saying he has not yet felt the “sense of urgency” for a new stimulus bill as countless people miss another rent or mortgage payment, at this point it’s certainly fair to say that our government’s actions or lack thereof have been nothing less than criminal.

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If the elites are beginning to prepare for what they clearly know is coming in response to how this crisis has been handled, then perhaps it’s time for us to get ready as well.

For far too long, as a society we have been conditioned to shrug our shoulders and accept that there’s really nothing we can do. For far too long, we have bene conditioned to forget that when a government fails its citizens — as the declaration of independence stated — it is our right, it is our duty to throw off such government. With each passing day, it becomes more and more apparent that we may have no other choice but to do just that. As surreal as it feels to consider, I’m not sure we are in a political or economic situation we’ll ever be able to vote ourselves out of, especially knowing that the government is already preparing to defend it. For months I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that the powers that be have been daring the American people to bring on the pitchforks and guillotines.

With each escalation of the class warfare being waged against the American people, it’s as fascinating as it is frightening to think of what they so clearly see coming right around the corner.

Lu Hanessian, MSc medium.com/@luhanessian

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Are We There Yet? “TRUE REVOLUTION COMES FROM TRUE REVULSION; When things get bad enough the Kitten will kill the Lion” Bukowski; New & Used Left Wing & Progressive Books, Memorabilia – http://www.facebook.com/Fahrenheit451bookstore/

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