Newsletter - Time To Ask Who We Are

It's Our Future

By Margaret Flower and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. The United States has reached a turning point. Where we turn is dependent on what we do as people to determine our future. Neither of the major political parties are going to adequately solve the crises we face. This is a time to examine and discuss some fundamental issues: who we are and who we want to be. Out of crises come opportunities to put bold solutions in place. We are calling for a People’s Agenda. We have the power to make changes in this country that completely alter the course of our nation and the world. We can say no to genocide against Native Americans. We can end systemic racism. We can demand respect for the human rights of all people. We can promote peace and prosperity for all. We can solve the climate crisis. It is up to us and how we organize in our communities. At the heart of the success of popular movements is what we have advocated – the building of a broad and diverse unified movement that is active and has built national consensus for the changes we wish to see.

Newsletter: Turn Widespread Discontent Into Mass Movement

RiseUp

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. With the election of Donald Trump as president the struggle continues for economic, racial and environmental justice. We knew we would be in struggle no matter who was elected and have been calling for #NoHoneymoon protests for months. We also support calls made for protests in the days before the inauguration and after them. We expect to see a growing presidency of protest under Trump as the movement will grow and continue to demand justice, human rights and a people-based democracy. We need to build now, provide a vision and have conversations at the local level so when the attacks on our communities occur and false promises of Donald Trump are made obvious people know where they can turn. We can turn widespread discontent into a mass movement with the power to transform the nation.

Newsletter: Time For Boldness, Clarity & Assertiveness

People have the power; protest in Ferguson City Hall in 2014.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. In this moment, the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice needs be bold, clear and assertive in putting forth an agenda that will serve the economically dispossessed, those under attack by militarized police, immigrants facing detentions and deportations and demonstrate policies that ensure economic security. Where Trump is right, as in detente with Russia, the movement will support him against the neocons and humanitarian war supporters; and we will push him further for an end to war as the primary tool of foreign policy. Both parties are confronting major fissures, leadership challenges and questions about where they go from here. Their confused leadership provides an opportunity for the popular movement to fill the leadership void with policies that put people, planet and peace over profit.

Newsletter: Solidarity With #NoDAPL Strengthens All Of Us

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Once again, as happened repeatedly over hundreds of years of struggle by Indigenous Peoples, the United States is using a militarized response against people seeking to protect the land and water and standing up for their human rights and justice. The militarized police are collaborating with oil companies and Indigenous people are having their civil rights trampled. The Water Protectors wrote the Department of Justice telling them about Indigenous drivers being harassed, the police conducting intrusive strip searches for minor offenses like trespass, the use of unlicensed guard dogs against protesters, as well as the use of military vehicles and militarized law enforcement. As Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault wrote “rather than seeking to keep the peace, law enforcement personnel are clearly working in tandem with private security of Dakota Access”who are escalating the conflict with peaceful water protectors.

Newsletter: Time To Stop The Next War Now

Syria don't bomb

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. There is another drumbeat growing for the United States to go to war. The media is walking in lockstep with bi-partisans in Washington, DC and with the war profiteers to this end. The likely next president, Hillary Clinton, is calling for escalation in Syria with a no fly zone that risks conflict with Russia, a nation she has been demonizing.Gulf of Tonkin How often has the United States been misled into war? How often have the people of the United States been lied to about the need for war, e.g. using a “humanitarian crisis” to justify mass slaughter and the creation of a failed state as in Libya; Weapons of Mass Destruction that did not exist in Iraq leading to a war that created much of the chaos that exists in the region today; and the 9/11 attack that has led to the longest war in US history when it should have led to the arrest of the prime suspect, Osama bin Laden, and his trial in the Hague.

Newsletter - Outing The Prison-Industrial Complex

Prison Industrial Complex toon

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. What do you call a system in which private entities partner with law enforcement to spy on peaceful protesters and arrest them, in which the poor and people of color are preyed upon to meet private prison quotas in order to provide slave labor, in which drug use is treated as a crime rather than the public health issue that it is, and in which police are heavily militarized and violate the law without being held accountable? Like the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex (PIC) has become a behemoth that feeds personal and corporate profits through human exploitation. Its tentacles reach into many parts of our society. It is necessary to understand how the many aspects of the PIC operate in order to confront it and stop it from swallowing up our families and communities.

Newsletter: Elections Expose the Oligarchs

Democracy Not Oligarchy

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The 2016 presidential election has shown how the duopoly, the two parties that represent big business interests and the wealthiest, are corrupted in ways that prevent the people’s voices from being heard, their necessities being met and the planet being protected from human greed. During the campaigns, leaks have given people a behind-the-scenes look at how the parties operate and research on the candidates shows their personal failures. They give voters an image of elites who behave as if the law does not apply to them and who put themselves ahead of the public interest. Last Friday was a day of embarrassment for both the Republican and Democratic Parties. A tape showing Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault in lewd ways has gotten the bulk of attention, but Wikileaks also released thousands of pages of The Podesta Emails, 2,060 emails and 170 attachments. John Podesta is the ultimate insider.

Newsletter: Living In The Illusion Of Democracy

Illusion of Democracy

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The hubris and manipulation of the two establishment parties is evident in the presidential debates. The two Wall Street funded parties decide who is allowed to participate in the debates. The so-called debate ‘commission’ is a disguise of the Democratic and Republican parties. It is a commission in name only, in reality it is a corporation created by the two parties and controlled by the two parties. When the disguise is removed, it becomes obvious that the Democrats and Republicans are choosing to only debate Democrats and Republicans, and preventing any competition. In 1988, the Republican co-founder, Frank Fahrenkopf, who remains a co-chair, indicated at the news conference announcing the ‘commission’ that they were “not likely to look with favor on including third-party candidates in the debates.” The New York Times quoted the Democratic co-founder, Paul Kirk, saying: “As a party chairman, it’s my responsibility to strengthen the two-party system.”

Newsletter – Five Years Later

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This will be a brief newsletter this week because we are both on the road. Margaret is running for US Senate for Maryland, Green Party, and she is touring the state to spread the word about her and meet voters. Kevin has taken a temporary leave of absence from Popular Resistance to work for the Jill Stein campaign as a senior adviser. Five years ago we organized the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC with a goal of raising awareness that the problems we face in the US are systemic and that we must build a social movement and the culture of resistance if we are to solve them. We didn’t expect to get involved in electoral politics, but the time has come when majorities of people in the US are sick of the corporate parties and are ready for a change. We believe that there needs to be a political party that reflects the values of the movement and so we are working to build it.

Newsletter - Don't Be Fooled By Profiteers Option

Healthcare for All march 2

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. ‘Progressive’ senators and organizations launched an effort to revive the ‘public option’ this week to salvage the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is critical, if we are to solve the ongoing healthcare crisis in the US, that we are not fooled by what is actually the Profiteer’s Option that will be another gift to the insurance industry. We must unite instead and fight, just as we fight to stop pipelines and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for the solution, national improved Medicare for All, a single payer system that nearly two-thirds of people in the US support. The public option not only adds more bureaucracy it results in patients who need healthcare going toward the public option, while the private insurers use their marketing propaganda to keep wealthier patients and healthier patients in their system. In that way the private insurance takes in more money in premiums and has to pay out less for healthcare. So, while this is sold to us as a step toward single payer, that is false propaganda. The public option is really the Profiteer’s Option.

Newsletter - On 9/11, Facing The Truth

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centers in New York where 3,000 people died. The immediate responses to the attack were panic, grief and ultra-nationalism, followed by illegal attacks on Afghanistan and then Iraq. Perhaps now that 15 years has passed, we should look back at the events and review decisions that were made in hopes of avoiding mistakes in the future. The leading presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, seem stuck on the same path we have been on for 15 years — is more militarism the right path? Have war and military attacks made the region more stable, the United States more secure, reduced terrorism, prevented instability in Europe due to the refuege crisis? Or, has the path of militarism made all of this worse?

Newsletter: Labor Day Time To Build Worker Power

Low Wage Protest

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Private-sector workers who are members of a union have fallen from 1 in 3 workers in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today. Politics is about power and the loss of organized worker power has meant a loss in political power for all workers and a loss of wealth, income and benefits. In recent years, there have been strong signs that labor is getting more organized and militant in fighting for worker rights. They have linked worker issues to other issues, e.g. racial injustice, climate change and creating stronger communities; and are showing signs of resurrection. Recent years have seen aggressive attacks against workers: pension funds are raided, health benefits are cut or ended, the right to collective bargaining is destroyed and social services are cut. This is dramatic and needs to be reversed.

Newsletter: Standing For Justice, Unity For Power & Inspiring Each Other

Protest in Bismark, ND against Dakota Pipeline 8-16

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The latest chapter in the US war against Indigenous Peoples of this land is being fought by more than 90 tribes in North Dakota against a pipeline that threatens water, air and land, including sacred sites. Indigenous Peoples understand that the environment is to be respected and that to destroy it for corporate profit goes against nature and against ourselves. People’s Climate March indigenous @Peoples_Climate People’s Climate March indigenous @Peoples_Climate Indigenous Peoples have lived in what is now called North America for more than 10,000 years. They were the first human inhabitants. In comparison, the United States is not even 250 years old. Ever since colonizers from Europe came to these lands 600 years ago, Indigenous Peoples have paid a heavy price.

Newsletter: #NoHoneymoon, A Presidency Of Protest

Stage on first day of Occupy Washington, DC at Freedom Place, October 2011.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The task of the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice is much bigger than the presidential election. Our job is to build people power to ensure that no matter who is the next president, the people’s voices are heard and our demands are part of the political agenda. We urge organizers and advocates across the nation to begin to plan a campaign beginning in early 2017 and carrying on through the inauguration to ensure that right from the beginning the people’s voices are a dominant narrative. The #NoHoneymoon campaign will take various forms in communities across the country. Talk to your networks of activists and plan what would work best in your community. The creativity and energy that comes from diverse leadership has surprised the nation before and can do so again.

Newsletter: On To The General Election, Surprises Ahead

Hillary has blood on her hands protest DNC from PhillyMag

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The make-up of elections are almost complete with only a few primary races and the Green Party National Convention (August 4-7 in Houston), where Jill Stein’s running mate will be announced, remaining. Otherwise we know the candidates that will be with us for the next three months and the potential presidents who will almost assuredly be the focus of mobilizations for the next four years. While Bernie Sanders is no longer running for office and has shifted his energy to working to elect Hillary Clinton, many in the Bernie or Bust Movement have shifted to Jill or Bust, with the initial goal to get Jill Stein into the highly restrictive (and anti-democratic) debates.