Progressive Calendar 10..15.11 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 12:13:40 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   10.15.11

1. Book festival         10.15 10-5pm
2. Art for peace         10.15 10-4pm
3. Afghan war march 10.15 1:30pm
4. CUAPB                10.15 1:30pm
5. People's Plaza      10.15 2pm
6. WashCo Greens    10.15 2pm
7. Northtown vigil       10.15 2pm
8. Occupy Wall/Work 10.15 7pm
9. Guatermala/film     10.15 7pm

10. Al Engler - Capitalism and the alternative
11. ed           - Make the pie higher  (cinquain)

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Book festival 10.15 10-5

SAT.OCT. 15:Twin Cities Book Festival 10am to 5pm
MINNEAPOLIS COMMUNITY & Techincal College, down town Minneapolis

By Melissa Wray

Rain Taxi's Twin Cities Book Festival is a perfect whirlwind sampler of
Minnesota's literary world. Start off the day by rubbing elbows with local
writers at the Morning Mixer, which will feature Lightsey Darst, Geoff
Herbach, Patricia Wrede, and John Reimringer. Then take in some readings,
including one from frequent NPR contributor and American Book Award winner
Diana Abu-Jaber, who will be talking about her most recent novel, Birds of
Paradise. Steven Pinker, Tess Gallagher, and Ben Katchor will also be giving
talks during the day. The liveliest part of the festival, the Exhibit and
Book Fair, is where you can meet local publishers, authors, editors, and
other literary aficionados. If you're hungry for more, check out a panel
talk. Two will have a local focus, while the third is all about the craft of
writing mysteries. One promising lecture, titled This Must Be the Place:
Representing Minnesota, spotlights poet Steve Healey, cartoonist Kevin
Cannon, photographer Wing Young Huie, novelist Mary Rockcastle, and
young-adult author Susan Niz, and is moderated by Star Tribune book editor
Laurie Hertzel. The five panelists will explore how they represent our
lovely state through their work. Of course, there are still countless author
signings, if you're still standing. For more info, visit
(Photo by RLHyde)
Price: free
 Minneapolis Community and Technical College
1501 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN 55403-1710 612-659-6000 | Website

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From: Judy Miller <jhm828 [at]>
Art for peace 10.15 10-4

You're invited to Art for Peace, a Twin Cities art show and sale to benefit
Nonviolent Peaceforce's civilian peacekeeping initiatives around the world.
Come invest in art and peace.
 This is a show and auction of very fine art.  The Nonviolent Peaceforce
cause is the placement of international peacemakers in foreign countries
badly in need of peacemaking teams. Go to Nonviolent peacemakers
project.orgThe originator of the organization 10 years ago was Mel
Duncan of St. Paul.
 The trained volunteers are now in four different countries: Sri Lanka,
Phillipines, South Sudan, and South Caucasus, in the south of Russia.
Art for Peace Continues: Saturday, October 15, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Admission on Saturday is free.
Art for Peace will take place at:
House of Hope Church 797 Summit Ave St. Paul, MN 55105
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Afghan war march 10.15 1:30pm

Rally and March: Protest Ten Years of U.S. War in Afghanistan
1:30 p.m.
Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue, Minneapolis
Bring All the Troops and War Dollars Home Now!
Join others at a march in the Twin Cities to participate in a day of
nationally coordinated anti-war protests to mark ten years of the U.S. war
in Afghanistan with a call to an immediate end of the war.
End the U.S. wars and interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya,
Yemen! Funds for jobs, schools and housing, not for war! End U.S. aid for
the occupation of Palestine! Opposing war is not a crime: stop FBI
harassment of anti-war activists!
Organized by: the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC). WAMM is a member
of MPAC.
Info: 612-522-1861 or contact the W A M M office.

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From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 10.15 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue
South <>
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

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Eric Angell
People's Plaza 10.15 2pm

this is an announcement that there are likely to be actions at People's
Plaza (formerly known as the Hennepin County Government Center) today in
support of folks needing to sleep in a warmer environment than the outdoors
allow and to highlight the local results of massive home
foreclosures around the US.planned actions warrant your presence:
non-violent CD IS PLANNED for the evening.(exact time is not known)

please plan to go to the People's Plaza by 2pm for a CD training or, at
least, by 4 for a rally in support of the 99% and housing for all.
thank you... the time to put your body where your mouth is is now, and,
the greater the turnout, the safer things will be too!
in solidarity,eric

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Bob Schmitz
WashCo Greens 10.15 2pm

Anyone from Washington County interested in helping us develop a Washington
County Green Party is invited to attend our next organizational meeting in
the Oakdale Library on 10/15 at 2p.m.
The Library is located about three blocks east of 694 and 10th St exit.  It
is just north of the corner of 10th and Heron, and is visible from 10th.

RSVP to Bob Schmitz at allibobi [at] or call Bob at 612 245-3357.  
you live in S. Washington Co you might rsvp to AJ Janssen at
ajjanssenmn [at]   We had a successful booth at the Washington Co Fair
and would like to build on that experience.

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From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.15 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

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From: jtmiller
Occupy Wall/Work 10.15 7pm

Working Democracy Discussion Forum:
>From "Occupy Wall Street" to "Occupy the Workplaces"
How protest against the effects of capitalism can become a movement to
eliminate the cause of inequality and create a democratic economic system.

Saturday, October 15, 2011 7:00 PM
Mayday Books 301 Cedar Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55454

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Guatermala/film 10.15 7pm

Saturday Oct 15 - 7pm
The Business of Gold - Guatemala
7:00 PM
About The Business of Gold documentary - 50 min

Even as the government of Guatemala was signing the 1996 "Peace Accords", it
was - unbeknownst to the Guatemala population - giving out hundreds of
mining concessions to international (mainly Canadian) mining companies.
Since the early 2000s, serious conflicts have broken out in Guatemala - as
well as else-where in Central America - due to the environmental and health
harms and other violations of human and indigenous rights being caused by
mainly Canadian mining companies. "The Business of Gold in Guatemala" (50
minutes) documents one struggle - the resistance of the Mayan-Mam people of
San Miguel Ixtahuacan against the Canadian company Goldcorp Inc.

- Documentary: El Negocio del Oro/Guatemala - Teach In
Organized by: Casa Maiz
Where: Casa Maíz - 1280 Finch Ave. W.

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Capitalism and the Alternative
by Al Engler
October 14th, 2011
Dissident Voice

Capitalism is a system that gives major shareholders and top corporate
executives—one per cent or less of populations—the right to direct means of
livelihood in their private interests. The system’s dominant institutions
are corporations. Deemed in law to be individual persons, corporations
actually combine the capital of numerous shareholders with the intention of
dominating markets.

Corporations are privately owned capitalist collectives. The largest control
more revenues than most governments.  To maximize profits, corporations
expand production and introduce labour saving machinery, cut wages, and move
employment to places where labour is cheaper. A recurring result is that the
income of majorities who depend on labour falls as production increases.
With declining markets for consumer goods, capitalist investment turns to
financial speculation. Market crashes follow. Production facilities are shut
down. Unemployment worsens, more jobs are lost, wages are cut further.
Individual lives are disrupted. Communities are impoverished.

To deal with disaffection, the system relies on repression, militarism, and
war. Within countries, surveillance is expanded and tightened. The
marginalized, the dispossessed, and the disorderly are racialized and
demonized as criminals. More people are jailed for longer periods. Globally,
people who actively oppose the system are demonized as terrorists; countries
are bombed and occupied. Wars are highly profitable for well connected
corporations and divert attention from domestic divisions. Wars also glorify
the violent machismo that encourages the subjugation, abuse, and
marginalization of women.

Military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya increased sales of
B-52s, guided missiles, helicopter attack ships, aircraft carriers, and
drones. In the invaded countries, life was made worse. Power and water
plants, bridges, railways, communications systems, schools, neighborhoods
and entire towns were destroyed. Tens of thousands have been killed.
Millions have become refugees. Invading countries gain no tangible benefits,
but for politically influential aircraft and munitions corporations like
Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing profits did rise substantially.

Supporters of military action abroad claim it is humanitarian intervention.
In Haiti the aim of “the responsibility to protect” was to make the poorest
people in the western hemisphere so desperate that they would work for even
less. In 2004, the U.S., France, and Canada sent troops to remove Jean
Bertrand Aristide, the elected and widely popular President. Haiti was
occupied in the name of the UN Security Council. Haitian government and
municipal institutions were dismantled. Public workers lost their
employment. The minimum wage law was abolished; so was public transit.
Education was turned over to foreign aid organizations. With no functioning
public institutions, Haitians were left with no means to protect themselves
from hurricanes or to rebuild after major earthquakes.

Capitalism is at the root of growing environmental crises. Private
capitalist entitlement allows corporations to externalize environmental
costs, to pass these on to communities, workers, future generations, and
other species. Science has convincingly demonstrated that rising carbon
dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels disrupt weather patterns,
melt glaciers and polar ice caps, and acidify oceans. Still, major
transnational corporations continue to fund campaigns of denial.

When the supporters of capitalism concede the seriousness of carbon
emissions, they propose profit-making schemes (scams) like cap and trade, or
they insist that consumers are to blame and should pay. Here in BC,
corporate business supported the Campbell government’s carbon tax—paid by
final users of gasoline and heating oil. This ostensibly green policy fits
neatly with neoconservative plans to shift the tax burden from business to
working people. Meanwhile, the government increased tax-breaks and
write-offs for oil and gas exploration and development.

In capitalist rhetoric, unions, public sector workers, and local communities
are reactionary vested interests, opposed to change. From a human
perspective, capitalists are the most socially and environmentally
destructive vested interest. They shamelessly use their wealth and political
influence to increase their wealth by impoverishing others and blocking
changes that undermine the profits made from fossil-fueled production and

The working-class alternative

The working class—everyone who depends on labour not capital for their
income—has the capacity to challenge the right of capitalists to direct
social labour for their private profit. The working class includes wage and
salary workers and the self-employed—shopkeepers, owner operators, farmers,
and self-employed professionals, all whom depend on income from their
labour. Those without capitalist entitlements also include most artists,
artisans, full time parents, pensioners, students, the unemployed, and those
unable to work.

Being the overwhelming majority—everyone but the one per cent, 0.1 percent
or 5 percent who control and live off capital—the working class frees itself
only by freeing all. So long as some are exploited and oppressed, the
wellbeing of everyone who depends on income from labor is threatened. A
world of human equality requires the replacing of capitalist title with
human entitlement, corporate ownership with social ownership, and
master-servant relations with workplace democracy.

With equal human entitlement, residents of owning communities will replace
shareholders as the legal beneficiaries of means of livelihood. Social
labour will be motivated and directed not for private profit but for general
wellbeing. When all inhabitants including people whose livelihood depends on
tourism and organic agriculture, berry and mushroom pickers, scientists,
educators, parents, and students as well as manufacturing and resource
workers have a voice and equal vote in economic decisions, communities will
limit industrial activity to the carrying capacity of environments.

With social ownership means of livelihood will no longer be bought and sold
for private gain. Social ownership must be distinguished from state
ownership. State ownership as it exists continues the top-down command
structures of corporate capitalism.  Social ownership means ownership by
towns, neighborhoods, cities, regions, nations, and perhaps international
communities. Social ownership means democratic and transparent planning by
inhabitants for their wellbeing.

With workplace democracy workers in all occupations—machine operators,
clerical workers, trades people, administrators, professionals—will have a
voice and equal vote in the direction of their labour time. All occupations
will be self-regulated professions. Assembly line workers will have a voice
and vote in the direction of assembly-line work. Skilled trades people,
clerical workers, engineers, and administrators will democratically direct
their labour time. General assemblies of workers in all occupations may
elect managers; owning communities will elect or appoint auditors and
perhaps the directors of enterprise boards.

When capitalism is replaced with economic democracy, social labour and
economies will no longer be directed in the interests of capitalist profit.
When everyone is equally entitled to participate in economic decisions,
communities will aim to provide acceptable employment opportunities for all
available labour. No longer pressed to give priority to private profit,
communities will be freed to balance industrial activity with the carrying
capacity of environments.  The financial costs of social services will be
balanced with revenues generated in exchange. The cost of needed imports
will be balanced with exports.

Capitalism is based on market exchange, but capitalism should not be
confused with the latter. Markets flourished long before capitalism. Ending
capitalism does not mean abolishing market exchange. The working class has
an obvious interest in democratic control of means of livelihood and labour
time.  Majorities have an equally obvious interest in expanding social
entitlements—employment at decent wages, education, food, housing, health
care, child care,  leisure. However, people who depend on wages and salaries
cannot reasonably be expected to support the abolition of market exchange.
Half and more of working people are employed in the production and
distribution of goods and services for exchange.

The right of individuals and communities to freely exchange goods and
services with others—subject to democratically agreed taxes and
regulations—is and will remain a basic human right. The widest practical
access to supplies and markets is a major source of material wellbeing.
Perhaps when capitalist entitlement has become a distant memory, exchange
values and market forces will be anachronisms. Until then, communities from
the local to the international will aim to base trade on the exchange of
equivalents in labour time.

Three twentieth century dogmas have obscured the working-class alternative.
The first narrowly defined the working class as blue-collar industrial
workers. The second held that the alternative to competitive capitalism is
centralized state control. The third is that ending capitalism requires
armed revolution to seize state power.

Factory workers have a vital role in production and in mass movements
against the system, but production workers alone do not provide an
alternative to capitalism. The working class is far broader. It includes
blue collar, pink collar and white collar wage and salary workers—service
providers, skilled trades people, clerical workers, and professionals as
well as assembly line workers. When the self-employed are included, the
class of people without capitalist entitlement unquestionably does
everything necessary to initiate, plan, produce, transport, distribute, and
sustain the production of goods and services required for human wellbeing.

In the twentieth century, top-down centralized state control was generally
viewed as the alternative. The collapse of the Soviet Union and China’s
adoption of capitalist policies, did embolden corporate oligarchies. From a
working-class perspective the demise of what was called actually existing
socialism was not entirely negative. We no longer have to answer for
external alternatives that divide people. We can look for the alternative
within, in the working class, in the collective capacities and human
aspirations of overwhelming majorities everywhere.

The twentieth century identification of fundamental social change with armed
revolution did not inspire working-class opposition to capitalism. Violence
and disorder damage immediate and long-term working-class interests,
undermining employment, democracy, and human rights. Young men are maimed
and killed. Women and children are victimized, terrorized, and killed.  An
anti-capitalist working class will look not to armed struggle but to
strategies and tactics that rely on the energy, spirit, and knowledge of men
and women, on workplace organization, political action, and community

Extremists among wealth-holding minorities may initiate or provoke violence
to protect and advance their privileges. While people have an inherent human
right to defend themselves and their interests, the working-class response
is to look to mass support and to winning soldiers and police—who are
themselves wage and salary workers—to the side of working-class majorities.
Venezuela, Bolivia, Egypt, and Tunisia provide recent evidence that police,
soldiers and officers can be won to the side of majorities.

>From gross production to human wellbeing

So long as capitalism is unopposed, the working class appears dependent on
capital, but it is capital that depends on labour. Capitalists as
capitalists are drones; their function is to appropriate values produced by
others. Every activity required for human wellbeing is now done by the
working class—including the self-employed, as well as wage and salary
workers. What the working class lacks is the understanding that capitalism
is a house of paper entitlements that rests on the acquiescence of

Ideally, people who depend on labour for their livelihood would
overwhelmingly refuse to accept rule by, and in, the narrow interests of a
wealthy minority. Everyone would continue doing the work they now do, but
instead of submitting to master-servant relations, people in all
occupations—production, transportation, distribution, and sales people,
professionals, managers, day care workers, service providers, teachers,
accountants, nurses, and doctors—would democratically direct their labour
time. Instead of working for the profit of shareholders, they would work in
the interests of their communities.

Realistically, so long as capital is dominant substantial numbers will
believe that their relative wellbeing and status depend on capitalism. Many
will ignore capitalist privilege and see the enemy as the state, big
government, foreign countries, unions, the poor, minorities, immigrants,
liberals, Ivy League elites, feminists, older white men, communists,
anarchists, criminals, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus.

Seeing human equality, cooperation, and democracy as a realistic alternative
will encourage the disaffected to look to human solidarity, to respect
diversity and each other. It will deepen opposition to a system that gives
the interests of wealthy minorities priority over human and environmental
wellbeing. It will encourage community mobilizations, workplace
organization, and political action for gains and reforms that weaken
capitalist title and strengthen human entitlement. As such gains are made,
more men and women will be inspired to mobilize against the system.

In the second half of the twentieth century, a time of virulent
anti-communism, Keynesian reforms that improved living conditions did dampen
opposition to capitalism.  When motivated by visions of economic democracy,
movements for reforms that improve the quality of life can convince more
people that opposition to capitalism is practical.

The exact issues that will inspire mass mobilization against the system
cannot be predicted. We can start by campaigning for steeply graduated
income taxes. Rates of 75 per cent or higher on incomes over $250,000 a year
could increase government revenues by an equivalent of five per cent or more
of gross national income. The revenues raised would eliminate government
deficits and provide needed funding for social services, health care,
education, public transit, and renewal of needed public infrastructure.
Higher wealth and inheritance taxes can be similarly beneficial. Tobin taxes
on financial transactions and the re-regulation of international currency
and interest rates would reduce the negative impact of financial speculation
and raise more public revenues. Increasing tariffs enough to encourage
domestic production would further increase government revenues and weaken
the power of transnational capital over markets.

Supporters of the system claim that attempts to increase taxes on the rich
inevitably backfire because capital will move elsewhere. In fact,
capitalists invest where it is profitable. Capital does move in response to
marginal changes in profitability, but wherever we are, we are not alone.
Raising taxes on capital can inspire similar movements elsewhere,
potentially limiting the threat of capital flight and weakening the power of
capital to play regions and countries against others for their private

Public ownership of banks would direct savings away from speculative manias
to socially useful investments. Reversing privatizations, renewing public
ownership of utilities, transportation and communications systems, and
natural resources could methodically weaken the power of capital and
strengthen democratic control of means of livelihood.  Reforming political
campaign finance rules, lobbying regulations, electoral laws would reduce
the control capital now has over political agendas.

Local communities can take initiatives to set up cooperatives and community
owned financial institutions, social housing, electrical power and
communications utilities. Public support for local food production can make
people less dependent on the vagaries of capitalist markets.  Environmental
action can help ensure a better human future. Local, national, and
international mobilizations can help reduce dependence on fossil fuel and
replace automobiles with public transit and bicycles. Cities can be
reconfigured so that walking once again is a pleasant, healthy mode of daily

Community and workplace mobilizations in solidarity with First Nations,
racialized minorities, the marginalized, women, and immigrants will build
human bonds and help expose the mean-spirited divisiveness of
wealth-holders’ privilege. Support for policies that are intended to reduce
disparities increase global human cooperation. These include the right of
people to democratically direct their domestic markets as well as
international funding with no strings attached for education, housing,
health care, and infrastructure. Development should be directed not by
foreign agencies but people themselves. The aim is to help provide people
with capacity to help themselves.

The capacity of capitalists to use violence against working-class gains can
be reduced. Vocally supporting the work police do in protecting persons and
property, while exposing covert politically motivated policing, demanding
public accountability of the criminal justice system, and mobilizing against
police assaults on opponents of the system can help win police to the side
of the people. Supporting soldiers in the sacrifices they make while
opposing militarism and war can expose capitalist profiteering at the
expense of soldiers as well as of people abroad.

Unions will have critical roles in movements against capitalism. Workers not
represented by unions have no means to formulate their workplace interests
independent of capitalists.  Unions were organizing centres of campaigns for
freedom of assembly, association, speech, and the press, as well as the
right to vote for men and women. Unions are largely responsible for the
wages and working conditions that allow capitalism to claim it provides
rising living standards. Now in a time when capitalist interests are eroding
collective bargaining rights, unions have been preoccupied with conserving
past gains. Still unions have provided critical support for First Nations,
racialized minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and immigrants.

Revived opposition to capitalism may begin with the unemployed,
marginalized, dispossessed minorities, immigrants, or students. Wherever it
begins, rising opposition to capitalism will encourage workers already
organized for collective bargaining to join in solidarity. As opposition to
capitalism grows, more wage and salary workers will demand collective
bargaining rights. Revived unionism will convince more people that a
working-class alternative is practical.

Recent mass protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Wisconsin, Greece, and Israel show
that people will rally against repression, privatizations, public sector
layoffs, cuts to social programs, rising food costs and the high cost of
for-profit housing.  Immediate results may be disappointing, but as people
come to see that they are not alone in opposition to a system directed by
and for super-wealthy minorities, mass protests can turn into general
strikes and workplace occupations as well as into electoral gains for
democracy and equality.

Allan Engler is a Vancouver trade unionist and social and environmental
activist. His Economic Democracy, the working-class alternative to
capitalism was published earlier this year by Fernwood Books. Read other
articles by Al.

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 The Cinquain is a poetic form with syllables:

Here is one by ed:


I write
Four short words per
Line then six then eight. So
I safely conclude the next must
Be ten.


                                                       Shove Jove
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