Progressive Calendar 11.16.11 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 12:10:56 -0800 (PST)
P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.16.11

1. Sustain films    11.16 7pm
2. Green strategy 11.16 7pm

3. Chris Hedges   - This is what revolution looks like
4. Charles Pierce - A militarized force takes Zucotti for the economic elite
5. ed                   - Three wolves  (a story)

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From:Curt McNamara <mcnam025 [at]>
subject: Sustain films 11.16 7pm

Celebrate Sustainability Films Wed. November 16 2011

Sustainable transportation alternatives that address the crises of
automobile culture and fossil fuel: existing technologies, to long-term
urban planning, to economic incentives

All films shown in Auditorium 150 at 7 p.m. Free!
MCAD 2501 Stevens Ave. S. Mpls. MN

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fromHolle Brian holleb [at]
subject: Green strategy 11.16 7pm

There will be a meeting to discuss 2012 GP campaign strategy this
Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 7-9 p.m. at Sibley Park Community Center, 1900
East 40th Street in Minneapolis.

Topics will include candidate recruitment for state and federal offices;
redistricting update; and the role of the GP in campaign support. The
meeting is open to all GP members and supporters. We hope to make this
event ongoing, either monthly or more frequently, for the next few months.
 Holle Brian Minneapolis, MN 612-822-6593 holleb [at]

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Published on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by TruthDig
This Is What Revolution Looks Like
by Chris Hedges

Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have
nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress
but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk
but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the
water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes
that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks
in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future.

Occupy DenverOur decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland,
Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise.
They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of
personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we
will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime
and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in
America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth
protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of
millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of
collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the
poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and
children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the
voice of the people is a cruel joke.

Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies,
absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on
television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular
entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful
for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy,
greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your
young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that
provide corporations with huge profits. Stand by mutely as our bipartisan
congressional super committee, either through consensus or cynical
dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services
including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street.

The rogues’ gallery of Wall Street crooks, such as Lloyd Blankfein at
Goldman Sachs, Howard Milstein at New York Private Bank & Trust, the media
tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase
& Co., no doubt think it’s over. They think it is back to the business of
harvesting what is left of America to swell their personal and corporate
fortunes. But they no longer have any concept of what is happening around
them. They are as mystified and clueless about these uprisings as the
courtiers at Versailles or in the Forbidden City who never understood until
the very end that their world was collapsing. The billionaire mayor of New
York, enriched by a deregulated Wall Street, is unable to grasp why people
would spend two months sleeping in an open park and marching on banks. He
says he understands that the Occupy protests are “cathartic” and
“entertaining,” as if demonstrating against the pain of being homeless and
unemployed is a form of therapy or diversion, but that it is time to let
the adults handle the affairs of state. Democratic and Republican mayors,
along with their parties, have sold us out. But for them this is the
beginning of the end.

The historian Crane Brinton in his book “Anatomy of a Revolution” laid out
the common route to revolution. The preconditions for successful
revolution, Brinton argued, are discontent that affects nearly all social
classes, widespread feelings of entrapment and despair, unfulfilled
expectations, a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite, a
refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the
ruling class, an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of
citizens, a steady loss of will within the power elite itself and
defections from the inner circle, a crippling isolation that leaves the
power elite without any allies or outside support and, finally, a financial
crisis. Our corporate elite, as far as Brinton was concerned, has amply
fulfilled these preconditions. But it is Brinton’s next observation that is
most worth remembering. Revolutions always begin, he wrote, by making
impossible demands that if the government met would mean the end of the old
configurations of power. The second stage, the one we have entered now, is
the unsuccessful attempt by the power elite to quell the unrest and
discontent through physical acts of repression.

Occupy Oakland. I have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and
revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America
to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian
uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as
well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all
tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed
they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked
force. The vast million-person bureaucracy of the internal security and
surveillance state will not be used to stop terrorism but to try and stop

Despotic regimes in the end collapse internally. Once the foot soldiers who
are ordered to carry out acts of repression, such as the clearing of parks
or arresting or even shooting demonstrators, no longer obey orders, the old
regime swiftly crumbles. When the aging East German dictator Erich Honecker
was unable to get paratroopers to fire on protesting crowds in Leipzig, the
regime was finished. The same refusal to employ violence doomed the
communist governments in Prague and Bucharest. I watched in December 1989
as the army general that the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had depended on to
crush protests condemned him to death on Christmas Day. Tunisia’s Ben Ali
and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak lost power once they could no longer count on the
security forces to fire into crowds.

The process of defection among the ruling class and security forces is slow
and often imperceptible. These defections are advanced through a rigid
adherence to nonviolence, a refusal to respond to police provocation and a
verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police, no matter how awful they can
be while wading into a crowd and using batons as battering rams against
human bodies. The resignations of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s deputy, Sharon
Cornu, and the mayor’s legal adviser and longtime friend, Dan Siegel, in
protest over the clearing of the Oakland encampment are some of the first
cracks in the edifice. “Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its
government facilitators,” Siegel tweeted after his resignation.

There were times when I entered the ring as a boxer and knew, as did the
spectators, that I was woefully mismatched. Ringers, experienced boxers in
need of a tuneup or a little practice, would go to the clubs where
semi-pros fought, lie about their long professional fight records, and toy
with us. Those fights became about something other than winning. They
became about dignity and self-respect. You fought to say something about
who you were as a human being. These bouts were punishing, physically
brutal and demoralizing. You would get knocked down and stagger back up.
You would reel backwards from a blow that felt like a cement block. You
would taste the saltiness of your blood on your lips. Your vision would
blur. Your ribs, the back of your neck and your abdomen would ache. Your
legs would feel like lead. But the longer you held on, the more the crowd
in the club turned in your favor. No one, even you, thought you could win.
But then, every once in a while, the ringer would get overconfident. He
would get careless. He would become a victim of his own hubris. And you
would find deep within yourself some new burst of energy, some untapped
strength and, with the fury of the dispossessed, bring him down. I have not
put on a pair of boxing gloves for 30 years. But I felt this twinge of
euphoria again in my stomach this morning, this utter certainty that the
impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall.

© 2011 Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.

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A Militarized Force Takes to Zuccotti for the Economic Elite
By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire
 15 November 11

Our right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances, and how you
may do it, and what you may say, will be defined by the police power of the
state, backed by its political establishment and the business elite. They
will define "acceptable" forms of public protest, even (and especially)
public protest against them. This is the way it is now. This is the way it
has been for some time. It's just that people didn't notice. And that was
the problem with the Occupy protests. They resisted the marginalization -
both literal physical marginalization, and the kind of intellectual
marginalization that keeps real solutions to real problems out of our
kabuki political debates. They could not be ignored. In 1831, the
abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wrote of his own cause:

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there
not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising
as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write,
with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a
moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of
the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire
into which it has fallen; - but urge me not to use moderation in a cause
like the present. I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not
excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - AND I WILL BE HEARD.

That was the real problem with the Occupy people. They were being heard.

Late last night, the New York Police Department, apparently decked out for
a confrontation with the Decepticons, cleared Zuccotti Park of the campers
who had occupied it for nearly three months. It was, as all of these things
have been, a fully militarized operation, launched with a maximum of
surprise by armored tactical police who even brought a helicopter, in case
they needed air support. They also uncrated all their exotic toys for the
occasion. The operation netted the police about 100 arrests, and it is
being said that it went off peacefully, although accounts on that do vary.
(Keeping the press out while the action is being taken is a particular
tell.) The action followed several days of similar operations in Oakland,
and Denver, and St. Louis, and a particularly nasty bit of business in
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where authorities appeared to require a
tactical unit with automatic weapons to protect an abandoned building. All
of them took the place by surprise, and in the middle of the night. These
are basic military tactics.

The former car dealership building at 419 W. Franklin St. is owned by
Fayetteville businessman Joe Riddle and has stood empty for many years. The
town condemned it Monday as unfit for human habitation.

Nice that they could finally get around to that. Urban blight? Okay. Urban
blight containing political protest? Not Okay. Got it.

In almost every case, there was the ritual defense of the First Amendment
by the nervous mayors who sent in the riot cops. There was the assertion
that they were only acting in the interest of public safety and public
health. The mayor of Portland, Sam Adams - proof enough that the Almighty
has a deft touch with historical irony - seems like a decent enough skin.
He makes as cogent an argument as you can on Twitter that the Occupy
movement needs to get beyond simply occupying physical space, which is true

(Although fobbing the whole thing off on "Washington" seems to be ducking
the issue. Income inequality is everywhere. The theft of the nation's
wealth was the theft of the wealth of the entire nation. That's been the
whole point. Should the protests against the Vietnam War been restricted to
the area around the Pentagon? Should every civil-rights march been confined
to the National Mall?)

Unfortunately, it's hard for people to hear reason from a mayor who's about
to set upon them a faceless force in body armor that seems to have beamed
in from Mars. Like all the other mayors in all the other cities, Mayor Sam
is being led around by his "business community" and his police force. Never
has civilian control over our thoroughly militarized urban police forces
seemed so tenuous. Never have we seemed so close to being subject to a
private police force that answers, primarily, to the economic power of the
financial elite.

Some mayors don't care. Michael Bloomberg in New York clearly steps to the
tune called by his peers, and by the New York Post, the local franchise in
a vast criminal enterprise run by an Aussie T&A merchant. Mayor Sam out in
Portland at least seems to have a vestigial conscience about what he was
forced to do. The matter rests in New York with the courts, and the
protesters won a preliminary victory there this morning. But the precedent
has been set, all over the country: Public protest shall be polite, quiet,
and invisible, and that is the way they will let us be free.

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                                               THREE WOLVES

   The three wolves ran down the corporate executive.

   One of the wolves was bleeding. Look, that lousy CEO bit me!

   I warned you Cal, said Jack. Look closely, their teeth and claws are
even sharper than ours. That’s why, to be safe, it takes three of us to one
of them.

   Scary, said Gus.

   They drew bones. The shortest – Gus – had to cut the CEO in three equal
pieces, then take last choice. He unwrapped their mail-order Popeil Pocket
CEO Slicer and plugged it in. Thank god for rural electrification he said.
Zip snap zap and it was done.

   The bones give me first choice, said Jack, and took two of the three

   Hey, that’s not fair! howled Cal and especially Gus, who stood to get
nothing at all to eat. Every member gets a share! It says so in the rules!

   No, it’s not there, said Jack. You may think it is, but it isn’t. Take a

   So Cal and Gus snuffled through the Rule Book. While they were doing
that, Jack wolfed down one whole share and part of another. Gus and Cal,
disgusted, slammed the book shut; Jack was right, the rule wasn’t there.
What a howler, said Gus.

   Why did you do this, Jack? You’re usually so fair, asked Cal.

   Well, yeah, but CEOs are especially delicious morsels. They sit around
all day doing nothing, eating expensive food and getting massages just like
those fancy cattle. Yum! And they’re relatively rare. The other ones – the
ones they make work for them – are full of gristle and biologically
destructive chemicals. You’ve tasted them.

   Yuk! barfed Cal. Pa-tooey! spat Gus.

   Now just touch a paw to any part of this big soft butt I saved to show
you. Tender – juicy - marbled, entirely delicious! Bigger than a giant
puffball. Here – each of you can have a sample.

   Ohh! said Cal, and smacked his lips.

   Ahh! said Gus. That’s what I want for Christmas!

   I’ll show you, said Jack, the happy hunting ground where we can feast
like that as long as we live.

   Where? Where! yipped Cal and Gus.

   Follow me! barked Jack.

   They ran all out for several miles, slowed down as they got closer,
stopped and waited for darkness, then skulked up and into the MegaCorp
Forest Parking Ramp.

   Police the next morning figured out where they had gone by the shining
trail of drool.

-11.14.11 des


                                                     Shove Grove
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