Progressive Calendar 11.30.11 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 13:14:51 -0800 (PST)
  P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.30.11

1. Occupy Mpls 11.30 5:30pm
2. Kevin Zeese  - No to co-option: MoveOn is the opposite of the Occupy

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fromDave Bicking davebicking [at]
dateWed, Nov 30, 2011 at 6:14 AM
subject: Occupy Mpls 11.30 5:30pm

Occupy needs all of you tonight (Wednesday evening and overnight)

Dear friends,

After nearly two months on People's Plaza, Occupy Minneapolis is at a
critical point as we approach winter.  Can we retain the central strategy
that has distiguished the Occupy movement?  That strategy has been the
determination to not go away, to keep a visible and inconvenient (to the
authorities) presence in the heart of the financial district, as a base
for other actions.  No one could have imagined how successful that would
be in bringing people together, building support throughout the country
and the world, and changing the national conversation regarding inequality
and corporate domination.

Continuing this successful work through the winter, in Minnesota, means we
need some protection from the elements.  The right to peaceably assemble
is meaningless unless we have the right to survive while doing so.
Hennepin County is denying us the ability to exercise our rights, by
continuing to tighten their restrictions on our activities at the plaza.
So this evening, we will be challenging those restrictions:

***** Wednesday, November 30, 5:30 mass rally, followed by setting up and
occupying tents, continuing through the night and as long as possible:  99
Tents for the 99% Action, People's Plaza (also known as the Hennepin
County Government Plaza, by the LRT stop).  Details and complete
announcement below.

I think that this is very important - important enough that I plan to
occupy a tent and risk arrest for doing so.  I hope you will join us.  We
need as many people as possible who are ready to risk arrest.  The more
who do so, the less likely we are to actually be arrested.  Most people
can't or won't risk arrest, which is fine - we also need as large a
gathering as possible to support us and to convey the message that we are
determined to continue challenging the greed and corruption of the 1%.
Please come for the rally and stay as long as possible.  Or come at any
time during the evening or throughout the night.  It is critical to keep
our numbers up late at night when the police are most likely to take

While there can never be a guarantee, it is extremely unlikely that anyone
who wishes to avoid arrest will be either arrested or attacked.

Our right to shelter is critical to our right to assemble.  But we are not
asking special priveleges for ourselves.  The homeless who must sleep
outdoors should also have the right to erect tents or other shelter for
their comfort and protection.  It is not legal to sleep in a tent anywhere
in Minneapolis.  It is not even legal to sleep inside a cardboard box.
The police tend to be nasty and brutal when they enforce this.  This
system, this government, is truly evil.  We call for all to have the right
to shelter.  In fact, several of our strongest supporters, who spend the
most time with us at the plaza, have no other home to go to.  We need to
protect their rights as well.

There are those who are saying we should move along and adopt new
strategies as winter comes and the movement matures.  We ARE doing that,
of course.  In Mineapolis, we are occupying a foreclosed home, with more
to come.  There are other actions in the planning stage.  If we can't use
tents, we have some backup possibilities for where to stay, while
maintaining a much smaller presence on the plaza.  So we are not just
focusing on a desire to "camp".  I call it assembling, as in the First
Amendment; if I wanted to camp, I would go to a State Park!  Our focus
must be on our issues, but we shouldn't give up the very strategy that has
been so successful and gotten us to this point.  We will not be forced to
go away!

There is a coordinated, national effort to kill the Occupy movement.  The
last two weeks have seen evictions in dozens of cities.  As I write this,
police are mobilized to shut down Occupations in Philadelphia, Los
Angeles, and Oklahoma City.  Cities that used to allow tents are now
forbidding them.  Though there has been some lip service in support of the
organization and its goals, nearly all politicians are determined to
destroy this movement by any means necessary.  Nearly all politicians, no
matter what they may say, are reliable servants of the 1%.  Those who do
feel some personal sympathy for our cause are under tremendous pressure
from the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Council, and the banks.

The good news is, in spite of evictions and repression in dozens of
cities, I have not heard of a single city in which the authorities have
actually stopped an Occupation.  Everywhere, people regroup and return.
This is powerful.  We can be especially inspired by the incredible
determination and bravery of the people who have returned to occupy Tahrir
square in Egypt, as their revolution continues.

Fortunately the Occupy movement, here and nationally, has built a powerful
network of allies.  Now is the time for all those allies, both groups and
individuals, to defend our rights and our movement.

For those who have been to the plaza, tonight is the time to return in
support.  If you have never been to the plaza, please come down tonight.
In addition to offering support, it will be a great time to learn more
about what we are doing, meet the people, check out the kitchen, and feel
the solidarity.  For those who feel physically capable, please consider
spending an overnight at the plaza - tonight especially, but any night is
good.  When I have slept over, there have been 20 to 25 others.  Good
company, good conversation, and just a very good experience.  There is
lots of bedding available at the plaza; bring your own sleeping bag if
possible, and use our tarps, padding, and blankets.  If you can bring a
tent tonight, that is great (keeping in mind that the cops may confiscate
it, at least temporarily).  There will be enough tents to sleep in for
anyone wishing to risk arrest, even if you can't bring a tent of your own.

Below is the complete event announcement, followed by brief announcements
of other upcoming actions.

I would love to see you there tonight.  Please join me.

Dave Bicking

Announcement of "99 tents for the 99%" action:

Wednesday, Nov. 30, Rally at 5:30 pm
99 Tents for the 99%
Rally at the Plaza at 5:30 then mass action

Join us at The People's Plaza for a mass action to prepare for winter.

Mass shelter action -- 99 tents for the 99%
Defend the occupy movement as winter sets in.
Shelter is a human right.

With the ACLU having filed a lawsuit in Federal court to protect the
rights of Occupy Minneapolis, it's time to enforce our rights to
peacefully assemble on government property. Come with tents or come to
occupy a tent or come to celebrate our freedom and keep a watchful eye on
how our government reacts. The more people and tents the better. We can
always have multiple groups of 99 tents each and multiple clusters of 99
people standing around them. Note: The last tent action resulted in tents
being removed and not yet returned, but no arrests.

INDIVIDUALS: Bring yourself, some friends, and your tent!
ORGANIZATIONS: Bring a tent with signs and images to represent your
EVERYONE: Bring sleeping bags and lots of warm clothes!

We are working on getting community organizations, labor & labor leaders
and others to bring tents and to challenge the no tent policy.

Calling on organizations to bring multiple tents with their organization
names and slogans to show that WE ARE ALL the Movement!  And we are there
to DEFEND OUR Movement!  Let us all put slogans on our tents so it is not
just a tent city, but a massive tent city with a message!

Facebook event:

Thursday, Dec. 1st - 12:00 - 2:00 pm
Foreclose on US Bank

Meet at People´s Plaza at 12:00 pm to respond to the violent eviction of
Sara's home and send a message to the banks that we won't allow them to
foreclose on our communities. US Bank is responsible for the foreclosures
of Sara Kaiser and Monique White and have been completely unwilling to
negotiate with them to find a reasonable solution to keep them in their

If they won't stop foreclosing on our communities they can expect us to
start foreclosing on their banks. More info to come.

Facebook event:

Tuesday, December 6, time to be announced later
Beginning of occupation of another home in foreclosure in south

Ongoing:  Occupation of home in foreclosure in North Minneapolis:  3310 N.
6th St. Drop by during day or evening to check out what is happening,
offer support, volunteer for neighborhood outreach or other tasks, bring
food, whatever.

Ongoing:  Come down to the plaza!  Any time!  Check it out, talk to folks,
hold a sign, find out how to become more involved.  Check out the General
Assembly, the decision-making process that has characterized the Occupy
movement, most evenings at 7pm.

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No to Co-Option: MoveOn is the Opposite of the Occupy Movement
MoveOn’s History of Undermining Progressive Causes in Support of the
Corporate-Dominated Democratic Party

by Kevin Zeese / November 28th, 2011

While most of the comments about my article on Van Jones and our
GeneralAssembly’s call for independence from the Democratic Party and
Democratic Party front groups were positive, a few people don’t seem to
know the history of MoveOn.

Please do not misunderstand my criticisms of MoveOn and other organizations
in this article as criticism of the many good people in these
organizations. We have some people from MoveOn and other groups working
with us at Occupy Washington, DC.  It is the leadership of these groups
that misdirects people into the Democratic Party, supporting Democratic
candidates and weak and often counter-productive Democratic Party
positions.  We welcome MoveOn members to the Occupy Movement, but we do not
want their leadership misdirecting the movement into the Democratic Party
which is dominated by Wall Street and other big business interests.

Many occupiers are growing increasingly concerned about the attempted
co-option of the Occupy Movement by Democratic Party operatives.  I focused
on Van Jones because he has been appearing in the media talking like he is
occupying somewhere.  I don’t think he is sleeping in a tent in any Occupy,
but he sure gets a lot of attention from the corporate media as if he were
an occupier. The corporate media seems to want to anoint him as the leader
of the Occupy Movement. And his Rebuild the Dream website makes it look
like it was the Occupy the Highway Movement, even though no one from
Rebuild walked the 220 mile journey from New York to Washington, DC.

But I am equally concerned about groups like SEIU – a union that has
already endorsed President Obama – and has been described by Glenn
Greenwald as attempting to co-opt the Occupy Movement. Also of concern is
Campaign for America’s Future which holds annual conferences that seek to
spotlight Democratic candidates and get people to spend their time and
resources electing Democrats.  If their strategy is to elect Democrats that
is fine, just do it somewhere else.  The Occupy Movement is the opposite –
we are independent of the two parties. We see the system as corrupt and
working to elect people in that system as joining the corruption rather
than stopping it.

Regarding MoveOn, which has done mailing after mailing using the Occupy
Movement, it consistently supports the Democratic Party and undermines
progressive causes. They started as an advocacy group for the Democratic
Party and have remained such. It began seeking to end the impeachment of
President Clinton for lying under oath about sexual harassment.  They work
hard to keep liberals and progressives inside the Democratic Party so that
they will not form an independent movement to hold Obama and the Democratic
Party, as well as Republicans, accountable.  MoveOn refuses to acknowledge
their constant betrayals of the people by the Democratic Party.

Using non-profit front groups to undermine progressive movements is
consistent with the tactics of the Democratic Party. In return for big
funding from Democratic Party donors these groups are told what they can do
and say by Democratic Party operatives. During the health care reform
debate MoveOn was part of a coalition called Health Care for America Now.
 The name of the coalition was eerily similar to the long-established
single payer advocacy group, Health Care Now.  But rather than advocating
for an end to insurance-dominated health care as single payer would do, the
well-funded Health Care for America Now (spending at least $50 million to
support ObamaCare) advocated for the Obama health law, which is a more
deeply entrenched insurance industry domination of health care.  A law that
even forces Americans, for the first time in history, to buy a corporate
product and in this case a seriously flawed product.

Rebuild the Dream, a MoveOn Project, continues to undermine real health
care reform by using the new language of the single payer – “Improved
Medicare for All” – in their issue demands. But, Rebuild waters down this
demand to protect the insurance industry.  When you read the details rather
than a real improved Medicare for All system that eliminates health
insurance they merely advocate that people be offered the opportunity to
buy Medicare as another insurance policy.  Their last paragraph makes all
the arguments for single payer, but then pulls back to merely offering
Medicare as one insurance option. Their language is essentially the public
option using single payer language. No doubt the vast majority of MoveOn
and Rebuild the Dream members support single payer (two-thirds of Americans
do) and real progressive change, but Van Jones’s Rebuild uses similarities
in rhetoric to fool them and keep progressives inside the Democratic Party
rather than developing the kind of unified independent movement that is
needed to push for real change. We need to challenge the insurance
industry, not work with Democrats who take millions in donations from them.

MoveOn did this to the peace movement in 2007 after an anti-Iraq War vote
gave the Democrats control of the House of Representatives.  The anti-war
movement was in full force pressuring members of Congress.  The Democratic
leadership put forward a bill to end funding for the war unless
“benchmarks” were met and allowed war funding for four big exceptions that
would allow the war to continue, such as fighting terrorism, protecting
American interests, and training the Iraq military.  Twenty peace groups
united to oppose the Democratic plan to continue war funding.  Every vote
was needed by the corporate-Democratic Party leadership to continue war
funding.  At the last minute, MoveOn came out in support of the weak
Democratic plan and provided cover to Democrats, relieved constituent
pressure, and allowed the war funding to continue.

Not surprisingly, there is confusion among liberals and progressives who
support the common agenda of ending the wars, economic justice and
environmental protection.  We’re sometimes asked if Rebuild the Dream is
part of Occupy Washington, DC.  The answer is an unequivocal NO. Occupy
Washington, DC is an independent movement that will hold the system, big
business and both parties accountable for corporatism and militarism.  And
we will not go away or be absorbed by MoveOn, Rebuild the Dream and its
Democratic Party allies.  We are critics of the machine, the corrupt,
dysfunctional system, which the Democratic Party has always been and
continues to be part of.  We welcome Dream supporters. We would even
welcome the leadership.  All they need to do is renounce the Democratic
Party and President Obama.

MoveOn and Rebuild the Dream can prove us wrong if they come forward with a
non-partisan statement saying they will fight against any elected official,
of any party, in any office, who has not lived up to the anti-militarism
and anti-corporatist agenda, especially the president.

Until that statement is made Democratic Party operatives and their allied
groups should back off the Occupy Movement.  You have a different strategy
– working inside the Democratic Party, working inside the limits of the
corrupt machine while we want to transform American politics.

Get out of our way.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace. Read other articles
by Kevin, or visit Kevin's website.


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