This is movement politics.

From pro-choice Texans, to the Moral Mondays in North Carolina, to striking fast-food workers in numerous states, people around are nation are starting to take to the streets to demand that their voices be heard. Yesterday, in San Francisco, 2,400 unionized transit workers went on strike when management refused to come to an agreement. Employees of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, locally known as BART, are protesting a five-year pay freeze after giving up over $100 million dollars in concessions.

BART officials proposed a 2 percent annual raise to prevent the strike, but workers say it would barely keep up with the cost of living. Union members argue that they gave up raises and benefits years ago, to help the transit system weather the recession. After years of sacrifice by the workers, BART is now turning a profit - and workers believe that they have earned their fair share. The last BART employee strike was in 1997 when employees, through their collective action, were able to negotiate a four-year contract that included pay raises.

The BART workers are now joining people around our country who are standing up and demanding a living wage for low-income workers, equal rights for women, and an end to corporate abuse. Right now, we're seeing our fellow citizens stand together as they realize that they can't fight these problems alone.

These passionate, non-violent, and powerful protests, from California all the way to the East Coast, are bringing people together in a way that hasn't happened in decades. This is movement politics. And, it's anyone's guess as to where the next protests will spring up.

Comments

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#1

The BART workers have my total support! Despite the fact the their strike may prove very disruptive to my daily routine I welcome the inconvenience. That is what we all must do to protect our freedoms and way of life. Viva Labor!!

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 22 weeks ago
#2

I liked the guy locked up in his Chinese factory. His employees must have seen "Nine to Five" for the inspiration. We all know that "specialty medical supplies" like underpads, catheters, and Depends are a huge bilker of medicare/hospice programs.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 9 years 22 weeks ago
#3

Let's have more of this kind of action. And vigorous and big enough that the media can't overlook it.

douglas m 9 years 22 weeks ago
#4

I am in construction and other fields directly involved with real people everyday.

I love when people protest in the streets instead of complain to random innocents.

So many people are hurting so bad, i have never seen this many people this bad off in my whole life of 47 years in the cicago/il. Area.

All the wages went down or froze or jobs just disappeared. People with jobs cant keep up with cost of living increases.

The middle class is the only group that ""spends money"" and they are destroyed and destitue.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 22 weeks ago
#5

I guess this is why so many cities turned down Obama's transit money. They can't afford to run them.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 22 weeks ago
#6

As douglas m says above, I too have "never seen so many people so bad off," and I am 73 years old, which is old enough to remember when the children of Appalachia, walking to and from public school, gleaned lumps of coal off the railroad tracks so their mothers would have sufficient fuel to cook their suppers. The gleaners were the daughters and sons of families so impoverished, the random droppings of steam-locomotive tenders and the region's endless processions of coal trains were often their only source of heat as well. Girls and boys alike carried little burlap sacks -- they called them "pokes" -- in which to fetch home whatever tiny quantities of coal they might find.

But oppressive as the 1950s were, as seemingly bottomless as Appalachian poverty was, the region's children still had rational expectations for at least somewhat better lives. Now though there is no hope at all -- which is why today's poverty is infinitely worse than anything the people of the United States have ever experienced. Yes, just as Mr. Hartmann says, the strikes and protests now sweeping the country have the potential of coalescing into a movement, which could in fact restore hopefulness to some factions within the 99 Percent. But that is not what the One Percent wants. What it wants is workers with the submissive hopelessness of slaves. That's why, the minute any real Working Class movement begins to form, the Ruling Class will again order their bought-and-paid-for politicians to crush it, the legions of oppression will again be unleashed, and like Occupy, the movement will be murdered before it is even fully born.

judynbea's picture
judynbea 9 years 22 weeks ago
#7

I think this is awesome! It gives me hope in the midst of all the extreme right (wrong) wing antics that have been looming over us like a huge thunder cloud ever since George W. Bush became president in 2001. The only hope we HAVE, indeed, is "movement politics"; it's the only language the right wing understands.

As John Lennon said, "Power to the people; RIGHT ON!"

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 22 weeks ago
#8

"I guess this is why so many 'cities' turned down Obama's transit money...They can't afford to run them." KEND

Really!?!?Please PLEASE tell me you are just a wee bit more intelligent than your comment lets on.

Cities did not turn down Transit money States did. Here in Florida, the big cities; Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and 60% of Fl. residents, were in favour of building a High Speed Passanger Rail System that would connect tourist and buisnesses to popular destination and their surrounding communities.
An independent study showed that such a system would have created over 13k jobs, and boosted construction. The study also showed a surplus of 25 million dollars within the first 10 years of opperation.

What was the slogan Dick Scott ran on???? I remember now..."Let's Get To Work!" After 3 years I've yet to see 'ol bald Dick prime the jobs market. The most he has done is enforce voter surpresion policies, cut money for education, Extend punishment to Convicted Felons by denying them a path to reinstate their voting rights (after they have paid their debt to society), and dismantle the Fl. EPA; Which if you don't already know Florida has some of the most diverse eccosystems in the country. Systems that not only support life but also bring in a butt load of tourist money. Without stricted enviromental policy and enforcement, developers will be allowed to clear cut land and back fill wetlands that are vital to a healthy enviroment and prosperous to our (Fl.) economy.

Charlie Crist 4 Govenor 2016

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 22 weeks ago
#9

Correction...Charlie Crist 4 Govenor 2014

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 22 weeks ago
#10

Right from the start, motivated by the out of control lust for greed and power, it has always been a goal of the rich and well-born to control government. They've always had the fear that with a true democracy such control would be tempered by the vast majority of, we the people. In a true democracy, we the people, would be able to pass legislation providing for social and economic justice. Laws making the rich pay their fair share of taxes and abide by environmental regulations are both good examples of a functional democracy.

The current democratic distemper is necessary to position and give labor a voice and status with ruling class like authority. Once this happens, in my opinion anyway, representative democracy can finally begin to function on behalf of the vast majority as it should.

How do we get there?........Communication is the key. We know the corp. media won't help. However taking to the streets and using social media is what we can do to facilitate this communication. Block ports supplying Walmart with slave produced goods, at least even with temporary disruption word will spread about the global economic injustice monopoly capitalism has wrought. Labor slow downs, wildcat strikes, efforts to unionize all large companies, etc., all would have an impact.

MontanaMuleGal's picture
MontanaMuleGal 9 years 22 weeks ago
#11

The US Gov't knows how to crush the uprisings of people in the street. They have the weapons and, apparently, the humans who will go along with their plan to suppress any citizens of the US who object to being tax slaves.

I agree with Loren -- we citizens no longer have the hope that our lives can be better. We're trying to cope with the inverse of that "dream" as we struggle to survive in the growing fascist state.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 22 weeks ago
#12

OH THE TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE.

I agree with your gloom & doom, yet profound, perspective. The only people we can blame for this demise, serfdom, and breakdown of a TRUE Demacratic Government are those that are greedy and abide by a "by any means necessary" ideology. Who specifically are these greedy swine??? EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN THAT HAS VOTED FOR A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT AGENDA SINCE A CENTRAL BANKING SYSTEM WAS ESTABLISHED.

The pot o water is a bubbl'en!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#13

This is a great thing! However, too many people here seem to think we are entering a dark ages in the history of the United States. Dark? Maybe! Worse than now? Maybe! Worse than ever? Absolutely not!

Let's recap a little history shall we? The early 1970's. An illegal immoral war in Vietnam. Violent legal protest filled the street and were captured live on TV as well as the violence of the war; yet, it did little to sway public opinion. Peoples Constitutional rights--that they still had back then--did nothing to protect them from the full force of tyranny when practicing their rights to assembly, free speech, and redress of grievances.

Jog back another decade and we see Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamster union forced to seek Mafia muscle in order to conduct worker strikes against the trucking industry; who, would hire mercenaries to beat striking workers with chains, clubs and baseball bats.

Jog back another 50 years and look at the steel industry run by Carnegie and Fisk who had no concept of fair labor laws, paid their workers only pennies an hour, provided no benefits, and worked them as long as 12 to 16 hours a day in dangerous conditions without breaks or time off. When they decided to stand up to the Company Fisk brought in one of the most dangerous mercenary armies in the country to squash the strike with lethal force. Many workers were shot and killed for not abandoning the strike. The workers back then had no legal recourse whatsoever; other than, public outcry from media coverage.

Jog backwards another 60 years. Then it was legal to buy, sell, and own human beings. Slaves had no say whatsoever in their working or living conditions. There was no union to complain to and the very idea of a strike was committing suicide. Slave owners could treat their property anyway they saw fit including torture and murder; which, back then was perfectly legal.

How far backwards we may go in the future is anyone's guess. We must all be constantly vigilant. However, we must also remember our history and how far we have come. We should be proud and grateful for all the progress we have made so far; yet, ever aware of safeguarding the future so that our path of progress stays on the positive side of history. There is every reason to believe that the future is brighter than it seems now if we look at it from a broader perspective.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 9 years 22 weeks ago
#14

Downtown Chicago, which is the president's hometown, has many poor and homeless people asking for financial help on the streets. If Christians were really Christian, and if Americans at all care about their fellow citizens, there would be organizing to have a million or more person rally in Millenium Park or adjacent Grant Park against the federal budget cuts that will affect subsidized housing, against adequate housing subsidies and affordable housing so that there would be no waiting lists and homelessness in Chicago and elsewhere, against Illinois state and Chicago cuts in an already inadequate state and local mental health system, against a public school system that does not impress upon students the need to acquire the skills needed for a career, and what different realistic career options exist today, in conjunction with the Chicago Colleges or unions, that would help lift low-income children out of poverty. Progressives should be focusing in more on those who have no home and/or no job, and those who cannot earn very much or any money, due to disability or a lack of education.

N Z Sarah's picture
N Z Sarah 9 years 22 weeks ago
#15

The world has become more violent and difficult with the squeezing down and out of the unions. I think the plan is to piss us off and send us all into aggressive behavior in protest. Interestingly a recent study of five month old, pigs fed GM food showed an increase of aggressive behavior as well as severely damaged stomachs and heavier uterus's. Of course when an animal becomes dangerous it is put down.

Many laws throughout the world already accept the equality of women but are disregarded and not enacted. EQUAL GENDER GOVERNMENTS will enable women to address these issues and have a balance in in governance that is not available now.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 22 weeks ago
#16

It's time to stop running from the enemy, cross the Delaware, and take some prisoners. It's not over yet my friend, not by a long shot! Democratic Socialism is just around the corner.

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 9 years 22 weeks ago
#17

Eco Tech: Powering Up: Malmo,Sweden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9e1pou-db4

Eco Tech: Zero Waste: M.R.F.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvd8ekI6Ma4

Eco Tech: zero waste: e-scrap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETNaO2Pa8q4

Eco Tech: zero waste: landfill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4F5pIyyhhU

BI4SP: POWER: manure farm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CONSJWaLOqw

Eco Tech: Zero Waste: worms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St-NHGBj5f4

INVENTION NATION: ZEGEN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QYSMY_s5js

INVENTION NATION: wetland sewers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7bVx8FBx5s

Eco Tech: zero waste: restrooms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATrH9zaVpuE

Eco Tech: Powering Up: Wind Power

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJXzhFDPM7M

Eco Tech: Future Fuels: Biodiesel (grease)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySLDCt5MmTc

Eco Tech: Future Fuels: Biodiesel (grass)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFhaTN7QkT8

Eco Tech: Zero Waste: plastic bottles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9B9Ui4BJAU

BI4SP: Build: Pre-Fab houses

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHI7JRMg4QI

BI4SP: Paper or Plastic: plastic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyDdRe9EkSE

Eco Tech: Zero Waste: Z-WEED

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmzY8PcyKeY

INVENTION NATION: solar prism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zo3wB6D7yE

BI4SP: Grow: Roof Top Garden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17hRZgsFEXE

Eco Tech:Powering Up: Solar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXru5GhB3Uk

Eco Tech: Future Fuels: hypercar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a8TTmOj-vg

INVENTION NATION: earthhaven

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7udAPebTnU

Eco Tech: Building Green: earthships

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUTVLpTNBwk

Green Party Debates 2008 hour one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKHr-azwtso

Green Party Debates 2008 hour two

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72k1ElvwBKI

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 22 weeks ago
#18

Though normally I don't return to these threads after their first day, today some curious impulse brought me back, and I'm glad it did.

Let me begin by stating I have the greatest respect for DAnneMarc, who is first person I've encountered in many years who understands it was capitalist savagery that forced many unions to turn to Cosa Nostra for protection against corporate hitmen and thugs.

But to assert "the future is brighter than it seems" is to ignore not only human history, about which more in a moment, but to deny the impending double-apocalypse of terminal climate change and fossil-fuel bankruptcy. The former will make most of Earth uninhabitable by humans or any other sort of sentient life; the latter, because of our dependence on petroleum byproducts for virtually everything, will not only deny our species vital mobility; it will in fact end forever the very technology upon which we have become helplessly dependent. Which is, of course, precisely what is at stake. The Ruling Class -- let's call the One Percent by its correct name -- intends to survive at any cost. And to ensure its survival, it is methodically reducing all the rest of us to slaves, the "human capital" that will enable its survival, much as the slaves of Rome, Medieval Europe and the Antebellum South enabled the survival of their respective owners. Indeed the chronic failure of the Left to understand and name the diabolical purpose that fuels the One Percent's global thrust to impose zero-tolerance tyranny is the worst most devastating failure in the entire (long) history of humanitarian politics.

Moreover, because of its mastery of technology, the Ruling Class is now more powerful than at any time in human experience. Its power is in fact a replication of the omnipotence formerly presumed to be divine. Its mercilessness is shaped, not coincidentally, in the exact image of the bloodthirsty and sadistic god of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam): it sees all, knows all and relentlessly punishes those who do not bow to its mandates and submit to its whims. And in the face of such dreadful might, we humans are defenseless. The chasm of inequality that sets the oppressive power of the Ruling Class over the powerlessness of the masses has never in our species' history been greater. It is far greater than the financial inequality that separates the two classes. In fact there has never been an inequality of power that even approaches what it is now; it is literally as if we had been conquered by some inconceivably advanced alien species. Note the lessons of history: the French, for example, made a revolution by seizing the arsenals; so did the Russians. But any such attempted seizures today would be defeated by weapons more deadly than we can imagine. Even were the seizures to succeed, no more than one one-hundredth of one percent would have the education required to operate the unimaginably high-tech weapons so captured.

While in former times such inequalities of power prompted nonviolent resistance -- Gandhi in India is a classic example -- the success of nonviolence depends on two factors: these are its ability to evoke humanitarian feelings amongst the Ruling Class, and the unspoken threat that if nonviolence fails, violence will take its place. Both these factors are now utterly and forever nullified. The defining characteristic of the present-day Ruling Class is its moral imbecility; it is no more capable of humanitarianism than Ted Bundy was. It's moral imbecility is reinforced -- indeed demanded -- by the Ayn Rand doctrines that shape its paradigms of governance. As to unspoken threat, in Gandhi's case this was the certainty the superb intelligence services of the Soviet Union would do as their Tsarist predecessors had done in 1858 via the Sepoy Mutiny and foster armed rebellion throughout British India. But the existence of any such potential died forever with the collapse of the U.S.S.R. and the capitalist co-optation of China.

Unfortunately most USians who think of themselves as "progressives" do so from an emotional basis that has no grounding in historical reality. The truth of the human condition is that tyranny -- often unspeakable tyranny -- has been the norm since the advent of patriarchy about 4,000 years ago. To understand patriarchy's impact, think of it as the intellectual equivalent of the smallpox-infected blankets with which the Europeans, particularly the English, fatally weakened the First Nations peoples. Then reflect on the fact that as Abrahamic religion evolved from patriarchy, so did capitalism evolve directly from Abrahamic religion -- and so did fascism evolve directly from capitalism. By functional analysis of the resultant conditions -- hierarchy, private property, the notion of a favored class (men, the chosen, the saved, the successful) and a despised class (women, the poor, the disabled, the elderly) -- the kinship of patriarchy, Abrahamic religion, capitalism and fascism becomes undeniable.

Though most people dismiss these realities with the claim "it was ever thus," archaeology suggests otherwise. The matrifocal, probably matriarchal civilization we know as Minoan, for example, successfully evacuated the entire island we call Thera in advance of the volcanic debacle of 1600 BCE (Google "evacuation of thera," no quotes). The evacuation was total: not just all humans, but all pets, livestock, all movable goods. This suggests the correct answer to the lengthy dispute between capitalist-minded archaeologists, who identify the large Minoan government complexes as "palaces," and socialist-minded archaeologists, who identify these same structures as "administrative centers." Obviously to organize an event the size of the Theran evacuation -- at least 25,000 people and possibly many times more -- a vast and efficient administration was required. Contrast this to the abandonment of New Orleans to Katrina and you'll understand why a growing number, archaeologists included, regard Minoan civilization as representing the true apex of human achievement -- that we've literally been on a downward spiral since the sack of Knossos.

Be that as it may, the question before us today -- and it is my failure I did not make this clear in my original post -- is not only (false) hope versus (true) hopelessness. It is equally whether one has a moral obligation to resist even when one knows resistance is doomed. I will write and photograph as long as I am able. But I cannot answer for others. The best I can do is cite Jean-Paul Sarte:

...Resistance was a true democracy: for the soldier as for the commander, the same danger, the same forsakenness, the same total responsibility, the same absolute liberty within discipline. Thus, in darkness and in blood, a Republic was established, the strongest of Republics. Each of its citizens knew that he owed himself to all and that he could count only on himself alone. Each of them, in complete isolation, fulfilled his responsibility and his role in history. Each of them, standing against the oppressors, undertook to be himself, freely and irrevocably. And by choosing for himself in liberty, he chose the liberty of all... (from "Republic of Silence," pgs. 498-500, for which Google).

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 9 years 22 weeks ago
#19

And the next place it pops up is in DC and elsewhere saying: Restore The Fourth!!!

Quote Kevin Gosztola @ The Dissenter:

At the rally in Washington, DC, another National Security Agency whistleblower, Thomas Drake, declared, “On this day, the 4th of July, 2013, I call for a new American revolution declaring our independence from the surveillance state and government control of information.”

He called on citizens to “reflect on how the US has become the very kind of secret undemocratic authoritarian imperialist nation against whom we fought the first American revolution.”

Drake condemned the government for “unchaining itself from the Constitution” and for “vacuuming and harvesting vast amounts of personal information about each and every one of us.” He warned the government is using “general warrants” to “find out everything there is to know” about Americans and collecting data with few, if any, restraints.

“We the people do not consent to the surveillance state,” Drake declared. “We will not forsake our rights for the sake of national security. We will not accept that the ends justifies the means. We will not accept that the government granting itself license to steal our liberty and our information away from us.”

Remarkably, NBC News posted video of what appears to be the entire speech Drake delivered at the rally in DC. It is a rousing and passionate call to action for citizens on this Independence Day.

It appears Thomas Drake has been using his crowds as focus groups, practicing and refining his message. And when I say focus groups he is not just learning what works, he has been trying to get people to focus on the national security state that has secretly grown so huge that USA now carries the meaning Under Surveillance AllWays. [pun intended]

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