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Our Tahrir Square: DC's Freedom Plaza on October 6th

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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 05:41 AM
Original message
Our Tahrir Square: DC's Freedom Plaza on October 6th
When other nations' governments go off track, their people do something about it. In Tunisia and Egypt people have nonviolently claimed power in a way that has inspired Americans in Wisconsin and other states, as well as the people of Spain and the rest of the world.

Washington, D.C., is the weakest point in our democracy, without which state-level reform cannot succeed. Most Americans want our wars ended, our corporations and billionaires taxed, and our rights expanded rather than curtailed. We want our money invested in jobs and green energy, not a global military that can't stop itself. Our government in Washington goes in the opposite direction, opposing popular will on these major issues, regardless of personality or party.

On October 6th, a Thursday, the Afghanistan War will complete its first decade as the United States goes into its 2012 austerity budget. Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt translates as Liberation Square. We have in Washington, D.C., a square with the similar name: Freedom Plaza. This square is located between the Capitol and the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue, and built into its surface is a map of downtown Washington on which nonviolent resistance actions can be conveniently planned.

Today a coalition of organizations and prominent individuals is announcing at http://october2011.org a plan to begin a people's occupation of Washington, D.C., on October 6th, to build it into something larger on the 7th, 8th, and 9th, and to not leave until we are satisfied. There is absolutely no reason that our government must be permitted to continue functioning on behalf of Wall Street and a war machine. In Afghanistan, the people protest our bombing of their homes. We sit inside our own homes complaining about our economy, our banks, our schools. Instead, we now have a chance to have a say, in solidarity with others around the world, with success just as likely -- if just as shocking to those in power -- as with past U.S. people's movements and the recent advances in Tunisia and Egypt.

This will not be another rally and march on a Saturday, make home movies, pat ourselves on the back, and go home. We are coming to Washington to stay. Today's announcement is an open invitation for all kinds of organizations, national and local, to join in the early planning stages of this campaign. We need not agree on political ideology or party or much else. We need only agree that nonviolent resistance to a government that routinely ignores the will of its people is appropriate in our nation as well -- even above all, given our nation's impact on the environment, global finances, and wars.

Over this past weekend Wikileaks revealed that the U.S. government had been quite upset with Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown for pulling troops out of Iraq, and had accused him of something even worse: of having pulled the troops out in order to please the British public and win an election. What, we might ask, would be wrong with the U.S. government occasionally doing what the U.S. public demands? When I'm in London later this week I will be pleased to let them know we're alive over here with exciting plans for October, and in fact to ask them to join in on October 6th -- they have plenty of good squares over there too.

On the new website http://october2011.org , which lists an impressive number of groups and individuals already committed, you can sign a pledge to be there on October 6th and to stay. But how can you be sure you want to make that commitment? How can you agree to travel great distances and make great sacrifices? Sure, to be part of history, to be able to tell your grandchildren you were there for the most famous event of the new century, you could do it. But how can you be sure that's what this will be? Well, nothing is strictly guaranteed, but you can sign up right here http://october2011.org/besure committing to be there and to do this only if at least 50,000 other people do the same. With that number of dedicated people, we will be able to kick start a process of nonviolent change the likes of which we haven't seen in this country in many years. Sign up there and we'll let you know how many others are with you.

Individuals can sign up and spread the word. You can also post on the website your reasons for being there. So can organizations. By doing so, you join a coalition and will be able to participate in the planning. This is a coalition that is just beginning to be formed. It is not a new organization. Existing organizations that promote the coalition website are in turn promoted by the coalition. Get in touch to learn more: http://october2011.org/contact

Media outlets can also sign on as intending to cover the campaign. Many already have. I'll be discussing this on Lila Garrett's "Connect the Dots" on KPFK today, on the Nicole Sandler Show, on GW on the Hill, and on Scott Harris's "Between the Lines." Others are on lots of other shows. Already independent video producers are devoting themselves to the cause. Check out these videos by Dennis Trainor below. Get inspired. Make your own. Tell your friends. Groups on the West Coast like the Backbone Campaign are already planning training events and travel arrangements. If you need or can offer help getting to D.C. let us know at http://october2011.org/travel In the meantime, take the pledge to be there. That act alone will put a little bit of concern into the minds of those ruining our country, and that will be something new: http://october2011.org

<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6P5PN_JVpL8?rel=0 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1pfAX99B6hc?rel=0 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds like a great idea and way past time!
The Arab world showed us how to do it, and Wisconsin! Sick and tired of them working for Wall St. and just about anyone BUT the American people.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. yeah, this will happen.
Wisconsin wasn't inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Nor are the outcomes in either country assured.

As for what most Americans want; most Americans don't know what they want, and they're persuadable.

There won't be hundreds of thousands of Americans in Freedom Square for days, let alone weeks.


It will be just another rally. Nothing wrong with that. I hope a lot of people make it, but Americans just aren't that engaged in opposing these idiotic and horrible wars.

The most famous event of the century? There's something carny barkerish about making that claim. And when if flops, the claims you're making now will look even more foolish.

And guess what? I can't afford to go to D.C. even for one day let alone days and days. And I'm not alone.
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 06:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. Seem like the thing to do, but you must mean Oct 6-Nov 6, right??
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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. october 6th until ______
no limit
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brooklynite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
4. Um, what exactly are you campaigning FOR?
The Egyptians of Tahrir Square were fighting for basic freedom and democracy in the face of murder and violence. What exactly is this amalgamation of groups proposing? I'm sure you have your own list, but I doubt you'd come up with a broad consensus that be important enough for people to commit the time you're proposing.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Seems to be the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
The OP doesn't make that clear, but their 'pledge' is:

"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that criminal occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will nonviolently resist the corporate machine until our resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning ..."
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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. so did most Egyptians doubt
we start with getting the US military out of Afghanistan
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
5. Yeah. Good luck with that...
Viva la revolucion!

Sid
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. worst promotion for a rally/demonstration ever.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Now THAT was funny, Cali. nt
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Hehe...
bookmarking this thread for October 7 :)

Sid
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greytdemocrat Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. Good luck with this...
You're gonna need it.
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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. really don't need it
can't use it

we need YOU

(picture uncle sam pointing)
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
pmorlan1 Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-11 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
15. Already Signed Up
Edited on Wed Jun-08-11 03:11 PM by pmorlan1
When I read about this on Firedoglake earlier in the week I signed up.

Here is the link to the piece on Firedoglake

http://my.firedoglake.com/mflowersmd/2011/06/06/history...
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