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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:44 AM
Original message
It's Time for a Mass March On Washington
Now, before the debt ceiling negotiations come to a head: "United We Stand". Rally to underscore all the important themes Obama voiced in his speech yesterday. It doesn't matter if you trust Obama to defend them or not; We do.

It should be broad based, from Independents to the far Democratic Left. "Keep America's Promises". United for a better future. "Don't balance the budget on the backs of working people". Real Americans care about each other. "Don't divide us, EMPLOY us".

There is no shared sacrifice while children are homeless and the wealthy seek more tax cuts.

We can flood the mall and fill the streets. We are not the fringe.

I'm not a movement mover or shaker, but I know some DU members are. It is time to issue the call. Now is the moment when we can bridge the differences in our activist base. Pro Obama banners are welcome. Single Payer banners are welcome. We agree that progress must move forward, not slip backward.

Who can make this happen? How do we get this started? It is time.
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montanacowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's Time for a General Strike
in every city in the country
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Well yeah, that too....
I think that could follow the march if Congress and the President don't act on behalf of working Americans. The march could put Congress and the nation on notice. Organizing can be simultaneous for both. A steering committee could trigger the General Strike depending on what happens inn Washington after the march and rally. That's how I can see those working together.

A national rally is a little bit easier to organize successfully, and it would get energy moving, which then would make a strike easier to pull off. That's how I see those ideas working together.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. +! Clearly the marches have been ineffective.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I think the rallies were effective in Madison
They got people off their asses and mobilized. And from there people started firing each other up. It may end up having been laying the groudwork in WI for a General Strike. If nothing else it kicked off the round of recall elections that will probably end up with Walker being booted out of Madison.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I disagree and would use madison as an example
of a complete leadership failure.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Interesting. Which leadership?
The Unions? The Democratic Party? Grassroots activists in WI? National netroots activists?

Serious question. In my minsd the degree of popular discontent that was mobilized in Wisconsin is one of the few bright spots on the left so far this year. I think the recall elections petition drives that were triggered by the protests is definite forward motion.

Again, I am not opposing the idea of a general strike. Mostly I'm thinking about how to bring social energy to a boil, which is part of what is needed for a General Strike to work.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. The unions.
What they needed to do was not really a general strike.
They needed to shut down the schools. All school workers to strike.
Then threaten police and fire would be next.

This would have everyone in wisconsin calling up bitching there's no school and also that they're worried the city will burn down.
It would also put some pressure on the local economy and businessmen with clout would be calling the governor.

The whole thing would've been cleared up in a few days.

Instead it turned into a highly politicized and polarized debate and the workers lost.

PEaceful rallies are nice in theory but they don't get the public to call up screaming for it to end.
Most of the people in Wisconsin probably had no idea what the whole thing was about most of the country had no idea any of that was even going on.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. You're misinformed.
"Probably" was my clue.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Care to explain where I'm wrong? n/t
I never get a response when I ask that.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. They need to do both, and be visibly supported by
the Teamsters, farmers, media unions, police, fireworkers, office workers, service workers. SHowing in a sustained, rotating rally in the nation's capitol would definitely get attention.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. "SHowing in a sustained, rotating rally in the nation's capitol would definitely get attention."
Doing it in WI's capital got plenty of attention. If it weren't for all the breaking news from Libya and Japan it would have gotten more.

If we took it to DC I think we could galvanize quite a few strands of the progressive movement and steer the public debate more than anything else I think we are capable of pulling off right now.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I'm thinking it is time for convoys again, pulling tractors up
to the Capitol, shutting down media with writers and technicians standing down. We could put coverage of it on the net and make it viral. What we need is cooperation between everyone so that we take care of as many people as possible. That means sharing resources and covering for one another...whether it is a few dollars here or there to buy food for a protester's family or rotating so that those who have needs at home can get back to cover them. It would take a great coordinated effort that and people would have to be willing to commit to holding out as long as it takes.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. As long as it takes... for what though?
I promise you nobody can outlast the do-nothings in washington.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. There already is a sustained protest there. Have you been?! There's always someone protesting.
Protesting things I've never even heard of.

It falls on deaf ears.
The way I see it, to get the everyday average john and jane q. public to have an opinion is to mimic the effect of a snopacalypse. Shut down the schools for a week.

Sure people would be mad at the strikers. But they'd call up screaming for it to stop.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. I think that puts the horse in front of the cart
People keave a huge rally all fired up, and emails addresses are gathered during the rally promation. A mass rally creates the momentum and means to pursue other tactics, including your proposed one.
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-11 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. At one time I would have agreed with you. Now we have twitter, facebook, email and affordable...
mass printing.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. A carbon tax has to be on the table too - Dems need to pull negotiations LEFT.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Just showing up in mass will move the negotiations LEFT
but sure, I agre. We need to make the case in the flesh for the priorities we believe in.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Well, I'd definitely show up.
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Tippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. WI is the proff Protestng in big numbers works....
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Exactly.
WI shows that a broad cross section of people have reached the point where that they are willing to put their bodies on line to defend their interests. The Tea Party has gotten a free ride, mostly because of media complicity but also becasue they stage most of their rallies where most of the media is set up to cover them. Our people care every damn bit as much about America as they do, and there are a lot more of us.
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BOG PERSON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
12. it's been done
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 10:29 AM by BOG PERSON
besides, protests only make a difference when the government is in the habit of overreacting, not when it's learned to tune you out (as it has in the USA)
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I don't think it's been done on economic issues from the left in a while
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 10:31 AM by Tom Rinaldo
Not a pull out all the stops national mobilization anyway. I know there was that counter ralaly to the Tea Party that Sharpton was involved in with Union support that Ed Shultz spoke at, but counter rallies almost by nature draw from a narrower cross section of people.

The press has grown immune to anti war rallies, granted. But the whole national focus now is on the economy and fudgetary issues. And the futue of Medicare pulls on roots going back to the civil rights struggle days.

What I'm thinking is this is a chance for broad based unity, combined with passion, which can really up the numbers. In order for Obama to have a fighting chance (assuming he's up for the fight) to beat back the current Republican assault on entitlemsnts, he is going to need to do some barnstorming himself. A DC rally could pull from Obama's sown upport base gearing up for the Presidential elections, as well as the activist left, environmentalists, and Unions.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
15. No. It isn't.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
17. OK, Mark my words. If WE don't do this...
... the "Tea Party" will stage a DC rally with 40,000 people claiming to be 250,000 and that will program the media political narrative for upcoming the Spring budget show down.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
21. I keep hoping Planned Parenthood would do one like they did back in April 2004
that was close to a million who showed up.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. The pieces are out there to put together, Planned Parenthood could be one of them
My sense is they may not want the high profile visibility of being the sole or lead sponsor, they have a bright target on their back already. But in a bigger coalition, under a broader banner, they can help mobilize a lot of people now if they want to. Their are plenty of people furious about how Planned Parenthood has been treated. So ther is that constituency, there are Unions, there are environmentalists, Democrats of every stripe, civil rights activists, people worried about education and infrastructure etc. And we have the blogs and websites we need to get the word out. I think it could be big if the right forces sign on to it and promote it.
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
26. Good luck getting the people off their ass......
Not enough people hurting yet for a mass march. To many still have the attitude until it effects me I don't care. Also know as "I have mine. Fuck you the rest of you."
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. You have to organize one step ahead to capture the moment
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 09:59 PM by Tom Rinaldo
I am pretty confident that politics will heatr up this Spring. When the health care battle began the right wing caught us flat footed and were ready to make their presence known at Town Hall meetings. The Left wasn't.

This is the year of the big Republican psuh. They are trying to lock in as much shrinkage of government as possible to change the game board for a generation or more. Democrats need to up the ampage also because the Right WILL be active with their bused in shock troops.

If some progressive heavy hitters, like Move On and some key Unions can reach out to environmental groups and sseior citizen lobbies and womens groups etc. to form a broad based coalition calling for a mass DC rally, by the time that day approaches I predict there will be plenty of people angry enough to get off their asses and attend.

A small aside. Back in 1979 I wsa coordinator in the Abolone Alliance planning a mass rally in San Francisco against the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. We spent months in preperation; permits sound systems, security, stage, performers - tons of logistical details. About two weeks before the rally the movie "The China Syndrome" came out. Suddeenly lots of people got worried about nuclear power and motivated to help stop it. And wouldn't you know, we had this handy dandy mass rally all prepared and waiting for them when their anger hit, and turn out for it was record breaking for any anti-nuclear protest up until that time.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
27. Recommend
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
30. I am too late
to recommend this. Sorry about that.

We need to revive King's plan for a Poor Peoples' Campaign.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. You nailed it.
A broad based mass rally would just be one aspect of that larger campaign.
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