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cloudythescribbler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 08:43 PM
Original message
Whatever happened to the DU Activist Corps?????
There was excellent participation by members -- hundreds and hundreds of LTTEs and dozens of them published, and I suppose the old mandatory adage applies to the Left: if it works, don't keep doing it. Find something else that doesn't and get with the program.

And of course, I'm sure there's a blizzard of rationales as to why there hasn't been any new suggested actions for weeks and weeks and weeks. What was needed was MORE, not less, even as they got their groove together. Instead, the issue was allowed to drop.

Even that little crumb of activism was verboten eh? I have openly wondered why there is no movement really organizing at the grassroots in the US to end absolute poverty ("world hunger") or why no sustained peace movement so that when wars come up, we don't have to turn to groups like ANSWER.
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More Than A Feeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. I agree. Bring back the Corps!
Edited on Sun Oct-09-05 09:01 PM by Heaven and Earth
*Marches and chants* One-Two-Three-Four, I love DU CORPS!
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norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've been wondering why I've not heard about any for a while.
Are we supposed to suggest actions?
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Catbird Donating Member (633 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. No shortage of ideas
The DU Activist Headquarters always has lots of suggestions posted.
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I think 'activists' create 'actions'... I should do the same.
Edited on Sun Oct-09-05 09:13 PM by alittlelark
I think we all should. Was this, perhaps a 'test'? - kidding, kinda.

Perhaps we should innundate the forum with ideas (well thought out...).

Those supporting that action should 'vote' w/ a reply.

The idea, or ideas w/ the highest real post count would be on the agenda.
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Now that you mention it... yeah? What happened to that?
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yeah....I sent an idea about calling Senators when Johnny Bob
Taliban was being considered for the SCOTUS....but heard nothing.

Making a few phone calls, writing some letters on a specific topic....every week we could do something.
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Tuesday_Morning Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'd love to see it active...
... and more democratic.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Being an Activist, I figure that I don't really need a 'prompt' to do
anything, I find all kinds of things to do, some of them en masse', but by far, the vast majority of them are done quietly on the net, or more often, in my community. I carry a ready pack of Voter Registration Forms w/me wherever I go, and have gotten well over 100 individuals to register, and 19 to change from R to Independent, and amazingly for here in Nebraska, 3 to change from R to D.

I am active w/my local paper, and have had 17 out of 19 LTTE's published, and at the local Community College I attend as a Nursing student, I am always in the forefront of political and humanitarian issues.

I will let Admin speak for themselves, but to be sure, I will never cease activism from a personal and community standpoint; I just don't need a prompt to act.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for the reminder. We really need to get back on the ball.
After Katrina, we were totally swamped with just trying to keep the site online. Since then, we've pretty much dropped the ball.

We've actually been discussing the possibility of asking a few DU members to take the lead on the activist corps, to help make sure that we have one or two actions each week. Because it's difficult for the admins to find time to focus on it.

We are eager to get going again. Sorry about the delay.
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. How about instead of some "DU members", you talk to the DNC?
Edited on Sun Oct-09-05 11:45 PM by ConservativeDemocrat
I happen to know a number of people who work in national, and I think they deserve some heads up.

BTW - I'll also tell you in advance what they'll say, which is this: while they'll take help in any form people are willing to give, a website "activist corps" is no substitute for those people going to their County and State organizations and becoming REAL activists - Precinct Captains. The DNC's 50 State plan which we are depending on in '06 is PREDICATED on this for success.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

p.s. I don't think you need me to give you an introduction, but if you feel you need them, I can give you a few names.

< edit for grammar >
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Very good point
It had to be a triple time bitch to keep this site running during that time.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Skinner, while the reorganization of the forums is under way
you might consider an idea that came up at the same time "After Katrina, we were totally swamped with just trying to keep the site online."

DU got "swamped" with heavy usage after the hurricane. In response to the non-response in New Orleans, there were some here who felt a need for action discussions specific to Katrina/NOLA.

Would you consider somehow subgrouping forums on specific subjects for action OR general discussion? Perhaps allow the activist concept to float in various forums, esp. when a huge issue like the Katrina/Non/Response hits? There was not a lot available in the Activist Corps (momcat and GreenPartyVoter both had excellent consolidated threads). DUers who were looking for somewhere to plug in were a bit at a loss.

There were political aspects to the non-response that also deserved response-- DU would seem the appropriate place, via the activism function, to organize LTTE and leadership contacts, to send the message that the abandonment of New Orleaners was completely unacceptable. There was a need for a concerted call for immediate independent investigations.

The potential for that response from DU was clear. Please consider folding into your new structure some ways to capture that energy specific to big events. When those crucial moments arrive and you are busy keeping the site up and running, the floating activist framework will function without extra attention.

Thank you and good luck :kick:
Omega Minimo
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Great idea, here is a thought to build on it
Edited on Mon Oct-10-05 10:00 AM by paineinthearse
Reorgize DU forums with specific sub-forums dedicated to action?

The hierarchy would be

* DU Activist Forum

** Issue #1 sub-forum
*** Issue #1 discussion
*** Issue #1 direct action.

** Issue #2 sub-forum
*** Issue #2 discussion
*** Issue #2 direct action.

** Issue #3 sub-forum
*** Issue #3 discussion
*** Issue #3 direct action.

etc.

A new issue sub forum would be created at the discression of the admins, when there is sufficient interest (the next Katrina, Schiavo or whatever).

This will have the added benefit of (partially) solving the problem we have with "topics du jour" flooding the GEN forum. While many can go there for chatter, the activists will have a refuge in the new activist discussion and action areas, a place to calmly discuss ideas & strategy and actually accomplish something.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Cool. I like your outline.
And another aspect to consider:
The idea of somehow "floating" DU Activism within the specific forums OUTSIDE the DU Activist Corps Forum.

This is suggested to raise the visibility and availablity of action to DUers who may not be familiar/members with AHQ. Also, it might avoid rigid insularity that hinders some dedicated forums.

While the Forums are in play right now, might be a good time to look at how to better communicate and cooperate b/w the dedicated forums and the general forums. (Maybe this is a been there/done that discussion-- I don't know).

An important topic that was the reason I came to DU ended up being a fiercely proud and dedicated, but insular, touchy and one-note forum. Some healthy flow b/w the general discussion areas could avoid that. The general DU energy can be harnessed, new Activist Corps groomed, and the backwater effect avoided.

Perhaps it could be as simple as one of DU Admins static thread bars at the top of a Forum page, as a heads up and invitiation to current hot topics in Activist HQ.

:loveya:
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. We had people ready to roll on the Katrina forun, got our ten requesters,
made the request several times going through all the hoops. Then we waited and waited and waited...NADA. The only peep back was from one of the mods who told us to wait some more.
Katrina and all of the neocon policies that turned a natural disaster into an unimmaginable catastrophe, represents THE biggest betrayal of America and Americans ever. I find it incredible that the premire democratic forum actually blocked the efforts to mobilize around this issue. Much valuable time and momentum were lost.
I have been afraid of speaking out about this for fear about being tombstoned..and if that is what happens, so be it. But we who made the request and the many others who have contacted me asking when it was going to happen deserve answers, and we need a forum to deal with the multitude of issues arising from Katrina. Since the DU administration has not even dignified our request with a responce, I have begun collecting and categorizing articles myself. I do not yet know how the information will be displayed, but it is critical that it get out there and I am determined to find a way.
If you want to work on a Katrina project, please let me know...
You can respond to this post or PM me.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. The lack of response to the lack of response reinforced
the lack of response of the American people.

I would like to think that Americans could see the truth beamed into their homes via the tube and witness it for what it is.

If not, they need some help, apparently.

"Katrina and all of the neocon policies that turned a natural disaster into an unimmaginable catastrophe, represents THE biggest betrayal of America and Americans ever"

It's hard to imagine that this would be a divisive point. In fact, it seemed at the time to be a rallying point-- and the perfect opportunity to repair the damage that has been (intentionally) inflicted on the sense of ourselves as a nation, as interdependent.

Who does it serve if we are afraid to be honest about the issues? Who is the imagined audience that we are afraid to alienate or offend? The American public could not be more alienated-- they deserved to be offended by what they saw in NO and by the implications.....

Isn't the American public who Democrats want to reach?

(thanks to you, momcat, and GPV for your work-- amazing. and that organizational structure you created could be useful for AHQ)

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newswolf56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Very much support a Katrina project and will PM you accordingly.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. All bluster no action
20+ people signed the petition to the admins to start the CSPAN group; since approved we have had THREE regular participants.

In general, I see a lot of postering and bluster, but little action.

:shrug:
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-05 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Three people can do a lot. I have seen it happen here and in other
groups. I have seen a lot of desire for a Katrina Forum. The request is still with the Admins as far as I know.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-13-05 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. "The request is still with the Admins"
Edited on Thu Oct-13-05 11:39 AM by paineinthearse
edited - didn't understand "the request" till I read upthread.

I think you nailed the problem on the head.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-05 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. Great idea. nt
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cloudythescribbler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Question
How large is the Administration of DU overall? How many Administrators does it take to run the Activist corps, to provide an action or two a week? I gather that one problem is an overall shortage of administrators.

But what puzzles me is that there is an ENORMOUS labor task of looking over the comments and censoring them, a task which I see is done quite extensively as many new news items disappear (including the one that suggested a morgue had EIGHT THOUSAND bodies from Katrina, based on a typo in a news article). But the volume of material at the site is such that it must take at least a dozen Administrators to review all the comments on all the threads to OK them.

I would say that there might be some farming out of responsibilities to various Corps members, especially once we can elect a small number of willing Corps members to some sort of self-governing board. That way at least this branch of DU wouldn't be any more of a time burden on the Administration than is necessary.

I am not very good with computer skills. Is there someone with good computer skills among the DU Activist Corps who could provide assistance to the Administrators? What kind of other skills or assistance is needed? Researchers? I would say that a shout out to the people on the Corps (and in general for people to join with skills to help) for specific volunteers could alleviate some of the time pressure.

(Although then there might be some training and briefing, but that should be doable)
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-12-05 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. Katrina sideswiped all of us...
no problem.

We're ready when you are, Skinner.

:yourock:
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cloudythescribbler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-05 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. DU Activist Corps should finally do something about Katrina issue
There is a major gathering regarding Katrina, NOLA etc. in Baton Rouge scheduled for Oct 29. There are numerous demands raised regarding the issue, from Mason Davis to NOT GOING WITH THE INTENT TO RECONSTRUCT A NOLA DESIGNED TO BE ABOUT ONE THIRD OR LESS BLACK RATHER THAN 70%, and so forth. These demands should be gathered together in a list, and LTTEs to local papers mentioning the Oct 29 action in Baton Rouge and the demands be the next action.

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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
11. There is strength in numbers.
Hope we can get back on track soon.
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-05 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
21. I have a hard time getting DUers to spend $4 at Kinkos and flyer to effect
change. In this example the need we have to educate beyond LTTEs. LTTEs are to short (in most papers) to be effective with complex issues.

That being said, spend $4 at Kinkos already. Just do it. It's easy and fun.

Download the IRAQ WAR: What is it good for? flyer:
http://bushcheated04.com/war2.pdf

print then photocopy, say 100

Tuck them in books at the library, bookstores, leave them on the copy machine at Kinkos, stick them on car windshields, the possibilties are endless.

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pstans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-05 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
25. I started a thread on this awhile ago
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

We need tasks to do. The time is now. Check out the quote in my sig. Underground, things are on fire.

It would also be good if the Activist headquarters were organized into folder of LTTE'S, Official tasks, events, polls, etc. then it would be easier to navigate.
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jarnocan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Do the activist corps
Edited on Thu Oct-20-05 07:39 PM by jarnocan
mods peruse this thread and if there is something worthwhile going on maybe kick it or vote it up so more will notice?
It is discouraging, discussion threads get tons of votes and kicks and petitions-Impeach Bush end the war etc. get 2 or 3. We need more folks ike this kid-who put this ad in his school newspaper, and some folks got upset about it, IMHO he is brilliant and concerned. He did this as a reaction to the heavy handed recruiting-even in highschools- as we know NCLB BU**SH** allows then to access our kids' records and chat them up using the inside scoop to their advantage. GRRR http://jarnocan.blogspot.com DO something- impeach bush petition links and end the war etc. www.worldcantwait.org
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grannylib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-05 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
29. One of the problems I think is that it's hard to register if you have
anti-spyware on your PC; I have never been able to get registered.
And the other thing I think is crucial is that momentum gets lost when there is not a specific issue on which to focus.
I just suggested in another thread that we organize a nationwide event, to keep the buzz going on BBV now that the GAO has made some noise about the issue.

One of the reasons the rePiglicans have been so successful, even without factoring in stolen elections, is that they are frighteningly well-organized. Granted, not as many progressives belong to the cults that seem to attract so many sheeple, but hey...we CAN and MUST rise up and make a difference!
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pstans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-05 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
30. Could be organized into folders to make it easier to particiapte
Either organize it by issue or by types of actions (LTTE's, petitions, events, etc). Have folders for each. Then people can come in and particiapte where they want.

Whatever is done we desparately need an official DU Activist task.

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karendc Donating Member (231 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-05 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
31. ACTIVISM WEDNESDAY
I do not know what has happened to the DU activist corps--but I am wondering about how to get everyone out into the streets this Wednesday:

Amy posts on the Democracy Cell Project:

I show up for almost everything, but I've been very disappointed in a lot of the progressives that I know in my area. They blog, they know about things, but they don't show up.
Posted by: Amy at October 31, 2005 07:59 PM

I had been thinking about the same issue tonight, as I stood in front of the White House, listening to the World Can't Wait people talking about torture, Alito, and the Bush administration. This is the beginning of the third week; I have not been there every day, but most days. Travis, Lee, Tracie, Marylou, Don, and others have withstood icy rain, hecklers, Park police, and tourists's questions day after day.

Tonight, a woman came along and watched for a while. She asked, "but aren't you afraid to protest in front of the White House?"

"A little fear is fine," said one of tonight's speakers. "But overall, there is a lot more dissent these days, and it is important to organize so that you are not alone."

Lee shared a story from earlier today that showed how frightening this whole process can be. They took the sign that said "2 Days Until the Beginning of the End of the Bush Regime" and went over to the Supreme Court because they figured the media would be there.

Not many in the media were left, but there was a group of radical right-wingers there. They had a group of children with them. The young children were on their knees, praying. Across their mouths was red tape. On the tape was written the word "life".






(space for you to think about THAT image for a while.)







What Lee came away with from that: If they can get Alito through, nothing will stop them. They are off to the races...

We each know a lot. Jose Padilla, James Yee, GITMO, Abu Ghraib, Downing Street minutes, what happened in Ohio, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, the list goes on...

What do we do about it?

Justice William O. Douglas: As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilights that we all must be most aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

We are aware of the darkness settling. What makes it so difficult for us to leave the comfort of our despair to go to the streets and stand with others in speaking truth?

Do we need more evidence?

Johannes Williams, an attorney in D.C., spoke about a vigil for peace at the U.S Capitol in which a woman cried inconsolably for over an hour. Her husband was in Iraq and had told her what they did to the prisoners. She couldn't believe it. "How can we be a beacon of freedom for the world?"

Another story: Do you know that the U.S soldiers hold their hands up, palms forward, as a gesture to people to stop? And that it often looks to those people as if they are waving hello? And that if people fail to stop, they can be shot? And they ARE?

Outrage after outrage--and still the streets are not full of that outrage.

We know that silence and paralysis do not work. What will it take to get you out there on Wednesday?

http://www.worldcantwait.org
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pstans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-05 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Thanks for posting that
If you can't attend a protest, vigil, or an event in your area, print off some signs and post them around town. Anywhere that has a message board works (grocery store, community college, library, restaurants).

Here is a websites that has some flyers http://www.justicefornone.com/handbills
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