This committee keeps us all informed about the latest developments, both locally and internationally, in the movement for a just and equitable society by providing regular summaries (below).  If you’re interested in helping, please email us!   TR@uptownprogressiveaction.org

 

The June Edition:

Published June 14th 2017

 

NGOs – NAACP president was kicked out as they embark on listening tours to stay relevant. They had previously lobbied with their donors like the telecom companies against net neutrality. The ACLU organized ex-cons to get out the vote in Philly’s DA race and the progressive won. George Soros did give some seed money to this project.

 

Policy Initiatives – Vermont passes state-sponsored retirement plan option for those who lack access from private-sector employers. Seattle sets up new board that polices the police.

 

Statecraft – Our Revolution lost the Democratic Chair of California against someone who had support from elected officials and unions. Berniecrats have had some wins in smaller races (NY, NH, etc.) but have struggled in others (Montana, LA, Va, etc). Corporate liberals entered a race in Texas after a Berniecrat started doing real well.

 

Authority and the distribution of power –

Catalonians and Iraqi Kurds to hold illegal referendum on independence from Spain and Iraq.

Cities vs. Washington D.C.: Trump’s budget defunds sanctuary cities. Cities and States commit to Paris Climate Agreement with backing from billionaire Bloomberg.

Bernie’s use of the word “immoral” is important for thinking about where authority comes from.

 

Movements

Chicago convention. DSA poll shows its members are most interested in health care and electing officials to office, much less interest in other specific issues. No anti-war movement has emerged. ISO and other were in street battles in Portland, leftist outnumbered rightists, which had collaboration with the police who were tasked with mediating the conflict.

 

**College politics blows up in Evergreen State when people of color demand white people to leave. A Berniecrat-Occupy-Wall Street-supporting professor was among those who refused and got threatened as a “white supremacist” and the administration didn’t protect him. The rightwing is going crazy about this. They make the stirring accusation that this is the cannibalist fruit of “PC culture.” The right calls this the “regressive left” – along with the two items in “the unexpected” …

 

The Unexpected The white supremacist who killed people on the train in Portland supported Bernie. Bernie supporter shoots Republican politicians practicing baseball.

 

One (plus) Piece of Global News – Rouhani (the reformists, non-far right authoritarian) wins big over conservatives in Iran. Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn.

 

No (additional) Analysis today. People’s Summit. People’s Summit. People’s Summit.

 

 

The May Edition

Statecraft

  • Progressive Democrat that received no support from DNC came closer than expected for a seat in Kansas, but lost.
  • DNC is barely supporting a Berniecrat in Montana.
  • 34 year old Lumumba looks like he’ll be the next mayor of Jackson, Mississippi following his father’s legacy who for some reason died eight months after taking office in 2014. Lumumba (also the name of the Congo Prime Minister hunted by the CIA 1960-61) stands for “economic democracy” and all things truly progressive.
  • Black Lives Matter guy wins city council seat in town in Georgia.
  • A Berniecrat is running for Seattle Mayor
  • Bernie is on tour

The Constitution of Political Power

  • Depending on how you count, there are 29 states that are calling for a constitutional convention. If 34 states do it, there will be a constitutional convention. This is largely a right-wing initiative.
  • A federal judge ruled that Sanctuary Cities are not allowed to be economically deprived from the fed. But Texas has passed a law banning them and even local police departments are dissenting from Texas’ governor’s law.
  • Puerto Rico had huge protests on May 1, which open another set of questions.

The Unexpected

There was full on street fighting in Berkeley. It was antifascists versus a variety of militia movements, white supremacist gangs, and straight fascists. The right wing won the fight and they brought people in from around the country for the fight. The cops stood by. When they arrested a right-winger, it was reported that other right-wingers were dismayed saying, “does the cop not know that guy is one of us.” These groups came to “defend free speech” against leftist, many said.

One (and a half) Piece(s) of Global News

  • A 24 hour strike in Brazil paralyzed the economy. Numbers vary but some estimate over a quarter of the country’s population was in the streets. They protested against austerity and the illegitimacy of the political class. Will the 24 hour protest spawn and spur radical re-organization of everyday life? We do know that the Left wing party (PT) has lost support among its base because it drifted towards neoliberalism when it was in office. The far Right is eyeing the Presidency in 2018.
  • (Also: Le Pen lost by a lot in France, which is significant even if the winner is a right winger).

Brief Analysis

“Law” and “the Republic” are increasingly becoming the dominant rationales for political domination today. “Illegals” are against the law. “Free Speech” is saving the Republic from leftists. Progressive causes lately have appealed to non-federal law: appeals to the UN, laws emanating from cities, liberty act and single payer at the state level, ethics of immigration…. At what point in our historical process will the constitution – who gets to make laws and how – need to be changed?  (See fascinating article in the New Yorker that re-thinks the American Revolution).