Enormous Power of the People Sways the November Elections
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Hawkins, who has run for office before, ran an excellent campaign and seemed in striking distance of winning a city council seat in Syracuse, NY. At the end of the campaign the Working Families Party once again showed that it is really just another wing of the Democratic Party. Rather than supporting Hawkins, whose agenda is more consistent with what Working Families say is on their agenda, they ran a door-to-door campaign pushing to support the Democratic incumbent.
We are much less impressed with the victory of Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. He ran against an incredibly weak and extreme right-wing Republican and barely won. He is the poster child for corporate Democrats. He was a fundraiser for the Clintons and chaired both Bill and Hillary’s presidential campaigns. He raised $275 million for Bill Clinton, including the largest single fundraising event in history which raised $26 million. In the gubernatorial race this year, he outspent his opponent by almost $15 million and despite having a double digit lead in recent weeks barely won.
Until the next round, it is important to use the tools we have to continue to build a broad and diverse movement and to challenge corporate power. As we have written numerous times, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), if passed, would be a huge corporate power grab. The Obama Administration has asked Congress to grant it Fast Track in order to sign the TPP into law with limited oversight. In addition to telling their members of Congress to vote against Fast Track, communities are starting to pass resolutions saying that they will not obey if the TPP is passed and prohibits them from acting in their best interests. A global day of action against toxic trade agreements is being planned for December 3. Read about the initiatives and day of action here.
Another example of corporate influence causing harm to the public is the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Tokyo Power & Electric Company (TEPCO) has demonstrated that it is incapable of handling the crises and the bodies that should be intervening are corrupted by the nuclear industry. This week, activists delivered petitions and letters signed by people and organizations all over the world calling for independent expert and civilian oversight and access to accurate information. Monday, Nov. 11, will be a day of fasting and reflection on the apocalyptic potential for catastrophe if another natural or manmade event causes a massive release of radiation.
It is clear that the current political and economic systems are incapable of protecting people and the planet. It is up to us to take action in whatever way we can using the many nonviolent tactics at our disposal to build people power, resist corporate power and create a more just and sustainable world.