Progressive Activism Is Bubbling Up Across the Country -- Here's What's Happening That the Corporate Media Can't Be Bothered to Report
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The Home Defenders League/Occupy Our Homes actions broke through in the media as you can see at the end of this photo essay. We particularly enjoyed the coverage in Forbes – someone claiming to be Jamie Dimon was arrested in DC – reporting on protesters who gave the name of banksters when they were arrested. The police responded aggressively, which often attracts media coverage, including the tasering non-violent protesters. And, we were pleased to see local groups, like Occupy Colorado, highlighting the efforts of their colleagues who came to DC.
But, action in the nation’s capital did not end there. There was also a massive walkout of food service workers across the city. The strike began at the building named for the famed union-destroying president, the Ronald Reagan Building, and then moved on, with a particular focus on Obama – the largest employer of low-wage workers. Obama could end poverty federal wages with a stroke of the pen. Will he?
DC is the sixth city to see low-wage workers striking, New York, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and Milwaukee, came before the Capital. Communities have stood with the workers when employers threatened their jobs and people now need to do the same for the DC workers who are being threatened with job loss, please take action to support them. And, coming up is the Wal-Mart workers’ “Ride for Respect” to the annual shareholders meeting on June 7 which emulates the Freedom Riders.
Actions are happening throughout the country. In Illinois, so far two people have been arrested at a sit-in in the capitol building to support a ban hydro-fracking. And, the reaction to the call for a fearless summer by front-line environmental groups has been very strong. They are working together to plan major actions throughout the summer escalating resistance against extreme energy extraction. Pressure is building in the environmental movement which now recognizes Obama is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Groups like 350.org that avoided protesting Obama, are now protesting his “grass roots” group, Organizing for America.
And, more is coming. At the end of the week people who have been marching to Washington, DC from Philadelphia as part of “Operation Green Jobs” will arrive to protest at the corporate bully of the capital – the US Chamber of Commerce – uniting the masses in opposition to the corporate lobbyists. Their long walk to DC echoes a walk last week by people from Baltimore seeking jobs and justice.
This Saturday will be the worldwide March Against Monsanto in 41 countries and nearly 300 cities. We published an article in Truthout that explains why we should all protest Monsanto on May 25. This is a great example of non-hierarchical organizing as this protest was called by young grass roots activists and supported by Occupy Monsanto.
One of the things that let us know the popular revolt is more powerful than we realize is the reaction of the power structure. The Center for Media and Democracy issued a report this week that examined thousands of pages of documents which showed how the national security apparatus against terrorism combined with corporate America to attack the occupy movement. And, in Chicago one of the undercover police involved in the NATO 5 case, is still spying, now on students and teachers protesting school closures. If they did not fear the people, would the power structure be behaving this way?
But, when you read reports about police acting in this undemocratic way, don’t forget that many of them do not like doing what they are ordered to do and that pulling them to join the popular revolt is part of our job. A mass movement needs people from the power structure to join it in order to achieve success. We highlight one this week, Officer Pedro Serrano of New York who took the great personal risk of taping his superiors as part of an effort to end the racist ‘stop and frisk’ program of the NYPD.