Margaret Flowers

Lessons On The Struggle For Single-Payer Health Care in Vermont

For decades healthcare advocates in the state of Maryland worked with state senator Paul Pinsky who introduced a state health bill each year calling for a universal healthcare system that is publicly financed, a single payer system. Even when advocates educated lawmakers, gathered co-sponsors and testified in committees about the dire need for a health system that would solve the current healthcare crisis, one based on solid evidence, the bill fell flat. The closest we came was one vote short of getting it passed in one committee. We had all of the facts on our side, but no political muscle to move the bill.

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There's a Broad Consensus Among Activists Across the Country - Is Social Change Around the Corner?

February marks the third anniversary of the 2011 revolt in Wisconsin, the occupation of the state capital and mass protests against the attack on workers. Wisconsin was the largest of the protests at that time, but across the United States there were a series of protests against foreclosures, austerity and the unjust economy.

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Why Power Elites Are So Afraid of Telling the Truth

In the last week there were two high profile events that highlighted the inability of those in power to reflect reality and put forward solutions to the urgent problems faced by the United States and the world: the State of the Union and the World Economic Forum at Davos.

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Major Social Transformation Is a Lot Closer Than You May Realize -- How Do We Finish the Job?

The current social movement that exploded onto the national scene with the 2011 Occupy Movement is following the path of successful movements so far. The social change movement in 2014 is poised to begin an exciting era of broadening and deepening the growing consensus for social and economic justice.

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The Incredible Activism of Younger Generations Will Make You A Lot Less Depressed About the Future

In recent weeks, we have had the privilege of hearing from and seeing a number of impressive young people in action. We want to highlight some of the issues that are spurring youth to get active in their communities and what they are doing about them.

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We Are in the Midst of Defeating the Largest Corporate Trade Agreement in History

These are times of great secrecy and misinformation. Government and corporations hide their actions to avoid public disapproval and accountability. Courageous truth-tellers are persecuted for exposing the deep corruption. We depend on whistleblowers to expose the lies and shine light on information that is hidden from the public so we can understand what is happening around us. We need to know the truth in order to participate in the great debates that shape our futures.

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Uniting to Build a National Networked Culture of Resistance

Two weeks ago we began to look very closely at what is happening at Fukushima and produced an article that tells you  what you need to know about this three-part nuclear crisis.  In it we urge a global solution to this global threat.  If you agree, take action by signing this petition.

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As Washington Stalls, a New Economy Is Growing Under the Radar of the Corporate Media -- Join It and Celebrate It!

When we review all that is going on the resistance movement – people protesting the policies we oppose and building the world we want to see; we want to celebrate.  And, when we review how movements transform nations in revolutionary ways, we want to celebrate even more because thousands of people are doing so much right.

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Finding Our Way to Empathy, Passion and Resistance

Public opinion is going through a major change.  The combination of the collapsed and languishing economy; and people standing up and speaking about taboo subjects out loud is creating a new political narrative.

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People Across America Are Waking Up to the Effects of 'Disaster Capitalism' -- a Much Better Way of Life Is Possible

In her book Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein explains how crises are used by governments to distract and frighten people so that unpopular and exploitative policies can be pushed through

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Believe It! Resistance to Corporate Power and Warmongering Is Growing All Around Us

This week we reflect on the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and the fifth anniversary of the financial collapse.

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We Can't Give in to the Culture of Fear and Apathy - Channel Your Discontent into Positive Action

Retired CIA Officer, now a peace and justice activist, Ray McGovern recently wrote in an article called The Moral Imperative of Activism that “This is our summer of discontent. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether that discontent will move us to action. Never in my lifetime have there been such serious challenges….”

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Vibrant Environmental Movement Builds in Response to Extreme Energy Extraction

Impressive environmental protests have been organized by a wide range people calling for an end to radical energy and a transformation to a clean energy economy. Radical energy includes fuel derived from extreme extraction methods like tar sands, hydrofracking and off-shore drilling for oil or methane gas and mountain top removal for coal. This is costly energy, not only in dollars but in its impact on the environment; and it is causing an impressive growth in people taking action to protect the planet.

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After We Stop the Machine, How Do We Create a New World?

A simplified explanation of the strategy to transform our society from a greedy plutocracy to a cooperative democracy, from our destructive path to a sustainable future, is that there are two simultaneous tracks: protest what we do not like and build what we want.  We call this “Stop the Machine, Create a New World.” 

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The Seeds of Rebellion Are Taking Root, and Protests Against Injustices Are Blooming Across the Country

Stephen Shapiro describes Occupy as a “dandelion moment” in which the movement successfully dispersed seeds to float and root, thereby growing into a bigger movement.  We would not limit the seeds to the US Occupy, but include the Arab Spring, the Indignados, the current revolts in Brazil and Turkey and the new phase of revolt in Egypt.  All of these mass actions spread around the globe like seeds spurring more mass actions. In the US we certainly see ongoing activism around many issues and flowers of resistance growing.

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The Rule of Law Is Missing in Action in America -- It's Up to Us to Bring It Back

This week, several rulings on high profile, and not so high profile but also important, cases are expected.  We take a look at the rule of law in this country and wonder if instead we should be putting up “MIA Rule of Law” fliers on lamp posts. Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald says that the judicial system is two-tiered, “one for the ‘haves’ and one for the ‘have-nots.’” The evidence certainly seems to bear that out.

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Why It Takes Organized Resistance To Bring in the Sweeping Change That the Public Wants

Organized Resistance Brings Sweeping Change: Lessons for the US

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The State of Dissent in America: Flex Your Rights

The following content was first published by Truth Out. Visit the Truth Out website to view the original. 

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Popular Resistance Is Building Up, from Hunger Strikes to Democracy Protests Across the Planet

This week, there were many lessons in courage from people who overcame fears and created winning situations by turning power on its head and building the movement.

On Wednesday morning, attorney Lynne Stewart’s compassionate release from prison was denied. Stewart is suffering from breast cancer. Her husband, Ralph Poynter, stood vigil in DC to push for a decision, and then the decision came, with a result they did not want to hear. Stewart should not be in prison at all for her act of assisting her client with a press statement, but she continues to serve a 10 year sentence.

By her grace and strength Stewart turned a seemingly devastating decision into a victory. The abusive reality of the US government was laid bare as she responded with an open letter to her supporters entitled “Disappointed, Not Devastated.” She included a photo of her in prison, obviously suffering from cancer, but smiling broadly. She showed her humanity, writing about her children and grandchildren, her Ralph and promised to continue the struggle. She concluded: 

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The Subjects of American Empire Are Joining in Solidarity

We are all subjects of the American Empire.  Whether we live in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East . . .  we are all under the thumb of neo-liberal capitalism that puts concentrated corporate power in control of our lives. For decades, American Empire and wealthy elite have forced privatization of resources in developing countries and austerity measures on public programs. Now, we are also experiencing these same policies in wealthier nations like the US and Europe.

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Edward Snowden Had a Breaking Point, Where He Decided to Risk It All to Fix This Country -- What's Yours?

When Edward Snowden reached his breaking point, the world saw the truth about the vast extent of spying by the NSA on Americans and people around the world. In an act of conscience, Snowden released secret information, saying “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

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Be Prepared for the Inevitable and Unpredictable Mass Movement

The surprise events in Turkey show how unpredictable mass movements are.  Turkey, which is in a difficult geographic neighborhood, with economically distressed Greece and Cypress nearby and Syria and Iraq on its border, seemed to be fairly stable with five percent economic growth in recent years.  But, obviously that was not the whole story. 

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How Popular Resistance Can Defeat Corporate Power

Two years ago, we announced October2011.org with an article called “History is Knocking.” We asked if the time might be right for a larger mass of people to rise up and occupy public space to challenge the corporate control of our government, a corrupt economy and US militarism. We were not certain what the answer would be, but six months later hundreds of thousands of you did rise up in Occupy encampments across the nation. Many more were inspired by the massive mobilizations to join the work on a broad variety of injustices in their communities.

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Progressive Activism Is Bubbling Up Across the Country -- Here's What's Happening That the Corporate Media Can't Be Bothered to Report

This was a week that exemplified the historic moment in which we live.  We will look back at these times and see the seeds of a national revolt against concentrated wealth that puts profits ahead of people and the planet.

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Popular Resistance Is Percolating Across the Country -- Inspiring Activism That the Corporate Media Always Ignores

Every week we are inspired by the many people throughout the country who are doing excellent work to challenge the power structure and put forward a new path for the country. The popular resistance to plutocracy, concentrated wealth and corporatism is decentralized, creative and growing.

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