Vision: Chin Up Progressives, Things are Happening! 5 Ways To Jump in and Get Involved

Even though sometimes it feels dire out there, it's always good to remember that progressives across the world are working, fighting and protesting creatively to uphold justice and the basic tenets of democracy. Right now, more than ever, these happenings seem to be converging, and we can be heartened by domestic and international movements -- such as US and UK Uncut -- that push back at conservatives and confront corporate abuse. Here are great ways to join in and motivate for a more equal society:

US Uncut.

Over the past decade, 12 multinational corporationshave spent $1 billion on lobbying Washington for loopholes that have allowed them to pay next to nothing -- or literally nothing -- in taxes. The grassroots, anti-exploitation movement US Uncut refuses to let this happen anymore, and is calling for 'No Cuts Til Corporate Tax Cheats Pay Up.' This weekend -- tax weekend -- is a huge time for protests, and events all over the US will be going down on April 15-18. So far, along with the ever-satisfying Bank of America pickets, they've had live music and other events; check here to see what's happening in your town.'s Rolling Fasts.

Over 30,000 people -- including 28 members of Congress -- have already signed up for MoveOn's rolling fast action, which protests the GOP's immoral proposed budget cuts that will leave millions of American elderly and children literally starving. Click hereto get involved, and watch the video below, starring Moby, for more info.  


Progressive Pranking.

US Uncut strikes again! Last week, in conjunction with the Yes Men, a satirical political prank duo, convinced the AP to print a fake story from GE:

The AP fell for a "sophisticated hoax" from the Yes Men, including an elaborate press release purportedly from GE declaring its aim to return its $3.8 billion tax break to the government and to survey American citizens on how that money should be distributed. And the AP printed it. The hoax made everyone look silly, particularly the news organizations that bought it, but fact that this story is a fake only highlights the selfishness of the corporation for not being so generous, and the free ride given to GE by the government.

Altruistic genius and totally fun. To donate to the Yes Men, check out their blog here.

• Let Your Money Do the Talking.

This week, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee sent Obama a letter signed by over 88,000 former volunteers, voters and donors saying they would withhold all support in 2012 if he sacrificed Medicare/Medicaid in the budget negotiations. Yesterday, in Obama's speech, one of the points he was most resolute about was keeping those programs intact. Whether that letter had a precise impact on his stance is unclear, but it's hard to argue with "26,000 volunteers who gave 1.1 million volunteer hours in 2008 and over 43,000 donors who gave $8.2 million to Obama in 2008." It's an effective message that we can keep piling on as the budget talks go forward.

And if you happen to be a millionaire, you can join Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, who would rather have their own taxes raised than important social programs cut. Yesterday over 40 wealthy individuals sent a letter to Obama, Boehner and Reid saying as much, and there are plans in the works to go to Washington to discuss the issue.

• Calculate Your Taxes.

And no, not the ones due on April 18, 2011. Robert Greenwald has created the Cost of War Calc-master, that will tell you exactly how much you're individually paying for the war in Afghanistan based on your income. After showing you the exact amount of your taxes that went towards the futile conflict, the  site directs you to a place where you can send the government an IOU for those expenditures. If you talk to them in their language -- dollar signs -- maybe they'll start listening.


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at April 14, 2011, 8:34am

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