Politics and Social Movements
If you look right now at the Yahoo News page there are two conflicting stories:
1 "Obama lead on McCain grows to 12 points"
2 "AP presidential poll: Race tightens in final weeks"
Either Obama has a 12 point lead (Reuteurs) or 1 point lead (AP).
I think putting a ban on foreclosing mortgages and printing money (increasing liquidity) would "solve" the crisis. Let the banks fail (currently the largest bank that was failing was bought up by another corporation (JP Morgan I think) which seemed happy to get it!). Let the stock market fall 20%.
Also, I think there are more important economic problems in the US including unemployment, poverty, and non-existent or overly costly healthcare.
Obama is calling for hope, but failing to talk about power and is failing to be an organizer. The goal of community organizing is for the organizer to help people realize that they have power, to help them organize around their grievances, and for the people to lead.
Here are a couple possible causes for how a major progresive political party could develop in the US.
It will probably take several of them.
1. The death of the Democrats.
Interesting looking activist journal. Hard to read though. Because of the layout and disorganization of the contents I didn't read any of the articles. Whereas if they'd just done regular black text on white background, and used regular fonts, I'd probably have read at least 3 articles.
In 2007, Clinton raised $97 million for the primaries and Obama raised $95.6 million (http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=332). Obama did get more small donations (as did Ron Paul), but he is NOT doing well in this race because of his message. In fact Clinton is getting more votes per dollar spent than Obama (probably because she has a major name recognition advantage).
Obama is doing well because he has an ok message and a hundred million dollars of money that comes from the rich (and the guillible non-rich).
The goal of this website (CampusActivism.org) and ActivismNetwork.org is to serve both students and non-students.
However, if you look at our list of upcoming events you will see that around 80% of them are student related. Here are several reasons for this:
1. This site is better plugged into student networks. You might think this is the major reason, but I hypothesize that a key reason is that there are a lot more student grassroots activisty conferences than non-student ones.
According to a recent poll Canadians prefer the Democrats to Republicans by a ratio of 4 to 1. Even Canadian Conservative Party supporters prefer the Democrats by a ratio of 2 to 1. So even the most conservative third of Canadians would still go with the Democrats (the Conservative party has roughly 33% support).
United for Peace and Justice is organizing 11 regional protests on October 27. It's an interesting alternative to the more-typical national or semi-national mobilizations. Normally the mass mobilizations are in DC, NYC, and Los Angeles (with Chicago another possibility). I don't recall the last time someone did this type of decentralizing - fitting between the national mobilization and a day of action with protests in 100 cities.
Now if only the US could catch up with Canada. Canada is debating whether/how quickly to pull out of Afghanistan...
I have an idea for a tactic to build power and end the war in Iraq: create a website to coordinate the most extensive picketing that US military recruitment offices have ever seen. The US military is already having trouble recruiting, and a website could be a powerful spark that could reduce recruitment and otherwise exert enough pressure to be a major factor in causing the US to leave Iraq.
I'm not talking about a day of action. I'm talking about round the clock picketing of hundreds of military recruitment offices.
The website would include a database of military recruitment offices and a schedule. Users would sign-up to picket their local office and to mobilize the people in their community to do the same. The goal would be to picket the office for as many hours that it is open as possible. It might be best to try and get two people doing it (having someone with you makes it easier). Each recruiting office would have a picketing schedule that would be publicly displayed online.