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Talk to Tim Carpenter

3 PM (Pac): Tim Carpenter, National Director of Progressive Democrats of America
Report from Washington, DC on Grassroots Strategy Day, Lobbying, and Demonstrations
From the BackBoneCampaign

When: Monday, September 26th, 3 PM Pacific/ 6 PM Eastern
Where: Everywhere...
How to Participate? Two ways:

1. Dial 1-641-297-5500, follow prompts then enter access code 7764-7377 followed by #.
Please RSVP with "Carpenter" in the subject so we can reserve a spot for you. or
2. Log in to chat and ask questions while you listen at Voice of Vashon
3. Click here to email your questions ahead of time.

Tim Carpenter, (bio) will join us to report on one of the most exciting weekends in recent memory (for progressives). PDA will have had a contingent in the demonstrations Saturday and folks participating in the National Lobbying Day on Monday. Their Grassroots Strategy Day promises to be chalked full of organizing potential, with multiple presentations and opportunities for shaping our approach to the next year. Tim will share his observations of the weekend's events and their relevance to those of us not able to attend. If you're like me and wish you could be there, or will be there and want share your observations and questions for one of the country's most important organizers, RSVP now so we can reserve space for you on the call. Please, RSVP with "Carpenter" in the subject line, so we can reserve space for you on the call.


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Until Democrats (and others) are prepared to acknowledge America's real problems and their underlying causes, you might as well be pissing into the wind. The history of America -- the real history -- provides ample reasons to feel anger and resentment at the course the nation has taken.

There was the extermination of Turtle Island’s original inhabitants by white men who called themselves Christians. There was the institution of slavery. There is the continuing unequal treatment of the races and the sexes. There is the bloody history of the violent suppression of the once promising labor movement. There is the history of U.S. invasion and domination of sovereign nations. All of this is depressing stuff. It is painful to know, but it is what happened. It is the legacy of the American Empire and one cannot understand the present crises without understanding how the country got to where it is now. It requires courage to face the reality of America's past. It will require equal courage to create a better future.

Since the founding of the nation, there has always been a struggle between the rich and powerful and the nation’s working poor -- never more so than now. It is class struggle that is at the root of most of what is wrong with America today.

The weight of this truth is awful. It is on display for the world to see in the city of New Orleans. It is on display in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is on display in two hundred countries that the United States has bombed. We see armed thugs roaming the streets of a once great city and I'm not referring to the so called looters. I am referring to the armed mercenaries, the police, and FEMA. New Orleans bears a striking resemblance to Iraq. The same forces are at work in both places. The poor in New Orleans have much in common with the poor people of Iraq. Contrary to popular belief, the police, the National Guard and the military do not exist to protect the lives of ordinary Americans. They exist to protect the property and the wealth of the rich and powerful from the poor.

The brokers of power fear and loathe poor people; the working class. They must be dispersed so they cannot organize against them. The government left them to suffer the wrath of Hurricane Katrina with the certain knowledge that they were disproportionately the poor and the politically weak who would die and lose everything. When powerful hurricanes struck the state of Florida last summer that affected the political constituents of Zeb Bush, the result was very different.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina we see a microcosm of what America has become. We are witnessing the emerging police state of fascism. Bush informs us that New Orleans will be rebuilt; and I am sure that it will. But it will almost certainly be rebuilt in a way that bears little resemblance to what it was before Katrina. It will be rebuilt in the image of Bush’s New World Order. This culturally rich city will be altered demographically in ways that boggle the mind.

The good people of New Orleans are being interned in what are essentially concentration camps around the country. They are treated like criminals, like enemies of the state. Their only crime is that many of them are black; and most of them are poor. They are the disposable population who by their mere existence pose a threat to the comfortable lives of the power brokers in high offices. Once again, as in the case of war, we are witnessing the rich preying upon the poor.

Let us remind ourselves that this is a continuation of America’s longest war -- the class war. Will the Democrat half of America's political duopoly acknowledge and address that reality? It has shown little overt inclination to do so recently.

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