By Doug Porter
The organizers of Monday night’s Community Forum on the Role of Progressives in the Age of Trump weren’t expecting a packed house at the Joyce Beers Center in Hillcrest.
Additional chairs were brought in. People were invited to sit on the floor and encouraged to share the eighty printed agendas once they became scarce.
While the overall numbers of people anxious to participate in doing something about the upcoming reign of reaction was impressive, the makeup of the crowd–mostly white, male, and of the baby boomer generation–was disappointing. (Hey, that group includes me.)
A progressive organization dating from the 1990s, Activist San Diego, called the gathering. Invited panelists, including Dr. Jeoff Gordon, Marjorie Cohn, and Rev. Shane Harris, presented their views on the current situation.
The floor was opened up for public comment, with the suggestion for speakers to propose actions for consideration. Activists and non-activists alike spoke to the crowd. Some had ideas, like moving money out of banks and into credit unions. Some had stories to tell, like a gentleman from South Africa who witnessed the rise and fall of apartheid.
Environmental activist/OB People’s Food Cooperative GM Nancy Cassidy pointed out the advantages of cooperative businesses, argued for climate issues to be front and center, and reminded the group of the dangers the Trump administration poses to womens/reproductive rights causes.
County School Board member (and AFT Vice President) Gregg Robinson informed the audience about a statewide meeting of progressive school board members seeking strategies to protect students impacted by probable Trump administration actions.
The gathering then broke into five breakout sessions, including:
- Forming an emergency response network
- Ongoing local collaborations
- Outreach/Developing media content
- Solidarity with other movements
Follow up meetings coming out of Monday night’s session will be announced at ActivistSanDiego.Org and (if they send them to me) in the SDFP Progressive Calendar of Events, published on Fridays.
One final (personal) observation: Coalitions are like people. They tend to be more productive when everybody’s interests are acknowledged. The three editors (and several contributors) the San Diego Free Press were certainly surprised to hear Activist San Diego’s media project (KNSJ.org) described as the sole progressive source for information in town.
November 29: Justice Can’t Wait/Fight for $15
One event mentioned repeatedly at the Hillcrest meeting was the Justice Can’t Wait demonstration, scheduled for Tuesday, November 29th (5pm) at the Federal Building, (880 Front Street, downtown SD).
Racial justice, immigrant rights, environmental, labor, LGBTQ, and housing activist groups from around the city are banding together to send a clear message that Justice Can’t Wait.
They’ll be marching from the downtown starting point to City College.
There are numerous groups involved in this and, unfortunately, they have different Facebook pages and other social media carrying announcements. Here are three: National Action Network, Justice Can’t Wait and UCSD Students Against Mass Incarceration
I believe this event is part of protests planned for 340 cities around the country on November 29th. The date is the fourth anniversary of the movement to raise wages, now known as Fight for $15.
According to The Hill, which indicated many protests will be aimed at airports:
Strikes are planned by bagged handlers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and workers at McDonald’s restaurants around the country.
The “Fight for $15” protests will also hit Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Newark International Airport (EWR), and about 20 other airports in major cities, organizers said on a call with reporters Monday.
“Just because the election went a certain way, doesn’t mean we’re going away,” said Kendall Fells, organizing director of the Fight for $15.
“It’s the exact opposite.”
According to the Guardian:
In addition to the strike at airports, fast-food workers, home care and childcare workers also plan to protest as part of the Fight for $15 movement calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union rights.
Terrence Wise, a McDonald’s worker from Kansas City, Missouri, said Donald Trump’s election had reaffirmed the group’s determination to push for change. “We reject sexism and racism and we will not allow our friends and family members to be deported,” Wise said. “This will not happen.”
“On November 29 we will wage our most disruptive strike and protest ever,” Wise said.
But organizing director Kendall Fells said the group’s message was not specifically directed at President-elect Trump. “Republicans in Congress, the GOP state legislatures, McDonald’s, airlines, they’re who our message is directed to. It’s not for any one particular person.”
Trump Trial Demo Canceled
The organizer of a planned demonstration at the opening day of hearings (November 28th) on the Trump racketeering trial has called it off.
As you all may have heard by now, Trump, despite saying he would never settle, has agreed to pay a $25 Million settlement in the combined Trump University Civil lawsuits.
He also paid a $1 Million dollar Criminal penalty for violating New York Education laws.
There is no need for a demonstration at the Courthouse as there will be no trial in San Diego.
I will post updates on other constructive actions to take against the Trump regime.
A group called Black Friday Against Donald Trump will be protesting in San Ysidro on November 25.
A group called ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism Coalition) is calling for a demonstration in San Diego to protest the inauguration on January 20th.
A group called San Diego Women’s March is calling for a rally & march on January 21st, the day after the inauguration.
Neither inaugural group’s plans appear to be firm at this point.
News of the Donald
Tommorrow’s column will focus on the media: who’s been naughty, who’s been nice, and what we ought to be doing about it. Trust me, if the incoming President has his way, we’ll soon have state-run media or some close approximation.
In the meantime, the followers of Donald Trump who gleefully chanted “Lock Her Up” at campaign rallies are having a sad day.
Republican Trump had vowed to jail Clinton and crowds at his rallies chanted “Lock her up.” But he now believes she “has been through enough,” MSNBC reported on Tuesday, citing an unidentified source.
Addressing the report in an interview with MSNBC, senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway indicated it was correct.
“Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy, but if Donald Trump can help her heal then perhaps that’s a good thing,” she said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.
The flying monkey wing of the Trump coalition is, needless to say, aghast. The current rationalization for the ‘broken promise’ making the rounds on social media is that the statement is merely an attempt to prevent the evil Obama from pardoning Clinton before he leaves office.
Congressional Republicans are undaunted and have pledged to continue their investigations. (Really!)
A Trump in the Hat
A not so well known thing about the late Dr. Seuss are his political cartoons. Here’s one that seems especially appropriate these days:
On This Day: 1718 – English pirate Edward Teach (a.k.a. “Blackbeard”) was killed during a battle off the coast of North Carolina. British soldiers cornered him aboard his ship and killed him. He was shot and stabbed more than 25 times. 1909 – The Uprising of the 20,000.” Some 20,000 female garment workers went on strike in New York; Judge tells arrested pickets: “You are on strike against God.” The walkout, believed to be the first major successful strike by female workers in American history, ended the following February with union contracts bringing better pay and working conditions. 1963 – President Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Texas Governor John B. Connally was also seriously wounded. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated as the 36th President.
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