Monday, October 24, 2011

10/24/11 Foreclosures

Foreclosures are obviously an economic issue. Prices of homes in Linkneighborhoods drops, tax bases erode, and important community relationships are severed. There are also important health issues as well. In a NY Times article "Foreclosures Are Killing Us" there is some very disturbing news. Anxiety, depression, suicide attempts, heart disease, and diabetes all seem to be part of the problem. There have been studies on this and many La Raza Unida members are participating with (Un) Occupy Burque on STOP FORECLOSURE work.

Please get involved, even if it is just spreading the word!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Culture of Democracy10-19-11

We have an opportunity to strengthen cultures of democracy at this moment. It would be a waste not to take advantage. Control over the decisions of our lives is an important step to create real people power.

There is also a teach-in going on at UNM. One message from yesterday is that social justice IS public health!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More on IRV 10/13/11

Portland, Maine is another place implementing instant runoff voting.

In 2010 North Carolina was the first state to implement IRV at the statewide level. Imagine if each of the cities supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement were able to demand and implement IRV and public financing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Instant Runoff Voting 10/11/11

If we want to change our economy we need to change how we elect the people who make the laws that regulate corporations. Maybe we can start with Albuquerque.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

10-08-11 Occupy reflection

Today was a great day of taking it to the banks. The march started off at UNM and went to Central and San Mateo. Along the way stopping at banks and even went into Wal-Mart. At one point the group took to the center of San Mateo and Central. Very exciting for the mobilization piece.

Lots of things happen that need to be processed and discussed.

Multi-party democracy is one part of all the things that need to be changed. Here are "left" parties you can register for in NM. When you get a voter registration form just fill in one of the three letter abbreviations in box 5.

La Raza Unida de Nuevo Mejico (LRU)
New Mexico Socialist Party (SNM)
New Party of New Mexico (PNM)
Peace and Freedom Party (PAF)
Socialist Labor Party (SLP)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Worker's World Party (WWP)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New York City General Assembly Declaration 10/06/11

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Public Health and Social Justice - V Navarro 1976

"....there is a need to link the public health struggles, both at the local and national levels, with larger political struggles at all levels, political struggles that should be aimed at profoundly transforming a system that works primarily for the few and not for the many. To that end, we must struggle and organize."

Vicente Navarro, 1976

Short Reflection on Occupy

This is a brief set of thoughts on the current political impulse.

My main question is how do we make direct action, community organizing, and electoral work build upon each other?

We know that a more open approach to politics will make things better for many people. It will not be the solution, but will move things forward. As an example, there have been Mayors who make sure that police do not attack strikers and demonstrators. There are also elected officials, Senator Sanders as an example, who believe in many things that the 99% organizers believe.

We can move beyond "either/or" and get to "all and." This means that we will have to learn to listen to each other. We have to learn to communicate differently. To reach out and check in more often.

We'll make mistakes. And it is OK because this is the time to learn to be gentler with those fighting for social justice. We tend to be very hard on each other. It is time to move beyond that.

We have the opportunity now to discuss lots of things. Who has the privilege to camp, be arrested, travel to demonstrate, etc. And how to use that as an advantage. We have the chance to have conversations about class, race, gender and more with people have not had those conversations with.

We have the opportunity now to talk beyond individual issues. We have the opportunity to discuss changes in the systems and rules. Systems change after the rules change. You don't get different people at the table as long as you need to be a millionaire to buy a ticket. We get different policies by the combination of pressure and more representative decision-makers. We have had one good discussion at Camp Coyote about long-term electoral politics. Something beyond the current "progressive" approach. We need to have many, many more of those conversations.

We have the opportunity now to take many movements and turn it into movement! Many communities have been screwed by capitalism for many years. Like many problems now that it is impacting the white and middle-class it is a "crisis."And in many real respects it is a crisis for all of us.

This is a great time to be alive and working for social justice!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10/04/11 - Left Parties

Yesterday at Camp Coyote there was a discussion of electoral politics and direct democracy. The electoral politics reviewed the reality that we currently do not have a federal level left party. We discussed needing work on that and how many electoral reforms will be necessary for that. Among the reforms necessary were same day registration, ballot access laws, and instant runoff voting.

Someone asked if there were differences in outcomes between proportional representation and "winner take all." The winner take all systems tend to have two parties, and lean more to the right in general when compared with proportional representation. Another idea presented was for those who do not participate in the primaries to register with a left political party. This will begin to build collective electoral action. Below are a list of left political parties recognized by NM.

Not all independents identify as left or right.

Independent (IND)
Independent New Mexican Party (NMI)

La Raza Unida de Nuevo Mejico (LRU)
New Mexico Socialist Party (SNM)
New Party of New Mexico (PNM)
Peace and Freedom Party (PAF)
Socialist Labor Party (SLP)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Worker's World Party (WWP)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Occupy Burque Day 2

Schedule - Noon: Meeting
5:30PM Protest at Bank of The West (Central & San Mateo)

Now is a good time to build a broader movement that includes the intersection of class, race, gender and other oppressions. It is also a good time to build an understanding of the long-term nature of social change. It is a good time to talk about how to coordinate direct action and electoral work.

Ultimately we need to change the rules of the game. The US is not only the most economically unequal country but also a very non-democratic country. We need public financing, same day voter registration, and also instant runoff voting. We should strive for proportional representation. These changes seem small but they change power dynamics. These changes will improve voter turnout for the working class and people of color. With concentrated effort we can also ensure that the elected start to look more like the rest of us - more working people, more people of color, and more women.

This reduces poverty. It isn't the solution but we have two ways to work toward this. One is to fight item by item to improve our welfare state system or we can change the electoral system and then be able to fight from both inside AND outside.

The social and economic justice movement has an amazing boost of energy. How do we better coordinate direct and electoral action?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Occupy Burque Day 1

The numbers mentioned ranged between 250 and 600. People inLink Solidarity with the rest of the Working Class and tired of Billionaire Bailouts came together!

Here are links to some of the media coverage:

Non-Violent Protest In Albuquerque

Raw AP Video

Occupy Burque