I’ve seen a lot of commentors make some criticisms of the FDL community for being latte-sipping foodies who bitch and moan all day but never seem to do anything but bitch and moan. And I’ve seen just as many commetors retort and rebut that idea with examples, real world, of their own activism, with results. Nobody would argue that Jane is an activist, for she is daily on the airwaves, organizing this site, petitions, and sometimes getting herself detained/arrested/harassed for her efforts.
And I would give kudos and the activist label to all the daily writers of news/blogs on this site as well. Its not easy to report the news, investigative-style, with the ability to uncover oft-missed details from the MSM and then deliver them in a hard-hitting and succinct, impactful manner.
Having said all that, let me throw some ideas down that could spark some dialogue. I really hope all the naysayers out there jump on this and share their ideas. Lets hear it. If you think FDL readers/commentors can do more, then throw down your ideas right here, right now. That’s what comments are for. But, already being a believer that FDL is a GREAT site with great activism in its blood stream, let me be the first to throw down.
Egypt worked on so many levels, and we can learn from that. We, Americans, who thought we were the special kids of the world who taught the world about democracy and liberty and the shedding of blood, sweat and tears to achieve that liberty, seemed to have forgotten our own voices for a time. But we have found renewed hope in the inspiration that Egyptians have shown us. So we see in Madison, Wisconsin, where the protesters are channeling the Egyptian Energy, the Tunisian Tsunami, the Spirit of Revolution and Change that Obama hijacked in 2008 for the sake of political gain, but which has not been squandered and is still alive and well for the sake of TRUE HOPE AND CHANGE.
1. Get the Media’ Attention – I know the corporate media has resisted giving airtime to the Wisconsin protests, but they now have no choice. When Al Jazeera English or the BBC or the UK Guardian outdo them on DOMESTIC NEWS then the MSM knows it better go on the boat.
2. Strength in Numbers – okay, so we have seen the Wisconsin protests go from 5000 to 40,000 in 3 days. On Saturday, the Teabagging Astroturfers are coming to make hay. Bring It On. If 100,000 people can show up on Saturday to support Teachers and Public Employees, we will have exponentially changed the conversation. It will be in the headlines: Bahrain, Yemen, Wisconsin…
How do we get numbers? I know people are worried about losing income, jobs, etc if they spend more than a few days out there. So, use your vacation time if you can. Use sick days. When you can’t afford the cost of plane tickets and the cost of food is soaring, what will you do on vacation anyway? Drink beer and watch tv? Play with the kids? Bring the kids and march instead. If you can.
What else to boost numbers? How about everyone on Unemployment. You won’t lose your benefits if you march. If you do, then maybe sites like FDL can help with the speed-dialing of plaintiff’s lawyers and constitutional lawyers for a class action suit. If you’re on Unemployment, then MARCH. Help BOOST THE NUMBERS. Your voices will be part of the solution.
Wisconsin is in a “budget crisis” largely as a result of Corporate Tax Breaks and tax cuts for its top earners. Cronyism has given tax breaks to the wealthy, corporate welfare to the wealthy, and now has resulted in a shortfall of revenue to be balanced on the backs of the middle class and working poor. And those corporate recipients of that corporate welfare have shipped jobs to other states, or even other nations as a thank you to the people of Wisconsin and America who will now have to pick up the tab.
In 2008, over 1 trillion dollars was spent to bail out banks and investment firms that had squandered billions of dollars in pensions, 401ks, and savings. US TAX DOLLARS spent to prop up corporate losers. Who lost YOUR MONEY, and FIRED YOU FROM YOUR JOBS. They took your money in the form of TAX DOLLARS and now demand that YOU TAKE FURTHER PAY CUTS or STAY UNEMPLOYED.
I told a friend last night – allowing people to organize into Unions is no different than allowing Corporations to organize into Lobbying Associations. The Unions are merely the lobbyists for the worker. If we are going to criminalize Unions, and make it illegal for people to organize, then why haven’t we done likewise with Lobbyists and Trade Associations? If Employees and Workers can’t have Unions, then Corporations and Wealthy Employers can’t have Trade Associations that lobby on their behalf.
Fair? Yes. In the cards? No. Demand it. If you’re unemployed, you can thank the same people who are pushing this crap now in Wisconsin. Get on the bus, walk, hitch a ride, and march with those who are about to join your ranks before its too late.
What would happen if 1 million unemployed converged on Madison? IT WOULD HIT THE FAN. Literally.
3. Obama has close 1 Billion in campaign funds now in his treasure chest. He wants to be re-elected? Democrats like him? NOW is the time to repair the burnt bridges with Labor. NOW. Write, call, organize, protest, and petition your democratic party to switch course now. Republicans have Wall Street. Democrats may yet still have Unions, Self-Employed, and Unemployed people. NOW is the time. Instead of spending all those campaign contributions on ADVERTISING (which is just TALK), use some of it to WALK THE WALK. Pay for the transportation to get the unemployed to those events. Get the press corps focused on this battle.
4. The Democrats in the Best Western – stay there. For 2 years if you have to. We need to raise the money for about 2 dozen State Democrats to find semi-permanent lodging in Illinois. Shut down Wisconsin government until re-election time. Live there. Find a way to stay gone so long that Governor Darth Walker has no choice but to switch gears, or step down. If Sarah Palin can stop mid-term, then anybody can.
5. Keep Blogging. We, the citizen journalists, have a hard road to fight. Its hard enough just getting our fellow Americans to KNOW ABOUT the events that matter, then try informing them of how much the MSM got it wrong. CHANGE THE DIALOGUE. FRAME THE ISSUES. Be the Paul Revere’s of our day. BLOG, WRITE, PAPER and POST. Do op-eds. Write Letters to the Editor. Fax the local papers with your opinions. Tell the local papers that you care about these issues, and if they won’t report on it, you will. Put out the flyers. Use whatever resources you have to SHARE THE MESSAGE.
We don’t need a million community organizers to do this. But A Million BLOGGERS can help 1 organizer.
Think about before next time criticizing everybody at FDL who blogs and shares. THIS is an important piece of the puzzle. If you have the resources and ability to organize, then DO IT. Then share your stories with us here so we can PUBLICIZE IT, give it the FREE PR it deserves, and SPREAD THE WORD to make YOUR JOB, as an Organizer, EASIER and more EFFECTIVE!
Okay, that’s my preliminary ideas. Throw down if you like. We have a Republic to restore.