We are the revolution we’ve been waiting for: a report from the People’s Summit

RoseAnn DeMoro and Bernie SandersBY ED FELIEN

If you’re a member of a co-op, you’re the revolution you’ve been waiting for.
If you’re part of Black Lives Matter, you’re the revolution you’ve been waiting for.
If you’re fighting for the dignity of all human beings, you’re the revolution you’ve been waiting for.
If you’re out there, brothers and sisters, you are not alone.
First of all, you’ve got very dedicated nurses looking after you.
And you’ve got leader-ship.  You have strong trade-union-tough leadership that is not afraid of anything.
RoseAnn DeMoro, the  executive director of National Nurses United, brought the Peoples Summit 2016 to order at 7:30 Friday, June 17.  Wonderfully serious and loving, you felt she was taking you by the hand to lead you across a busy street.  She had a devoted fan club of about a thousand members from her union cheering.
And she wants to take this on.  Her union wants her to take this on.  The people at the Summit want her to take this on.  She’s taking charge.  She’s doing lead organizing in coordinating a coalition of trade unions, peace activists, environmental groups, etc., into an After-Bern Coalition, that looks to remain a permanent caucus in the Democratic Party.  Thomas Frank (“What’s the Matter With Kansas?”) thinks there will be another campaign four years from now. He sees the struggle inside the Democratic Party as between the Young Urban Professionals (Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and hedge fund managers) against the very traditional New Deal Democrats like FDR and Bernie Sanders.
The actress Rosario Dawson was on the opening panel.  She talked about working inside and outside—running for office and demonstrating in the streets.  We’re a coalition of activists that support each other.  We don’t cut or undermine each other’s work—no sectarian nonsense.  We’re  supportive.
We’re supportive of Black Lives Matter, 350, Democratic Socialists of America and more than 50 other activist organizations, like People for Bernie and CodePink.
Locally we’re lucky we have a well-developed network of peace and justice organizations.  The Anti-War Committee does an excellent job agitating and propagandizing on behalf of the Palestinian and Somali communities. Women Against Military Madness has a vigil for peace every Wednesday on the Lake Street Bridge from 5 to 6 and a vigil on Fridays from 4:30 to 5:30 at Snelling and Summit in St. Paul to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Vets for Peace is dedicated and active.   Communities United Against Police Brutality is sponsoring a change to the Minneapolis Charter to require police officers to carry insurance so the city doesn’t have to continue to pay damages to victims of police brutality.
South Minneapolis has strong neighborhood organizations with dedicated volunteers and staff.   Our greatest organizational achievement in South Minneapo-lis are our co-ops.  The Wedge and Seward Co-op are living embodiments of the Co-operative Commonwealth of the 1934 Farmer-Labor Party Platform: “Capitalism has failed and should be abolished, and we mean to establish a Co-operative  Commonwealth.”   The Wedge and Seward are both at critical points in their development.  Both have expanded to provide greater service, and both are experiencing temporary cash flow problems.   Join your local co-op.  They’re us.  We are them.  We are the future.
Go to a neighborhood meeting.  Speak up.  We’re all in this together.
That’s what I got out of the People’s Summit.  I got all fired up!
The Anti-War Committee is chartering a bus to go to Cleveland to join the July 18 March on the RNC to Dump Trump.  They will be leaving Minneapolis on the evening of Sunday, July 17, and be back in Minneapolis on the morning of Tuesday, July 19. They are driving to Cleveland, protesting, then coming home. No overnight hotel stay in Cleveland.  Go to antiwarcommittee.org for more information.
A word of caution: Be careful.  Watch out for agent provocateurs.  Police agents may try to get you to do stupid stuff.  Worry about the guy who volunteers to do security.  Know that police departments are racist and pro-Trump.  Know that Ohio used to have a huge Klan population; Akron had 50,000 members in the 1920s.  Nothing would make them happier than to see your blood in their streets.  But go.  And tell the world Trump is a bigot, and that we will fight him every inch of the way.
Some die-hard Bernie-crats may want to go to Philadelpia.   Check out their facebook page: March on the Democratic Convention July 25.  People are practicing how to submit peacefully to arrest at a sit-in.  Former Minneapolis organizer Cheri Honkala will be leading protests. She started occupying abandoned HUD houses with homeless people in the mid-1980s in Minneapolis, 30 years ahead of the more recent Occupy movement.
RoseAnn DeMoro will also be there exercising leadership.  She gave the final address to the People’s Summit.  She asked how many were going to the Democratic Convention.  About a thousand people raised their hands.  She cautioned the demonstrators, “Don’t do anything outside your comfort zone.”
Be militant.  Be strong.  But be sensible.

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