Why I continue to support Jill Stein?

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For one, I’m a green. But that’s not really simply why I’m supporting Jill.

Many of us want a real “choice” in our elections. However, given the nature of our elections, their “winner-take-all” nature bears the risk of earning away votes from, perhaps, a tolerable major party candidate and possibly tipping the majority of votes in favor of the other, more craven, ruling party’s candidate. It makes people afraid to vote for what they want. It often leads people to vote against what they are most afraid of by giving away their votes to a “lesser evil”. Greens want to make democracy possible in the US and electoral reform is part of that (we advocate preference voting). We’re challenging bipartisan rule. You won’t find me apologetic about that. It’s not easy and we know there are consequences of challenging power. Challenging power always has consequences to discourage challenges to it. That’s true all over the world.

There’s more to it, for me, than simply offering another selection on the ballot. It’s really about politics and more precisely, independent politics. Politics that are not just about reform and maintaining existing systems no matter what but the kind of politics that allows us to consider fundamentally changing our systems to adapt our relationships to the environment, industrialism and one another that eradicates poverty once and for all.

Jill Stein embodies that vision of a better world. Her “plan” is the best plan to help us move beyond the old systems that are indebting our people and replacing that with program of economic security and dignity. Dr Stein wants to eradicate poverty, not to continue managing it as we have been doing. She wants both education and healthcare as a “right” and to abolish student debt. She wants to cut the kind of military spending that’s turning our nation into a bankrupt empire. She wants to empower the people by abolishing the “legal fiction” of corporate “personhood” and establish a constitutional right to vote to protect voting rights. I could go on and on but, for me, she’s the obvious choice and the direction independent and disaffected voters from major parties need to be aligning with.

This election, the democrats are offering Bernie Sanders as their 20 Century “New Deal” style liberal offering in their primaries (as an alternative to Hilary’s neoliberalism). He wants to restore the old social and economic order of regulated industrialism that made the “middle class” possible. I know he calls himself a “democratic socialist” but that shouldn’t really scare anybody as what he describes is, at best, a more ambitious form of “New Deal” liberalism or better known as Keynesian economics (aka: “Scandinavian Socialism”… which isn’t technically “socialism”).

However, I don’t believe restoring the old social and economic order of the 20th Century’s “New Deal” now addresses what is needed now. You shouldn’t either. It was never a perfect deal. It was a series of concessions that were a compromise forged in the ‘lens’ of it’s own time (necessary in many ways, to avoid revolution during the Great Depression). Bernie is probably one of the last of it’s credible defenders. Yet as a “plan”, recycling it for the 21st century is really just inadequate and nobody should fool themselves that it will ‘magically’ sort things out for us it was never designed to address.

I remain unmoved by the latest ‘spin’ by those that defend power use to characterize the greens. Some in the democratic party are promoting the language of green “idealists” (note: coming from a party bankrupt of any effective broad vision at all). Their suggestion smells of the idea that we should be ‘satisfied’ selecting from neoliberals from both ruling parties and not concern ourselves having a voice with practical aspirations that would actually address structural and systemic problems that negatively impact people’s lives. It’s not really our “idealism” but our “integrity” and persistence that has the spin artists hot under the collar. However, Greens are not putting off pursuing democracy and waiting to throw our “hat in the ring”. I expect that once we’re in the general election, the “spoiler” narrative will find it’s way back as well which I’ll respond as I have before:

“It’s not the job of the Greens to shore up the numbers of the democratic party candidates. They have vast numbers of voters already registered with their party they need to mobilize to get out to vote and their failure to do that does not give that party any entitlement to Green votes. The democrats spoil their own elections by their inability to mobilize their own base of supporters”

I think Mahatma Gandhi’s quote puts our struggle in perspective: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. Greens spent several electoral cycles where we were just simply ignored. Later we were defamed and blamed in hopes we’d just fold up and go away and people wouldn’t take us seriously. That didn’t happen. Now the democrats are actually fighting us. It’s a bit different this time as many folks who have decided to support Bernie are openly defecting in saying that “if he doesn’t win the primaries, they are supporting Jill!”. The democrats are worried that Bernie’s support won’t automatically translate directly into support for Hillary in the general election (like it had in the past with other “progressive’ish” candidates that washed out in the democratic primaries). From my point of view, the Greens are crossing new threshold and it’s quite an exciting time where Green politics will start impacting the national dialog and make our way into a broader discussion. However, no struggle is easy. They wouldn’t call it “struggle” if it were. So we continue, inch by inch, organizing better and building the green movement. #ItsInOurHands

Experience the Maze of Horror Experience Zombie Quarantine Edition!

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MAZE EVENT TO REOPEN THIS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22ND AT 7PM-11PM WITH LAST GROUP GOING THROUGH AT 1045PM

MAZE Experience the Maze of Horror Experience Zombie Quarantine Edition.

On October 8th, 2015 at 2350 34th St. NORTH, ST. Petersburg, FL 33713 an office manager just having traveled to east Africa comes home with what he thought was just the flu. The virus rapidly spreads throughout the office turning his coworkers on each other and within minutes the center for disease control is called in to quarantine the building to contain the virus from spreading in the St. Petersburg / Tampa Bay area.
Join the fight in our Maze of Horror experience Zombie quarantine edition!

@ [null:#Halloween] @ [null:#StPete] @ [null:#Clearwater] @[null:#Tampa] @[null:#hauntedhouse] @[null:#Hauntedhouse]

PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT HOMELESS FAMILIES AND OTHERS AND UNDERPRIVILEGED KIDS TO BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN A MUSIC PROGRAM

 

Survival Programs: Hurricane Katrina, the Black Panthers and the Angola 3, an Evening with Malik Rahim of the Common Ground Collective

NEXT Monday night, August 3rd, please join us at Good Samaritan for this event that will happen at 630pm at the Church, sponsored by the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign Florida​: 

An Evening with Malik Rahim​, founder of the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans as he discusses Survival Programs: Hurricane Katrina, the Black Panthers, and the Angola 3 

Photo of Mr. Rahim was taken at Dolores Park in San Francisco October 27, 2007. Rahim, representing Common Ground, gave a speech to an anti-war crowd who had marched from San Francisco's Civic Center.

Photo of Mr. Rahim was taken at Dolores Park in San Francisco October 27, 2007. Rahim, representing Common Ground, gave a speech to an anti-war crowd who had marched from San Francisco’s Civic Center.

August 29th will mark the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In that apocalyptic atmosphere, life reorganized itself. In the face of the inaction of the public authorities and white vigilantes roaming the streets shooting at unarmed black males, forgotten forms of resistance were reborn. Malik Rahim, a former black panther, and a handful of anti-authoritarians created Common Ground Collective, and with it health clinics, tool lending library, eviction defense, roof-tarping, distribution of aid, community gardens, a woman’s shelter, tree-cutting service, community media center, bioremediation, debris clean up, radio station, they stopped house demolitions, documented police abuses and more. In effect, being “a conduit for the twenty-first century version of the Ten Point Program” These efforts led even ABC’s Nightline to call Common Ground “A very remarkable group of Americans who just may save New Orleans”.

But none of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the Angola 3: three panthers in Louisiana’s Angola prison wrongly convicted of murdering a jail guard. The founders of Common Ground found each other through advocating for the release of these political prisoners. Malik Rahim, will recount this history and share the struggle of Albert Woodfox, an innocent man and the sole member of the Angola 3 still in solitary confinement more than 43 years after his wrongful conviction. Every time an elder dies, it is like a library has been burned. A generation ago, Panthers organized for the self-determination of black communities by implementing survival programs, the best known of which was a kid’s free breakfast program, but also consisted of self-policing neighborhoods, political education, and food and clothes distribution, thereby becoming a threat by showing an alternative. These struggles, and the knowledge and experience learned from them, are still relevant to the ongoing struggles of today. It is a history that is lost unless it is told. Malik will join us to spread this knowledge, contributing a vital link connecting movements of today with movements of the past, in hopes of furthering the struggle for environmental peace and justice.

Good Samaritan Church Pinellas Park​ is 6085 Park Blvd. Pinellas Park, Florida, call 727 278 1547 for info about event or find it on Facebook here.

Slightly Stoopid @ Vinoy Park – St. Petersburg, FL

This shows proceeds benefit the Refuges work with Homeless and those who struggle with Poverty, in the Tampa Bay area. Tickets will be given away for this show on the Revolutionary Road Radio show next Monday, July 20th at 10pm on AM 1340. Listen on also on the web anywhere. For info go to our Facebook event.

Fight for $15 and a Living Wage 4/15/2015

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PLEASE JOIN US! It is coming down to the Wire! The largest nation wide STRIKE, WALK OUT, and RALLY of Low Wage workers in US history is happening next Wed. April 15, 2015 in 190 cities across the US.

Please join us for events to happen in the Tampa Bay area starting at 6AM in the morning in St. Petersburg, then going to City in St. Pete at 10AM, then going into Tampa for several events at USF, a picnic at a park in “Suitcase City” in Tampa, a culminating in a March at 3pm near Fowler Ave. Please call at 727 278 1547 or bruce@stpeteprogressives.org. to confirm interest. WE NEED YOU and need to know how many are covering. Transportation and Food provided, but we need to know if you are coming. Full schedule will be sent to you. Thanks, Bruce Wright, Poor People’ Economic Human Rights Campaign, My Place In Recovery, The Fight for 15, and the Green Party, and Green Shadow Cabinet. Join our Fight for 15 in Florida! We believe that low-wage fast food workers are short-changed every day that goes by that they’re not making a living wage from fast-food companies that are profiting billions per year. We believe that no matter what you’re doing, if you’re working hard and still can’t afford to live then there’s a major problem going on. The fast-food industry caters to the growing tourist economies in Florida, and these workers are the life-blood of these stores. It’s time past-due that we treat them with respect and give them the opportunity to make a living wage and the right to form a union without retaliation.

Enough is enough; communities and workers in FL, it’s time to end the fast-food struggle by joining the movement to improve the quality of life for thousands of exploited workers in the fast-food industry in Florida.

http://fightfor15.org/en/

http://lowpayisnotok.org/

http://april15.org/