In alliance, Sue Wheaton
for the DC Alliance Steering Committee
For Immediate Release For more information:
December 5, 2000 Ted Glick, 973-338-5398
IN WAKE OF UNFAIR ELECTIONS, PROGRESSIVES FROM ACROSS THE U.S.
LAUNCH SERIES OF PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIONS
Over the weekend of Dec. 2-3, at the National 4-H Conference Center just outside of Washington, D.C., leaders from close to 50 local, state, regional and national organizations, a mix of races, ages, and parts of the country and experience in the struggle, came together for “Progressive Dialogue II.” The main purpose of this annual conference was to discuss “where do we go from here” as an independent progressive movement in light of the political energy unleashed over the past year.
This upsurge began with the creative and effective actions in Seattle and continued through other mass actions and the Nader/LaDuke campaign, leading to the current popular dissatisfaction with the present election debacle, particularly the outright denial of the right to vote for many people of color, especially in Florida.
Discussions centered around a “Pro-Democracy Campaign;” the need for race to be placed at the center of a newly-emerging, 21st Century progressive movement; finding and linking our various movements; and a call to establish a “shadow government.” The climate of the discussions was encapsulated by the long-time civil rights leader, Ms. Victoria Gray-Adams, as “creating a new way of being.”
Ted Glick, the national coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network and a co-convener of the dialogue, commented afterwards, “As the nation waits to find out who will be the next President, it is tremendously encouraging that groups from around the country have come together to develop a plan to defend the rights of working people and move towards a real democracy whoever becomes President. Concrete plans, people prepared to work, energy, and the beginnings of a vision for the future—as we witnessed here—have inspired me and others to step up the battle for true freedom.”
The Pro-Democracy Campaign will be initiated by actions this month and next:
· PROTEST THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE on Monday, Dec. 18, 2000 at state capitols around the country.
· PRO-DEMOCRACY WEEK from January 15 (Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday) to January 20 (Inauguration Day). Teach-ins, demonstrations, rallies and other forms of action will be taking place in localities throughout the country during this week.
· A PROGRESSIVE GATHERING in Washington, D.C. January 17-19 being set in motion by the Progressive Challenge Project of the Institute for Policy Studies. The Gathering will include speakers and workshops toward the goal of launching Working Groups and an electronic network that will link progressives across the country with allies in Congress.
The specific focus of the Pro-Democracy campaign will be a Voters Bill of Rights: abolishing the Electoral College, investigating and ending violations of the Voting Rights Act, clean money elections/campaign finance reform, voting rights for former prisoners, making voting easier and more reliable, instant runoff voting, proportional representation, D.C. statehood, access to media and debates for all ballot-qualified candidates, and non-partisan administration of elections. People volunteered to establish websites, media portals, listserves and other technologies to find, link and keep informed the activists and activities across the country of this emerging movement. These activities are projected as leading in the near future to what has been christened by former National Rainbow Coalition Executive Director Ron Daniels as a “Progressive Unity Conference spearheaded by people of color.” Out of such a conference, or prior to it, could emerge some form of “Shadow Government” to carry on the progressive agenda developed in the struggle from Seattle to Nader and beyond. Other discussion focused on the need to recognize the power of the voices of labor, youth and seniors, the need to oppose the interconnected systems of domination-class oppression, white supremacy, patriarchy and heterosexism, and the importance of incorporating art and culture into our strategies for education and movement-building.
For more information on the December 18 protest, contact Global Exchange at 415-255-7296 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the January 15-20 Pro-Democracy Week contact the
Independent Progressive Politics Network at 973-338-5398 or email@example.com.
For more information on the January 17-19 Progressive Challenge Coalition event in Washington, D.C., call 202-234-9382, x. 238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.