HOW THE FLOYD PROTESTS TURNED INTO A 24-HOUR ‘OCCUPY CITY HALL’ IN N.Y.

SUN, 6/28/2020 – BY JULIANA KIM (Occupy.com)

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE NEW YORK TIMES 

For almost a week, protesters have gathered in front of City Hall, many of them spending the night. 

It started on Tuesday night when about 100 protesters began occupying City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan — with some spending the night — in an effort to draw more focus to their demand for deep budget cuts to the Police Department.

In a matter of days, a movement took root. What started on a patch of lawn and a few square feet has now taken over most of the park and drawn extensive attention across social media, with “Occupy City Hall” as the group’s rallying cry. Volunteers have flocked to the park, dropping off food, coffee and supplies to build a kind of campground.

So far, the police have not broken up the gathering, which has taken some inspiration from the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations of 2011 at Zuccotti Park in the financial district in Lower Manhattan. But some disagreements have resulted between protesters and the police over the use of umbrellas, tents and bicycles.

The City Hall encampment, which was initially spearheaded by Vocal-NY, a grass-roots organization, is the latest addition to the wave of protests in New York after George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May.

Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice
Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice

Jawanza James Williams, director of organizing for Vocal-NY, conceptualized the occupation as a way to pressure the city into reducing its police budget by at least $1 billion, a sum the group has asked to be shifted to other resources, including education and social services.

The protesters, who are part of a movement to defund the police, are focusing on the July 1 deadline for the city’s budget.

Corey Johnson, speaker of the City Council, which must approve the budget, has called for a $1 billion reduction in the $6 billion that the city spends on the Police Department, but Mayor Bill de Blasio has not endorsed such a cut.

“We can’t leave anything to chance,” said Mr. Williams, who refers to “Occupy City Hall” as “a people’s bazaar for liberation.”

In a short time, organizers, largely black and queer, have transformed the plaza. Hand-drawn art covers any semblance of government infrastructure: subway entrances, metal barricades and kiosks — a sharp contrast to the limestone municipal building across the street.

A sophisticated network was created to make the space habitable. Organizers built a library, community garden and even a hut for tea lovers. They gathered donations of prepared meals, water, hand sanitizer, blankets, vitamins and cigarettes. And they formed elaborate teams for safety, sanitation and food distribution.

Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice
Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice

Orange armbands distinguish the de-escalation team from the medics, who wear a red cross emblem made from electric tape. By Saturday, organizers had installed internet service and set up a laundry schedule.

As the movement expands, tensions over strategy have emerged, especially over whether Vocal-NY is demanding deep enough cuts in the budget.

Some supporters of the movement to defund the police have expressed discomfort over the number of young, white people who are taking part in the gathering, as well as over an atmosphere that is occasionally upbeat.

Organizers responded that the movement’s ability to accommodate a diverse range of opinion was a sign of success.

The threat of the coronavirus also looms over the gathering. During peak hours, it’s impossible for protesters to socially distance. Thousands are elbow-to-elbow at the plaza even as the occupation sprawls farther south. At night, protesters still cluster at the lawn, sleeping with masks on. Others unroll their sleeping bags and tarps farther out when it’s time to call it a night.

The encampment is run by a combination of veteran organizers and first-time volunteers.

Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice
Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice

Sierra Nicole, 23, from West Harlem, didn’t think she would end up overseeing the welcome desk when she first arrived on Thursday afternoon. On that first day, Ms. Nicole had gone straight to that desk to get more information, but when she noticed a volunteer who appeared tired, she offered to take his place. He agreed.

A few hours later, a protester walked up to Ms. Nicole eager to volunteer. The next available slot was in eight hours, at 3 a.m., but the protester, a woman, didn’t seem to mind. Ms. Nicole signed her up.

Many volunteers work around the clock. At 4 a.m. on Friday, Gregory Lecrocq, 31, from the Upper East Side, began his shift at the food station, making breakfast sandwiches for early risers. Since volunteering, he sleeps from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. By 4 p.m., he’s usually back at the protest.

Occupy has also become a meeting point for other marches. Protesters from Upper Manhattan and Brooklyn have stopped by to show their support as well as to pick up food and water.

Some protesters have said they plan to remain at the plaza beyond the budget deadline day, until their demands for systemic change are met. Mr. Williams said he’s not opposed to people staying longer.

Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice
Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice

Either way, Vocal-NY members said they were optimistic that they had organized a movement that could sustain itself in the long-term, said Jasmine Budnella, 34, the group’s drug policy coordinator.

Still, as the week has progressed, organizers said they had grappled with setting the right tone. While showing joy is an important form of resistance, Mr. Williams said, the group doesn’t want people to forget why they’ve gathered. At times, the occupation can appear festival-like. But those moments are often followed by a speaker stressing the need to stay alert and vigilant.

“We’re here because black people are dying in the street,” one speaker told the crowd on Thursday night. “We’re not here to socialize, we’re here for real-life problems.”

Many protesters said they had committed to sleeping outside every night until the end of the month, noting that they have everything they need to survive: food, water, clothes, a place to shower and restrooms.

Others said they would try to show up every other night. Those who didn’t want to sleep outside said they would volunteer from sunrise to sundown.

Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice
Occupy City Hall, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, defund the police, George Floyd, NYPD, police abuse, police brutality, racial justice

Organizers said the movement’s ethos is centered around anti-consumerism, inclusivity and camaraderie. Everything is free-of-charge, and protesters are constantly on the lookout for one another. Making the encampment a safe space for vulnerable communities has also been a top priority, they said.

On Thursday evening, Moji Armu and her two children — ages 6 and 9 — stumbled upon the demonstration on their way home.

Ms. Armu said she had thought about bringing her children to protests in the past but that they had become frightened to do so after seeing images on television of protesters clashing with the police. But on Thursday, her children noticed an art-making station at the Occupy gathering and ran to the tray of paint tubes.

A little later, she said her 6-year-old son paused in bewilderment. He didn’t realize that what he had been witnessing — the art making, dancing — could be considered protesting.

He asked his mother if he had just attended his first protest. She smiled and said, “You sure did.”

Originally published by The New York Times

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Seattle Clears ‘Occupied’ CHAZ/CHOP Zone Amid Protester Resistance

07-01-2020 Associated Press (www1.cbn.com)

Seattle police block a street with their bikes in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, July 1, 2020. Police in Seattle have torn down demonstrators' tents in the city's occupied protest zone after the mayor ordered it cleared. (AP Photo/Aron Ranen)

Seattle police block a street with their bikes in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, July 1, 2020. Police in Seattle have torn down demonstrators’ tents in the city’s occupied protest zone after the mayor ordered it cleared. (AP Photo/Aron Ranen)

SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle police early Wednesday showed up in force at the city’s “occupied” protest zone, tore down demonstrators’ tents, and used bicycles to herd the protesters so the officers could carry out an executive order from the mayor for the area to be vacated.

Television images showed no immediate signs of clashes between the police, many dressed in riot gear, and dozens of protesters at the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone that was set up near downtown following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Police moved into the zone known as CHOP at about 5 a.m. and a loud bang was heard at about 6:15 a.m. followed by a cloud of smoke. KUOW radio reported police had made at least 10 arrests by 5:30 a.m.


Pedestrians walk in Seattle, where streets are blocked off in what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The protesters have occupied several blocks around a park for about two weeks and police had abandoned a precinct station following standoffs and clashes with the protesters, who called for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

Police on Wednesday said they moved in to protect the public after Mayor Jenny Durkan issued the order for protesters to leave.

“Since demonstrations at the East Precinct area began on June 8th, two teenagers have been killed and three people have been seriously wounded in late-night shootings,” Seattle police said on Twitter. “Police have also documented robberies, assaults, and other violent crimes.

The tweet added that “suspects in recent shootings may still be in the area, and because numerous people in the area are in possession of firearms.” 

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said in a statement that she supports peaceful demonstrations but that “enough is enough.”

“The CHOP has become lawless and brutal. Four shootings–-two fatal-robberies, assaults, violence, and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area,” she said.

There had been mounting calls by critics, including President Donald Trump, to remove protesters following the fatal shootings.

Protesters have said they should not be blamed for the violence in the area. 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  

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If Colin Kaepernick snags Nobel Prize, he’ll reach it by standing on big shoulders

SPORTING GREEN // SCOTT OSTLER

Scott Ostler July 1, 2020 Comments (SFChroncle.com)

Colin Kaepernick looks on during his NFL workout held at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., on November 16, 2019. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/TNS)
1of2Colin Kaepernick looks on during his NFL workout held at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., on November 16, 2019. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/TNS)Photo: Carmen Mandato / TNS
Dr. Edwards thinks Kaepernick deserves more than another NFL job.
2of2Dr. Edwards thinks Kaepernick deserves more than another NFL job.Photo: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle 2018

If Colin Kaepernick winds up being awarded a Nobel Prize, will that beef up his resume enough to get him a job as an NFL quarterback?

Sorry, that’s a silly question, beneath the dignity of one man’s campaign to see Kaepernick honored by the Peace Prize folks in Oslo.

Dr. Harry Edwards, noted sports sociologist, plans to nominate Kaepernick for the Nobel Peace Prize. Edwards’ timing is good, with Kaepernick’s stock soaring, but it would be a mistake to call Edwards a bandwagon jumper.

The good doctor helped design and build that bandwagon.

Four years ago, when Kaepernick was receiving more jeers than cheers for his kneeling protests during NFL national anthems, Edwards gathered up a Kaepernick No. 7 49ers jersey and a pair of his cleats, and shipped them to the National Museum of African American history and Culture in Washington, D.C., where they are on display.

“A Nobel nomination was always my ultimate goal for Kaepernick,” Edwards told me this week, “not only because he deserves it, but because he would stand in representation of all of the other unsung athletes who have contributed and sacrificed so much while paving the way and priming the pump for those who would come after.”

Edwards is referring to Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Curt Flood, Jesse Owens and many other sports figures deeply involved in — and leaders of — the struggle for equal rights.

Doc can talk. He has a way with words, he’s got a boatload of ’em, and he plans to use some of them to convince the Nobel committee that Kaepernick is worthy.

“Kaepernick’s commitment, courage and sacrifices were carried out with a silent dignity that spoke to the world of the urgency of his call for justice and human rights, and the world has responded,” Edwards said.

Edwards beefs up his case by linking Kaepernick to his predecessors. Their efforts are all intertwined, a continuum of courage.

Here’s an example: When Robinson broke through Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, he modeled the strategy, commitment and steely resolve that would become tools of the Civil Rights movement that would heat up a decade later. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. learned from a baseball player.

Robinson inspired King, who inspired Barack Obama. King and Obama have been awarded Nobel Prizes, but not Robinson. Time to let sports folk in on the party? Edwards believes it is, and in his position as sociology professor emeritus at Cal, he has the power to nominate.

Here’s another example: Edwards’ Olympic Project for Human Rights led to the 1968 Olympics medal-stand protest by U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos. When Nelson Mandela was in prison in South Africa, he had a photo of the Smith-Carlos protest smuggled into his cell on Robben Island, and used that photo to illustrate how sports can be a venue for resistance and change.

Mandela also invoked Edwards’ doctorate thesis on how sports can model resistance and display new values.

My favorite part of Edwards’ campaign is his suggestion to the committee as to what image they should keep in mind as they consider Kaepernick. You would never, ever guess what that image is. Not Kaepernick kneeling, not Smith and Carlos on the medal stand, not Robinson dancing off third, challenging the world.When Colin Kaepernick ran wild against the PackersVideo: San Francisco Chronicle

First, Edwards notes, “Women have always represented the very best in what is America,” and cites powerful symbols such as the Statue of Liberty and the blindfolded Lady Justice.

In 2003, a 13-year-old girl was chosen to sing the national anthem before an NBA game in Portland. The girl stumbled on the words and was near humiliation and panic when she was rescued by Trail Blazers head coach Maurice Cheeks, who stepped in and led the girl and the crowd through the anthem.

Portland Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks, left, joins in with Natalie Gilbert in singing the national anthem before Portland’s playoff game against the Dallas Mavericks in Portland, Ore., Friday, April 25, 2003. Gilbert had faltered and stopped singing, and Cheeks walked over from the bench to help her finish the song. (AP Photo) HOUCHRON CAPTION (05/04/2003-2-STAR)(05/04/2003): The often cold and hard sports world caught a warm and soft side of Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks, left, when he helped 13-year-old Natalie Gilbert finish the national anthem. HOUCHRON CAPTION (07/06/2003): Portland Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks comes to 13-year- old Natalie Gilbert’s rescue before an April NBA playoff game.Photo: AP

To Edwards, that girl represents a youthful nation, America, being helped and uplifted by a black athletic figure. Sure, that’s a bit of a stretch, an odd mashup of symbols, but you have to give it to Doc Edwards for creativity.

Some of us thought Kaepernick’s highest aspiration would be to get another NFL job. Edwards thinks bigger.

Scott Ostler is a columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: sostler@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @scottostler

Scott Ostler

Follow Scott on: https://www.facebook.com/SFChronicle/scottostler

Scott Ostler has been a sports columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle since 1991. He has covered five Olympics for The Chronicle, as well as one soccer World Cup and numerous World Series, Super Bowls and NBA Finals.

Though he started in sports and is there now, Scott took a couple of side trips into the real world for The Chronicle. For three years he wrote a daily around-town column, and for one year, while still in sports, he wrote a weekly humorous commentary column.

He has authored several books and written for many national publications. Scott has been voted California Sportswriter of the Year 13 times, including six times while at The Chronicle. He moved to the Bay Area from Southern California, where he worked for the Los Angeles Times, the National Sports Daily and the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

©2020 Hearst

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The platform of the Movement for Black Lives

2020 Policy Platform (m4bl.org)

The Preamble
END THE WAR ON BLACK COMMUNITIES
END THE WAR ON BLACK YOUTH
END THE WAR ON BLACK WOMEN
END THE WAR ON BLACK TRANS, QUEER, GENDER NONCONFORMING AND INTERSEX PEOPLE
END THE WAR ON BLACK HEALTH AND BLACK DISABLED PEOPLE
END THE WAR ON BLACK MIGRANTS
END TO ALL JAILS, PRISONS, AND IMMIGRATION DETENTION
END THE DEATH PENALTY
END THE WAR ON DRUGS
END THE SURVEILLANCE ON BLACK COMMUNITIES
END TO PRETRIAL DETENTION AND MONEY BAIL
THE DEMILITARIZATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
END THE USE OF PAST CRIMINAL HISTOY

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Will New York Launch a Public Bank?

AUTHOR Sadef Ali Kully

DATE June 25, 2020 (citylimits.org)

Senator James Sanders
Senator James Sanders of Queens is the lead sponsor of the Senate’s public-banking bill.

Now is the time to create  a public banking system as the city prepares for deep budget cuts amid an inequitable economic crisis stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic, advocates testified Wednesday.

The state legislature is considering a bill, introduced in January, which would authorize local municipalities to lend money to public banks and authorize public ownership of stock in them.

The bill is currently both in the state Assembly and Senate legislature’s banks committees for evaluation before it is scheduled for a vote. The Senate bill S5565A and the Assembly bill A09665A, introduced by Queens state Senator James Sanders and state Assemblymember Ron Kim, respectively.

“Through public banking, New York can reinvest in local communities and strengthen our economy. Public banks would support small and worker-owned businesses, affordable housing, living-wage jobs, responsible financial services, renewable energy and other sustainable infrastructure, and more – meeting critical community needs and strengthening our ability to withstand future crises,” said Tousif Ahsan, the Civic Engagement Coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), in testimony Wednesday.

A public bank is a bank of which a state, municipality or other public entity is the owner–unlike a private bank, where the owners are usually private shareholders. Current major public banking models include the Bank of North Dakota and the German Public Bank System as well as many nations’ postal bank systems. In North Dakota, the public banking system was created to serve its agricultural economy and has existed for more than a century. 

Last October, California passed a law that would allow local counties and municipalities to create public banks. The following month, San Francisco launched a task force to create a plan for establishing a public bank for that city. The task force report is due June 30th.

In New York, Public Bank NYC, a coalition of over 30 advocacy groups, has been pushing elected officials for the last two years to create a public bank system for local or state governments. NYPIRG, Chayya Community Development Corporation, New Economy Project, South Bronx Unite, Cooper Square Committee, New York Communities for Change, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union are some of the members of the coalition.

According to the coalition, under current law, local governments who are interested in establishing a public bank must apply for a commercial bank charter, which advocates say forces the local government to change the public banking approach to conform to a system designed for private, for-profit banking. 

The Sanders bill would update and authorize the state Department of Financial Services to issue special-purpose public bank charters to counties and regions across the city. 

“In New York, all the money that gets collected by a city or a state has to go somewhere. So the city collects your taxes, it collects fees and interest from all different sources and that money is being spent in different ways throughout the year. But there’s always a pool of like several billion dollars, which is the city’s cashflow,” says Andy Morrison, campaigns director for New Economy Project (a group in the Public Bank NYC coalition). 

Morrison said the mayor, the comptroller and the head of the department of finance, appointed by the mayor, decide which banks are designated to the city’s capital. JP Morgan Chase is one of the banks. 

Morrison said the city should create its own institution so that, instead of giving it to Wall Street banks to hold onto, it can leverage it. For example, in North Dakota, the state deposits revenue in the public bank and then it is able to leverage those deposits and make loans to support economic development within the state. Public banks can also partner with smaller community banks and smaller credit unions that serve low-income, immigrant neighborhoods and communities of color around the city to expand financial options for consumers.

Advocates in their testimony said the case for public banking was strengthened by the way  for-profit banking reacted during the Coronavirus epidemic.  “Big banks have shut out small businesses from desperately-needed emergency relief,” read the testimony, during the pandemic crisis and a public bank would support small businesses hardest-hit by COVID-19, “Through public banking, New York can reinvest in local communities and strengthen our economy. Public banks would support small and worker-owned businesses, affordable housing, living-wage jobs, responsible financial services, renewable energy and other sustainable infrastructure, and more – meeting critical community needs and strengthening our ability to withstand future crises.”

Not everyone loves the idea of public banking. “The risks of public banks are many, but a scattered business focus, undue political influence and lack of oversight top the list,” read a 2018 op-ed in The Hill. “Distant U.S. history records the experience of several state banks — and they were not happy ones. Nearly all failed, usually because of political interference that resulted in making risky loans or operating with too little capital (or both), then collapsing when boom times ended.” 

The author, Rob Nichols, is the president and CEO of the American Bankers Association. The opposition of the banking industry could be formidable: Over the past decade, banks, banking trade groups and PACs have donated more than $3.5 million to candidates for local and state office throughout New York, according to a state Board of Elections database.

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US coronavirus ‘bailout’ scam is $6 trillion giveaway to Wall St – Economist Michael Hudson explains

Moderate Rebels Facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Congress rammed through the CARES Act — which economist Michael Hudson explains is not a “bailout” but a massive, $6 trillion giveaway to Wall Street, banks, large corporations, and stockholders. Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss the enormous financial scam with Hudson, who reveals how the economy actually works, with the Federal Reserve printing money so rich elites don’t lose their investments. TRANSCRIPT, show notes, and links: https://moderaterebels.com/transcript… PART 1 OF 2 Part 2: https://moderaterebels.com/transcript… Michael Hudson’s website: https://michael-hudson.com (Interview recorded on April 13, 2020) ||| Moderate Rebels ||| Please consider supporting us on PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/ModerateRebels Website: https://moderaterebels.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/moderate_rebels Facebook: https://facebook.com/moderaterebelsradio Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/moderaterebels Minds: https://minds.com/moderaterebels Steemit: https://steemit.com/@moderaterebels#ModerateRebels

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The People Must Rise Up and Remove Trump-Pence From This Horror Show Handling of the Pandemic

July 02, 2020 by Common Dreams

The citizenry must quickly mount irresistible pressure for Trump and Pence to step aside.

by Ralph Nader

 50 Comments

The country simply cannot wait until Inauguration Day, January 21, 2021. (Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The country simply cannot wait until Inauguration Day, January 21, 2021. (Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Major changes in society can be accomplished by a fast-emerging, broad-based civic jolt so obvious and persuasive that it overwhelms the entrenched powers. The most urgent job is for people to organize to get Trump and Pence to step aside from their bungling, making-matters-worse mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic. The White House should let a professional pandemic control specialist with public health experience and an appreciation of science replace the current and ongoing Trump horror show.

Many Republican operatives watching the daily Trump virus spectacle are terrified by how the President fabricates, fantasizes, confuses, and endangers the country. As Trump lowers his and their poll numbers, Republicans would welcome such a replacement.

“We the People,” are seeing the failing Donald Trump over-riding his own scientists and paralyzing any federal leadership and coordination of state efforts, as he measures all moves by his delusional ego. The citizenry must quickly mount irresistible pressure for Trump and Pence to step aside. Let Trump focus on the November election, which is all he cares about anyway, apart from watching Fox News for hours each day, lying to the public and endlessly tweeting slanders and insults.

Trump is so cruel and out of touch that he is letting his henchman cut nursing home safety regulations, end health and safety protections for workers, consumers, and communities, and pursue the end of Obamacare by stripping 23 million Americans of their health insurance. Doing this in the middle of a worsening killer pandemic is sheer madness. We have a president at the helm of a careening ship of state acting worse than Captain Queeg.

Would any community tolerate, in Maureen Dowd’s words, such “chaos, cruelty, deception and incompetence,” in their local public safety officials?

Every day the Trump virus spreads further, while its presidential enabler is making sure sick Americans are left unprotected, and workers are left unemployed.

To be sure, there have been thousands of articles, columns, editorials, and TV/radio reports of the grotesque delays, perverse actions, quackery, and faking over the grim realities by Trump and Pence. All this takes place against the backdrop of his blundering son-in-law who is overseeing and furthering corrupt corporate bailouts. But, inexplicably, reporters and columnists avoid the conclusions that should stem from their own convictions and writings. One exception is the Washington Post editorial in May 2020, calling for Trump and Pence to step aside and let people who know what they’re doing take the reins.

The country simply cannot wait until Inauguration Day, January 21, 2021. Every day the Trump virus spreads further, while its presidential enabler is making sure sick Americans are left unprotected, and workers are left unemployed. More and more innocents are paying the ultimate price for this public health and economic disaster.

The failed gambling czar, selected to be our fake president by the unelected Electoral College, crazily gives himself a “ten” rating, admits no mistakes, and refuses to learn from other nation’s comparative successes against the virus.

Putting health professionals in charge of the “war” against the Covid-19 pandemic has worked in Taiwan, New Zealand, Thailand, Uruguay, and Canada’s British Columbia and other countries with sane leadership. These countries are showing far, far superior life-saving results and fewer economic convulsions.

Mr. Trump, if you’re not going to resign for America’s sake, at the least, step aside for your own political campaign’s sake. A coordinated civic jolt and a laser-beam demand from the people can make you and the alarmed GOP realize you are not capable of doing the job that needs to be done. Of course, if Congress wasn’t a rubber stamp, our first branch of government could stop this lethal incompetence by mandating professional pandemic management.

For those doubters of this happening, remember the ringing statement by the demanding abolitionist Frederick Douglass—”Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”  Trump is a paper mache figure who hides behind bluffs and snarls. A civic jolt can displace him much like the statutes of slavers.

Start your “step aside” demand by calling the White House opinion phone number 202-456-1111. Urge your friends to do the same. There is no time to delay.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest books include: To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn’t Too Late to Reverse CourseHow the Rats Re-Formed the CongressBreaking Through Power: It’s easier than we think, and Animal Envy: A Fable

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

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Governor Newsom Signs California’s Public Banking Act Into Law

Then-Mayor Gavin Newsom gets an enthusiastic greeting on Market Street at the 2005 Pride Parade (Mark Constantini/The Chronicle 2005)

By Lucille Bartholomew on October 7, 2019 (covfinancialservices.com)

On October 2, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California’s Public Banking Act, AB 857, into law.  California previously prohibited cities and counties from extending credit to any person or corporation, and required that local agencies deposit all funds to state or national banks.  

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Sunrise Movement Says Wins by Corporate Democrats Like McGrath and Hickenlooper Must Be ‘Moment of Reckoning’ for Progressives

July 01, 2020 by Common Dreams

“These were not races that progressives could afford to sit out, but too many organizations did.”

by Jessica Corbett, staff writer

 28 Comments

U.S. Senate candidates Andrew Romanoff of Colorado and Charles Booker of Kentucky were defeated in Democratic primary races in June.

U.S. Senate candidates Andrew Romanoff (L) of Colorado and Charles Booker (R) of Kentucky were defeated in Democratic primary races in June. (Photos: Andrew Romanoff/Facebook; Charles Booker/Facebook)

After a pair of U.S. Senate candidates backed by the Sunrise Movement was defeated by more corporate-friendly centrists in recent Democratic primary races, the youth-led climate group’s political director expressed hope Wednesday that the losses would serve as “a moment of reckoning for the progressive movement, and that all of us reflect on what we can do to build power and take advantage of these races going forward.”

“These were winnable races if more organizations decided to prioritize them.”
—Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement

“I’m not going to say these races are important moral victories that mean we need to work harder next time; the truth is, these races were ours for the taking and progressives blew it,” the movement’s Evan Weber said in a statement. “These were not races that progressives could afford to sit out, but too many organizations did.”

Sunrise had endorsed former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who was beat Tuesday by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. They were competing to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in November.

The movement had also supported Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker. After all the votes of last week’s election were tallied, he was defeated by Amy McGrath, who will face off against GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“The final results show we could have won,” Weber said Wednesday. “Despite being outspent by almost $20 million in Kentucky, and 7-to-1 in Colorado, we fell only just short. These were winnable races if more organizations decided to prioritize them.”

He further warned of the potential electoral and political consequences of these two losses, explaining:

Voters are tired of cookie cutter Democrats who pretend they’re Republicans and who listen to consultants and donors, instead of working people. When voters learn they have a choice and hear about our candidates, they want to vote for people like Charles and Andrew. These candidates need us to have their backs and help them get the resources they need to spread their message.

That didn’t happen in time for Charles and Andrew, and because of that, Democrats’ chances of flipping the Senate seats in Colorado and Kentucky just went way down. That makes everything else we’re fighting for a lot harder, from a Green New Deal to Medicare for All.

Weber urged U.S. progressives to get “serious” about matching the party establishment’s discipline while also acknowledging that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which works to elect party members to the upper chamber, “is not an easy beast to take on.”

When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) “decides to anoint somebody, he pulls out all the stops, and puts so much money in their bank account that they don’t even know what to do with it,” Weber said, referencing the DSCC’s support for the victors in Colorado and Kentucky.

“We’ve proven in these races that we don’t need to match their spending dollar for dollar if we run candidates who better speak to the electorate,” Weber added, “but we will keep losing these races if we don’t come in early enough to make a difference, if we refuse to support movement candidates together when they make the brave, difficult choice to step up and run for office without bank accounts full of cash.”

Despite the recent defeats, Sunrise celebrated victories in New York last week when first-term Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the lead House sponsor of the Green New Deal, swept her primary race in the 14th Congressional District and former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman won his race in the 17th District.

Sunrise has endorsed Dr. Arati Kreibich—a city council member and neuroscientist who is facing off against right-wing Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey’s 5th District on July 7—as well as Mike Siegel, a civil rights attorney and former public school teacher who will take on Pritesh Gandhi in Texas’ 10th District on July 14.

The movement is also supporting other progressives in upcoming Democratic primaries, including Alex Morse‘s challenge to Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) on September 1 as well as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), whose election is on August 4, and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the lead sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution in the upper chamber, whose primary fight against Rep. Joe Kennedy III is on September 1.

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