Weekly calendar for people who are politically active (from Patricia Gray)

There are many activities leading up to the inauguration.  Read down the list and find one that you can attend. If you can attend an event, take the time to talk to someone you don’t know.  We need to build a community to stand up to the hard right turn of our government.

Wednesday January 4
all day                    From your phone to Washington D.C.
                             Call 866-828-4162 (toll free number)
          This number is for calling Congress members in their
          Washington offices.  Look up your representatives number
          locally and call BOTH offices.
          Call 866-220-0044 to contact Feinstein and Harris
          With our new administration there are plans to reduce these
          very important programs.  We must watch constantly how
          they vote. If we don’t watch how they vote: we will be
          sorry.  Their job is to vote as directed by their constituents
          — not their major donors.  Democracy needs you to instruct
          them how to vote IN YOUR NAME.
5:00 – 8:00 pm         0akland City Hall 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
                              GHOST SHIP FORUM
                              Rebecca Kaplan, Council Member is holding
                              a forum on housing, homelessness, and jobs
                              with a focus on solutions.
                              Please arrive at 4:45 so we can start in order
                              by 5:00 pm    speakers meed to fill in cards to
                              speak before 5:00.
5:30 – 6:30 pm      One Post St. on the steps of Feinstien’s office.
                           PEACE VIGIL – REFUSE FASCISM!
                           Sponsors   Code Pink, World Can’t Wait,
                           Occupy Action Council
6:30 – 8:30 pm    Omni Commons  4799 Shattuck Ave, Oakland
                         Public meeting
                         STATE IN THE AGE OF TRUMP
                         sponsored by Oakland Privacy
7:00 – 9:00    S.F. Public Library, Park Branch 
                   1833 Page St.  San Francisco
                    S.F. BERNIECRATS MEETING
                    Get organized for the Jan 8 Dem elections and plan
                    a nation wide protest to the Trump Administration.
Thursday January 5
12:00 noon      Front stairs of the Hall of Justice
                      850 Bryant St.
                      * We demand the D.A. charge the officers with
                       * We will join Public Defender Jeff Adachi in calling
                         out the standard of consistency exonerating the
                         officers who kill civilians and relentlessly
                         prosecuting civilians who allegedly harm an
                        * Bring the cases over the death of Amilcar, Luis
                          Gongora Pat, Mario Woods, Jessica Williams and
                          all the other victims of police violence.
                          The vigil for Amicar will be at this gathering.
6:30 pm       UU Fellowship   1924 Cedar St. Berkeley
                   THE ROOT CAUSE
                   A film about the impact humans have had upon the
                   earth and its creatures.  In the film scholars present
                   their research about the changes that are already
                   taking place and those which we can expect in the
                   Discussion follows the film with the film makers Julia
                   Buss and David Millet. U.C. Berkeley geography dept,
                   and Stanford Anthropocene expert Michael Osborn will
                   join the film makers is a panel discussion.
                   Come at 6:30 for a meet and greet
                   The film at 7:00
                   suggested donation $5.00 – $20.00 no one turned away
                   info  transitionberkeley.com
Saturday January 7
10:00 – 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday
            Street tactics, Political education, anti Oppression.
            A week end conversation of skill shares and discussion
            for the inauguration and more.
            host  No more Presidents
12:00 – 4:00 pm    2969  Mission St. S.F.  
                           CAPITALISM IS THE PROBLEM
                           The time is now to fight for a real solution,
                           socialism!  Working people have ot build a
                           movement for real change. Come and join the
                           discussion for a better life for working people.
                           $3.00 – $10.00 donation  no one turned away
                           refreshments will be served
                           info  415-821-6171
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm    Women’s Building   3543 18th St.  S.F.
                         between Valencia and Guerrero
                         S.F. UNITED AGAINST TRUMP
                         panel discussion, speak out and making plans
                         to fight back.  We need to launch a broad and
                         open activist front dedicated to resisting
                         Trumps agenda in San Francisco.
                         organized by Michael Lyon
                         info   facebook.com/events/1317695454
4:00 – 6:00 pm    Women’s Building  3543 18th St. S.F.
                         THE WOMEN WARRIOR IN ALL OF US
                         Maxine Hong Kingston in conversation with
                         Vanessa Hua.  Book women speak to the
                         Women’s National Book Association Centennial
                         Visionaries Series.
                         Members $15.00   non members  $20.00
                         admission includes wine and refreshments.
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm  Twitter headquarters on Market ST.
                         There is a planned die in from 4:00 to 6:00 pm
                          at Twitter H.Q. at 1355 Market St. near 9th St.
                        TWEETS CAN KILL!
                         Giving voice to Trump must stop!
                         His tweets are
                         *abusive and harmful
                          *targeted harassment
                          *directing hate against a race, religion, gender, and orientation.
                          *threatening  violence or physical harm
                          *pretending to be someone else (a responsible President)
 After Donald’s nuclear tweets we decided to hold Twitter accountable. The headquarters are in our own backyard, and we need to show them the danger the put us all in by not banning Donald. They must honor the terms of service and ban Donald, or we’ll point their unethical behavior to their advertisers: https://www.facebook.com/events/129841534177316/ The die-in protest is 4-6 PM this Saturday in front of the Twitter headquarters on Market ST.
5:00 pm     S.F. Civic Center Plaza
                 There are many ways to support the water defenders.
                 Go to this rally and then call Governor Jack Dalrymple
                 at 701-328-2200 and request the he respect the
                 Constitutional right to peacefully protest.
                 Also call the Morton County Sheriff at 701-667-3330
                 and request that he ends the mass arrests.
                 And call the White House 202-456-1111 and ask
                 President Obama to not allow the Army Corps to give
                 permits to continue the pipe line.
Sunday January 8

This Sunday January 8, Democrats all over California will elect state convention delegates.  In the Bay Area as well, reform slates are running to be state Assembly Districts* delegates (a.k.a. “ADEMs”), as part of a national effort to free the Democratic Party from corporate dominance


Local 261
3271 – 18th St.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/226720194434712/


Café Doelger
101 Lake Merced Blvd
Daly City

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1631456407157820/

12:00 – 2:00 pm    Omni Commons    4799 Shattuck Ave. Oakland
                           HARD QUESTIONS; PRISONER ORGANIZING
                           AND LESSONS ON SOLIDARITY
                           We invite you to the “No More Presidents”
                           conference where the Incarcerated Workers
                           Organizing Committee will be speaking on the
                           recent wave of prisoner’s rebellion.
                           sponsor Oakland IWOC
12:00 – 3:00 pm     Omni Commons  4799 Shattuck Ave. Oakland
                           Organize this historical moment as we gather to
                           discus and coordinate the General Strike in
                           Oakland (Ohlone land) We will have a general
                           discussion and then break into several
                           committees to organize media, outreach, logistics
                           etc.  This event is endorsed by the Alemeda
                           Labor Council.
                           hosted by  Oakland Solidarity Assembly
5:00 – 7:30 pm    Long Haul Infoshop  3114 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley
                         free movie
                         DOGTOWN REDEMPTION
                         Film by Amir Sollani and Chiruo Wimpish
                         94 minutes – the story of recyclers in West Oakland.
                         A journey through a landscape of love and loss,
                         prejudice and poverty shot over seven years.
                         info   dogtownredemtion.com
Tuesday Jan. 10
10:00     Alemeda Board of Supervisors
             1221 Oak St.  Oakland
              press conference and rally
              STOP URBAN SHIELD
              Urban Shield is a training program teaching local police
              how to be more effective in controlling crowds of
              demonstrators, and labeling protest groups as
              terrorist organizations.  The training is done by the Israeli
              Secret police who do such a fine job on crowd control on
              the Palestinians.  We don’t want this is our nation.
              sponsor  Stop Urban Shield
              info  www.stopurbanshield.org

“Local activists are eager to make a New Year’s revolution” by David Talbot

FILE - In this March 1, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives to a primary night rally in Essex Junction, Vt. Sanders' strength in the primaries was chosen 2016's top state story in a poll of journalists at Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters in Vermont. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press  FILE – In this March 1, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives to a primary night rally in Essex Junction, Vt. Sanders’ strength in the primaries was chosen 2016’s top state story in a poll of journalists at Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters in Vermont. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

January 1, 2017 (sfchronicle.com)

A great cloud of melancholy has settled over Facebook land, or at least over those regions I inhabit. The coming ascension of Donald Trump has deeply darkened the usual year-end winter blues. But you can also feel a kind of strange euphoria in progressive enclaves like the Bay Area — the growing fierceness of soldiers eager for battle.

Of course if this rising passion is to have any real political impact, it has to be directed and disciplined. So I’ve been eagerly reading two new books that are loaded with useful advice about how to build a mass movement and make major change. The first, “Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything,” is co-written by Becky Bond, an experienced 46-year-old San Francisco activist, who, with co-author Zack Exley, helped mobilize the sprawling volunteer army that came amazingly close to winning the Democratic nomination for a 75-year-old Jewish socialist from Vermont.

The first important lesson that Bond and Exley learned from the Bernie Sanders campaign: demand big changes. In recent years, note the authors, politics has become professionalized, with a “technocratic elite” focusing on small issues and running campaigns according to computer models. But Bernie thought big: He demanded a “revolution” to counter the “corporate oligarchy” that has taken over the country. And he wasn’t afraid to use the word “socialism.”

“You won’t get a revolution if you don’t ask for one,” Bond and Exley write. Too often, Democrats run business-as-usual campaigns that fail to ignite volunteers and voters because “the changes promised are too small to be worth anyone’s time.” Though their book was sent to the publisher before the November election, they could have been writing about Hillary Clinton’s uninspired campaign.

Another key lesson from the Sanders campaign: “The revolution will not be staffed.” Because Bernie worried about being stuck with a big campaign debt, his relatively small staff was forced to rely on a growing multitude of volunteers, which proved to be one of the campaign’s great strengths. By leveraging teams of trained volunteers across the country, the Sanders campaign was able to tap into a torrent of human energy and ideas.

To do this, the political professionals in Sanders’ inner circle had to overcome their fear of losing control of the campaign. “We had to give away the keys,” Bond told me over lunch last week at the Precita Park Cafe, near where she lives.

Usually, it paid off, as it did with two early Bernie supporters, Winnie Wong and Charles Lenchner, the “professional digital troublemakers” behind one of the first volunteer groups, the People for Bernie. “They were running out ahead of us and outflanking us” with their social media brainstorms, write the authors.

Of course, there was the occasional disaster, like the guy who offered to host a phone bank in his New York apartment. When campaign volunteers showed up at his place, “there was porn on the TV and the guy was smoking weed,” recalled Bond and Exley. “But that’s not the worst thing. He tried to charge people for attending his volunteer phone bank!”

Successful campaigns can’t be run by consensus, caution the authors. You need to have a strategic central plan. But the responsibility for making it work has to be widely distributed, and the campaign must be flexible enough to allow ideas to bubble up from the ground.

The year 2017 is off the election cycle so the political action is likely to move into the streets. That’s why, like Bond herself, I’m also reading “This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the 21st Century,” by writer Mark Engler and his activist brother Paul. The book is a deeply informative history of direct action, from Martin Luther King Jr.’s groundbreaking Birmingham, Ala., campaign in 1963 to Occupy, the Arab Spring and Black Lives Matter. While his nonviolent heroism enshrined King as a “saint,” observe the authors, he was actually more calculating and confrontational than is generally recognized. It takes bold military-like planning and tactics to overcome entrenched power. When King made the difficult decision to send high school students into the streets of Birmingham against the clubs, dogs and fire hoses of Bull Connor’s police, the risk paid off. But, they note, at least one observer “was astounded by King’s emphasis on pragmatic rather than spiritual considerations” in mobilizing what came to be known as the Children’s Crusade.

Stephen Zunes, a University of San Francisco politics professor whose study of nonviolent resistance is cited by the Englers, believes that we’re about to see a tidal wave of such popular action. “I think there’s going to be more street protests and mass arrests than in the 1960s,” he says. “There’s a growing movement on the left, just as the most right-wing president in history takes power. And there are limits to what people can do within the system, since the Republicans control every branch of government.” Zunes predicts that Trump will be a lightning rod for tumultuous activism. “He’s different from someone like Reagan, who enjoyed a fair amount of popularity.”

“My main concern,” he adds, “is that there will be a lot of new people involved in these protests — lots of inexperienced, young people who are angry and scared and prone to action that is cathartic instead of politically strategic.” Fortunately, says Zunes, there are many nonviolent action experts and veterans, including local activists like Kazu Haga and David Solnit, who can help train people.

Bond and Zunes agree that the Bay Area could become a central battleground in the protests to come. “Even I might not make it through the coming year without being arrested,” says Zunes, with a wry laugh. “And I haven’t been in jail since 1986, when I was arrested as a Cornell student at an antiapartheid sit-in.”

Zunes points out that San Francisco has become a national symbol of the wealth gap crisis. “I have students who are homeless, and I’ve never encountered that before. One student, who is very bright, broke down in my office. He has two jobs but can’t afford anywhere to live. He’s been couch surfing and sneaking into lounges on campus to sleep.”

There’s a growing disconnect between the social crisis in San Francisco and the political machine’s inability to deal with it, says Bond. “Where’s Mayor Ed Lee? Where’s the bold vision?” This is the kind of failed leadership that sparks a revolution. “We will see more direct action, more antieviction protests, more occupations, more efforts to build homeless shelters. If the politicians don’t act, the people will.”

San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Talbot appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email: dtalbot@sfchronicle.com

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