“Bernie Sanders backers must become a Tea Party of the left” by Rabbi Michael Lerner (tikkun.org and salon.com)

Hillary returns to her neo-con, triangulating roots in a nanosecond unless progressives keep up intense pressure

In early April President Obama warned against the danger of a Tea Party of the Left, which might “stake out positions so extreme, they alienate the broad public.” The media correctly understood this as a warning to Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

Yet if you look at the impact the Tea Party activists had in changing the direction of the Republican Party, it seems clear that this is precisely what the tens of millions of people who support Sanders need to do, and they need to start building it now, before the Democratic National Convention in July.

Without that kind of movement, willing to work both within and outside the Democratic Party, willing to defeat Democrats in primaries or even to run against them in a general election, the status quo will continue: subservience to Wall Street and the policies favored by the 1 percent whose money shapes elections on the national and state levels, the false belief that terrorism can be defeated by our own brand of terror (war through drones), fossil fuels will continue to be extracted from the earth and accelerate global warming, millions of people languishing in our prisons (many for nonviolent crimes), social services (child care, health care, elder care, etc.) will continue to be sacrificed on the alter of “no new taxes,” the economy will continue to depend on endless “growth” with devastating consequences for the life support system of the planet, the U.S. will continue to have the most expensive and least successful health care and pharmaceuticals in the advanced industrial countries, the values of selfishness and materialism that are the “common sense of global capitalism will continue to pollute friendships and families causing psychic pain and family instability, and cynicism toward government and despair at the possibility of fundamental change will give new opportunities for racist, sexist, xenophobic and fascistic forces to gain public credibility.

Pessimistic? No, this is exactly what happened in the past seven years of the Obama presidency, and it will only worsen unless there is some ongoing political movement capable not only of speaking to the economic pain so beautifully articulated by Bernie Sanders but also capable of addressing the hidden psychic injuries of the globalization of selfishness that impact not only the poor but almost everyone in the society.

Such a movement would have to overtly challenge the capitalist system. Minimally, it would support the ESRA—Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which bans all money from elections except public funding and requires corporations to prove a history of environmental and social responsibility once every five years to a jury of ordinary citizens who would hear testimony from people around the world who have been impacted by the operations, policies, and advertising of that corporation (check it out at www.tikkun.org/ESRA). And this movement would reject the fantasy that “homeland security” can be achieved through (military, economic or cultural) domination of others around the world, and instead insist on a strategy of generosity manifested in a Global Marshall Plan and showing the people of the world that the US genuinely cares about their wellbeing (check out the details at www.tikkun.org/gmp).

There are tens of thousands of Sanders activists in states that have already finished their primaries. Bernie could call upon them to create statewide conventions in which they organize themselves into an ongoing movement, precisely what Bernie said needs to happen. Yet unless he explicitly articulates how folks can do that, provides a structure for doing so, and allows his supporters to access his supporter lists to build a movement, it is not likely to happen. In the aftermath of his large loss in New York, particularly in New York City which is usually the symbolic center of American progressivism, we at Tikkun magazine have already gotten many notes indicating despair and a desire to retreat from all politics, a reaction to the way that election seemed to systematically disenfranchise many thousands of voters and to the bare facts that Bernie’s trailing in the delegate count and in the popular vote makes them feel that there is little chance that we will have nothing to inspire us in the next eight years of American government. While Bernie himself will obviously concentrate on the remaining states that have not yet held their primaries, his followers should be urged to use this time to organize a new national organization.

What gave the Tea Party its power? Well, first it could rely on organizers funded by rightwing organizations and wealthy funders. We don’t have that on the Left, but at this moment there are many volunteer organizers who would respond to an appeal from Bernie. Next, the Tea Party had media attention—indispensible to reaching out to large numbers. Just look at the way the pro-democracy demonstrators last week in D.C. were almost totally ignored by the media even after a thousand of them were arrested in nonviolent protests, and you realize that this moment when Sanders’ ideas are being given attention will pass if he doesn’t win the nomination, so this is the moment to begin to organize. Finally, the Tea Party people focused on unseating members of their own party (both nationally and locally) who did not share their worldview. Fearful for their political future, many elected officials quickly moved to the Right. The same thing could happen to the Democrats if progressives organized by Bernie were to plan now to run for office at every level in the 2018 congressional election primaries (and sooner in local and state elections) —against the mainstream Dems who would block Sanders’ program should he be elected in 2016 and who refuse to endorse key elements of Bernie’s program. These are the people in the Democratic Party who have been doing their best to move it from a center/liberal to a center/right force as it was under Bill Clinton in the 1990s. A Tea Party of the Left would also play a role in keeping a Hillary Clinton presidency from abandoning the progressive ideas that she gradually started to embrace in somewhat watered-down form during this presidential campaign in response to the pressure that the Sanders campaign was creating.

What should such a party be called – how about “Love and Justice” party? Social and economic justice is no stretch for progressives, but love? Here we touch on the weakness of a narrowly economic approach that has often limited the appeal of Democrats in the past. Yet if progressives were honest with themselves, they’d realize that a major part of the reason that they are in progressive politics is because they really want a New Bottom Line in our society, so that our social, political and economic institutions would be judged ”successful” to the extent that they maximize love, (economic and social) justice, environmental sustainability and help us transcend a narrow, utilitarian approach to nature and other human beings (the New Bottom Line). This kind of discourse, sadly absent from Bernie’s vocabulary most of the time (though in his heart I know he agrees with this), and often resisted by those who feel uncomfortable with any discussion of psychological and emotional realities, makes it possible to raise the issue of how family instability and divorce, often an issue owned by the Right, could be more effectively addressed by the Left if we recognized that the family crisis is produced in large part by the selfishness and materialism that is the intrinsic ethos of global capitalism.

In place of the globalization of selfishness, our Love and Justice party would call for the globalization of caring– caring for planet Earth and all its inhabitants. To make our world “safe for loving families, caring relationships, and environmental sustainability we will need to overcome the ethos of global capitalism—and that insight will never emerge in the Democratic Party till it has been transformed by a Tea Party-style movement of the Left that is un-intimidated by those who believe that a new bottom line of love and caring is extremism and utopian fantasizing. Just as the civil rights and anti-apartheid movements, the feminist movement, the movement for LGBTQ rights and marriage equality were all dismissed as “unrealistic,” so too the Love and Justice movement will be ridiculed by the mass media. Yet if it speaks to the longing of most people on the planet for a world of love and generosity and social and economic justice it will break through the media manipulation and repression from those loyal to the 1% and will liberate tens of millions of people to envision the world they really want and then to become active in building that world.

Bernie will be under immense pressure after the Democratic Convention to either support Hillary should she win the nomination (and not be seen as undermining that effort by creating a different organization), or to concentrate on winning himself should he be the nominee. And if Hillary wins the presidency, the media will give little attention to Bernie’s efforts to create a movement at that point. If she doesn’t win, and he starts creating this kind of movement during the fall campaign, he will be blamed for her loss. That’s why he needs to do it now.

So Bernie, use this moment to mobilize your activists in states that have already had their primaries, and have that movement already happening before the Democratic convention in July. You just might find that some of those “super-delegates” have second thoughts if they realize that their jobs may be at stake when a Love and Justice Party emerges in their own home districts.

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun Magazine, chair of the interfaith and secular-humanist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives, www.spiritualprogressives.org and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without Walls in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. He is the author of 11 books, including two national best sellers—The Left Hand of God and Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation. His most recent book Embracing Israel/Palestine is available on Kindle from Amazon.com and in hard copy from tikkun.org/eip . He welcomes your responses. RabbiLerner.Tikkun@gmail.com. This article, and Rabbi Lerner’s views and opinions included in it, do not reflect the editorial views of Tikkun magazine, which does not endorse or oppose candidates for political office.

Hunger Strike at Mission Police Station until Greg Suhr is fired as Chief of the murdering SFPD (via Ruthie Sakheim and Andy Gillis)

Hunger strike at Mission Police Station today, tonight, tomorrow until Greg Suhr is fired as Chief of the murdering SFPD. Just spoke to Bay City News (Occupy’s old contact) again and they wrote up the story (of the hunger strike). I put them on with Equipto who explained the whole action, and I explained the background. I also told him about Luis Gongora’s funeral at Duggan’s which I was honored to attend and how sad it was with the open casket and this real human being lying there that we (America) murdered because we cannot control our police or our government. Lo siento.

Join us in solidarity: on Valencia between 16th and 17th. The hunger strikers are dead serious. And they need you.
Bring blankets.

Stay tuned for an announcement of OccupyForum this Monday night at Global Exchange on Strategizing:  How Do We Keep the Police from Killing People?

OccupyForum presents . . . Working Class Defense: Building a United Front to Stop Police Violence (on Monday, April 25)

Monday, April 25th from 6 – 9 pm at Global Exchange

2017 Mission Street near the 16th Street BART station

Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!

Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue

on all sides of these critically important issues!

OccupyForum presents…

Working Class Defense:

Building a United Front to

Stop Police Violence

Today marks the 3rd day of a HUNGER STRIKE in front of the Mission Police Station to STOP THE POLICE MURDERS in the City of SF by the SFPD. When activists have tried everything from making demands of their representatives and all the major players, to press conferences, marches and direct action, and yet, before getting a proper response, the next police murder has taken place, what’s next?

Tonight’s OccupyForum briefly turns to the history of working class defense and the struggle for unity against police brutality. Gerald Smith will school us on the Ariditi del Popolo movement in Italy. Then we will focus on the hunger strike at the police station with interviews with the strikers filmed by the Oscar Grant Committee and others. We will discuss how we can support them, and build this movement, now that it has reached a moment of desperation.

Yesterday activists went to the funeral of Luis Gongora who was murdered intentionally by the SFPD on the street within (some say 30 seconds, some say 16 seconds) of police arrival on the scene. Witnesses say he was no threat, but Suhr says (as usual) officers “feared for their lives as Gongora had a knife.” Gongora lay in a coffin, a tiny man, dead because we the people cannot control our police and cannot control our government. We must join forces with each other across ideologies and stop this wanton murder. Please join us at OccupyForum to plan next steps to support the hunger strikers and grow this resistance radically and instantly AS HAS SHOWN TO BE NECESSARY.

Time will be allotted for announcements.

Donations to Occupy Forum to cover costs are encouraged; no one turned away.

“Egyptian activist in exile struggles in San Francisco” by Jessica Zack (sfchronicle.com)

Ahmed Salah walks toward the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Salah spent a decade as a political activist in Egypt recruiting thousands of people to Tahrir Square on January 25, 2011, to demand an end to political corruption and eventually viewed the revolution as a failure. He moved to San Francisco to begin a new life, but has found it challenging. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle

Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle:  Ahmed Salah walks toward the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Salah spent a decade as a political activist in Egypt recruiting thousands of people to Tahrir Square on January 25, 2011, to demand an end to political corruption and eventually viewed the revolution as a failure. He moved to San Francisco to begin a new life, but has found it challenging.

April 23, 2016

Egyptian democracy activist Ahmed Salah remembers the sudden darkness and relative hush that took over Cairo’s Tahrir Square around midnight on Jan. 25, 2011. It was the first day of the Egyptian Revolution, a moment that astounded the world as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding change in the country’s corrupt political and economic system and the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Story continues at:  http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Egyptian-activist-in-exile-struggles-in-San-7304697.php

A discussion with Ahmed Salah:  OccupyForum, Monday, May 9, 6pm, Global Exchange, 2017 Mission St., San Francisco

“Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote” by Michelle Alexander (thenation.com)

From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decimated black America.

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we—black people—are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.

And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.

The love affair between black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. He threw on some shades and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. It seems silly in retrospect, but many of us fell for that. At a time when a popular slogan was “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand,” Bill Clinton seemed to get us. When Toni Morrison dubbed him our first black president, we nodded our heads. We had our boy in the White House. Or at least we thought we did.

Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Clintons for more than 25 years. It’s true that we eventually lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, but it’s a measure of the Clinton allure that Hillary led Obama among black voters until he started winning caucuses and primaries. Now Hillary is running again. This time she’s facing a democratic socialist who promises a political revolution that will bring universal healthcare, a living wage, an end to rampant Wall Street greed, and the dismantling of the vast prison state—many of the same goals that Martin Luther King Jr. championed at the end of his life. Even so, black folks are sticking with the Clinton brand.

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

* * *

When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, urban black communities across America were suffering from economic collapse. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs had vanished as factories moved overseas in search of cheaper labor, a new plantation. Globalization and deindustrialization affected workers of all colors but hit African Americans particularly hard. Unemployment rates among young black men had quadrupled as the rate of industrial employment plummeted. Crime rates spiked in inner-city communities that had been dependent on factory jobs, while hopelessness, despair, and crack addiction swept neighborhoods that had once been solidly working-class. Millions of black folks—many of whom had fled Jim Crow segregation in the South with the hope of obtaining decent work in Northern factories—were suddenly trapped in racially segregated, jobless ghettos.

Continue reading

Liberty City update (from Mike Zint)

First they came for the homeless's photo.
First they came for the homeless 

April 22, 2016

Liberty City arrestees were charged with 647e, illegal lodging. Trial is April 29th.

I have a question for all of you. How is setting up a tent on public property illegal lodging?

647(e) Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place,
whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or
person entitled to the possession or in control of it.

–Mike Zint

Action Council Announcements for Sat, Sun, Tue. Wed.


~ Action Council ~

Occupy San Francisco Bulletin Board:



Saturday, April 23

A 23, Saturday, 10:00am – SF Cesar Chavez Parade Low Rider and March Unity

Gather at:

Dolores Park
19th Street & Dolores St.

March begins at 11:00am

Join us next Saturday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. at 19th and Dolores Street in S.F. Para Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, Mario Woods, and Luis Gongora, we will lowride and march in solidarity at the San Francisco Cesar Chavez Parade.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/467446833452601/

If you know of an event that might be of interest to activists in our community please let Pat know:pat1936@gmail.compat1936@gmail.com 

A 23, Saturday, 12 Noon, & Sunday,  EARTH DAY Defend the Land!

Gill Tract Organic Farm: San Pablo Ave at Monroe St,
Albany, CA

Join us to celebrate EARTH DAY WEEKEND at the Gill Tract where we will come together to BUILD OUR POWER and continue the fight to DEFEND THE LAND.

As many of you know construction has started on the southernmost part of the Tract below Monroe St. UC Berkeley has sold out that parcel of public land to be turned into a luxury senior housing complex.

Info / Schedule: https://www.facebook.com/events/496276417226188/

A 23, Saturday, 12 Noon, 47th People’s Park Anniversary

People’s Park Berkeley
2556 Haste St.

Info / Schedule: https://www.facebook.com/events/1764870820409171/

A 23, Saturday, 1:00pm, The MUST GO ON ! Celebration & Press Conference

Berkeley Post Office
2000 Allston Way

A press conference and celebration to discuss what’s next for the activists who occupied the grounds of the Main Berkeley Post Office for a year-and-a-half.

Dave Welsh and the FunkyNixons will be performing

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/804451659685688/

A 23, Saturday, 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Wake for Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat

Duggan’s Funerary
3434 17th Street (nr. Valencia)

Community is invited to come and pay respects to the deceased and family

Info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/230409604013458/

Sunday, April 25

A 25, Sunday, 12Noon – 3:30pm, Coltrane Church: LAST SUNDAY on FILLMORE

Coltrane Church
1286 Fillmore St.

All are invited to celebrate the Global and Spiritual Community of the St. John Coltrane Church, one of the last jazz institutions on Fillmore St.

The church has been evicted!

Tuesday, April 26

A 26, Tuesday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Justice for Luis Gongora

Mission Police Station
Valencia St. nr. 17th Street

This is a monthly meeting that the Mission Police Station has with the Community. It will be the first community since the SFPD murder of Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat. Pack the community meeting – ask your questions!

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/04/11/18785159.php

A 26, Tuesday, 7:00pm, Know Your Rights

Berkeley Cop Watch
2022 Blake St.

Know Your Rights trainings are tools for learning how to deal with the police, how to safely assert your rights and how to safely and effectively observe the police in your community.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/868784256566581/

Wednesday, April 27

A 27, Wednesday, 6:30am – 7:30pm, STRIKE For the City College San Francisco Deserves

City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave

City College of San Francisco administration are doing the work of rogue accreditor ACCJC. They plan to cut 26% of City College classes and are negotiating in bad faith with faculty.

This is a ONE-DAY strike at all CCSF campuses!

Info & Schedule of Pickets for all campuses: https://www.facebook.com/events/460248140835429/

A 27, Wednesday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm PEACE VIGIL

Montgomery and Market Sts.
(on the steps facing Market St., below Feinstein’s office)
Directly above the Montgomery BART/Muni Station

All are invited to  Codepink, World Can’t Wait, OccupySF Action Council and Others at the huge PEACE banner for our almost weekly PEACE VIGIL

Theme this week will focus on SF May Day (May 1st)

Feel free to bring your own signage, photos, fliers. Additional signs and flyers provided.

Stand (or sit) with us.


Call Mayor Ed Lee and demand that he #‎FireChiefSuhr

Mayor Ed Lee’s Office Phone Number: (415) 554-6141
Email address: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

For list of Career Highlights of Gregory P. Suhr:https://www.facebook.com/groups/418363851694303/permalink/463737923823562/

Climate deal won’t stop Great Barrier Reef from getting ‘cooked’, say Greens (Australian Associated Press and theguardian.com)

Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Australia’s lack of follow-through on climate change will leave the Great Barrier Reef ‘completely cooked’ despite it signing the Paris climate deal, the Greens say. Photograph: Norbert Probst/Alamy

Australia’s lack of follow-through on climate change will leave the Great Barrier Reef “completely cooked” despite it signing the Paris climate deal, the Greens say.

The federal environmental minister, Greg Hunt, has joined leaders from 170 other countries in New York to sign the Paris Agreement to limit global warming by at least 2C.

Hunt says Australia will beat its Kyoto emission reduction targets by 78m tonnes and meet a 2030 target of reducing emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels.

“These are some of the highest targets anywhere in the world and certainly on a per capita basis we’re right at the top,” he told the ABC from New York on Saturday.

But the Greens senator Larissa Waters says Australia signing the agreement won’t enable it to avoid warming of 3C to 4C if it’s not backed up by action.

“Unfortunately, minister Hunt likes to bandy about some figures but Australia has been a laughing stock on the international stage,” she said.

“Our pollution reduction targets are so far below the science and people know that our policies aren’t even getting us towards those very low targets.”

Senator Waters rejected the government’s commitment of a further $11m on projects to continue improving water quality on the Great Barrier Reeffollowing a study this week showing 93% of the reef was bleached.

She pointed to the Queensland and federal government’s backing of the Adani coal mine, which critics say will further imperil the reef.

“We need to really have a change of policy when it comes to approving every coal mine anyone ever thinks of and instead really fund and support the transition and speed it up to clean-energy,” Senator Waters said.

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