Vote! 10 Days

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=792700551100359

Kurtis Robinson, representing the Spokane NAACP, spoke at SCAR’s last general meeting via video. Listen to his well reasoned arguments on why Spokane does not need a new jail. (SCAR Spokane Community Against Racism)

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Defund the Spokane Police! Defund12.org Form

Email government officials and council members to reallocate egregious police budgets towards education, social services, and dismantling racial injustice via this crowd-sourced tool.

Support the Spokane Platform for Change Email City Leaders

American policing tactics are rooted in white supremacy, fear, and violence. Spokane is not exempt from this, even though our mayor, police chief, county commissioners, and sheriff refuse to admit the true nature of the problem. Support substantive change now. Learn About the Platform and sign up in support

No New Jail

Without significant reforms first, and it MUST be intended for lower capacity.

Vote! 11 Days

Paula Gordon and Bill Russell From the Leading Edge

Our Deadly Cocktail (excerpts)

Paula Gordon, Huffington Post, 04/18/2012 03:48 pm ET Updated Jun 18, 2012

America’s role in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman tragedy goes down as smoothly as any toxic cocktail: one part guns, one part race, one part stress, stir and duck. We’ve let ourselves become inured to guns, blind to how radically America’s changing racial composition is threatening a very old caste system, and ignorant of what is now knowable about stress. And for garnish? A deaf ear to “lead us not into temptation.”

The gun industry and their consorts among the host of extremists from our political and religious right-wing fringes have shouted down a long overdue, totally legitimate exploration of what place guns have in a society aspiring to be civil, never mind civilized. We’ve demurred when they’ve (mis)quoted the Constitution and mostly resign ourselves to sighs as a highly politicized Supreme Court majority shamelessly redefines the essence of the American Constitution.

So how do we “make sense” of Trayvon’s demise and all the factors indictable in that cruel endgame? What is the sense of America’s appetite for fear and for its purveyors, for atavistic fundamentalisms, for right-wing gun-lust, and for the irrefutably racist elements found across the nation?

We, at least, find a starting point in the actions and words of two very different men who, ironically, share a name.

First, think of George Zimmerman as an Everyman among the countless people, women as well as men, seduced by America’s gun-toting, right-wing agenda. No gun, different story. No “Stand Your Ground,” different story.

Then listen again to what Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan, so presciently told us decades ago: “He’s only a pawn in their game.” Full article

Only a Pawn In Their Game : Bob Dylan

A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ blood
A finger fired the trigger to his name
A handle hid out in the dark
A hand set the spark
Two eyes took the aim
Behind a man’s brain
But he can’t be blamed
He’s only a pawn in their game

A South politician preaches to the poor white man
“You got more than the blacks, don’t complain.
You’re better than them, you been born with white skin,” they explain.
And the Negro’s name
Is used it is plain
For the politician’s gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game

The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
And the marshals and cops get the same
But the poor white man’s used in the hands of them all like a tool
He’s taught in his school
From the start by the rule
That the laws are with him
To protect his white skin
To keep up his hate
So he never thinks straight
’Bout the shape that he’s in
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game

From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks
And the hoofbeats pound in his brain
And he’s taught how to walk in a pack
Shoot in the back
With his fist in a clinch
To hang and to lynch
To hide ’neath the hood
To kill with no pain
Like a dog on a chain
He ain’t got no name
But it ain’t him to blame
He’s only a pawn in their game.

Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught
They lowered him down as a king
But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
That fired the gun
He’ll see by his grave
On the stone that remains
Carved next to his name
His epitaph plain:
Only a pawn in their game

Copyright © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1996 by Special Rider Music

Vote! 12 Days

When You Pray Move Your Feet. Congressman John Lewis 1940 – 2020

From John Lewis, The Spirit of History, an interview recorded June 5, 1998, in Atlanta, Georgia, US with Paula Gordon and Bill Russell, Interviews and Conversations with People Leading from the Edge:

Young John Lewis was one of the original members of the Nashville Student Movement and the first president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC.) He was arrested dozens of times in nonviolent demonstrations across the South, was on the first Freedom Ride, a leader of the 1963 March on Washington and he led the bloody Selma march which sealed passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. His recently published autobiography, Walking with the Wind, is a memoir of the Civil Rights Movement.

Mr. Lewis believes The Movement showed that violence is not able to stop nonviolence. Thousands of simple, ordinary people were the key. They didn’t have resources. They followed the wisdom of an old African proverb which says, “When you pray, move your feet.” In marches and sit-ins and stand-ins, protesters prayed with their feet. In so doing, they saved America’s soul.

Congressman Lewis continues to believe in nonviolence. He continues to believe the Spirit of History calls people, as it called him. When that Spirit calls, he says, you have to follow. And you’d better be prepared. No one, he insists, can sit on the sidelines.

Vote! 13 Days

If Black Lives Matter ask your friends and relatives to all vote a straight blue ticket.

Paula Gordon & Bill Russell: Interviews and Coversations with People from the Leading Edge

The People’s Business Isn’t Business

Paula Gordon, Huffington Post 11/02/2014 04:17 am ET Updated Jan 01, 2015

The conflict between people and corporations is not inevitable. Actually, it’s stupid. This conflict is the result of overreach by (some) large corporations and the Republican Party.

This conflict is now so threatening because of the power given to corporations by a series of misguided Supreme Court decisions. Those decisions have bestowed on corporations and the rich the power to use their massive and concentrated wealth to undermine our Constitution, pervert our laws and enfeeble our people. That is a genuine, lethal threat to our collective well-being. And, a mortal threat to the American experiment.

Robert Monks: Corpocracy

In his 2007 book, Corpocracy, Bob Monks presents a clear and strong case for making corporations accountable and responsible. The Supreme Court’s 2010 “Citizens United” decision unleashed an unprecedented flood of corporate money on the American political system.

The Way I Have Seen It: So I Vote

Vote! 15 Days

Ladies!! We Are Marching Lets Complete Our Revolution Nonviolently With The Ballot

Significance of the March

The march became a rallying point through the next stages of the Revolution. Lafayette eventually attempted to leave France, as many thought he’d been too soft on the royal family. He was imprisoned and only released by Napoleon in 1797. Maillard remained a hero, but he died in 1794 at age 31.

The marchers’ success in forcing the king to move to Paris and support the reforms was a major turning point in the French Revolution. Their invasion of the palace removed all doubt that the monarchy was subject to the will of the people, and was a major defeat for France’s Ancien Régime of heredity monarchy. The women who initiated the march were heroines, called “Mothers of the Nation.”

Lewis, Jone Johnson. “A History of the Women’s March on Versailles.” ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/womens-march-on-versailles-3529107

Paula Gordon and Bill Russell Conversations with People from the Leading Edge

Isabel Wilkerson, the author of the recently released book “Caste” in a 2010 interview.

Isabel Wilkerson has told the very human story of the Great Migration from the Jim Crow South through the lives of three people who made the journey.

• Conversation 1—Jim Crow separated people by race and also by geography and experience. America is still paying a fierce price for those separations.

Conversation with Ms. Wilkerson continues

Vote! 17 Days

TRAYVON MARTIN

Didn’t live to vote! He was only 17 years old.

You got a lot more. “You Can Vote” If You Are 18 Or Older

About the only thing that everyone agrees on is what Trayvon Martin was carrying when he died. There were his clothes, including a black hooded top with a badge pinned to it showing a picture of his dead cousin. There was his cellphone, on which he had been talking to a friend. In his pockets were a cigarette lighter, some earphones, a can of Arizona watermelon fruit juice cocktail, a little over US$40 in cash, a bag of Skittles he had just bought from a nearby 7-Eleven, and no weapon of any kind.

Whether or not you believe George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood-watch co-ordinator who says he shot Martin in self-defence, these do not sound like instruments of burglary. Indeed, the Skittles especially, with their bright playground colours and “Taste the Rainbow” slogan, have become a symbol of Martin’s innocence. He may have been suspended from school at the time, and had traces of cannabis in his blood, but when you look behind the appearance of a menacing black teenager, those Skittles say, you find the child inside.