It seemed best to keep the focus on HCR until it passed so I held off on posting the next step on organizing for GROW. Now that HCR has passed, addressing the corporate domination in our democracy and this nation seems even more pressing .
We all witnessed the lies, deceptions, hatred and madness that Corporate America whipped up to try and destroy health care reform. And they nearly won. Passing HCR was a rare victory for the people of this country over corporations but unfortunately, one that too many Americans see negatively because of the corporate propaganda that has infected them. Still, there is a momentum now for The People to take on the corporations.
Next up on the Congress’ and Pres. Obama’s agenda is regulation and reform of financial corporations. Combine those bills with the stimulus and the dynamics are quite clear. We have come to a tipping point for our economy, society and democracy. The U.S. will either tip over irretrievably to being a plutocracy, run to enrich corporations and the wealthy, to the disadvantage of 99% of Americans or this march towards permanent plutocracy will be halted and reversed.
There are so many critical issues needing attention at this point in our history and not all are directly related to corporations. However, the corporate agenda on each issue will always be enforced and hugely financed. Add to that, every issue is processed by and presented or ignored by the corporations that own the MSM. Corporations are a bottleneck through which most Americans receive their view of issues, the country and the world.
Fox News presents the most obvious example of how corporate power controls the discussion, the reality and the course of events in this nation. The pendulum has swung so far away from America being a country, of, for and by The People. It is indeed a time in our history where activism is continually needed to combat the unending campaign by corporations to further dominate this nation and exploit its people. They aren’t going to stop, we can’t afford to either.
Previously in American history, activism and taking responsibility for what happened in and to this country was seen as something that was part of one’s life as an American. The reality today is that most don’t seem to see this as an ongoing thing. Some folks show no social responsibility at all, just a focus on their individual lives. Others may be concerned and involved temporarily then disengage. Then there are those who feel that as an American, they have a duty to remain vested in what America is and will be.
The truth is that the proponents of greed, hatred, prejudice, plutocracy, theocracy, social injustice and many other not-so-pleasant things never take a break, they keep trying to move the country to conform to their selfish agendas. They must be met at each turn by those representing the majority of Americans or these dedicated and fervent parties which represent a small minority of Americans, will eventually prevail.
Which brings me back to GROW. I know it’s been a few weeks since the last post on GROW, as mentioned above, this was intentional so as not to split energies and focus from activism to push for the passage of HCR. My hope is that enthusiasm remains high for working collectively to continue making a difference in this country and standing up for returning this democracy to The People.
In the last posts on GROW, the focus of the group was put up for discussion. A majority supported GROW starting out with a single, primary focus of addressing the SCOTUS ruling that gives corporations unlimited spending on elections, recognizing them as having the same rights as actual people. So, that will be the initial focus of GROW.
GROW’s Operation and Options
A number of operational issues received a consensus of agreement in the last post and appear below. Also, several suggestions were offered then and are also included:
1. Secondary issues that are connected to corporate dominance of our society can also be part of GROW’s efforts as it “grows”, including election finance reform, outlawing contributions by lobbyists, promoting voting to younger voters, spotlighting and countering corporate agendas being promoted by the MSM, identifying corporate-beholden politicians and possibly supporting primary and GE challengers to them.
2. GROW’s first protest will legitimize it as an actual entity so that needs to happen first.
3. Protests should be visual and humorous/satirical to be more attractive to the media for broadcasting and to encourage people to share with others in hopes of bringing more attention to the issue and GROW. They could be designed for both groups and individuals to perform simultaneously, wherever they are in the country, to give the appearance and impact of a national protest.
4. Prior to each protest, press releases should be sent out to local and national media, notices should be handed out and posted on walls, telephone poles, etc. at and around the location(s) where a protest is to occur.
5. After staging its first protest, GROW should actively pursue associations with other grass roots Progressive groups such as the Coffee Party, Move To Amend and individuals such as bloggers, organizers, political artists, etc., to support their efforts and sites and in turn seek their support on GROW’s protests and growth. It is hoped that various grass roots Progressive groups could be networked and coordinated on various initiatives. Facebook and Twitter should be actively used to promote GROW and its activities.
6. A YouTube channel should be set up for GROW to display videos of its protests and for videos created by members, this could include a video version of “Corporations Are People Too”. Links to the videos would be spread by members across the internet. Fliers featuring Dr. Suits or other amusing approaches to getting the message across, with tear offs of GROW’s URL could be circulated at colleges and elsewhere.
If you have any comments, criticisms or additions to the above, please don’t hesitate to add them in a comment below.
In response to the vote we held on the name of the website for GROW, I have retained the site, growdemocracy.org . It will take donations to finance web hosting for that site so in the meantime, I have set up an initial website for GROW at WordPress.com which is open and active now: http://growdemocracy.wordpress.com/. You will need to sign up for a WordPress.com account to blog there but it is as quick and easy as signing up here. You may want to use the same email address you used here so the same Gravatar shows for you there too.
Time to Design The First Protest!
As to where things are now, with everything else generally discussed, now it is finally time to discuss what the first protest should be. As we’ve discussed and there seems to be consensus, it should be a clever, amusing, visual protest. What would be great is to come up with a concept that can be done by groups as well as individuals so that those who are in the vicinity of other members could protest with them and those who are not could protest too. As mentioned above, this could give the impact of a national event (think how few teabaggers it took yelling at town halls to make that a massive story).
Once this is decided, all that will left to be decided is setting a date and with that protest, GROW will be a legitimate activist group!
So, let’s bat it around, what would be amusing and eye-catching (aka MSM-catching) ways to protest the SCOTUS ruling and promote the need for there to be hard limits on corporate spending on elections?
No idea is too silly so don’t hold back. Have fun with this and who knows, you may come up with the idea that launches GROW!