It couldn’t have been a more successful day for all of the fantastic organizations and people participating and for Americans who oppose those who are trying to buy this democracy away from the majority.
Here are four videos, they will play one after the other or you can click on the arrows to advance to the next one:
And here are a series of photos, click on them to advance to the next:
I mentioned a number of the specifics about the event in my Live Blog yesterday so I will try to avoid redundancy…let me repeat that…
Before getting to an overview, I will mention one thing that was troubling and validating. While we were protesting in front of the hotel, there was a group of what seemed to be Koch Klan attendees standing in front of the hotel, just watching us. There, safely behind squads of sheriffs in riot gear, they almost seemed to be trying to show us that they weren’t intimidated and that “the people” were just troublesome pests whose protests were gauche little things.
The fact that they could just stand there and watch over 1,000 people rallying against them and be so disconnected from what was really going on, made me think that if Marie Antoinette was around today, she might have attended this conference and been standing right there with them, similarly bewildered why, if they didn’t have bread, the other 99% didn’t just eat cheap beef tacos that didn’t have much beef in them. Andrew Breitbart was there, thinking he was so clever, skating on rollerblades (so he could get away quickly no doubt, the coward) from the hotel and up to female protesters from Code Pink (I guess he thought he could take them…man, he doesn’t know those Code Pink folks!) and grinning while tossing out put downs at them then skating away. Such bravery is rarely seen amongst Republicans. And still is. Meanwhile, from atop the hotel, federal agents and possibly snipers stood watching the crowd. At one point, a helicopter that had been circling all day zoomed down far lower than I would think was legal and buzzed the crowd. It was not marked as a news copter nor a police copter, I have no idea who was in it.
There were many creative folks there who had prepared clever signs and costumes. My daughter was with me and her favorite was the person in the polar bear suit addressing the climate change issue that the Koch’s pro-pollution campaigns are contributing to.
The picture of the polar bear and of the front of the hotel, with sheriff’s in riot gear, Koch guests watching us with disdain and federal agents (and snipers?) on the roof can be seen in the slideshow of photos above.
Despite the seriousness of this moment in American history, it was incredibly energizing and affirming to be with over 1,000 fellow concerned and conscientious citizens, who came from all over California and beyond, to stand up for the principle of American Democracy.
The disappointment and futility that some folks feel out there due to Obama’s not addressing some issues in the way they had hoped or in response to the results of last November’s election is understandable but it was nowhere to be found yesterday, which was about the future.
What this successful action reminds us of is that we can come together and accomplish what we dedicate ourselves to. Dozens of organizations and unions with their own focuses and priorities, came together and united to create in a scant 3 weeks, a well-attended and organized event that earned national news coverage and exposed to many who had never heard of them, the Kochs, their agenda and their cronies.
Many things could have undermined this effort. Egos, apathy, negativism that it simply could not be done but dedication and conscience were what were exhibited. Throughout my involvement in this I witnessed, in each and every discussion and decision made between such a diverse coalition of extraordinary and strong-willed people, a model of how many people can indeed work positively as a team on the goal that has brought them together.
This should mean something to every thoughtful person out there. Yes, there are destructive forces out there that have great wealth and power but in a democracy, when good people have the will to unite and accomplish something, there is a re-taking of power. It may not be as dramatic as what is going on in Egypt right now but it is very meaningful and a valuable reminder of the power there is in unity.
Some may say, “So what, you had a protest, got some press but the Kochs still have all their billions and they still successfully held their meeting to plot how to take greater control of our democracy and economy.” That would be true. But the impact of this protest, which is just the kick off to an ongoing national campaign, is that they no longer have the cloak of invisibility they had previously.
Why does this matter, how does exposing the Kochs to more and more people take any power away from them? How was yesterday a “win” for the other 99%? Consider this, if you learned that Sarah Palin was helping to finance the campaign of a candidate or a state proposition, how might that influence your view of that candidate or initiative?
If the Kochs can be made “popular” enough for people to know who they are and what they have been up to, how might a moderate voter view a political ad or an astroturf “grass roots” group when they learn that the Kochs financed it?
Infamy is not the best advertisement for a product. By publicizing and exposing the Kochs, the Citizens United ruling loses some of its power. Though it will take work on our side, if they can be tied to the Congressional seats and laws they try to buy, their money becomes tainted along with whatever it’s spent on.
So, what happened yesterday was one small step forward in undermining the CU ruling and the domination over our country that’s sought by the Kochs. There may be those who feel that only big steps get one to where one wants to go but small steps in the right direction still move one closer to one’s destination.
It is time to look at physically taking action as a necessary component of empowering ourselves in our democracy. Blogging to get ideas and information out, to come together with others to explore issues and solutions are important ingredients in the mix, as are signing petitions, boycotting products and talking with people one knows. However, in today’s America, with the way our technology and society press us into comfort in our homes and routines, we need to find the resolve to break through all of that and get out of our homes and into the streets. As a community, as a society, as The People of this nation.
Though Twitter, Facebook and emails have played a meaningful role in the revolt for democracy in Egypt, we can all imagine how powerful this revolt would have been if instead of taking to the streets, Egyptians clicked on petitions to sign them and Tweeted to their friends, “We really should take our democracy back, don’t ya think?”.
The last thing that the Kochs and their ilk want is to awaken the sleeping giant, the majority in this nation, to get up out of their La-Z-Boys and throw off their Snuggies. What that 1% of Americans, who have inordinate power and influence over our democracy are afraid of is only one thing…coming out of their homes to find the 99% in the streets.
Much of the campaign of these plutocrats is purposely designed to keep us divided, as long as we are, they are free to do as they please. They whip up social issues, religious issues, hatred of others because they are a different race or unemployed or from a different part of the country. Divided, we fall.
What we can do though is choose not to participate in this game of division because just by playing, we lose and they win. We can be aggressive about confronting the Kochs and Co. but we need to be just as aggressive about seeking unity with as many fellow Americans as we can. Even a simple majority of Americans who are united would have more power than the Kochs and their crew, let alone a far bigger majority.
So, in the aftermath of yesterday’s successful action, there should be enthusiasm about the values we share and our ability to step up in the fight we’re in. There should be a consideration of what our personal responsibility is to continue and win this fight, what contributions of time, energy, resources and sacrifices of comfort should be made to physically participate in our democracy. And, those of us who are parents should consider how much more other generations sacrificed to give us the comfort we have today…and that, if the future under the Kochs is to take away much of that from our children and their children, is putting down the tv remote or the computer mouse to stand against them the least we should expect from ourselves?
The conflict is engaged, we are stronger than they are if we come together but can we? As yesterday proved, I’d say yes we can.
BREAKING NEWS! Maddow just reported that Common Cause is investigating Clarence Thomas FOUR DAY visit at the Koch meeting last year and should have recused himself from Citizens United. She said more investigations to come.
Advocacy Group Says Justices May Have Conflict in Campaign Finance Cases
NICE….I want more than a go no where investigation though….
Me too Abby–but nothing will happen WITHOUT an investigation. Although, only one Justice has ever been impeached and it was for something ridiculously blatant. I forget what it was.
Cher I just saw that myself. p.s. I really Dig your New Av. 😎
Wouldn’t that be something to permanently “recuse” that fella? (I still say Anita Hill would have made a better justice)
Common Cause suddenly uncommonly forceful in fighting Koch Industries
H/T Common Cause
7 Ways the Koch Bros. Benefit from Corporate Welfare
1. SOCIALIST SHIPBUILDING
2. VENEZUELAN FERTILIZER
6. EMINENT DOMAIN
Problem: You’re Viewed As Sinister Moguls. Solution: Hired Goons
Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:
American Museum of Natural History’s David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing.
Somebody wrote that maybe Frank Gaffeny should have exposed the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood was at the meeting in Rancho Mirage.
Also, nice piece from Natural Resources Defense Fund:
I was searching the Internets for Julia Koch’s age(she is now 47ish and he is 13 years her senior, I think?) and found this from New York Magazine. It was written/published last summer.
The Billionaire’s Party
David Koch is one of New York City’s richest residents. The oil heir is worth $17.5 billion according to Forbes.
Trophy children too? Good Lord, why even have them?
You should see his trophy dogs.
Oh goodness gracious…when are these old rich guys going to admit, the only reason a young hottie marries them is for their money??? Seriously…their delusions amaze me.
Here’s some news from ThinkProgress, Paul Ryan who gave the Repub SOTU response spoke at the Koch’s conclave:
Methinks there is fear in the air at Koch Industries, AdLib.
Ken Vogel’s article in Politico contains the following:
As far as CA goes, Fair Political Practices Commission head, Dan Schnur, took the crack in “Citizens United” that allowed states to demand full accountability. Dan, a long-time GOP ally, is also, however odd this may seem, a dedicated reformer on behalf of democracy. He seized the opening and has insisted that each and every campaign donation and paid-for advertisement run in any state political race HAD to declare all donors – not straws and “Americans For” types of phony committees – but REAL people. Hardly anyone knows this yet – even though he announced it at the November meeting of the Sacramento Press Club. Somehow most of the reporters there did not find that interesting. I was also there. I know Dan. I found it BLOODY BRILLIANT!!! I do not believe the Kochs actually know it yet.
I once saw a terrific cartoon in the SF Examiner. An ostrich had its head buried in the sand. Next to it was a crouching tiger saying, “I seeeeeee you!”
Well, Koch Brothers – we seeeeeee you!
This might be what it was like when the leading capitalist in germany decided to “hire” hitler..
This should answer the questions of the most skeptical person as to whether taking action makes a difference.
Politico published an article today that shows how incredibly effective the rally against the Kochs was and how it has them running scared, this is a must read!
Absolutely, AdLib. This is amazing and gives me a huge boost. As good as the message of the Politico piece is, I have to growl at their bias. From Politico—look at the editorializing and slanted use of language:
“Both their new openness…” That’s rich. Since when does hiring a PR firm and filing lawsuits constitute a “new openness?”
“…according to a conservative source who has closely tracked the Kochs’ philanthropy and their meetings…” PHILANTHROPY?? Is that the new term for buying political influence?
“The packet, posted on the White House-allied ThinkProgress blog in October…” WH ALLIED?
“Though they were not quoted in stories, much of the national coverage of the conclave counterbalanced the protesters’ charges either by quoting past meeting attendees defending the conference as an exchange of policy ideas, or by noting that major liberal donors like billionaire financier George Soros attend similar meetings to dole out funds – and that, in fact, Common Cause has received funding from Soros.” This is an untrue statement. None of the many national stories I read (I made a list and posted it on Jan. 30) were “balanced”—they were pro-RALLY!
This should have been publicized and decried!- -“Ferdman had reservations at the resort and stayed there Thursday and Friday night. He said he was told Saturday that his lunch reservations at the resort restaurant had been canceled and was urged to check out and leave promptly by a member of Koch’s large security detail. “ WHAT?? Sorry—fascism.
Also, why is it illegal for the White House to view and/or make public the Koch’s tax filings?
Politico is a Repub rag but the fact that they are reporting any negativity and fear from the Kochs is a big victory!
Yes, they still shade things to the right and compliment the Kochs for “openness” but the article itself ridicules that claim by explaining their fear and desperation.
The article expresses how much they’re on the defense now and what they’re doing is out of self-preservation, including trying to spin the media before and after the protest.
WE DID IT! We’ve got them scrambling and all it took was a pleasant outing to Palm Springs (and an enormous amount of organization and preparation by the many wonderful people who made this happen).
Protesting does work! Let’s keep it up!
Cher – it would be illegal for the WH to expose MY tax filing or yours. The Koch personal returns are OFF LIMITS. However – hah! – joint-stock publicly traded corporations are required to file and POST 10-K forms so that all the world may see them. Now there may be different rules for privately held companies, but I’m fairly sure they are not SO private we could not find them. I’ve tracked Cargill and some other companies. They reveal quite a lot to attract investors, so there is quite a lot we can find out. Have they ever filed bankruptcy on anything? Those records are ALL public! Open the books, boys – your creditors are here…
I will defer to the privacy of Mr. and Mrs. Koch. They are real people (we assume) so have the same rights as the rest of us. But the company? No bloody way.
However, it is not the job of the White House to “out” anyone. Leave that to the requisite departments – DOJ when their overall criminality is exposed; Commerce when their slimy business dealings are exposed; Treasury when their bank deals and money laundering go sour; EPA when their disgusting pollution violations are exposed; Labor and NLRB when their OSHA and other standards are exposed, and on and on and on.
When they create phony non-profits, that’s when they get VERY risky; non-profits have high reporting standards. There are forms called 990s that have to be filed, and if they have created a 501-c-3 which is TAX EXEMPT with tax-deductible donations BUT they have spent more than 5% of that on POLITICAL action, they are in deep doo-doo. They have to have a 501-c-4 which is tax exempt BUT the donations are not deductible. Did any of their astro-turf creations violate the law? Did they incorporate properly? Bet we could learn a lot here. Even if what they did is according to Hoyle, they still have tons of paperwork to file that includes ALL their sources of income for that entity. Is it a PAC – even MORE disclosure.
So yeah – we can find out quite a bit. I have only one remaining question – why is young Mrs. Koch married to such a geezer? Oh. Wait. Silly me. Of course! It’s his warmth and charm. Should have known.
the corporate leaders of ig farben who planned ww2, did not like scrutiny either…
Had to add this too, a tangential bridge between those seeking democracy in Egypt and those seeking to protect democracy in America. The power and unity of protest:
Nikki at Common Cause posted this photo today, David Koch and his wife watching our protest. As she asked, do they look happy about it to you?
Here is the link to Common Cause’s blog, more info and images there:
If I were clever, I’d love to take that photo and add thought balloons.
Funny that you mention that, The Other 98% has posted it on their Facebook page and started a title contest. Here’s their link (I know you’re not on FB, this is for folks who are):
My captioning was, “That reminds me, did Hosni get back to you about dinner next Saturday?”
Maybe you can you find the article here without going to face book.
Edit: and I like him, he retweets the @PlantPOV tweets.
I just added, “I hate to tell you David, you really need to take this offshore next time.”
caption for the big koch
“didn’t Napoleon say that religion keeps the poor from murdering the rich?”…”lets hope so Davy”
“It’s the rich you can terrorize. The poor have nothing to lose.”
“I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there, it’s so petty.”
Both those statements were already said– by Imelda Marcos
I’m sure he was confused. He thought only he had the power to rile up the rabble.
Oh wait, he kinda did. It’s just that you guys were actually directing your anger in the right direction.
Thanks for the reminder. I get so impatient with the state of our political and corporate world that I sometimes say, what the hell? What can I do? I am just one person…….and like you said go back to typing in the comment section of the blog I am currently reading. I saw Cher’s comment below about how Sunday took her back to her days(most likely in SF) when she was part of that action and how good it felt and how Sunday brought it all back.
Instead of whining about how we participated “back then” it is time to participate in the here and now. Until people stand up, we won’t have a movement similar to the 60’s. Thanks for reminding us all of that fact.
Cheers Sue! I wish they had been able to set up a bus for up north, would have been great to have seen you there, I know you would have been there!
A part of me has known and I’ve advocated becoming more involved in a real way. In fact all those who came together to start up GROW clearly felt the same.
But after physically taking part in an action, seeing how it was not really that demanding of me and how big of an impact it made nationally, I am fully convinced that not only should we take action physically when we can, we should seek every opportunity to do so.
I was quite surprised about no buses from NorCal. We used to be the hotbed of activism. Like CL said, next time she and I will drive together.
Thanks for reporting back. Kalima, Bito and I had a window seat on Sunday and were able to talk because you opened up VOX.
Next time, Sue – you and I will drive together. I couldn’t leave early enough this time and had to be back mid-day MOnday, but NEXT time…!!!!
What was so energizing about this rally (and I think it was closer to 2000 people at its peak) was the age diversity. Lots of younger people, lots of “Vietnam reruns” such as I. That was far less true in the 60s, though I do remember marching with a woman in her 70s even then.
What will it take to get people off their computer chairs and out to take action? Rallies and marches definitely – but demanding from their elected officials accountability to us? Another older activist has a button I have pinned to my office wall:
Don’t Whine! Organize!
It’s my mantra. Those who prefer to gripe but do nothing are my biggest fear. That is how we lose big time. I don’t know where the activism went. It exists in pockets but not as it did forty years ago. However, this time we have more sense (I think) than we did in the 60s and 70s about excluding people such as blue collar folks who don’t fit our tests of purity on every issue. Anyone who does not understand that even white blue collar workers are in the same boat with the rest of us has really missed the point. It’s all of us or it’s none of us.
I hope Sunday was the start, not the end. I would LOVE to wipe that bored indifference off Ms. Koch’s face. She is an American who cares nothing for her nation and its people, only for what it channels into her coffers.
I would recommend everyone dig up a copy of psychologist Robert Coles’ great book, “Children of Privilege” – the rich folks’ creation of a class of kids who know nothing of the rest of us and thus care nothing about the rest of us. Coles argues that unlike our liberal analysis that these folks act out of a sense of inferiority, they in fact act from an embedded sense of superiority they’ve been taught from birth. That cannot be so easily cracked.
Even some conservatives can be taught compassion and justice as beginning points for political discussions. Not everything can or must be reduced to commodities and acquisition. Democracy, if it’s to matter and be sustained, has to begin with equality and proceed on from there. If we don’t believe in that, then we do not value democracy at all, and that is the ruination of America.
thanks for your comments. I will definitely get that book and read it. NEXT time, we drive together……………ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joe Hill said, Don’t waste any time mourning….Organize, prior to his execution. And yes, he was framed.
some photos of the Koch protest:
Thanks and welcome to the Planet, Darellee!
Hi Darellee– thanks! I’m not on FB and can’t see them. Is there another way to view?
hi Chernynkaya, I can email you the photos if you send your email address to me at: (there are 15 low pixel photos)
I think you’ll like them,
All good things,
Welcome to the Planet.
The blockade #Koch security erected to block film crews from recording GOP big $hots arriving @ PalmSprgs conf
Wouldn’t it have been much simpler to just issue them some clean white sheets, hoods and pointy hats to dress up in, and maintain their privacy at the same time?
k’es, you are bound and determined to force them to call you before Bachmann’s new HUAC hearings aren’t you? 😉
It’s on my bucket list, b’ito.
Somebody has to do this 😆 the short link to use is
Fantastic job, AdLib, C’Lady and Cher. Hope the Koch’s heard me yelling from AZ, if not thank you for being there and raising your voices against their attempt to make this theirs to pollute and control. Let this NOT be a one day event. We may not have millions of dollars, but we do have millions of voices!! Great day, They were heard. Thanks again.
One last thought and then I’m outta here for the evening:
I actually thought that ridiculous show of force– sheriffs in riot gear, the self-important little men on the roof, the sheriff’s helicopter– was a sign of extreme unease. They were effin’ SCARED. We got their attention big time. If we were really inconsequential, they could have done with a few rent-a-cops or night watchmen.
At first, I was shocked when I saw those brownshirts. (and BTW, C’Lady was correct–they were decent fellows.)But you know, it also made me realize that we had power. Imagine the insult if they hadn’t even deigned to bother with security. THAT would have been a let-them-eat-cake moment. As it was, they gave us more power than I originally thought we had. And for that I am grateful.
Cher, I also found the show of force rather telling, they, the Koch Brothers, are definitely running scared and clearly do not like the light of day being shined on them. For years they have operated in the shadows and that is how they have became so successful at determining the direction of our Country, the curtain has been pulled back, now it is up to us to run them out-of-town.
my parting shot to the goons was my chant…
the Riverside cops are people too
the Kochs are going to screw over you
actually got some laffs from a group of brown
shirts standing around, arms folded, legs apart,
looking sooooo official….
Hey Darellee, welcome to The Planet!
Overall, I thought the sheriffs/cops were very professional. There never seemed to be any hostility or threat from them.
What I wonder is, might there have been at least one Dem among them who was pleased to see us there?
Adlib, a couple of the cops actually liked my chant, they laughed, we all saluted and went along our merry ways, hehe, I just don’t like their threatening postures and stone faces, let’s work on them, bring them around to behaving like the Egyptian military!
Beautiful, AdLib. Perfect. Brings tears to these old eyes. I have been reading about the protest on HP and On the Daily Beast. While all the blogs are miscounting the numbers– as C’Lady pointed out THERE WERE BUSLOADS OF AT LEAST 1500!– the comments from readers was so supportive! I saved a few from Daily Beast that I thought typified the comments:
The only response from the Right was, “B-b-but, SOROS.”
It means so much to regain that activism and idealism of my youth! It is the ONLY antidote to ennui. Thanks to you and C’Lady and others here who got us off our butts.
Cher, those are some excellent comments, as a self proclaimed conservative, Jorgaba gets it, What a great comment. His (?) comment on what we spend on our military to just protect the oil interests was perfect. How much of the nations treasures and treasury will we have to spend for their interests, their livelihood, and yet they complain and work against paying taxes to protecect their interests? What we need is a President to declare that we need to find and use an alternative energy in the interest of national security–Oh, wait, Nixon did that, and Carter, and Clinton and Obama…….. Here’s a thought, what if we spent 10% of the defense budget on developing an alternative to fossil fuels. Think 70 bill would do the trick on a Manhattan type project? Oh wait, that may choke the #Kochs!!!
(again, I must ask, how many years does President Obama have to be in office before he accepted in spell check? Bugs me.)
edit: what does that /snark mean?
Bito– you hit on that spellcheck thing too– boy, it really pisses me off.
I think /snark means it’s snark?
Technically, putting a backslash in front of something means you’re ending that function. In blog talk, it is a tongue in cheek way of saying, “What I just said was this (in the case above, “snark”).
Typically, you’ll see uses of it as “/snark” and “/sarcasm” and on RW blogs, “/ignorance”.
Hey, I use it!
You calling me a RW?
Of course not. /diplomatic lie
The Lib Abides!
You know my response to the boneheads who wail, “But Soros!”
No self-respecting American argues over which billionaire they want to be owned and dominated by.
Any genuine pro-democracy people in the Tea Party could be attracted to a anti-plutocrat movement. There will always be those who immovable, those who want to be treated as pets, as 2nd class citizens who live to be patted on the head by their masters. But those who sincerely want “our democracy back” would appear to be available to this campaign.
The Tea Party is based on a fraud and is already starting to unravel as the Repubs who patronized them to get elected, are quietly drifting back to where they’ve always been. As it degrades and degenerates, those peeling off from them will need a place to go.
We need to be strategic and not reactive, as appealing as it may be to pound on the illogic, ignorance and hypocrisy of Tea Partiers, battling is exactly what the Kochs would be pleased to see us doing.
Those who we can talk to, we should. Those who we can’t, we should simply move on from.