Connecting the Paradigm Shift

By Cindy Sheehan

I would say that I belong to the classification of “protester.”

For the last seven years I have protested war, violence, injustice and economic oppression all over the world. I have been arrested about 17 times and I even ran for Congress in 2008 against a warmonger. I have camped and had camps from Crawford, Texas to Washington, DC during the current and previous US regimes. I have protested with a few people to several hundred thousands. Is there peace, yet?

No, and why? Even though I have been a mega-protester for the last seven years, I have met people who have been doing this for the last seven decades and have been arrested dozens of times.

The only thing that has changed from all this protest is that the US is in more wars and killing more people than since WWII. Our enemies have changed also: the US used to fight countries, since the Cold War we have been fighting ideologies. What a brilliant move by the war establishment! Besides our alleged “enemies,” who is anti-freedom, anti-democracy, anti-“The American Way?” It’s a cynical, yet effective move to keep this One Nation Under Surveillance in perpetual war for perpetual profit.

RevCom Tour 2011No matter how we in the peace and justice movements do protest, we will always be ineffective (in spite of “winning” small battles occasionally) for a few reasons:

We don’t have the monetary resources of the War/Political Machine.

No matter how effective alternative media is becoming, we don’t have the unlimited propaganda tools the War/Political Machine have.

We don’t have, and seemingly will never have, the one thing that would help overcome the other obstacles to our success: Unity.

Why can’t we in these movements put aside egos and share mailing lists and resources to become more effective?

Based on a statistical study by two University professors, Michael Heaney of the University of Michigan and Fabio Rojas of the University of Indiana, the antiwar movement lost many activists when Obama became president—because most of the antiwar movement was composed of people who affiliate and identify with the Democratic Party. I didn’t need a study to show me this—I have seen the affects since the Democrats took control of the House of Reps in 2006. But based on surveys done at rallies since January of 2009, Heaney and Rojas found: After Obama’s election as president, Democratic participation in antiwar activities plunged, falling from 37 percent in January 2009 to a low of 19 percent in November 2009. And attendance at the March 20, 2010 rally (the last one I attended) in DC was even more poorly attended!

The organizations that have/had the largest mailing lists were merely anti-Bush and not antiwar.

Now, there is a new coalition that is calling people to DC in October to do exactly what my organization, Peace of the Action, called for in 2010: “throwing our bodies on the gears” of the machine. I hope this group is successful, but what happens if they are? What happens if their protests do collapse the US Empire? What will the structure of a new government look like?

The word “Revolution” is lightly tossed around these days, from the Chevy Revolution to IHOP’s Pancake Revolution, and what happened in Egypt earlier this year was no “revolution” except in that very same marketing sense.

Hundreds of thousands of good people gathered in Tahrir (Freedom) Square in Egypt demanding an end to the Mubarek dictatorship, and all they really achieved, for all their dedication and sacrifice, was a transfer of the same crap onto a military dictatorship. Little has changed in Egypt—in fact, a recent report says that the Military Council outlawed protesting, over 7000 activists have been arrested and the military admitted to giving female protesters “virginity tests.” That’s decidedly not a revolution; in fact, it sounds a lot like the farce the US participates in every four years without the bloodshed.

Another recent victory for the (what I call) Robber Class (both political parties, wealthy, corporate media, Wall Street, bankers, the Military Industrial Complex) came in Madison, Wisconsin—again, tens of thousands of good people flocked to Madison to oppose Republican governor Scott Walker and his regime’s attacks against worker’s rights to organize. The Democrats and their lapdogs in labor and social movements co-opted that energy and Scott Walker got everything he wanted, and instead of campaigns to recall union leadership for, once again, caving into The Boss, Wisconsin activists have launched a recall campaign against the Republicans (and one Democrat).

We the people can’t seem to get it together because most of us refuse to see that neither political party is our “friend.” Instead of nurturing movements that may actually have some positive grassroots change, both parties sneak into the middle of the action to either co-opt the corruptible or kill what can’t be bought.

Another reason we cannot unite is because we have allowed the Robber Class to strategically “divide and conquer” us like it has done so effectively in places such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq and is now trying to do in Libya. We down here in the Robbed Class fight about peripheral issues and while we are squabbling, the Robber Class is literally stealing us blind.

My organization Peace of the Action supports all actions, including the one in DC in October, that have good demands that we agree with—but we believe that our effort: Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities (RevComs) to take back local control of our resources, economy, environment, food and clean-energy production, co-operatives, politics, education, etc, is the only long-term strategy we have left to us for basic survival.

To jump start this effort, several of us are beginning a RevCom tour of Oregon and California beginning on August 17th—for more information, please click the link below, or email:
TourSuggestions@VeteransforJustice.com

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Revolutionary minds; Revolutionary actions. The time to rise and collaborate is now.

From August 18 through September 4, Cindy Sheehan and the “RevCom Victory Garden Tour” will be touring the West Coast, making stops in Portland, Eugene, Newport, Coos Bay, Eureka, Arcata, Sacramento, Fresno, Visalia, Davis, San Francisco and more. Cindy and the small team of veterans who are accompanying her plan to network and reach out to your communities and showcase the best revolutionary minds and revolutionary actions to the rest of the world.RevCom Tour 2011

That’s where you come in. We want to know what is going on in YOUR community with regards to local farming, local trade, sustainable living, permaculture, trade and barter, your environmental battles, water issues, responsible community leadership, energy issues and projects, low energy transportation, homeless issues, education, and (m)any other fronts imperative to our common humanity.

There are two ways you can help:

1) Send us your local (or not so local) recommendations. Include website if available and contact information for your suggestion. Also include a good description of what and why you think we should visit and showcase your recommendation. Your own phone number would be helpful too. Please send to: toursuggestions@VeteransForJustice.com

2) Set up a revolutionary event that we can attend during our tour. Our schedule is already roughly penned so we’ll need to coordinate a date and time that is logistically possible. Set up what works best for your community, and we’ll show up and do our best to make it better. Again, contact: toursuggestions@VeteransForJustice.com

More info on RevComs:

Cindy Sheehan and non-profit organization Peace of the Action have launched a new, unifying, and aggressive program of action dubbed Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities.

Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities, known as RevComs, seeks to unite individuals and entities on the local level in order to create a national and global front against the domination of destructive capitalism and government cronyism and for steady-state, hands-on approaches generating peace, basic needs, environmental mitigation, and community.

In late 2010, Sheehan informally reached into various activist networks asking individual members to provide analysis, critiques, and other feedback in order to shape the initial context of RevComs. She heard from hundreds across the political spectrum, including from supporters of President Obama ready to abandon him due to his continuation of the US wars of occupation, expansion of the use of drones in Pakistan and elsewhere, and his Administration’s continued attacks on civil liberties at home and abroad. Observing small-scale efforts in the United States and elsewhere known as ‘transition towns’, Ms. Sheehan asked Peace of the Action to mold together the feedback she received with her observations in order to launch the RevCom drive for change.

“We have marched millions of miles,” states Ms. Sheehan. “We have signed thousands of petitions, we have worked for hundreds of candidates who promised ‘change’, and we are still being robbed of our basic necessities and even our children to enrich the capitalist class and empower a corrupt government. It’s time we started to withdraw our consent to be robbed and take power into our own hands to create healthy, peaceful, and sustainable homes and communities – for our children and grandchildren and for all the children in the world.”

Peace of the Action board member Gregory Vickrey adds, “2011 is a make-or-break year for empowering activists and humanity as a whole to overcome the transgressions of governments at every level and to re-construct the ideals of civic society, justice, and responsibility.”

Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities will spend the year networking, planting seeds of peace, and cultivating those already working on a holistic approach to new paradigm of thoughtful, meaningful, actual change.

Ms. Sheehan concludes, “The future can be beautiful, but it’s up to us.”

Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,

Over the last 24 hours global attention has been monopolized by a certain event, but our work in California goes on. We aim to occupy the State Capitol beginning May 9, 2011, and seek to sustain that occupation as long as possible.

Two days ago, we met with numerous teachers’ unions in Oakland, California, to further strengthen the ties that bind us together: challenging gross austerity measures brought to bear by a Democratic governor (here), Republican administrations elsewhere, and a federal government that seems clueless from the top on down to the plight of people nation-wide.

Three days ago, we met with colleagues at a university in Sacramento outside a meeting where students were being intimidated and threatened with university and criminal punishment for exercising their rights to free speech and organization.

Four days ago, we maneuvered Interstate 80 joining together tax-reformers, anti-war groups, prison-reformers, climate activists, indigenous peoples, and more for more than simple solidarity.

We aim to take the power back. We strive to Take California.

In 7 days we will descend on Sacramento with thousands of others suffering at the hands of elitist, corporate power structures and systematic failures. Prior to that, we have much, much more to do.

And we need your help doing it. We do our damnedest to operate on a shoestring budget, but we still need shoestrings, and we ask you to contribute what you can to this cause.

There are several ways to do so. Please pick one.

Drop us a line, if you wish, and we will give you our thanks directly.

Love and Peace,
Cindy and Gregory

Peace of the Action (POTA), Cindy Sheehan, United Progressives, ItsOurEconomy.us, and several other entities are calling on us to occupy Sacramento beginning May 9, 2011.

We seek your endorsement for – and participation in – this occupation to strengthen our approach, our numbers, and our will. Join together with more than 40 other endorsers and sponsors.

No More Taxes for Wars & Occupations
No More Tax Breaks for the Rich & Their Corporations

To be clear, this is an occupation in direct challenge to Governor Jerry Brown and the legislature’s austerity measures in California. The budget “fixes” proposed will come down on the backs of the most vulnerable, while continuing to provide corporate welfare, funds and use of California National Guard in wars of aggression, and a regressive tax structure.

We believe there is a bPeace of the Actionetter way.

  • Close Corporate Tax Loopholes & Incentives
  • Fully Fund Education & Other Social Programs
  • End State Funding for National Guard Units Leaving California
  • Raise Taxes (Employ Austerity) on California’s 650,000 Millionaire Households
  • Employ Massive Prison Reform & Drastically Alter Criminalization Codes
  • Bring Single-Payer Health Care to California
  • Mandate and Create a Zero Carbon Economy to Mitigate Climate Change

All this is to say: End the financial and discriminatory wars on women, workers, unions, immigrants, indigenous peoples, disabled, and people of color, the poor, and homeless communities.

All this is to say: End the ecocidal war against the state and the planet.

All this is to say: End the cycle of perpetual war, occupation, and terrorism being conducted around the globe.

We recognize the work we do in California now can be a model employed in other states and nations, and likewise seek your support to galvanize the effort and spread the word to your members, friends, allies, and colleagues. We will share our successes and failures every step of the way, and will help organize in every other state and nation as appropriate.

The Plan: Strike. Occupy.

May 9 & Beyond: Arrive Sacramento, Join Teacher’s Union Occupation of Capitol, Support Legal Case Against City By Homeless Communities

  • Set up Tent City occupation of Capitol grounds
  • “Refuse to Move”
  • Manage logistics, expand our ranks, employ tactics
  • Teach-Ins, Die-Ins, Human Be-Ins, and more

We encourage and urge everyone to bring your strength, your issue, and your expertise to directly challenge California’s corporatocracy right where it presides: Sacramento.

We will not set an end date. We don’t intend to leave. We will not back down.

To donate, click here or here.

To endorse, email or call:

Peace of the Action (POTA)
unitedrevs@gmail.com or gregory@gregoryvickrey.com
202.487.1201 (name, number, organization, email)

Cindy Sheehan
Cindy@CindySheehansSoapbox.com

Contact us for more information and to provide details of your participation. Band together. Occupy Sacramento.

Take California

Take California: Call for March & Strike on Sacramento

Peace of the Action (POTA), CodePINK, Cindy Sheehan, United Progressives, several other entities, and all Vulnerable Folks are calling on us to march, strike, and occupy Sacramento and beyond beginning May Day (1st), 2011.

We seek your endorsement for – and participation in – this march/strike to strengthen our approach, our numbers, and our will.

Strike: No Business As Usual
No More Taxes for Wars & Occupations
No More Tax Breaks for the Rich & Their Corporations

Peace of the ActionTo be clear, this is a march and strike in direct challenge to Governor Jerry Brown and the legislature’s austerity measures in California. The budget “fixes” proposed will come down on the backs of the most vulnerable, while continuing to provide corporate welfare, funds and use of California National Guard in wars of aggression, and a regressive tax structure.

We believe there is a better way.

    • Close Corporate Tax Loopholes & Incentives
    • Fully Fund Education & Other Social Programs
    • End State Funding for National Guard Units Leaving California
    • Raise Taxes (Employ Austerity) on California’s 650,000 Millionaire Households
    • Employ Massive Prison Reform & Drastically Alter Criminalization Codes
    • Bring Single-Payer Health Care to California
    • Mandate & Create a Zero Carbon Economy to Mitigate Climate Change

All this is to say: End the financial and discriminatory wars on women, workers, unions, immigrants, indigenous peoples, disabled, and people of color, the poor, and homeless communities.

All this is to say: End the ecocidal war against the state and the planet.

All this is to say: End the cycle of perpetual war, occupation, and terrorism being conducted around the globe.

We recognize the work we do in California now can be a model employed in other states and nations, and likewise seek your support to galvanize the effort and spread the word to your members, friends, allies, and colleagues. We will share our successes and failures every step of the way, and will help organize in every other state and nation as appropriate.

The Plan: March. Strike. Occupy.

May Day (May 1) – International Workers Day: Begin Marches across the state to Sacramento.

  • San Francisco, Bay Area: 1130am, 24th and Mission, March with Coalition of Immigrants & Workers to Civic Center (100pm); Depart on March to Ferry Building (300pm); Ferry to Vallejo (600pm)

May 2 – May 8: March through American Canyon, Napa, Suisun, Fairfield, Vacaville, Winters, Woodland, and Davis.

  • Theme/Issue/Focus for each overnight location
  • Regular press conferences with Rallies at each location
  • Flyering, Bannering, Actions at each location

May 9 & Beyond: Arrive Sacramento, Join Teacher’s Union Occupation of Capitol, Occupy

  • Set up Tent City occupation of Capitol grounds
  • “Refuse to Move”
  • Manage logistics, expand our ranks, employ tactics
  • Teach-Ins, Die-Ins, Human Be-Ins, and more

We encourage and urge everyone to bring your strength, your issue, and your expertise to directly challenge California’s corporatocracy right where it presides: Sacramento.

We will not set an end date. We don’t intend to leave. We will not back down.

To endorse, email or call:

Peace of the Action (POTA)
unitedrevs@gmail.com or gregory@gregoryvickrey.com
202.487.1201 (name, number, organization, email)

Cindy Sheehan
Cindy@CindySheehansSoapbox.com

Bay Area Code Pink
info@bayareacodepink.org
510.540.7007 (name, number, organization, email)

The RevCom conference call tonight included special guest Kevin Zeese of ItsOurEconomy.us discussing comprehensive approaches to change, as well as specifics of upcoming events in New York City and elsewhere. Kevin took several questions for the discussion. Cindy Sheehan talked about a developing campaign in California which will begin May 1st, 2011, with a march to Sacramento, and continue with a camp-out occupation of the state capitol. The beauty of the campaign? We can match the approach in all 50 states and beyond.

Catch the audio of our conference call here: RevCom Conference Call 04.10.11. And please feel free to spread it far and wide.

Several websites were mentioned during the call, and we highlight them here:

US Uncut

Amped Status

Federal Budget Analysis and Public Opinion (pdf) (strategic info here)

We deeply appreciate Kevin Zeese’s participation, and thanks to everyone who made the call.

Here is the agenda for the call.

Call will be from 8 to 9pm Eastern (5 to 6pm Pacific), Sunday, April 10.

Number: 1.218.632.0995

Code: 73223

Once you are on the line, please press *6 to mute your phone so background noise and echos will be eliminated.

Agenda:

00 – 05 Welcome. Mute Phones.

05 – 10 Quick Update on Revcoms. Volunteers needed for projects. May gatherings.

10 – 50 Special Guest Kevin Zeese. Kevin is a colleague, friend and devoted activist, co-founder of Voters for Peace, Prosperity Agenda, and other entities. Kevin was Ralph Nader’s press secretary in 2004, and was a candidate for Senate in 2006 with endorsements across the political spectrum. Kevin will discuss his latest project, ItsOurEconomy.us, and will field questions.

50 – 60 Recap. Next Steps. Close.

Please submit questions for Kevin before or during the call to our email address, unitedrevs@gmail.com. If you’d like to speak on the call, send a note and we will include you.

Please feel free to invite your friends to this call, and have them get involved by sending us a note.

Thanks!

Peace of the Action