Z: This is the report for Day 3 -Monday July 26th and updates on interesting things that also happened on Day 2 - Sunday, July 27. I have had a hard time posting this update because there was a huge solar flare on Monday that kept me from accessing my computer. In this update:
- notes on buying Fair Trade Coffee - how to the real stuff
- more materials (CD, books etc.) to spread around
- Update on the resistence against the draft bill that is being kicked around Washington DC right now
- update on the march on Sunday
- update on the Kucinich camp - FREE THE DELEGATES!
- websites of interest
EDAINA few notes on Day 2 - Saturday, July 25th Continued:
There were a few things I forgot about my day at the Boston Social Forum.
FAIR TRADE or Corprate Theft? - I went to an event called "Your Global Partners, Our Shared Strength: Three Effective Strugges for Economic Democracy in the Americas". It was all interesting and very important for Central and South America.
Basically, there are items that are sold through "Fair Trade Certification" - coffee and chocolate are the two biggest ones. If you buy products with the "Fair Trade Certified" label they have been brought to you directly from the growers and the profit to the grower/farmer is much, much greater because several so many middle men have been eliminated. (I know there are some coffee products that have pictures or labels so you know exactly which grower it came from so you can stay with a particular flavor). The problem that has come up is that large corporations are realizing that people prefer to work with Fair Trade products so they are using labels similar sounding to "Fair Trade" but they are not so always look for the "Fair Trade Certified" label.
EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS: I got a couple of things from the display tables, not from any specific event, that are worth mentioning.
1. DVD - "What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy, The War Against the Third World" by Frank Dorrel and ...
2. BOOK "Addicted to War, Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism" an illustrated expose' by Joel Andreas.
Both of these are becoming well known and being used in high school and university classrooms. While I was there a university teacher was so excited to find the table and bought a bunch more for her classroom.
Also, for your listening enjoyment, I found a great CD "Hail to the Thief - Songs for the Bush Years" including 15 wonderful songs such as "Beady Eyes", "It's Hard to Put Food on Your Family" and "I Cannot Sleep". Check out www.georgeandjulius.com for more
And Now - The March on Sunday
The crowds were not I large as I expected, probably about 2,000, but it didn't take many people to see how diverse the problems are that the US has or has caused. There were dozens of people from Haiti ask for the safe & quick return of their President Aristide (who the US took out in a coup d'etat) There were also people from Venezuela, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Cuba, Iraq (of course), Korea, and many other countries being threatened or attacked and, it was mentioned that the people of these countries are hoping and praying that those of us "who live in the belly of the beast" will do what we can to help them. Those most effected are the women & children, especially when the men die, and they are not making it through their struggles for justice.
While back at the home front, at least 100 members of Veterans for Peace, all ages and from around the country, marched with powerful messages from their experiences. Their was representation from labor, especially the Boston Bus Drivers Union Local 8751 &
the ILWU. Again I saw no Kerry supporters. I came to Boston hoping to be convinced that there was someone worth voting for who would look after me & mine. Me and mine included the environment I live in, the protection of the resourses I need and enjoy (water to drink,
forests to clean the air, safe neighborhoods to live in, education, an economic future for my son and his future children free from the debts we create today, men who are not screwed up (or dead) by their experiences in war, and all those things for every other mother in the world). I am not seeing it.
So far, nothing has happened in Boston to bring me hope from the Presidential campaign. It just keeps getting worse. One of the speakers at the rally mentioned several of the new staff for John Kerry and that was the clincher. I will not vote for him! They include James Baker III, Warren Buffett, Rand Beers, William Kerry from the Carlyle Group and others that I could not write down fast enough to catch.
Update on the Draft
I also got an update on the proposed draft. The bill is already in the Congress & Senate. It is expected to pass in January. My understanding is that there will be no educational deferrments, the age has expanded to 18 to 34 (not the previous 25). I thought I was marching in the street for others sons and daughters. Now I am marching in the streets for my own 27 year old son! Rumor is the Canadian borders began tightening up about 2 months ago and it will be hard to get out of the country, although I spoke to someone here who is from Toronto and he said it is not tightening up. He said just go to the border on game day dressed in the team logo and say you are going to the game or say you are a tourist ready to spend lots of money for the day. Whatever it takes to get across there will be help on the other side, if it comes to that. Canadians are preparing to help people dissapear. Two soldiers have already defected to
Canada and are going through the legal system. You can probably find out news on them by searching the internet. My friend told me I could hide my son in her attic (like Anne Frank). What a Country we live in!
Kucinich update: Trouble in Paradise - he will speak on Wednesday at the DNC at around 7:00 PM
While I was at the march a very interesting turn of events was happening at the Kucinich campaign. At the convention their are a series of two votes. In the first vote the delegates vote for the candidate they are representing. In the second vote they are free to vote for whoever they want. The delegates met in the morning and a heated argument was reported have taken place amongst the delegates . Rumor was that many of them want to abstain, as a block, from the second vote, since Kerry will be the only candidate to have enough votes to go to the second round.
At 2pm Dennis Kucinich met with his delegates and supporters who made it to Boston (although many of us were at the march). The delegates stood up one at a time and almost all said they could not in good conscious bring themselves to vote for Kerry. There is no healthcare for all, there is no Department of Peace, there is no solution to our invasions of other countries, there are no jobs at home. All the things that people believed in so strongly that made them spend the last 1-2 years working over time for Kucinich are not there if Kerry is our next President. The question is whether getting rid of Bush is reason enough to support Kerry and many are finding it very troubling to be put in that position. Tears were shed and passionate discussions took place.
In the campaign coverage this Wednesday evening Dennis Kucinich has seven minutes to speak (around 7pm). He has promised to address the the concerns of his delegates and his own concerns. Watch for it. I hope he tells it like it is.
Today I am going to see Toni Morrison, Al Franken & Bobby Kennedy Jr. in Cambridge.
Links to news about the DNC and Resistance Movement
- http://www.officialspin.com.- Canadian alt. media site - another site where people are covering the action in Boston day by day.
- http://www.georgeandjulius.com/ - CD called Hail to the Theif that includes folk resistance music by several artists.