Free Forum – Trump Takes Office, Millions Hit Streets with Drew Dellinger, Richard Eskow & Mark HertsgaardWritten on January 25th, 2017
I recently broke my two-year hiatus with a show of reflections on the election and the path forward. I couldn’t resist again this week, following the inauguration of Donald Trump and the millions around the US and the globe who marched yesterday. in protest. I discuss recent events and the meaning of the marches with: • Richard (RJ) Eskow (www.patreon.com/thezerohour), host of the syndicated radio show The Zero Hour, was a writer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. • Drew Dellinger, Ph.D. (drewdellinger.org), founder of Planetize the Movement, is the author of the award-winning poetry collection, Love Letter to the Milky Way, and the upcoming book, Martin Luther King—Ecological Thinker: Toward a Cosmology of Connection. • Mark Hertsgaard (markhertsgaard.com), Veteran journalist, Investigative Editor of The Nation, and the author of seven books including HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth and On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency.
Politics and the media have for the most part shown themselves impotent, indifferent, or in cahoots when it comes to confronting and rolling back the takeover of the United States by the super-rich and the super-corporations.
Since the days of Clinton, we’ve been reminding ourselves of the words of FDR to progressives pressing for the New Deal — “Make me do it.” Envying the attention and power granted the tea party. Millions march all over Europe in response to austerity measures that make the people pay for the failures of the financial class. Millions march in the Arab Awakening when hunger, poverty, corruption, and autocracy prove too much to bear and social media connects and informs the people like never before. When will Americans take to the streets?
September 17th, a small group of demonstrators camped out in a downtown New York park and Occupy Wall Street was born. Occupy Los Angeles emerged a week ago, October 1st. Both are alive and well. As of Saturday the Occupy movement has spread to 1,016 cities in the US and abroad. There has been carping in the mainstream media about the movement’s lack of focus, lack of clear message, lack of specific platform or demands. The closest thing to a brand for the movement so far is the claim that, “We are the 99%”. I think this is a wonderful opening. It’s based on cold hard facts. It is inclusive. Even a tea partier knows they are part of the 99%. Inequality is problem #1 in this country. from which all else follows, including a corrupted political system that is not able to meet the challenges we face.
I don’t think anyone knows where this goes…At some level a lot of us have grown so resigned to the dominance of money in our society that I’m not sure too many have a plan how to get from here to where we need to get.
I think we each also have to invent the role we are going to play as this story unfolds.
I’ll be joined by representatives for both Occupy Wall Street — NELINI STAMP (Working Families Party) and MELANIE BUTLER (Code Pink) — and Occupy Los Angeles — LISA CLAPIER (media, Occupy LA) and SHARIF ABDULLAH (Commonway.org). I plan to ask them to tell their individual stories, report what’s happening around them and what they think it means.