Three conferences this weekend - front line progressive activists are gathering. Between them 1000 in person with perhaps another 1000 on line. This in addition to the moderate-progressive Netroots gathering in Las Vegas.
In addition to the National Peace Conference in Albany
Also, this weekend PDA Progressive Democrats of America is meeting in Cleveland Cleveland Grassroots Leadership Conference
Bringing Home the Cost of Occupation National Organizer's Conference by Campaign to End the Israeli Occupationis in Kansas City this weekend.
With 2 of them being streamed live; we have at least 1000 solid activists with their comrades and probably an equal number watching.
The conference, co-sponsored by 31 different peace and justice organizations, is, as Teresa Gutierrez characterized it, a "visionary event" that is filling a vacuum. Activists have gathered to deliberate and come to a meaningful consensus on what can be done "to end the U.S. wars, occupations, bombing attacks, threats and interventions that are taking place in the Middle East and beyond" and to discuss where the U.S. peace movement is today and where it must go from here.
The organizers are united behind the following demands: immediate and total withdrawal of U.S. military forces, mercenaries and contractors from Afghanistan and Iraq; funds for jobs, health care, education, the environment, infrastructure and other human needs; compensation for peoples whose countries have suffered from U.S. attacks and occupation resulting in loss of lives, suffering and massive destruction.
Many great speakers: Perhaps the toughest words came from Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report:
Glen Ford talked about the culture of resistance that used to make black people the most dependent antiwar demographic in the U.S. Bu, now, with Obama elected, they have become more confused than anybody else. He cited a poll that indicated blacks are now the largest group who believe they are better off than before the recession, which indicates Obama's presence has served as a "narcotic" for the black population.
Ford said, "Breaking the Obama spell is the must do task for a renewed movement for social justice and peace" and added, "There is nothing complicated about it. You simply tell the truth. Obama works for Wall Street and the militarists. That is the truth."