From The Teamsters:
Next week, April 9-15, in small towns and big cities all across America, 100,000 people will come together for an unprecedented national movement-wide training. We'll learn to tell the story of our economy and what went wrong, and we'll learn how we can take action, make the voices of the 99% heard, and create great change in this country. Check out the powerful video, “100,000 Strong,” which helps explain why this movement is needed now:
A government that can be bought? Or a democracy that is truly of the people? We're training 100,000 people in one week to make their choice. Join us. #99spring
(Much of the video has words on the screen and little sound (so hearing impaired may watch and see what it is about). There is music and it picks up near the end) Here is a quick transcript I created after watching it:
America is at a Crossroads. We have a choice to make. Greater Wealth for a Few? Or opportunity for many? Tax breaks for the richest? Or a fair shot for the rest of us? A Government that can be bought by the Highest Bidder? Or a democracy that is truly Of the People, By the People, And For The People?This is the beginning of a movement, building on what Occupy did:
This April. 100,000 Strong! The 99% Spring!
Crowd Chanting (about 2/3 of the way through):We Are The 99%! We Are The 99%! We Are The 99%! We Are The 99%!
We Are The 99%! We Are The 99%! We Are The 99%! We Are The 99%!
Sunflowers shown and list of sponsers (see below) along with the chanting.
The 99% Spring is our chance to maintain and broaden that changemaking energy, and learn how we can take action to challenge corporate power, end tax giveaways to the 1%, fight the influence of money in politics, and create an economy that works for all of us.
Our movement is uniting, and this is a chance for all of us to come together to shift the political landscape in America. Will you join in?
So what is the 99% Spring? I wrote about it last week also. To me, it's the biggest movement since the 60s. This can be a difference maker. As Republicans ramp up deficit talk, the Ryan Budget, and cuts to programs again, we need the 99% to speak out. The only answer to the Super-Pacs, the Koch Brothers and the others is the organized power of people. We create the narrative.
99% Spring Action TrainingClick here to sign up for a 99% Spring training in your area
We're at a crossroads as a country. In recent years, millions have lost their jobs, homes have been foreclosed, and an unconscionable number of children live in poverty. We have to stand up to the people who caused of all this and confront the rampant greed and deliberate manipulation of our democracy and our economy by a tiny minority in the 1%.
Inspired by Occupy Wall Street and the fight for workers in Madison, Wisconsin, the 99% will rise up this spring. In the span of just one week, from April 9-15, 100,000 people will be trained to tell the story of what happened to our economy, learn the history of non-violent direct action, and use that knowledge to take action on our own campaigns to win change.
We'll gather for trainings in homes, community centers, places of worship, campuses, and public spaces nationwide to learn how to join together in the work of reclaiming our country through sustained non-violent action.
Will you rise with us and join a 99% Spring action training?
Take a look at who is involved. This is real. All parts of the rainbow. Beyond Blue/Green.
The following organizations have called for a 99% Spring: Jobs With Justice, United Auto Workers,National Peoples Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn.org, New Organizing Institute, Movement Strategy Center, The Other 98%, Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, Rebuild the Dream, Color of Change, UNITE-HERE, Greenpeace, Institute for Policy Studies, PICO National Network, New Bottom Line, Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, SNCC Legacy Project, United Steel Workers, Working Families Party, Communications Workers of America, United States Student Association, Rainforest Action Network, American Federation of Teachers, Leadership Center for the Common Good, UNITY, National Guestworker Alliance, 350.org, The Ruckus Society, Citizen Engagement Lab, smartMeme Strategy & Training Project, Right to the City Alliance, Pushback Network, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Progressive Democrats of America, Change to Win, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Campaign for America's Future, Public Campaign Action Fund, Fuse Washington, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Citizen Action of New York, Engage, United Electrical Workers Union, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Alliance for a Just Society, The Partnership for Working Families, United Students Against Sweatshops, Presente.org, Get Equal, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Corporate Accountability International, American Federation of Government Employees, Training for Change, People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER), Student Labor Action Project, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Green for All, DC Jobs with Justice, Midwest Academy, The Coffee Party, International Forum on Globalization, UFCW International Union, Sunflower Community Action, Illinois People's Action, Lakeview Action Coalition, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, International Brotherhood of the Teamsters, Resource Generation, Highlander Research and Education Center, TakeAction Minnesota, Energy Action CoalitionSolidarity!
MoveOn.org Civic Action is hosting the online event registration process but is not responsible for the content or programming of the trainings or for the planning or organization of any specific actions. The 99% Spring is a collaborative effort between many organizations to train over 100,000 Americans in the basics of nonviolent direct action—not an electoral campaign.
Update I: A few folks have indicated a concern this is an attempt to coopt Occupy and should be resisted or at least treated with suspicion. I disagree. I support unions and see them as part of the daily class struggle. I also do not see Occupy as the only means to change, just as I do not electoral politics as the only means to change. It's not an issue to me.
But for those with concerns, here is something by a OWS member who attended the training for trainers:
Speaking as an occupier most active in the Tech Ops Working Group of the NYC General Assembly, my first response to the 99% Spring was envy. Why aren’t we initiating, leading or participating in this kind of serious coalition work? But that’s unfair. We are working on May First actions, which in New York include a march carried out together with labor and the immigrants’ rights movements. What we aren’t doing is training 100,000 activists and organizers in nonviolent direct action. So why not welcome an effort that is doing that?http://www.zcommunications.org/...
I’m just back from two days of training for trainers, and this is my verdict: the Training for Trainers was fantastic. Hundreds of people in attended the same training as me in New York, and thousands more took part across the country.
The folks attending the training represented a cross section of our country’s progressive, 99% movement. I met community organizers, peace activists, union members, occupiers, and many more. The group was inter-generational, racially diverse, gender balanced, and included folks from all NYC boroughs, Long Island, CT, NJ, and upstate. My impression is that most are experienced organizers, but from many different traditions and organizational homes.
The curriculum had three parts:
1. The first is your basic Marshall Ganz story of self/us. This is training delivered for years now at countless political and organizational homes, including my old synagogue. For those who don’t know, Ganz started his career at the United Farm Workers, working with Cesar Chavez.
2. The second is your basic nonviolent direct action training, with roots in Gene Sharp, Training for Change, and the Direct Action Network that emerged post-Seattle in the anti-globalization movement. It wasn’t out of step with anything that say, Starhawk or Lisa Fithian or the Ruckus society would have done.
3. The third part was the story of the 1% vs. the 99%. It’s basic training in understanding the economic crisis and our collective crisis as a country. This is more or less the kind of training being used by unions and community organizing groups around the country for the last 2-3 years.
There was zero, none, nada discussion of the Obama campaign, electoral politics, the Democratic Party, or MoveOn. To sum up then, the critiques against the 99% Spring are false. Those who lobbed uninformed critiques are now in a position of having to apologize and take back their words or lose credibility. They ‘proved’ that MoveOn provided support for an amazing, collaborative effort resting on teachings used widely inside the Occupy movement.
Based on my experiences this weekend, all I can say is – sign up for the trainings to take place on April 9-16. Help organize more trainings. Invite as many occupiers to attend as possible. Consider the advantage of influencing all those moderate, not radical enough people likely to attend and how our superior political praxis will surely attract them to let go of their electoral illusions.
And then, after considering such a vision, let it go, because it’s bullshit. The training is quite good. Go because it’s great to be on the same page for a moment with eager, enthusiastic 99 percenters who want to make this great land of ours a better one. Drop your defenses (if you have any) and rest assured no one is talking about elections. Let’s focus on the original OWS vision: mass, creative, effective direct action against the banks, Wall Streeters and political forces that drove our economy off a cliff and want to charge us for getting back on the precipice again.
I'm sure some other Occupiers differ, but I agree with Charles Lechner.
A movement is mass based or its not a movement, in my view. I want all who want to fight economic inequality to attend or help in ways they can.