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For the last week, undocumented activists have been staging occupations at Obama campaign offices in Colorado, Michigan and California, refusing to leave until the administration ceased its deportation of students.

This pressure -- and the threat of the occupations spreading to other states -- has played a huge role in forcing the administration's hand, and is likely responsible for the timing of Obama's executive order to halt deportations of Dream-eligible youth.

This is what the scene looked like just yesterday at Obama's Headquarters in Oakland, California:

A group of undocumented immigrants has occupied President Barack Obama's campaign office in downtown Oakland, refusing to leave until his administration stops deporting students.

"We're going to stay here as long as we can," said Luis Serrano, 24, speaking by cell phone Thursday evening from inside the Telegraph Avenue storefront where he and other students were staging a sit-in.

Serrano, three other illegal immigrant students and a supporter walked into the Obama for America office on Thursday afternoon pretending to be campaign volunteers.

Soon after arriving, however, the students plopped down, put graduation caps on their heads and informed local campaign workers they would not leave until Obama changed his deportation policy.

The Obama campaign has not yet sought to kick them out, and instead hired a local security firm to keep watch over the students and the office overnight. Security guards could be seen in a heated discussion with the protesters inside the building on Thursday evening.

On the front door of the office the protesters put up a sign: "Closed due to deportations."

There is no question that today's executive order was partially motivated by electoral politics (which alone is an incredible testament to progress on the issue). However, it would be a mistake to underestimate the role this week's occupations have played in forcing Obama's decision.

Angus Johnston agrees:

For the last week, DREAM-eligible young people have been staging occupations at Obama campaign offices, first in Colorado and then in Michigan and California. Because the demonstrators were themselves undocumented immigrants, an administration decision to remove and arrest them would have subjected them to possible deportation, making the decision of how to handle the protests a delicate one. With today’s announcement, that decision goes away, as does the possibility that the occupations could spread to more politically problematic states — Florida, say, or Arizona, or the campaign’s national headquarters in Illinois.
So too does Glenn Greenwald, who also partially attributes today's executive order to criticism and "confrontational tactics" used within the Latino community:
This illustrates the proper relationship between citizens and public servants. Uncritical adoration and unconditional loyalty breed an arrogant, insular, unaccountable political class; as David Sirota argued when Obama “evolved” on marriage, those who reflexively defend Obama in the name of Election-Year political loyalty (or who demand that criticisms be stifled until the election) are the prime impediments to progress.
Obama -- as with any politician -- should be praised when something praisworthy is accomplished, and I loudly congratulate President Obama on today's executive order.

However, it's critical to note that today's praising of Obama is due, in large part, to the occupations and direct activism of DREAM-eligible youth, who refused to remain quiet.

Occupations work. Direct protesting works. Popular resistance has power.

Let us never forget that.

Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 11:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Protest Music.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hope so. I hope it wasn't just politically (7+ / 0-)

    the thing to do in an election year only.

    •  As I've said to others, even if electoral politics (42+ / 0-)

      was sole reason for this decision, think about how amazing that alone is, and the progress on this issue we've made such that supporting DREAMers and immigrant youth could be seen as helpful politically.

      Meaning: if the cynical view of Obama is that he only picks the winning team (or tries to), look who's winning.

      I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

      by David Harris Gershon on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:02:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, that's a great way of looking at it and (6+ / 0-)

        explaining it to some more cynical friends or family.

      •  That's a great response, and it's (14+ / 0-)

        the same line I've been using when people dismissed his endorsement of same-sex marriage: who'd have thunk even five years ago that supporting same-sex marriage would be considered politically advantageous!  If this is electoral cynicism, please, can we have some more of that?  I have a whole list of issue I want him to be more cynical about, heh.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:31:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed on that viewpoint (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

        by idbecrazyif on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:56:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Also, even if it was political, (12+ / 0-)

        it was the right thing to do.  Would we rather he ignored the DREAM walkers and protesters so as not to be "political"?  

        I do think he genuinely wanted the DREAM Act.  It's pretty clear most Republicans didn't.  I'm not sure why he didn't do this sooner, but he is politically careful and has many other issues on his plate.  If this tipped the balance for action, I give credit both to the DREAMers and to Obama for responding.  Whatever all the reasons, he should at least get our thanks when he does the right thing.

        Civil marriage is a civil right.

        by UU VIEW on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:11:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They MADE him do it! (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Chi, praenomen, DaleA, Tamar

         It's a real lesson for Progressives in dealing with many of the issues we face.
           Keep up the pressure!
            The funny thing is that ultimately these actions result in improvements in the president's standing. He started gaining traction when he confronted the Republicans last September with his Jobs plan, rather than continuing the losing game of trying to forge a budget compromise with them.
           He will win this election by exciting the base, which ultimately turns out to be good for his standing in general as folks see a bold leader standing up for what turn out to be mainstream convictions.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:20:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  From what I've read, John Kennedy only actively (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        supported civil rights and desegregation because he (and his AG Robert Kennedy) were forced to. But once they accepted they had to act, they became leaders on civil rights issues.
        I see Obama differently -- he's very slow to make big decisions (sometimes this is good, as with Iran, sometimes not so good) rather than cynical and manipulative (though I don't doubt he has some of those traits).
        But your diary points out that he can be pushed to move in the right direction.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 05:52:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  politics provides the timing (16+ / 0-)

      direct action provides the impetus. in the end, what matters is the results.

    •  Why not? Obama is parent (0+ / 0-)

      He knows that to shut a whining child up you just give them what they want.

      •  Do you characterize requests (8+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JoanMar, Tool, BradyB, DaleA, elwior, stevej, hooper, Supavash

        to halt deportations DREAM-eligible youth as "whining"?

        ♥ Medicare For All. ♥
        "Our health care system is like a casino. The insurance industry is the House... The House always wins." -- UnaSpenser

        by Chi on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:50:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  actually as any behavioral (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Tamar

        therapist will tell you reinforcing whining will only increase the chances of said behavior -good or bad - your comment is a fail - but as any good parent knows proper reinforcement and praise might reinforce the president to take action on other stuff we care about.

        •  I believe Paul Krugman is right: Obama is not (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, elwior, Supavash

          going to move to the left when it doesn't match his agenda because he doesn't fear Progressives. But pressure is mounting on him from his base, and he either has to act or run the risk of having millions of his constituents sit out this election.

          You can't apply childhood behavioral techniques to a politician like Obama...he only understands power and money.

          It's easy to see the recent article in the Washington Post (that exposed how much he had given the run around to the Hispanic caucus) finally brought blood.

          The Progressives on this site who believe we should just shut up and play nice don't realize how that type of thinking is creating a huge backlash against this President. You can't ask people to give up their principles and expect them to support you.

          (bold emphasis mine)

          •  I agree with you 100% (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that the only way for Obama to move to the left is for him not to take us for granted!

            You can apply childhood behavioral techniques just as easily to children as you can do to politicians or normal adults. You say - he only understands power and money. - well you just identified two potent reinforces.

            People are motivated by four categories:

            1. Sensory (Does it good)

            2. Tangibles (Money, Objects)

            3. Attention (Power)

            4. Escape (How can I get out of this)

            Through ABA or applied behavioral analysis you can break down any behavior into those four groups. Once you identify which one is in operation when it is associated with a behavior you can motivate the person.

            It doesn't just work with kids. It works with everyone.

            We agree completely - I was addressing they guy above who said as any parent knows you give into a whiny child. Well that doesn't work - look at the modern day GOP and the results of reinforcing their bad behaviors. Every time Obama capitulated on something important it emboldened them to continue acting in a horrible delusional manner.

            Every time he stands up to them - he wins. More of this. I am proud of my president today and I want to keep feeling like this.

            •  Thanks for the clarification. We all want the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              same results, but it is the specific steps for achieving those goals that is tearing us apart.

              I think Progressives have helped defeat their own agenda because they have allowed Obama's worst policies to go unchallenged. Now, he has a real problem with credibility as evidenced by statements made by the activists who took over his campaign offices:

              Carlos Amador called the mood in downtown Los Angeles Friday morning "cautiously celebratory" as about 150 immigration reform and Dream Act activists gathered following President Barack Obama's announcement to stop deportations and begin granting work permits for some Dream Act-eligible youth.

              "Of course, we're thrilled. But we want to make sure that this isn’t just a promise, but that it is implemented. We're not going to stop fighting until this actually becomes a reality," said Amador, a project coordinator for the UCLA DREAM Resource Center.

              "It's like Obama is trying to pacify the youth that are sitting inside his offices. And also it's an election year, and he's trying to get voters in our community," he said.

              Voters no longer accept Obama's words or even actions at face value. He has proven repeatedly he can't be trusted, which is a real problem for all Democrats. How can we convince voters to support us, if they fear the President is manipulating them or that he will pull the rug out from beneath them once he gets what he wants.

              I think Chris Hayes identified the general anger that is being directed at our leaders when he said this:

              One of the toxic aspects of our politics is that the gap between the American Dream and the reality is something people feel viscerally. People feel that betrayal. I think that’s a very profound, and shared sensation – something that people on the right, the left, and the middle all feel. They blame different people for it. There are different political manifestations of who is to blame. Who is taking cash out of your pocket? Who is rigging the rules of the game in their favor? But the fact that it feels that the game is rigged is broadly shared. It’s in some ways the defining experience of being an American at the end of the fail decade. I think it’s what structures some of the brutality of our politics. People get angry and upset, even enraged and passionate when they feel they’ve been betrayed, and there’s a broad sense of that in the electorate.

              Chris Hayes

              Elizabeth Warren was correct when she said the American people know the game is rigged against them. It didn't matter how hard we worked to change things in 2008 because Obama didn't hold up his end of the bargain, and now we have millions of Progressives who are willing to kick him out of office. Most experts (that I rely on) agree the 2012 election is going to be determined by a certain group of voters (about 8%), who at this moment are not very happy with Obama. They hate Romney, but they are very unhappy with this President. They hate having to choose between the lesser of two evils and many are saying they would rather sit on their hands than be forced to vote against their principles.

              Unfortunately, many Democrats would rather bury their head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong than acknowledge what is happening.

              We can still win this election, but the chances of pulling off a victory become slimmer each day because many of the Democrats - who are going to determine the outcome of this election - are still being marginalized by this administration.

          •  Yes, the surest way for the President to be (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            re-elected is to excite the base.
               Not only will many more people show up to vote, but many more will work on getting those voters out as well.
               Most folks here are voters, but there are so many out there who (mistakenly) say that there isn't much of a difference if they vote or not. I understand why people get turned off, and doing bold things like this one, coming out in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, or (my hope) drawing down faster in Afghanistan, get a lot of folks energized.

              And also, the President will badly need money from Progressives in this election cycle. And I'm not just talking about working folks sending a few bucks in; I'm talking too about the rich libruls who get inspired, just like the rest of us when Obama gives them a reason to part with a large sum of money bound for the SuperPac.  

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 05:17:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Co-sign on the value of protests. (17+ / 0-)

    Also notice the contrast to Romney's attitude toward protests.

    Obama handled the situations with the sit-ins admirably.

    99%er. 100% opposed to fundamentalist/neoconservative/neoliberal oligarchs.

    by blueoasis on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:09:25 PM PDT

    •  Yes, it's worth noting that the campaign (8+ / 0-)

      responded well for the most part, as well as Obama himself.

      Civil marriage is a civil right.

      by UU VIEW on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:00:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forget About How The Campaign Responded. (7+ / 0-)

        It was the direct action taken by the students which is a valuable lesson to all of us. Obama's people had no choice. They would have been flayed alive if the students had been pepper-sprayed, hog-tied, and dragged out of the campaign offices. The students however did have a choice. Stand up for themselves, or slink back into the shadows.

        Students -- courageous.
        Obama workers -- awed and disarmed (and taking notes).

        "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

        by chuco35 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:20:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I agree. (6+ / 0-)

          I am very impressed by the students and their strategy and courage.

          But for anyone who thinks all politicians or parties are the same, it should be illustrative that the Obama campaign offices responded (or had to respond) in the way that they did, whereas I am quite sure the response would have been different in some other campaign offices.

          Civil marriage is a civil right.

          by UU VIEW on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:44:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Don't Know About That. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DaleA, AoT

            The subject of this diary is about how activism defeated bad policy. If the Obama campaign had been able to kick the students out without pushback, I expect they would have quietly preferred to do so rather than be called on their shit in a public way. The only reason it did not go down this way, in my estimation, is not because the Obama campaign is pure, but rather because it had no choice given the strength of the activists and their commitment.

            Again, this lesson is brought to us by the students, and has nothing to do with the Obama campaign other than it being the target.

            "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

            by chuco35 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 03:40:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not arguing your point or the diary (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tamar, AoT, hooper, chuco35, Supavash

              about the role of activism in this case.  I was the first to post about the DREAM walkers and their role in another diary where they had not been mentioned because I thought they should be given credit.  I'm totally inspired by them.

              The response of the campaign office was just a side note.  The protesters actually expected to be arrested in the Obama office in Colorado and were surprised that they were not.  That was part of why they switched to a hunger strike.  I have certainly not ever said or suggested that Obama or his campaign are "pure".  Quite the contrary.  But can we never give credit when the right thing is done, even if activism and political pressure brought it about?

              As for differences between parties and campaigns, maybe some of the difference is us.  As in, the reason the Obama campaign couldn't kick them out harshly is because his supporters would be outraged.  That's not the case for most of the Republican base, and that's part of why I would be surprised if a protest would not have been treated much worse in most of their campaign offices.  The strategy would also not have been successful with a President who was basically ideologically opposed to their argument.  Obama supported the DREAM Act, and it was Republicans who killed it.  He could have done this sooner, but that's where the role of activism becomes so important.  However, a different President might never have responded no matter what.

              This is about the DREAM walkers and their actions and the lessons we should learn from that, absolutely.  I'm just not so cynical that I think Obama and his campaign are no better in any way than their opponents.  I'm disgusted by the influence of corporate money and political games in both parties.  But identical?  No.  That's all I'm trying to say.

              Civil marriage is a civil right.

              by UU VIEW on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 05:28:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  So will you now go after the Republicans? (13+ / 0-)

    Will the protest now move to those who are really blocking a real DREAM act and real immigration reform? Because this move by Obama is a stay of execution not an end. It last for two years and two years only and may last a lot less unless Obama get's re-elected.

    The executive order taking advantage of prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases will cover individuals brought to the United States through no fault of their own before the age of 16 who have lived in the U.S. at least five years and have no criminal record. They must also have earned a high school degree or served in the military, and still be under 30. Those who meet the criteria can get deportation proceedings (or the threat of same) deferred for two years and seek work permits.

    Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    by jsfox on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:14:07 PM PDT

    •  no leverage with republicans (8+ / 0-)

      because they do not depend on our votes. you use your leverage on those who can be moved.

      •  And people have protested against (8+ / 0-)

        Republicans on this issue.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:36:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously no leverage? (3+ / 0-)

        The latino community does have leverage the Republicans especially in some districts need their votes too!

        Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

        by jsfox on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:55:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  in those districts, then yes (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves, cocinero, elwior, Larsstephens

          texas and arizona come immediately to mind - but generally, there is much more political leverage to be had over democratic politicians than republican politicians, given the GOP's ever-increasing retreat into overt white supremacy as a party, and the enormous upside of greater latino turnout for democratic politicians in many races.

          •  And it really makes good headlines n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

            by hillbrook green on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:22:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but the Republican position is quickly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, wu ming

            becoming unsustainable.
               Latinos now constitute the largest minority group in the Nation, and are increasingly and wisely learning that there is power in those numbers, particularly when the People get out to vote.
               Romney's disadvantage this year among Latino voters could well be the difference this time around if this turns out to be a close election. The Republicans have already lost much of the Southwestern U.S., and this year they just might lose Arizona as well. When they lose Texas, their national aspirations will be over.
               And that's not even mentioning the growing Latino populations in current, or soon to be swing states.


            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 04:02:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yup (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, elwior

              bush and rove made a pretty compelling case for the GOP's need to shift gears and appeal to latinos in earnest, and the GOP ate them alive for it. i think it may be a decade before the GOP bigot grassroots voters and wingnut activist networks allows the party another look at the problem, probably following the loss of texas to the democrats in a major race (senate or presidential).

              when the GOP gets to that point, then there will be some useful leverage for latino activists to use on the GOP. up until that point, the democrats are the most logical target for those tactics.

        •  There aren't exactly any Republicans (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cocinero, Demeter Rising, elwior

          in Oakland to protest against.  They're a bit of an endangered species out this way.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:42:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In Florida, they do. nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:09:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well, that's why I vote. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      New Rule, cocinero, DaleA

      I do think we should hold Republicans' feet to the fire whenever we can, but they rarely even care at all about the issues that matter to us.  Their party structure is utterly beholden to the 1%, the military industrial complex, and the extreme religious right wing.  There are cases where individual Republicans have deserved pressure that could possibly have been effective (a certain retiring Maine Senator comes to mind with respect to the DREAM Act), but in general change on that side of the aisle only comes through elections.  Of course, protesting and shining the light on their extremism may help with that.

      On our own side, I hope we don't get in the habit of camping out in Obama offices for every issue we care about to the point of hindering the campaign itself.  This one made sense because it was a move he could really make, that was politically smart, and the efforts were truly grassroots and youth-led.  And giving Obama incentive, cover, and public support to do the right thing is part of what he needs us to do (and even asked us to do).  We need to be smart about our actions on both sides of the aisle, so that we keep moving in the right direction and don't lose progress such as this in a year or two.

      Civil marriage is a civil right.

      by UU VIEW on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:58:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some Republicans care a lot (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, Larsstephens, elwior, Tamar
        I do think we should hold Republicans' feet to the fire whenever we can, but they rarely even care at all about the issues that matter to us.
        Here's one guy who really cares about this issue:
        Iowa Congressman Steve King is considering filing a lawsuit to block a new policy that would allow some youths brought into the country illegally to stay if they don’t present a risk to public safety.

        “I expect to bring a lawsuit against the president of the United States to suspend his executive order,” King told The Des Moines Register in a telephone interview today.

    •  Of course it will (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, elwior

      When you protest, you protest against those who have the power to grant your demands.

      As with LGBT rights, Obama held that power....not just with executive action, but with the bully pulpit as well. After OWS Obama pivoted to a more populist economic position. After LBGT protests he changed his position there as well. and now, after more protests, he has changed his position once again.

      ALL of these protests were directed at the entity...POTUS....that had the power to act, but was refusing to do so.

      Now the Republicans are not the POTUS, they do not have the same power of pen stroke and bully pulpit to change things almost instantly that he does.

      So the form of protest will probably change.

      But I can assure you, people protesting for freedom will always continue to protest those who have the power to change things.

      Because from Suffrage to civil rights, protest has always worked.....and has been responsible for the majority of great societal change.

      Even though it pisses people off.

      But it works.

    •  I Don't Think The DREAMERS Have to take... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, elwior

      ...orders from any of us on what to do next. This action is proof positive that they are committed to their cause, and that they know only too well how and where to apply pressure.

      "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

      by chuco35 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:23:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  better idea (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe we need MORE occupations of Obama offices.  Maybe we can get some real banking reform?  Or we all show up and light joints for pot decriminalization.  

  •  All I can say is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, leonard145b, chuckvw

    keep pushing.

    It's all about the movement now.  Elections, not so much.

    “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” - Harriet Tubman

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:22:04 PM PDT

  •  In light of this success story, I'd love (11+ / 0-)

    to think that the next set of Occupier's setting up camp in campaign headquarters were demanding penalties for shady bank practices, or student loan rates that aren't usurious, or closure of gitmo, or, or, or.....
    But seriously, this is good news. I'm just greedy I guess ;-)

    "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

    by Lisa Lockwood on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:23:05 PM PDT

  •  Lisa, I'd like to buy your magic rock. (0+ / 0-)

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:35:03 PM PDT

  •  Go take a look at these youth heroes (6+ / 0-)

    at their web site called Campaign for an American DREAM.  Not heavily organized, not much money, but very effective.  Their hunger strike at Colorado Obama offices was decided last-minute, but it worked, along with efforts elsewhere that were going to keep spreading.  They have made plans all the way to November.  I give Obama full credit for responding and for doing the right thing, but these youth deserve congratulations.

    Civil marriage is a civil right.

    by UU VIEW on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:35:10 PM PDT

  •  If they only started protesting a few days ago, I (8+ / 0-)

    doubt it. These decisions usually take longer to put together.

  •  This is convenient in many ways for everybody (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, elwior

    concerned. The facts about immigration are rarely published, but immigration is good for business and how does anybody benefit from having a whole generation of Americans educated in our schools being deported because of something their parents did?

    Aren't a lot of these people serving in the US Military?

  •  Now if we can only get him to stop (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demeter Rising, elwior

    targeting legal medical marijuana dispensaries!

    Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

    by sleipner on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:13:14 PM PDT

    •  Or attacking innocent foreigners with drones nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Demeter Rising

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:15:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno, I'm still a little torn on the drones (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell

        I know there is collateral damage (i.e. innocent civilian deaths, some of children), but it seems to be effective at taking out high ranking terrorists with very little expense and far fewer casualties than either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars caused (both of which also caused innocent civilian deaths including children).

        Granted you could say we shouldn't have gotten into either war to start with - and I totally agree with you on that - but if we want to defang terrorists we don't really have a lot of other tools that work at all, and certainly none that work at anywhere near the cost to effectiveness ratio (or even the deaths to effectiveness ratio) that the drone strikes do.

        Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

        by sleipner on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:36:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about getting the Hell out of Afghanistan then (0+ / 0-)

          sooner rather than later.
             We have already lost 2,000 of our military people out there, and that is bad enough.
              For me, this is the next issue to push the President on as it's a decision purely in his hands. And by this point, very few Americans would be opposed except McCain, Graham, and Lieberman and others who never met a war they didn't like.

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 04:13:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree completely on that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Personally I think Afghanistan has been a lost cause since before we started the war - as every attempted invasion of Afghanistan in history has been.  I don't think their backwards tribal warlords are ever going to become even semi rational, and their insane religious nuts are going to drag the country back to the 7th century, no matter how many billions we spend there.

            Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

            by sleipner on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 04:32:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Societal mores evolve at different rates (0+ / 0-)

              in different cultures, influenced by a complex host of encouraging and inhibiting factors.

              I don't think it's fair to say that Afghanistan will always be the way that it is now. I WOULD argue, however, that using Afghanistan as the playing field for our geopolitical conflicts is certainly retarding cultural evolution there.

              •  This whole comment thread is frustrating to me (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                because there's this assumption that Afghanistan has always been some horrible backwards place.  That's not true.  Prior to the Soviet occupation and the civil war that followed it was a relatively peaceful and prosperous, by non-industrialized country standards, place.  Fighting and war lords isn't in their DNA, despite what some may lead you to believe.

                There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 09:29:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In my comment, I was thinking specifically (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Geenius at Wrok

                  of the hyper-patriarchal culture, where girls and women are viewed as objects of wealth and trade, not unlike Western societies in the very recent past.

                  In my view, the Afghani culture left unmolested by outsiders, would eventually evolve into a more egalitarian society. Decades of war and resultant poverty makes that evolution problematic, to say the least.

  •  Ahhh, the power of protest. (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, folks, Obama has been asking Congress to pass the Dream Act ever since he came into office, but he moved heaven and earth over the last week to write an Executive Order and conferred with several different agencies to implement his decision because last week some people protested.

    Man, I just hope the Republicans don't put on a counter-protest because then he would have to change his mind again and rescind the Executive Order.

    Yep, somebody who is a minority and who has taken quite a number of actions to protect minorities when Congress failed to do what he asked them to do, just wouldn't get off his butt and do something until some protesters forced his hand.

    It's so obvious! There could not be any other possible explanation.

    Well, except that he got fed up with Congress not taking any permanent and comprehensive action so he decided to do something temporary that was within his powers rather than just sit on his hands and wait on Congress.

    Is that what they call "leading by example"? Kind of like announcing his support for gay marriage?

    But why should we credit him for that? He should have done something temporary and non-comprehensive earlier rather than trying to persuade Congress to do the right thing that would be permanent and address the whole problem.

    I mean, it's obvious that, as a minority himself, he would not have any tendencies to just do the right thing for another group of minorities.

    I mean it's not like he's, you know, on our side....

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:13:59 PM PDT

  •  That's good news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, MJ via Chicago

    and I'm glad that they didn't set up and then indict people planning protests for domestic terrorism this time.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:37:31 PM PDT

    •  Gee, I thought that was standard protocol (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, elwior

      for protesters?

      But I guess not.... this time....

      Yeah, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump from hiring all-night security guards

      The Obama campaign has not yet sought to kick them out, and instead hired a local security firm to keep watch over the students and the office overnight.
      to a full-blown police-state.

      If only we had somebody in the White House who respected the rights of minorities....

      like maybe a minority person....

      Say, is that Romney guy a minority?

      OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

      by hillbrook green on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:59:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I made a similar comment on a previous diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    earlier today. This is perfect example of why people should not clap louder.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:37:50 PM PDT

  •  No way to prove that the protests (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    were a decisive influence but suggesting that the spread of occupations at local campaign headquarters would simply be ignored by the Obama campaign is ludicrous.

  •  The important thing to recognize is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, cocinero, stevej, elwior

    whatever the impact of the protests, they certainly didn't stop the President from doing what was both right and politically savvy. The negative impact was nil, which pretty much dispenses with argument that such protests are always a political liability.

  •  This is what the LGBT did. Confrontations work. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, DaleA, elwior, Supavash
    •  Too general (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sometimes confrontation works and sometimes it doesn't. It's no more a panacea than voting. It's one of a number of tactics.

      We shouldn't let the fact that some are so short sighted as to reject confrontation out of hand for an exclusively electoral strategy drive us into making the same error in reverse.

  •  Now let's hope... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, cocinero, elwior

    they don't let go of the pressure on the recalcitrant Republicans.  They shouldn't be allowed to not feel any pain for their backwards ideology.

  •  This is a great, very important (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, elwior, Larsstephens

    and timely diary, and one on a topic the corporate media, obviously, doesn't want to go near.

    They were just breathing a sigh of relief, at Occupy's apparently moribund spring.

    Thank you.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 02:30:00 PM PDT

  •  It was a brave move by the undocumented students (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, DaleA, elwior, Larsstephens, skywriter

    knowing how likely it is that that they would be deported if they were arrested. The consequences of an arrest can be more severe for the undocumented. I hope anyone protesting with them will keep that in mind.

  •  It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, elwior, Larsstephens

    It only stands to reason.  But it always helps if the folks with the grease are pre-disposed to agree with you.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 03:01:28 PM PDT

  •  Those glasses have (0+ / 0-)

    Rose colored lenses don't they?  Sorry to burst your bubble but this was fully planned and the timing calculates. No sit in over the past week had an impact whatsoever.

  •  Not just for Latinos, Asians too (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Larsstephens, elwior, Supavash

    I know several Asians who came here as children and are in the undocumented limbo right now. One was sent to help an aunt with children when she was 10. Now, 30 years later, she is still undocumented. So, this is not only a Latino issue.

    Had not heard about the protests, thanks for the update.

  •  I read a story by a second grader based on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Supavash

    story of the three little pigs.  Except in this story the pigs were Asian immigrants and the 'wolf' were ICE agents.  It made me very sad that this poor kid was terrified of our government; the story had a happy ending and I really hope that happens in real life.

    Let's stop being mean to little kids; as "The Nephew" says, "Just Be Nice"

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 05:36:30 PM PDT

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