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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 19, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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>> that is the new chairman in the blue t-shirt. he is also a state representative. mr. kasich: i should not have had all this ice cream. boy, was it good. where is this guy? >> right there in the blue polo shirt. >> governor.
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how are you doing sir? i represent part of des moines. welcome to the state fair. >> we do receptions every night. we have a lot of legislators around. we are very proud of our relationship with the legislature. school no longer starts during the fair which is a big deal for us. it's at about 30 years to get it done. >> when you are in the state house, they give you money and still send you parking passes. that is a good thing. mr. kasich: you are rebuilding all of this. >> we raised $13 million in 20 years. have the congress in ohio. we just had to build a giant building for them. very impressive year.
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here. >> thank you. thank you for being here. did you have a great day? mr. kasich: a great day. >> every day in iowa is great. you.have a question for fromommate in college is new philadelphia, ohio. mr. kasich: i have been there like five times. >> would you mind taking a picture with me? mr. kasich: do you know where new philadelphia is? >> is that where he is from? >> my roommate is from t here. let's take one more. mr. kasich: ok. >> i appreciate that. >> good luck. >> hi.
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mr. kasich: you, sir. --one >> don't stand next to me. i look short enough. >> got it. >> take care of him. mr. kasich: see you. >> thank you. >> ready? [indiscernible]
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>> ohio governor john kasich will be back on the campaign trail tomorrow. you will be in salem new hampshire -- salem, new hampshire. new jersey governor chris christie also campaigning in new hampshire. he holds a town hall at new boston at 7:00 eastern live on c-span. community activists and civil gathered forsts the left forum, that is next. scott walker unveils his health care plan later. later remarks from senator marco rubio at the iowa state fair. on "q andnday night
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a" gravehunter kurt dion documents his adventures of visiting the gravesites of every president and vice president. >> the one gravesite that had a lot of trouble getting to is the rockefeller. >> yes. >> how did you do it? >> we were able to get through what my father describes, "an act of god." my father walked down the perimeter and found a gigantic tree had crushed the fence. he went in and saw nelson rockefeller's grave. he decided he would have to get me there fairly quickly after that. >> kurt dion, sunday night on c-span's "q and a." a conference calling itself the left forum gathers each year in new york city. topics at the 20 feet -- 2015 includes civil rights and the criminal justice system. we will hear from a hip-hop artist, a princeton professor
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and a founder of the group supporting the presidency of bernie sanders. this is two hours. >> good evening. good evening everyone. spanish translation is available if you would like to listen to it in spanish, you can pick up equipment at the back table. [spanish translation]
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>> good evening, and welcome. leftevening and welcome to forum 2015. i'm rob robinson. >> and i am maria. [applause] rob: we want to thank you all for attending. this conference was i success. -- a success. the board of directors would like to thank the administration from john jay college for their hospitality. [applause] year here,r second based on the early returns, attendees seem to enjoy it. said the conference was a success, here are the numbers. we had over 400 panels.
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1300 speakers. 70 exhibitors, and close to 5000 attendees. [applause] a conference of this size does not happen without a committed staff, committed volunteers, and committed interns. i will name some names. i want to start with volunteer coordination. i want to start out with video coordination. with registration, public relations and media with a host of folks. program guide steve matthews. program coordinator marcus. marcus comes from berlin to service -- serve us.
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primary and link -- logistics coordinator. the media liaison. outreach and administration, exhibition, event operations. editorial and graphic design matt kennedy. lori bogart. av and technology, nancy castro. art and social media, darrell king. administrations and operations coordinator, ashley abbott. a big hand for her. we have looked -- worked together for several years. [laughter] -- [applause] coordinator,erence steph adler. [applause]
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finally, we would like to acknowledge some of the 150 volunteers that made the conference operations and left ar him a reality --forum reality. [applause] maria: we have committed to an increased chance for cost. we are proud to announce free childcare this year. [applause] rob: we made the commitment last year, we lived up to it. maria: and free entry to interested high school students so they could join in. exciting and in challenging times, where new possibilities of resistance and new forms of repression are hard at work, willing to do what they
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always attempt to do, and now they are more sophisticated. more than ever before, capitalism and the crisis of income inequality are being pressed. with the capital system failing, the cry for social justice is growing louder. this is a critical time for the left to organize. was created, and exist to create a dialogue on important matters affecting our world. with so much happening all over the world we decided to make the issues, the hot topics, the stars. had a discussion on anti-austerity policy. on saturday we heard from
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speakers who explored social transformation in relation to the black my -- lack lives lives matter. and finally, we have this evening's plenary. we are moving away from the traditional format and instead we will feature discussion, each with two speakers and a moderator. them share a wealth of culture, and intellectual knowledge. this evening we will discuss a national left presence, a national left politics, national and international left organizing. enduring national organization structure and power. rob: i would like to offer an
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apology, stanley lives close to where a crane fell in new york city, it is stuck in his apartment in midtown manhattan. he cannot be here. tom hayden suffered a stroke. our apologies and all of the best wishes. maria: i will begin with an introduction of the host. is the leadlin organizer for the fight for souls for the city which includes community rights campaigns, and she co-leads a staff organizing team for a space building program. training students and organizing, campaign development and political theories, she also leads a taking action front in south delay -- los angeles. afterganized it in 2009
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graduating from the national school of strategic organizers. she first got involved as a high school student in the script college academy, a program for first generation and low income students. she was active in the community rights program in college. our second host immortal technique. he is known as a writer, and activist. , he is one oferu the highest selling independent artist, putting together a globally themed music with street hip-hop. not only an artist, but also human rights activist having traveled to haiti and afghanistan to provide relief for nonprofits.
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he has also participated in teaching workshops for adult prisons and juvenile facilities. albums,r gold studio and 250,000 records sold, he has the hip-hop community highly anticipating his next album. he recently completed his national tour. turn it over to ashley and immortal technique. [applause]
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immortal technique: good evening. i said before that i wanted to see everyone bring a child, or a grandchild with them. i just want to say to the people that came with someone young and they want to educate reveal the depth of the corruption that we live in. i want to say that i appreciate that. if you have not done at this time, don't worry, there will be next year him --forum because the problems will not be resolved then. when they tell people who criticize the america -- the states of america that we hate america because we want a better place, inc. about how illogical that is. if you have ever had children or a small child in your care, imagine that it steals from a store.
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to break youring child's arm or kick them down a flight of stairs because they stole something. you are going to take them aside and say i love you, i care about you, and i think you are a better human being in the actions you are taking now. that is the way we are looking at america, we do not hate america, if we hate it, we would let it be corrupt, and the feeling republic that it is becoming. , that is why we choose to put ourselves on the front line and say, this is what may change -- must change. even if people do not look like me, do not worship the same god, and they have different customs, if those people are facing in justice, i will face it with them as if i was one of them. that is what i am here to do. i hope that is what you are going to do as well. [applause] technique: i want to
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introduce ashley from the labor community strategy center. [applause] ashley: good afternoon. i name is ashley franklin and am an organizer with the labor community strategies enter based in los angeles, california. i spent the last seven years of my life organizing young people and high school -- in high schools against the mass incarcerations of the black and latino community, specifically fighting against the militarized police state. tonight we talked about how many workshops we were able to see. , we are going to get deep and talk about building .
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we are going to delve into questions of what is the national left presence politics, organizing ? we are going to analyze what is our power, and our organizing present. we are going to talk about strategies and actions so we have a slew of amazing people that will talk to about their expenses on the ground -- experiences on the ground. i want to mention some of their names, of course you will see and hear more from them today. let me go down the list, we have -- m we have reverend from the fellowship. is ave miss brown who cohost of the morning show on
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wba i. taylor --ve missed missed taylor who is about to release a book. windsor who charles is part of organizing 2.0. .e also have glenn ford know, stanley is not here, oh he is? he is here in spirit. who willwe have seen be the people that we get to hear from and listen to. i want to break down how that will happen. we have dynamic political theorist, activists, and people
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who have been building movement. three going to break into pairs or ability -- there will be a moderator. as you have read in their bios, we do not have to do so much work. thank you for being amazing and putting out amazing political theory and ideas that will make this go fast and easy. the idea and the focus of this panel is to talk about what have been some of our hopes and dreams, challenges that we faced while trying to build the left. and particularly, how to build a left. could you all welcome me in joining our first panelist, it tech, reverend, and
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adams. [applause] immortal technique: order to the stage, it's just hip-hop. reverend and m adams, i appreciate you being with us here. i appreciate the audience through this incredible, difficult, nasty weather. i wanted to asked question -- asking a question, feel free to jump in. what do you see on the grounds that indicates the emerging and
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radical transformative politics that we were talking about come what havels been your personal experiences? >> i think the couple of things indicate a movement being built. people are answering the calls, i have a couple things, we have the same group of people organizing before. we have people both -- building political platforms and people pushing out amazing things.
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we also have an entire group of who are energized and prepared and who want to be part of the organization. i think we see an expansion. ofnot fully an expansion base building, the possibility. we have always said we need more people, i think that call is being answered. not only do we have more people, we have more people willing to do more work. it suddenly makes the movement building mechanism possible. i also think we see a whole generation of thinkers putting out their own theory on the world. proposing radical solutions to --ress a radical politics politics. happening allgs
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over the country where we are at a good time for social movements. >> i see that a lot of times, people's initial reaction, they automatically assume it will be only elderly people. we need that, we need guidance and direction from the elders, but i have seen, within the course of -- this reemergence of the movement. the movement never went away. technique: there are so many young people, what would you attribute that to? is it just because it is in a young person's face? is it a growing pain? from your experience in working closely with his children in ferguson, or wherever you may find them being the victims of systemic brutality and the taking away of civil rights, what has been the catalyst of
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moving the youth? >> i think a couple of things. aack people have always had tenuous agreement with america. we always know you will impress --oppress baby,lack person told you white folks are dangerous. we are told we have to be twice as good and smart just to get the opportunity to be told no. wb to boys had a degree from had a degreeois from harvard and could not teach their -- there. it is not better, it is different. this is part of the struggle.
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part of that tenuous agreement is that you will not disrespect us. as we look at the slave rebellion's, they have been after children who have died at the hands of masters. that is what we thought ferguson -- saw at ferguson. leadershipeen black with access to material things subjecting themselves in which individual attention replaces community progress. [applause] for a younger generation of folk in which have emerged under a electedesident, black officials, black ceos, black police chief, essentially their life has gotten worse.
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they broke that agreement, -- theolks was like young folks had not read any of the papers we had passed out. they said -- that. we are not going home. at one level, you cannot get the level of youth resistance without the objective material conditions as they black person in charge of the american empire. they look at it and say, oh, the emperor has no clothes. unique isso what is that this moment -- i said it earlier -- the day that a system r, black-cisgende
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messiah leading us to the promised land is over. embodiedhave witches in young folk organizing, the new leadership will be clear -- queer, woman led, lots of single transnational, you have black lives matter chapters in london, paris. it will be anti-imperialist. without the critique of capitalism. what we are seeing is the embodiment among young people -- a generation of leadership that are incarnate. it is embodied. of a radically queer anti-capitalist discourse, and
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is doing so with limited resources. you remember, one of the things we talked about when we romanticize the civil rights movement, everyone over 40 said they marched with dr. king. [applause] -- [laughter] you meet everyone in this room and they said they were in selma on the bridge am a it would have collapsed. [laughter] part of the mythology people are coming up against is nostalgia is a form of morning because the present is unbearable and the future is unforeseeable. a lot of young people are struggling against with limited fiscal resources is a mythology in which everyone participated in the movement of the 60's, which hampers their possibilities because it is untrue. there was plenty of fighting. plenty of folks who don't like it, some of y'all still not
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talking to each other because of something in 1963. part of the challenge that we , is ferguson, madison, baltimore -- baltimore, are actually indictments of the left. because the left as a place of premium on poor black people -- not placed a premium on poor black people. [applause] power, idon't have wish i could issue a statement that you could not pass up papers, you cannot asked -- ask anyone to come to your meeting until you have broke bread at a black funeral because people -- lack people
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trust you enough that they want you standing there when they put their parents in the ground. lives, papersover over people has disempowered and hindered the possibility of building an effective left in america because we have embodied a level of racism and respect ability in our movement that cannot handle kids with tattoos, sagging pants, saying -- the police. until we resolve that contradiction, i do not think we can build a significant left, i do not think young people will respect it. [applause] technique: the reverend brought up race, gender, class struggles -- you see the interception alley --
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interception of these things being a driving force to get the movement together. >> that is one of those questions, how do you see that -- answer that? how does it matter. one, thisf things -- is not just my belief, there is evidence and bodies of belief, we are dealing with all of this. if we are thinking about my life specifically, i am dealing with sexuality, race -- what we have no is the leadership of people who are talked about as being intersectional lives. we are not settling. we will not be bought off. if theynot be convinced give us houses -- we want
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everything. we want freedom, our freedom includes all of that. [applause] >> going to trial. >> we want everything. that is what we are excited about now. leaving until we get everything. not only freedom, but that includes something queer centered, woman led, one that accounts for folks who have been incarcerated or are stuck in the system. homeless, the whole host of other things. that is the movement. ,> is about all black people
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all identities, issues related to that. using theee people human rights framework to explain the rights of black people, what they deserve. you hear them say, we are giving this or we are taking this. the abilitying for to walk safely down the street, not be marked, not be assaulted -- not be mugged, not be assaulted. it is the living politics. [applause] say that wanted to next question,he one of the most interesting moments in my political education is when i came out of prison in 1999.
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that aber very clearly friend of mine talk to me about the privileges i had that i did not know i had. he was talking about rebuilding my life. i looked at him and got angry. i said, first of all i just got a prison. i'm still on parole. shut up about my perl urges -- my privileges. explained to me, you know what, brother, let me talk to you about the things that you never knew or understood you have. it was a telling moment. he said, you have amle privilege. -- male privilege. i said, what he is saying, man? i'm fresh out of the joint. he said, what have you ever done to protect your self from
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someone raping you when you walk all midnight. you came here and became a citizen. what happens to you when you get arrested and go to prison, versus a person undocumented thrown in prison and not charge anything and cap there for an elongated. period of time. i thought about these things. i thought about all the privileges i have it i thought about the way someone is landed to me. tell me about that explaining process on the ground, because if there is a bullet and my arm and i put my hand in there and rip it out, you are going to think i am torturing you. that i am going to make a cut, take it out, so you, give you pals -- that is the
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difference of explaining the truth to someone and throwing the truth at them. why? youdn't you be angry if were sleeping comfortably and somebody shook you at 4:00 in the morning just to tell you the truth? >> real quick, and then you jump in. believe and live by the need to lead. most impacted when, everybody wins. [applause] should be a vested interest just to use gender as a vestede -- there is interest for all people to be wanting to and gender oppression. the truth is, please murders are not just gender related, they
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are patriarchal. that, peopleabout saying here we go with that again. those most impacted our women, queer folks, trans folks. if we begin to look at the movement around please murders and look at the question of as present asst the racial discourse, number one, we would have included more movement in the -- people in the movement. in terms of victims and police --der, but we would always also begin to include other forms of violence committed by
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police on black communities. violence you of hear about is violence that is considered masculine, the shot, the choke, the punch, the billy club. about sexual violence, forcing people to strip. so not only are we talking about ander impacting queer folks -- we have abut deep and vested interest in all that. i think people should get behind me because they like me. there is a selfish solidarity, there is an interest participate. do
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>> what they said. [laughter] [applause] >> i believe we have time for one more. just to get a personal understanding. i told a story about a time i experienced police were taught me when i was 12 years old and talked about people who are activists in a movement, on ongoing theme, people as activists and a movement not bread in a lab. most of them were people who were just living their regular lives and they could not turn away from the injustices they saw. in majority of the people this room are here because when you turn on your television or read your paper or when you find your news however it may be on the internet, you see a world
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you want to change, that you want to help to become better. what would that be for the two of you? it does not have to be an active in the moment, maybe a collective moment when you decided this is my calling, this is who i am? i think for me i was raised in a beautiful, loving black community. raised by my grandmother and her friends. many of them could not write their names. mrs. was a woman named roberta. she worried as me to calm and read to me, boy. everyone puts her hands together for the guy who is keeping our time together.
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as i was raised in a beautiful, loving black community that love to jesus and loved justice, a grandmother who taught me to read at four years old, a community of semiliterate people who placed an emphasis on the life of the mind. the other part in terms of how i arrived -- i grew up in st. louis. i am from there. there was something about seeing nonprofessional organizers in the streets. so those images of kids with tattoos and sagging pants, these , they got a whole thing, but comprehension is not requisite for compassion. you may not understand it. i did not understand what was
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happening. i still don't. i knew that some young folks from a poor, working-class community, highly police to, experiencing these major article masculine forms of violence, high levels of surveillance by the police forces, alienated and demonized by the black church, nonprofitsources, no industrial complex, al sharpton and their, just some poor kids who said i'm not going home. as a religious creature, we tend to be reactionary and conservative. of a missionary trying to say christianity from itself. the braddock allergy of these clear -- braddock radicality of these
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youth in the streets. streets in ap the different way. street, i gotthe to be in the street. i was born in the streets of ferguson. i have seen the face of god. and god is queer. god is angry. god is a single mother. god said -- the police. and so what has happened for me a space topened up find my own radical voice in a different way that it forced me out of the pulpit. i resigned from my congregation. [applause] >> i moved back to st. louis.
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day chasing of my behind young papal -- people. baby, don't do that. baby, this is how you do civil disobedience. baby, don't do that. even when they're wrong, i never say a word about them in public that they are wrong. i will always defend them. now on going to cost them out when we get in the room. they are only children. for the white folks, particularly for the white left, right ideas don't lead to write behavior. did not dominate european philosophy for a hundred years until hitler popped out.
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we are only going to win when every time they shoot a black baby down in the street, you bring your paper, you bring your body. [applause] everything they need. they don't need your revolutionary consciousness. they already got it. way, ashow up in a church basement somewhere, with some everyday people and figure out how you can support them and stand with them, i'm telling you you might be born again. you --y possibility for for us to win is for you to
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fundamentally believe that you have as much to risk and in-state -- at stake in our trouble as black people themselves. that means show up and shut up. >> right on. [applause] what they said. [laughter] [applause] up with a moral stronghold. my grandmother was in church more than she was home. -- really and dr. david indoctrinated me. i grew up knowing it was wrong. older and begin to
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, systemsferent things analysis, what ever, on top of that. natural.t the really did it is -- in beginning, we played rock, paper, and scissors. if you are black, clear, poor -- queer, poor -- everything is against me. status against me in terms of incarceration and freedom. sexual violence, domestic violence being acted out. everything around me says if you queer, this is what
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the state has for me. paper, us didn't rock, scissors, and said if we do, we going to go fighting. i don't have a choice what choice do i got? this is the only way i know how to live. can feelng you that i her. if i don't get out in the streets, i can't sleep at night. isn't it more safe to run from the police that it is to stay here and do something, right? i have been in it ever since. [applause] i just want to say that this is a topic we have touched on before, the idea of faith
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playing a role in somebody's revolutionary mentality. you claim jesus as your personal savior or if you are muslin or jewish or hindu or ist ever faith you have, it not just enough to say that is what you are, right? if i say i am a martial artist and a child comes in here -- or i say i am a doctor and i can't do the heimlich maneuver, then i'm not really a doctor. i'm not really aged just sue master. at the same time, if you're going to talk about jesus or revolution or revolutionary movements, then you have to walk in those steps of jesus to be a christian. you have to feed the poor. that theytell them can't get married to someone because of a line in a book.
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withl be out in the street the prostitutes, the people so poor that they can't afford any other living so they are selling their hotties in the slum. bodies in the slum. that we realize this conversation isn't just limited to the faith we have in a god that is supposed to separate us from our revolutionary politics. that is our heaven. getting there is our journey. is our guide. i thank you very much. please give it up for the panelists and for yourselves. [applause]
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>> that was a great panel, right? [applause] >> all righty. we will transition into the second portion of our panel. pretty coolave some folks who have been out on the ground. hello. >> if you can grab your microphone. to think about everything that was being said, and i was having a hard time wrap up what was said. the best way to do that is to share the work i am doing in los angeles. working with young people in front of the high schools -- i don't know if you all know -- los angeles is the epicenter of
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counterinsurgency and police suppression. young people are faced with the nations largest to school police department and some of which -- they receive some weapons through the 1033 program, which tanks, grenade launchers, everything we saw in ferguson. for a lot of the black young people we were working with, a lot of their questions and that our demands and seem to be centered around reforming the system that is trying to harm us. how do we have a broader conversation about a broader black plan. how do we fight against counterinsurgency?
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every weapon we see inside our schools or in our community is a signal to us that the system is going to war with us. it is a system to young people that you are not going to be the .ext malcolm we are trying to suppress that before you can even think that. i think that was the best way for me to think about some of the work about getting on the ground and fighting. portion of the panel, we will be addressing the state and also talking about national organizational politics situated -- radical lateral process. the first question i wanted to ask is would you share with us movement building and you're left political experience.
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where is the nature of revolutionary organizations today? and dig deep and talk about ,ragmentation, alienation between revolutionary organizations in your own experience. >> i'll start. the clearest way to start with that question is to actually look to the past. when we are talking about the fragmentation of the left today or even the smallness of the left today, i think we have to look at that in the context of what happens to the left during the last black insurgency and during the last -- when there was a larger significant left at the end of the 1960's and 1970's.
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i think that there were a couple a things at play in terms of concerted effort to destabilize the left. in this case, i talk specifically about the black left. on the one hand, there was the unquestionable assault by the state to crush and obliterate black revolutionaries, and even the black radicalism, from the destruction of detroit and allowing detroit to end up in the situation that it is today, to the massacre of black panthers, to the incarceration of black panthers and other black radicals. i think that that was a clear, unquestionable, aspect of that strategy of the state in not
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just undermining the left, but really to obliterate any notion that you should fight back, that you should resist, that you should have a different conception of what society and life should be like. other part of that, we have oppression -- the other part is co-optation and the absorption of a layer of african-americans into the system to demonstrate that american capitalism could work, could be successful, and to also shifted the burden of governing black urban spaces at that time from white political machines to black political machines, with the hope that that would be able to help remove at least one of the antagonisms that was driving the black rebellion of the 1960's. in many ways, the left is still recovering from this very effortative -- concerted
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at destabilization in the 1960's and 1970's, but i think where the hope lies -- it's very difficult to talk about the rebuilding of the left outside of the context of the rebuilding of social movements in general. so, i think we are in a situation now where for the first time in more than a generation, there is actually a living, breathing social movement unfolding right in our midst, right now, and that represents to me the best hope and possibility of the revitalization of the bride left, but also the revolutionary left as well. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] yeah, i think that is a great starting place. organizinging out of
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around occupy, although that was not the first organizing that i did. i actually first worked with a group of african-american women as part of the anti-iraq war movement. i later got involved in the occupied actually. i think one of the key aspects building a left or considering what a left might be or should be right now is something about how we look towards a shared political horizon and what that means, a shared vision for our future. i think of that probably a lot of the fragmentation that we see is because there is not really coherent, and even as we speak about it, we are talking specifically right now about black lives of matter and the audience is mostly a white audience.
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we have to sort of grapple with what that means and how is it of unfoldinge work and creating spaces in which a process can unfold where we are able to come to gather and develop a shared vision. i think that when we think about organizing, one of the key moments definitely was occup because we didn't do this well in spite of the other problems. we were very open and invited everyone in. that was problematic and allowed for opportunities for repression to destroy a burgeoning movement , but we learned a lot about what it means to organize. the work is not about organizing
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per se. it is about how we come together and understand and relate to one another fundamentally. i think in terms of a revolutionary movement , i think that is one of the starting places we would want to look at, creating spaces where we can come together and develop a shared politic, shared social horizon in which we transform and relate to one another fundamentally. >> one more thing about that, thatse i agree with all and would also add that we are talking about rebuilding a left that we need what is left of it to be a part of that process. it is worth saying that to me that that is an attempt to synthesize history and politics in such a way as to figure out
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how to move our struggles forward. sometimes that history and politics doesn't just naturally arise out of the struggle itself. would be, we probably a lot further along than we actually are today. the, you think about the black panther party at the end of the 1960's. i think it was 1968 or 1969, black panthers were selling their newspaper, 100,000 copies a week, right? do ishat newspaper would reconnect the movement at the time with its history and tradition in a way in this country is so savagely ripped from us. people have no idea of what the history and traditions of our movement is, whether it is the black movement, people don't
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know the struggles of the 1930's, the struggles of the 1960's, and that knowledge and information doesn't just calm out of thin air. it comes from people in this room, like people who identify as part of a left and who have made it part of their job to reconnect with that history and learn and understand the history, who have the responsibility to not just transmit it in an artificial way, but to invest themselves in the existing movement and become organically connected to them, not in a cheerleading way even, but as an organic expression of the movement that exists. part of the effort is to reconnect our rich history and tradition of struggle in this country aside from struggles that have gone on across the world and to reconnect the new to reconnect to the new
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generation of revolutionaries and radicals who aren't is getting into the struggle. a role to play in that area that can look like many different things in different ways, but it is important to recognize the the left that exists right now and how do we build on it. [applause] that -- has been at andcore of revolution counterrevolution. jim crow, apartheid. in ourh do you think society or the movement, people are cognizant or thinking about that? >> are thinking about history? i'm not sure of the answer.
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i think they are thinking about history. thatss what i would say to come ofoncern i have the way we analyze the history and do not fantasize it. particularly within the african-american committees, we fetish in of the civil rights movement. to say the least. challenging because that does not allow us to have struggles.tional we have a generation of people who pride themselves on the amazing work they did at a particular time. generationr my and younger, we have seen less results from that. on the one hand, we have -- we
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need to look to that history. but part of that analysis needs to be what has changed. how have the dynamics of power fundamentally changed. what are we up against and fighting for? imagining and envisioning for ourselves? history andand, anybody who knows the work i do, it is based on history. it is very important. on the other hand, we need a new analysis and work together think about how our manifest itself -- power manifests itself. whether looking nationally is the most effective strategy . since we have power constructs that are multinational. that morph and grow and are very flexible across borders.
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thinking we of the need, to create spaces in which we can do that together. not from the perspective of coming with a belief about how things were in the past or how they should be. more of a kind of collective grappling. some kind of decision-making and action. process that we can , start to manifest, what that future might look like. one thing we have seen and we were talking about before the panel, we had a great conversation. we said we wished we could be up there right now talking. the ways in which current politics, particularly having a black president, what an existential breakthrough that
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was for people in spite of the results of that. it is not one thing, it is multiple things at the same time. what has come out with the black lives matter movement is some kind of glimmer beyond this political system. some kind of glimmer beyond capitalism. ms. taylor: sort of what i was speaking to before, then need for people to understand what our history is. to be reconnected with that particularly the
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history of radicalism and struggle. so much work it goes into disconnecting us from that history. it is one way too thick about the schools crisis. our youngonly robbing people of the basic education but we think about what passes for history in this country. it underlines the point even more dramatically. beyond history lessons and all that which i think is important, we have to have a sense for what is different right now. and the new challenges this political moment present to us in a way i think we are all still in the process of trying to figure out. what does it mean to have this movement emerge in the context
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of the highest concentration of black political power in american history? that actually break of the blackition freedom struggle where historically african-americans across class lines have been pushed together in a common about black ideas freedom and black liberation? what does that mean now when you baltimoreck mayor in mobilizing the military to crush and put down a black rebellion? how does that change what we have historically thought about what the black freedom struggle represented? book we canhistory look to to solve that question. that is something we have to figure out in the current a moment. there has to be a balance of both. knowing the traditions of our
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movement but also we have to understand the contemporary dynamics. on effects of neoliberalism our political movements. the effects of the enshrinement of black political power on our movements. we have to deal with those new questions as well. [applause] in thinking about the left, what are some of the strengths and weaknesses of transformative political movements today. ms. taylor: perhaps one of the is the problems we have continued division between just, i inequality and will stick with this one, racial
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inequality. more generally, questions of oppression. i will be controversial perhaps. that in thet context of some of the left's enthusiasm for bernie sanders's run for president. i understand that. i answer that that. there is a candidate who's actually willing to talk about poor people as something more than a prop. you thinkk that when about the quickness with which sections of the left could be willing to jettison justice for sanderse, which bernie is committed to the state of israel. or you think about the lack of response around a black lives matter, the one interview he did
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on this question was to begin by speaking about how difficult it is to be a police officer in the united states. in the rush to embrace a candidacy that rightfully talks about the problems of economic inequality in this country, who has veryut little to say about the questions of racial oppression in nothing to say about the issue of american imperialism, that is a problem for the left. the inability to integrate those two things into a coherent is happening in the world today. we have to talk about a boat race and class. we can't continue to separate issues of racial inequality from issues of economic inequality. in some ways, if you look at the
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development of the political st'sment, the more significant, occupy, which failed to integrate issues of racial oppression. even though people were trying and there were efforts to do that, they had difficulty and degrading and analysis of racial oppression into our understanding of economic inequality. you have seen the black lives matter movement begin to address some of that gap. activists and people who have been involved in the organizing have not confine themselves to the narrow issue of police brutality. today have been able to connect issues of policing with issues of poverty and inequality in the neighborhoods where black people are concentrated. in some ways, that is the product of what king said was ce of the black
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movement itself. it crystallizes more than any other struggle in the u.s. the contradictions of american capitalism. struggle shows more than anything me problems of andsm, militarization, commercialism in american society. that is why it has often be the -- been the lack struggle that is the pivot to social movements in general. you can begin to see the makings of that the black lives matter movement which has been able to highlight racial inequality and put it in a context of growing economic inequality in the u.s.. [applause] >> what is really interesting
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has been that the economic piece has been left out. putf, let'sea body cameras on them. that peopleideas have not really endorsed. part of this conflict and the difficulty talking about both race and class at the same time is something that may come through in this conversation that african-american people have been vocal about ongoing ly which is about liberation. the assimilation techniques that it haslack president,
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been about liberation, liberation from race itself. how do you get out of that situation of being racialized, dehumanized? is it i driving a bmw? all these levels are there to this. it is always somehow articulated understanding, for liberation. you mentioned palestine. i work on a lot of palestinian issues. i am involved in them and care a lot, very deeply about them. you hear liberation mentioned as part of that struggle. liberationally hear articulated as part of the process for white americans. it makes it very difficult.
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theay be that understanding, the self understanding does not feel necessarily like something one would need or desire to be liberated from. also until weible can articulate that common mayct of liberation itself, be those are liberations from different forms of racial is ization, understanding the way the class conversation is racialized, we will not be able to formulate something that is cohesive. idea of sure about the organizations coming together on the ground and doing work on different campaigns and that ever generating something that is cohesive.
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i have a feeling that is going to come from a human transformation of some sort. transformation in the way we understand our identities. i'm not sure we can view that without a struggle for liberation. i wonder if that struggle also everyone intty much this room in various ways. if we can look toward that together as a way to move forward. [applause] ms. franklin: we have a few minutes left. we are having these conversations about theories and ideologies around the left. let's ground it a little bit. can.ple sentence if you maybele one sentence -- one with a lot of semicolons. what do you see
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as the national presence of the left? the national politics of the left? formational organization of the left? is there anything you can name as the on the ground of the left? i said in one sentence. now it is going to be three words. ms. taylor: i don't know if you can identify a single grouping, a single idea. i think we are at the beginning in thislding the left country. it is not to say people haven't been doing this work for many years, but it is in a different
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context. we are looking at the development of the most important social movement in ofs country since the end the last iteration of the black freedom struggle. that changes everything. whatever people think they were over the last several years, which i think has actually been important because it means we are not reinventing the wheel, we are not starting from scratch. we have to raise our horizons and think bigger. really quick in terms of the previous question, one of the big challenges is how do we get bigger. how do we build a much bigger more powerful left. i think that means looking at it not as white people need to look toward these movements in an ultra stick. white people need to do the rest
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of us the favor of getting involved as if it is some sort of moral crusade. we have to see how our fates are tied together. some are on the bottom and being tread into the ground. it is within the context of bill gates, billionaires trying to future.everyone's if you are not part of the 1%, things are not looking good for you in the u.s. moniker in some ways symbolize that process. but it is also true. we have to figure out on what organizingwe unity. it is not on the basis of telling other people their issues are unimportant and they need to wait until we deal with the meat and potatoes
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economic issues. it is not that at all. seedyd to make everyone fight against racism is central. the fight against sexism is central. all of that is central to our struggle and that is how we are going to build the type of unity and unified movement we need to ires on the billiona literally trying to destroy the planet. that is the future of our movement. [applause] ms. franklin: if you can do it in one sentence. : i think it is a challenging question. i'm not sure i can answer it in one sentence. there is no real way to define the current left and that might be part of what we need to struggle with right now. it is many things, many different organizations,
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and theres working, is not one sentence or coherent way to define the left right now. [applause] franklin: let's give it up for our panelists. [applause] ms. franklin: we are going to another speaker back up on stage. i would like to welcome him as well as mr. ford and another. i want to interrupt these proceedings to give a shout out. it is not to any member of my family. i want to shout out to people who have been organizing to keep the center open. [applause] ofich is a beacon
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revolutionary organizing open to everyone in the public. we are not trying to monopolize this space. well we are talking about monopolies, i want to make a quick observation. being a person who travels through asia, africa, and latin america, do you know what i see what american or european committees go there? they are not terrified of socialism. there are horrified of real capitalism. their problem is they go to these places and try to set up a monopoly. in thed a company store 60's and 70's. in the 80's, they flipped it back and talked about how they would help the people. buy -- resources would we are going to have a conversation about establishment, revolutionary
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politics, and please welcome glenn ford and charles. [applause] >> often, when people say a tate fails, the economic system is always the scapegoat. sten you find a capitali state that fails, the regime is blamed. tell me in your opinions. process. did capitalism fail in america? yes, no, why? capitalism is defined by catastrophe followed by better
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times, certainly for the employers. it is boom and bust. the contradictions of the system do accumulate. they have been acumen waiting for a long time. the ability of the system to export those contradictions, like by forming colonies around land,rld, stealing instituting slavery in getting the labor, that has allowed capitalist boom and bust economy to export its contradictions. you can't do that forever. now we are in what i think is a time of fatal decline. with finance capital hegemonic. call all theey
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shots. these are people who make nothing but want to monetize and control everything. capitalismrisis of is possibly the hegemony of the financial class. they certainly don't know how to do anything in terms of organizing the world. they don't have the long-term visions. profit.for the maximum in so make multiple mistakes all of the time. there say dear is that the u.s. savior is thatir the u.s. military is as large as all the others in the world. this tends to encourage wild
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capitalists to more adventures which lead to more which they think can be papered over by the military might of the u.s. that is not working. i think it accelerates the decline of the system. [applause] >> i worry i am going to give an unsatisfying answer. i think everybody deserves to live here and have their family live decently. we have an economic system that makes that in possible. i think socialism is the name for what will replace this terrible system. i know people call what we have capitalism and which we were more capitalist.
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i'm not going to your eyes about how the endgame will play out. i am just going to say i'm going to stay close to struggles where somebody's going to get $15 an hour and leave the deeper analysis to comrades like glenn ford. most of the states that are failing are being made to fail by the efforts of the u.s. the most want to fail states that are working for the people. they would like venezuela to fail. they have been trying to make cuba fail for more than 50 years. they are willing to cause chaos in whole regions in order to make regimes fail. onnect people from one
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another. the greatest source of chaos and destruction and i am talking about of the social variety is u.s. imperialism. largely, theg that largest impetus is because their hold on the world economy is slipping. they are not the centers of production, the production of real things in the world. to have the banks in london and in new york and europe and elsewhere somehow control the production that goes on in china, india, and brazil from afar with the help of the u.s. military does not work if you are the place that produces things. there is going to be political power that also accrues.
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that weighs against the dominance of the u.s.. they become desperate and they try to overthrow everybody. immortal technique: this is an interesting question. represents --rd lenchner represents bernie sanders. thet of people will say democratic party is the corporate left as they have been called whereas the green party and other grassroots are more grassroots. what is the strategy for dealing with the party in this instance?
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lenchner: i don't believe the democratic party is a thing. it is a group of interest groups that cooperate during election time. some of those groups they represent, corporations, are fighting for things like tpp. they fight for imperialism. they do things that we would disagree with. other parts of the party are fighting to have more rights for unions and increase wages for low income workers. rights for working families. those other parts of the democratic party in my opinion should not be conflated with the other parts. i think it is carl davison who talks about a six party system, not a two party system. there are four elements of the democratic party. i think i am part of one of those elements and a bernie sanders is the champion of that
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section. i'm going to do what i can to support him because i want that faction to be victorious over the corporations. ford: he may think there are six parties but he tells us to vote for one of them. managingwith our editor, bruce dixon, who described the bernie sanders role as that of a sheepdog who sheet back into the democratic party. back in the day in georgia, we a,alled this phenomenon we called it fattening frogs for snakes. fed tomp frogs would be the corporate snake, hillary
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clinton. party ishe democratic a snake pit. i think it is a trap especially for black people. the previous two panels, i want to add something to that wonderful discussion. left, and about the it's a real constituent parts, black folks are at the core of that. theave to understand that black polity in the u.s. and the white polity are different qualities. ideologically they are different. i did a study of 10 years ago blackund self-selected conservatives, black people who said they were conservatives,
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turned out to be on most issues to the left of self-selected white liberals. liberals,ted black black folks who call themselves liberals, were actually white adicals. the black polity is the most progressive left leaning in the u.s. there was a study done by a think tank out of san francisco. i think it was called where the left lives. the social scientist who was running the study assumed, even though he was not going to let his assumptions affect the study, he assumed the cities that had the strongest left would be to him the usual ones. .ambridge, massachusetts
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madison wisconsin. san francisco. fromhen the data came in his study, he found the most left-wing cities were detroit and d.c. and new orleans. because that is where the left lives. democratic party, sitsig business duopoly, like a grotesque sumo wrestler on top of the black community squeezing the radicalism out of it, that is a serious situation. situation in which virtually all of the civic organizations, the urban league and an aa cp, our annexes of the democratic party. not to mention al sharpton's
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national action network. democratic party pervades the and yet it isy, far to the right of the black community. democratic operatives represent a right-wing of the black community. the democratic party is actually a clear and present danger in black america to the expression of a left wing worldview. [applause] immortal technique: i know that you to bank may disagree with certain characteristics of the democratic party. occurain of events that to take power out of the community.
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one thing you probably both agree on is the appropriation of movements by the democratic party, there are corporate elements. the actual cost of what that is on the people. stop, the question is how you stop these appropriations of certain issues like for example the way hillary has tried to appropriate immigration by meeting with dreamers and saying i am the representative of immigrants? the way the democratic party has tried to monopolize the gay rights movement as if they are the only people who support it? similar to the way rand paul has been all of the sudden according to cnn the champion of civil rights. youras if you look at candidate, if only more --
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carefully more than rand paul. mr. lenchner: the first answer brings me back to the glory days of occupy wall street, when you to experienceg by the assemblies and feel the power of the movement. show up.d maybe nobody would take their e-mail address or name. opportunities to bring people in and build power -- they were few and far between. when we think about how to evaluate a social movement, it is not addressed to those who remain after those folks have left. we can sit in a small circle and decide, we are the good ones, the best ones, what have we done wrong that those people have left? want those people who left to be giving that answer.
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we talked about the co-opting of social movements, people voting with their feet to do something different than what we want them them, why didask you do that? how could we be better? what did we do to make participation in the left less something that they want to do and more something they are willing to consume briefly and then walkway from? one answer, and this would be the answer of politicians who get elected, is find the issues that are generally popular and turn them into legislation and make changes in people's lives. that is called winning. mr. ford: we are talking about co-opting, how we can prevent the democratic party from co-opting let's say the civil rights movement and other liberation movements of the 60's?
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we saw with the 50th anniversary of the march on washington all of these civic organizations i talked about and all of the democrats in congress basically giving the stage to the current to have a joint show and reinterpretation of said thehat basically part ofghts movement that decade was triumphant. it led to the glories of having the first black president in the white house. the second half of the decade was of course not talked about at all. in the second half of the decade, we had through a combination of police repression
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and an effort successful among certain elements of black , to shut down the mass glass roots movement to who had beeneople allowed through the triumph of businesshts to enter and politics. to maximize their new opportunities. this is where we get what we call at black agenda report the black leadership class. people who don't want to transform society, they just want to be part of the existing structures. they want to be mayor but they don't want to have a new kind of city. they don't want to examine how one can build a city that is worthy of having a majority black or latino population.
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they just want to be mayor. they just want to be a general in the u.s. military, no matter how many people end up getting killed by the u.s. military. this is where the split occurs. when we see the 1963 commemoration, the commemoration we are seeingrch, a kind of political celebration of that group's elevation. the folk who won office. folks wholusion of ways ares that in many more insecure than folks were in the 60's. youister taylor said, combat this co-optation by
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telling the truth about history. [applause] speaking ofhnique: history and the mythology of america, one of the most important things people do in this country when they get elected in the general election is to distance themselves from the extremists in their own party. bill clinton called this the moment.ouljah he got into an argument with a woman rapper talking about violence, racism, rape and murder in the ghetto, please not caring. no clinton came after her to say, you are a racist -- bill clinton came after her to say, you are a racist. obama had to distance himself from a man he had gone to church with for 20 years.
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republicans do this from people community whoased went too far. to does bernie sanders need distance himself from? a morewe want revolutionary kind of person, who did they have to throw under the bus? premise of throwing someone under the busting to be confronted in general? [applause] it is a loaded question. mr.ll just ask for a moment sanders has asked my advice for the primary. advice is to let him know a large part of his base would never have voted who are disillusioned with politics. tom figure hi
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.ut how to unleash that power i think that kind of a flip would be a refreshing change that would advance issues significantly whether or not he primary.sful in the in terms of who he should throw under the bus after defeating clinton, no one. he will be driving the bus and no one has to be thrown under it. don't have a degree in throwing folk under the bus, but i think this is germane. we should talk about folks who are trying to distance themselves in the last two bay years of the obama presidency from the president and from the way they behaved to the president over the last six years. on his way out the
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door, you have people who many folks consider to be of the left left in08 when the floated. imploded.the left now describing their behavior as constructive criticism when we know, certainly on the black side, they were part of a mob that wanted to squelch any kind of dissent from the coming of the black messiah, obama. folks are distancing themselves from the administration, jus anticipating he will be gone and that folks will have to look at the last eight years and there catastrophic blows that have been dealt. and someone is going to have to they were in fact
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in support of the austerity president. whoupport of a president two weeks before being sworn into office said all the entitlements would be on the table. circled supported -- the wagons around him and defended him at any cost well he basically conducted a republican light administration. they are going to have to answer for that. they are hoping to distance themselves but i can tell you we have taken down all of their actions. we took in names. we are not going to let any of them escape their past. [applause] immortal technique: i know that
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this is a more politically driven panel but i wanted to ask each of you a personal question so we could close with that. in light of all the horrible things we have seen in , and this ferguson question is obviously to you. campaign, oranders you yourself, you don't have to answer for them, we are not attribute everything he has done to you, but what is the official position about the andk lives matter movement involvement in those types of grassroots race oriented politics? how are yout, affected by that? we talked about the white left,
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you being obviously a white leftist. what was the position where you felt you had to become involved in those types of things? this question became more pointed last week. there is an article in talking about the silence of bernie sanders, even though on civil rights legislation he has hen on the right side, hasn't spoken out in a way that resonates in the way we come to demand and expect from folks who are going to be our champion. would like to see a movement push him to change and being more inclusive. not in a way that he hits the right notes to put a checkbox by certain issues. i mean as a candidate, i see him as needing to follow the people that need to change most of all.
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i see the role of people like me including platforms where instead of us having to rely on what bernie the candidate says, we can fill our own platform with what our hopes and aspirations are and push a bernie sanders campaign forward to foment that. that is what democracy is. that is a break from the paradigm of being dependent on what your candidate does and says. i am done with that. mr. ford: the role of the avement is not to focus on democratic politician and then pushed him or her. it is to change the relationship of forces on the ground using the power of the people. expect thosecan forces of the democratic party and the republican party, which represents the capitalists and power, will move against them.
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all the energies that are expended in trying to appeal to the sensibilities and sensitivities of people who work parties areos wasted. the president has invited families of victims in many of the young organizers of the new movement to the white house in -opt them. to co he has spoken to them as if he is a sensitive person. , it has not worked. what we need to be focusing on is what the administration actually does. while the president makes all of noises and says trayvon
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could have been my son, the justice department has taken tory opportunity it had argue before the supreme court. every occasion it has argued in and policelice departments that have used excessive force. that is the fact that matters, not whether obama is a sensitive guy. obama might possibly be someone who you could talk to over a beer. that is not going to change the way the united states will treat people who defy the authority of the police. the authority of the state itself. immortal technique: ladies and gentlemen, please give a round .f applause for our guests thank you gentlemen. it has been an honor.
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[applause] immortal technique: we were going to have some last words. i cannot fill his shoes. i just want to say to everybody who came out, thank you very much. i prepared a brief statement, but i see people are leaving so i don't want to prevent you from going to whatever hummus bar you are headed to. to stop you from getting in your rickshaw and going home. i don't want to disturb your lovely evening. please. say, it is very important for me to talk about how i learned about the paradigm of these politics and i will get
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out of here quickly. and when i was taught the left was this idealistic fantasy world where we dream about the impossible. we fantasize about utopia, an end to racism, free food and health care for everyone. end to war. i was taught the right wing was the voice of reason. and then i looked at the world. i realized the people who commit andcide and murder, rape, kill are not the people who disobey orders. they are mostly the people who obey the orders the way they were written and to do. i learned the right left the rightn america, left paradigm in america was a joke that stopped being funny decades ago.
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i learned that if a quote unquote mainstream media can be incribed as a liberal media, other words if you are a liberal media and it is your job to reinforce the illegal actions of the government that has practically abandoned democracy and is camped out in front of despotism's door like a child for sneakers or an adult for i think it is important to take a hard look at the mythology of america. as long as we believe in the mythology of america without confronting the historical truths -- we talk about socialism and communism like they are the worst thing in the world. yet study history. taxes up to 90% after
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world war ii. we had to get the economy back on track, so there was free college. cuny used to be free. he give it up for that. [applause] on fox, oncenique: in a while, i love to watch them rant. going crazy about socialism, communism. really? the government paying for things? like a post office? a police department, fire department? paying a premium for having them come and put out a fire? mythologies i was taught. this sort of relationship was destroyed by the history i read and the living history i experienced through average ordinary people that gave their lives for the movement.
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the revolutionary movement that bird every revolutionary who has existed on the planet. it didn't come from a planning book or a brochure. it came from someone's actual life. revolutionaries were people that saw something they could not stand for. people,ugh it is those i'm going to stand with them. even though i'm not a palestinian, i will stand with the palestinian's. even the line not gay, i will stand for someone else's equal right to marriage. even though we have seen the country become something else than what it was explained to us as children, that is the definition of confronting the mythology. saying, columbus did not discover america. that is absurd.