Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dubuque, Iowa for Obama!

I went on a bus to Iowa on Saturday October 25 with the 49th ward democratic organization (in Rogers Park of Chicago) to campaign for Obama. I went mainly to help pass the Employee Free Choice Act. There is still going be a lot of stuff to do to keep Obama from bombing Iran, to support Palestine, and even with the Employee Free Choice Act. One union organizer was telling me that it might be a watered down version compared to some of the card check neutrality agreements they can get now. I have no delusions about Obama, but at the same time, his campaign is where progressives are, and it's worth networking with them. Obama is a much better candidate than Clinton was in 1992, Obama hasn't had to suspend his campaign to execute mentally challenged people. Getting involved is a good way to educate his volunteers. A lot of people I talked to had no idea about some of the ways he wasn't the liberal they thought he was

The trip was fun. I met some good people on the bus, but the doors we knocked on were interesting. We had a whole range of people. I remember we broke into smaller groups. I was with four other people, and at one point the list we had pointed us towards a trailer park. The rest of the car was worried we would run into some redneck McCain supporters, but I told them that the people in those trailers are our base, that they are hardest hit by the downturn in the economy, and that they will be the builders of the revolution. I convinced them to go to the trailer park, and the first door we knocked on, the guy comes out in his underwear, scratching himself, and talks in a dukes of hazard esque accent, "What you want?" "We're here with Barack Obama for President, do you know who you are voting for yet?" And he replies, "Oh we're voting Democratic. Obama's gonna get the economy goin' again, just like it was under Clinton." He ended up taking a sign for his car. So don't judge people before you knock on their door!

This shot of the bus trip was taken by lawyer Jeffery Paul Smith. His comment?
"Matt flashes a peace sign. Obviously a socialist. I'd guess our busload resulted in about 1,000 doors knocked on."

My photo of the bus ride to Iowa.

Here I am outside the volunteer station.

The volunteer briefing.

A local church. My comment was, "Yea, and so do condoms."

A bit of history, apparently the first church in Dubuque was fairly progressive on issues of race.

Loyola Platypus Screens "Columbia University Revolt 1968"

I attended the Loyola Platypus groups screening of a documentary newsreel about the 1968 student revolt at Columbia University. It was a great movie and there was a good group discussion after words. Mike Klonsky, the head of Students for a Democratic Society in 1968 was in the crowd, as was his wife Sue. You can read Mike Klonsky's blog Here.

Below is the Embedded Audio Recording of the discussion afterwards.

You can download the file at The Internet Archive.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Anti-War Rally on Devon Ave. Don't Bomb Pakistan!

On October 11, 2008, around 500 people rallied and marched on Devon Ave in Chicago. The Devon Ave. neighborhood is known for its string of Indian and Pakistani restaurants. The Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism organized the rally with leaders of the Pakistani community to be a pre-election anti-war protest, particularly against the hawkish statements about Iran and Pakistan made by both Obama and McCain.

You can see Labor Beats Coverage of the Rally Here.

Chicago Indymedia Coverage of the rally Here.

Mike Mlekowski of Iraq Veterans Against the War Speaks.

Omar Lopez was a founding member of the Young Lords and ran for Congress with the Green Party.

Monica Trinidad of the University of Illinois Radical Student Union Speaks.

A student at Columbia college and member of World Can't Wait! speaks.

Gloria La Riva, the Presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, speaks at the rally.

Intense Debate Comments