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Oct 21, 2016 (San Diego) The World Beat Center in Balboa Park at one point held close to 600 people. About half were former Bernie Supporters who intended to vote for Jill Stein this cycle. These were not just young voters, but life time democrats, who were willing to listen to what a third party had to offer. It was an enthusiastic crowd.
The crowd warm up act was done by local grassroots activists. Kareem Samuel who is one of the many democrats that left the party, DEMexited, after the primary. When he asked how many did the same in the room, about half raised their hands. He went on “we all know what is happening right. We have an antiestablishment that has taken the country by storm. Had rally after rally, breaking record after record.” Not only was he keeping up with the Hillary Clinton campaign, but he said that the argument could be made that he was going to beat her.
He then went on to use Wikileaks, and other sources to point out the massive voter fraud (election fraud) and other forms of dirty politics that were used to prevent the win from Sanders. (Ed. Note, election fraud is wide spread, and systemic, Voter fraud involves a person, maybe voting three or four times. Both terms are confused often. Voter fraud is immensely rare, while election fraud has been used throughout the course of US History. There are periods where it is systemic and well known, such as Tammany Hall and the Daley Chicago machine, there are times that it is less obvious.)
When he asked how many donated to Sanders’ campaign, hands again went up. He asked, “don’t you you feel cheated?” The answer was fast from an audience member, “hell yeah!” His speech was a good explanation of where we are, and why many of former Sanders’ supporters are not going to vote for Clinton in November. Part of it is anger, part of it is betrayal. It is not just the young.
Lucila Conde spoke as an immigrant of how US Foreign policy has continued a war in Mexico, a war against her own people. How Plan Merida has transferred billions of dollars in military goods and training to the Mexican military and police forces. This war has led to tens of thousands of missing people. While Conde gave 30,000 this is a hard one to peg down. It ranges from a low of 22,000 to as high to 50,000. It truly depends who you read, that said the Human Rights Commission released a report on human rights in Mexico. It is a disaster, and it comes from a constant state of war, and violations of rights that are constant. This is especially the case in rural areas of the country. there is a also a sense of impunity for police and government forces that can do whatever they want.
While Conde did not mention it, Mexico is a country where reporters go missing and die regularly, and where a tradition of investigative journalism does not exist. That said one is starting to form.
Fayaz Nawabi warmed up the crowd with a story from Santee, and how confused we are as a nation in our racism. He was getting gas when a truck with four Confederate Flags came by. The men inside told him to go back to Ireland. Now think about this one for a second, a man who looks all but European, was told to go back to Ireland. He also remarked something else about the United States. He is a muslim man who supported a Jewish man for the presidency, and now supports a Jewish woman. He said about that, “this is part of that radical empathy when we try to understand one another.”
Lace Watkins started by thanking the crowd. “I want you to know how much I love and appreciate each one of you. They say San Diego is not a city of progressives.” She added that we do not just care about surfing, but that “this is who we are.”
Watkins remarked that when Alfred Olango was shot down in El Cajon, less than a month ago, San Diegans turned out in droves (and they did, we were there). She went on as to how important is to have “love for Alfred Olango, love for each other, love for people.” Then she asked for a minute of silence for Olango, which was answered by almost all standing. There was permission as well that those who could not stand, should not.
This was one of two very powerful moments, to honor those who have left us.
Watkins also remarked that “part of being an activist is to do what you all did, show up.” She then told a two week story, about what happened after praying at the Alfred Olango shrine in El Cajon, since taken down by the police, “robbing us of a place to mourn and grieve, and remember, just like Mr. Olangop was robbed of his life,” Watkins spoke with young people. They are ready to move and to act. They are “ready to rise, but for what?” That is a profound question, and one that this reporter noted as well.
Mark Bartlett of People over Profits, spoke about his passion, one that is echoed by the Green Party platform. This is ending the private prison system. Spending money on education, not on prisons. Giving young people opportunities to expand their minds and expand their world. Instead, as Bartlett noted, we are creating a system where poor people of color have to look forward to prison, and not college.
He also asked for a minute of silence for the four people who died at Chicano Park the other day when a truck fell onto the crowd.
This is not sustainable, and in time this will be a problem. He urged the room, to “woke, and stay woke.”
Ann Menasche, a long time Green Party activists, who ran for Secretary of State in 2010, welcomed the new and the old, and urged them to become Greens.
The Main Event
Jill Stein was supposed to come to the event, but she was sick with Pneumonia, so her campaign manager, David Cobb, came to give the speech. We are including the recording so you can listen in full. We are also including a post event interview Reporting San Diego did, where we asked for a few more details on some of what Cobb said.
“I stand up here today, as a straight up revolutionary.” He added, “we need to restructure this society.” He did not have a problem saying that the United States of America, “is fundamentally racist, is fundamentally sexist, and is fundamentally class oppressive.” Moreover he added that the corporations that have taken power, will destroy the planet.
Cobb also said that voting for the Green Party “is not a protest vote. The Green Party is a movement vote. The Green Party is not the movement for peace and justice and democracy and ecology. Those movements exists.” He went on to mention them by name, Black Lives Matter, The justice movement, the movement to abolish the private prison complex, the movement to end corporate constitutional rights, and there are more. “These movements exist, they are getting stronger, they are getting larger, they are getting more organized every single day.”
Cobb then made a critical point, The Green Party is not those movements, but “is in service to those movements.” The Green Party, “aspires to be the electoral arm of those movements.”
He went on to explain how movements need allies in legislatures and city councils.
So what is is about the Green Party? It is not a uniquely American party. It is a global movement, but it seeks to change the economy into something that is sustainable One point Cobb Made (that we later explored in more detail), is that they seek to create an employment office, where people are matched with the meaningful and important work that needs to be done. They intend to elevate labor and make it central. But most importantly there is a need to change how we do business, if we are to save the planet.
“Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka represent something that make the ruling elite fearful. They are afraid of us. And you know what? They should be.” His message is, “we are coming for you. Expect us, because we are coming!” And it is not just the Greens, but also the movements he mentioned. HE also said that the movements are the leaders, not the party. “It is a different way of thinking.”
He also said that all humans aspire to liberty, justice and equality. He added that the Green Party recognized the global nature of the problem that corporate capitalism represents. They also have a New Green Deal, which will create jobs, meaningful jobs. There is a commitment to the environment and to democracy. You can read the platform here.
A young man asked about climate change (a subject that came up in passing during the three presidential debates. This young man asked about the planet reaching 400 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere. Cobb gave some hope, as he explained that Doctor James Hansen, considered the outmost authority in the subject. told them that we still have some time, to avoid the kind of reverse loops that will make change inevitable. It means carbon sequestration in a massive scale, as well as leaving the rest of the fossil fuels in the ground. Though the party opposes nuclear energy since it is unsafe, ultimately.
Another question from the audience addressed the Middle East, and Cobb acknowledged the complexity of the issue. But he also explained that our action in the middle east has made things worst.
During the interview we talked about the nature of fascism and where we are as a nation. We also spoke in more detail on the employment office, and found out that this is modeled on the Work Projects Administration of the New Deal Era.
We are including the raw sound in full. It is a short interview. Enjoy.