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After LA? Force Nader into Debates!

by Rick Stahlhut Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 5:35 PM
stahlhut@net-link.net 616/373-4149 Kalamazoo MI

We should use the power we've developed and the large numbers who signed Nader's petitions in EVERY state, and create a HUGE HUGE presence to force the Debate Commission to put Nader in.

Before we know it, LA will be over, and the question will be: what next?

Llet's get Nader into the debates using our numbers to force the debate commission to admit their duplicity in keeping him out. I don't mean 20,000 people showing up at the debates in Boston or elsewhere--I mean 150,000. And it think it can be done. The combination of organizing for the protests, plus the massive petition campaigns for Nader in each state, make this a key moment in history for developing pressure to improve the electoral system.

Several reasons why this would be good:

1. It's something most protesters agree is a good thing

2. It targets a real, immediate threat to democracy--the closing of the debates. In 1996, you only had to register 5% in the polls to make the debates. Ventura only had 10% in Minnesota before his debates. Now Ralph has more than 5%--the threshold has been changed to 15%.

3. It sends a clear, single message that the media will find harder to distort

4. We can broaden the coalition. In Michigan, for example, over 50,000 people signed the petitions to get Nader on the ballot.

Now, I don't pretend to know the appropriate tactics. Planning direct actions could get you arrested for "conspiracy to commit democracy". But I'd start by getting our evil leaders to leave their communist/anarchist lairs in Russia and meet with the evil anti-corporate Nader leaders in each state. Nicaragua and Cuba could provide funding for travel and meals. Satanists could be recruited for cruel sacrificial rituals.

OK--seriously folks. I'd suggest this:

1. Movement thought leaders and others contact Greens in each state

2. Massive phone banking to hit signers of petitions to get Nader on ballot--invite them to go to debate cities at appropriate times, with signs.

3. DA is totally optional (maybe not even planned). If you have 150,000 people in a small area, you are shutting the place down by definition. This may encourage more mild-mannered Greens to come.

4. ASSUME THEY WILL MOVE THE DEBATES AT THE LAST MINUTE to escape us. So try driving, not airlines, to get there so you don't waste your money. This may require alerting Greens country-wide so the group can assemble wherever, whenever.

Oh, and one other idea, actually suggested by a rather official looking person monitoring the Philly protests (which shows they aren't all bad)--

"Next time, wear suits."

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Even if you're not a Green!

by Noel Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 5:51 PM

The official Nader site votenader.org has not done a great job of this, but visit debatethis.org for good ideas on jamming the system with demands for his inclusion.

At local Green levels, meanwhile, put this on the front burner! More outreach locally and writing to papers, sending faxes, phoning, etc.

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Way out of proportion.

by Derek X Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 6:19 PM

After LA there will be other events and actions. This Nader presidential thing is blown way out of proportion. Direct action is the way to go. In the meantime for further info on "union buster" Nader and other presidential candidates check out http://www.realchange.org.

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how to get more people to debate

by no cool web name Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 6:45 PM

There is a weed fest is boston in September. It takes place in Freedom park and regularly draws 50-70,000 people. There are speakers and bands. This is the perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to further our cause by reaching people who already have a problem with at least one part of the system namely the drug war. And since Nader is the only canidate that believes in ending the drug war this would be a chance to grab alot of peoples attention instead of just preaching to the converted.

Now some of you may be thinking a weedfest is not a protest just a bunch of kids getting stoned. Yeah you're right, and alot of them might not be registered to vote and we can take this issue of marijuana and the drug war and show them why it is important to get involved now. They will probably be sympathetic to most other issues concerning social and economic justice. However, it is a poor tactical move to throw too much info at people at one time (especially when they are stoned).

So, let's do the following 1. Get rock the vote there to register people

2. Get greens there to pass out Nader's position on the drug war and other things (However i suggest any handout be short and sweet and focus mainly on the drug war otherwise it will end up in the trash)

3. Pass out info on protest

That's it anymore will confuse and dillude the message. I will personally attend. e-mail me if you can help or have contacts with any of these groups. jeffdowd@prodigy.net

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"Union Buster Nader" not true

by Michael Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 7:08 PM

Nader was asked about the alleged bust up of a union trying to be formed at his organization... Unlike most politicians, he answered the question directly- not at all avoiding the question or attempting to side-step it.

The truth is that Nader fired three people who, after being fired, attempted to form a union... This was done in order to make Nader appear to be a hypocrite.

Besides, that website, while it does provide good information, also has a lot of unproven material- Many random quotes from random people.

I'm sure Ralph is no saint... he has his faults... but a vote for Nader does not necessarily mean you approve of everything he does... Instead it is a protest vote of the 2-party system and the money involved in politics... plus 5 percent helps the green party. Nader has a slim chance of winning the White House but a vote for him sends an enormous message. If you don't like the man or don't want him to be President, at least vote for him... use your vote to symbolize your disenchantment with the current system

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Use Gorilla Ontology

by Franklins Tower Web Radio Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 8:21 PM
FranklinsTower@unbrokenchain.net 401-663-5280 Providence, RI

I'll try and keep it simple, but this COULD work. Ralph Naders participation is supposed to be based on his standing in the polls, right ? Like the person said, 10% - okay, but polls ARE NOT a vote. EXAMPLE: I for one am voting for Gore because I am to terrified of Bush to risk it. But if I am polled by anyone BEFORE the Election, I adamantly say I am voting for Nader. No hint that I am lying, I pretend that I itend with all my heart to vote for him. Thus, we convince all the Gore supporters (even some Bush ones) to help FREEDOM by lying to the pollsters and saying they plan to vote for Nader, shouldn't be hard to muster 10% if that funny looking man with the big ears can do it so can we. Simple.

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October 3: Bedlam In Boston?

by bob feldman Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 8:23 PM

I think most people who believe it's morally wrong for the U.S. Corporate Establishment to rig the 2000 presidential election will be interested in visiting Boston on October 3 to open the presidential debate up. The University of Massachusetts-Boston campus where the Boston October 3 presidential debate is scheduled to take place is also located near the New York Times Company's Boston Globe corporate media building. So anti-censorship activists who are into developing an independent revolutionary media will also probably be interested in visiting Boston on October 3, 2000 to confront the Corporate Media's presidential ticket of Bore & Bush with our questions and/or protests.

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Nadar is anti-coorporate but not anti-capitol

by Kaz Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 8:38 PM

I see a danger of the Green Party taking over the traditional role of the Democrats. That is suckering people into the electoral process. Bourgoise democracy cannot lead to freedom, justice or peace.

Direct Action and street democracy is the way to go.

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by skatesnskis Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 1:41 AM

Good news! There's no need to chose between electoral action and direct action! As Jello Biafra said, "I'm down with both."

BoreGush love hearing that activists have given up on the idea of changing policy through politics. It's music to their ears. But we have the power to take our government back, and to transform it into a force for good, as opposed to the tool for repression it has become.

Friends. Few people agree with 100% of ANYTHING someone else does. Ralph Nader is a man of integrity. He is a proven enemy of multinational corporate power. He has attained the support he has garnered in the face of a corporate media blackout of his campaign. No, he is not God. Neither are you. Neither am I. But he deserves all of our votes. And don't forget his running mate Winona LaDuke, an activist who has truly distinguished herself.

If Ralph gets into the debates, he can WIN. That's right, he can win. Let's make it happen.


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Streets AND Nader is the way to go

by Rick Stahlhut Saturday, Aug. 19, 2000 at 4:01 PM

I think it's important that we recognize the complementary roles of working inside and outside the system.

Our outside work has already produced good things. It should continue.

Our inside work would be to get Nader into the debates. He towers over the opposition in democratic (small-d) values. Nader has been fighting abuses of corporate and govt power his whole life. He probably isn't perfect, but for heaven's sake, he's a god compared with the opponents. He's a god compared to me.

Anyway, get him into the debates, and suddenly our arguments MUST be covered by the media.

And the best way to advance the inside game is to use our outside game.

Go, team, go!

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great idea

by Hunter Saturday, Aug. 19, 2000 at 8:20 PM

Do you have any ideas about how to promote this as one of the next actions? I live in california.... working on Nadar campaign.

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Next time, wear suits

by Hugh Stegman Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2000 at 1:27 AM

A dandy direct action that two guys named Hugh organized many many many many days ago did just that. The plan was to confound the background assumptions about street protests by having all 5000 of us show up in suits and ties. Quite a few had to borrow clothes. (I did.)

It worked like a charm, with the media not knowing what to make of us, and the cops even more confused, but the action was a total failure anyway. The bastard politicians granted all our demands, then waited two months and reneged.

So much for recontextualiztion as a street tactic that year anyway. We learned a lot.

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Hempfest for all

by Jimmy Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2000 at 2:28 PM

I agree with you that the "Freedom Rally, (the official name, or Hempfest as it is known by locals) is a good venue to address the Nader debate issue. But, since it is a freedom rally this would be a good opportunity for anyone with a message to be hear. As far as "rock the Vote" is concerned, they can stay at home, since they will probably persuading people theire to vote for Gore. The other problem with the "Freedom Rally" is the fact that it takes place in October. With this said, it would be a good opportunity, with the momentum created after the debate protests, to reach out to younger kids in the area who may have just showed up to get stoned.

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Supporting Nader and voting for Gore?

by Michael Everett Thursday, Aug. 24, 2000 at 10:21 PM

Franklin says he's publicly supporting Nader but secretly voting for Gore.

Consider this Franklin -- no matter who you vote for, your one vote will NOT change the election. No state has every been won or lost in a Presidential election by a single vote. Moreover, a vote for Gore is a wasted vote because he doesn't have a chance in hell of winning.

Your one vote for Nader, though it won't put him over the top in winning the election, WILL add to winning his 5% threshold and WILL be counted as a protest against this corrupt system.

And lastly, AFTER you vote for Nader, you'll be entitled to put one of those bumper stickers on your car that says, "Don't Blame Me -- I Voted for Nader!"

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Crawl before walking

by Justin Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2000 at 1:49 PM

We have to crawl before we walk. That is before we even get into the realm of considering revolutionary change we have to effect at least the minimum amount of change that will re empower the everyday citizen to believe that they can participate meaningfully in a democratic system. Nader- the green party in general- is that first crawl forward into democracy that, if we persist and don't fall into complacency, will lead us down the road to massive global revolutionary change. The problem in the past is that when wars and depressions forced the common person to petition the two party system to throw us all a couple of scraps (i.e. "reforms") we hungrily chowed down then slept peacefully thinking how benevolent and trustworthy our government is. In other words we crawled forward and then sat on our fat lazy asses in front of the t.v. set. A green vote is a vote toward democracy and a step toward revolution. Sure Nader in all likelihood won't make it into office but if he gets just 5% of the vote the greens get higher federal aid. Then come next election with increased federal aid and a growing base they might stand a fighting chance. And when the greens do get into power- watch out! They plan to start teaching the populace about law and democracy right in the public schools. Soon democracy could actually be that- the rule of the people. Now I firmly believe that we need revolution and direct democracy, but revolution doesn't happen over night and if it did happen that fast then I can guarantee you that history has shown that if the populace is not ready or supports the wrong regime then you get in the place of a representative democracy not direct democracy or decentralized socialism but Hitlerism or Stalinism. You get it? We need to crawl before walking and establishing an accessible democratic system in the way the greens plan to is that first crawl forward.

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Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears

by H. Delaney Thursday, Aug. 31, 2000 at 9:06 AM

The corporate system is adept at deflecting & invalidating opposition. The more opposition and the more diverse forms the harder to discount and the wider the audience it attracts. Clinton was elected by ~25% of the electorate. If half of the nonvoters vote, Nader COULD win.

If you vote for Gore, no one will view it as protest. If he did win, what could Bush possibly do that could be worse than what Clinton has done over the past 8 years? Privatizing prisons? Mandatory Drug Sentencing? Eliminating Welfare? International Terrorism? NAFTA? IMF? WTO? Bombing other countries? Supporting world dictators? Eliminating federal housing? Criminalizing Poverty? Racial Targeting? Death Penalty?

Surely this cannot be the lesser or two evils!!! How about voting for something for a change?

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Not Yet Decided on Capital

by Avery Ray Colter Monday, Sep. 04, 2000 at 3:25 AM
avery@infoasis.com (925) 671-8024

I haven't yet decided for myself whether to condemn capitalism completely, for the reason that I see a few ways it could be tweaked to be more responsive to the will of the people. In theory, anyone can buy "instruments" in one company or another, and do so with politics fully in mind. The trend recently has been for some firms to advertise all starry-eyed about how Internet-based investing opens it up to the unwashed masses (even to the point of one commercial depicting a supposed DA upon the NYSE trading floor). The problem, you ask? Why haven't I jumped on the net and taken me pick o' the socially responsible offerings? I'll tell you why: minimum investment balance and commissions. Something tells me I'm not the only one around here who doesn't have a thousand or two to sink into a cash account, only to see a hefty amount of it go right to the broker's own wallet. Most of us are still relegated to IRAs based on funds put together by someone else.

Could this whole mess be changed without dismantling it completely? I think it could, but it would involve things the current masters of capitalism wouldn't be too thrilled with. To me, brokers are being put in the position similar to that of air traffic controllers. They even call investments "vehicles". Well, ATCs are public employees, so perhaps brokers should be as well, employed directly by the SEC, payed a straight wage, pulled into AFSCME, etc. Abolish these damnable minimums and commissions, so citizens are charged the price of an investment itself and no more. Private companies could still exist, but the basis of trading investments in them would be so essentially socialized as to end the traditional protection large stock holders have from being challenged by wage earners in their shareholder meetings.

This is just my own nutty brainstorm, an attempt to navigate the tempest that is raging through the progressive community on the question of how capitalist or socialist the Greens wish to be. Feel free to get out your cognitive sledgehammers, I would expect no less here.

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