[Hpn] Presidential Debate ACTION on 10-3 / Boston Mobilization for Survival fw fw

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Tue, 26 Sep 2000 11:59:21 -0700 (PDT)

FWD   September 22, 2000 - Make homelessness & poverty campaign issues!

From: Boston Mobilization for Survival
      "Wells Wilkinson" <mobilize@jps.net>

Please Forward and Circulate Widely



On October 3rd of this year the two major party candidates will gather
together to stage a spectacle of false democracy. The presidential debates
are intended to serve as a shining example of how politicians are
accountable to the people and how we have a choice in the decisions that are
made about our lives. In reality the debates are a corporate sponsored
puppet show where the candidates of the elite debate issues of little
importance to most Americans. The debate is a prime example of how the
electoral system leaves us with the false choice between numerous bought
politicians and ultimately offers no hope for ordinary people to have a
voice, let alone participate in the political process.

We want real, direct democracy that gives everyone power over the decisions
and resources that matter in our neighborhoods, towns, schools, and
workplaces. This is the only way we can the make lasting, positive social
and ecological changes that will rebuild our communities and our
environment.  We can and will create direct democracy in our community
organizations, town meetings, neighborhood groups, rank and file unions and
grassroots movements.

Poverty and cuts in welfare, healthcare, education, public transportation
and social services while the rich get richer; police brutality, racism and
corruption; repression of grassroots activism; locking up of more and more
youth; gentrification of our neighborhoods; skyrocketing rents and
harassment of homeless people; political prisoners-like Mumia Abu Jamal-and
the death penalty; poisoning of our air and water and killing of our
forests; low wages, lousy, meaningless jobs, sweatshops and union busting;
the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank
forcing poverty, misery and environmental destruction around the globe for
corporate profits.

These problems are all rooted in the same undemocratic political and
economic system, controlled by big corporations, that hides behind staged
political elections.  It's time we came together to stand up to this system
and create directly democratic positive alternatives! A new world is
possible and we are part of a global movement that is rising up to make it
happen. Join us.

Take Action at the October 3rd Presidential Debates

In response to this farce of democratic discussion we plan to hold our own
truly democratic debates in the only civic forum left to us; the streets. We
are planning an action, which would encompass communities from all parts of
society to come together in the streets to discuss the issues, which truly
affect our lives. We realize the current political powers have not and will
not rule in the interests of the people, and because of this we feel it is
our duty to help create a space where communities can begin to discuss how
to reclaim our political power in order to begin making the decisions about
issues which directly impact our lives.  Come to Boston and take Direct
Action for REAL DEMOCRACY!!!!

Here is some of what is planned and what you need to know to come to Boston:

Friday, September 29 - Monday, October 3rd
Convergence time and places are still to be announced but there will be a
nightly spokes council meeting from Thursday Sept. 28th - Monday Oct 2nd.
Please check the website www.bostonmobilization.org or call (617)782-2313
for the location and schedule of the convergence.

The Direct Action Convergence will be a space for workshops including
nonviolent direct action, first aid training, media messaging, street
theater, puppets, art and more.

The initial proposal of the O3 coalition to the spokes council is for a mass
street party  and people's debate to take place during the debates on
Morrissey Blvd, across the street from the U-Mass campus where the debates
will be taking place.  We will be meeting in the northwest corner of
Columbus park at 6:45 PM on Oct. 3rd.  We are currently developing
infrastructure for large scale street theater and a "debate in the streets"
where members of the community can take part in real direct democracy and
discuss the issues that really effect them in their daily lives.

There will also be a Mumia/ Prison Industrial Complex  March (starting at 5
PM in Dudley Sq.), a Tour of Shame in Boston Financial District (starting at
noon at Park St. Station in Boston Common)  and a variety of other events.
We strongly encourage affinity groups to come up with creative actions to do
during the day or in support of the street party that evening.

All participants in this action are asked to agree to these action
guidelines.  Having this basic agreement will allow people from many
backgrounds, movements and beliefs to work together for this action.  They
are not philosophical, political requirements placed upon you or judgments
about the validity of some tactics over others.  These guidelines are basic
agreements that create a basis for trust, so we can work together for this
action and know what to expect from each other.

1. We will use no violence, physical or verbal, towards any person.
2. We will carry no weapons
3. We will not bring or use any alcohol or illegal drugs.
4. We will not destroy property

Everyone participating in the action is asked to form or join an affinity
group which are self-sufficient, small, autonomous teams of people who share
certain principles, goals, interests, plans or other similarities that
enable them to work together well. The groups of 5-20 people should include
some support people who do not risk arrest and are committed to do support
before during and after the arrest stage of the action.  Through a
decentralized, highly democratic and powerful process, AGs make and carry
out plans either individually in their own actions or with other affinity
groups in a mass action. When acting together, affinity groups choose a
spokes person to represent them at the Action Spokes Council.  Because we
will be participating in multiple actions over several days, strong,
well-organized, and creative affinity groups will be essential to the
success of this event.

Affinity Groups are vital to any mass nonviolent action for providing
support and solidarity. By insuring familiarity and building trust with one
another we take care of each other and reduce the possibility of disruptive
behavior by police /provocateurs. Some affinity groups have stayed together
over long periods of time for political support while others come together
just for a particular action.  Form an affinity group with your friends,
people from your town, neighborhood or workplace, from your organization or
community, with people you share some other affinity, interest or identity
with. Two or more affinity groups that have something in common, or want to
do similar actions should work together as a "cluster" of affinity groups.
If your affinity group is coming to Boston please e-mail us at
info@bostonmobilization.org <mailto:info@bostonmobilization.org>

We will have our first Action Spokes Council on Thursday, Sept. 28 to
develop the best possible action plan for the debate. The Action Spokes
Council is the primary decision-making body for the overall action plan. It
is made up of representatives or "spokes" from affinity groups with
spokespeople chosen by each affinity group responsible for carrying their
groups plans, opinions and decisions to the spokescouncil and carrying
information and decisions back to their group. Using consensus, the Action
Spokes Council decides what the action and jail/court solidarity strategy
and framework will be. Once those have been agreed to, affinity groups (AGs)
will determine how they can best participate in and contribute to the
success of the overall action.

Through jail solidarity we can take power in a situation designed to make us
powerless. We do this by making our decisions as a group, by acting in
harmony with each other, and by committing ourselves to safeguard each
other's well being. Every time there is a choice in the legal process, if
activists do not cooperate or things become more difficult for the
authorities. Solidarity tactics mean that people noncooperate as a group
unless the authorities agree to our demands. An overcrowded, expensive jail
and legal system create additional pressure. This can give us some control
legal consequences and get them over with more quickly, protect the
authorities from singling some people out for harsher treatment, resist
fines and probation, and extend the action to the prison and legal system
with the strength and community of a group, instead of as individuals. We
encourage action participants who are able, to clear their calendar in
advance for several days or a week or so after the action should it become
necessary to use a fill-the-jails tactics to win our demands. It is likely
that those who want or need to leave will be able to do so.  The use of
jail/court solidarity will be discussed and decided on at the spokescounicl.

Please keep in mind: We do not have full legal support for this action.  We
have assembled a team of legal observer and a small number of lawyers to do
support.  We encourage you to talk to your affinity group about taking on a
greater level of support if you plan to get arrested.

All action participants will be encouraged to take a nonviolent direct
action training to prepare themselves for both the action and for jail and
court solidarity to deal with the legal system. We will have several
trainings during the convergence.  Please come and prepare yourself for

Boston is home to over 100,000 college students and we got a few hundred who
want to give you a place to sleep.  Please contact the Campus Action Network
for more information on housing at (617) 547-5408or e-mail at


For More information check out <http://www.bostonmobilization.org>
E-mail us at <info@bostonmobilization.org> or call us at (617) 782-2313
Mobilization for Survival List-Subscribe: <mobilization-subscribe@egroups.com>

In Solidarity the O3 Coalition


[related item sent via Boston Mobilization for Survival follows]

----- Original Message -----
From: <julianjg@aol.com>
To: <debateaction@egroups.com>
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2000 5:02 PM


WHAT: Legal Observers Training
WHEN: Tuesday, September 26 at 6 PM
WHERE: Northeastern University School of Law, 400 Huntington Avenue, Boston.
(Green line "E" Train to Northeastern stop or Orange Line to Ruggles stop.)
Signs with the room number will be posted at the school.

 A training for anyone interested in being a legal observer at the O3
demonstrations will be held on Tuesday, September 26 at 6 PM at the
Northeastern University School of Law.  The training will be conducted by
the Massachusetts National Lawyers Guild.

 Legal observers watch and take notes of any interactions between police and
protesters.  Their notes (and sometimes their testimony in court) can help
protesters who are accused of things they have not done.  And just the
knowledge that their actions are being observed can have a restraining effect
on police and security.

just have to agree to attend a training, and to observe and take notes of the
October 3rd actions instead of participating as a protester.  This is an
important role to fill in protests where interactions with the police are
possible, and we currently DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH OBSERVERS LINED UP. So please
consider being a legal observer and spread the word to others who might be

For more information, e-mail <julianjg@aol.com>.

To subscribe to Debate-Action group, send an email to:


SEE ALSO http://boston.indymedia.org/
         A compilation of BREAKING STORIES, photos, video, and audio
         from the Boston Independent Media Center

         LINKS to Boston and other IMC lists

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