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From March To Movement


#1

From March To Movement

Miles Mogulescu

The Women’s March (or should I say Marches) were among the most inspiring events of my lifetime. As a middle aged man who has been marching for social and economic justice since I was very young, I was proud to follow the leadership of strong women expressing not only their determination to protect, defend and advance the rights of women, but the rights of people of all races, religions, classes and sexual orientation.


#2

I agree that some form of unification of groups is called for. American Indians had the same problem. They didn't learn to put aside their differences and work together until it was too late. Not enough of them listened to Tecumseh. Fortunately for progressives, we have another chance every election cycle. My initial suggestion for national unification would be to look towards the Green Party- just a thought.


#3

I'll second that motion Mossonarock! The Green Party is a great place to start. No corruption there! Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of seeing in person, Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, and hearing them articulate how exactly they would put People, Planet, and Peace before Profit, knows that if more Americans had sought out a political party that didn't support endless wars, Wall Street Banks and Corporations over the Middle and Lower classes, they would have found the Green Party. It amazes me how so many voted for Corporate Rule, and Political Corruption on November 8th.


#4

Movements don't focus on parties. Movements cross parties and, in the Internet age, work through the activities of millions of individuals. There were no parties needed Saturday, and women are connected in ways that go far beyond any party. Pay attention and learn.


#5

Yes... a critically important question. However, based on the list named, many of which are all too-closely connected with the Democratic Party and its establishment, and given the tendency (if not need) of organizations to focus on their own development as a high (if not highest) priority, I don't think so.

Especially to whatever extent we desire to create a unified, sustainable "Solidarity Movement", we must resist the co-opting of anti-Trump resistance by those who merely seek to re-empower the neoliberal establishment that effectively ruined the Democratic Party and brought us Trump in the process. So we must be consciously non-partisan (at least unless and until a unifying Party that reflects common principles can be established). We must not give in to nostalgia for more likeable / lesser-evil representatives of the American oligarchy. This means we must reject any controlling influences by those offering funding from their almost limitless supplies of capital; no matter how tempting it is to make such deals.

What is needed is a movement that doesn't begin nor end with gender equity, and whose inclusivity is based in principles that are derived from, reflective of and affirmed by the diversity that is at once a goal and prerequisite of democracy. In addition to protection / elevation of civil rights, such principles must clearly define the presumptions of most, that money is not speech and corporations are not people; and that in a representative democracy there is no role for either.


#6

Neither are organizations movements, or vice versa.


#7

The common glue on Saturday was female anger highly inflamed after a long slow burn. Trump's invasion of the oval office despite his chronic lying and egregious misogyny is infuriating. That all of congress and the majority of American men didn't themselves block the WH doorway EN MASSE really sticks in my craw. Good! Women are speaking up for themselves. But unless men censure Trumpian presumption about what women must tolerant simply because they have vaginas and breasts instead of penises, men are going to live by the boys' club rules. This is a club reinforced by millenia of entrenched misconceptions about femaleness, reinforced by sexual competitiveness and all kinds of privilege. Men must be challenged on their complacent acceptance of this creepy threatening boys's talk and sexual agression...because it's not just agression, it's assault and it's psychologically and societally deeply injurious. It's holding not only women and girls back but men and boys as well. The idea that a body that is smaller invites assault is a precursor to all kinds of violence and agression in our homes, our cities, and on battlefields globally. The human race can' t move forward as a species until they get a grip on this backward mindset toward what is viewed as feminine: weaker...smaller...vulnerable. Until we do, we will remain a bullying and bullied species.


#8

I think we get it. And much of what you're calling for is already happening. We just have to keep it visible. That's what was best about Saturday.


#9

I won't be convinced until I see male national leaders as well as massive numbers of men on the protest ramparts. They should have been out there as soon as the creepy recordings were broadcast and not stopped until they shamed trump and his minions off the election field. These are their wives, daughters, and mothers and many of them understand the connections between sexual violence and generalized violence. And they also know women have fought this same battle well over 100 years. It's time to make women's rights a matter of national security. Maybe just maybe the Muslim woman in the San Bernadino terrorist attack wouldn't have been so helpful to her husband if she saw real respect for women in American male behavior. American men are by and large hypocrites about Islamic disrespect for women. Just because they don't stone us, doesn't mean they don't crush our spirits with what they condone and encourage in the culture at large.


#10

One thing is certain:
— "Taking over the Democratic Party" ... is NOT the way!
We need coalitions and working together.

I agree that the Green Party can/should have a role. Why? Because it's Platform is a good starting point for people to claim a new & clear set of values most Americans can buy into. Stein's candidacy also brought an intelligent, articulate, and coherent voice to this year's campaign.

Simply registering Green at this moment can show a clear & growing desire to have a REAL and majoritarian agenda.

What a Green role might be in the long run will depend on the party's ability to expand in an effective and inclusive way. Minimally, it can be an important part of a coalition.

We need as much unity in numbers and purpose that we can muster.

It s important to remember: 2016 with Bernie, Stein & others, brought to America a true progressive, people-centered MAJORITY. The Oligarchic Duopoly freaked out, effectively stealing Our Voice and democracy. Trump represents a significant group, but ... an anti-Constitutional minority, nonetheless.


#11

The point is that it doesn't depend on men.


#12

Movements do not nominate people for elections, only parties do.


#13

I may not be a national leader but I work daily on supporting women's breastfeeding rights. Its my job and yeah the numbers of men in my field are very very few. Although I'm not a "leader", I am well respected throughout my state. However, I will be attending a national women's conference in April. I'm excited to see what all will be going on there. I'm deliberately being vague about the specifics since I do not want to imperil my job.


#14

Not true. It depends a bit on what the office is, but no office in the land is limited to party nominees. And even party nominees always start with gathering signatures on a nominating petition. The advantage of party backing is help in collecting those signatures.


#15

Name one president that wasn't nominated through a political party.
By discouraging people from unifying under a political party, any political party, you are dividing this movement to pretend to support into powerlessness. Being so divided was a huge part of the problem during the last election, fyi. Or is that your goal? To divide?


#16

Oh, any one of the founding generation. They knew parties would get us into trouble, would become entities more important than serving the people. That's why they didn't set up a parliamentary system. And now history has proved them right and communications technology has made the parties we have beyond unnecessary.

But this is a conversation about a movement. Let's get back to that.


#17

A movement to accomplish what? Begging trump to behave himself. Good luck with that.


#18

"A conscious bid for political power is being made, and in the course of that effort a tactical shift is being effected: direct action techniques are being subordinated to a strategy calling for the building of community institutions or power bases…What began as a protest movement is being challenged to translate itself into a political movement," Rustin wrote.

"[F]ollowing the shock of Trump’s election and the elation of the Women’s March, we face a similar challenge today: transforming a protest movement into a political movement," Mogulescu writes.

1) Despite being active in a progressive caucus of my union, marching in NYC Saturday was energizing.

2) And yes, as Mogulescu writes, it can "sen[d] a message to...timid Democrats who might be tempted to acquiesce to Trumpublicans in the name of fake bipartisanship."

3) However: short of civil revolt, there is only so much protest can do. As a writer notes elsewhere on this website, the EPA will soon be gutted - actions that will hurt real people - especially the most socially vulnerable - in specific, tangible, measurable ways. The gutting of the EPA will be a political action: made by elected representatives; opposed - or unopposed - by governmental bodies; blocked - or ok'd - by 'rule of law' - law interpreted and, if necessary, revised, by politically appointed judges.

4) And so, indeed, yes, the challenge is to "transfor[m] a protest movement into a political movement." How? Well, that is the besetting question...


#19

You think the treatment of women in the USA is anywhere comparable to the treatment of women in the Middle East?


#20

"The Middle East" is a diverse collection of societies.