Home | About | Donate

Transforming the Possible Through Radical Imagination


Transforming the Possible Through Radical Imagination

George Goehl

This is the text of opening remarks delivered Sunday, April 23, 2017, at the People’s Action founding convention in Washington, DC – “Rise Up: From Protest to Power.”

David pulled a stone from his bag and slung it.
And hit Goliath on the head.
And he fell to the ground.

We are gathered here tonight, founding a new organization: People’s Action.

And we are in a David and Goliath battle.


Many people are being urged to organize and change this or that - organize for $15 per hour, or whatever.But I think that what is missing is a focus, a project. Teachers know that it is easier to get students involved if there is a specific project.

Certainly there are hundreds of homeless people in Portland. Probably most of them are unemployed: unemployed teachers,carpenters,electricians,etc. These people are a resource.
Certainly there is a vacant school building in Portland. A building that could be remodeled as living spaces, communal use spaces such as kitchens, classrooms, recreation spaces, etc.These buildings are resources.
Sounds like a project to me. Just need the people to take the power.


Isn't starting up yet another David v. Goliath organization just further diluting the Davids? (and Dianas?)

This strikes me (no pun intended) as the exact opposite of "organizing."


And you offer what as an alternative to their organizing a million people? Perhaps you mistake blogging criticism with progressive action and organizing? It is far, far easier to comment in an online blog than it is to get out there and work towards organizing a group with a million members!

Just sayin'

That's not to say that blogging in the comments section is useless. Adding to the debate is what comments sections are for but ...


If Goehl is serious about "ending lesser evil politics - now", this new organization will not be "another David v. Goliath organization" that corrals voters to support lesser evils. It appears to be a more organized version of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).

OWS did all that it could to make income, wealth and political access inequality more visible than it had been since FDR was POTUS. There was not enough critical mass to push back on Washington DC's suppression and ultimate obliteration of OWS in 2011 and 2012. Had OWS become more formally organized they would not have lasted as long as they did or spread the word as widely.

Now that enough Murkins have been pushed to the edge, critical mass exists to move a truly progressive organization forward and wave at the lesser evil outfits as they fade in the distance.


That sounds great!


Yessssssss!!!!! that is it!


It is good to hear that People's Action is moving from defense to offense. I don't understand when George says that on healthcare they have done that. All I see from People's Action and their allies is defense, i.e. defending the ACA -- a law written by the insurance industry that serves them, not the people. Offense on healthcare is challenging the insurance industry and the Democratic Party establishment. It means joining the campaign for the real solution -- national improved Medicare for all that rids us of the insurance industry and let's people make decisions about their healthcare with their doctor or health provider without the insurance industry in-between, often over-ruling the health professional. It means joining the HOPE campaign at www.HealthOverProfit.org; joining the 100+ co-sponsors of the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, HR 676 and getting co-sponsors to Senator Sanders soon to be introduced bill in the senate. Then we will be on offense against the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and the politicians from both parties who are indebted to those corrupt healthcare profiteers. We can win this battle. We have the power. Let's not be afraid to use it.


What I was trying - ineffectively, it seems - to articulate is a concern about reaching a point of diminishing returns with regard to the number of entities into which people are organized.


What we need are projects. The proof is in the pudding. Let's bloody DO something.


It is the opposite of "organizing". You start with the concept, the project. The organization required to accomplish this project FOLLOWS the project.


'This is the stone the builders rejected' http://www.energon.org.uk