By Carl Davidson
Progressives for Obama
Just before we’re head down Colfax though old
We head for ‘
The final touch is our ‘Progressives for Obama’ sign out the tent and our Obama yard sign. This crowd has a lot of anarchist-minded youth and Green types, and we’re the only explicitly Obama tent among about 50 tents.
Right away the key tension arises. A couple of kids with green hair say ‘Obama? Progressives? What do they have to do which each other?’ Then thirty seconds later, a Black teenager on his skateboard, headed for the local skate park 50 yards away, slows down, reads our stuff, then give us a fist salute, asserting loudly, ‘Obama Rules!’
I explore the grounds. The most powerful table and display by far are Iraq Vets Against the War. About 30 are there, earnestly engaged is all kinds of discussions, with each other and passersby. Military Families Speak Out are there, with AFSC. The ‘Boots on the Ground display is going up near the entrance. I talk with the young organizers of
We’re sharing our setup with UFPJ, so we take their leaflets on the ‘Million Doorknocks for Peace’ for base-building on Oct. 20 to everyone standing in lines for tickets. The kids ‘get it’ and snatch them up.
Then Medea Benjamin shows up with Code Pink’s filming making crew. She wants an interview and asks good questions about how the left can pressure Obama. “Stand firm against the war in
Tom Hayden comes by with some friends, as does Leslie Cagan. We try to figure out what happened with the first march. ‘No more than 1000,’ says Leslie. ‘t
They got to the
I stayed behind to secure the site while talking to people. Two local Chicano guys stop by. ‘Do I really think Obama will stop the war?, one asks. ‘I think he’s our best shot,’ I reply, but you never win anything at the top you haven’t organized from below. He nods agreement. “How’s your Mayor?,’ I ask, knowing he’s a progressive Latino. ‘He’s OK, but you know politicians. But what’s your goal here?” I tell him I’m trying to build organizations, independent, grassroots, they we can network, some we’re have something to pressure the White House on the war no matter who’s in it. ‘ I like that,’ he says. ‘I have some time. I can volunteer to help out. Really. Have your folks here call me’ He writes down his number and info, as I thank him.
By we hut down the tent and get ready to head to the big welcoming party at the Progressive Democratic of
About 500 pack the church, all in high spirits. PDA is new and had grown rapidly in four years. Several