Category Archives: Economic Justice

Telling Tammy Duckworth No Fast Track for TPP

Say it with lights
The Light Brigade Showed Up To Help

Mary Shesgreen sums up what happened inside Villa Olivia at Tammy Duckworth’s fundraiser.

“After our excellent picket line, complete with the beautiful Light Brigade signs, Carol Nightingale and I went inside to participate in the Elgin Township Democrat’s Dinner. We were able to circulate and give flyers and TPP Occucards to almost everybody there.  A few people disapproved of our picket, so refused our handouts. After the dinner, Tammy gave a talk and then took questions.  So, I asked her what position she took on Fast Track and the TPP. She laid on the charm by expressing concern for all of us being out there in the cold.  Said she was “worried about us.”   She told the audience that those of us who were out there protesting were doing something valuable and good by raising important questions.  A complete charm offensive.  Made herself look very good indeed.   Then she replied to the question She listed several things she did not like about both Fast Track and the TPP, but said she was still not going to come out against either one of them because there would be a modified version of Fast Track coming out which might be improved and better, with some built in protections. I said it was my understanding that any modified version of a Fast Track bill might have provisions that sound good but they would not be sufficient or enforceable.  She responded by saying something to the effect that she was very aware of these dangers and would not fall for anything that would not be enforceable. She then talked about how, “Of course we have to have Trade.  Trade is important and good….Our manufacturers need to be able to sell their products abroad.” I piped up one more time and said, “Why can’t we have Fair Trade instead of Free Trade.” And again she gave a smooth and meaningless answer. I have to marvel at  how well she can sound like a progressive, and continue to say nothing at all,  and evade any commitment.   I was also aware of a kind of slant she was working into her replies that suggested that the whole danger about these trade treaties was the other countries would take unfair advantage of the US, and she would be the guardian of our moral American values against those foreigners.  I found that pretty nauseating, because there is so much coercion going on in the opposite direction. I had to shut up at that point, because I sensed that I was wearing out my welcome with the audience. Anyway, the whole thing was worthwhile, in spite of Tammy skillful slipperiness. We educated all those Dems about the TPP.  And we put some pressure on Tammy.”
Protests wait for Tammy Duckworth's arrival
Protestors wait for Tammy Duckworth’s arrival

ALEC Protest during 40th anniversary meeting in Chicago, Illinois

ALEC in Chicago: 10 Photographs that Tell the Story

by Harriet Rowan — August 21, 2013 – 7:07am
  • Projects: ALEC Exposed
 Share thisThe American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) had its 40th anniversary meeting in Chicago, Illinois, at the posh Palmer House (a Hilton Hotel) from August 7-9. ALEC claims that 1,200 people attended its meeting this year; the conventioneers included state legislators, corporate lobbyists, and right-wing operatives. ALEC was greeted by more than twice as many protestors, who came out to speak out against ALEC’s regressive policies. Whether they came to protest ALEC’s wage suppression agenda or its bills to voucherize public education or ALEC’s deadly legacy of “Stand Your Ground” gun laws, protesters carried the message “Stand Up to ALEC.”Here are some of the best images from ALEC’s annual meeting, which may not make the official ALEC photo album.Protestors drop three banners inside the Palmer House Hilton (Source: US Uncut)Protestors drop three banners inside the Palmer House Hilton (Source: US Uncut)

As corporate lobbyists and legislators were arriving, the Illinois Moral Monday Coalition made good use of the stunning background of the Palmer House lobby to drop simultaneously several anti-ALEC banners from the balconies. Six of the dozens of participants were arrested for their acts of civil disobedience in speaking out about ALEC.

Some of the banners read: “ALEC Makes For-Profit Prisons,” “Moral Monday: No To ALEC,” and “ALEC Attacks All Workers.” The Chicago Moral Monday Coalition partners include: local clergy and laypeople, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), National Nurses United (NNU), US Uncut, Chicago Youth Climate Coalition, Chicago Fracking Working Group, Communities United Against Foreclosures and Evictions, Young People’s Assembly on Violence and Youth Services Project, Southside Together Organizing for Power. read more