Archive for the 'Events' Category

Lovato to Appear on Bill Moyers Journal

October 16, 2008

We just got confirmation that I will be appearing on the Bill Moyers Journal Show this coming Friday at 9pm (check your local listings). I’ll be looking at a number of issues including the Latino vote, recent debates and other issues that will also be addressed by Fox Political commentator and former Reagan staffer, Linda Chavez.

Tune in and let us know what you think!

This week on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL (check local listings)

  • As the election nears and accusations of voter fraud run rampant from party to party, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL takes a close look at the charges and what you can do to protect your vote. Bill Moyers sits down with Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Ecology in the Department of Culture and Communication at NYU, who has been following voter fraud allegations in his blog News from the Underground.
  • It’s been a busy week for US politics. Bill Moyers sits down with chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and FOX NEWS political analyst Linda Chavez and NATION contributor and writer with New American Media Roberto Lovato to review the news of the week and talk about what’s missing from political conversation.
  • How will the middle class fare in this economic turmoil? Bill Moyers speaks with Michael Zweig, director of the Center for Working Class Life at SUNY Stony Brook.

On MOYERS ONLINE

Historic Black Latino Summit Previews Power of Solidarity- & Intimacy

October 8, 2008

I had the privilege and pleasure to attend this week’s Black-Latino Summit (BLS) held in Los Angeles on Sunday and Monday. Organized by Policy Link and the William C. Velazquez Institute, the BLS brought together more than 500 black and Latino leaders and activists who spent 2 days debating and discussing the history and future and concerns and shared agenda of our respective communities.

To their credit, BLS organizers opted not to include the media in their event, which , I think, says much about the commitment to go beyond much of the foto op opportunism that usually passes for “Black-brown unity.” I believe they are sincerely trying to develop an agenda. While I’m not at liberty to provide details of the intense planning that took place, I can say that they distributed and discussed position papers (see the Summit web page) around a number of critical issues including criminal justice, education and jobs, immigration and several other issues. And issues of the spirit and heart were also at the center of discussions.

One preliminary learning I bring back with me has to do with the enormous challenge we have before us in terms of moving the ripples of such momentous events beyond the local discussion of the 500 attendees. More specifically, I realized that one of, perhaps the, primary antidotes to the mediation of black-Latino relations by the MSM is obvious, fundamental, yet elusive: intimacy. Listening to the attendees articulate and struggle with feelings, thoughts and plans, it became clear to me that we need to short circuit the electric organization of our senses and thoughts by our increasingly noxious media system, especially around race. The struggle to allow ourselves to be vulnerable within our selves and with others, is the best way I know to dispel and decimate the racial workings that really do divide us. More on this later. For now, stay tuned for the next, more public events of the BLS beginning with a followup meeting in Washington DC in the Spring, when the new President will be greeted with a well-thought out and defined agenda for the Blacks, Latinos and the entire country. Stay tuned to the BLS website.

“The 2008 Election: What’s Really At Stake” 9/13 Event featuring Klein, Scahill, Lovato and Others

September 9, 2008

2008 Election: What’s Really at Stake? A Panel Discussion Sept. 13

We hope you can join us for a unique panel discussion,

“The 2008 Election: What’s Really At Stake,” featuring Naomi Klein, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Flanders, Roberto Lovato and Malia Lazu.

Saturday, September 13 – 8pm
The Great Hall at The Cooper Union. 7 East 7th Street (at Third Avenue), Manhattan

Tickets on sale now! Sliding Scale $6 to $15. Click here to reserve tickets.

This presidential election comes at a critical time for the United States and the world. We are facing grave problems, including multiple wars abroad, an economy in decline, the rise of a high-tech police state, the looming threat of climate change, an anti-immigrant backlash, a dire energy crisis, and a political system thoroughly corrupted by money. Can either Barack Obama or John McCain offer workable solutions? What is the role of third parties who continue to face hurdles in the presidential electoral process?

To analyze the significance and consequences of the upcoming election, The Indypendent newspaper is hosting a dynamic public discussion, “The 2008 Election: What’s Really at Stake?”

Featuring some of today’s leading journalists, including Naomi Klein, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Flanders, Roberto Lovato and Malia Lazu, this crucial event will examine the political and economic impact of a McCain or Obama presidency, the role of media in the election and how concerned citizens should relate to the electoral process.

Special Advance Reception — A chance to meet the Authors, hors d’oeuvres and open bar — tickets start at $35.

Naomi Klein is author of the international bestsellers, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No Logo.

Jeremy Scahill is the author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

Laura Flanders is host of the daily news/discussion program GRITtv, host of the nationally syndicated weekly radio program RadioNation, and author of numerous books, most recently Blue Grit: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians.

Roberto Lovato is a New York-based writer with New American Media, a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and he blogs at ofamerica.wordpress.com.

Malia Lazu is one of the brightest young minds in progressive politics today and is dedicated to broadening the U.S. electorate. Malia is currently the executive director of Harry Belafonte’s The Gathering, an intergenerational intercultural organization working to reintroduce nonviolence to our communities to stop child incarceration. http://www.gatheringforjustice.ning.com.

All proceeds to benefit The Indypendent.

Tickets now on sale! To reserve tickets, please order online at http://www.indypendent.org or Brown Paper Tickets.

Check out what Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill had to say about The Indypendent earlier this year. See video.

About The Indypendent:
The Indypendent is the leading progressive newspaper in New York City. We provide original in-depth, hard-hitting reporting on local, national and international news and commentary to our print and online readership of about 150,000.

We are a predominantly volunteer-run organization that is funded by individual supporters, ad sales to progressive local businesses and enterprises, benefits, and sales of posters we’ve produced.

We have won dozens of awards from the New York Independent Press Association — and pride ourselves on providing a forum for the hundreds of social justice groups working on the issues that we report on. As the newspaper of the New York Independent Media Center, we are dedicated to empowering people to create a true alternative to corporate press by stepping up to be the media.

Democratic Convention Extravaganza -Of Cops, Paramilitaries & Cake Eaters

August 25, 2008

Today’s pre-Convention events here in Denver included a heavy dose of what has, since before 9-11, become a staple of coneventioneering: cops, paramilitaries and other displays of state power. I took the picture above while dining at Sam’s Diner downtown because it offers us a view into the cultural side of domestic militarism, how normal it is to sit within feet of several heavily-armed people in uniform.

I was especially taken at how the officer in the center of the picture looks like a little girl jumping out of her seat as the smiling waitress shows her a plate full of deserts. She might’ve jumped higher were it not for the weight of her thick revolver, her batons, her mace and other weapons she and others from among the thousands of police, secret service, FBI and other security agents attending the Convention wore. And though they weren’t wearing any of the ubiquitous red, white and blue plastic badges plastering chests all over this place, those wearing silver badges and paramilitary get-ups got VIP treatment as when those of us standing in line at Sam’s watched them cut in front of us on their way to eating cake.

Though the first of the many protests planned for the Convention were quite peaceful, news reports here in Denver seemed to neither notice the peace nor make a distinction between protesters and those posing serious threats of violence. In much the same way that the Convention is a scripted event, local Fox and non-Fox stations reported from the MSM’s default position of conflating protesters with terrorist and other threats, threats requiring such massive displays of policing power. This article by my friend Chip Berlet provides a nice historical and documentary context for how “government law enforcement, intelligence, and security agencies are planning to treat dissidents like potential terrorists because of a reliance on flawed research, hyperbolic assessments, and political bias.”

And, as the photo above makes clear, after a hard days work of bashing skulls and pushing people in the name of protecting us from those who would threaten the democracy taking place inside the fortressed Pepsi Convention Center, the cops also got to have their cake and eat it too.

The Long March from Cinco de Mayo to Cinco de Pentagon

May 5, 2008

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Those of us old enough to remember might recall those halcyon days when celebrating Cinco de Mayo meant many things: closing off a street in what was then known as a “barrio”, listening to sometimes inspired and sometimes less-than-inspired music of long-sideburned Santana wannabees from the local garage bands and eating food infused with the love of the local. And we sort of listened to the bandana’d radical Chicana organizer urging us to become part of the global liberation struggle commemorated on May 5th, when badly-equipped, but inspired Mexican guerrillas defeated the forces of Napoleon III’s French Empire in the 19th century.

Others may recall how, in the 80’s and 90’s, the long lost Decades of the “Hispanic”, many turned local street fairs across the Southwest into the larger, corporate-sponsored, alcohol-drenched festivals whose ghost we can still see today. The proud proclamations of culture and political struggle previously embodied by “Viva el Cinco de Mayo” gave way to the “Hispanic pride” contained in slogans like Budweiser’s “Viva la ReBudlucion!” or Absolut Vodka’s more recent racist -and ultimately failed-attempt to cash in on culture with its ad equating drinking vodka with a fictitious Mexican desire to re-conquer (the dreaded specter of “reconquista” promoted by anti-Latino groups and some media outlets) the Southwest.

Looking back on those days now, it’s clear how Latino children and adults going to Cinco de Mayo celebrations became a “mission critical market” in the clash of corporate empires that define a major part of our lives today. But, as a visit to most of the recent Cinco de Mayo and other Latino-themed celebrations makes clear, Latino events now move to the beat of a new power, that of the U.S. Pentagon.

No longer the small, intimate and largely unknown celebration it was in the 70’s, Cinco de Mayo is now celebrated from San Diego, California to Sunset Park, Brooklyn and beyond. And among the major powers present at such events are the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Ubiquitous at the hundreds of Cinco de Mayo street fairs in towns and cities throughout the country are military recruiters armed with trinkets, video games, loud music and hyper-hip Hummers that draw even more children and families than the colorful (and urine-smelling) playpens McDonald’s still deploys in its Latino outreach efforts.

As African American youth and females of all races continue to reject military recruiters in record numbers, the Pentagon finds itself with no choice but to invest hundreds of millions to capture the hearts and minds of young Latinos. Our children have become “mission critical” to the future of the empire itself. And, so, the U.S. military –and its high powered Hispanic advertising and publicity firms– has brought us a new Latino celebration, the Cinco de Pentagon.

But rather than fight these nefarious designs on our kids (ie; Until recently Chuck E. Cheese included military-themed puppet shows and television shows broadcast in its restaurants) with nostalgia, we should begin by cleaning house within our communities. First on my list would be a call on local and national organizations like LULAC and the National Council of La Raza to stop promoting the military in exchange for Pentagon sponsorship dollars for their events. The recent Pentagon propaganda scandal should not shock anyone who consumes Latino media; Many Latino media outlets are chock full of paid advertising propaganda and they should to stop taking advertising from the various branches of the Armed Forces that’ve turned them into mouthpieces for military recruitment. And, of course, we should approach local organizers of Cinco de Mayo and other events about boycotting the efforts of those who lie to our kids in order to get them to go fight losing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to remind them of the powerful anti-militarism traditions rooted deeply in the Chicano, Puerto Rican and other communities.

I live in New York, which is also called “Puebla York” because of the huge number of Mexicans from Puebla that live there. It’s painful to see how Cinco de Mayo has gone from celebrating the liberation politics and heroism of Puebla to celebrating the recruitment of the descendants of Zaragoza and other Poblanos by the very center of U.S. efforts to destroy global liberation, the Pentagon.

But, all is not lost. Latinos and others across the country have ramped up their efforts to stop the recruitment of Latino youth. Efforts like those in Puerto Rico, counter recruiters have fanned out to all 200 high schools to deliver their anti-militarism message to thousands of students. So, whatever your race, background or creed, if you’re opposed to the war in Iraq and to militarism generally, you might consider stopping recruitment among those without whom the future projections of the military will not be realized: Latino youth. And a good place to start might be to stop celebrating the Cinco de Pentagon and replacing it with something resembling the CInco de Mayo celebrations of old.

New York Event: Left Out in the Open — The Netroots & Progressive Politics

March 4, 2008

This coming Wednesday, March 5th, yours truly will be joining a stellar panel of thinkers- and doers- in the netroots. Sponsored by the Nation Magazine and Moveon, “Left out in the Open” will explore how the netroots is transforming -for good and for bad- the left. I will try to hold my own in such smart, capable company. You are cordially invited to come to:

City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium, 365 Fifth Avenue (near 34th Street). The event starts at 6:30 and sounds like it’s going to fill up. Some come early, come all as many different colored beans we can cram in there.

See you there!

Left Out in the Open — The Netroots & Progressive Politics

This Nation event will convene progressive leaders and writers for a lively discussion of how the netroots are changing progressive politics. Participants will include Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher and editor of The Nation; Zephyr Teachout, assistant professor of law, Duke University, and an architect of Howard Dean’s Internet strategy; Matt Stoller, a founding blogger of OpenLeft and President of BlogPAC; Roberto Lovato, a writer at New America Media and blogger for Of América; and Ari Melber, a correspondent for The Nation and a contributing editor at Personal Democracy Forum. The event is free of charge. Please arrive early. Takes place at CUNY Graduate Center, Proshansky Auditorium, 365 Fifth Avenue. The event starts at 6:30.

For more information, call (212) 209-5400 or click here or here.