Gearing Up For A Grassroots Political Storm This September In DC
The District of Columbia is preparing for a storm of rallies, conferences, and direct action in September. Observers will see a Patriot’s rally for American culture and its flag, a rally to defend the honor of a community who listen to rap and dons clownface, anti-white supremacist direct action, the birth of a new American political party of the people, and the meeting of a People’s Congress of Resistance.
On Wednesday 6, The 118-mile March To Confront White Supremacy (MCWS), or #Cville2DC, arrives at the capital intending to engage in sustained direct action. On their website they stated the demands of their direct actions to be, “[That] Trump be removed from office and that an agenda be advanced that heals the wounds of white supremacy”. These are strong demands in the face of an opposition who are publicly discussing armed rebellion if their President is removed. The marchers left from Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 28 for their 10-day expedition. The organizing coalition includes Women’s March on Washington, Color of Change, Democracy Spring, Indivisible, Repairers of the Breach, and the Movement for Black Lives. Check out their website to learn how to join the march.
On Friday 8, the People’s Convergence Conference will begin. It is a convergence of three political parties focused on Progressive politics to take place at American University with a rally at the Capitol Complex, and a Draft Bernie Town Hall meeting. The organizing groups are the Draft Bernie for a People’s Party campaign, Socialist Alternative, and the Progressive Independent Party. Hopefully, it will be concurrent to the continued actions of those from the MCWS. Headline speakers include the public intellectual Dr. Cornell West, the socialist Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, the Water Protector and North Dakotan attorney Chase Iron Eyes, and Lee Camp, the comedian and host of Redacted Tonight. Tickets for the conference run from $45 for students to $80 for regular tickets. There are also two classes of solidarity tickets ($115 and $185) which can discount the costs for interested students.
The conference, which runs through Sunday 10, will be a weekend to discuss political strategies for the Progressive Left going forward, or in their words, “What will it take to defeat the right wing and build a powerful left alternative? Should progressives continue the fight to reform the Democratic Party or should we launch a people’s party independent of corporate money and influence?” There will be workshops and panels from activists, labor organizers, and representatives of political parties outside of the corporate-controlled two-party system.
I referred to this month of action as a storm at the beginning of this article. The weekend of September 16-17 will be the heart of this storm. The Mother of all Rallies (MOAR) is advertised as a Patriot’s rally, to begin under the Washington Monument on Saturday 16 at 11am. Another rally, The Juggalo March, will begin less than a mile from MOAR at the Lincoln Memorial at noon. The Juggalo community are fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse. Their rally is intended to counter the popular perception that the clownface group is full of violent, drug users.
The MOAR website warns against bringing Confederate flags or hateful ideologies to their rally. “We are coming together to send a direct message to Congress, the media and the world that we stand united not divided to protect and preserve American Culture … all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age or political affiliation are invited. We are gathering to support our President and our country.” No Confederate flags are welcome, apparently, and the website names three speakers, none of whom have anglo names. The organizers are making efforts to guard themselves against accusations of bigotry.
The rally was organized by many of the same people who split with the explicitly white nationalist side of the pro-Trump collective before the marches in Charlottesville. The organizers wrote in their call to action, “ANYONE WHO WOULD PROTEST THIS RALLY IS PROTESTING AMERICA AND SHOWING THEMSELVES TO BE THE VERY DOMESTIC ENEMIES OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WARNED US ABOUT. ANYONE ATTEMPTING TO SILENCE US IS COMMITTING A DIRECT ASSAULT ON OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF FREE ASSEMBLY”. The recently-thrashed (76 percent to 24 percent) Republican political opponent of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cal), Omar Navarro, will speak. The Founder of Latinos For Trump, Omar Guiterrez, and a former-Iraqi informant and spy for America, Hamody Jasim are also mentioned as speakers. Attendants can expect to hear government overreach, Socialist Obama, and my black friend at any point while mingling with this crowd.
That same weekend the People’s Congress of Resistance will meet on the Howard University campus. The preamble for the new Congress begins, “The United States Congress does not represent the people who live and work in the United States. Given the threat posed by the Trump regime, the people must take matters into our own hands, together, and claim the power we already have.” The conference will host dozens of speakers with strong credentials in the grassroots Left, but the true purpose of the Congress is for people to participate in building the Congress, developing a strategy going forward, and fleshing out the platform. The speakers come from organizations such as Popular Uprising, CODEPINK, Former-Black Panthers, labor organizers, and reporters.
In their manifesto, Society For The Many: A Vision For Revolution, they break down their seven platform positions into eliminating production carried out for the profit of the few, dismantling the exploitative system of private property relations, and replacing corporate power with that of the people. The goal, they explained, is, “These measures create the material basis for people to meet their common need for dignity, food, housing, education, healthcare, energy, communication, transportation and a livable planet.” Attending this Conference will be free but remember that everything has a cost so take part and help out.
There is a lot of potential energy coming to DC this September. American culture Patriots, grassroots Leftists, anti-racist direct actioneers, and clownface-rap-loving culture warriors will all make their own spaces in the city. We can hope that their is collaboration between all sides. My personal hope is that the MCWS direct actions go viral and end the month occupying the Capitol Building along with the Patriots, Leftists, and Juggalos. I also hope that the Congress of Resistance and the People’s Party grow strong and create a powerful coalition that is able to deliver needed services to people in need, including the Patriots and Juggalos, and create electoral political power. Come to DC and spend the month here, maybe we can turn around our destructive, dying system.
TL;DR: Sep 6, March To Confront White Supremacy; Sep 8, People’s Convergence Conference; Sep 16, People’s Congress of Resistance, Mother Of All Marchers, Juggalo March on Washington