Fair Trade Fight Succeeding "So Far!"

Bob Cash and Dr Carey Hix

Bob Cash of Texas Fair Trade and Professor Carey Hix told a giant audience at UAW 276 on March 15 that the fight against the Trans Pacific Partnership has been successful. Cash was quite pleased with the big turnout in the protest in downtown Dallas in early March, but even more impressed with the thousands of calls and e-mails generated by MoveOn's new petition-based approach to social change. MoveOn had gathered more than 250 progressives from across Texas at the union hall for rundowns on the major progressive issues of the day.

Stefanie Hamm explained MoveOn's history and new approach. The organization was started during the Clinton presidency and quickly established itself as the premier on-line progressive organization. It was copied by many, including major politicians, because of its ability to reach millions of people quickly. The organization now claims 8 million on-line members!

How Things Get Done

For some time, MoveOn sponsored local councils that carried out physical actions that were coordinated on-line. The council form is now giving away to a system based on different campaigns. MoveOn members can initiate a petition on virtually any topic, then call physical actions with the people who subscribe to the petition. For example, several people started petitions opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership. Then they carried out related actions on their theme. According to Bob Cash, they generated tens of thousands of telephone calls to Congress and were a great help in stopping the unfair trade bill and the "fast track" method that politicians and corporations had counted on to pass it. When Senator Reid and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi publicly announced their opposition, the issue was dead for the time being. Bob Cash said corporations don't give up so easily and we can on seeing TPP revived during the November elections.

Fight A.L.E.C.!

The MoveOn conference at Local 276 lasted all day and concluded with a selection process to determine what is the most important issue to work on right now. According to Teamster Activist Darryl Sullivan, they selected opposition to the American Legislative Exchange Committee (ALEC) as the most pressing problem. ALEC plans to hold its national convention in Dallas July 30-August 1. It is considered to be the most prominent political arm of reactionary politicians and corporate money. ALEC's anti-worker goals are closely aligned with the ongoing threat to privatize the Dallas Independent School District.

Speakers at the MoveOn conference and their topics included:

* Rita Beving, Sierra Club and Public Citizen, Tar Sands
* Smitty Smith, Public Citizen, Renewable Clean Energy
* Sharon Wilson, Earthworks, Fracking
* Alyssa Burgin, Texas Drought Project, Water
* Marco Malagon, North Texas Dream Team, Immigration Reform
* Kenneth Williams, Dallas MoveOn, Economic Justice
* Rev. Peter Johnson, Justice Seekers Texas, Civil Rights
* Todd Jagger, Wolf-PAC, Money Out of Politics
* Olivia Logan, Move to Amend Dallas, Money Out of Politics
* Bob Cash, Citizens Trade Campaign Texas, Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Global Corporate Coup
* Prof. Carey Hix, Texas Wesleyan University, Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Global Corporate Coup

* Carl Lindemann, Occupy Austin Communications, Strategy Session, Solidarity and Communication