My seed is a blog about my collection of events, activities, and personal contributions to social reform. This blog is my personal journey of engagement with activism, and my engagement with those who are “crazy” enough to think they can bring change to a dying world. It’s important that I walk the walk and be the change I want to see in the world. I hope to inspire my visitors with this blog. “If you realize the problems and need for change then you are responsible.” Thanks for showing interest in my seeds of possibility.
Draft Bernie at the Left Forum
What: Draft Bernie at the Left Forum
When: June 4, 2017
Where: 524 W 59th St, New York, NY 10019
Where do I begin? I was asked to volunteer at the annual Left Forum at John Jay College in New York City for the Draft Bernie for A People’s Party movement and I gladly decided to go help the Draft Bernie team. This was the first time attending the Left Forum. I was very familiar with the event but never attended until I was presented with this amazing opportunity to meet more “Berners” and other likeminded “Lefties”. I had no expectation of how it would go and which respected activists I may encounter besides knowing the founder of the Draft Bernie movement Nick Brana would be speaking and making appearances at the table I am volunteering at. The day of the event I decided to arrive several hours early to attend a discussion panel called “The Revolution Must Go On!” with speakers Jonathan Martin, Nick Brana, Bayo Sharp from The DB team, Araqquel Bloss of Progressive Independent Party and Brian Jones of the Justice Party. Oh, am I glad I attended this discussion. The discussion was a compelling approval of a new direction away from the neoliberal party of the Democratic Party and how the Bernie fever can seize this populous current. All the speakers were extremely inspiring and rejuvenating. As I was giving attention to the dialogue, I would drift away into composing some journalistic style questions. I came up with these 5 questions in real time: I came up with these 5 questions in real time, it was impressive.
- Can the “deep state” and/or electoral fraud undermine a true progressive POTUS and/or a potential presidential candidate?
- Can sensationalism and political representation be debilitating to direct action?
- What are all present movements doing to help promote direct action, because the American people depend too much on political representation over direct involvement.
- At what point may Bernie become too toxic for the Left?
- How can Bernie win if he isn’t young and attractive like Obama was during his campaigns for POTUS. This is according to Hillary’s explanation of Obama’s success.
The time for questions arrived and I wasn’t the only one looking to badger these speakers with “gotcha questions”. Fortunately, I commenced the question portion of the forum. I was able to ask question number 1 and only 1 question due to the quantity of eager inquiries from the attendees. I believed I had the only hardball question, I was so far from the truth. We managed to throw some closer style questions at them for what I believed was 30 minutes. All the speakers impressively answered all the questions with compelling answers. Finally, after the tremendous panel I was able to execute what I was really there for, photo ops…
I was primarily there to volunteer at the DB table. A good portion of the pictures were taken as I was away from the table trying to gather petition signatures. Since the Left Form event, I believe DB acquired over 1,000 additional signatures, not sure how many signatures were gathered specifically on that day, but I’ll take some credit for the signature boost since then. DB signatures are currently at 39,239 (draftbernie.org). Will DB make it to 50k? Tune in next time. Anyway, moving forward, I was accompanied by some great volunteers and activists at the DB table. Including Mike Lucido and Eli Campbell, two gentleman who I had previously met, volunteered with and blogged about in “My Seeds” entries. Not only was this an opportunity to help the DB movement, this was a chance to fellowship and discuss with principled “Lefties”. These weren’t your average progressives, these Left Forum attendants are the facilitators of true change. These people will somehow be directly linked to reform the world needs and reforms being implemented. I made so many connections. I was informed about many directions concerning radical change. I left the event a stronger Draft Bernie advocate, and most of all rejuvenated.
I want to thank Mike and Nick for the opportunity to help out in the Left Forum event. Farewell, till the next seed.
Sign the Draft Bernie Petition here draftbernie.org/petition/
Watch the discussion panel “The Revolution Must Go On!”
Music In Revolt: Draft Bernie Petition Drive
What: Draft Bernie Petition Drive
When: April 7th, 2017
Where: My Place Pizza, 322 Main Street, Poughkeepsie
I had the pleasure of volunteering for a #DraftBernie petition drive held in Poughkeepsie, NY at My Place Pizza parlor. The hosts of the petition drive were Mike Lucido: the Draft Bernie NY state coordinator of Dutchess County, Eli Campbell and Kellyanne Liga. They are fantastic people and I had the joy of helping them gather over 60 petition signatures. The petition drive and the pizza weren’t the only perks of the event however, Mike, Eli and a group of other talented performers and musicians fostered the spirit of revolt with their musical performances. Up and coming bands like Take One Car, Ourselves, Dia, Alliteration, Event Horizon and several more filled the night with lively and great performances. The evening was remarkable for many reasons, it was Mike’s birthday and it was a display of how true progressive ideas have been reaching people from all walks of life in the shape of Bernie Sanders. The beauty of attending Bernie events and events for the political revolution is that you witness how diverse the support is. I was truly inspired by Mike, Eli and Kellyanne’s initiative to get active from just being introduced to political and civic engagement through Bernie’s campaign. Bernie doesn’t get enough credit for how he has awakened a generation to actively participate in this current political environment, and now as a result we have 20/20 vision (literally) because of it. I don’t ever want to get too caught up in identity sensationalism but with the help of Bernie and the Draft Bernie movement we can cultivate a true progressive movement and party. There have been so many revolutionary directions surfacing because of our current societal conditions. Movements and organizations like Draft Bernie, Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, Justice Democrats, Progressive Independent Party and many others including pioneer parties like the Green Party are attracting popular support, and the stronghold of the Democratic and Republican Parties have problems we have to tackle strategically, therefore it is imperative that we get behind the wave and break the political shackles that are holding true progress from happening. As a result, I want to give a little background for the Draft Bernie For a People’s Party movement founded by Nick Brana, previously the National Political Outreach Coordinator on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign through the 2016 Democratic National Convention. An appropriate position to begin with would be why support this movement? Why, is such a pertinent question and so is why not? For those of you who haven’t been devastated with the Bernie nomination loss and further the Trump “triumph”, let me make a compelling case that doesn’t begin with “Russian collusion”. That isn’t to say there doesn’t need to be a thorough investigation with an alleged Russian connection with the Trump administration, sorry to burst the common belief its bigger than the red scare. Consider the massive Democratic Party exodus into Independent affiliation, 42 percent of our nation identifies as Independent. That leaves both major parties under 30 percent of identification. To inflict more pain on the Democratic Party’s wounds, not only did they lose the presidency to the most controversial and off putting opponent, they are continuing to lose affiliates to other parties and have had the worst record in nearly 100 years. Just in Obama’s period of “legacy” the Democratic Party has lost over 900 state legislature seats, they lost 12 governorship’s giving them only 16 governorship’s out of 50 states, they have lost 69 US House seats, and suffered a devastating blow in the US Senate by losing 14 seats. Not only did the DNC break their own charter rules in advancing, colluding, and sabotaging against the Sanders campaign, Hilary’s campaign didn’t deliver a substantive message besides empty slogans such as “I’m with her” and constantly reiterating how terrible Trump is, instead of delivering detailed policy and real solutions for our domestic and foreign problems. I can elaborate further but I am interested in cultivating winning strategies and in order to move beyond the 2016 election we have to address the “jackass” in the room which is the Democratic Party’s inability to represent working class people due to their corporate strings. If we don’t show them we are capable of not voting for them they won’t listen. As long as the Democratic Party continues to receive corporate campaign financing and continues to maintain the Super Delegate stronghold, I pledge to associate as an Independent (or as a progressive party that is for the people and operated by the people). So, it’s time to turn in our submissive support in exchange for a “torch and a pitchfork.” The following statement is directly quoted from the Draft Bernie mission statement, “The Draft Bernie for a People’s Party campaign aims to channel the enthusiasm generated by the Sanders campaign and opposition to the Trump administration into building a new political party. This party will offer new progressive electoral choices and strive to enact the people-first platform that so many supported during the Sanders campaign.” Let’s call on Bernie Sanders and others to organize a new political party.
Visit the Draft Bernie website: draftbernie.org
NYC Stands withStanding Rock: No Dakota Access Pipeline
Greening the Revolution Rally for Jill and Ajamu
What: Greening the Revolution Rally for Jill and Ajamu
When: Wednesday, October 12th 2016
Where: Hostos Community College Arts Center, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY
Greening the revolution rally
Less then a month before the 2016 presidential election the scandals and drama have taken a disastrous dose of steroids! Just when we thought this election couldn’t get any worse, we are shown that the primaries were just an appetizer. In the midst of all the drama Jill Stein and Bernie or Bust supporters are receiving confirmation of what we always knew. In the height of the media war between Hillary and Trump, GreenParty supporters are brushing off the Nader complex from our shoulders. For those that were worried of another Bush/Gore election, the shame and smearing Nader supporters were given after the 2000 election now becomes the inheritance of both the Democratic and Republican candidate supporters. We Green Party supporters are walking with the most swag and finesse during clutch time, wearing our support for the greater good as a badge of honor. As we approach the 3rd week of October, an 11th batch of Podesta email leaks brings the total number of files released to over 11,000 exposing Hillary and the DNC. So buckle up because I want to summarize October’s surprise on HRC. As far as Trump scandals, no need for a recap the media has been working overtime to make sure Trump is depicted as the “greater evil.”
Open letter to Sander Supporter
- Leaked audio of Hillary’s fundraising speech to her donors gives her take on how she feels about Sanders supporters and “the revolution”.
- Clinton supporter and political pundit Brent Budowsky wrote to Podesta in September 2015 following reports that a Clinton Super PAC was set to ‘go negative’ on her party rival Bernie Sanders. “I strongly, strongly, strongly, strongly, strongly, strongly, advise against this and please tell Mrs. Clinton that if this continues I am going to withdraw my support, and it would not matter if I do anyway, the reaction will be so severe,” he wrote.
Framing information for “breaking news”
- Clinton’s senior aides discussed ways to take the lead over, or “frame”, a news story set to break about “missing” emails, passed on to investigators by long term Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. “… we think it would make sense to work with State and the AP to deploy the below [response]. So assuming everyone is in agreement we’ll proceed. It would be good to frame this a little, and frankly to have it break tomorrow when we’ll likely be close to or in the midst of a SCOTUS decision taking over the news hyenas,” Nick Merrill writes.
Hillary’s admits she has “public and private positions”
- In a series of speech excerpts from April 2013 to January 2015, Clinton said she supported open markets and open borders in the Americas; spoke of the need for a “public and private position” while “back room discussions” are taking place; and complained that conflict of interest divestments were unnecessary for politicians.
Setting WallStreet free
- In another excerpt, Clinton says those who work inside a regulated industry are best poised to then regulate the industry. Too much or too little regulation is bad, she says, and those who understand the right balance are often in the industry. “How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry,” she allegedly said.
Hillary’s connection with corporate media
- Former CNN contributor Donna Brazile, who is now the interim chairwoman of the DNC, sent an email on March 17th, 2016 with subject line, “From time to time I get the questions in advance.” Brazile then said, “here’s one that worries me about HRC,” followed by a question she obtained on the death penalty. Coincidentally enough, the next day, TV One’s Roland Martin moderated a CNN town hall, and asked Clinton a question on the death penalty.
Hillary fracking record
- Privately Hillary emphatically supported fracking on the paid speaking circuit. Hillary Clinton was far more comfortable than she has been in public about her prominent role as Secretary of State in exporting American-style hydraulic fracturing. “I’ve promoted fracking in other places around the world,” she declared during a 2013 paid talk to Deutsche Bank, adding that she launched a new wing of the State Department devoted to the initiative. During a paid speech in Canada the following year, Clinton touted her role in “accelerating” natural gas development in Europe, calling attention to Poland’s embrace of fracking as a positive step. The remarks were quoted in an attachment to one of the hacked emails belonging to campaign chairman John Podesta.
Hillary campaign emails reveal that a decision to oppose the TPP was a reluctant one
- Emails published by WikiLeaks show the back and forth struggle between Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff to stake out a position on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). April 5, “The timing is so annoying. Steps right on launch. Would be a shame to have labor booing her right out of the gate,” Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager wrote. April 16, “We seem to have two options if we’re not going to (grudgingly) support,” he wrote. “Say its procedural and we’re not weighing in. Grin and bear it through incoming,” or “Say we’re studying and then oppose next week (giving White House time).” Wrote Dan Schwerin Hillary’s speech writer.
Hillary admits Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding ISIS
- “the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
Greening the revolution rally
As the day’s conclude with more revealing leaks and scandals I add more concrete to the foundation I stand on. Last week I volunteered for Jill Stein campaign’s “Greening the revolution rally” in the Bronx at Hostos Community college. The rally featured a lineup of great artists and speakers including, Eric Garner’s daughter Erica Garner, Kalief Browder’s brother Akeem Browder, Robin Laverne (and more), with performances from Kor Element, DJ Bambona, Immortal Technique and of course speeches from Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and her vp Ajamu Baraka. My volunteering assignments were signing people up to volunteer and directing the traffic. A comedic and embarrassing moment for me was the moment Dr. Stein arrived and I became a Madame Tussauds wax figure. Stunned to see her in person, I was starstruck. It was pathetic, I blew possibly my only photo opportunity with Jill. While on volunteer duty I was interviewed by several sources. It was a great experience yet tremendously nerve recking. I seem to have some minor anxiety issues (or what many identify as nervousness), while being put on the spot. There seemed to be a decent crowd, I am estimating between 60-80 in attendance. There was a lovely assortment of people and characters. There were toddlers, high school aged kids, college students, middle aged adults, senior citizens, hipsters, LGBT, zealots, blue collar, white collar, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, all creeds and facets of people. I’ve spoken with many in attendance and noticed the obvious, they are very outspoken and informed. The speeches were inspiring and the performances filled with passion. Ajamu and Jill’s speeches were nothing less than revolutionary. It’s obvious why many Bernie supporters refused to follow Bernie and follow the continuation of the political revolution through Jill Stein and the Green Party.
What: Protest to Open up the Presidential Debates
When: September 8, 2016
Where: Hillary Clinton Headquarters, 1 Pierrepont Plaza, Brooklyn
“Rebellion is not futile, it is necessary.” The need to rebel will continue to cultivate so long as the majority are not heard. 76 percent of Americans want an open debate inclusive to all presidential candidates. This was the reason for our protest outside of Hillary Clinton’s headquarters. Many Stein supports gathered in the spirit of protest including myself. Many different ethnic backgrounds and age groups came to show there detest in the rules that the Commission of Presidential Debates came up with to shut out the opposition voices like Jill Stein. A part of me is glad Bernie didn’t get the nomination because the establishment needs to be exposed for what it is, corrupt! The more the exposure the more we know, the more we fight. Stein has fought the CPD in court, pushed her way in media coverage, made it on 45 states ballots and acquired over 150,000 signatures supporting her attendance for the debates. Jill has fought tooth and nail to this point and it has just begun. The first debate is September 26th, let’s see if the majority have a voice come then.
Check out Jills ballot access at http://www.jill2016.com/ballot_access
Community meeting/Canvassing event for the Green Party
What: Community meeting/Canvassing event for the Green Party
When: September 2, 2016
Where: United Church of God, Bronx, New York
As a registered independent I am always on the look out for opposition voices and parties. Unfortunately Bernie Sanders conceded as he said he would, so I was in search for an alternative to Hillary. As a result, I was introduced to the Green Party and its candidates for presidency, which eventually Jill Stein took the nomination for. She has the same revolutionary fervor as Bernie, but more fierce, more “radical.” I soon came to realize my “plan b” became “plan a”. Being introduced to the Green Party I became acquainted with other political candidates like Jeffery J. Peress running for NYS assembly and through a community meeting/canvassing event I was introduced to for Robin Wilson who is running for NY senator. It was my 1st Green Party event and I was excited to be there to hear Robin speak and congregate with the South Bronx community and fellow Greens. The event began with a member of the community introducing his non-profit business called I Am My Community Inc. Following the speech came Robin with a tremendous speech that blew me away. I loved her slogan and the slogan that the Green Party holds which states “It’s time to reset our collective priorities to Planet, People, and Peace in that specific order to ensure a true prosperity.” She is clearly no politician, she is the embodiment of what is sweeping the nation, a political revolution. I was pleased to attend the event and to be introduced to a legitimate revolutionary party. I will be voting Green Party coming November across the boards. I will exercise my rights in voting and in doing so I will vote with my standards and convictions. I’ll leave you with one last word, “vote with your conscience and convictions, not through being bullied and feared.”
Read about Robin Wilson, running for NY senator here http://www.robinforsenator.com
Read about Jeffery J. Peress running for NYS assembly here https://greenteamny.wordpress.com/2016-candidates/jeff-peress-ny-state-assembly-ad13-nassau/
Also check out all the Green Party candidates here http://www.gp.org/2016_candidates
“A future to believe in” Bernie Rally in Manhattan, Washington Square Park
What: Bernie Rally
When: April 13, 2016
Where: Washington Square Park, New York, NY
This Bernie Rally was the most anticipated rally of all Bernie Rally’s. Berniecrats from all over New York and beyond flocked to see “the chosen one.” West Village was shut down. The streets were closed off. The police presence was evident. I was in revolutionary heaven! In attendance were special guests Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors, Spike Lee, Rosario Dawson, Linda Sarsour, Tim Robbins, and Graham Nash. NYPD estimated over 40,000 people in attendance. Not counting the dozens observing from the tops of their roofs. There was no room to even pass gas, it was that packed! It was a great feeling to see this many people wanted to support a political revolution. Quite frankly I didn’t anticipate a breakthrough speech from Bernie considering I’ve listened to Bernie for months leading up to this rally. I was there to be a part of something historical. I was there to make a statement, and boy I wasn’t the only one. After multiple hours of standing and being inspired, I left mid way Bernie’s speech. Picture the seen from Exodus where Moses parted the Red Sea, just replace the Red Sea with Berniecrats. It was a breathtaking experience, I look forward to meeting it again….
Read about the historical rally in this link: http://usuncut.com/politics/bernie-sanders-washington-square-park/
“A future to believe in” Bernie Rally in the South Bronx, Saint Mary’s Park
What: Bernie Rally
When: March 31, 2016
Where: Saint Mary’s Park, Bronx, NY
After a long day of exhaustion from work I was rejuvenated to know I was attending my 1st Bernie Rally, “A future to believe” held in the Bronx. Present at the rally was Rosario Dawson, Latin Grammy winner Residente and of course “Birdie Sanders” in attendance also. The atmosphere was refreshing, the music set the tone for a revolution. The vibe felt spiritual. The wait to get inside the park was eternal! Although it was made short due to the time dissipating conversations with fellow Berners. It was estimated that 15,000 were present. I didn’t know what 15,000 people looked like until attending this event. I couldn’t contain my emotions, the atmosphere, the energy, the music, the speakers, all culminated some sort of nirvana in me. I nearly cried. I was embracing every feeling, it was breathtaking. The rally went on longer then I could stay. I was reluctant to leave, but I knew I would return for another dose, through another rally….
Read about the historical rally in this link: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bernie-sanders-holds-new-york-rally-bronx-article-1.2584694