General

Learn about writing a community ordinance to take control of local food exchanges from the Alliance for Democracy

April 11, 2016
Alliance for Democracy

Put your community in charge by passing a local ordinance that strengthens your food system. Tailor the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance to your community and its needs and get it passed. You will be told you can’t do that. Do it anyway. Then persist. 

Use the extensive information database designed for activists in the worldwide citizens’ movement against coal - CoalSwarm

April 11, 2016
CoalSwarm

The purpose of CoalSwarm is to create a collaborative information clearinghouse for the worldwide citizens’ movement to address the impacts of coal and move to cleaner sources of energy. Containing over 8,000 articles on coal-related topics posted on the SourceWatch wiki, this open-source reference provides a constantly expanding body of information that anyone can utilize and contribute to.

 

Learn about “Ranked Choice Voting” from Fair Vote Minnesota

April 2, 2016
Fair Vote Minnesota

Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank candidates on the ballot according to their preference - 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. Voters cast their vote for their favorite candidate knowing that if he or she doesn't gather enough votes to win, their vote will count toward their second choice. In a single-winner election, votes cast for the least popular candidate are not "wasted", but rather reallocated to more popular candidates, based on the voters' second choices, until one candidate wins with a majority of continuing votes.

Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance

October 12, 2011
Liberty Tree

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, the Liberty Tree Foundation convened a special briefing, the Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance. This global conference featured over 100 participants, and updates from leading organizers of the global wave of student and labor strikes, occupations, and revolutions. Panelists include core organizers from the UK, Germany, Israel, and Chile, as well as Wisconsin, Boston, Oakland, Washington D.C., and Wall Street, among others. This was the second such teleconference on corporatization and austerity org

Additional Information: 

Panelists included Nicolas Valenzuela, Uri Gordon, Mo Gas, James Sevitt, Adam Porton, Sarah Manski, Nadeem Mazen, Elaine Brower, Matt Nelson, plus moderator Ben Manski.

MAHIN on HARPERS FERRY: Courage and clarity changed history once – and will do so again

October 16, 2009
Chris Mahin

Location:
Harpers Ferry, WV

October 16, 2009 will mark exactly 150 years since 21 brave revolutionaries launched an attempt to seize the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, and spark a slave uprising in the United States.

After 36 hours of hard fighting, most of the raiders were killed or captured. The raid failed – in the military and tactical sense. In the moral and strategic sense, it was ultimately a resounding success.

The raid and the subsequent execution of John Brown and six of his comrades deepened the split between the North and the South, a situation which led directly to the Civil War. Given this, it is important that we ponder the lessons of Harpers Ferry for today.

Additional Information: 

Chris Mahin wrote this article for Rally Comrades!, the newspaper of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America.

SCOTCH & BLACK: Restoring the Rule of Law Where it Matters Most

April 2, 2009
Benson Scotch

University of Wisconsin Law School, Lubar Commons

Available for listening online here.

The new debate over war powers, defense policy, and the National Guard

Benson Scotch appeared at the University of Wisconsin Law School on April 2, 2009, together with special guest State Representative Spencer Black, lead sponsor of WI National Guard federalization review legislation

Additional Information: 

For the original recording, see http://law.wisc.edu/media/item/lubar_4_2w.mp3

Does your vote matter?

August 4, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo
Does it matter to you whether you are allowed to vote, and to have your vote, and other people’s votes, counted?
 
Liberty Tree’s No More Stolen Elections! (NMSE!) campaign is in full motion, with many voters from across the country signing the Pledge of Action and organizing Voter Assemblies in their states. We’ve already exceeded our goal of over 500 new Pledge signers before our official launch! 
 

We urge you to pledge "No More Stolen Elections!"

July 21, 2016
Liberty Tree
news photo

WE REMEMBER Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, Wisconsin 2011, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court in 2014, and we are willing to act this year if the right to free and fair elections is denied again.

Anti-drone activists arrested at Creech Air Force Base protest

May 5, 2016
David Kupfer for The Progressive
news photo
Twenty-five anti-drone activists from all over the nation were arrested for blocking the roadway at the entrance of Creech Air Force base forty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas on March 31 and April 1.

Judge rules detaining asylum-seekers in order to deter others is illegal

May 5, 2016
Molly Hennessy-Fiske for LA Times
news photo
Claudia Velasquez, a Honduran immigrant held with her 7-year-old daughter since October in a federal detention facility, looked at the judge Monday via a video hookup as he considered her request for bond.
 
Velasquez and nearly 1,000 mothers and children were being held at three family detention centers around the country, part of a massive federal effort to stem the influx of immigrants on the southern border last year by keeping those who succeeded in crossing illegally locked up.
 

REPORT - UN study highlights crisis for refugee women fleeing Central America and Mexico, calls for international border protection due to forced displacement

May 5, 2016
The UN Refugee Agency
news photo
Women in Central America and Mexico are fleeing their countries in rising numbers to escape a surge in deadly, unchecked gang violence, fueling a looming refugee crisis in the Americas that demands urgent and concerted action by the states of the region, the United Nations refugee agency warned Wednesday.
 
View the full report "Women on the Run" from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees by clicking here
 

The radical roots of Mother’s Day

May 5, 2016
Diana Butler Bass for Huffington Post
news photo
At first glance, Mother’s Day appears a quaint and conservative holiday, a sort of greeting card moment, honoring 1950s values, a historical throw back to old-fashioned notions of hearth and home.
 
Let’s correct that impression by saying: Happy Radical Mother’s Day.
 

U.S. peace activists refuse to pay taxes in protest of military spending

May 5, 2016
teleSUR
news photo
Another year of military operations, another year of resistance: thousands are expected to show conscientious objection by not paying federal income tax.
 
War tax resisters in the United States are preparing for another round of civil disobedience with the deadline to pay taxes coming this week.
 

Watch a dramatic reading of Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation against war

May 4, 2016
Democracy Now!
news photo

In 2009, "Democracy Now" featured an excerpt of Robert Greenwald’s short film Mother’s Day for Peace featuring a dramatic reading of Julia Ward Howe's, "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Alfre Woodard, Vanessa Williams, Ashraf Salimian, Fatma Saleh, Christine Lahti and Felicity Huffman. 

Watch the clip and read the transcript (with an intro from Gloria Steinem) by clicking here

Truthout: What Comes After Capitalism? Upcoming Teach-Ins Can Show a Way Forward

April 21, 2016
Gar Alperovitz and Ben Manski for Truthout.org
news photo

An extraordinary process of change is about to explode this month on campuses and in communities across the United States. Thousands of Americans are coming together in dozens of locations to take on the question of what kind of system should replace capitalism. The process is called the Next System Teach-Ins.

Join thousands in building our future

April 19, 2016
Liberty Tree
news photo

Building a future where people, the planet and peace are put before profit requires more than energy and activism - it requires education. Join thousands across the country later this month for the Next System Teach-Ins to study, debate and organize around the social, political and economic issues that determine what our future will look like. Teach-Ins aren’t only for students - they are a place where students, faculty, staff and community members come together in order to build tools for responding to matters of national and global importance. 

Madison students using restorative justice to build community, address school to prison pipeline

April 14, 2016
Ogechi Emechebe for The Capital Times
news photo
On a recent Friday morning at Madison's O’Keeffe Middle School, nine students gathered in a circle to reflect on their experience. Some shared their happiest memories during the three years while others described challenges they faced. They also shared what their goals for high school were and where they see themselves in ten years.
 
“I enjoyed the fun field trips we had, it brought everyone together and made us closer,” one student said.
 

Over 100,000 flood streets of France in pro-democracy “Up All Night” protests

April 14, 2016
Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams
news photo

A police crackdown will not deter France's burgeoning Nuit Debout (or 'Up All Night') movement that has swept across the country in recent weeks as the unifying call for change sparked protests in over 50 cities this weekend.

Southern California middle school students call for re-hiring of coach after he was fired for collecting and redistributing wasted fruit

April 14, 2016
Patrick Healy for NBC Los Angeles
news photo
Chanting and carrying flyers for a second day, students protested the firing of a coach at a Southern California middle school over alleged violations involving his collecting and re-distributing food service fruit.
 
Arnold Villalobos said he was gathering only unwanted fruit that otherwise would have ended up in the garbage at Center Middle School in Azusa.
 

Student led “National Day of Action” against racism and student debt named divestment from private prisons among list of demands

April 14, 2016
Mashaun D. Simon
news photo
Student leaders across the country are holding localized demonstrations specific to their campus as part of a "National Day of Action" today.
 
Organized by the Black Liberation Collective (BLC) in partnership with #MillionStudentMarch, a student movement created to respond to the education crisis in America, their mission is ending campus racism and student debt.
 

Thousands of workers join united strike effort, reflecting labor movement power

April 14, 2016
Jim Tankersley and Brian Fung for the Washington Post
news photo

Tens of thousands of Americans will decline to report to work Thursday because of labor disputes, a surge that coincides with a fledgling sense of empowerment among workers who struggled for years to reap the gains of the economic recovery and which could mark a political and economic shift in the balance between employers and their employees.

University presidents admit student activists are effective in forcing schools to address racial disparities in new study

April 14, 2016
Kenrya Rankin for COLORLINES
news photo

A new study from the American Council on Education says that student-led protests are having an impact on college and university campuses across the country.

Verizon strike is one of many massive actions powered by thousands of workers this decade

April 14, 2016
Aaron Pressman for Fortune
news photo

About 40,000 Verizon workers up and down the East Coast walked off the job on Wednesday after contract negotiations broke down. The nation’s second-largest telecommunications carrier by revenue wants to be able to transfer employees to another city for up to two months, outsource more work to non-union contractors and close down U.S.-based call centers that could be moved to Mexico or the Philippines.

“Democracy Spring” protests result in most mass arrests at the U.S. Capitol in over a decade

April 14, 2016
Ben Wofford for Rolling Stone
news photo
Chanting, "Money ain't speech, corporations aren't people!" and "We are the 99 percent!" around 425 protesters were arrested Monday in a mass sit-in on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and more have returned to face arrest Tuesday. The demonstration, called Democracy Spring, is advocating a set of reforms the organizers have dubbed the "democracy movement," demanding Congress amend campaign finance laws and restore the Voting Rights Act, among other actions.
 

Inspiring global action leads the way

April 12, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo
Sometimes the movement calls people to action in ways that threaten their very existence - they know that a lack of action, no matter how dangerous, leads to the acceptance of destruction in the very near future.
 

Berta Cáceres’ assassination, land rights and the growing criminalization of social justice leaders

April 11, 2016
Autumn Spanne
news photo

Since her mother’s murder a month ago, Bertha Isabel Zuniga Cáceres has scarcely had time to grieve. The 25-year-old student is adamant that her mother, Berta Cáceres Flores, will not become just one more Honduran environmental activist whose work was cut short by their assassination. 

Dozens of organizations rally for New York Governor Cuomo to use state authority to deny pipeline after lands have been seized through eminent domain

April 11, 2016
Stefanie Spear of ECOWATCH on BUZZFLASH at TRUTHOUT
news photo

Nearly 400 people from across the state of New York and beyond rallied in Albany today asking Gov. Cuomo to stand up to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and use the state’s authority under the Clean Water Act to deny the 401 water quality certificate for the Constitution Pipeline.

Group of kids sue Obama, federal agencies for supporting the destructive fossil fuel industry

April 11, 2016
Zoë Carpenter for The Nation
news photo

 On Wednesday, a group of kids and teenagers will face off in an Oregon courtroom against the US government and the fossil fuel industry. The young people, from states as far away as Florida, Arizona, New York, Hawaii, and Alaska, are suing President Obama and several federal agencies for inaction on climate change.

Hundreds of Californians protest and testify against dangerous crude oil trains

April 11, 2016
Cal Coast News
news photo

Opponents of Phillips 66’s proposed rail spur came from across California Thursday to protest the project as it appeared before the San Luis Obispo County Planing Commission. An estimated total of more than 500 people showed up to the first day of a two-day hearing on the planned rail spur.

Information about the secret financial dealings of some the world’s richest and most powerful people exposed in “The Panama Papers”

April 11, 2016
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
news photo

A giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records exposes a system that enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies.

Scientists warn earthquake risks are increasingly linked to corporate injection of wastewater from gas and oil extraction into the ground

April 11, 2016
Anna Kuchment for Scientific American
news photo

To Cathy Wallace, the earthquakes that have been rattling her tidy suburban home in Dallas feel like underground thunderstorms. First comes a distant roar, then a boom and a jolt. Her house shakes and the windows shudder. Framed prints on the walls clatter and tilt. A heavy glass vase tips over with a crash.

South African anti-mining group continues speaking out against plans for titanium mine, calling for solidarity after assassination of founder

April 11, 2016
CIVICUS - World Alliance for Citizen Participation
news photo

On 22 March 2016, Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe (pictured), chairperson of the, Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) was assassinated at his home by two assailants who shot him eight times in the head. ACC, a South African community organisation has been subjected to sustained harassment from local authorities and a mining company, for its campaign to oppose titanium mining on the ancestral land of local communities in the pristine Eastern Cape Province. Prior to the assassination, Rhadebe had contacted other members of the organisation warning them of a hit list that his name was on.

Villagers continue to peacefully protest plan for coal plant creation in their community after death caused by police violence in Bangladesh

April 11, 2016
John Vidal for The Guardian
news photo

Bangladeshi villagers staged further protests on Tuesday after police opened fire and killed at least four people demonstrating against the planned construction of two large Chinese-financed coal-fired power stations.

Where will the 2017 Democracy Convention take place?

April 5, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo

We are excited to report that the planning process for the third Democracy Convention is moving forward and a location has been chosen!  

Community democracy scores a win for the environment through the passing of Minneapolis’ plastic bag restrictions ordinance

April 2, 2016
Jim Hammerand for Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
news photo
The Minneapolis City Council on Friday approved an ordinance that will ban carry-out plastic bags for most retailers and add a 5 cent litter fee.
 
Starting June 1, 2017, customers of Minneapolis retailers will have to use paper bags instead of plastic bags. The ordinance excludes plastic bags used for dry cleaning, newspaper deliveries, and plastic bags for takeout food or that come in direct contact with food (like ones used for fresh produce).
 
New plastic bag rules for Minneapolis retailers take effect in 2017.

Corporate controlled “Itasca Project” circumvents democracy in Twin Cities decision-making

April 2, 2016
Charles P. Pierce for Esquire
news photo

Good intentions don't justify unaccountable power.

Call me paranoid, but I found The New York Times's tale of the gnomes of Minneapolis  just a little unnerving. It certainly makes me curious about the future of democratic government.

Great American Think Off 2016 explores how income inequality threatens democracy with essay contest and debate

April 2, 2016
Great American Think-Off New York Mills Cultural Center
news photo

With a national election right around the corner, this year the Great American Think-Off wants to know if people agree or disagree with this statement: “Income Inequality Threatens Democracy”.

Hundreds protest lack of prosecution for police officers involved in shooting death of Jamar Clark

April 2, 2016
Carimah Townes for Think Progress
news photo
After months of protest and tension in Minneapolis, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that he will not charge officers Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg for the killing of Jamar Clark, an unarmed man who died from a gunshot to the head. Freeman says Schwarze shot Clark within 61 seconds of his arrival at the scene of a domestic dispute. According to the county attorney, Clarke was resisting arrest and had his hand on Ringgenberg’s gun.
 

Twin Cities janitors reach agreement after negotiations following 24-hour strike in February addressing wages and workload

April 2, 2016
Andy Rathburn for Twin Cities Pioneer Press
news photo
Minneapolis-St. Paul janitors have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract following months of negotiations and a 24-hour strike last month.
 
The union representing about 4,000 janitors across the Twin Cities announced that an agreement on a new four-year contract was reached between janitors and their employers after a 12-hour bargaining session that ended early Monday morning.
 

People power - it’s what drives democracy

March 31, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo

People power - it’s what drives democracy. We stand in solidarity with all of the organizations and individuals proving that there is power in standing together and taking action in our communities.

Climate activists call for no new oil extraction in New Orleans Superdome protest

March 27, 2016
Rising Tide North America
news photo

Currently, hundreds of climate and social justice activists are occupying the Superdome in New Orleans in a mass protest calling to keep 43 million acres of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Climate activists challenge using eminent domain for fracking with “Pancakes Not Pipelines” protest

March 27, 2016
Lee Ziesche for AlterNet
news photo

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox (Gasland) and others from the activist group Beyond Extreme Energy were arrested today protesting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its role in continuing to permit fossil fuel projects that will greatly accelerate climate change.

GMO labeling victory in Senate may be short-lived, but sheds light on successful pushback against corporate interests

March 27, 2016
Zoe Lister-Jones for The Huffington Post
news photo

Last week, a bill to pre-empt states’ rights to label GMOs was overturned in the Senate. With over 90% of Americans in favor of labeling foods containing Genetically Modified ingredients, this outcome lends hope at a time in which many of us might feel the weight of corporate interest too often impacting legislation.

Grassroots activists successfully pressured corporate giant Kraft into dropping artificial dyes

March 27, 2016
Pulin Modi for The Huffington Post
news photo

Kraft Mac & Cheese hit the news earlier this month with a series of marketing videos announcing many of their most popular products were free from artificial dyes. Such a substantial recipe change may seem like a sudden pivot, but it’s old news to the 365,806 consumers who spent three years promoting a petition on Change.org targeting Kraft for the removal of all synthetic dyes in Mac & Cheese.

Preemption being used to block local democracy measures including minimum wage laws

March 27, 2016
The Huntington News
news photo

August, the Birmingham, Ala. local government took a significant step toward supporting low-wage workers in the city by raising minimum wage to more than $10 from the national floor of $7.25. The move constituted a strong victory for labor rights and community activists, who had spent months rallying support and talking to lawmakers in an effort to make Birmingham the first city in the South to raise its minimum wage. By August, the decision had garnered a broad base of support that included workers, activists, city officials and a large segment of residents.

Lack of polling places and long lines punctuate reports of voter suppression in Arizona

March 26, 2016
AJ Vicens for Mother Jones
news photo

Faith Decker, a 19-year-old sophomore at Arizona State University, got off work a little early Tuesday night so she could vote in her first-ever primary. She arrived at a church in southeast Phoenix just before 7 p.m. to find "the line wrapped completely around the corner, 300 to 400 people." After waiting in that line for more than three hours, she finally reached the check-in desk. She was told that she couldn't vote—not because the polls had closed three hours before, but because she was registered in a different county.

Montana community members stopped largest new coal mine in North America

March 26, 2016
Nick Engelfried for Waging Nonviolence
news photo

Montana communities won a victory against one of the world’s biggest coal companies earlier this month, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine – the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible.

Voter suppression not confined to Arizona - activists in Idaho, Utah and American Samoa working to increase voter participation

March 26, 2016
Alice Ollstein for Think Progress
news photo
Last night’s primary in Arizona delivered big wins and sizable delegate hauls to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While Bernie Sanders dominated the Democratic caucuses in Idaho and Utah, and Utah Republicans handed a win to Ted Cruz.
 
Republicans in the U.S. territory of American Samoa gave one delegate each to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
 
But with reports of three hour wait times, online glitches, and legal restrictions, the contests also highlighted serious voting rights problems in those states.

Teach-ins unite students, activists and visionaries from New York to Madison

March 25, 2016
Michelle Stearn for The Next System Project
news photo
The beginning of March brought a wave of connections and developments for students, community activists, economists, and visionaries of all kinds at the Next System Project Inaugural Teach-Ins.
 

What's trade policy got to do with climate policy?

March 17, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo

The global climate crisis. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). What's trade policy got to do with climate policy? It's got the whole world to do with it.

Climate change creating dramatic loss of glaciers

March 16, 2016
Dahr Jamail
news photo
Scientific reports about the increasing pace of melting ice -- in all its forms around the planet -- are being published on a nearly daily basis.
 
A study published in January revealed a dramatic increase in melt rates on Antarctica's most stable ice shelf, when it showed that melting rates were 25 times higher than expected.
 

How trade deals like the TPP undermine climate protections

March 16, 2016
Brian Bienkowski
news photo

A powerful legal tool designed to protect foreign investors could undermine commitments made in Paris last month to reign in climate warming emissions. 

Model legislation for local “TPP Free Zones”

March 16, 2016
The Alliance for Democracy
news photo

Global corporations are engaged in a series of elaborately planned moves to take away our democratic rights, and currently, nowhere is that more evident than in the promotion of multinational trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Document: 

Tips for getting a “TPP Free Zone” law adopted in your community

March 16, 2016
The Alliance for Democracy
news photo

The TPP threatens laws and regulation designed to protect public health, financial transparency, food safety, workers rights, the climate and the environment. It allows governments to be sued by corporations for lost profit as a result of these ordinances. Yet labor, environmental, health care, internet/free press, climate justice, green energy and democracy organizations were excluded from negotiations, and, under fast track, can't work with legislators to amend the text of the agreement.

Document: 

Why the Paris Climate Agreement is all talk and no action

March 16, 2016
Oscar Reyes
news photo

 The headlines from the Paris climate talks tell an inspiring story. Unfortunately, however, the main text of the agreement is long on rhetoric and short on action.

10 Days to Change Course: Earth Day to May Day!

February 26, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo

For the third consecutive year, the Global Climate Convergence is bringing together Earth Day and May Day events everywhere for a united movement for people, peace, and planet. 

 

Expanding the sense of the necessary and the possible

February 17, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo

“The major waves of teach-ins of the past 50 years have gone beyond the choir to inspire large numbers of people to expand their sense of the necessary and the possible.”

Audit reveals over 100 preemption, other actions to shut down local democracy in Wisconsin

February 11, 2016
Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau
legislation mosaic mural from WI capitol

According to this review by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state legislature in that state has enacted over 100 unfunded mandates and preemptions of local government authority since 2011.

Poisoned democracy

February 11, 2016
Liberty Tree Foundation
news photo

Detroit "People's Water Board" coalition fights against water privatization

February 8, 2016
Ashley Bohrer
news photo (Maya Rotem)

On July 3, dozens of Michigan activists convened in Detroit to begin a march to demand water justice in the state. The six-day march covered 70 miles as organizers walked from Detroit to Flint and continued by bus to the state capitol in Lansing, stopping in five other Michigan cities along the way.

Flint crisis shines light on Navajo water contamination and encourages movement against environmental racism in U.S.

February 8, 2016
Courtney Parker
news photo - Figure from EPA Pacific Southwest Region 9 Addressing Uranium Conta

Recent media coverage and spiraling public outrage over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has completely eclipsed the ongoing environmental justice struggles of the Navajo. Even worse, the media continues to frame the situation in Flint as some sort of isolated incident. It is not. Rather, it is symptomatic of a much wider and deeper problem of environmental racism in the United States.

Recently signed TPP undermines democracy in municipalities, finance, environment

February 8, 2016
Matt Stannard
news photo

I apologize for "de-democratizes" in the title. I wrestled with "un-democratizes," "hurts every good cause," and "cuts a swath down the sail of American democracy like Errol Flynn," and none of them seemed to work. I decided to go with a word that represents curtailment, undermining, moving away from. American political and economic life certainly isn't democratic enough, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership makes it all less so, because it undermines an entire category of democratic policymaking.

How the corporation captured the academy

November 25, 2015
Ben Manski

Note: This article was originally published in the Liberty Tree Journal in 2007

ILSR: The growing energy democracy movement has huge potential

September 25, 2015
John Farrell
news photo

The transformation taking place in the electricity system is enormous, but twofold. But most commentators – including the former FERC chair – miss half the opportunity when they fixate on the inevitable technological rather than the more fundamental economic transformation.

Pope speaks of "right of the environment" in address to Congress

September 25, 2015
Suzanne Goldenberg and Stephanie Kirchgaessner
news photo

The Pope demanded justice for the weak and affirmed the rights of the environment on Friday in a forceful speech to the United Nations that admonished against “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity”.

NYC Participatory Budgeting Wins $100K Prize

September 21, 2015
Jenn Stanley
news photo

Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation last week recognized New York’s participatory budgeting program with the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government. The nod comes with a $100,000 prize.

5 Steps to Turn Your Business Into a Worker-owned Co-op

September 9, 2015
Cat Johnson
news photo

Worker cooperatives are a great way to bring democracy into the workplace. For retiring business owners and entrepreneurs, converting to a worker-owned co-op can also strengthen business and generate a return on investment.

Alperovitz and Hanna: Socialism, American-Style

September 1, 2015
Gar Alperovitz and Thomas Hanna
news photo

The great 20th-century conservative economist Joseph Schumpeter thought the left had overlooked a major selling point in pressing the case for public — i.e., government — control over productive capital. “One of the most significant titles to superiority,” he suggested, was that public ownership produced profits, which means not having to depend on taxes to raise money.

Community activists in St. Louis win decade long fight to create civilian board to investigate police misconduct

May 6, 2015
Rebecca Rivas
news photo

St. Louis City Mayor Francis G. Slay signed the civilian oversight legislation into law today (Wednesday, May 6) in his office with Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), who fought for more than 10 years for the legislation. Slay vetoed Kennedy’s original legislation after it passed the Board of Aldermen in 2006, so Kennedy has waited almost a decade to shake the mayor’s hand at this bill-signing ceremony.

Community activists in St. Louis win decade long fight to create civilian board to investigate police misconduct

May 6, 2015
Rebecca Rivas
news photo

St. Louis City Mayor Francis G. Slay signed the civilian oversight legislation into law today (Wednesday, May 6) in his office with Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), who fought for more than 10 years for the legislation. Slay vetoed Kennedy’s original legislation after it passed the Board of Aldermen in 2006, so Kennedy has waited almost a decade to shake the mayor’s hand at this bill-signing ceremony.

Why media mega-mergers are bad news for Latinos and communities of color in general

May 4, 2015
Arturo Carmona and Joe Torres

Comcast's decision to pull the plug on its $45 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable is a huge victory for the Latino community and communities of color.

The cable giant announced the move on Friday after the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice informed the company that they were against the deal.

The merger would have combined the two largest cable providers in the country, giving Comcast unprecedented control over both pay-TV and high-speed Internet access markets. 

Maryland bill would restore voting rights to ex-felons

April 30, 2015
Ari Berman
news photo

Freddie Gray’s neighborhood in Baltimore had the highest incarceration rate of anywhere in the city. More than 450 adults from Sandtown-Winchester are in state prison, and one in four juveniles were arrested from 2005 to 2009.

Participatory budgeting empowers communities of color in New York

April 10, 2015
Sondra Youdelman
news photo

NEW YORK — Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and New York City Council Members kicked off the voting period for New York City’s 2014-2015 participatory budgeting cycle — now the largest such process in the nation. This year, 24 Council Districts will allocate nearly $30 million citywide for residents to collaboratively develop into local capital projects through a year-long process of neighborhood assemblies, delegate meetings, and project expositions.

Celebrate Earth Day with Cheri Honkala in Santa Barbara!

April 9, 2015
 
Join America’s leading anti-poverty activist in celebrating Earth Day, 2015:
 
 
with special guests, Hollywood film actors and supporters Mark Webber and Teresa Palmer.

The Democratic Turn of the Century: Learning from the U.S. Democracy Movement

March 18, 2015
Ben Manski

Originally published by the journal Socialism & Democracy. Contact the author for permission to reprint.

Democracy movements arose in most regions of the globe during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Students of social change have studied many of these movements, but, remarkably, have so far failed to look at that of the United States.

Glen Ford on what true black community control of the police would look like

February 13, 2015
Glen Ford
news photo

A key activist in the early Sixties grassroots movement to overthrow American apartheid recently asked if the current Black Lives Matter campaign will be able to sustain itself. In the near term, the answer is almost certainly, yes. The momentum of the mobilization will be propelled forward by the dogged determination of a new generation of activists, building on the skills and experience of previously vetted organizers and the quickening, soul-wrenching drumbeat of police murder and repression.

Why Washington should fear the silence of the anti-war movement

December 8, 2014
Ben Manski
news photo

On this 73rd anniversary of the last declaration of war by the United States, as the Pentagon escalates its military actions in Iraq and Syria, the silence of the U.S. peace movement carries an ominous warning for Washington, DC. The streets of major U.S. cities are not filled with anti-war demonstrations, yet the apparent quiet does not signify consent. A look at history shows why.

Locking Up Black Dissidents and Punishing the Poor: The Roots of Mass Incarceration in the US

December 6, 2014
Mumia Abu-Jamal and Johanna Fernandez

This volume is a leap into the abyss that is the American Gulag. Our purpose is to explore the origins of the current system of carceral punishment, which began to mass-incarcerate poor and working-class African Americans and Latinos living in urban centers beginning in the late 1970s. We link the new characteristics of imprisonment as it then emerged to the campaign of state repression unleashed against the civil rights and black power movements in the 1960s. Some of those imprisoned are veterans of these movements, and are political prisoners.

More Info: 

This essay appears in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Socialism and Democracy.  To read more click here.

Ben ManskI: Seattle WTO Uprising Still a Force in World Events, 15 Years Later

December 1, 2014
Ben Manski
news photo
We live in an era in which it is increasingly normal for individuals not only to reject the power of corporations over their lives, but for some to even occupy public space and defy police and established authorities. Ben Manski discusses how this era was inaugurated on November 30th, 1999 in the streets of Seattle.

UK students take to the streets to demand 'free education'

November 19, 2014
Common Dreams
news photo
Those are the calls being voiced in the streets of London on Wednesday as thousands of students marched for publicly-funded ("free") education nationwide. The protest was also billed as a direct challenge to austerity cuts to higher education imposed by the conservative government led by David Cameron.

Remembering the Christmas Truce of 1914

November 11, 2014
Veterans for Peace
news photo

December 2014 will mark the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914. During 2014 VFP National will plan activities to share with chapters to celebrate this memorable moment in history.

Christmas Truce of 1914

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

Why doesn't the US observe Armistice Day?

November 11, 2014
Rory Fanning
news photo

On Tuesday, the United States should be celebrating its 95th Armistice Day, pausing as a nation to think about the terrible costs of war – including the loss of so many lives. Unfortunately, we replaced it with a very different holiday.

IPS to host webinar on "U.S.-ISIS Crisis and Washington's New Wars" on 11/13/14

November 10, 2014
Institute for Policies Studies
news photo

Join Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism project, for an in-depth discussion on the crisis. We will discuss:

  • Why is the Obama administration going back to war in Iraq and Syria?
  • What is ISIS and why are they considered such a threat?
  • Is this U.S. war helping the Syrian regime?
  • Who – AND IN what country – is next?

Please join us for this important discussion – and invite your friends!

RYDER and HAYDEN: Importance of the War Powers Resolution

November 10, 2014
Paul Ryder and Tom Hayden

[Research by Paul Ryder]

The nation needs a full public debate and a Congressional vote on whether to authorize the current American military interventions in Iraq and Syria and, if so, under what conditions. The past is prologue:

April 4, 1956: President Dwight Eisenhower’s news conference --

Q: Sarah McClendon, El Paso Times: Sir, would you order those Marines that were sent over to the Mediterranean and over in that area, would you order them to war, without asking the Congress first?

Tom Hayden: Letter to Congress on Escalation in Iraq & Syria

November 10, 2014
Tom Hayden

Dear Members of Congress,

The New War has escalated since we sent this letter November 3, 2014. President Obama has dispatched another 1,500 US troops and requested $5 billion in new funding. The president also has requested a congressional authorization. It is time for Congress to act and widen the public debate.

One of the bitter lessons of Vietnam, learned again in Iraq, is that it is relatively easy for Congress to authorize a war, but far more difficult to end one. Instead, there comes quagmire, suffering, cost, regret and political fallout.

How emergency management in Michigan subverts democracy

November 2, 2014
Jake Blumgart - Next City
news photo

Originally published on July 3rd, 2013

If you haven’t been following the goings-on in Detroit, this should bring you up to speed: Its elected leadership has lost control of the city. In April a state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, signed an order effectively relegating city officials to the sidelines and placing himself in full control of Detroit’s policy apparatus. Nothing can be enacted without his approval.

The struggle for democracy in D.C. moves forward

November 2, 2014
Scott McLarty - Firedoglake
news photo

Originally published on September 16th, 2014

“The capital of the nation is the last plantation!” “Free D.C.!”

For decades, residents of “America’s last colony” have clamored for the same irrevocable rights as other citizens of the United States.

Chevron engaged in massive election spending to subvert local democracy in Santa Barbara

October 28, 2014
Colin Loustalot - Santa Barbara Independent
news photo

The majority of oil wells in the county today do not use the high-intensity techniques (fracking, acidizing, and steam injection) banned by Measure P.

So why are oil companies spending millions of dollars to defeat it?

Chevron engaged in massive election spending to subvert local democracy in Richmond, CA

October 21, 2014
Michael Winship - Moyers & Company
news photo

When the Citizens United decision came down in 2010, many feared the Supreme Court had unleashed vast and unfettered campaign contributions from corporations bent on tightening their hammerlock on government and politics.

Detroit's water crisis is a democracy crisis

October 21, 2014
Sarah Lazare - Common Dreams
news photo

Detroit's "unprecedented" shutoff of water utilities to city homes condemns residents to "lives without dignity," violates human rights on a large scale, and disproportionately impacts African-Americans, United Nations investigators declared Monday following a two-day inquiry.

Tribal activists plan community owned solar power plant

October 17, 2014
Mary Hansen - Yes! Magazine
news photo

A proposed community-owned solar project on an abandoned coal mine in Arizona illustrates how cooperative economics make it possible to stop extracting fossil fuels—without leaving workers behind.

Medea Benjamin: Corporate media responsible for selling ISIS war

October 10, 2014
Medea Benjamin

A war-weary American public that a year ago resoundingly rejected US military intervention in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime now is rallying behind the use of force to destroy the so-called Islamic State (Isis).

The New War, the Forever War, and a World Beyond War

October 3, 2014
World Beyond War
news photo

A statement on the current and enduring crisis, by the coordinating committee of WorldBeyondWar.org

SUMMARY

Week of action to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Nov. 8-14

October 3, 2014
Action Alert from PopularResistance.org
news photo

This fall, communities across the U.S. will once again join international allies in a global week of action against unjust trade. With Obama pushing to announce a TPP “framework” in November and the threat of Fast Track tripling in the lame-duck session, we need to demonstrate that hundreds of thousands still oppose corporate agreements meant to put profit before people and the planet.

Community organizing successfully ends militarized-policing convention's presence in Oakland

October 1, 2014
War Resisters League
news photo

On Friday, September 5th, hundreds of of protesters gathered in front of the Marriott in Downtown Oakland, CA, to stand against Urban Shield and declare two major victories: Urban Shield will no longer be held at the Marriott and it will no longer take place anywhere in Oakland. Reclaiming the streets in celebration of our power, we made it loud and clear that we do not welcome militarization and policing of our communities.

The Global Climate Strike: Why We Can't Wait

September 24, 2014
Ben Manski and Jill Stein

The following article written by Liberty Tree board members Ben Manski and Jill Stein describes an idea currently under consideration within the Global Climate Convergence process . . . (the GCC is a project of Liberty Tree).

Join Liberty Tree at the We are Woman Rally!

September 13, 2014

On Saturday, September 13th the We are Woman coalition will be
rallying on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to call for:

Community Democracy, and the Future of Broadband

September 3, 2014
David Morris
news photo

Map shows municipal and locally-controlled broadband networks nationwide. Communities invest in telecommunications networks for a variety of reasons - economic development, improving access to education and health care, price stabilization, etc. They range from massive networks offering a gig to hundreds of thousands in Tennessee to small towns connecting a few local businesses. (Image: Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

Center for Social Inclusion maps the movement for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Center for Social Inclusion
news photo

This map pinpoints communities across America that are innovating how to build their local economies while taking into their own hands the fight against climate change by developing community-scale renewable energy projects.

Denmark town achieves true Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Paul Kando
news photo

Ballen, Denmark, is one of 18 small villages on Samsø, an island of 4,000 residents. The new Energy Academy with its 11 new jobs is located here, doubling as a meeting house and visitor center for those who come here from the world over to learn how to become 100 percent energy-independent. The island has 21 huge wind turbines generating over 104 million kW h/year, enough to power 26,000 homes. Sixty percent of the island’s buildings are heated by 4 solar district heating systems, with straw-burning back-up boilers; the rest use electric heat pumps. Cars run on electricity.

Nigerian communities challenge corporate power in quest for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Boldwin Anugwara
news photo

That Nigeria is facing power supply challenge is an understatement. But the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, in this interview with CHARLES OKONJI, says the epileptic power supply has an exit date if only Nigeria embraces energy democracy. Excerpts:

You have been advocating energy democracy. Can you explain to us what you mean by energy democracy?

San Diego fights for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
John Farrell
news photo

San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego.  A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of renewable content.”

See how this southern California city is striving for more clean energy and more local control in this interview with Lane Sharman, co-founder and chair of the San Diego Energy District Foundation. This podcast was recorded via Skype on May 21, 2014.

UK's largest union calls for fracking ban and "democratic control of the energy industry"

July 24, 2014
Unite policy conference 2014
news photo

At UNITE’s 2014 policy conference, the following resolution was passed:

Composite C6 (Incorporating Motions D1, D3 & D4)

Standing in the names of:

North West/Merseyside AAC

North East, Yorkshire & Humber/300/22 Wm Morrison Distribution Stockton Branch

South West/001401 Bristol Finance & Legal Sector Branch

D. Environment

(i) Hydraulic Fracturing

Conference notes:

Gar Alperovitz on the cooperative economy's enormous potential

May 22, 2014
Orion Magazine

IN THE MID-1960s, when author, historian, and political economist Gar Alperovitz was working as legislative director for Senator Gaylord Nelson, change was in the air. Ink had dried on an early version of the Clean Air Act, the civil rights movement had won major victories, and the first Earth Day was in the works. The U.S. still faced plenty of serious challenges, but many Americans felt their country was capable of dealing with them successfully.

Participatory Budgeting in NYC: Governing at the Grassroots

May 21, 2014
Mike Menser and Ron Hayduk
news photo

Like much of the rest of the globe, New York City is beset by two crises: economic instability and the changing climate. Any hope of making our intensely unequal and unsustainable city more equitable and resilient requires fundamental changes in the relationship between the government and its people, and between the economy and its infrastructure. This requires more than a change of administrations; it requires a reconstruction of the governance process itself.

Public Banking & Economic Democracy

May 21, 2014
Gwendolyn Hallsmith
news photo
Private banks have not always been accepted institutions, fixtures of commerce, and purveyors of most of our economic transactions. Throughout US history, there have been robust public conversations about banks, largely due to their propensity to derail the economy when their business models fail. One example of this was in rural Vermont in 1806, when the state established their first public bank. Testimony on that bill, from Governor Tichenor lays out the problem:

Jackson, Miss. using worker-owned cooperatives to advance economic democracy

May 17, 2014
Gracie Davie
news photo

When Iya’Falola Omobola first crossed the Mississippi state border 10 years ago, she felt uneasy. A friend told her that she was “feeling the energy from all those bodies hanging in the trees.” Yet, Omobola’s feeling soon changed. Born into a family of civil rights and labor organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, Omobola came to see Jackson as the Phoenix that rises from the ashes.

Participatory Budgeting continues to grow in NYC

April 4, 2014
Jay Cassano
news photo

It would be tough to find something people like to complain about more than politicians. Now, thanks to New York City's Participatory Budgeting project, we get to do part of their job for them.

With the fast flow of information these days, the average citizen can easily be just as informed as any local politician or policy wonk. So why do we need politicians to spend our tax dollars for us? Especially when it comes local communities, people have a visceral and intuitive understanding of the changes they want to see.

NYT: Cooperative businesses benefit both worker-owners and their communities

March 25, 2014
Shaila Dewan
news photo

If you happen to be looking for your morning coffee near Golden Gate Park and the bright red storefront of the Arizmendi Bakery attracts your attention, congratulations. You have found what the readers of The San Francisco Bay Guardian, a local alt-weekly, deem the city’s best bakery. But it has another, less obvious, distinction.

TRUTHOUT: Building a more democratic banking system

March 17, 2014
Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
news photo

In Part I of this series, we examined breaking up the too-big-to-fail-or- jail banks, regulating them - especially

COMMON DREAMS: Is the 'sharing economy' a pathway to greater economic democracy?

January 22, 2014
Adam Parsons
news photo

In recent years, the concept and practice of sharing resources is fast becoming a mainstream phenomenon across North America, Western Europe and other world regions. The internet is awash with articles and websites that celebrate the vast potential of sharing human and physical assets, in everything from cars and bicycles to housing, workplaces, food, household items, and even time or expertise.

Al Jazeera: Oxfam says world's rich threaten democracy

January 21, 2014
Al Jazeera
news photo

The 85 richest people on planet "own the wealth of half the world's population", the charity said.

The world's elite have rigged laws in their own favour undermining democracy and creating a chasm of inequality across the globe, charity Oxfam said in advance of the annual get-together of the world's most powerful at Davos.

WATCH: Ben Manski, Leland Pan, Jolie Lizotte and more on the future of student organizing

November 7, 2013
Liberty Tree Foundation

Last August hundreds of people from across the country convened in Madison, WI for the  2nd Democracy Convention.  Made up of nine individual conferences, the Convention was an extraordinary space for individuals and organizations to network with and learn from one another in the service of building a larger, more dynamic democracy movement.

NAOMI KLEIN: How Science Is Telling Us All To Revolt

October 29, 2013
Naomi Klein
news photo

In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.

WATCH: New documentary about Move to Amend

October 22, 2013
Move to Amend
news photo

Move to Amend is thrilled that our brand new mini documentary about Move to Amend is FINISHED!

ELLEN BROWN: We need public banks more than ever

October 2, 2013
Ellen Brown
news photo

To ask whether public banks would interfere with free markets assumes that we have free markets, which we don’t. Banking is heavily subsidized and is monopolized by Wall Street, which has effectively “bought” Congress. Banks have been bailed out by the government, when in a free market they would have gone bankrupt.

AFP: Anti-corporate protests spread to U.S. capital

October 13, 2011
Robert MacPherson

Protests against corporate power in the United States took root in Washington on Thursday, with hundreds of people occupying Freedom Plaza in the city center to demand progressive reform.

The Stop the Machine rally -- midway between the Capitol and the White House -- echoed the demands of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York that Thursday drew more than 5,000 people as well as labor-union support.

"The poor are no longer patient," said one of the speakers, Ben Manski, a Green Party activist from Wisconsin, from a stage decorated with the "We the People" preamble of the US constitution.

VLAHOS: Return Our Weekend Warriors

May 3, 2010
Kelley B. Vlahos

If George W. Bush – notorious for skipping his Texas Air National Guard drills during the Vietnam War – were in the Guard today, he’d be up in the air without a propeller.

That’s because today’s National Guard has become virtually indistinguishable from the nation’s active-duty forces in the war zone. The majority of these so-called part-time soldiers have served combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, with many– if not most – deployed more than once.

As of April 24, 622 members of the Guard have been killed [.pdf] in the two-front war since 2001. Forget the whole bit about “weekend warriors” – reservists have become indispensable to the ongoing overseas operations since Bush himself launched the country into war nine years ago.

More Info: 

Original article here...

Liberty Tree hosting Gar Alperovitz in Santa Barbara, CA

Date: 
May 1, 2014 - 12:00pm - May 2, 2014 - 1:00pm

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Community Democracy: America Beyond Capitalism?

For more information visit: www.democracysb.org

CommonBound: Moving Together Toward a New Economy

Date: 
June 6, 2014 - 9:00am - June 8, 2014 - 5:00pm

Location

Northeastern University Boston, MA

This June 6-8, more than 500 movement leaders, activists, practitioners, and newcomers will come together in Boston for CommonBound, the New Economy Coalition’s largest and most significant convening yet.

A Scholar, Activist Gathering: From 1999 to 2016 and Beyond

Date: 
August 21, 2016 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Location

King County Labor Temple
2800 1st Street
Seattle, WA 98121
 
A Scholar, Activist Gathering: From 1999 to 2016 and Beyond
​​Featuring: Cindy Domingo, David Cobb, Heather Day, Rosalinda Guillen, together with​ ​Rose Brewer, Gregory Maney,​ ​Ben Manski, Charlotte Ryan,​ ​​and you.​​
​​Location: King County Labor Temple ~ 2800 1st Street, Seattle, WA​​

Sign the petition supporting striking Verizon workers

"We are on strike because we will do whatever it takes to create a better workplace for ourselves and those that follow.

From: 
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stand-with-striking-verizon-workers

Support “Restore the Vote” in Minnesota

Restore the Vote is once again before Minnesota state lawmakers.  Last year, the legislation was passed by the Senate before ultimately stalling in the House.  Restore the Vote will re-enfranchise approximately 47,000 people who are currently ineligible to vote, because of a felony conviction, even though they live and work in our communities.  Current policy, which this bill would change, unnecessarily and excessively discourages positive civic participation, perpetuates racial injustice, and adds cost and complications to voting.

From: 
Restore the Vote - Minnesota

Arizona’s recent primary election was a disaster, especially in ‪Maricopa County‬. TAKE ACTION - help restore democracy in Arizona!

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell has done it again.
 
As the top official in charge of making sure every eligible person can vote and that every vote is counted in Arizona’s most populous county, Helen Purcell created and presided over another disaster of an election. For the good of the country, and to ensure the integrity of upcoming elections, it’s time for her to resign. #AdiosHelen
 
From: 
presente.org

Join the SOAW spring days of action April 14 - April 18 to raise awareness about the harm caused by the drug war

As you probably already know, SOA Watch is heading to Nogales, Arizona/Sonora this October for our first Border Mobilization. We are very excited to be making preparations for this major mobilization to the U.S./Mexico border, but before that, we also want you to come build community and speak truth to power with us in Washington, DC for the Spring Days of Action from April 14-18.
 
From: 
SOAW.org
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