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Hi, my name is Jim Macdonald, and I have an odd assortment of interests. In no particular order, I love Yellowstone, I am an anti-authoritarian activist and organizer, and I have a background in philosophy, having taught at the college level. My blog has a lot more links to my writing and my other Web sites. In Jim's Eclectic World, I try to give a holistic view of my many interests. Often, all three passions show themselves interweaving in the very same blog. Anyhow, I think it's a little different. But, that's me. I'm not so much out there, but taken together, I'm a little unusual.

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    Monday, August 22, 2005

    www.septemberaction.org : Resource Clearinghouse for September Protests in Washington DC

    *SeptemberACTION Collective *
    www.septemberaction.org <http://www.septemberaction.org>
    Resource Clearinghouse for September Protests in Washington DC

    *PRESS ADVISORY *
    For Immediate Release: 22 August 2005

    *For More Information Contact:*
    press@septemberaction.org SeptemberAction Collective
    Morrigan Phillips 202.258.1822 phipco@riseup.net
    phipco@riseup.net Mobilization for Global Justice
    Thomas Good 347.524.5631 tmgood@socialistpartyusa.net
    tmgood@socialistpartyusa.net Socialist Party USA
    Tom Pieragastini 440.463.7046 liberation_t@riseup.net
    liberation_t@riseup.net Northeast Ohio Antiwar Coalition
    Cate Woods-Russo 317.363.9477 caterusso@sbcglobal.net
    caterusso@sbcglobal.net Indiana Peace & Justice Network

    *PROTEST FOCUS SHIFTS FROM CRAWFORD, TEXAS TO WASHINGTON D.C.
    Thousands to Descend on Washington DC for Global Justice and Antiwar
    Protests in September*

    /Washington DC/ – Building upon the momentum of Cindy Sheehan’s protests
    in Crawford, Texas and a growing unrest about the war and corporate
    profiteering in Iraq, thousands of anti-war, global justice, and other
    activists will flock to Washington, DC from September 23-26 to send a
    powerful and unambiguous message of resistance to the war-mongering Bush
    Administration and its corporate cronies holding annual meetings for the
    World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). These four days will
    comprise the largest demonstrations since last year's Republican
    National Convention protests in New York City.

    SeptemberACTION.org will serve as an information clearinghouse for all
    the weekend’s activities. To encourage participation and planning for
    various protest events, visitors to the website can give and receive
    information through an unique interactive website interface.

    "We want to invite people of all colors, cultures, faiths and political
    beliefs to Washington DC from September 23 - 26 to bring the will of
    people directly to those in power," said Jim MacDonald of the DC Antiwar
    Network (DAWN). "SeptemberAction.org will provide the tools and
    information people need to create opposition to the Bush
    Administration's lies and policies as well as the global loan sharking
    of the IMF/World Bank."

    SeptemberACTION.org will also help facilitate the organization of
    autonomous spokes-councils and consultas for the mobilization and invite
    a diverse range of groups and individuals to provide input,
    decision-making, and support for this effort.

    The SeptemberACTION.org website (www.septemberAction.org
    <http://www.septemberAction.org>) will also host ride and housing
    boards, internet tools for mobilization working groups, media outreach
    tools, and email lists that support the planning and implementation of
    the weekend’s activities.

    "The time has come to build unity and participation across this diverse
    peace and justice community," said Morrigan Phillips of the Mobilization
    for Global Justice. "We will help facilitate effective communication
    between groups and empower people from all walks of life to participate
    in these four days to their full conviction and ability."

    /The SeptemberACTION Collective is a group of peace and justice
    organizers from across the country working to empower people of all
    colors, cultures, ages, faiths, and political beliefs to bring the will
    of the people directly to those in power through a variety of
    non-violent actions during the September 23 - 26 mobilizations. For more
    information visit www.septemberaction.org
    <http://www.septemberaction.org>. Information updated daily. /

    ###

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    August 13 Regional Consulta report back

    I want to thank everyone who came out who made the regional consulta a success.  Notes will
    be posted to the discuss@septemberaction.org list (join by sending a blank email to
    discuss-subscribe@septemberaction.org) as well as to the website
    (http://www.septemberACTION.org ). This is merely a report back and my impressions of this
    process. I'm also writing this (for the rest of you receiving this) for those on the DC Anti-War
    Network discussion list for their benefit. Feel free, however, to share these comments with others.
    I plan on posting them to the commentary/analysis section of the septemberaction.org website.

    We had between comers and goers, when all was said and done, about 30 people at the regional
    consulta. Besides an expected contingent from DC, we had people attending from Baltimore,
    Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New York City, Salisbury, MD, and Albany, New York, numbering about 1/3
    of the people in the room and about 1/2 of the people when decisions were finally made (because
    it was local people who tended to come in and out, while the out-of-towners stuck it out for the
    entire 4 1/2 - 5 hours (if you count the last half hour of clean up).

    There was a good vibe in the room and plenty of food (thanks to all of you who brought or donated
    food). The meeting shifted facilitators and stack keepers. We had breaks to keep things fresh
    as well as a lengthy breakout period, which was extremely productive.

    I want to focus the rest of this on the topical breakout areas, what was discussed, and what
    decisions were made. This is all off the top of my head, and I'm going to reflect my own biases, so
    please wait for the notes and ask other people for a full (and perhaps more accurate) account.

    ACTIONS
    Most people from out of town focused primarily on actions and action scenarios. Much of the first
    part of the overall meeting was spent piecing together the existing actions and putting together a
    relative timeline of what's happening (refer to http://www.septemberaction.org ). The second part
    of the meeting was spent brainstorming scenarios and talking about issues related to different
    action plans, especially the issue of scale. Ultimately, though, the breakout group on action came
    up with recommendations that the entire group reached consensus on.

    The consulta recommended that affinity groups support all actions throughout the weekend but
    recommended that the group itself work collectively on several actions that groups felt needed to
    happen but which needed some support in bottomlining. Those actions included (working
    chronologically backwards more or less):
    1. Contingent upon getting help from some DC-based group(s), an action supporting the local NYC chapter of the War Resisters' League at the Pentagon on Monday morning, September 26.
    2. Some sort of direct action on Sunday, September 25, targeting the delegates to the World Bank/IMF meetings.
    3. Actions related to the homeless in DC, making their connections to the cost of war and militarism and economic justice, with an emphasis all week on looking out for their protection.
    4. A breakaway march at some point from the UFPJ (possibly jointly with ANSWER) march from it to the World Bank/IMF, focused again on the connection between war and militarism and economic and global justice issues.
    These are the recommendations of the consulta and a working group was appointed to work out
    the language of the recommendations to send out to affinity groups for consideration. Working
    groups and affinity groups will be encouraged to take collective action to make sure that AT
    LEAST these 4 things happen during the weekend in addition to all the other worthwhile events.

    LOGISTICS
    The consulta talked about the logistics capacity that currently exists, including the ride, housing,
    and resource boards on septemberaction.org as well as the efforts by some in MGJ to look into
    housing (and the lack of effort so far by groups with nominal commitment to housing...like DAWN).
    There was also no direction on legal since the local law collective hasn't talked about it, and we do
    not know what follow through on help UFPJ is going to give on their commitment to help
    autonomous direct action with legal support. The medic collective (DAMN) is getting ready for the
    mobilizations and reminds people of the need to come in on someone else's pre-existing permit
    for medical support. There was also no one currently working on communications.

    There was a lot of talk about convergence space. MGJ is willing to pursue St. Stephens as an
    option, though some would like that space to be closer to town.

    There was also talk about a separate media space (see MEDIA & OUTREACH section of this
    report back).

    Food was discussed, and the only recommendation was that there should be no attempt to try and
    feed everyone.

    The break out group on logistics is essentially going to stay together as a logistics working group.

    There was also some commitment to using septemberaction.org as an online logistics hub for the
    mobilization.

    MEDIA & OUTREACH
    Talk in the main group focused mostly on the idea of a separate media center apart from any
    convergence space. Locations talked about included Cafe Mawonaj (which isn't idea because it
    is too far from most of the action) and New York Presbyterian. Since only the DC Resistance
    Media Collective was represented, many felt there was need to call for a media spokescouncil
    related to the mobilization, inviting especially local alternative media (including DC Indymedia,
    DC Radio Co-op, and the DC Resistance Media Collective) as well as media spokes from
    different groups planning actions. The purpose of this media spokescouncil would be to plan
    media strategy and logistics as well as divy out various media tasks.

    Groups like septemberACTION and MGJ have been talking with reps from the DC Resistance
    Media Collective about having a joint press conference (or conferences) in the lead up to the
    mobilization. We hope that SOA Watch would also be interested and possibly one other group not
    currently the focus of most organizing. The rep from the DC Resistance Media Collective
    promised to bring that proposal and the idea of bottomlining a media spokescouncil to his
    collective for consideration (that was supposed to be on Sunday).

    On the issue of outreach, there wasn't a lot of talk. Besides electronic outreach, there was hope
    that someone would draft a calendar flyer much like the high quality flyer used for the
    counter-inaugural. Also, the group recommended a communal wheatpasting day featuring flyers
    from many groups. However, it was not clear what the followup would be on either outreach item.
    Affinity groups are encouraged to take up either or both outreach plans.

    CONCLUSION
    The next regional consulta called is for the Great Lakes region in Cleveland on August 27. (See
    http://cleveland.indymedia.org/calendar/event_display_detail.php?event_id=403 for details).

    The next DC area consulta is on August 22 (MLK library? 6:30 PM?)

    There is also hopes that an affinity group outside DC will host the next regional consulta for our
    area on the Saturday before Labor Day.

    A lot was accomplished, and by the end of the meeting there was a definite sense of what the
    mobilization might look like and what the next concrete steps will look like. It was also great
    seeing new faces and meeting up with old friends from past meetings and mobilizations. I also
    wanted to thank Nancy Shia, my colleague at the Washington Peace Center, for helping us get
    the space-and providing food, and for people at the Infoshop who helped us make sure it was
    clean.

    One final note on mutual assurances, I should add that UFPJ is working on the White House action
    for September 26, and I received a call from Steve Cleghorn talking about that action and what
    was decided. I don't want to go into details (those will be coming out) except to say that they've
    asked that there be no blocking of intersections in the streets near the White House. There was
    an action talked about by a Veterans for Peace rep that involved possibly that, though it sounded
    somewhat open. Otherwise, mutual assurances weren't talked about, though from what I gathered
    in the meeting that there's going to be every attempt to work actions in the context of the larger
    weekend and not at cross purposes with it. So, while there was talk about a breakaway march on
    Saturday, there was also talk about making sure that the larger march was supported. While there
    was talk of a Pentagon action on Monday morning, there was nothing talked about that would
    conflict with the UFPJ action or interfere with the wishes of those organizers. While there was talk
    of some direct action on Sunday, there was support for making sure that people knew about the
    anti-war fair, the nonviolence trainings (other trainings), and the evening's interfaith service. There
    was also conscious notation (not to mention representation from) groups planning actions on
    Friday.

    Again, these notes represent my own perspective and my own memory. They are in no way
    official or inclusive of everything that happened.

    Peace to you all,
    Jim

    Friday, August 12, 2005

    septemberACTION.org Up and Running! Come here for housing, rides, events calendars, and more!

    Come to http://www.septemberACTION.org for the most updated information and resources for the September 23-26 anti-war, global justice, anti-torture people-powered driven mobilization. Here you can find ride boards, housing boards, resource boards, events calendars, articles, links to legal and medical information, and more! The septemberACTION Collective is happy to announce that http://www.septemberACTION.org is up and running.

    Check it out but also help us out by posting information, articles, commentary, and anything that will help this mobilization whether in Washington, DC or in any other part of the globe.

    Groups like Mobilization for Global Justice, United for Peace and Justice, and ANSWER, among others, have called for anti-war and global justice actions that weekend. Many things are happening. Get plugged in!

    Read the septemberACTION Collective people-power Call to Action: Clean House! Call to Action: No More Business as Usual on September 23-26, 2005 at http://www.septemberaction.org/cs/call

    Find out who we are at http://www.septemberaction.org/cs/about

    Join our listserves.

    For announcements, send a blank email to announce-subscribe@septemberaction.org .

    For open discussion, send a blank email to discuss-subscribe@septemberaction.org