fresh voices from the front lines of change








Tim Wilkins

The People’s Forum: Presidential Candidates Fresh, Not Fried

“We are a force that our land and our people desperately need.” With these words, Barb Kalbach – registered nurse, fourth-generation family farmer and board chair of Iowa CCI Action – opened the Iowa People’s Presidential Forum in Des Moines this Saturday. She was joined by 2,500 grassroots Iowa activists – CCI is the state’s largest progressive group, with members in all 99 counties – and People’s Action members who traveled from across the Midwest to join them at the event. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and Mayor Pete Buttegieg all accepted People’s Action’s invitation to participate in the People’s Forum, the first of four public events this national network of grassroots groups will hold in early caucus states over the next six weeks. Next up is New Hampshire, where candidates will speak on the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham on October 13, hosted by Rights And Democracy and the New Hampshire Youth Movement. Candidates at the People’s Forum knew they were entering a “no-stump zone.” Their answers had to be fresh – not fried. Because real people – thousand in the room and tens of thousands more watching the livestream at home – were listening very closely.

Thunberg Addresses U.N On Climate

Greta Thunberg to U.N. climate summit: 'you have stolen my dreams'. Reuters: "Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg told world leaders at the opening of a United Nations conference on Monday that they had stolen her childhood with 'empty words.' 'You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,' Thunberg said at a U.N. climate change summit, admonishing adults for not doing enough to protect the environment.

Trump Turns Back On Climate Summit

Turning back on climate summit, Trump hosts 'religious freedom' session at UN. Common Dreams: "President Donald Trump on Monday affirmed his stance as a climate villain by leading a United Nations session on 'religious freedom' instead of a major event focused on the global climate crisis in the same building. Trump's session overlaps with the day-long U.N. Climate Action Summit. Trump's special session began at 11:30 am, shortly after Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg gave a powerful speech at the summit demanding world leaders take swift action to tackle the climate crisis. The president did, however, pop in to the climate event. "President Donald Trump was not scheduled to attend," ABC News reported, 'but showed up unexpectedly Monday morning.'"

Impeachment Furor Builds

Moderate Democrats weigh impeachment as Trump-Ukraine furor builds. Politico: "A growing number of freshman Democrats in swing districts are rethinking their stance against impeachment after President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukrainian officials for his own political gain — a shift that could put real pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to act after months of resistance. Democratic leaders now view a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday featuring Trump’s top intelligence official as crucial to determining consensus within the caucus, after leadership spent months successfully tamping down the push to oust the president, according to aides and lawmakers. 'There is overwhelming sentiment in our caucus and in our party that the situation with the president has grown intolerable,' said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee and vocal pro-impeachment advocate. 'That cuts across all political and geographic lines in the party right now. There’s just unity about it,' Raskin said. Joseph McGuire, the acting director of national intelligence, will appear before the panel after blocking Congress’ effort to learn more details of a whistleblower complaint that Trump allegedly urged the newly elected Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son."

Climate Protesters Halt D.C. Traffic

Climate protesters snarl traffic in Washington. NYT: "Climate activists had pledged to bring the nation’s capital to a standstill Monday morning. That did not quite happen, but the blockades of major intersections, street dances and a smattering of arrests continued the effort by protesters to raise the profile of climate change as a political issue. Monday’s protests followed Friday’s demonstrations by millions of young people around the world, who sought in marches and rallies to pressure policymakers to take action on climate change. The “Strike D.C.” protest is timed to coincide with the appearance at the United Nations of 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and other young people, who will urge world leaders to enact aggressive policies to curb the planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Such emissions, scientists say, are already raising sea levels, strengthening storms and increasing droughts and food shortages. The coalition of 14 environmental and social justice activist groups that took to the streets of Washington want to go further than the students who marched last week, some of whom will speak on Monday at the United Nations. The activists, who are demonstrating without permits, are disrupting rush-hour traffic near the White House, the Capitol, the National Mall and other choke points with the intention of creating gridlock and mayhem. Many said they expected to be arrested."

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