Jimmy Tobias at The Nation writes—These Cities Might Just Save the Country: Dispatches from the Urban Resistance, from Atlantic City to Miami Beach: On the second weekend of June, hundreds of activists, NGO workers, mayors, city councilmembers, academics and others from Spain and around the world flocked to Barcelona to discuss progressive resistance to the the rise of the right wing wherever it exists. Many American activists attended:
[…] Local organizing is fascism’s foe. That was one of the essential themes beaming out of Barcelona [last] month, where hundreds of urban organizers and elected officials met for a three-day summit called Fearless Cities. They came from Hong Kong and Rojava, from Valparaiso in Chile and Belo Horizonte in Brazil, from New York City and Jackson, Mississippi, and far beyond to teach and learn and build an international municipalist movement: a movement, that is, that harnesses civil society in cities to revitalize democracy and empower youth, immigrants, refugees, working people, and many, many more.
The conference was organized by Barcelona en Comú, the leftist political coalition that took power in the city in 2015. It included sessions on participatory budgeting, sanctuary and refuge cities, “deprivatization” of energy and water systems, the radical potential of public space, and the fight against gentrification, among other topics.
For those who attended, Fearless Cities was an introduction to the “global movement that is trying to find energy and power in municipalism and in local fights,” says Helen Gym, a Philadelphia City Council member and the vice chair of Local Progress who spoke at the summit. “It was so exciting to be with progressive municipal leaders from all around the world pushing back against state authoritarianism, fighting for the rights of immigrants and refugees, tackling racial justice issues and talking about the essential services like health care, education and transit.”
Gym was particularly energized, she says, by the way that progressive movements in places like Barcelona develop and elect political leaders from within their own ranks, rather than being co-opted by professional politicians. Barcelona en Comú’s horizontalist, from-the-ground-up organizing and electoral work, she argues, is something to aspire to in the United States.
“I found it very inspirational and very instructive,” adds Brad Lander, a New York City Council member and the Chair of Local Progress, who also presented at the summit. “It is a critical moment for cities to both resist the right-wing tide and make progress on our goals, and there are people doing that around the world, and we can learn things from each other.” […]
• What’s coming up on Sunday Kos …
- Instead of wearing safety pins in solidarity, try Safety Pin Box—a subscription kit for white allies, by Kelly Macias
- Will conservatives learn anything about deregulation from the London fire that killed dozens, by Ian Reifowitz
- When you control all three branches of government, you’re responsible for government, by David Akadjian
- Democrats: Use Trumpcare chaos to push single-payer Medicare for all, by Egberto Willies
- How to improve Obamacare: If Republicans were smart, they’d listen, by Sher Watts Spooner
- Oil shock and our energy future, by DarkSyde
- Unprecedented spite: The American carnage of the GOP health care bill, by Jon Perr
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964: what was done back then—and where we are now, by Denise Oliver Velez
- Free speech is only for conservatives, by Mark E Andersen
TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES
At Daily Kos on this date in 2003—So who is in charge of finding WMDs?
How can anyone claim Bush knows what he’s doing, when he doesn’t even know who’s in charge of finding WMDs in Iraq?
Meeting last month at a sweltering U.S. base outside Doha, Qatar, with his top Iraq commanders, President Bush skipped quickly past the niceties and went straight to his chief political obsession: Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Turning to his Baghdad proconsul, Paul Bremer, Bush asked, “Are you in charge of finding WMD?” Bremer said no, he was not. Bush then put the same question to his military commander, General Tommy Franks. But Franks said it wasn’t his job either. A little exasperated, Bush asked, So who is in charge of finding WMD? After aides conferred for a moment, someone volunteered the name of Stephen Cambone, a little-known deputy to Donald Rumsfeld, back in Washington. Pause. “Who?” Bush asked.
The rank incompetence within this administration’s Iraq team is breathless. And Bush’s ignorance as to the most important issue facing him — the finding of WMDs — is startling.
Good thing Mr. Cambone, lurking in the bowels of the Pentagon, is on the trail of those “missing” WMDs. With any luck he should trip over a germ lab or two in just a matter of days.