Turning Point 2000: Take Back America!


Jan Slakov

Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 08:02:48 -0400
From: henry clark <•••@••.•••>
Subject: ALL2 TURNING POINT 2000 - Take Back America!

Date: Fri, 04 Sep 1998 08:00:40 -0400
From: Joe Seeman <•••@••.•••>
Subject: ALL2 TURNING POINT 2000 - Take Back America! 

Dear RN list,    Sept. 25

Henry Clark, a member of the US-based Alliance for Democracy, sent me the
following proposal (in the formative stage) for Mass Rallies in the year
2000, focused on the theme of standing up to the corporate power structure,
and a wide range of progressive issues. - Joe Seeman (phone 518-583-4326, PO
Box 2214, Malta, NY 12020-8214) is interested in hearing feedback on the

all the best, Jan

TURNING POINT 2000 - Take Back America!    

Return Democracy to the People!
Rallies in Chicago, New York, & San Francisco!
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes
me to tremble for the safety of my country...Corporations have been
enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money
power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the
prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and
the Republic is destroyed."
 --Abraham Lincoln (1864)

This document is an invitation to other organizations to consider joining
together in national rallies to reclaim our democracy and to end corporate 
domination of democracy.  Only an independent, broad-based coalition
of thousands of people and organizations can ensure the success of these
rallies and the emergence of a new peoples' movement.
The following is only a draft proposal, and its writers are open to
suggestions, changes, wordsmithing, etc.  The exact plans,  dates, themes,
logistics, etc., are all open for discussion and group decision by all who
join together as equal participants, with the understanding that to succeed
with this (or any) plan requires the participation and cooperation of many
people and their organizations.
OVERVIEW (Please see endnote 1.)
More and more people understand that giant corporations are increasingly
defining the shape and structure of contemporary life.  These behemoths
dominate our common institutions and imperil the very viability of our
species.  They are stripping away at an increasing rate our economic and
political rights and laying waste our resources.  Therefore, concerned
citizens across the county are joining together to call for a major
coalition to rally on behalf of the people in Chicago,  New York, and San
Francisco in the year 1999.  Planned events will include three simultaneous
large rallies with major speakers and performers to be followed the next day by 
marches through these cities' financial districts.
Not since the civil-rights and anti-war movements in the 1960's and the
nuclear freeze movement in the 1980's has a broad cross section of the
people come together for major, national rallies.  The time is ripe for such
rallies again.  Thousands of people and organizations are finding common 
ground in the themes of corporate control of government and society,
the increase of inequality and injustice at home and abroad, and the
renewal of self-government and the invention of new, democratic oversight
procedures with respect to giant, transnational corporations.
Major rallies are not by themselves a solution, but they will be an
important ingredient in precipitating  a new movement capable of challenging
transforming current arrangements of power.  People who care about giant
corporations' usurpation of  power from the people's constituted government
need occasions to come together publicly, to see and hear one another and
come to understand each other, and to create together the emerging national
people's movement through which we can  discover our solidarity.

All of us together can engage the struggle to reverse the general decline
of civil society; to overturn corporate-inspired consumerism; to challenge the
increasing disparities between the well-off and working people; to
undermine the new, global superclass who possess unprecedented extraordinary
wealth and power; to recommit ourselves to vanquish racism and to defend
women's and civil rights; to renew our efforts on behalf of the environment--to
conserve, protect and restore the ecosystems of all the planet; to end
"corporate personhood"; to reject corporate contributions as a form of free
speech; to assert democratic review of corporate charters; and to scrap all
existing international trade organizations and policies in favor of new ones
which embody universal human rights and the highest possible environmental

Current dates in 1999 under active consideration are: either the first or
second Sunday in June, followed by Monday marches; Labor Day, followed by a
Tuesday march; or a  march on Friday, October 29th (the 70th anniversary of
the Crash), followed by a big rally on Saturday.

(Organizing these demonstrations for the year 2000 also certainly is
possible although that year is both a presidential election year with its
attendant saturation of the mass media as well as a year likely to be
celebratory in spirit and perhaps less receptive to critical approaches and
attempts to define a new politics.)
The demands "Take Back America!" and "Return Democracy to the People!"
will be at the heart of the call to demonstrate. While CEOs of giant
corporations accumulate massive wealth and power, middle-, working-class,
and poor Americans are being left behind as never before in American
history.  Trade unions lose membership as corporations continue to shift
production and
jobs overseas. Entire communities are devastated overnight when giant
corporations close in their towns.  At home, environmentalists struggle to
hang on to the legislative victories of the past.  Meanwhile destructive
abroad increase faster than ever as giant corporations move to colonize every
country on the planet.  People of every color, and especially women,
children and youth, suffer grievously under the prevailing system.
Corporations and wealthy candidates have poured so much money into the
American political process that most citizens believe their vote (and
therefore representative democracy) is no longer is meaningful.  Not only
have giant corporations overrun Washington and the state capitols with
lobbyists, they have also taken over ownership and control of  the mass
media so that alternative points of view are rarely heard.  And the major
parties are unwilling or unable to resist the money with which these same giant
corporations literally determine the outcome of elections and write the
laws of the land.
Reforming campaign finance and lobbying; totally excluding corporate money
from all elections; recovering our public airwaves and using them to
educate ourselves and provide  equal time for and debate between all political
parties and independent candidates; terminating corporate control over our
health care and public education; dismantling media monopolies and
establishing a democratic mass media making giant agribusiness,
petrochemical, tobacco, and other corporate sectors accountable for decades
of criminal behavior and public-
health and environmental devastation; recovering the public's air waves,
the national lands and forests from corporate marauders; and rolling back
NAFTA, GATT, the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO, and the MAI -- all of these
causes and more, reflecting the goals of the participating organizations, will
constitute the programmatic muscle and bone of the national demonstrations.
In addition, we shall call for a federal law to charter and control
interstate corporations and to end "corporate personhood" with a constitutional
amendment invalidating certain Supreme Court decisions since 1886.

We shall also call on the people to increase their support of the
alternative economy, particularly in human-scale enterprises and
organizations such as small business, co-ops, and other forms of the
democratic alternative
economy, which also include food circles, community-supported agriculture, local
currencies, worker-owned unionized businesses, local currencies, organic
farms, co-housing communities, community development banks, trade unions,
and barter associations.


By organizing and holding these rallies we hope to:

1) Increase consciousness of and resistance to the domination of democracy
by giant corporations;

2)  Promote the growth and inter-cooperation of human-scale economic
ventures and democratically-controlled organizations.

        Three Regional Clearinghouses --
One for each region (Eastern, Central and Western), consisting of people,
organizations, and the media.  Volunteers to collect individual,
organizational, and media email addresses comprehensively.  Regular
announcements of the demonstrations calling for organizational endorsements
by return mail.  Endorsement list of the coalition to expand quickly as news
of the demonstrations spreads, particularly as it works it way through the
Internet.  Fundraising for the rallies to be conducted at every
organizational step.
        One National Steering Committee --
To have equal participation from the three regions of the country where the
demonstrations will be held.  (Southwest to be added if there is interest.)
Each regional third of the committee will act as the primary organizers for
the rallies in their regions but use the same artwork and written materials
wherever feasible.   The steering committee will join with the regions to
raise all necessary funds to cover demonstration costs, including permit
fees and insurance.  The Steering Committee shall invite speakers and inform
organizations and their networks and individuals of the rallies. The
committee will also prepare a statement committing the coalition and all of its
endeavors to nonviolence, as well as assure sufficient numbers of
peacekeepers and legal observers for each demonstration.
        National Advisory Committee (NAC) --
To draft the Turning Point ' 99 Declaration' and other documents for the
rallies.  The Advisory Committee will be encouraged to draw on Alliance
for Democracy position papers on corporate rule as well as the "Fairness
Agenda" (please see endnote 3) as a jumping off point for writing the
Turning Point Declaration but to give added stress to the anti-corporate
keynote it strikes in its opening sentence: "The growing control of our
economy and
political process by a small number of unaccountable global corporations .
. .[is] undermining our democracy."
1)  To stimulate individuals from all walks of life to participate in the
events and gain a sense of solidarity in being part of a new, national
peoples' movement;
2)  To develop one piece of the infrastructure of the new movement in the
 form of the regional clearinghouses of people, organizations and media;
3)  To identify a wide diversity of people to produce written documents,
art and music which give expression to the movement;
4)  To attract national and international media attention to the events as
a way of presenting to the American people and the world an alternative
vision for the next century;
5) To experiment in building the new movement by taking advantage of the
new organizing tools of email and the Internet, as well as to use the
traditional mass media.
A small organizing committee will contact major potential speakers and
coalition partners and invite their participation.  As early interest and
support grows, the committee will invite experienced organizers from the
various sectors of the activist community to join the steering committee.
(Once the Steering Committee is fully formed it may choose to alter this
draft plan, including the tentative date for the rallies.)
The steering committee will be invited to meet on regular telephone
conference calls hosted by the Alliance for Democracy.  The Alliance is
prepared to serve as one of the managing co-sponsors of the Steering
Committee for Turning Point '99.
A web site and announcement listserv for the demonstrations and the three
regional clearinghouses will be established as soon as possible.
A discussion listserv has already been established at
To subscribe, send the following message to •••@••.•••: subscribe
the-alliance2 <your email>  Please join the organizers in conversation,
planning and action!
Preliminary plans for the demonstrations will be drawn up by each region.
(Below is a draft preliminary sketch for the New York City / Eastern
If you are interested in assisting with this project in any way please
contact  Alliance for Democracy members who are the current organizing
committee coordinators:
Joe Seeman<•••@••.•••>518-583-4326 (POB 2214 Malta NY 12020)
Ben Sher  <•••@••.•••>  530-622-6598  (POB 476 Camino CA  95709)
Affiliation (if any):
Email (with location in paren):
Home Phone:

___I / We will plan on attending / participating in one of the rallies in
___I'd like to help organize the rally in __Chicago  __ NYC __ San
___I'll forward copies of this to 20 friends.

                   Draft Preliminary Sketch for New York City / Eastern
The main rally will be held in Central Park on a Sunday in June or
date.   Music groups and performers will help attract people to the event. 
addition to funds raised prior to the event, contributions from the crowd
be solicited to help cover the costs of permit fees, insurance, stage
construction, sound system, and clean-up.
The next day a major march is planned from Union Square to Battery Park. 
march will proceed down Broadway into the Financial District, passing the
Federal Reserve, the World Trade Center, and Wall Street while the
markets are open.  The march will be non-violent and no civil disobedience
will be organized by this steering committee.  (If other organizations or
individuals plan civil disobedience to coincide with the march, such plans
must be independent of the Turning Point coalition.)
Funds will be required to advertise the Central Park rally and the Monday
march in major northeastern newspapers.  Trade unions, faith-based and
groups will be urged to charter buses to bring in their members. 
committees on college campuses and universities will be set up, perhaps in
conjunction with the ongoing Democracy Teach-Ins.

1.  The idea for these national rallies to return democracy to the people 
and to end corporate rule began to take shape in a workgroup at the
Alliance for Democracy's 2nd annual convention in Atchison, Kansas, in
November, 1997, one of twelve national actions Alliance members have voted
undertake.  The Alliance for Democracy was founded in response to Ronnie
Dugger's August, 1995, article in The Nation:  "A Call to Citizens:  Real
Populists Please Stand Up." The mission of the Alliance for Democracy is
free all people from corporate domination of politics, economics, culture,
environment, and information; to establish true democracy; and to create a
just society with a sustainable, equitable economy." More information about
the Alliance for Democracy can be obtained online at
http://www.ea1.com/alliance/, by writing to PO Box 683, Lincoln, MA
or email to <•••@••.•••>, or calling 617-259-9395.

While Turning Point 99 originated within the Alliance for Democracy, only
independent, broad-based coalition of thousands of people and organizations
can ensure the success of these rallies and emerging new peoples' movement.
2.  The Fairness Agenda grew out of six months of dialogue among dozens of
progressive organizations and members of the Congressional Progressive
Caucus. The initial draft of the Agenda was prepared for a June 5, 1997,
Capitol Hill Progressive Challenge meeting that concluded five months of
Here is a summary of its key eight points:
1.  Enact a Fairness Budget for America
2.  Ensure Jobs, Living Wages, Benefits, and Worker Rights for All
3.  Fight for Equality for All
4.  Promote a Just and Sustainable Global Economy
5.  Promote a Foreign Policy which includes Demilitarization, Human Rights,
and a New Internationalism
6.  Fight for Sustainable Communities and Environmental Justice
7.  Provide Adequate Social Investment
8.  Get Private Money out of Politics
More information about the Fairness Agenda for America and the
Progressive Challenge can be obtained by email from •••@••.•••.
Revised Fifth Draft, 7/31/98