A Message to Alliance Members

Dear Alliance Member,

We're writing to invite you to the Alliance for Democracy's bi-annual national Convention this June 7 to 10 in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Its theme will be "The American Emergency: Democracy or Fascism?"

The most important element of the Convention is you-us-that we find the ways to come together at this critical moment in history. The nation and the world need us, now

As you know, the Alliance was formed to be a peoples' vehicle for changing the system, so that all our many separate causes can have a chance to succeed. We've focused on root causes - campaign reform and political bribery, corporate globalization, and the structure of the corporation itself. Our chapters have carried on their work locally, on these and others of their concerns.

While we continue to aim at the system itself-as you'll read below-we find ourselves today in a true crisis situation.

The US has entered into an undeclared war against numerous perceived enemies. The executive branch has virtually declared independence from Congress's oversight. Our most basic civil rights are being suspended, and the government is turning its suspicious gazes on peaceful, law-abiding citizens. Secrecy is everywhere, privacy is nowhere. Our military is grabbing for permanent world-supremacy by seeking to occupy and arm Space itself.

Can there ever have been a more crucial time for thoughtful, active citizens to come together to learn together, to teach, to organize, and to nonviolently resist?

From Friday dinner through Monday lunch we'll focus on what can be done-what we can do about the system itself, and what we can do about the current disintegration of our democracy into something very dangerous.

We'll hear from Alliance members and chapters about what they've been doing in their states and communities. We'll meet in plenary to plot our courses for the coming months and years. We'll meet in workshops to learn and plan with each other. We'll hear from groundbreaking speakers such as Greg Palast and Marjorie Kelly about the current crisis situation-what it means for us here in the U.S. and what it means for the world as a whole-and about how we can change the underlying system that's brought us to this point.

Award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast is a legend among his colleagues. He digs deep beneath the surface-often working with confidential insider documents-to reveal the true workings of the institutions that make up "the system." His columns published in England first
revealed how Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush removed thousands of Democrats from Florida voter rolls, and his "Lobbygate" expose of corruption in the Blair government resulted in Palast's being the first journalist to be personally berated by a prime minister on the floor of Parliament.

Marjorie Kelly's new book The Divine Right of Capital dives into the very heart of the corporation-into the legal dogma that the corporation's sole mandate is the maximization of shareholder wealth, which bars any competing consideration of workers, communities, or nature. She casts this arrangement as a holdover from the days of feudalism when-as now-all wealth flowed to the owners, and she invents bold, practical ways to redesign this archaic formulation.

In addition to these two keynote speakers, two panel conversations will focus on the breadth and the facts of the current emergency, featuring-as resources-experts on civil liberties and the Patriot Act, on voter rights initiatives, on the dramatically increased military and nuclear threats, and on the "deep politics" that run behind the headlines.

Alliance members will meet for the first time our new Executive Coordinator, Nick Biddle. Nick will be at the center of Alliance activities as we go forward.

The Convention will be held at the beautiful and very convenient Gettysburg College, surrounded by apple orchards, on the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains. Convention activities will be clustered in one area of the college so it'll be easy to get from place to place. And for those who'd like, we've arranged to have battlefield tours available the day before and the day after our meetings, led by especially competent historian-guides.

To make it possible for as many of us to meet for this critically-important work the Convention Committee has made every effort to make the Convention accessible and affordable. We've kept expenses down and set the Convention fee lower than ever before. Room and board at the college is unusually inexpensive.

So please mark you calendar and make plans to spend these three days together with your allies, in serious reflection, learning, and planning. History lies before us, ready to be influenced-or not--as never before. To borrow a phrase, "If not me, who? If not now, when?"

The fate of our Nation was once decided in Gettysburg. We hope to see you there this June, to help us again find our way.


A Special Note. The Alliance needs your financial support in any form or amount that you can provide. If for any reason you can't be with us in Gettysburg please consider making a contribution or becoming a Sustaining Member. Your part is important!

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