Convention 2002 Information
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"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." Benito Mussolini

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

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 chart 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" exposé 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 National 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 [put in url to the Civil war sites] available the day before and the day after our meetings, led by especially competent historian-guides.

INVITED SPEAKERS

John Bonifaz,* National Voting Rights Institute
Ronnie Dugger,* The Alliance for Democracy
"Granny D" Haddock, Campaign Reform Activist
Marjorie Kelly;* The Divine Right of Capital
Representative Barbara Lee
Laura Murphy Lee, ACLU
Manning Marable, Black Radical Congress
Michael Moore, Stupid White Men
Mike Morrill,* PA Consumer Action Network
Greg Palast,* The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
Alice Slater,* Global Resource Action Cntr for the Environment.
* Confirmed

SCHEDULE

* Preliminary and Subject to Change
Friday, June 7
Noon - 5pm Registration
3:00pm National Council Meeting - Open to All
6:00pm Opening Dinner
7:30pm Opening Keynote: Marjorie Kelly , Mike Morrill,
Ronnie Dugger
9:30pm Book Signing Reception

Sat. , June 8 - Another World is Possible: The Work of the People 7:30am Breakfast with Round Tables
9:00am Alliance Business Meeting: Introduction of
Nick Biddle; Chair Report; Campaign Reports;
Resolutions; Nominations
12:30pm Lunch and Regional Caucuses
2:00pm Workshops and Campaigns
4:00pm Workshops and Campaigns
6:00pm Awards Dinner, with Music
Barbara Lee, Honoree
7:45pm Keynote Addresses:
Greg Palast, Michael Moore and Manning Marable
9:30pm Book Signing Reception

Sunday, June 9 - Linking Together in the Emergency
7:30am Breakfast with Round Tables
9:00am Plenary - The Civil Crisis:
John Bonifaz, Laura Murphy Lee
11:00am Workshops
12:30pm Lunch with Round Tables
2:00pm Plenary - The Military Crisis:
Alice Slater, TBA
4:00pm Workshops
6:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Social Event: Entertainment

Monday, June 10
7:30am Breakfast with Round Tables
9am Report Backs from Workshops & Chapters
11:00am Plenary: Where Do We Go From Here?
Salute to Doris "Granny D" Haddock
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm National Council Meeting - Open to All

FOOD AND LODGING

Rooms are dormitory style with shared baths. Air conditioning and linens provided. Use of the college's pool and sports facilities included. Room rates are for Fri-Sun nights. If you plan to arrive early or stay late, contact Lou Hammann at (717)334-4488 or lhammann@gettysburg.edu about available lodging.

ROUND TABLES

Participants are encouraged to organize round-table discussion on topics that interest them. The Round Tables will be held at all breakfasts and Sunday lunch. So plan a round table or plan to join one.

TRAVEL

Shuttle services will be available from the Harrisburg, PA , BWI, and Dulles Airports at a reasonable rate. Travelers to DC National Airport will need to take the DC Metro (subway) to shuttle services. Information about ground transportation will be sent upon receipt of your reservation.

NOMINATIONS

Nominations for the Alliance male and female co-chairs, vice co-chairs, secretary, treasurer, up to 5 at-large representatives, and two ombudsmen may be submitted to the Nominating Committee. Deadline: Postmark by May 1. Please send the name, contact information, and qualifications of your nominee to the Committee c/o Warren Felt, 16809 Marilla St., Northbridge, CA 91343 or by email at dwarf@earthlink.net. Please have permission of nominee before submitting a name.

RESOLUTIONS

Resolutions for presentation to the convention must be submitted by June 1 to the Resolution Committee c/o Will Forthman, william.forthman@csun.edu. Emails are preferred but resolutions may be mailed to 10432 Amigo Ave, Northbridge, CA 91326. For instructions on the form and length of resolutions, see the current issue of Alliance Alerts or call Will at (818) 360-3201

SILENT AUCTION is back!

Plan to bring something special: a basket of goodies or items special to your state; wine; crafts; unique jewelry; a weekend getaway; something you made; anything. Plan to make bids and take home treasures. Contact Sue Wheaton for info , or phone (301)270-9038 evenings + weekends.

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