Convention 2002 Information

"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, [put in url to the College grounds] 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.


Ronnie Dugger, The Alliance for Democracy
"Granny D" Haddock, Campaign Reform Activist
Marjorie Kelly; The Divine Right of Capital
Laura Murphy Lee, ACLU
Mike Morrill, PA Consumer Action Network
Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy



Friday, June 7

Noon - 5pm            Registration

3:00pm             National Council Meeting - Open to All

6:00pm            Opening Dinner

7:30pm             Opening Session:  Welcome, Mike Morrill; Opening Remarks,  Ronnie     Dugger:

                        Keynote Address, Marjorie Kelly

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

                        1) Starting and Maintaining Chapters

2) Single Payer Health Care: What Can We Learn from Canada? (Dr.Fegan)

                        3) Campaigning on GATS, Return of MIA and FTAA 

                        4) A Design for Changing Corporations  (M. Kelly)


4:00pm             Workshops and Campaigns

                        1) Enron: Big Corporation, Big Bank System

                        2) Lessons from Porto Alegre: Participatory Democracy

                        3) Researching Corporations: Strategies and Tools Part 1

                        4) Chapters in Action 

                        5) Statewide Organizing for Health Care Reform (Dr. Lazof)


6:00pm Awards Dinner, with Music


7:45pm            Keynote Addresses: Greg Palast,


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 Anderson, Laura Murphy


11:00am            Workshops

                        1) Populist Economics

                        2) Working Coalitions

                        3) Public Funding: Campaign Reform

                        4) Chapter Fundraising


12:30pm            Lunch with Round Tables


2:00pm Plenary - The Military Crisis:

                        Ruth Caplan


4:00pm             Workshops

                        1) Corporate Media and Media Activism

                        2) UN Commission on Corps

                        3) Researching Corporations: Strategies and Tactics Part 2

                        4) Fascism and America's Military


6:00pm Dinner

8:00pm Social Event: Music by Tom Neilson, Game show


Monday, June 10

7:30am             Breakfast with Round Tables

9:00am             Report Backs from Workshops & Chapters

11:00am             Plenary: Where Do We Go from Here?

                                     Salute to Granny D

12:30pm            Lunch

1:30pm New National Council Meeting - Open to All





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 about available lodging.


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.


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 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 . Please have permission of nominee before submitting a name.


Resolutions for presentation to the convention must be submitted by June 1 to the Resolution Committee c/o Will Forthman, . 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


Support the Alliance’s Fourth Annual

Whether you’re going to the Gettysburg convention or not, you can join the fun and support the Alliance by contributing your talent, special resources or desirable items to the silent auction, to be held at the convention.  Just put it in an envelope or send it to the address below, or bring it with you to the convention. 

Put your name, city/state, and a suggested price on it or, if it’s a service, a minimum bid for you to provide the service.

Examples of Items That Can Be Contributed



Talents, Services and Other Resources

A shocking political book

A scandalous book — any type of scandal

A first edition book

A signed book

A lovely wine or other spirit

Old jewelry

International and homemade crafts

Art work

Basket from Trader Joe’s* or other local store

Basket of goodies for which you state is known (state basket)

Good movies

Investigative/informative videos

Outrageous gifts (especially political)

Anything anyone might possibly buy

Lots of other things


Editing (specify number of pages)

Computer design for flyers, documents

Computer help of all sorts (for those nearby)

Sewing, mending — ship to and from anywhere

House cleaning (for those nearby)

A weekend in your beach, mountain or lake home

Bed and breakfast in a city home (specify # of nights)

Dinner at your home (for those nearby)

Jars of your very special cuisinary creations:

 jellies, jams, candies, dried fruits, herbs, etc.

Bulbs, roots, starter cuts from your favorite

perennials in your garden, packed in peat and shipped anywhere  (describe them and tell how wonderful they smell - send them to whoever buys them, not to Gettysburg)

* Trader Joe’s will contribute a bag-full of goods with a letter showing it’s for a non-profit organization.  Call the AfD office (781-894-1179) for a letter stating that the Alliance is a 501 (c)(3) tax-deductible organization and giving the IRS#.

Bring the goods or a description of the service you’re contributing to the silent auction room at the convention, or send them to silent auction captain Sue Wheaton, 7211 Spruce Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912.  For more information, call Sue at 301-270-9038 eves, weekends.  Don’t forget to put a minimum price on any service you are offering.  If you’re sending items, please do it in time for them to be received by June 3, so they can be taken to Gettysburg.


Thanks for your participation and support for the Alliance