In an article written to illustrate the ridiculously rapid and uncontrollable rising rental rates in Mountain View, CA, a writer humorously laments the fact that six-figure techies are now priced out, as are gentrifiers, who are now finding it too expensive to live in the very place they helped make unaffordable. Meanwhile, across the Bay, a substitute teacher that I call friend stumbles dizzily into my garage. He just got off work. His reward: watching a 24-year-old kid die of gunshot wounds. This is his second experience with this, and the hardest thing for him to deal with is that no one came to help the boy. Everyone just watched him die.
Across the land, the flames that engulfed Baltimore’s embattled Black workers have settled. Parents, backwards and the miseducated, turned their son into the police for smashing a police car. He is now looking at life in prison. Only days before, a mother is made a 15-minute superstar for treating her son like the state would. The beating given is for his decision to take a stand in opposition to the state’s blatant disregard for human life.
Everything is upside down. The Black female mayor and Attorney General (interestingly named Lynch) swear justice upon these “thugs.” Hillary Clinton begins positioning her campaign on the issue demanding the police accountability that she could and would never implement as prospective commander-in-chief. Nevertheless, the 80 percent of Americans who live on the edge of poverty and tragedy every day have no choice but to believe her. Or do they?
The 2015 United States Social Forum (USSF) is taking place in two places, Philadelphia, PA and San Jose, CA. Cities like Jackson, MS, and Florence, SC, are preparing their own People’s Movement Assemblies. In the backdrop of this motion, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ominously descends upon the scene, altering the fabric of an already deeply eroded ‘democracy’. The soldiers of Detroit continue to struggle for the simple, historically and internationally established human right to water. California looks like it could be next.
This is the rise of fascism, the rule of the corporation, the domination of the human by the inhumane. Life means less every day, and the full-scale effort to create automatons that cannot see flesh and blood is in full effect. On June 24-28, warriors will fight differently, with vision and for vision under the unifying credo, “Another world is possible, another system is necessary.” This Forum, unlike the previous two, is different in that it is both grossly underfunded and overwhelmed with the impact of the rapid reorganization of society in the interest of the 1 percent.
But these warriors do not cease. True transformation of society does not close its doors when capitalism tells it to. In fact, it is at these most difficult times that they are flung wide open.
~ Shamako Noble serves as Secretary of Culture at the Green Shadow Cabinet