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20 March for Peace and Equality, which drew several hundred people who marched from Window on the Bay Park to Colton Hall.
The young woman who initiated the march had never before attended a demonstration. The principal organizer also was a woman with no previous organizing experience.
I organized a series of well-attended meetings at which I attempted to facilitate greater coordination, cooperation, collaboration and communication between the progressive groups.
Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that most of the leadership of the various groups had little or no interest in this endeavor.
However, Indivisible’s leaders were more interested in using the progressive movement to build the Democratic Party and they had the backing of Robert Reich and MSNBC to do it.
When I did ask a few questions about strategy and tactics, I was verbally bludgeoned into submission.
The roster of speakers included students, elected officials, civil rights and reproductive rights activists, and activists from organized labor and the African-American, Native American, Mexican American and gay and lesbian communities.
The steering committee, the list of endorsers and the panel of speakers were more inclusive and representative of the diversity of this community than any activist event I have attended in Monterey County.
In Monterey County, hundreds of new activists were channeled away from existing coalition building efforts into the strategic dead end of Indivisible.
These two factions have two things in common: (1) they have demonstrated a near total inability to address even minor internal conflicts in a responsible and constructive manner; and (2) they have demonstrated a near total inability to expand their base of support beyond a very narrow demographic of predominantly English-speaking and relatively affluent white people whose median age is well past that of the local population.
Whatever their intentions, the actions of these leading activists have a negative effect on local organizing.
A broader circle of activists who are connected in some way to MPJC either actively collude to hide the dysfunctional behavior or are complicit by their silence.
But it was the local activists affiliated with the Democratic Party who had the most destructive impact on local organizing efforts, through the faux grassroots movement Indivisible.
Over the next few months, there was a series of rallies and marches in our community, the largest of which was the Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. On the day before the Women’s March, about 300 people gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church for the People’s Rally for Unity and Equality.