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13 Oct, 2019 08:39

On Contact: Rebel, Rebel with Kevin Zeese and Dr Margaret Flowers

Host Chris Hedges talks to activists Dr Margaret Flowers and attorney Kevin Zeese, who run Popular Resistance, about power and the effect of organized, sustained civil disobedience and forms of non-cooperation when it comes to issues of war, internal security and corporate domination.

YouTube channel: On Contact

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Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/rttv/sets/on-contact

CH: Welcome to On Contact.  Today, we discuss the mechanics of rebellion with Dr. Margaret Flowers and Attorney Kevin Zeese.

KZ: The root of all movements is education.  People have to understand what's going on.  A lot of what goes on in our political environments, we're lied to. 

CH: Yeah.

KZ: We're misled.  We still have Venezuela.  You know, American Airlines stopped flying to Venezuela because of civil unrest.  It was too dangerous for the pilot.  We went out and filmed the kids having ice cream and the families walking in the parks.  There was no--so we are lied to constantly.  And so a lot of our work is to get the truth out and that's what the NATO campaign's beginning off, is to show that NATO is actually a cause of war, not a preventer of war.  It's a cover for.  When the US can't get the Security Council UN to say yes, you can invade that country, we--the--it's approved by international law, then we have NATO to do it, so it's not just the US acting alone.

CH: All efforts to reform the American political system from within is capitulation.  No progressive in the Democratic Party is going to rise up, take control of the party, and save us.  There is one ruling party, the corporate party.  It may squabble over power and the spoils of power.  It may come wrapped in more tolerant stances regarding women, LGBT rights, and the dignity of people of color.  But on the fundamental issues of war, internal security, and corporate domination, there is no divergence.  We must carry out organized and sustained acts of civil disobedience, as well as forms of noncooperation to destroy corporate power.  The longer we pretend the dystopian world being orchestrated by the ruling elite is not imminent, the more unprepared and disempowered we will be.  Even if we cannot topple the corporate state, we can at least create self-sustaining enclaves where we can approximate freedom.  We can keep alive the burning embers of a world based on mutual aid rather than mutual exploitation.  And this, given what lies in front of us, will be a victory.  Joining me to discuss how to resist is Dr. Margaret Flowers and the Attorney, Kevin Zeese, who run Popular Resistance.

KZ: Thanks for having us on.

CH: Thank you for coming.  So let's talk about what you have both been involved in for a long time and I think is grounded in a correct reading of the structures of power, which even many people on the left don't get.  Margaret.

MF: Right.  So Popular Resistance, as you know, came out of our work organizing during the Occupy Movement and before because people are recognizing that the traditional tools have changed, the electoral system, lobbying people, organizing, A lot of this isn't working, that it really requires resistance and challenging power, and exposing, you know, the corruption of power if we really want to affect political change.  And so through Popular Resistance, we provide people regularly, daily, stories on how people are resisting in the United States and around the world so that people can learn, be aware that there is so much resistance going on, but also learn how people are doing it and get courage by seeing that they're doing it.  And, of course, we also run campaigns around issues that bring lots of people and lots of groups together.  Because there is a science to how social transformation occurs.  And a key part of that is having two key parts, an educated population that reaches consensus on the issues and a mobilized minority of that population that's taking acts of civil resistance to directly confront the power structure.

CH: And what--just tell me what are some of the activities or organizations that you highlight and focus on?

MF: Well, we look at really 15 key areas of struggle.  But I would say right now, we're very focused on militarism, imperialism, because their--you know, the US, we're in a really interesting time with kind of US's role in the world and our capabilities and our security strategy.  And so we really need a unified peace movement at this moment.  We're also involved in national improved Medicare for All, single-payer healthcare.  We work on climate issues, we work on new economy, on challenging rigged corporate trade agreements.  Those are some of our--and, of course, racial justice is another very critical part of the work that we do.

CH: Kevin, I want to ask about the left.  I was once at a protest outside of Bank America--Bank of America with you and Margaret.  But you are…

KZ: Yes, that was a--that was our test of Occupy, actually.  You may not know that was a test of Occupy.

CH: I wasn't.  Okay.

KZ: But that was a test of Occupy.

CH: And which--who had paid no taxes.

KZ: That's right.  That's right.

MF: Right.

CH: And people went and occupied the bank.  But I remember moveon.--a representative for moveon.org came and you told them, to quote you, to, "eff off."

KZ: I did not say that.  I…

CH: I think it was a…

KZ: That's a misquote.

CH: Is it?  I don't think so.

MF: Maybe a general idea.

KZ: Okay.

CH: But--I mean I think your critique of the faux left, and groups like moveon.org, who--and Margaret was, of course, a major organizer around single-payer which we--that whole movement was betrayed by the Obama administration and moveon.org.

MF: Absolutely.

CH: Which told the left to support Obama.  I want your critique of the failure of the self-identified left.

KZ: Well, MoveOn's a really good example because MoveOn basically came out of stopping the Clinton impeachment, the Clinton investigation.  It was moving on from Clinton being investigated for a sexual harassment of young staffers.  So they were, right away, allied as a partisan group with the Democratic Party.  And I think that is a fundamental flaw.  For--to really be a political activist seeking economic, racial, and environmental justice, as well as peace and an end to imperialism, you have to be independent to the two parties.  The two parties are funded by Wall Street.  They're funded by the weapons makers.  They represent the millionaires and the billionaires.  And if you're going to be an advocate for the kind of transformational change we need, you need to be independent of those.  Now too many we see the--you know, in the--in the Trump era, the resistance led by former Hillary Clinton staffers.

CH: Well, what's fascinating is that resistance has now made an alliance with people like Crystal.  I mean, you know, they've--but I think this exposes--I don't know if you'd agree, it exposes the bankruptcy of these organizations.

KZ: Yes, it does.  But I think it's more important to focus on the--there actually is a lot of positive, real transformational work being done.  And I think that, you know, we--when we were involved in Occupy, we actually looked at it very closely, you know, we have organized it, we would--lived it, and we reported on it, and…

CH: Well, didn't you go--you two slept out there.  I didn't go…

KZ: Oh, my God, for…

CH: I didn't go that far from…

KZ: For months.

CH: I went home to sleep.

KZ: For months.  But, you know, only one-tenth of one percent of the US public was involved in that.  And look how it shook the power structure.  One-tenth of one percent.  They had, you know, weekly conference calls with police chiefs around the country with the FBI and Homeland Security.  How do we deal with this?  And they finally did, you know, dismantle Occupy.

CH: Well, in a--let's just--you know, in a nationally-coordinated led by Barack Obama.

KZ: Yes.

MF: Yes.  Yeah.

KZ: And--but what's--of course what the good thing about movements is they move and they evolve.  And we're still seeing the repercussions of that takeoff moment for the economic injustice that we face in this country still today.  The Bernie Sanders campaign would not have been possible without Occupy.

CH: Yeah.

KZ: And he has moved his positions because of public pressure on issues like Palestine.  On issues like Yemen.  On the--on the military budget.

CH: Well, he's even tepidly critiqued the military…

KZ: Budget.

CH: Which he would--was not doing during the…

MF: Right.

KZ: Exactly.  His whole career.  I mean, you know, but…

CH: Yeah, yeah.  What do you mean?  He was talking about building a plane--what are they building in Vermont?

MF: The F-35.

CH: The F-35.

MF: That doesn't even work.

KZ: Yeah, yeah.

CH: Oh, right, that don't work.

KZ: That's right.  That's right.  But he--but he's moved, because there is a political movement that's pressuring on all these issues and all these forms of struggle.  And you saw a move on the race issue just in the last campaign.  You know, he started out with nothing about race.

CH: Well, he was utterly tone-deaf of it.

KZ: And--well, he's from a very white state.  And, you know, early in the campaign, some Black Lives Matters movements interrupted him in Seattle.  And--that will come up, and he actually started to change on that issue then.  So he is listening.  I think that is the role of movements.  I mean, I know a lot of people like to get involved in campaigns and they--that's where they put their energy.  I'm not sure that's the best place.  I think we affect the political structure more by having a strong organized independent movement that makes demands, that meet the necessities of the people, and the protection of the planet.  When you have that kind of movement happening, the--and build--develop, as Margaret says, the national consensus and have a mobilized small percentage that's actively pushing that consensus, then the power structure can't ignore us.

MF: But then that…

KZ: And that's what we're doing.

MF: Yeah.  I mean then you're actually taking power.

CH: That's right.

MF: And then the power structure has to respond if they actually want to stay in power.  They have to move that way.  I mean, Senator Sanders had to move in his position on Medicare for All as well.  Prior to that, he had a very weak position on it, supporting, you know, state.  The state's letting the states do it but we know how that plays out.  We know that's something…

KZ: We've seen Medicaid before.

MF: Exactly.  We see that some states are very backwards, you know, when it comes to Medicaid.  But this resistance that you talked about, you know, it's not a surprise to me that the Democrats are currently aligning themselves as the resistance movement because they've always tried to co-opt.

KZ: Yes.

MF: Everything that people are seeking transformation try to do.  And this is part of what we teach about in our Popular Resistance School, is how those who are in power try to appear like they're on your side.  They try to make it look like they're doing something.  And people fall for that.  And they are falling.

CH: Like Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal.

MF: Exactly.  Right.

CH: Right.  To support the fracking industry.

MF: Right.

CH: That's right.  That's right.

MF: Yeah, you know, or the Extinction Rebellion now.  We're starting to see cities that are saying, "Yes, we have a climate emergency."  But now we have to see do they actually--are they just using rhetoric and saying, "Yes, we recognize that."  Or they're actually going to get down and do something about it?

CH: But listen, I want to ask about tactics because we--you and I, we're actually arrested in front of the White House.

KZ: That was when Margaret and I first started dating that day.

CH: Is that right?  Was that…

KZ: I know.  You probably didn't know that.

CH: I didn't know.

MF: That was…

CH: Is that right?

MF: [INDISTINCT] first date.  Okay.  Now we're out.

KZ: What happened what you guys got arrested and we had money to pay our way out.  We decided not to pay our way.

CH: I think you had my--you had my license.

KZ: I was--I was your lawyer then.


CH: You were my--you were my lawyer.

KZ: I was the lawyer for you.

MF: Yeah.

KZ: And so we decided not to, you know, decided not to pay out to get, like, an extra money.

MF: We're like, hey [INDISTINCT]

KZ: Let's go out for dinner.  Much better than fighting the police.

CH: Oh, there you go.  All right.  Oh, that was a good day.

KZ: But you were--you were asking a question, I interrupted you.  You were asking a question.

CH: I want to talk about--because I know both of you have engaged in acts of civil disobedience and going to--talk about how vital a role non-cooperation civil--non-violent civil disobedience plays in building the kind of movements that we desperately need to build or if we want to look back to the '60s rebuild.

MF: It's essential.  You know, we know from the research that violent movements only succeed in various particular circumstances, none of which are currently in play here in the United States.

KZ: Like a civil war.

MF: Right.  In a--you need a mass movement if you want to and you need to have national consensus that people agree with you.  You need to have people who can participate, and you need to have at least 3.5% that are actively resisting the system, actively putting pressure on the system.  This is not signing a petition, this is actually birddogging, you know.

CH: What about a--what about a vitriolic message on Facebook?

KZ: Well, that--if that is able to…

MF: They're so effective.

KZ: No.  What they're effective at doing, if you can use it that way, is to organize people and get them active.  It's a step.  And everyone takes steps and you got to build it.  And I think we're only at the--even though there's a lot of resistance, we're at the scratching the surface stage.  We need a general strike in this country.

CH: Yeah.

MF: Right.

KZ: Where's the--you know, we're seeing strikes, but where are people unifying?

MF: The message works if it--if it draws people in.

KZ: Yeah, exactly.

MF: Everything that you do, you need to be thinking about, "Does this actually draw people to the movement?  Does it allow them to participate in the movement?  So recently we were protesting the NATO meeting in Washington DC celebrating their 70th anniversary.

KZ: Bipartisan applause in the [INDISTINCT] Capitol for that.

MF: Right.  I mean, Congress in January of this year took the House five days to introduce and pass a bill supporting NATO and preventing President Trump from being allowed to withdraw from NATO.  It was voted on all 208 Democrats who voted supported it, 26 of them refused to vote and, you know, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.  But my point is that there were a variety of people at that protest.  Some people who were able to risk arrest, some people who had never really protested that much before.  And so there were spaces for people.  There was the safe space on the sidewalk where people felt like they could hold signs and join in singing and things like that, and not worry.  But we wanted to actually impact the people who are coming into there, the NATO foreign ministers.  And so there was a group of us that was, you know, marching towards the doors, chanting, they tried to move us, we sat down, we refused to move.  You know, they ended up shutting down that whole entrance and shunting the NATO Foreign Ministers to difference entrances.  They knew that we were there and we had people making noise as well to disrupt.  So you have to really--you want to include people, but we can't be polite, you know?

KZ: And you have--you have to disrupt.  Disrupt people's lives.

CH: And we'll--let's come back to that.  Disruption.  When we come back, we'll continue our conversation about resistance with Dr. Margaret Flowers and the Attorney, Kevin Zeese.  Welcome back to On Contact.  We continue our conversation about resistance with Dr. Margaret Flowers and the Attorney, Kevin Zeese.  So we were talking about disruption before the break.

KZ: Yeah, I was say--what I was saying is that we--you can't be polite as Margaret says.  We have to disrupt the normal course of events.  But we have to do it in a way that draws people to the movement.  And so that NATO protest that Margaret described, that's part of a campaign.  There's so much lack of information about NATO.  People think it's the good guy that prevents wars.

CH: Right.  Well, let me just throw in there, NATO which expanded…

KZ: Exactly.

CH: …itself up to the borders of Russia all throughout Eastern Europe.  NATO, which provided the cover for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

KZ: Exactly.

MF: Libya, yeah.

KZ: It's come from 12 countries.

CH: And Libya.

MF: Uh-hmm.

KZ: Twelve countries to twenty-nine, soon to be a thirty or thirty-one.

MF: Now Latin America.

KZ: And now they're going into the Latin America.

MF: Yeah.

CH: Yeah.

KZ: What is NATO doing in Latin America?  With Colombia--and now, they're talking about Brazil, what's the coincidence there?

CH: Right.

KZ: They border Venezuela.  I wonder what the target is.

CH: Right.  Right.

KZ: But anyway, so the purpose of that protest was we didn't know--we knew couldn't stop the meeting, but we wanted to create a situation we could show people oppose this so we can explain why because this--the root of all movements is education.  People have to understand what's going on.  A lot of what goes on in our political environments, we're lied to.  We're misled.  We saw at Venezuela the--you know, we--American Airlines stopped flying to Venezuela because of civil unrest.  It was too dangerous for the pilot.  We went out and filmed the kids having ice cream and the families walking in the parks.  There was no--so we are lied to constantly.  And so a lot of our work is to get the truth out and that's what the NATO campaign is the beginning of, is to show that NATO is actually a cause of war, not a preventer of war.  It's a cover for--when US can't get the Security Council, you want them to say yes, you can invade that country, we--the--it's approved by international law, then we have NATO to bid, so it was not just US acting alone.  When the US Constitution says no, well, it's NATO doing it, it's not United States.  And so NATO's a cover for war and it needs to be abolished.  And so that's the beginning of that kind of campaign.  But disruption is key because people can live their normal lives without dealing with the reality of the poverty.  We have 41 people in United--million people in the United States who go to bed hungry every night.  Venezuela's population is 30, they have a--they have a crisis of, you know.  How about 41 million people going to bed hunger every night?  No one's--that's a disruption that is happening.

CH: Who, let me throw in, the corporate media have rendered invisible.

KZ: Exactly.

MF: Right.  Right.

KZ: So our job is--in this protest is to make it visible.  And we don't just do protest.  We've always thought there's a two-track path to change, stop the machine, protest, create a new world, develop alternatives to the current system.  And so you have to pursue on both those paths.  And so we'd not only highlight protests, we highlight new economy ideas, like cooperatives where workers own the business, where there's participatory budgeting, so people decide what's best for their communities.  How to spend money rather than have the corrupt representatives who are funded by the developers to decide where the money gets spent.  So it's developing alternatives to the current system.  And Medicare for All is a good example of both.  Improved Medicare for All is--this is--it's--here's an alternative we know works.  It's the most successful part of US healthcare, and yet we deny it to most of the population.

CH: And it's economically the most efficient.

KZ: And most efficient.

MF: Absolutely.  Yeah.

KZ: And so we--and we've done protests on that, too.  During the ACA, we…

CH: Oh, weren't you dragged out of the hearing, Baucus hearings?  Wasn't that you?

MF: We both were.

CH: Oh, both of you.

KZ: She gets credit.  The doctor gets credit for that, not the lawyer.

MF: There were eight of us, yeah.

KZ: There were eight of us.

MF: Yeah, back in 2009 when they--literally the Senate Finance Committee would not allow a health finance expert to testify.

CH: Well, no, they were bringing up the insurance.

KZ: I know.

MF: Oh, everybody at that table…

CH: What's the--what was her name, Fowler?

MF: Well, Liz Fowler…

KZ: Liz Fowler.

MF: …was hired by Max Baucus…

CH: To write it.

MF: …to basically write the legislation, but everybody that was at the table, it was Billy Townsend of pharma, it was the Business Roundtable, it was the CEO of Blue Cross, they had collectively paid more than $3,000,000 to the members of the committee.  And so it was an absolute to pay-to-play system, which you highlighted as you were being arrested and dragged out, and you're like, "What is this, Blagojevich, Senate Finance Committee?"

KZ: That was just the beginning because during that campaign, we had, how many people arrested, hundreds of people arrested on insurance companies.

MF: Oh, we had thousands that signed up to risk arrest.

KZ: Signed up to risk and so…

MF: And hundreds that were arrested.  Yeah.

KZ: And that was--that's kind of how the building the--even though it was the Obamacare that we were worried about there, it was really the Medicare for All movement.  And now it's--now it's 85% popularity among Democrats, only 5% opposed, 70% for the public, 52% of Republicans.  So, it's becoming a national consensus issue.

MF: It's moving.

KZ: But even that, Nancy Pelosi is not saying, "I don't know if Medicare can really achieve what ACA has accomplished."  I mean, give me a break.  Is she ignorant or is she trying to lie to us?

MF: No, this is just…

KZ: I think it's the latter.

MF: This is just how it works and that's why people have to understand the different stages of successful social movements to different tasks that are involved, the different roles that people need to play because if we understand that what she's saying is something that we expect and that we can, you know, work to counter that, then we have a chance of being successful.  And that's why we did the Popular Resistance School.

KZ: I want to emphasize the school because we--it's an eight-hour class, people can see it online.  Go to popularresistance.org.

MF: That's eight one-hour classes.

KZ: Eight one-hour classes at popularresistance.org, just hit "School" on top, and you can see this web-based class on how social transformation occurs.  It has a lot--a big--a big reading list as well so people can learn a lot.  But we see the 2020s as an opportune time for a transformational change.  And it can be very positive transformational change or a very negative transformational change.  It's our job as activist to work together and unify to create that positive change.  The school is an effort to have at--leader--leaders all over the country who know how movements work, because movements do work best when they're leader-ful.

CH: And movements have the capacity to transform others when you can attract--get people to participative.

KZ: Exactly.

MF: Uh-hmm.

CH: I asked Father Daniel Berrigan once, the great radical priest who has spent 23 months in a federal prison for burning draft records in Catonsville, Maryland if the kinds of the stuff I did where I went to jail for a few hours wasn't boutique activism, which let's be honest, it is.  And he laughed and then he said, "You know, it's by engaging in that act that you actually transform or change people."

KZ: That's right.

CH: It's the engagement.  Less--that emotional involvement becomes--it opens doors.

KZ: That's right.

MF: But when you and I were arrested together in 2010 in front of the White House protesting the Afghanistan War and we were with hundreds of veterans and over a hundred of us were arrested, you gave a very important speech that day before the action.  And…

KZ: Which was the birth of our name, of the organization.  Go ahead.

MF: Well, you talked about…

CH: Oh, I didn't know that.

MF: …building a culture of resistance.  And it was like being in church, literally, because…

CH: It was for me.

MF: Because there was not a sound.  When you spoke, all eyes were on you.  And then you went and modeled what you were telling people we needed to do.  And I think that was very powerful and it was certainly--I think--I know it inspired a lot of people to take action.

KZ: What's great about this is it's so unpredictable.  Like, you know, the--why is [INDISTINCT] because there are protesters outside the Pentagon and they reached to him, and that convinced him to do something.

MF: Right.

KZ: You know, so there are so many unpredictables with movements.  And so people taking action, you know…

MF: You feel powerless sometimes, like I'm--can I really do…

CH: But…

KZ: And you're showing people you have power.

CH: But you were there--I mean, the--an act, for instance, the one where we were at, is in fact, almost euphoric.

KZ: Yes.

CH: It is--it is the act of saying no to a radical evil that in and of itself is--it doesn't make any sense.  I mean--but it is empowering, it is--you know, it didn't stop the wars and yet it feels you were the kind of, you know, Reinhold Niebuhr called it sublime madness, but a kind of hope.  Not a hope necessarily in the concrete, but hope that there are others out there fighting for life and for justice, which keeps you going.  And I talk about, you know, all of that day but other days of resistance, so that is my church that I speak as a seminary graduate.  So, I'm sure it's heretical, but it is.

MF: Well, as a physician, I can tell you it's an antidote to despair.

CH: Yeah.

MF: When people are feeling like the system is too big and things are too bad, and they have no power, getting involved in activism, speaking truth to power, you know, taking action are all things that's--that builds you up and make you feel like you are actually--well, you are.  I mean, you're making a difference and you never know that small thing that could become, you know, the trigger to something much larger.

KZ: Well, people shouldn't be fooled.  I mean, it's a hard job to make change in this country.  And it's a--it's a process of building power.  I mean, I started working on marijuana legalization back in--when I got to law school back in 1980, in the Reagan era, you know, and Meese was Attorney General so it's Zeese versus Meese, I mean, when I was on--when I was on PBS.  And now we're making--at that point, it's 15% popularity polls, now we're 65%, 70% popularity polls.  Medicare for All, Trans-Pacific Partnership when we stopped that, that started out--no one knew that was being negotiated in secret by Obama.  Secret.  The biggest trade deal in history.

CH: And I'm sure, you know, you were both very elemental in terms of raising public awareness.

KZ: At the first task is--and we did it by combination of writing and speaking but also the actions we took.

MF: And training activists and all that, yeah.

KZ: We're designed to let people know, "Hey, this is really happening."  When I first read about the TPP, I thought--I said, "That's not really happening."  I started looking at it, I said, "Oh, my God."

MF: Yeah.  It was like, "That can't be real."

KZ: "That really is happening."  The--Obama is really trying to slip this by the…

CH: Correct.

KZ: By the biggest trade deal in the history by the country.  Give all this corporate power away.  But in the end, it got to be so unpopular, unknown to completely unpopular, national consensus, activists are working on it, that even Hillary Clinton had to oppose it, Trump had to oppose it.  Rob Portman, a former, you know, trade representative for George Bush had to oppose it, a Senator from Iowa.  Everyone had to oppose it.

CH: To, you know, now, unfortunately, in our endless political burlesque, we've already begun 2020 Presidential campaign unfortunately, to what extent, Margaret, does it worry you that our situation has been reduced to the personality of Trump?

MF: Well, I think it's a huge distraction to people to believe that and it always has been, and we talked about this during organizing Occupy movement as well, that there--that there's an intention to get people to focus on the individual so that you don't actually recognize that what's happening is a systemic problem and that it requires systemic change.  You know, getting Trump out of the White House is not going to end the wars, it's not gonna bring economic or racial justice, or solve the climate crisis, and it's--and it's…

CH: Or do anything to affect Goldman Sachs.

MF: Exactly.  So…

CH: Whose interest you can never vote against.

MF: Which is why we don't believe that it's a good use of people's time to get too engaged in these electoral campaigns because if we create that culture, it's gonna impact who runs and what they--what they run on.  Now that aside, I put my other hat on and I'm involved in the Green Party of the United States.

KZ: She is the Co-Chair of the National Green Party.

MF: And I do believe that providing an alternative for people to vote for actually puts pressure on the system because candidates can't take your vote for granted if you have other people to vote for.

CH: That's right.

MF: Especially people who represent your position and also third-party candidates can raise and talk about issues that the--that the constrained Democrats and Republicans aren't allowed to by their power, you know, their…

KZ: And put issues on the agenda.

MF: Yeah.  Exactly.

KZ: I mean, Ralph Nader was the first [INDISTINCT] single-payer…

CH: Yeah.  But you were?

KZ: Single…

CH: You were Ralph's Spokesperson?

KZ: Press Secretary.

CH: Press Secretary.

KZ: Ralph's put single-payer healthcare on the agenda.

CH: Of course.

MF: In 2000.

KZ: The Green New Deal, Howie Hawkins are in on it, Stein and Baraka are in on it, now it's a centerpiece issue.

CH: And Ralph organized the first Earth Day, which we'll [INDISTINCT]

KZ: The first Earth Day, that's right.  But that was…

MF: Yeah, yeah.

KZ: But politically, you can--even though you--the system is so corrupt and it's really a mirage democracy, you know, with great manipulation by fear and misinformation, you still can use the electoral system to advance issues, especially a Green Party that's representing the movement and the movement for economic and racial, environmental justice, and peace.  If we--a party represents a movement, it can influence the direction of the country, even without getting elected.  It's not winning.  It's putting forward the issues that matter.

MF: And forcing the conversation, like we did with the Trans-Pacific Partnership where every politician had to take a stance on it because they were pressured to do so.  And that's what we need to do going into 2020 is to focus on the issues.  We've got to get US imperialism on there.  We've, you know, the empire is failing, Alfred McCoy predicts by the end of the 20--you know, by 2030, it'll be gone.  We have to be prepared for how we're going to handle that.

CH: And [INDISTINCT] disruption.  Thank you.

MF: Right.

CH: That was Dr. Margaret Flowers and Attorney Kevin Zeese who run Popular Resistance.  Thanks, Margaret.

MF: Thank you.

KZ: Thank you.