**Update: Podcast file fixed. Full show now available! Sorry for the inconvenience!**
A couple of examples of awesome activism this week should give you hope that good can triumph over evil. We talked about and with two of the participants on the show this morning.
First up, Sabrina Joy Stevens (@TeacherSabrina on twitter), whose YouTube video of her courageous David vs Goliath infiltration of an ALEC Education Task Force closed door meeting for state legislators and corporate lobbyists to craft public policy last Friday.
About the experience, Sabrina wrote
On November 30, 2012, I had the rare and deeply disturbing experience of witnessing part of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Education Task Force meeting: a closed-door policy-shaping session open only to the state legislators who help to pass them, the corporate lobbyists who pay big money to shape and sponsor them– and scrappy activists like me, who are no longer willing to cede our policy-making processes to unaccountable, undemocratic organizations who hide from the people their decisions ultimately affect. Here’s me speaking from my heart as a teacher driven from the classroom into activism by destructive policies like theirs
We need more activists like Sabrina, and more teachers like her in the classroom!
Yesterday, at the same Washington DC hotel, the wolf in sheep’s clothing known as the Fix the Debt campaign had a panel discussion, featuring speakers of the corporate CEO, Republican and Blue Dog variety including Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT), White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, former Office of Management and Budget Director Alice Rivlin, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, Honeywell International CEO David Cote… you get the idea.
As ThinkProgress reports:
Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) was one of a handful of Washington, D.C lawmakers and policy experts invited to participate in a panel discussion on the fiscal cliff on Tuesday morning, but his prepared remarks were temporarily derailed by about a dozen protestors who stood up, one at a time, to confront Portman over his support for the Republican plan to cut billions from social programs and entitlements that millions of low-income and middle class Americans rely on.
For five minutes, individuals scattered throughout the audience interrupted Portman to ask him not to cut programs like Medicare and Social Security or spending on teachers and other public employees. Several of them identified themselves as his constituents, to which Portman responded by promising them an audience following his remarks. The confrontations, though coordinated, harkened back to last spring, when Republicans returned home to their districts only to find themselves face to face with angry voters who voiced their displeasure at the Republicans’ budget plan of deep cuts and no increases in revenue.
Portman was invited to speak by a group calling itself “Fix The Debt,” a collection of corporate CEOs who are advocating cuts to entitlement programs while simultaneously pushing for more than $100 billion in tax breaks for themselves and their companies.
Things only got more tense once the protestors were escorted from the room. The cameraman captured Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow from the Heritage Foundation, shouting angrily at the crowd, and it appears that another individual tried to grab the camera before the footage cuts off.
Watch the video here
While all that was happening inside, a protest was going on outside. Beth Becker runs Progressive PST, working with progressives in Congress and candidates on social media. She was there yesterday, and called in this morning to talk with us about it.
We got some Fabulous Female Facts, as we do every Wednesday morning, from Amy Simon of She’s History, and Crooks & Liars‘ founder and publisher John Amato weighed in on the Bob Costas speaking out against gun violence nontroversy, Fox’s benching of Karl Rove and Dick Morris and more…