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I BELIEVE THAT WE ARE DRIVEN NOW, BY OUR PRESENT HISTORY, TO FORM A NEW PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT… INDEPENDENT, AS THE FARMERS’ ALLIANCE WAS, OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE CORPORATIONS, AND BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES. Even beyond that, since the multinational corporations that now girdle and govern the world cannot be subordinated to democracy by a movement in only one country, the Alliance has set, as its longest-term goals, a global people’s movement and international democracy. This revival of American Populism, designed to include also, of course, liberals, progressives, and people of many other descriptions, grew out of the 1,700 letters, faxes, and e mails I received in response to my article, “A Call to Citizens: Will Real Populists Please Stand Up,” in The Nation of August 14-21, 1995, and the Observer and other publications. Now hundreds of new-found colleagues and friends, serious, idealistic, and experienced activists from around the country, are building the Alliance for a long-run, nonviolent democratic rebellion to end corporate Alliances are also formed and meeting in California in the San Fernando Valley and at Santa Cruz, Orange County, Long Beach, Redding, Santa Barbara, San Jose, San Francisco, and East Bay; in Boulder and Denver \(including Denver’s Metro State College, the and Manhattan; in Massachusetts at Amherst, Beikshire County, chapters continue to formcoming next, for example, in Albany sity of Missouri at Columbia. Many of you have been with the Observer since Minnie Fisher Cunningham, Mark Adams, Bob Eckhardt, Frankie Randolph, Franklin Jones, Sr., Jimmy Strong, Dell Sackett, and a score of others launched the Observer in December, 1954. I believe that we are driven now, by our present history, to form a new people’s movement, modeled in many respects on what happened here late in the last century, and independent, as the Farmers’ Alliance was, of the government, the corporations, and both the Democratic and Republican parties. I hope the formidable Observer community will be strongly represented at the Mo Ranch in November, as it has been in the newly-formed Alliances around the state. Neither presidential voting nor party politics is a reason not to come. Although I personally am supporting Ralph Nader this year, plenty of Alliance people are voting for Clintonthis is a movement, not a political party, and the Alliance has not endorsed any candidate. Although I knew I was speaking for many when I wrote the Call last summer, I felt fairly alone doing it, and nothing could make me happier now than rejoining my lifelong Observer friends, side by side, in this new adventure for the twenty-first century. We also seek to reach out to every other kindred organization, prominently including unions and religious groups, in this nation and beyond, promoting coalitions in action until, by acting together, we all become the new, broad, and powerful people’s movement. Consanguine organizations are urged to send representatives to the convention and to join with us in this common work. The Alliance is open to all. We reject exclusionary, racist, or xenophobic strains that work their way into Populism, and we welcome all who want to stand up for popular self-determination. While we intend to end corporate control of our public and private lives, we are not “anti-business”we actively support locallyowned small businesses, family farms, democratically-run co-ops, worker-owned businesses, community-owned businesses, skills banks, local currencies, community banks, credit unions, Grameen banks that make “micro-loans,” and many other alternative forms of economic endeavor, and we accept such larger enterprises as can be made to serve the common good and be denied any role in our democratic political life. We in the Alliance believe that there is no more important challenge than this new work, so similar to that undertaken by the Populists and the Knights of Labor in the last century. All the other changes we need and want, we cannot have, unless we the people take our power back. If we keep on fighting one issue at a time, or at a time, the corporations have us. Ronnie Dugger is the founding editor and publisher of the Observer. To go to the convention in the Hill Country, join the new one; or, for more information, you can reach the Alliance at . “Block,” from page 7 outside their doors. We sign up everyone but one young mother she has two children, but looks like she ought to be in high school. In a voice surprisingly upbeata curious mixture of embarrassment and hopeshe tells us she’s already been convicted of a felony. By noon, it’s time to head back to the Teamsters’ Hall and turn in our list. Our haul this morning: a handful of voter registration cards, a list of addresses for yard signs, and a couple of people who we might now recognize if we run into them at the grocery store or a PTA meeting. It’s a slow, methodical, one-person-at-a-time approachthe $1,000-a-day political consultants would dismiss it as an exercise in political naivet. But if a French king once thought Paris worth a Mass, surely a neighborhood like this one is worth a little shoe leather. Houston freelance writer Paul Jennings is a member of the Greater Heights Area Democratic Club. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17 OCTOBER 25, 1996