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Cesar Chavez and the Common Sense of Nonviolence Jose-Antonio Orosco Orosco seeks to elevate Chavez as an original thinker. Chavez developed distinct ideas about nonviolent theory that are timely for dealing with today’s social and political issues, including racism, sexism, immigration, globalization, and political violence. University of New Mexico Press UNMPRESS.COM 800.249.7737 os-AntolicT Orc’scci Cesar-ChaVe7.-: ‘and , t h e COMIllOrl .7,ense. of Nonviolence Sulu Hain a InterOtional Headquarters Come Viit us .’for LUNCH! In addition to our organic coffee, pizzas, empanadas, pastries and pies, we nowt prepare made to order sandwiches, salads, and even black bean gazpacho. 3601 S. Congress off E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower check our site for monthly calendar more conventions and we can get the city to build us a stadium. It was grand! From tales I hear from around the state, my convention went pretty darned well, considering nobody had to go to the hospital and we only had one challenge filed. Come about 2:30 in the afternoon, when a nap sounded more productive than listening to another speech, I stood up and stretched. I looked around the full auditorium, and my eyes feasted on one of the prettiest sights I’d seen in a long while: no consultants. There, were, no paid, political , Consultants in the whole clanged room. NOt one I counted. , These were just real people, fighting for real causes. They were my neighbors,’ coming out from a long, hibernation, standing up, feistier than heck and ‘den:landing to be heard. You can’t buy that. Nor does it come from out of state, make a total mess, .then leave and expect you to clean up after it. In the era of anonymous bloggers and corporate-controlled media, I saw real live people, hollerin’ and yelpin’ and taking free speech out for a little exercise. They were representing their neighborhood, and they took it seriously, bless ’em. What I saw in that room were 750 ward healers: people willing to toil to carry the message in a personalized fashionand we now have their names, addresses, and phone numbers. We have an army, and we know how to find them. In the three conventions held in Fort Bend County, we now have a list of 2,000 people willing to spend a day making it happen for Democrats. In my mind, that’s better than that purple finger they showed from Iraq. It’s commitment. It’s excitement. Outside of no consultants and a goodsized army of people gnawing at the gate for November, the last best ,thing about the caucus system is that you can change your mind. If the candidate yCiu supported in March does something dumber than bean dip before August, you can change your vote. At any time in the process, you can say, “Hold up there, I might be wrone That is crazy wonderful. The caucus system proves one thing: Democrats want to do more than simply votethey want to organize, show up, be counted, strut their courage, and have their say. In an era where we don’t trust the validity of voting on machines that can’t even recount, a caucus can provide a true head count and restore faith in the system and in each other. Sure, it needs tweaking, and some of the rules are pretty silly, but we made history, and that should never be done in a quiet, organized, and polite way. Making history is messy. Here’s what I have to say to the whiners: Quit it Vo,really, quit it right now Quit being such sissies. Stand up and fight. li’s= .great: .practice for November. If yoU ‘wanted rules and nice, join the danged country club and leave the Dernocratic . ‘Party to those willing to tussle a little. twill freely admit that I left my caucus smelling of Eau d’ Bellyaching and carrying 40 pounds of grief, and, by gawd, I can’t wait to do it again. I’m guessing I’ll get that chance June 5 to June 7 in Austin. The state convention is your county convention times 50, except without enough chairs. The state party says about 5,000 delegates won’t get a place to sit down at the convention because the Austin Convention Center only has 12,000 chairs. They’ve asked for donations of loaned chairs, but personally, I think they don’t want them. Five thousand people playing musical chairs while 12,000 others point and giggle will be a sight to behold. Susan DuQuesnay Bankston lives in a Richmond empty nest with her husband Don and her dog, Truman. She plays at her nonblog, . 38 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 30, 2008