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The Way Forward (ACLU MA Conference 2009)

Closing Remarks given by State Representative Byron Rushing

What is a state representative? I understand freedom, but not anarchists. Just pretend to come out and do lobbying work. I'm trying to file bills electronically but not working just right. Ask your representatives to cosponsor these bills as the deadline has been extended. Go to wheredoivotema.com will find out your elected officials.

We are in an incredible experiment. When the constitution was written, most of the people in the world, were slaves, serfs, or controlled. Radical statement at that time. Committee around John Adams, speaking opportunity, to enter into agreement for democracy in this state without wars. Even after gaining control, couldn't imagine it would apply to all. Needed bill of rights before they would ratify the constitution. Most adults could not vote for George Washington, elected by tiny minority. Great words and sorted action. People had to organize to get into democratic structure of this new government. Words belonged to the people that heard them, not those that wrote them or said them. Doesn't matter that slaves or women were excluded if they could hear those words and understand that the words were for them.

We are engaged in a process of making real the radical ideals of liberty, freedom, and democracy. Need to leave this conference and go do it! Power never concedes without a demand. Find what a people will submit to and you have found what will subdue them. Hear the words and understood we are in the we. Everyone is not in the we, but the goal is for everyone to be in the we. No one in MA legislature remembers pain of getting equal marriage rights passed but they congratulate themselves about it.

How many of our rights are being taken away? People surprised people want to take these rights away. Always had these people, this struggle is forever. Must stay organized. It is not permanent unless we keep it permanent. Always people that want to benefit from someone else's oppression. We are here to say no to anyones oppression.

He is reading about the Great Depression. Two things happened to black people: white people went crazy and lynched black people in the south and poor people were better in 1941 than in 1928. Better off due to 1910s and 1920s leftist ideology. People had ideas that could be presented at that time and an administration willing to be a traitor to his class. Put in place a stimulus program to improve the economy by investing in the poorest people. Safety net from 1930s is mostly what we have still in place today. Democracy doesn't naturally happen or get expanded in a depression.

Can't back away from our great ideas, must insist upon them. Organize and have fun!

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