"The most powerful force in America is the united voice of the American People."--Tom Steyer
The City of Brotherly Love loved back between July 11 and 13 as more than 3600 progressives convened at Philadelphia's Convention Center to map out a future free of tyrannical fascist trumpism and onward to the world we want, not just moving toward it by winning in 2020 but, well, "forever."
That world, as specified by Heidi Hess, director of Credo Action, a sponsor of the event, includes forcing the Democrats to lead, make "illegals" legal, reparations for African Americans and equal rights, a Green New Deal.
She said that her five-year-old son offered a path forward: making lots of noise in front of the White House so that Trump can't sleep and therefore won't be able to govern. Let's do it! Are we?
Next to take the stage was a Native American woman from the Lenape tribe who stared out at us in silence and sadness before she broke out into a beautiful chant. She then lamented white takeover of her tribe's sacred lands.
"Healing can't come without truth," she said, having pointed out that Canada has acknowledged its wrongdoing toward its own First Nations.
Hundreds of Indian [she used this term] nations have suffered in this country: 577 tribes on hundreds of reservations. Those people attempting to cross our borders into new and better lives are native Americans. [American will be America again when they are allowed in, all of them, to mingle with our population and enrich it.] Latin America contains 800 different Indigenous groups speaking a host of different languages. Quoting Congresswoman AOC (D-NY), she said that our maltreatment of Indigenous peoples is genocide pure and simple. We need no more promises.
Improvements have come. Today more indigenous people have high school degrees and are leading movements and taking government posts.
The Indigenous people need healing and truththat is the first step, she said.
"We are still here."
Speaking of oppression of African Americans, the Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams noted that their narrative coincides with that of Native Americans.
"Blacks are stolen people on stolen lands," she said to an enthusiastic response.
We are here to weave together our various narratives.
"Where is my history?" she asked. Our whole lineage must come to the fore.
"There's room here for all of us." Netroots Nations is all about love.
Executive director of Progress Now Arshad Hassan reminded attendees that this was the fourteenth annual conference of Netroot Nations, making it a "teenager" that had its first event in Las Vegas. This year marked the largest attendance evermore than 3600 compared to three thousand last year.