I woke up at 5:30 AM to catch a 6:20 train to Philly, where I caught a train from Philly's 30th street station to Washington's Union Station. I walked about half mile from there to the mall where Camp Democracy was set up. Entering it, there was a 30 foot high inflated figure, like one of thsose parade floats, in the shape of George Bush, with a very long nose and a a big sign on it-- "impeach me." They called it Bushnoccio.
There's a great lecture by Steven Zunes going on in one tent, anti war veteran protestors milling around another tent. A band is playing in another tent. It's all good. I give my first talk at noon on Tapping the power of story for campaigns, advocacy and organizations. It goes well. My only problem is, I'm on at the same time as my friend, Steve Bhaerman, AKA Swami Beyondananda. He's a brilliant comedian-- and a writer for OpEdNews. Definitely read his articles here, and then order his CDs, books and if you ever get a chance, see him live. Fortunately, we get to "do lunch" across the street, at the American Indian Museum-- a very cool place with a superb restaurant oriented towards the different regions of the the US, from a native american perspective. Another OpEdNews writer, Joel Hirschhorn, author of Delusional Democracy, joins us. We agree that one of the solutions wemust aim for is to wake a hell of a lot of people up. Waking up is a key.
As is often the case with conferences, the schedule is running late. My next talk, scheduled for five, is not going to happen on time. So I go to hear the woman who's on before me, Gillian Farrell, who's presenting on making videos, Shorts and multi-camera hour length shows. She shows how easy it is to make two or three minute videos to post on the web. The ones she shows are brilliant. Then I see the credits-- several have been written by her husband, Larry Beinhart, author of the book from which the movie, Wag the Dog was based upon. Still, she really has conveyed that making these videos can be pretty easy, and editing can be done on a MAc.
I go on a bit after five PM, and in the other tent, Larry Beinhart speaks-- two talks and both times, I'm missing people I want to hear. But my talk goes off well. I do a powerpoint presentation on the Progressive activist's hero's journey. When it's done, I get a lot of thank you's
One thing I did was ask, "who are your heroes-- living people?"
Though the folks at Camp Democracy had offered me free lodging, I decided to head home a little after seven. Between waiting for and catching trains, I got home about half past midnight. it was well worth the trip. I've met people who travelled from Michigan, upstate New York, Washington state, virginia, from all over the place. Make the time. Go down to Camp Democracy.
Frankly, they have wifi, for logging on to the net, but I got so busy, I never got around to logging on.
I was exhausted and crawled into bed when I got home.