Within our highly stratified society there exists two trends inside the activist movement: those who advocate for revolution and those who advocate for reform. Sad to say that despite over a decade of Imperialist war, corporate profiteering and increasing levels of income disparities, the latter trend is still predominant. This is not surprising, of course. It takes time for any kind of alternative to present itself and develop.
On the eighth of January the beginning of a possible alternative, the fetus, took shape in the form of the Alliance for the Common Good. Highly reformist and class collaborationist, the alliance was a self-described united front. Environmental, anti-war, pro-youth, pro-queer and more were represented. The goal of the alliance is to promote an agenda which benefits “one and all” or, as otherwise stated, the common good.
Coordinating with the indigenous population of Maine the organizers of the rally stood in solidarity with the Natives and the “Idle No More” movement; locales from the Penobscot Tribe spoke and sang native songs before and after speakers bellowed slogans and brief speeches against the East-West Highway.
The chosen location for the first alliance rally was in the city of Augusta. Outdoor chanting and co-mingling outside of the state house soon developed into rekindling of friendships from the progressive past. I took part as well. Chatting with some Occupy colleagues, that encased a discussion on my facial fair and organic food preparation, the atmosphere was warm and friendly. After chatting I wandered some to meet other activist friends and while doing so was ensconced by a reporter from the Free Press. After a brief interview as to why I was there, where I represented the Kasama Project, I listened to the first of many speeches prior to moving indoors.
Once indoors, and done with the lengthy security procedure, I snacked on a doughnut and waited for all the participants to file in. In short order (15 or so minutes) everyone was gathered. Songs began and the natives spoke. Hearing their wonderful chanting was what I considered the highlight of the day.
While there were other activities before my leaving, such as petitioning the newly returned legislators on various progressive causes, the kind woman who I relied on for transportation needed to leave early, so I couldn’t see how that turned out. Yet through it all the event was an auspicious start to what could be a bright future for progressive, and hopefully radical, activism.