April 11: This Is What Democracy Looked Like

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson


The weather was terrible on the east coast, where A New Way Forward (ANWF) was born.  Three weeks earlier, a 29 year old engineer and urban planner  and a few friends formed the organization and called for demonstrations nationwide to challenge banks that are “too big to fail” and the administration’s way of dealing with their threatened failure.

Photo: Dressed as a “fat cat,” Matt Zaccarino, organizer of Saturday’s Boston demonstration of A New Way Forward, addresses the group.

Turnout in the dryer parts of the country, especially on the Left Coast, were better. At the end of the day on Saturday, April 11, the demonstration’s prime organizer, Tiffiniy Chang, exulted, writing on the group’s blog,

We made it happen! What do you get when you have no organization, are three weeks old, have the rain pouring down on you and out your nose, and care deeply about our political system and economy being hijacked by fancy rhetoric and bank CEO’s? In just three weeks, we got thousands of people out across the country on an obscure, wonkish financial-policy issue. Pretty amazing, and totally unprecedented. This was a national demonstration like no other because we are informed, intelligent and want to have an honest conversation about where tax dollars are going and what can better be done. The ANWF movement has begun its demand for government to talk to us about economics.

We believe in owning up to and solving the economic crisis. We don’t think these banker-middlemen need to stand in the way of us resolving the crisis in front of us, especially as its more profitable for them to sit on the bailout money. They want us to pay them to fix nothing. We came out today to say we, the people, are ready for government to own up to the crisis and deal with it head-on. For sure, that is the only way any crisis has ever been solved.

Maybe ANWF didn’t turn out as many people as the right-wing “Tea Bag Party” did on April 15.  Maybe. Nobody counted ANWF’s national stats, and I saw with my own eyes one of Faux News’s clowns get a teabag organizer to say he was sure there were 5,000 people at one site, and go on TV a few minutes later and say 75,000 were there.

But there’s one sure thing: the integrity was with ANWF. People knew why they were there: nationalize the banks that are too big to fail, they demanded.  The teabaggers were all over the place — from resenting having to pay taxes to not liking the complexion of the guy who sits in the oval office.

And ANWF was a true grassroots effort, organized on the web without funds or fanfare. The folks with the teabags (imagine a bastardized Boston Tea Party) were funded and promoted by the likes of former Congressmen Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich — Astroturf patriots, all. And the ultra-right windbags, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al, promoted the event.

Save June 8 for ANWF’s next outing.  But don’t take my word for it.  Look here, and here, and here.

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4 Responses to “April 11: This Is What Democracy Looked Like”

  1. Great website! My name is Kristen, assistant to author, essayist and foreign policy expert, Daniel Bruno Sanz. Your site has already been added to his under “wonks”. Mr. Bruno Sanz has written a new essay about the Cuba Policy that is well worth review. You can view the essay on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-bruno-sanz/cuba-at-a-crossroads_b_185660.html

    Best Regards,

  2. Are you from San Diego?

  3. I would think that if Mr. Bruno was what you claim he is if in fact your profile is not fake, then I would seriously consider his attack on  a book reviewer by posting false information and supposedly private emails on the internet to attempt to damage her reputation.  This so called essayist, “foreign policy expert” and author is a puffed up creator of fantasies.

    In fact Obama has recently stated that he will not lift the embargo on Cuba.

  4. I’ll Mark this, thanks!

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