Year's End in VenezuelaMonday, December 25 2017 @ 09:14 pm Contributed by: Clifton Ross
It's been a troubled year in Venezuela, and 2018 looks like it will be much, much worse.
Among the things I’ve done over the three weeks I’ve spent in Sumter, South Carolina, is helped build a set for a Sumter Little Theatre production. My experience with that, and time spent with my childhood pal and star of that theater, Michael Duffy, has led me to reflect on the problem of stardom in our culture, and how it has impoverished us as a people.
I've received lots of emails from chavista friends celebrating the elections for mayors in Venezuela. I'm not so sure there's really much to celebrate in Venezuela these days, except for the brave people who are still organizing outside of the structures of the so-called "Bolivarian Revolution." Here's my take on the elections.
In those heady early days of the Oakland Commune when the little village of newly-dubbed “Oscar Grant Plaza” was being set up, an old comrade who had been part of the early organizing of the occupation was walking through the village and describing it to me on his cell phone. We were doing relay reporting: I’d been down the day before and reported back to him, now he was giving me an update. “And just past the media tent and the library is the supply tent. . . ” A young woman working at the supply tent jumped into the conversation and began to show him where things went as my friend explained that he was giving a comrade a “virtual tour” of sorts.
“Over here you drop off clothes; there is where you drop off food; tents and camping supplies go over there…”
“And money?” my friend asked. He had been carrying a $5 bill in his hand, money someone had given him to pass on to the camp.
“Oh. We don’t do money,” she replied.
“’We don’t do money!’ ‘We don’t do money!’” my friend repeated incredulously as he walked away from the supply tent. “That’s the most radical statement I’ve heard so far!”
The first tweet from the Occupy Oakland had gone out just a few minutes before 3 and we managed to make it to the plaza in about half an hour. When my wife Marcy and I arrived at Frank Ogawa Plaza, now redubbed, “Oscar Grant Plaza," the flimsy barricades, some consisting of milk crates, had already been installed in preparation for the police attack.