The convention is taking a 10-minute break now, before some of the big-name speakers get their turns: Cornel, Nina, Jimmy, Marianne, Medea, Ryan (Knight), Chase (Iron Eyes), and Nick Brana himself. We're more than two and a half hours in, and Brana says this is halftime.
Chase Iron Eyes, Standing Rock activist, Bernie surrogate, found of Last Real Indians. It's not easy to type summaries of his speech on the fly. He's not about the applause lines, he's about the story. He's painting a very big and complicated picture about internal imperialism, which includes spiritual imperialism that European invaders have imposed upon indigenous peoples.
Everybody stand up and jag-off for Jimmy Dore! "Americans are going to decide whether to vote for a right-wing, racist pathological liar...or Donald Trump." "The current failed system has a noose around all of our necks...and it's up to us to save ourselves." There's been a lot of emotion in the speeches so far, but Jimmy is bringing the anger big-time. "Their (Democrats') candidate is the candidate of deregulation...mass incarceration...war...they are not the solution." "We are demanding policies that the majority of Americans want—how radical!" He's also bringing a lot of high-falutin' literary, philosophical rhetoric of that boils down to The people united will never be defeated. I am truly impressed."
Ah, our beloved Medea Benjamin, long ago a Green candidate for US Senate from California, who unfortunately is one of the lefty intellectuals pleading for us to vote for Biden to defeat Trump, though under no illusions that Biden is a good choice. "We need a party that's not in the clutches of the Military-Industrial Complex...." She's mostly sticking to her area of expertise, the morally bankrupt international policy of the US under both corporate parties. Cutting the Pentagon budget in half, she says, will actually make us safer (less likely to be targeted by the terrorists we've generated by bombing the shit out of their countries). We can learn something from Cuba, which sends not troops but doctors in response to natural disasters and epidemics.
Jerry Perez is a field director with Our Revolution Los Angeles, a group which made the quantum jump from disaffected Berniecrats supporting strictly progressive Democratic candidates to promoting MPP. He's illustrating the divisions within his community that result from the scarcity imposed by neoliberalism and lack of democratic empowerment. He came back from time in Iraq with the Marines to discover that the nation he fought for wasn't worth the PTSD that followed him, especially the way it treats veterans (like himself). He's showing the same anger that Jimmy Dore brought, but with less wit and more esprit de Corps, telling this fucked-up system ¡Ya basta! "We're going to do everything within our ability to insure that you have your future."
Eynelys Vinson is a candidate for Palmdale (CA) City Council—Palmdale being a rapidly growing city in the high desert near where Frank Zappa grew up. She's also a youngish Cuban immigrant who wants this country to live up to its small-d democratic promise for which she and her mother fled Castro's Cuba. She knows oppression and corruption when she sees it, and by gum she sees it here. She then breaks into Spanish, which she speaks beautifully and slowly enough for us gringos to understand.
Tim Black is another independent media personality who got his start doing stand-up. I prefer him in short form than long form. He tells us that the picture is simpler than we usually believe: "We need a new party because both parties suck, Johnson. They have been failing black people since we've been black people." More anger, plenty of f-bombs, but when he gets going he's so smooth in his presentation (even when he fumbles). Another one announcing that he's going to vote Green this year because his man Bernie has been screwed over yet again.