Live Blog From Revolution Iowa: Morning Update

by Jason Frerichs

Cherie Mortice and Barb Kalbach are getting the crowd fired up with chants about people before profits.  The Revolution Iowa staff is on stage making statements about issues like water quality, immigrant rights, mental health care, etc…..The crowd is on its feet chanting, “We rise up” and “We are the power.”  Many Bernie Sanders talking points and chants of “We are unstoppable.  Another world is possible.”  The crowd is on its feet again.  Barb Kalbach is giving a more extended speech about a living wage and tax breaks for the wealthy.  Climate change is another issue that keeps coming up.  A major topic is taking back governmental power from the state and returning it to the people.  Barb is making the argument that we need to build political power and not cater to a political party.  Chants of, “Si se puede!!”


The stage has been emptied and the next speaker is PVI Writer and CCI Action member Vanessa Marcano-Kelly.  She is an immigrant from Venezuela.  She makes the argument that we are all in this together and we must work together to dismantle systems of oppression that disproportionally affects people of color.  Vanessa is getting cheers for her statement that progressives must not be taken for granted and that politicians must earn our votes.   Topics that she keeps coming back to are water quality, a living wage, and “Black Lives Matter!!”


The crowd is now on its feet in anticipation of Alicia Garza.  She said that she is happy to be back in Des Moines and reminded the crowd that this event is on the heels of the 4-year anniversary of the birth of Black Lives Matter.  She brought up the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman.  The crowd yelled, “That shit ain’t right.”  Alicia just brought up the election of kleptocrat Donald Trump and refuses to say his name.  Income inequality is an issue she keeps coming back to.  She is talking about what it takes build power, make power, and turn power into something else.  Alicia asks brings up race and asks why it makes people uncomfortable.  She talks about people being uncomfortable with the rights of women and immigrants.  She says that “We will not go back!!”  She asks the crowd to say, “No way I’m going back.”  She is talking about her Patron saint Harriet Tubman and asks us all to be Harriet Tubmans.  The crowd is on its feet after Alicia calls for a rematch.  She wants a presidential rematch, a rematch for many different communities and for America.  She asks the crowd to “Stand up if you believe we’re going to win.”  The crowd is on its feet chanting “I believe that we will win.”

Right now there is a Q&A with Alicia Garza.  Here is a link so you can listen to the questions live:




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