Meeting about cooperating on future Palestine actions with other groups

I was invited to a meeting that was set up to introduce the various groups in Stockton working on Palestine issues to each other. Below is what we talked about and discussed worked on in the near future.

Discussion topics

Joe Biden is already underwater with Democratic Party voters. Now we have to move the narrative beyond the 2024 Presidential Election to also hurting the polling of members of U.S. Congress. Locally, our responsibility is Josh Harder.

With Biden already underwater, we are reaching the limits of what general/broad raising awareness can do. We have to ask ourselves the protests/actions that we are doing now are also activating/changing the positions of people outside of our networks and what we can do to start exponentially growing the sentiment against the Democratic Party.

We can should be raising awareness of just how much Josh Harder is and has been on the wrong side of the 2023 Israeli Genocide in Gaza. So how do we go about doing that?

From what we know, Josh is not close to local Democratic Party electeds. That may change as he makes connections locally, but for now, it may be difficult to pressure him by going through Stockton City Council. Unlike other Congresspeople, he does not seem to need the local political machine to win.

But Josh is close to the San Joaquin County Democratic Party, largely because many of them are from Tracy, CA and Manteca, CA, both of which were previously in his district. To quote him, they have his phone number.

The SJCDP has re-endorsed Josh. We should verify what the endorsement process is and if possible, who voted to endorse him. We should then target any elected delegate or elected central committee members that have not yet spoken up against him on the Palestine issue. They are elected, they make endorsement decisions that affect the broader public and yet are largely hidden from public view. It is time we change that.

We need to create a petition that is something like a “No Ceasefire, No Votes for Harder” petition.

We also need to discuss trying to get unions on board with a no vote/no support petition, not just on putting out a statement in support of Palestine. Josh does rely on the unions for volunteer power - the North Valley Labor Federation has been helping him maintain his seat for at least two cycles now.

Some national unions, like National Nurses United, have put out solidarity statements. We should try to leverage that to get locals to sign on to a no votes petition.

Upcoming Events

Vigil For Palestinian Martyrs on Fri, 22 Dec by ProgressiveUnity and 209forPalestine

Time: 4:30PM until sunset at Victory Park in Stockton, CA.

The plan is to get pictures printed, buy frames, candles, etc. We will gather poems or statements and names/ages of the martyred. We’ll set up a Google Doc to collect everything in.

If anyone can help with supplies, please let me know and I’ll put you into contact with the organizers (or reach out to them via IG).

Protest/Rally on Fri, 5 Jan 2024

This event will be more political than the vigil.

The goal is to center Harder’s role in the genocide.

We should try to get more people outside of our current circles to this event; it is too soon to get unions to make any decisions on this due to the holidays. But it will be great to get union members to the event so they can take the information back to their unions and get the ball rolling in their (electoral) committees.

Things to work on

We need a video/graphic that explains exactly why we are targeting Josh Harder and not other elected officials. Make a connection for voters that goes directly from his voting record to what is happening in Gaza.

For Working Class Unity, we need to reauthorize working on the Free Palestine side quest/focus campaign. If we want to co-sponsor the Protest/Rally on Fri, 5 Jan 2024, we may need to authorize it as a one-off event via an online vote first, since our first meeting will not be until Thu, 4 Jan 2024.

We need to develop a SOP for phone banking / collecting contact information during events and then getting those people out to future events and actions.

Work smarter not Harder
Ceasefire for starters, or no votes for Harder
Too many Martyrs, no votes for Harder

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Well, if we’re going to workshop chants…

CALL: 209 for Palestine, let me hear you shout
RESPONSE: Josh supports a genocide, we must vote him out
~~
CALL: Ceasefire now, enough is enough
RESPONSE: AIPAC backs Harder, he is corrupt
~~
CALL: Josh serves the rich, not you and me
RESPONSE: He is a liar, he doesn’t want peace
~~
CALL: If you don’t stand with Palestine, we won’t stand with you
RESPONSE: We’ll show you at the ballot box, no more voting blue
CALL: Biden is a creep, Harder is a clown
RESPONSE: The Democratic Party will always let you down