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East Bay "Democracy for America" Meetup Message Board › NOV. 7: "Block Blackwater" and meetup w/ Assemblywoman Loni Hancock

NOV. 7: "Block Blackwater" and meetup w/ Assemblywoman Loni Hancock

Eden J.
Hi everyone,

Our Oakland "Democracy for America" Meetup agenda for November should be even more exciting than October's meetup, when nearly 100 progressives came to the Rockridge Library to hear UC Berkeley Prof. George Lakoff speak.

(Never been to a meetup before? Then scroll to the bottom to WATCH October's meetup on video!)

On DFA's usual "first Wednesday of the month" meetup, we have another compelling program with Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, special bonus clips from the Brave New Films documentary "Iraq for Sale" and award-winning journalist Miriam Raftery on the controversy brewing around Blackwater's plans to build a mercenary base on the California border.

Will you attend Wednesday's meetup? So we can order enough pizza, make enough copies, and set up enough seats, please RSVP right now at:­

An in-depth preview of your November meetup is provided below. Please take a few minutes to check it out:


Rockridge Library, 5366 College Ave., Oakland
6:15 pm: Meetup Mingling & Filming of "What are Progressive Values?"
6:30 pm: "Dinner and the Daily Show" (please RSVP so we order enough pizza!)
7-9 pm: Oakland DFA Meetup
9 pm to ?: Drinking Progressively @ Ben 'n Nick's!


Assemblywoman Loni Hancock reports to us first about the latest news from Sacramento, from health care to clean money reform.

Now serving in her third term as the representative of the 14th Assembly District, Loni Hancock is, according to her bio, "an advocate for open government, educational reforms, environmental protections, health care, economic development and social justice." Assemblywoman Hancock chairs the Committee on Natural Resources. She has served at the local, state and federal levels, including under Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

IMPORTANT: Assemblywoman Hancock needs to leave promptly at 7:45, so please get to the Meetup no later than 7 p.m. to get a good seat.

Loni will have about 30 minutes to speak with us, including 10-15 minutes of Q&A. Come prepared with your *brief* questions (not "questions" in the form of extended op-eds! ;-)


First, we'll watch an exclusive bonus clip from "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" by Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films. The New York Times didn't mince words in describing this portion of the film:

"In "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers," Mr. Greenwald compiles a horrifying catalog of greed, corruption and incompetence among private contractors in Iraq, focusing primarily on Halliburton, Blackwater Security Consulting and CACI International. Leading off with the infamous torture and murder of four Blackwater employees in Falluja in 2004 ? men whose families contend were callously placed in harm?s way ? the movie goes on to trace connections between the contractors and the Republican Party, assert the buying of influence and explore what it says are questionable accounting systems that encourage exorbitant waste of taxpayer money."

No film about war profiteering in Iraq would be complete without an expose about Blackwater, of course. This special excerpt of "Iraq for Sale" is not to be missed.

Then, award-winning journalist MIRIAM RAFTERY will talk and answer questions about the controversy surrounding Blackwater's plans to build a mercenary base on the San Diego border as well as give us an update on the wildfires that just ravaged the area.

Miriam has written extensively about Blackwater in many publications and has broken many major national political stories including ethical and corruption issues involving members of Congress and the administration. A national expert on electronic voting issues, her network of sources includes whistleblowers inside Diebold and the National Whistleblowers Coalition. Also an active community volunteer, she serves as Media Watch Chair for San Diego for Democracy.

IMPORTANT: We are flying Miriam up from San Diego and will be asking for donations at the Meetup to cover the cost of her flight. Any donation, no matter the amount, is welcome but there is NO OBLIGATION to donate.

Will you attend Wednesday's meetup? So we can order enough pizza, make enough copies, and set up enough seats, please RSVP right now at:­

As usual, an Oakland DFA Meetup would not be complete without taking a bite-sized MEETUP ACTION as a community. As news is developing, we're going to keep you in suspense for a few more days...

Meanwhile, please remember to:

1) Come between 6:15-6:45 pm if you want to mingle with Meetuppers, be interviewed for "What are Progressive Values?" and enjoy "Dinner and the Daily Show"
2) Bring something to give away as our traditional "raffle" door prize (bring your DVD's and books!)
3) Join us as we drink progressively at "Ben 'n Nicks" late into the night after the Meetup (Miriam will be joining us!)

Looking forward to seeing you and your friends, family and neighbors on Wednesday!

United We Meetup,
Eden, Tara, Aaron, Frances, Janet, Julie, Vince, James, Edwin and Joan
Your Oakland DFA Meetup Team

P.S. OCTOBER'S MEETUP ON VIDEO!: You can actually watch most of October's Oakland DFA Meetup here at the following web site set up by Edwin and Joan, two of our amazing Meetup Team organizers:


From 6:15 to 7 p.m., Edwin and Joan will also be video interviewing DFA Meetuppers for their documentary "What are Progressive Values?" Please come down at 6:15 to be filmed, grab some pizza and settle in for another great meetup!

P.P.S. MEETUP WATER BOTTLE POLICY REMINDER: You asked for it. So, we're "being the change." At our Climate Crisis meetup, concern was raised about the significant impact of plastic bottles on the environment. As a result, we will no longer sell bottled water at meetups. Instead, tap water and BRITA filtered water will be available with washable water containers (or, please bring your own portable water container). As Tara says, your "personal action will make this a green Meetup." Thank you!
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