About 200 protesters gathered in Venice Beach on Saturday to celebrate diversity and voice their opposition to the alt-right. The rally was one of several weekend protests that took place across the nation.
(The following post about the Netroots Nation conference, recently concluded in San Jose, California, first appeared on JesseLuna.com and is reprinted with permission. Jesse Luna is a communications specialist with SEIU Local 721.)
The labor message was strong at the Netroots Nation 2013 conference. There was a consistent message across sessions and activities, a strong focus on the rise of what is being called “Alt Labor” and there were some good worker actions. Labor must be a part of the progressive movement.
Sessions and Activities
It was common to have pro-union voices at the different sessions and even during the activities. During a taco truck lunch event, several elected officials took to the microphone and spoke about the need to raise the minimum wage. Two young people also spoke about their experiences working at fast food places, the low wages and poor working conditions there.
Until recently the Internet, along with the devices that brought it to us and the platforms that have expanded its usefulness, held a certain cool, selfless allure. The Web was mostly the idea of young, rule-breaking rebels, and their insurgent mystique made them hero geeks. Browsing a favorite blog on our laptops, a cup of red-eye coffee nearby, we felt a part of the New. Then money began doing what it always does to young, rule-breaking rebels – it turned them into our parents, our landlords and our loan officers.
It began in earnest, I suppose, with last year’s tiff between Amazon.com and the state of California over Sacramento’s insistence that the online retail behemoth start collecting state taxes on its sales. Amazon eventually struck “compromises” with California and other states that mostly favored Amazon. Many of us in California smiled – we got an extra year of purchasing on the site without paying taxes.