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With a ‘false right populism’ of Trump replacing the previous ‘false left populism’ of Obama, Jack Rasmus raises the question ‘What Can Be Done’?  Arguing against ‘inside-outside’ strategies to reform the two dominant political parties, against spontaneous rebellions from below that dissipate with little gained, and the dead-end of fragmenting identity politics—all of which go nowhere in terms of change—Jack interviews long time union and community activist, Steve Early, whose just published book, “Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City”, documents the past 12 year history of Richmond, California where a progressive alliance of ethnic, environmental, union and socialist activists took over city government and achieved meaningful gains in rent control, policy accountability, labor standards, housing, environmental safety and other progressive goals.  How the activists formed a new, democratic and accountable grass roots organization and membership based ‘party’, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), and beat back the oil giant Chevron Corp. Author Steve Early explains ‘how it was done’ in the new book and how the RPA continues the struggle, not just focusing on elections but on continuous social, economic and class issue oriented politics. How to build a progressive organization, with dues membership and matching funds to defeat big corporations, as a ‘template’ for organizing progressively from the ‘ground up’, without relying on corporate money or becoming integrated with corporate political parties.  Everyone interested in real change should definitely read Early’s book for its lessons and recommendations.

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