AFSCME nixes singler-player
Astroturfing on the Left
By David Swanson
We’ve grown accustomed to recognizing astroturfing on the right. A corporate lobbyist sends letters to congress members forging the signatures and letterhead of local grassroots groups. Oil corporations create front groups to generate town-hall presence against legislation that could slow climate change. Health insurance companies fund “grassroots” activists to speak for them. Fox News encourages and exaggerates support for whatever the Republican Party tells it is needed. Astroturf is a good name for all of this because it is grassroots flipped upside down. It’s people being organized to rally in demand of exactly what Republican congress members want them to demand.
But what about astroturfing on the left? How do we feel about that? Here’s an example.
Last week AFSCME, the national labor union which has no presence in my town, contacted me about helping to organize a rally for healthcare. I knew that AFSCME would only want to rally for the “public option” but I also knew that coalitions can create larger rallies if they include all appropriate allies. So I drafted the following announcement with three demands in it for the event and asked AFSCME to approve it:
Originally posted: AFSCME nixes singler-player