The People Power Movement-an organization focused on organizing and protesting for citizen control of transportation, education, healthcare and housing, among other things-held a tabling in the NAC Rotunda Thursday afternoon. They hoped to win over students to their struggle.
“As our name is ‘people power’, we believe that people have the power and when they know what their full potential is, they can effectively mobilize their own co-workers, their own classmates into advocating for popular change,” said PP member Alvaro Franco.
People Power regularly visits student collectives to motivate them to do their part in fighting for social improvement. “We believe that going into that group and empowering them as to their capabilities is the most effective way of organizing for popular change,” Franco opined.
To that end, the group has recently been in touch with groups such as Students For Educational Rights. They also plan to contact more clubs like the Black Student Union and non-political groups that could possibly work with them in solidarity. But the end goal is to get multiple parties involved in organizing for a better society, a skill they say is compounded by various backgrounds.
“We all come from different situations where that capability is suppressed,” said Stephanie Martinez, another member at the table. “It’s not like we’re trying to save them or anything, but we’re just trying to connect with the student body and have the student body and the faculty and staff unite and organize to empower ourselves.”
Though the group takes a hard stance against voting-saying politicians tend to sell out their constituents-the two collaborate sometimes, Franco said.
“That doesn’t stop us from occasionally working in solidarity with politicians that we feel can have some kind of effect in applying pressure in terms of education. If we know someone that has influence over the Board Of Trustees, for example, we’re not afraid of reaching out to that person and laying out some very clear parameters as to how they can help us.” However, the organization watches for co-opting politicians who see them as a re-election vehicle.
And according to the group, People Power is the perfect solution to our current two-party framework. As Franco explains:
“The system as it is now is inherently flawed. It’s not going to promote policies or continues policies that would actually help our community. We feel the best alternative is to at least form a genuine people’s party.”