The campaign is on to establish a new progressive party to replace the corporate Democratic Party. Meanwhile, a new campaign of anti-Trump demonstrations begins in November...
THE AMERICAN LEFT is,after a long period of relative dormancy, beginning to grow again - and is organising. Spurred on by the dismal presidency of Donald Trump and the lack of any progressive vision from the Democratic Party, the American left is finding fertile ground in which to grow.
Another manifestation of this was The People's Convergence, held in Washington over the weekend. Speakers at the event included Dr Cornel West and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, Lee Camp of RT's Redacted and Kshama Sawant, Seattle City councillor and a member of Socialist Alternative.
The event, hosted by Draft Bernie for a People’s Party (DB), the Progressive Independent Party (PIP), and Socialist Alternative (SA), represents an important step forward in the process of forming a new progressive party that will give voice to the demands and aspirations of the many millions of Americans who flocked to Bernie Sander's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
|Clockwise: Nick Brana, Cornel West, Lee Camp, Kshama Sawant|
“This conference is an important next step in bringing together working people, youth, people of colour, activists and progressive leaders to prepare the ground for a powerful challenge to both establishment parties, Republican and Democratic alike, as we move forward,” said Nick Brana (DB), Araquel Bloss (PIP), and Calvin Priest (SA) in a joint statement by the heads of the three sponsoring organisations.
Activists believe that the Democratic Party is so deeply embedded in the political establishment that it is beyond being reformed. The campaign by the Democratic National Committee to undermine Bernie Sanders was, for many Democratic Party activists, the final straw.
Dr Cornel West says he joined Draft Bernie after his experiences within the Democratic Party:
"“I was blessed to spend some time on the inside of the Democratic Party looking at the ways in which we could come up with some vision. And I was convinced that the Democratic Party was milquetoast, moribund. It lacks imagination, gusto, doesn’t have enough courage. It’s too tied to big money. The duopoly stands in the way of democracy,”
If opinion polls are any indication activists have good reason to feel confident about the new party. An icitizen survey from June, for example, said 70 percent of Americans do not feel represented by the Republican and Democratic Parties, and that a third party was needed.
Nick Brana,who worked on the Sanders campaign, thinks that the mood of nation is with them and "that there is no time to waste."
Brana himself experienced first hand how indebted the Democratic Party is to corporate money, while lobbying superedelegates.
Sanders himself has been approached to join any new party but he appears intent on trying to reform the Democratic Party from within, with Our Revolution putting up candidates at a local level. Already some eighty Our Revolution candidates have been elected to councils throughout the country.
Sanders reluctance to throw in his resources with a new party exemplifies the continuing debate within the American left about how they should take advantage of Republicans’ and Democrats’ glaring and increasing unpopularity.
Says Bran : "The more progressive Americans become, the more they see through the Democratic Party. It is a corporate party. The objective is to create a party, not to compete with the Democratic Party, but to replace it."
"The American people are leading the way to an independent alternative. Rather than struggling against the progressive current, we should swim with it and create the major new party that the majority of Americans are calling for. The place to unite Democrats and independents is in a new people’s party.”
Meanwhile, another nationwide campaign begins on November 4. Organised by the Refuse Fascism coalition, marches and rallies will be held through the United States - the beginning of a long term campaign against the Trump administration.
"This nightmare must end: The Trump/Pence regime must go!” is the rallying call - and one likely to be heard by thousands of people throughout the country.