Reposted from clenchner by clenchner
Right after Bernie Sanders announced his intention to run, grassroots supporters from the occupy, labor, environmental and socialist movements published an open letter endorsing his candidacy.
We are activists and organizers trying to build a broad, effective movement for democratic change. We come from different backgrounds, and were inspired by different issues and fights for peace, rights and the planet. Our goal is a government that carries out the will of the people, and not serve to increase the profits of the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.
To that end we support Bernie Sanders in his bid to become the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. We stand firmly behind Senator Sanders as the strongest progressive possibility in the race right now. His commitment to our values is one of long standing commitment. Sanders is the bold alternative.
As a truly progressive candidate for the Democratic Party nomination, Senator Sanders has the chance to inspire millions of Americans with policy proposals that put the interests of the 99%, front and center.
Franklin D. Roosevelt called out the “economic royalists” of his day. Senator Sanders is picking up the banner. He answers to “We the People” and not to the corporate and financial sectors. Bernie brings the kind of leadership that is necessary to building a real, living democracy.
The initiators of this letter are veteran grassroots organizers of Occupy Wall Street, and are joined by many energized brothers and sisters we have met along the way. In September 2011, our efforts changed the narrative of American politics, helping to focus it on the issues of our time: inequality, surrender to the power of concentrated wealth, the corruption of our democracy by moneyed interests, and the need for solutions as radical as our problems.
We are signing as individuals hoping to kickstart a small ‘d’ democratic movement. People For Bernie won’t be a corporate-style, staff-driven, controlled-message, top-down enterprise. It will reflect diverse constituencies from a broad range of movements, which in many cases haven’t seen the Democratic Party as a home for their deepest aspirations. It will reflect our commitment to fundamental change, not just a change of faces at the top of the political pyramid. People for Bernie it will reflect the urgency of more and fiercer grassroots political activity at the base.
We call on all other progressive forces to unite behind Sanders so we can have a united front in this important campaign.
Phillip Anderson - The Albany Project
Betsy Avila - Young Democratic Socialists
Kazembe Balagun - Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
Brett Banditelli - Occupy Harrisburg
Beth Becker - Occupy DC / McPherson
Nadine Bloch - Nonviolence International,(Ruckus Society)
Joe Brusky - Overpass Light Brigade
Melissa Byrne - Occupy DC-Mcpherson, Project Springboard
Isham Christie - OWS
Heidi Chua - Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
Mary Clinton - OWS
Damien Crisp - OWS, Occupy Sandy, @OccupyWallStNYC
Kelli Daley - OWS, @occupywallstnyc
Ethan Earle - Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
Shana East - Meme Against the Machine, Chuy Garcia Campaign
Rick Echevarria - Changer
Michelle Esi - OWS Labor
Caleb-Michael Files - Sankofa
Kim Fraczek - The Peoples Puppets of Occupy Wall Street
Amber Frost - Journalist
Gan Golan - MayDay Space, Movement Net Lab
Priscilla Grim - OWS Media Cleric, occupywallst.nyc
Lane Hall - Overpass Light Brigade
Aly Johnson-Kurts - Former staff, Teachout-Wu campaign
Howie Klein - Publisher, DownwithTyranny.com
Charles Lenchner - OWS Tech Ops, co-founder, RFW
Joe Libertelli - Co-Founder, Progressive Democrats of America
Lisa Moline - Overpass Light Brigade
Justin Molito - Ready for Bernie
Larry Moskowitz - Left Labor Project
Jesse Myerson - Occupy The Ballots
Ed Ott - Faculty, Murphy Institute/CUNY
Annabel Park - Filmmaker and founder of the Coffee Party
Mark Provost - Us Uncut
Jeff Rae - OWS, Ready for Bernie
Paul Russell - Occupy Faith, Judson Church
Audrey Sasson - OWS, 99 Pickets
Daniel Sieradski - Occupy Judaism
Andrew Smith - Rockaway Wildfire, OWS
Zak Solomon - MayDay Space, Rising Tide NYC
Bhaskar Sunkara - Jacobin Magazine
Maria Svart - Democratic Socialists of America
Diane Sweet - Blogger, OWS, Occupy the Boardroom, Environmentalist
Robel Tekleab - OWS
David Unger - Labor Organizer/Educator
Harry Waisbren - Occupy Network
Stan Williams - OWS
Winnie Wong - OWS, @OccupyWallStreetNYC, Ready for Warren, Artists for Warren
Ethan Young - Left Labor Project, Portside.org
I'm kind of excited about this. While the Sanders campaign bigger lift will be to get primary voters in the middle to vote for him (and not HRC), the left shouldn't be ignored. This list includes many who under normal circumstances wouldn't be standing up for any candidate in a Democratic primary, either because they prefer a 3rd party or because they don't think this kind of electoral activity is useful in the long term.
But Bernie Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, makes things different.
Another item of interest has to do with trends in the global left. In Greece, a multi-tendency political party of the left (Syriza) has actually won power with an anti-austerity platform. In Spain, a party barely one year old (Podemos) is now more popular than any other. In both cases, the parties rapid growth is connected to the mass protest movements that began in 2011 - the same year as Occupy Wall St.
You can join People for Bernie here: www.peopleforbernie.com
Can Bernie Sanders be the umbrella under which American left movements can finally come together and build independent electoral power? Time will tell. But this is a good start.
The author is a founder of People for Bernie