“(Sanders) has mobilized a large number of young people, these young people who are saying, “Look, we’re not going to consent anymore.” And if that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized—mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term.” Noam Chomsky
The Movement is starting to explore how it moves forward whether or not Bernie wins nomination. The Movement is the many organizations and individuals who are working for a fundamental return to core democratic values of equity, justice, community, and respect for nature.
I’ve gathered links to resources on how the movement that has come together around Bernie Sanders’ agenda for revolution can continue to build momentum. There’s at least one planning event, several current books, several new virtual organizations, and many commentaries in alternative media.
Events and organizations
The People’s Summit
The People’s Summit is meeting June 17-19 in Chicago, an event organized by a coalition of progressive organizations, including many ____ for Bernie groups.
The call for participation begins:
“At a time of tremendous turmoil and progressive opportunity, we invite you to participate in a historic convening of organizations and individuals committed to social, racial and economic justice. On June 17-19, in Chicago, after the party primary season and before the party conventions, we seek to bring together activists committed to a different kind of agenda: a People’s Agenda that can enhance and expand issue campaigns and hold all elected officials accountable to popular demands for justice, equality and freedom. We envision this Summit as further deepening the relationship between participating organizations rooted in principled anti-corporate politics, development of community leaders, direct action not based on partisan identification, and strategic organizing to build power.”
Many of the partner organizations for this People’s Summit are ad hoc groups supporting Bernie, such as Labor for Bernie, African Americans for Bernie, etc. as well as environmental, progressive political, and social justice organizations.
Brand New Congress
America needs an honest, accountable Congress to enact Bernie’s program. But trying to win each Congressional seat one-by-one is impossible. So let’s run one campaign to replace Congress all at once (except those already on board) that whips up the same enthusiasm, volunteerism and money as Bernie’s presidential campaign.
We’re building on the tools, tactics and networks that we developed together on Bernie’s campaign. But to pull this off, the volunteer movement will have to wield more power and resources than on any campaign before. This means volunteers on the ground will run their own offices and voter contact operations, and will have access to all necessary tools and materials from the start
We’re going to challenge incumbents in their primaries—both Republicans and Democrats—with a unified campaign that America can believe in and will actually pay attention to. By running a unified campaign, we’ll be able to:
- Create enough excitement nationally that new voters will register and vote in congressional primaries, all of which historically have very low turnout
- Massively scale voter contact: our national volunteer force will overwhelm incumbents tiny paid local staff.
- Gain huge economies of scale in advertising, direct mail, and staffing.
- Use one constantly-improving campaign infrastructure as we move from election to election.
- Let candidates focus on the issues instead of the logistics of running a campaign.
The next system
http://thenextsystem.orgThe Next System Project is an ambitious multi-year initiative aimed at thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Responding to real hunger for a new way forward, and building on innovative thinking and practical experience with new economic institutions and approaches being developed in communities across the country and around the world, the goal is to put the central idea of system change, and that there can be a “next system,” on the map. Gar Alperovitz and Gus Speth are co-chairs.
Download the introductory report of the Next System Project:
Next System interview: Noam Chomsky on Organizing for a Next System
The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution by Micah White
“The only way to learn the art of revolution is to try, fail and try again. The dynamics of social change are too fluid for anything less than relentless innovation and persistence.”
“Part manifesto, part memoir, and part history of activism, The End of Protest is a radical document in every sense of the word. The comprehensive work explains White’s belief that protest is fundamentally broken within modern society, and new paradigms are needed for progress to continue.
“Protest is broken. Recent years have witnessed the largest protests in human history. Yet these mass mobilizations no longer change society. Now activism is at a crossroads: innovation or irrelevance.
“In The End Of Protest Micah White heralds the future of activism and declares the end of protest as you know it. Drawing on his unique experience as the co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, a contagious protest that spread to eighty-two countries, White clearly articulates a unified theory of revolution and the principles of tactical innovation that are destined to catalyze the next generation of social movements. from interview of White by Jaime Lubin: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jaime-lubin/the-spirit-of-activism-fr_b_9780946.html
http://endofprotest.com/ a sample of the book http//endofprotest.com/sneak-preview#start
This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century. Mark and Paul Engler
Truth-out interview with the authors: How to Create an ecology of change http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35862-how-to-create-an-ecology-of-change-by-combining-movement-uprisings-with-long-term-organizing
“This Is an Uprising examines the strategy differences between traditional schools of organizing and mass mobilizations. They argue that each plays an important role in creating social change and should be used in conjunction to be most effective in reaching a shared goal.
“. . . a key argument that we make in the book is that there is a craft to uprising — that there is a history of people grappling with the challenges of how to create momentous revolts, and that they have identified some really valuable skills and concepts in their organizing. The more we learn about this history and the more seriously we take on this craft as something that can be studied and refined, the better able we will be to guide moments of mass unrest when they break out, and the more adept we can be at creating these moments from scratch.”
“In This Is an Uprising, we are most interested in mass mobilizations. We focus on these because we think they represent a type of action whose dynamics are not widely understood. But in the end, it takes a lot of different kinds of organizing and citizen engagement to create social change. Mass protests interact with more long-standing efforts to build progressive organizations. They interact with countercultural communities. They interact with political parties and people working inside the formal structures of politics.
People Get Ready, The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy
“Humanity is on the verge of its darkest hour—or its greatest moment.”
“The consequences of the technological revolution are about to hit hard: unemployment will spike as new technologies replace labor in the manufacturing, service, and professional sectors of an economy that is already struggling. The end of work as we know it will hit at the worst moment imaginable: as capitalism fosters permanent stagnation, when the labor market is in decrepit shape, with declining wages, expanding poverty, and scorching inequality. Only the dramatic democratization of our economy can address the existential challenges we now face. Yet, the US political process is so dominated by billionaires and corporate special interests, by corruption and monopoly, that it stymies not just democracy but progress.
“The great challenge of these times is to ensure that the tremendous benefits of technological progress are employed to serve the whole of humanity, rather than to enrich the wealthy few. Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols argue that the United States needs a new economy in which revolutionary technologies are applied to effectively address environmental and social problems and used to rejuvenate and extend democratic institutions. Based on intense reporting, rich historical analysis, and deep understanding of the technological and social changes that are unfolding, they propose a bold strategy for democratizing our digital destiny—before it’s too late—and unleashing the real power of the Internet, and of humanity.”
Commentaries on the future of the movement
People for a Shared Program http://www.sharedprogram.org/
People for a Shared Program is a place to explore, develop and organize around left programmatic ideas. Below you will find a document – Possible Ideas for Going Forward – which the 87 initial signers offered as a starting point for this process. We invite you to read this document, discuss it and suggest additions or changes in our forum and/or in a blog post. We will regularly update the document in accord with good suggestions and display the current version below.
Around the world powerful and diverse possibilities are in struggle. We the signers of “Some Possible Ideas for Going Forward” think one high priority for progress is activists developing, discussing, and settling on priorities around which to organize multi issue activism in coming months and years. We hope this document can help inspire more conversations within groups and movements that, over time, come to a synthesis. We do this in the spirit of self-organization – and as a rejection of preformed inflexible programs and agendas imposed on activists from above. We believe only program that is fully understood and owned by grassroots participants can win lasting change. http://www.sharedprogram.org/#!initial-document/ozjgn
A Radical Alliance of Black and Green Could Save the World
“A beautiful thing is happening: Advocates for racial justice and for environmental protection—too often, movements quite distant from each other—are coming together in a new way. One can see it in the campaign of National People’s Action and the Climate Justice Alliance to push for a just and locally empowering transition to clean energy; in the New Economy Coalition’s inclusive membership and commitment to front-line communities; and in the projects of the Evergreen Cooperatives, in inner-city Cleveland. These new efforts (may they multiply!) are grounded on a strong foundation. When one explores the roots of both the environmental and civil-rights movements, one finds a strikingly similar radical critique. Both movements have called for a deep restructuring of society and the economy; in both cases, that call is based on an affirmation of life and the devoted care that life requires of us.”
What’s the Future of Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution?
By Kate Aronoff April 25, 2016
Future of the revolution won’t look anything like Sanders; it will be led by millennials and people of color
How Bernie Sanders and Occupy Wall Street Cracked Open America’s Political Imagination by Benjamin Dangl Published: 28 April 2016
” In many ways, the influence of Occupy Wall Street is all around us. “Occupy has entered our DNA. It is in our forms of relating, organizing and being,” activist and author Marina Sitrin wrote in 2014 on how the DNA of occupy has traveled, changed, and multiplied in many social movements. “No longer seen with the occupation of parks, plazas and squares, Occupy has relocated, it is in us, it is in our ways of being, relating and coming together. People are changed—feel more dignity and organize for a different world because of it,” Sitrin explained. “We have created a new generation of organizers/activists who are not part of a movement to win one thing and then declare victory, but a movement that is about changing everything. And little by little this is happening.””
How Sanders Could Lay the Foundation for a Third US Political Party
Saturday, 16 April 2016 00:00By Geoff Gilbert, Truthout | Op-Ed
A new, independently financed political party could make Sanders’ call for “political revolution” and his claim that he is trying to build a movement more than a dream boldly proclaimed by an inspiring, if not quixotic, leader. It could deliberately seek to unify our currently fragmented movement cultures and operate as a vehicle for the substantive promise of Sanders’ “political revolution”: deep institutional and cultural reform. Doing so, it could begin to fulfill our country’s lofty aspirations: a society truly ruled by the people with meaningful input available to everyone, absent discrimination on any basis — race, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion.
Most importantly, perhaps, an independently financed party could seek to define this broad policy platform, not primarily through the input of elite power brokers funneled through the corporate-financed media and think tank complex, but with the input of grassroots leaders already engaged in building such a society.
How Progressives Can—and Must—Regain the Moral High Ground
In the South, we’re building a broad, new movement rooted in right and wrong, not left and right.
“The patches of the fusion coalition in the South lie all around us: Black Lives Matter, Fight for $15, the Equality Federation, Southerners On New Ground, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, and progressive churches. But progressives and liberals must learn not to throw away the moral high ground and walk away from religious discourse. At the heart of faith is love, justice, fairness, and a measure of mercy for all people. Many people get to a social ethos grounded in love by way of ethical reasoning or political tradition. But we must not write off the millions, from Baptists to Buddhists, who get there by way of a myriad of faith traditions.
“Over the past decade here in North Carolina, we have witnessed the power of moral dissent to challenge the forces of injustice. Our adversaries have hijacked the concept of morality and shifted it to such personal matters as abortion and homosexuality. But by taking back the moral high ground on issues like Medicaid, voting rights, and poverty, our Moral Mondays movement won the support of a dozen major religious denominations and rallied tens of thousands in the streets of our cities and towns.”
Bernie and Beyond 2016
by Peter Olney, for Labor for Bernie, March 26, 2016 Now is the time to unite in a new force for a democratic economy
The Chicago Teachers Union strike https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/04/chicago-teachers-union-strike-karen-lewis/
The Long March of Bernie’s Army, Where it came from; where it’s headed.
By Harold Meyerson, A vice-chair The Democratic Socialists of America, March 23, 2016
“Leaders of unions, community-organizing groups, minority organizations and student groups, prominent environmentalists and Sanders activists, precinct walkers and online campaigners—some longtime allies, some total strangers to one another—are “all in one large, shifting conversation,” in the words of one such leader, to figure out how to build the Revolution once the Sanders campaign is done . . . they are debating ideas on how to create something—organizations, coalitions, networks, local, state, national—that can capture and build on the energy and politics that the Sanders campaign has unleashed.
The challenge of creating an enduring left out of Sanders’s young supporters, who have brought the passion, energy, and numbers to his campaign, is particularly daunting.
What Does a Socialist Movement Look Like?
Socialism in America Is Closer Than You Think:
Experiments with public ownership are thriving across the country. The challenge is to link them and scale them up. By Gar Alperovitz, February 11, 2016