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Galindez writes: "For the record, I don't know what post-campaign effort will emerge as the lead coalition for the political revolution. I do think it would be a huge mistake to ignore The People's Summit, which begins June 17th in Chicago."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Karen Bleier/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Karen Bleier/Getty Images)

The Post-Election Political Revolution

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

05 June 16


or the record, I don’t know what post-campaign effort will emerge as the lead coalition for the political revolution. I do think it would be a huge mistake to ignore The People’s Summit, which begins June 17th in Chicago.

The convening organizations include National Nurses United, Progressive Democrats of America, and They are groups with strong ties to Bernie that will have a large role in the senator’s efforts after the campaign. Win or lose in July or November, Bernie Sanders is not going to just quietly return to the Senate. He has built a movement that will live past the 2016 election.

The 3-day conference will begin with a panel called Visions of Justice. RoseAnn DeMoro, Cornel West, Naomi Klein, and Juan Gonzalez will lead the discussion. Just days after the the last votes are cast, it is important to start the discussion of where we go from here while Bernie’s supporters are still engaged.

DeMoro, the president of National Nurses United, called the People’s Summit “a declaration of independence from establishment politics” that will directly address the current “rupture in the political fabric of this country. We need to give voice to that collectively.”

The individuals and organizations behind the summit were the ones who were behind Bernie from the beginning. One such group is People for Bernie. Led by some of the key organizers of Occupy Wall Street, People for Bernie started organizing before Bernie officially entered the race. They quickly built a large online presence and organized meetups in places where the campaign wasn’t on the ground yet with staff.

“Activists around the country have been electrified by Bernie’s call to action. And now we’re going to expand on the movement’s momentum to empower a new generation of young people to engage in the political process,” said People for Bernie’s Winnie Wong.

The summit will be diverse and will focus on building an inclusive movement to transform our political system.

“We must build a movement that involves millions in the long term struggle to radically reshape our political and economic systems that benefit big corporations and the rich while devastating working families and the poor. We are coming together to ensure this movement flourishes beyond the conventions, the election and the inauguration,” said David Hatch of Reclaim Chicago.

Bernie has awakened young people and inspired them to become more active in the political process. It is critical to keep them engaged and not leave them discouraged when the 2016 election wraps up.

“We’re in an incredible, game changing moment in US history. We’re seeing unprecedented uprisings around racial justice, poverty wages, and skyrocketing tuition. The establishment might think that this energy will die down after the election, but young people are organizing for the long haul because we know that the fight doesn’t stop here,” said Leewana Thomas of the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS).

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) was one of the first organizations that backed Bernie, maybe the first. They launched “Run Bernie Run” before there was a “Run Warren Run.” Early on when Bernie nearly won the straw poll at the Wisconsin State convention, it was PDA that organized for Bernie at that convention.

“Bernie reminds us all often that this is about movement and about restoring power to the people. This is the logical next step in solidifying this movement for political revolution to go beyond this election cycle and on to achieving economic and social justice for all,” said PDA’s Donna Smith.

And of course Democratic Socialists of America has been supporting Bernie since he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont. I attended one of their meetings in the late 1980s to get an endorsement for an anti-nuclear weapons initiative. I remember them talking about Bernie at that meeting. They wanted him to run for Congress, which he did in 1990 and won.

“The local connections we are trying to foster will be the beginning of deeper, democratic collaboration across organizations and movements for public protest, organizing to grow the revolution, and electoral action in the next four years,” said Maria Svart, national director of DSA. “Social networking has transformed information sharing and mobilization. We can spread the agenda to hundreds of thousands of Bernie supporters, and beyond. What we advocate are demands that are close to the hearts of millions of Americans, not just those who vote for Bernie.”

Other faces of Bernie’s campaign will take part in the Summit. Here is a partial list:

  • Naomi Klein, environmental/social activist, author, “This Changes Everything”
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, veteran, Meritorious Service Medal awardee
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva, co-chair Congressional Progressive Caucus
  • Former NAACP president Ben Jealous
  • National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro
  • Former Ohio State senator Nina Turner
  • Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox, showing his new film “How to Love Everything Climate Can’t Change”
  • Frances Fox Piven, author, activist
  • Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia
  • Juan Gonzalez, co-host of Democracy Now!, author, “Harvest of Empire”
  • Jim Hightower, American populist
  • Shaun King, New York Daily News columnist, Occupy activist
  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood, president, Hip-Hop Caucus
  • Becky Bond, former executive director CREDO, director digital organizing Sanders campaign

Many on this list were campaign surrogates who Bernie trusted to speak for the campaign. For me that is a sign that this summit will play an important role in developing the next step for the Political Revolution.

Activities at the summit will include plenary and workshop sessions on ongoing national movement building actions, training on civil disobedience, and how to bring actions back to local communities.

Some of the issues likely to be emphasized to unify the movement include the ongoing campaigns for a national $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All, climate justice, voting rights, criminal justice reform, the fight for free and higher education and ending student debt, and a tax on Wall Street speculation to fund human needs and jobs. The summit will also include music and a “festival of joyous rebellion.”

Senator Sanders is among those invited to speak at the summit.

The People’s Summit
June 17-19, McCormick Place, Chicago
Program begins at 7 p.m. Friday night, June 17.
Continues through 12 noon, Sunday, June 19.
How to get involved:
Via or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @pplsummit

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner
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