By Eugene E. Ruyle

Posted on October 17, 2015 by the Communications Committee

This article is the third to appear in The Sanders Campaign: A Symposium.

Summary

The following is an outgrowth of research and organizing for our forum, "Bernie and Beyond: Socialist Perspectives on the Sanders Campaign," held on Saturday, October 3, 2015 as part of our regular series, Suds, Snacks, and Socialism at the Starry Plough Pub in Berkeley. The forum was attended by about 50 people and included registered Democrats and Greens, as well as our own Peace and Freedom activists and registrants. The program featured both Sanders supporters and others critical of Sanders and of the Democratic party: Ellis Goldberg (Contra Costa for Bernie), Steve Early (Labor for Bernie), Marsha Feinland (Peace and Freedom Party), and Gerald Smith (Peace and Freedom Party).

This forum, and my paper, represents a good model for how socialists and independents might relate to the Sanders campaign, namely by considering all different perspectives as the campaign unfolds before making hard decisions and dogmatically defending these decisions to the end. In our forum, this was done by inviting speakers with different perspective and encouraging maximum audience participation.

I tried to follow this same approach in my paper, weighing the pros and cons, and the yes’es, no’s and maybe’s, to better understand the Sanders campaign. This may be confusing for some but I think the results of following this approach will be worth the effort.

Sanders might best be described as a “middle class” socialist, not a revolutionary socialist or a Marxist. His program may best be described as reformist, or “the left wing of the possible.” His foreign policy can most charitably be described as disappointing. In spite of all that, Sanders has transformed what otherwise would have been the most expensive, corrupt, and inane election in history into something real and exciting.

For those who don’t want to wade through my lengthy discussion (on the one hand, but on the other hand, but on still the other hand), you can go directly to my final sentence:

We might prefer that some other figure, such as Gloria La Riva of PSL or Jill Stein of the Green Party, were receiving the kind of mass support and media attention that Sanders has earned. But that is not a choice we get to make. In the real world, Sanders deserves socialist support in his campaign for the Democratic nomination and beyond. No one knows what a Sanders presidency would be like, but we all know what the usual suspects will give us.

banner from westcoastportshutdown.org

For Immediate release - Dec 9, 2011


center>Occupy Oakland & Organized Labor Plan to Shut Down Port
Blockades Planned at Every Major West Coast Port on Monday

Oakland, California -- Today, rank-and-file workers from the ILWU and Teamsters, local union leaders, veterans, and occupy organizers explained plans for the upcoming West Coast Port Shut Down on December 12 called for by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly.

Community pickets and mass mobilizations to blockade the ports are being organized by Occupy movements in San Diego, LA, Oakland, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, and Houston. Occupy Anchorage, Occupy Denver, and Occupy Wall Street are targeting Goldman Sachs and Walmart on the 12th. Solidarity actions are being planned as far away as in Japan.

Posted on July 15, 2011 by the Website Workers Counctil

PRESS RELEASE
July 15, 2011

Solution to UC Tuition Hikes (19% in one year): Oil Extraction Tax to Fund Education Initiative (Prop 1481) Raises $350 Million for UC, $350 Million for CSU, $1.09 Billion for K-12, and $1.5 Billion for Community Colleges Annually

Immediately following the UC Regents' second vote to increase tuition, bringing the total to 19% in one year, Rescue Education California coordinator and author of the Oil Extraction Fee to Fund Education Initiative, Professor Peter Mathews said that the Regents' vote would reduce educational opportunity for thousands of promising college students. Many of Mathews' own Cypress College students would be blocked from transferring to UC, and those who could afford to attend will face more cuts in class sections and programs, thereby delaying their graduation. UC tuition has been raised by over 100% since 2005!

Rescue Education California and Mathews have written Prop 1481, an Initiative Statute that would place a 15% extraction fee on oil drilled in California. This will provide $3 billion or more for California education, Kindergarten through College and University, for lowering tuition, restoring cut classes, rehiring professors and teachers, and reducing class size K-12. The Initiative prohibits the oil companies from passing the tax on to consumers in higher gas prices, and will face fines by the California Attorney General if they do. This money will be returned to every Californian in annual rebate checks.

By Kevin Akin

Posted on September 25, 2011 by the National Organizing Committee

The following invitation was first circulated to interested organizations and individuals on September 11. Please visit noc2012.org for more information.

Dear Friends,

The National Organizing Committee invites you to participate in the founding conference of a coalition intended to provide a Left political presence in the 2012 election cycle. The meeting will take place over the weekend of December 10 and 11, 2011 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Posted on April 26, 2011 by the the Website Workers Council

On April 26, Peace and Freedom State Executive Committee member Marsha Feinland was interviewed on the Morning Mix program on KPFA-FM in Berkeley. She explained how taxing the rich and their corporations can solve the state's budget problems and described the Take California march to Sacramento, which will start on May 1. The interview, conducted by Anthony Fest and Adrienne Lauby, is approximately 12 minutes in length.

For more on Take California, see this article and this schedule of events.


Click on the Play button (green arrow) to listen to the interview.
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