What that approach gets us is Lordstown and plant closings, NAFTA 2, and an ever rising war budget.
Sunday, February 9, 2020
By John Gallo
Retired Trade Unionist, Vice President of AFSCME Local 3360 and retired Coordinator for the North Shore Federation of Labor
Now is not the time to be nice, polite or reasonable. Calamitous crises are threatening humanity:
1. Global Warming. Nothing (!) lasts forever. In 10-20 years, it may be too late to reverse global warming and its consequences – hurricanes, droughts, wild fires, sea rises, floods and hotter temperatures, If we fail to act decisively, human existence may come to an end.
Terribly sorry if this causes discomfort. It should. Global warming and climate change are real. It's not a theory. It's fact. Scientists are near unanimous. The so-called deniers are either stupid, ignorant or sociopaths who care only about keeping their wealth and power. And lots of luck to those who believe the messiah is coming.
So where in Cleveland is the mass coalition to fight global warming and for the Green New Deal? Where is the labor movement, the Left, the formerly-active community groups, the religious community, et al.? Answer: urging people to write letters to politicians, posting on face book, and raising funds for staff salaries.
2. Obama's Legacy. The Affordable Care Act, is crumbling. Premiums are becoming unaffordable and millions are going without insurance. But, the majority of the population wants Medicare for All. The argument that Biden and most of the other candidates are peddling – that working people would rather pay for their health insurance than get it at a much cheaper costs – is B.S. And now that Obama is touting Warren, she is walking back her support of Medicare for All, leaving Bernie as the sole advocate.
But where in Cleveland is the mass coalition to fight for Medicare for All? Hundreds of local unions and state and national Federations have endorsed single payer. But
neither labor nor health care groups are active on the issue. Instead, more letters to Congress and defend the ACA.
3. Never-ending War: For the 20 years, U.S. Troops have invaded, bombed, coordinated coups and killed hundreds of thousands of people in at least 25 countries, leaving them in ruins and forcing the migration of millions of refugees. After 17 years of war in Afghanistan, we now learn that neither the military nor the three stooges acting as commanders in chief knew what or why we were there and lied to the public that we were winning. Like all previous empires, the American Empire is crumbling and being led by a mad man. Trump, like the legions of mad kings and emperors before him, is not the cause for the collapse but a symptom of the decaying socio-economic system we live in.
Where in Cleveland is the mass outrage and coalition to end these military crimes? Where are the huge outpourings that helped end the war against Vietnam? What are organized labor and the peace movement doing? More letters and a few educational meetings. The situation requires much stronger action than that.
4. Politics at a cross road. For the first time in 72 years, there is a possibility to elect a left-wing progressive to the Presidency. Bernie Sanders has not only put forward real solutions to real problems: the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, free public education through college, seriously taxing the wealth and profits of the rich, and ending the criminal wars we are waging. He has offered the best plan (maybe the only one) to help bring racial justice, to stop and reduce the growing economic inequality that is impoverishing more people every day.
What are Cleveland labor unions, community groups and the Left doing to build a coalition that will support and advance the programs of Bernie Sanders. Such activities will not only lay the bases for winning on these issues, but will do more
to defeat Trump and elect more militant progressives to Congress than the middle of the road approach being pushed by the leaders of the Democratic Party and their wealthy backers. This would help inspire reluctant voters and give them something to vote for. I don't think local unions must sit and wait for the top officials in D.C. to show them the way. The members must show them the way. And the way is not to be beholden to the Democratic Party.
Pussy-footing and half steps will get us goose steps.
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Calling for an 'End to Violence,' Bernie Sanders Becomes First 2020 Democratic Presidential Contender to Criticize Bolivian Coup
|Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the media |
after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate
on June 27, 2019 in Miami. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Monday, November 11, 2019
"I am very concerned about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales."
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday became the first 2020 Democratic presidential
candidate to speak out against Sunday's military coup in Bolivia which saw that
country's President Evo Morales forced to resign before going into hiding.
"I am very concerned about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military,
after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales," Sanders
tweeted. "The U.S. must call for an end to violence and support Bolivia's democratic
The Vermont senator's comments came after a day of mounting pressure to speak out
from his left-wing grassroots movement. Earlier Monday, as Common Dreams
reported, Sanders supporter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) condemned the
coup in no uncertain terms."The people of Bolivia deserve free, fair, and peaceful
elections," said Ocasio-Cortez, "not violent seizures of power." Sanders' expression of
support for Morales was welcomed by supporters."By far the biggest difference
between Bernie and the rest of the Democratic candidates is how well versed he is in
and how much he cares about the type of international left issues that, say, The Nation
new plan to help veterans; held a town hall with veterans in Des Moines, Iowa
and published at Jewish Currents an essay on combatting anti-Semitism.