Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sanders' Movement Resignations: Green Party Must reach Out


Sanders did not end up here by accident. He knew what he was doing
Statement From Facts For Working People

From the word go, the organizers of this Blog which is the Blog of  Facts For Working People, opposed supporting Sanders and his campaign to be the Presidential nominee of the capitalist Democratic Party. Download our early statements on this here and a slightly different version here in pdf form that we handed out at Bernie events during the nomination campaigns.

We also said that when Sanders would be seen to be supporting the right wing militaristic capitalist Clinton, there would be a break in the situation with large sections of his supporters looking for an alternative. Despite our very limited resources, we saw it as part of our responsibility as socialists to try and help provide this alternative. Looking at the existing political situation at the time we came to the conclusion that the Green Party was the only viable alternative.  Not only that, we believed that a considerable section of Sander's supporters would be prepared to join the Green Party. 

As long as a year ago those of us around Facts For Working People, after much discussion with some young people in the Sanders’ campaign, saw that the Green Party, with its national presence, would be the Party that many of the former Sanders supporters who wanted to continue in political struggle would look to. So we joined and called on others to join the Green Party. We did not say people should vote for the Green Party and that was it. We advocated that the Green Party stand firmly on its own political two feet and reach out to the Sanders people and seek to convince them not only to vote for the Green Party but to join and build the Green Party. Yes, interact with the Sanders' base, but not support Sanders. Explain what Sanders would do, explain they were making a mistake and advocate they should join the Green Party and build the Green Party.

But we didn’t leave it there. We argued that members of the Green Party, both old and new, should seek to move the Green Party to being an openly eco socialist party. This has now been done as at the recent convention the Party adopted an eco socialist and anti capitalist plank in its platform. The task now is to see that this plank is aggressively fought for. We also argued that the people who saw and were seeing through Sanders should not only join the Green Party, but that they should organize within the Green Party and with other Green Party members, and in a non sectarian manner, a left current to lead the fight for eco socialism in the Party, and also to advocate that the Green Party become a workers Party.

Another issue we stressed was for the GPUS to become a proper membership dues based party where decisions are made on the basis of one person one vote with the minority always having the right to put forward their views openly. This was a correct position. Those who supported Sanders, those who did not support Sanders but who talked in an abstract way about building a new party were mistaken. But it is not too late to make amends. In fact the situation is more ripe now than before. 

This is because the break in the Sanders movement is becoming even more acute. It began when Sanders supported Clinton. Now it has developed even more rapidly and thoroughly with the recent resignations of eight out of the 13 staffers who were working for what Sanders called "Our Revolution." This "Our Revolution" was what he said was going to carry on the work of his campaign, what he saw as maybe keeping together some of his base, or at least covering up his betrayal of his base. This organization was to have over 2,300 house parties this week.

Now "Our Revolution" has half its staffers resigning including the core of its organizing and digital teams that were the two pillars of its structure. The right wing Jeff Weaver has been put in charge and the top leadership team are all white men from Vermont. Sanders promised some of the staffers that Weaver would not be involved but he did not keep his word. Weaver is more for using the huge email and data base list for raising money from rich people and spending this on Democratic Party candidates rather than building a movement. 

As we have said many times on this Blog, Sander's talk of revolution was irresponsible and unrealistic and dishonest. It amounted to no more than getting more people out to vote for the capitalist counter revolutionary Democratic Party. Tragically it won the support of many young and not so young people who wanted a genuine change. Sanders has to take responsibility for this betrayal. People like the organizers of this Blog knew what would happen from the get go and pointed out what would happen from the get go. We warned our readers not to be taken in. Sanders has a big responsibility on his shoulders. 

But it is not only Sanders who is to be blamed for this. The left groups, especially such groups as Socialist Alternative, but also other left groups and individuals, who supported Sanders are also to blame. And the lefts who stood on the sidelines calling for a new party are also to blame. What was necessary was what this Blog advocated. No support for Sanders. Join and build the Green Party as an eco socialist party. Build the Green party as a workers party. Change the internal life of the Green Party from the present undemocratic consensus method to one of honest and open discussion and decision making with the majority view being the party policy but with the minority views being heard at all times. Build in a non sectarian way a left current in the Green Party to work to build the Green Party in this manner. We ask all those who are interested in these ideas and working in this way to contact us at this Blog and let us work together. 

Sanders' house parties, an opportunity for Greens to reach out to his supporters
But we also have another appeal that we think is very urgent. It is to our own Green Party leaders. Sanders has been calling what has come out of his campaign - "Our Revolution." He has announced that "Our Revolution" will hold over 2,300 house parties this week throughout the country. This is a serious development. And it is taking place against the background of two other processes. One is the increasing divisions in the Sanders movement itself as Bernie Sanders and Jane Sanders and Jeff Weaver take it further to the right and away from its rank and file base. The other process is the increasing support for the Green Party and the increased coverage of Jill Stein as its presidential candidate.

There is real opportunity here for the Green Party. Jill Stein has clearly upped the ante in the wake of the Sanders’ betrayal. She is aggressive, she is in their face and she has taken them up on foreign policy and other issues better than any Democrat. The leadership of the Green Party, the Green National Committee (DNC) must act immediately. It must initiate discussions with the people who are resigning from the Sanders movement and appeal for them to join the Green Party along with the many others who are now increasingly questioning the Sanders movement.

As part of this the GNC must seek to mobilize our own Green Party base to, in a diplomatic and democratic way, attend these more than 2,300 house parties and ask to be allowed to put our views and our case as to why the people who formerly supported Sanders should now join the Green Party.  

It is no time to miss opportunities. The two main parties of capitalism are in serious crisis and fragmenting.  Decisive, imaginative and audacious action is what is necessary. And if it is taken the results can be very surprising. There is a big responsibility now on the shoulders of the leadership of the Green Party.  As one GP member said recently,  “this is the big time now”.

1 comment:

Myles Hoenig said...

MoveOn used to have meet up groups that were announced. Is there a way of knowing where in my state or city such Bernie house parties are happening?