Action Council: Taser Film & New Announcements (from Adrienne Fong)

TASERS for SFPD?

 KILLING THEM SAFELY

 (San Francisco ~ Theatrical Premiere)

    Tuesday, May 31, 2016

6:30pm

Roxie Theater

3117 – 16th St.

San Francisco

Killing Them Safely, an explosive 2015 documentary film on the controversy over police use of TASERS.

Hundreds of deaths. Zero oversight. In the early 2000s Tasers were marketed to law enforcement agencies as a safe alternative to handguns. They were supposed to curb the use of deadly force – so why have over 500 people died from Taser-related injuries since?

Following the screening discussion with:

NICK BERARDINI, Filmmaker

JEFF ADACHI, San Francisco Public Defender

About the film and its implications for the upcoming decision of the San Francisco Police Commission to possibly start outfitting San Francisco Police Department officers with Tasers.

Tickets:

http://www.roxie.com/ai1ec_event/killing-them-safely/?instance_id

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1616445155343535/

OccupySF Action Council is one of the co-sponsors

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

Friday, May 27

M 27, Friday, 6:30pm, Honoring the Life of Jessica Williams – Rally & March

Meet at:

3rd and Palou
SF

March will go to Bayview police station.

Jessica was murdered on National Say Her Name Day, a day created to uplift the names of Black Women, Girls and Femmes who are murdered by State Sanctioned Violence.

We are calling the community out to help us honor our sister JESSICA WILLIAMS’ life. We are asking the community to come together collectively and lift up her name. We will say her name!

Host: The Last Percent

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1227963873881801/?notif_t=plan_user_invited¬if_id=1464241331529727

Saturday, May 28

M 28, Saturday, 6:00pm – 9:30pm, MORAL INJURY from the personal to the political

The Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave.
SF

This is part of the G.I. Rights Conference taking place in SF this year.

Joseph Bobro, on Healing From Moral Injury, author of Waking Up From War, founder of Coming Home Project

Lisa Ling and Cian Westmorland

  Veterans and Whistleblowers: US Air Force Drone Program

DRONE Warfare and Moral Injury

6:00pm – Vietnamese dinner buffet

Donations sincerely requested

RSVP: sirism@mac.com   / 415-863-3771

Sponsor: Veterans For Peace Chapter 69

M 28, Saturday, 7:00pm, An Evening in Support of Political Prisoners

International Capoeira Angola Foundation
2443 Magnolia St.
Oakland CA

Sliding Scale $5-15 No one turned away for lack of funds

Speakers include member of All of Us or None, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the Political Prisoner Committee of the National Lawyers Guild. Speakers will present on political prisoners from the Black Power, Puerto Rican Independence and American Indian Movements

An evening of food, speakers and music to support long term Political Prisoner, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, and to build solidarity around US Political Prisoners.

Host:  Bay Area Anti Repression n Committee

Info:  www.antirepressionbayarea.com

Sunday, May 29

M 29, Sunday, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Planning Meeting for #Beyond Occupy – 5 years of activism in the Bay Area

Oscar Grant Plaza
Oakland

#OO has invited us to join their GA at 4:00 to Start discussing and brainstorming about the 5 year anniversary celebration. we still need venue ideas and working groups.  Be part of making this an amazing tribute to Bay Area Activists!
Come out At 3:00 for food or just come at 4:00 for the Meeting

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1721852194720346/?notif_t=plan_user_invited¬if_id=1464317666676025

Tuesday, May 31

M 31, Tuesday, 4:30pm, Press Conference –  RECALL ED LEE has now been launched 

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place
SF

See:  http://brokeassstuart.com/blog/2016/05/26/the-effort-to-recall-ed-lee-just-started-right-now/

Wednesday, June 1

J 1, Wednesday, 5:30pm, SF Police Commission Meeting, STOP TASERS

SF City Hall, Room 400 – 4th Floor
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place
SF

The Police Commission will be considering taser implementation at their next meeting. Come tell them SFPD doesn’t need more deadly weapons!

Remember: The Police Commission has the final say on Tasers

The San Francisco Police Commission will consider a proposal by ex- Chief Suhr to arm SFPD with Tasers as part of updating the Use of Force General Order. After the death of Mario Woods, the Chief proposed handing Tasers out to a number of experienced officers. Taser usage will almost certainly expand rapidly from there. This is the fourth time they have been introduced, the first three being rejected after evidence demonstrated increased danger to the public.

Tasers DO NOT reduce police shootings:

Taser use by police actually increases the rate of fatal shootings. A 2009 UCSF study found that fatal shootings by police more than double in the first year after police departments adopt Tasers.

Tasers CAN KILL:

This is especially true for vulnerable people such as those with mental illnesses.

Check SF Police Commission agenda late Friday: http://sanfranciscopolice.org/meetings/19

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/351562681634295/

“Greg Suhr’s meeting with Ed Lee” by Matier & Ross (from Annemarie Donjacour)

According to Matier & Ross (I question many things they write about) Suhr offered to resign after a BOS meeting was stormed about 2 weeks ago. Suhr also had a hand in picking his successor – THAT SHOULD GIVE A BIG WARNING! Suzy Loftus was bought in for her opinion – Keep reading….

What really happened in Greg Suhr’s meeting with Ed Lee

By Matier & Ross

May 22, 2016

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/What-really-happened-in-Greg-Suhr-s-meeting-7918487.php?t=85971e7c1c7d4f3860&cmpid=twitter-premium

Mayor Ed Lee announces the resignation of Police Chief Greg Suhr alongside Police Commission President Suzy Loftus and acting Chief Toney Chaplin.

For all the drama surrounding San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr’s resignation, behind the scenes his departure was one of the most amicable City Hall has seen in some time — he even had a hand in picking his successor.

Suhr’s exit Thursday was actually the second time the chief had volunteered to resign. He first offered to go a couple of weeks back after protesters stormed City Hall and took over the Board of Supervisors chambers.

According to people who were in on the discussions, Mayor Ed Leerejected the idea, telling Suhr, “If you go, then I go.”

Lee said he was not going to turn the city over to what he called “the mob mentality,” said our sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The mayor was also loath to give in to progressive critics on the Board of Supervisors who had called for Suhr to be replaced. As late as Monday, when asked about a KPIX-TV poll that found city residents surveyed wanted Suhr to stay on by 50 to 31 percent, Lee said, “This tells us that the chief does have support as long as he is doing his job.”

TROUBLED TENURE

Mayor had to replace Suhr, analysts say

BROWN: Suhr’s biggest enemies were his City Hall ‘friends’

NEVIUS: Members of rank and file undercut Suhr

That stance changed Thursday when a police sergeant fatally shot an unarmed black woman in a suspected stolen car on the edge of the Bayview. With that, Suhr — who for the past year had been telling his cops not to shoot at cars — knew it was over.

And the mayor pretty much confirmed it when he told reporters shortly after the shooting, “Obviously, I have to hold the chief accountable.”

A few hours later, Suhr headed over to City Hall — along with Deputy Chief Michael Redmond and the man who was soon to replace Suhr on an acting basis, Deputy Chief Toney Chaplin.

Sources who were there tell us that in the private meeting that followed, Suhr and the mayor agreed there was no longer a path forward, and that it was time for him to step aside.

“But Suhr insisted that the mayor ask him for his resignation,” said one City Hall source. “That’s the way it rolled.”

Suhr didn’t want to make it look like he was quitting, and at the same time was going to make it clear that the mayor was the one in command.

“Greg was a team player to the last,” the source said.

The mayor then turned the conversation, asking Suhr if he had any recommendations on who should take over as acting chief.

Suhr suggested either of the two deputy chiefs who had come with him and were sitting in the next room  Redmond, who is in charge of the operations bureau, and Chaplin, who as head of the professional standards and principled policing bureau was involved in trying to implement policy reforms in the SFPD.

Lee and Suhr agreed that Chaplin should be the one.

Police Commission President Suzy Loftus was brought in for her opinion, and she signed off on the plan.

The mayor then asked Suhr to talk with Chaplin about taking the job. Suhr did so, and Chaplin then met with Loftus, who laid out the goals for the department.

Everyone then reconvened in Lee’s office, where, after a round of hugs and handshakes, the mayor, Loftus and Chaplin walked out to face the cameras, and Suhr slipped out through a side door and into his new life as a civilian.

How all this will affect Lee’s standing with voters remains to be seen. After years of skyrocketing rents, traffic gridlock and growing homeless encampments, recent polls show the mayor’s approval ratings slipping below the 40 percent mark. One recent poll has it at 28 percent — about on par with most members of the Board of Supervisors.

And while police shootings have commanded the headlines, Lee is well aware that for many of his supporters, the biggest issue when it comes to policing is the rising number of property crimes in the neighborhoods.

Morale within the Police Department has also become a problem in recent months, as officers feel that no one will have their back if something goes wrong in an arrest.

As one Police Officers Association official said, “The fear is, they aren’t going to do anything but taking reports.”

With Suhr gone, that’s a problem that’s now on the mayor’s plate.

Missing in action: Notably absent during this past week’s Police Department shakeup — prompted by the shooting of a black woman in the Bayview — were the Board of Supervisors’ two African American members.

Supervisor Malia Cohen was off getting married in Montego Bay , Jamaica , to workers’ comp attorney Warren Pulley, and board President London Breedwent along to witness the ceremony.

Others joining the wedding party included Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan Kelly and his wife, City Administrator Naomi Kelly.

Her impending vows aside, Cohen did find time late Friday to fire off a news release supporting the mayor’s decision to request Suhr’s resignation, calling it a chance for San Francisco “to come together, heal and recover to feel safe in our community.”

Action Council Events — May 25 to June 1 (from Patricia Gray)

Please read down this list of events and pick out at least one
that you can attend.  We all need to get to know our fellow
activists who want to change the corrupt government.  We can
be more successful together.
__________________________________________________
Wednesday   May 25
9:00 – 2:30 pm    San Francisco Main Library
                           Koret Auditorium,  100 Larkin St.
                           (enter at 30 Grove St.)
                           JUSTICE SUMMIT ON USE OF FORCE
                           Speakers:
                           Melissa Horis-Perry, political commentator
                           Jeff Adachi, Public Defender
                           Ken Williams, detective and reform expert
                           Steve Tulttle, Taser International
                           free event
                           R.S.V.P for lunch sfjusticesummit.com
5:30- 6:30 pm    Montgomery and Market
                          PEACE VIGIL
                          Join Code Pink, World Can’t Wait and Occupy
                          Action Council at the huge peace banner.
                          Theme of the week —  Guantanamo – Restore
                          Habeas Corpus
6:00 – 7:00 pm   Mission Police Station,  630 Valencia St.
                          VIGIL FOR AMILCAR
                          The D.A. must charge the officers that killed him.
                          Our vigil continues, we are watching and waiting.
7:00 pm              Chevron corporate Headquarters
                           6001 Bollinger Ave, San Ramon
                           PROTEST AT SHAREHOLDER’S MEETING
                           Indigenous allies affected by Chevron in Ecuador,
                           and Richmond CA have things in common–
                           they have been harmed by Chevrons reckless
                           pursuit of profits.  Join in a colorful and fun rally
                           at Chevron in support of human rights,
                           economic and climate justice.
                           sponsored by:
                           Amazon Watch, Asian Pacific Environmental
                           Network, Green Peace, Idle No More, Sunflower
                           Alliance, Pacamama Alliance, Rainforest
                           Network, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Women’s
                           Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
______________________________________________________
Thursday, May 26
1:00 pm             8032 Mac Arthur Blvd, Oakland
                          OAKLAND FIGHT BACK!
                          People of Oakland have suffered seven evictions
                          a month of elders, small businesses, and long
                          time East Oakland residents by speculators and
                          Real Estate Snakes.
                          Come and share ideas on how to FIGHT BACK!
                          Sponsor,  Poor Magazine
6:00 pm             SEIU local 1021 350 Rhode Island enter on the
                          back of the building on the next street over.
                          LESSONS LEARNED FROM COUNTELPRO
                          Speaker:  Elaine Brown former leader in the
                          Black Panthers
                          donations needed to continue the work of
                          Justice4MarioWoods Coalition
6:30-8:30pm     Wild Equity Office Bldg, 474 Valencia St. S.F.
                         Second floor
                         REBELS WITH A CAUSE
                         Prize winning film– a documentary tells the story
                         of California environmentalists who fought in the
                         70s and 80s to preserve northern California’s
                         amazing landscape.  Their work resulted in the
                         creation of Point Reyes National Seashore and
                         the Golden Gate Recreational Area.
7:00 pm            UU Center Fireside Room
                         1187 Franklin St. (at Geary) S.F.
                         PDA meeting and film
                         WHERE TO INVADE NEXT?
                         a film by Michael Moore
                         snacks and beverages provided,  Join us for a fun
                         evening.
_____________________________________________________
Friday, May 27
6:00-8:00 pm    2940 16th St.  Near 16th St. BART
                         DANGEROUS JOURNEY
                         Speaker: Moses Gomez, professor and researcher
                         at the Central American University
                         talking about the Dangerous Journey and how U.S.
                         sponsored border militarization is fueling a human
                         rights crisis.  Learn about the  root cause of the
                         problem and how we can defend the rights of
                         migrants.
                         sponsor: Bay Area CISPES
______________________________________________________
Saturday, May 28
11:00 – 1 pm     San Francisco Main Library,  100 Larkin St. S.F.
                         WAR IS A LIE!
                         David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg on
                         his book War is a Lie   Daniel says “A terrific tool
                         for recognizing and resisting war lies before it is
                         too late.”
                         sponsor:  World Beyond War.org
6:00 pm            One Fam Community Event Center
                         1606 7th St. Oakland
                         THROUGH THE WIRE
                         A benefit for long tem political prisoner Romaine
                         “Chip” Fitzgerald – a former Black Panther
                         incarcerated since 1969.
                         Speakers from the Black Power Puerto Rican
                         Independence, and American Indian movements
                         discussing why it is important to support political
                         prisoners.
                         Ras Ceylon emcee brings revolutionary music,
                         Hip Hop meets Reggae
                         $5.00 to $15.00 donation — no one turned away
                         for lack of funds.
_____________________________________________________
Sunday May 29
7:30 pm          Berkeley Fellowship of UUs,  1924 Cedar St.
                       WAR  IS A LIE!
                       David Swanson with Cindy Sheehan will discuss
                       his new book.
                       The speakers counter the theory that war is an
                       inevitable part of human nature.
                       $5.00 – $10.00 donation requested — no one turned
                       away for lack of funds.
                      sponsors, Berkeley Fellowship of UUs and Code
                      Pink Golden Gate
_____________________________________________________
Monday May 30
10:00 – 12:00 pm   Golden Gate Cemetery at the main gate
                              Sneath Lane and highway 280, San Bruno
                              PEACE IS PATRIOTIC 
                              A protest event  honoring Daniel Berrigan who
                              died this month.  We will honor his work to end
                              wars.  We will read his poetry and articles .  We
                              sing Peace songs (Musicians needed) Bring
                              banners to hang over the overpass on 280.
                              bring sings, flowers and small instruments.
                              We ain’t gonna study war no more!
                              Materials will be there to make your own sign.
                              We will be on the wide sidewalk outside the
                              main gate to the cemetery.
______________________________________________________
Wednesday June 1
7-9 pm             Marines Memorial Theater
                        609 Sutter St. (at Mason)
                        6 BIG NEW CLEANTECH IDEAS
                        Berkeley Lab’s popular Science at the theater
                        travels across the bay to present the labs first
                        CLEANTECK PITCHFEST
                        Which of the six big new ideas presented by six
                        Berkeley Lab Scientists will be best to help us
                        transform our carbon drenched over  heating
                        world has the most promise and sound value?
                        Free admission   RSVP at friends.lbl.gov
7:00 pm          African American Cultural Complex
                       762 Fulton St. S.F.
                       MANIFESTING ACCESS
                       A collection of short movies that expose truths at the
                       intersection of disability and police terror.  Disabled
                       people are among the highest targeted by police
                       violence.

Action Council — Announcements & Updates (from Adrienne Fong)

Send announcements for posting to Pat:  pat1936@gmail.com 

OccupySF

~ Action Council ~

Occupy San Francisco Bulletin Board:

 http://www.occupysf.net

 ANNOUNCEMENTS

The name of the woman whose life was stolen by the SFPD on Thursday morning is JESSICA WILLIAMS, she was 27 years old. It has NOT been confirmed at this writing is she was pregnant. R.I.P. JESSICA WILLIAMS ♥ ♥ 

Saturday, May 21

M 21, Saturday, 6:00pm – 6:40pm, 2Y+2M: A moment for Alex on Saturday

Bernal Heights Park
Bernal Heights Blvd.
SF

Join  Elvira and Refugio Nieto us for a moment  to remember Alex on his two year and two month anniversary of being killed by SFPD.

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1112556612100247/

Sunday, May 22

M 22, Sunday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Teach-In: What’s Happening in Haiti (Venue change))

Oakland Peace Center
111 Fairmount Ave
Oakland

The teach-in will give us the latest information about where this struggle stands, how the United States is subverting democracy, and how we can show our solidarity.

This is the main event of “Black Love Beyond Borders: A Week of International Solidarity”, May 21-28, 2016. For more information about the other events, go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/488625644659946/

Sponsors: Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Haiti Action Committee, Black Lives Matter Bay Area Chapter, All African People’s Revolutionary Party, Priority Africa Network, EastSide Arts Alliance and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/856250281147973/

Monday, May 23

M 23, Monday, 11:30am – 1:00pm, Protest AT&T’s Threat to Destroy or Safe and Reliable Landline Telephone Service

AT&T Wireless Store
425 Market St. (@ Fremont)
SF

AT&T and other big telecom corporations are pushing through legislation to deregulate and discontinue analog copper landline telephone service, which we depend on as the only safe and reliable means to call for help during power outages and emergencies, to access services, conduct business, and to reach our loved ones safely and reliably.

Info: e-mail info@savelandlines.org  / https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/05/19/18786539.php

M 23, Monday, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Reframing the Dialogue: Police Violence and Public Health (time change)

UCSF Cole Hall
513 Parnassus Ave.
SF

“Reframing the Dialogue: Race, Police Violence and Public Health”
Lecture by Rupa Marya, MD
Division of Hospitalist Medicine

Followed by a Panel Discussion featuring the Frisco5 Hunger Strikers, UCSF Medical Students and SFPD Sergent Yulanda Williams, president of the black officers group Officers for Justice a student-led initiative to examine closely the need to address police violence and racism as public health issues directly affecting the safety of communities in the US and particularly here in San Francisco.

Co-Sponsored by UCSF PRIME, UCSF Global Health Group and the Heal Initiative

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/949803821803516/

M 23, Monday, 5:00pm – 6:00pm, Rally & Vigil: Justice For James “Nate” Greer

Hayward City Hall (Nr. Hayward BART)
777 B Street, #4
Hayward

This will be the 2nd anniversary of “Nate’s” death at the hands of Hayward rogue police. His family will be holding a rally with their attorneys, and have a candle light vigil immediately following.

IMPORTANT UPDATE💥 TIME CHANGE!!💥
We will be changing the START time to 5:00pm for the RALLY. The gathering will begin at 5:00 and the event will start at 5:30 with Aztec dancers. We are hoping now with the time change, that more Friends and family are able to attend.
–The location is a 2 minute walk from Hayward BART
–There is also lots of parking nearby
–Kids are welcome

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1585831528412170/

Tuesday, May 24

M 24, Tuesday, 1:00pm, Due Process Final Vote!

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Pl.
SF

Join us to continue fighting for Due Process for all. The Due Process for all ordinance will reach the final vote

Petition to Ed Lee:  https://www.change.org/p/edwin-lee-mayor-lee-support-upholding-due-process?recruiter=544791161&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1721514408116358/?active_tab=highlights

M 24, Tuesday, 6:30pm, Fighting for an Affordable, Safe and Healthy Neighborhood: Excelsior D11 Town Hall

Crocker-Amazon Clubhouse
799 Moscow St.
SF

The southeast neighborhoods are often forgotten by city officials. Our parks aren’t as safe or well-maintained as in other parts of the city. Parking is impossible to find and they ticket us when we don’t. Our wages aren’t enough to keep up with the rising cost of rents and mortgages. And we’re losing mom-and-pop shops struggling to stay.

Sponsor: ACCE

Info: Call 415-335-7033 or email sfacce@calorganize.org  /https://www.facebook.com/events/943850395728134/

Wednesday, May 25

M 25, Wednesday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, PEACE VIGIL

Montgomery and Market Sts.
(on the steps facing Market St., below Feinstein’s office)
Directly above the Montgomery BART/Muni Station
SF

Join Codepink, World Can’t Wait, OccupySF Action Council and Others at the huge PEACE banner

Theme this week will focus on GuantanamoRestore Habeas Corpus

Feel free to bring your own signage, photos, fliers. Additional signs and flyers provided.

Stand (or sit) with us.

REMINDERS 

May 25, Wednesday 9:00am-2:30pm, SF Public Defender’s 2016 Justice Summit USE OF FORCE

SF Main Library –
Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin St. – Enter at 30 Grove St.
SF

Free Event – Must Register! (lunch provided to RSVPed attendees)

Speakers:

Melissa Harris-Perry, author, professor, political commentator

Jeff Adachi, SF Public Defender

Ken Williams, former veteran homicide detective, and use of force/police reform expert

Steve Tuttle, Taser International

Info / Register: http://sfjusticesummit.com/

May, 31, Tuesday, 6:30pm  –  KILLING THEM SAFELY (Film regarding TASERS, a must see film for San Franciscans)

Roxie Theater
3117 – 16th St.
SF

Hundreds of deaths. Zero oversight. Tasers were supposed to curb the use of deadly force – so why have over 500 people died from Taser-related injuries since?  At a time when questions about police methods are at the forefront of the national dialogue, Killing Them Safely brings together archival footage and eye-opening interviews with experts on both sides of the debate.

Following the screening, a discussion featuring filmmaker, Nick Berardini, and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi about the film and its implications for the upcoming decision of the San Francisco Police Commission to possibly start outfitting SFPD officers with Tasers.

Co-Sponsors: ACLU Northern California, Public Defenders Racial Justice Committee, Coalition on Homelessness, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, National Lawyers Guild –SF, 48 Hills

OccupySF Action Council is also sponsoring.

Info & Tickets:

http://www.roxie.com/ai1ec_event/killing-them-safely/?instance_id

FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1616445155343535/

“HE’S NOT MOVING A PARTY TO THE LEFT – HE’S MOVING A GENERATION TO THE LEFT” by Salar Mohandesi (via Occupy.com)

One of the most significant political stories of the year is the meteoric rise of a little-known, 74-year-old, self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” senator from the small state of Vermont. Although he may win many of the remaining contests, it seems extremely unlikely that Bernie Sanders will clinch the Democratic nomination. Nevertheless, his bid for the presidency has dramatically, perhaps irreversibly, changed the political landscape in this country.

At this point, the question for socialists is not whether or not to support Bernie’s campaign, but rather: what do we do now? What, if any political possibilities have emerged, and how can we seize these opportunities to advance revolutionary politics? To answer that, we first need to determine exactly how Bernie has changed the political situation in the United States.

MOVING A GENERATION TO THE LEFT

The Sanders campaign did not emerge from nowhere. All movements exist within wider microsystems of struggle, and the complex entanglement and overlapping of recent social movements made his campaign possible. Without Occupy, Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, the mobilization of teachers and nurses, immigrant movements, and many other struggles, there would never have been a Sanders campaign. Sanders has benefited enormously from the hard work of these earlier struggles. He has tapped into existing networks to raise an army of volunteers. He has, for better or worse, adopted much of the political language of these other movements. No one in these movements foresaw Bernie’s spectacular rise, but they all prepared it.

While Sanders has in some ways channeled these movements, he has not facilitated their “recuperation,” as many socialists originally feared. Instead of defusing and containing radical ideas, his campaign has helped proliferate them. Radical activists, many of whom often appeared antagonistic to both his campaign and the entire electoral process, not only pushed Sanders to the left, but forced him to use his candidacy as a tribune to popularize and combine many pre-existing, seemingly separate demands: a $15 minimum wage, an end to mass incarceration, universal healthcare, free education, de-criminalizing marijuana, legalizing thousands of immigrants, and banning fracking, to name only a few.

These pressures also led Sanders to issue a whole spate of political statements that no presidential candidate would dare to utter in the United States. He publicly denounced the history of American imperialism on national television. He advocated for the rights of Palestinians in a country where almost no one in public office would even use the word “Palestine.” Like the Black Panthers, he has called the police an “occupying army.”

To be sure, most of these ideas are commonplace for most on the far left, and they do not on their own constitute socialism in any recognizable sense of the term. Indeed, Sanders himself is not a socialist. He never refers to the vibrant history of socialist struggles in this country, even though he once made a documentary about Eugene V. Debs. When he does speak of socialism, he points to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal or modern Denmark. Like all social democrats, he wants a more equitable and robust social welfare state, not the abolition of the capitalist mode of production.

All that said, in proliferating the messages of radical movements, even if articulating them in a social-democratic framework, his campaign has had an undeniable impact on millions of Americans, above all young Americans, who were unfamiliar with such ideas, too afraid to embrace them, or had dismissed them as impossible. A recent Harvard poll showed that young people’s political attitudes have already changed considerably just over the past year, and the polling director, John Della Volpe, has pinpointed Sanders as one of the primary causes. “He’s not moving a party to the left,” he concluded, he’s “moving a generation to the left.”

In addition, Sanders has helped draw lines of demarcation. Although most of his usual targets, such as “billionaires” or “Wall Street,” remain either terribly obvious or hopelessly vague, he has publicly named the “capitalists” as an enemy class, identified “capitalism” as the problem, and advocated “political revolution” as the solution. He has argued, before millions who are only now beginning to seriously think about things like “capitalism,” that problems in this society are not personal or isolated, but systemic, and that the only way forward is to radically and collectively overhaul that system.

On its own, this argument is banal, but the fact that it’s resonating with millions is remarkable. The same Harvard University poll revealed, for example, that 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. Of course, it’s not clear what respondents understand by the word “capitalism,” but it’s a very good start, especially in a country like the United States.

TRIGGERING MASS MOBILIZATION

At the same time, the completely unexpected success of the Sanders campaign has forced many people, organizations and institutions to drop their veneer of neutrality to savagely attack him. But their assaults, increasingly wild and extreme, have in turn allowed millions of Americans to see them for what they really are.

Although most Americans have not trusted the mainstream media for some time — a recent poll revealed that only 6 percent of Americans have confidence in the press — the media’s overt bias has prompted many people, above all the youth, to politicize their distrust, with many now regarding much of the mainstream media, especially seemingly objective newspapers like the Washington Post or the New York Times, as little more than the propaganda arm of the ruling class. Seemingly progressive and reliable political figures and pundits have now outed themselves as reactionaries. At the same time, the Democratic Party has revealed itself to be one of the most significant impediments to meaningful social change in this country.

Even more important than circulating radical ideas, calling for systematic transformation and revealing enemies, the Sanders campaign has triggered a kind of mass mobilization. Millions of Americans, many of whom have never voted before, are now attending rallies, joining marches, donating to the campaign, making telephone calls, knocking on doors, leading grassroots teams. While commitment to a bourgeois election is in itself no sign of radicalism, it does have the potential to create future opportunities for socialist politics. In mobilizing people, especially younger people, in this way, the campaign has helped connect activists from different movements, draw newcomers into existing political networks, and train a new generation of potential organizers.

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