Chile: Around one million protesters flood the streets of Santiago

Ruptly An estimated one million protesters flooded the streets of Santiago streets in what is thought to be one of the biggest protests in Chile’s history as protesters’ frustration with the country’s government grows. The protesters, occupying the capital’s wide avenues, congregated in Santiago’s central square as more demonstrations happened all over the country. Riot police were deployed and tried to disperse the mass with water cannons and tear gas. Hundreds of protesters later clashed with police as the march turned violent. Over the past week of protests at least 19 people were reportedly killed and the government declared a state of emergency putting in place a curfew in the hope to tame demonstrations. The current wave of demonstrations, which is considered to be the worst in decades, was sparked by a now-suspended metro fare hike. The demonstrations have since evolved into a movement with wider grievances aimed at addressing the rising cost of living, pension reform and police conduct during demonstrations as well as demanding the resignation of President Sebastian Pinera. Video ID: 20191026-010 Video on Demand: Contact:

Articles ~ Actions ~ Events, Friday, Nov. 1 – Tuesday, Nov. 5 (from Adrienne Fong)

Am not back posting on a regular basis

– Please post your events on Indybay

    Thank you to all who are – See Indybay for other events.

ACCESSIBILITY: Please include Accessibility Information on events! 

KiDS Friendly / Childcare: Include info


A. Whistleblower Ramsey Orta still in prison.

B. Kincade Fire: Approximately 300 farmworkers feeling stuck in Cloverdale without food, gas, power – October 29, 2019

C. Media Silent as Nobel Prize Winning OPCW Found “Fixing” its Own Findings on Syria – October 29, 2019

D. Baghdadi’s Death Will Not Kill The Islamic State  – October 29, 2019

E. NLG IC statement on the arrest of Max Blumenthal, the attack on Venezuela and the repression of dissent – October 28, 2019

F. ‘Call It the Surge’: Vowing Nationwide Crackdown, Trump Touts Tougher and More Militarized US Police  – October 28, 2019

G. The Bombers Have Landed: B-1s Arrive in Saudi Arabia as Part of US Buildup – October 25, 2019


1. Tell Hershey, Nestlé and Mars: Stop using child labor


2. Stop Kevin Cooper’s Abuse by San Quentin Prison Guards!


3. Remove Military Troops from Chile’s Streets



Friday, November 1 – Tuesday, November 5

Friday, November 1

1. Friday, 10:00am – 2:00pm, Dia de los Muertos: Procession and Lobby Day!

Meet at:

Coalition on Homelessness
280 Turk St.

Join us in remembering and honoring the thousands of families experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.

We will be meeting at the COH (280 Turk) at 10am to make angel wings and signs.

From 11-12 we will have a brunch at COH

12-12:30 we will begin our processional to City Hall to honor our passed comrades

12:30-2pm: Lobby day at City Hall in support of pregnant, doubled up, and SRO families to be included in family homeless services!


2. Friday, 11:00am, Press Conference for Chesea Boudin (NEW)

Hall of Injustice
850 Bryant St.

Mothers on the March Against Police Murders will be present

3. Friday, 12Noon – 2:00pm,  Mothers on the March Against Police Murders – Weekly action

Hall of Injustice
850 Bryant St.

Protest Suzy Loftus as interim SF District Attorney!


All are invited to join us (Even if it’s for a few minutes) to demand that interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus charge police officers with murder. Stand with ALL families who have lost loved ones to police murders. This is a movement towards police accountability. If we keep accepting the way things are, we’ll, never make any true progress that benefits the people. Since Gascon has been the DA in San Francisco, he has not charged any police officers.

Calling for Justice for:

Joshua Smith, Kenneth Harding Jr., Peter Yin Woo, Steven Michael Young, Dennis Hughes , Pralith Prolouring, Dale Stuart Wilkerson, Alex Nieto, Giovany Contreras Sandoval, O’Shaine Evans, Matthew Hoffman, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Alice Brown, Herbert Omar Benitez, Javier Lopez Garcia, Mario Woods, Luis Gόngora Pat, Jessica Nelson, Nicolas McWherter, Nicholas Flusche, Damian Murray, Keita O’Neil, Jesus Adolfo Delgado, Jehad Eid, and Derrick Gaines (killed by a police officer hired by SFPD)

The above named  all were killed by SFPD during DA Gascon’s reign – NOT ONE police officer has been charged! Demand that Suzy Loftus charge police officers that have committed murder! Some of those named were killed while Suzy was president of the SF Police Commission!

Host: Mother’s on the March Against Police Murders!

Saturday, November 2

4. Saturday, 10:00am – 1:00pm, Día de los Muertos Community Procession #ClosetheCamps

Meet at:

Mission Dolores Park
19th St. & Dolores


A Day With Out Immigrants SF invites you to join a community procession in memory of the children and families who have died crossing the US-Mexico border and in the concentration camps due to the inhumane policies being enacted against our communities.

The procession includes: 10 handmade coffins created by local artists, San Francisco LowRider Council and more TBA!

We are in crisis with what is occurring at the border and at detention centers that are incarcerating children and adults in unbearable conditions!


Host: A Day Without Immigrants SF + 6 Other groups


5. Saturday, 11:00am – 2:00pm, Speak Out In Oakland Against Port Privatization & Attacks On Public Education

Mosswood Park
3612 Webster St.

Defend Workers, Familes and Our Communities-Stop Privatization & Gentrification From The Port To Our Schools To Chile, Palestine & Mexico

Working people and their families are under attack from parents who have been beaten at the OUSD board of education to maritime port workers whose jobs are threatened with privatization of Howard Terminal for GAP billionaire owner John Fisher’s A’s stadium.

The politicians including Nancy Skinner and Rob Bonta with the support of Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf even got Governor Gavin Newsom to sign a bill that will allow a tax on working people to pay for infrastructure for the crazy stadium on a working dock at the Port of Oakland.

There is no money for the thousands of homeless and people living in RV’s but we can have a tax to help billionaire John Fisher’s stadium.

There is no more money for our schools but we have a tax for a stadium that the owner promised to use his
own money for?

Fisher and his family fund and control Rocketship and KIPP charter schools and they want more in Oakland and
around the country to push charters and shutdown public education.

The port privatization development plans include more than 3,000 million dollar condos and you know they
won’t be for the present working-class residents of Oakland. It will further gentrify the city while removing African Americans.
We say keep the stadium at the Coliseum which has BART and the infrastructure!

This is an international attack on working people where the people of Chile have faced privatization of water, transportation,
pensions, and public education. The same attacks on taking place in Mexico and globally.

In Palestine, millions live in abject poverty and repression by the Israeli government-backed up and funded by our tax dollars.

Host: UPWA


6. Saturday, 1:00pm – 3:30pm, Trump/Pence Out Now! – Rally & March

Meet at:

24th & Mission BART

March to Civic Center

Rally and march to get Trump & Pence out now! This is the second of weekly protests in the Bay Area. Every Saturday!

We have launched a series of national  protests, mass, sustained and non-violent, that come back week after week, spreading nationwide, and refusing to stop until the Trump/Pence Regime has been removed from power.

We will be wearing masks to shield ourselves from the dangerous smoke from the forest fires which will still be raging, which the Trump Regime fuels as it denies climate change; the masks will also evoke the powerful protests in Hong Kong, and around the world, as people stand up in country after country; and it is the Day of the Dead in the Mission, and this year’s procession honors Victims of the Trump Immigrant Camps along the US Border with Mexico.

We will march through the Mission, and through other neighborhoods in SF to Civic Center. We will have drums! Everyone bring pots and pans so San Francisco streets ring with the sounds now resonating through the streets of Chile.

Hosts: Refuse Fascism Bay Area, Vigil for Democracy, Resistance SF


7. Saturday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Medicare For All Rally and March

Meet at:

UN Plaza
355 McAllister

After the rally at UN Plaza, we will march to Yerba Buena Gardens. Limited bus transportation to San Francisco will be available from select locations in California.

Sign up now at to let us know you’re coming and reserve your bus seat! Email your questions to

Join us in San Francisco for a statewide rally in support of Medicare for All! Featuring speakers from the California Nurses Association / National Nurses United and other movement leaders.

We know that Medicare for All is the only true solution to the health care crisis. But we will only win when a mass movement of people stand up and demand it. We’ll be in San Francisco to call on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move forward H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which now has the support of over half of the Democrats in Congress.

Hosts: National Nurses United + 2 Others


8. Saturday, 2:00pm, Global Day of Resistance for Rojava

Oscar Grant Plaza
14th & Broadway

In response to a call by the Internationalist Commune in Rojava and the Rise Up 4 Rojava platform, we are preparing a mass demonstration in solidarity with the brave fighters of North-East Syria

Seven years ago a revolution began in Rojava that was to radically change the lives of millions of people. The Kurds liberated themselves from the dictatorship of the Assad regime and began to organize themselves in self-governed councils, communes and cooperatives. In particular, the autonomous organization of women became the driving force behind the social revolution. Over the course of the struggle against the Islamic state, a unique multi-ethnic and multi-religious project developed, which today guarantees the peaceful coexistence of millions of Kurds, Arabs and Christians. The Democratic Federation of Northeast Syria is a unique example of the vision of a peaceful and democratic Middle East and has therefore always been a thorn in the side of both regional powers and imperialist states.

Today the Turkish Army started its operation and has started bombardment many places are under heavy artillery attacks. Their goal is to wipe out the Democratic Federation. Several civilians have been killed already and thousand of people have started escaping the danger of ethnic cleansing and Turkish fascism. At the same time ISIS is using the Turkish attacks for insurgency.

Hosts: Solidarity Against Fascism East Bay, Bay Area Mesopotamia Solidarity, + 2 Other groups


9. Saturday, 6:45pm – 7:30pm, Protest “A Night of Heroes”, Friends of the Israel Defense Force Gala  (fundraiser)

Intercontinental Hotel
888 Howard St. (Btw. 4th & 5th Streets)

We will have a presence outside the hotel as people are entering the event.

The Friends of the Israel Defense Force, are having their annual fundraising gala “A Night of Heroes”. Their keynote speaker is Ron Demer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

Last year over 2 million dollars were raised for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in the SF Bay Area.

Announcement of  their event:

The IDF has been involved in training police departments in the US and military forces in other countries such as the Philippines.

The Palestinian Health Ministry announced that 77 Palestinians were injured last Friday, October 25th,  as a result of the Israeli army (IDF) assault on the weekly marches in the eastern Gaza Strip. The ministry said in a statement that 31 of the wounded were hit by live bullets. reports Anadolu Agency.

Since the weekly Gaza marches/rallies  began in March last year, more than 320 protesters have been killed – and thousands more wounded – by Israeli troops.

Please stand in support of the people of Palestine! Signage welcomed






Sunday, November 3

10. Sunday, 9:30am – 11:00am, Impeachment, mass protest & the urgency to end the Trump Pence regime

Unitarian Universalist  Society of SF
1185 Franklin St

UU Sunday Forum:

Speakers from Refuse Fascism and Vigil for Democracy, Barry Thornton and Dr. Amy Morgenstern will present why they think the street protests that have begun across the country led by their respective organizations can and must grow exponentially so that the power of a mass upsurge from below can bring an end to the Trump Pence government at the earliest possible time.


11. Sunday, 10:30am – 12:30Noon, Turkey, Syria and the Kurds

NPML – Marxist Library
6501 Telegraph Ave.

Our confirmed speaker is ICSS member Mehmet Bayram, freelance journalist, who currently writes for the news outlet, which has been shut down 62 times by the Turkish government. He has recently returned from Turkey

Preview: Turkish invasion of Syria serves many purposes for the Turkish regime.  It distracts the masses from the harsh economic realities of capitalism, it unites the Turkish people fed with nationalism behind the fascist dictator when his voter support has fallen below 40%, it kindles the old flame of building the Islamic-Turkish empire that died after the WW1, it legitimizes the barbaric attacks with the long held hatred against the Kurds, it demands funds from the West to keep the “hordes of refugees” from reaching the metropolitan centers of Europe, and, yes, it exposes the hypocrisy of imperialism, to be used as blackmail against Erdoğan’s bosses that created him.  Erdoğan is trying to capitalize on the contradictions within the imperialist camp and tries playing one against the other by forcing the issues that will benefit his presidency and him personally


12. Sunday, 11:00am – 1:00pm, SF Solidarity Meeting For Iranian Workers

Bernal Library Community Room
500 Cortland St.

Join our solidarity meeting to protest the long pris- on sentenses and torture against workers and labor activists in Iran issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s judiciary.

There have been major strikes including the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate strike in which two strike supporters, Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian were arrested

Additionally the Tehran Bus Workers’ Syndicate union activists Reza Shahabi and Hassan Saeidi have also been arrested and subjected to repressive actions

Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Workers’ Syndicate, Iranian Teachers’ Trade association, Ahvaz steel workers and many other workers have been struggling for labor and human rights.

The struggle of Iranian workers is an issue for all workers including in the United States. We stand with our brothers and sisters in solidarity and de- mand that the government release the jailed trade unionists NOW!

Host: UPWA


Monday, November 4

13. Monday, 6:30pm – 9:00pm, Emergency Report Back and Teach-in on Rojava & Turkey’s Invasion

Place for Sustainable Living
1121 64th St.

learn about Rojava’s history, organization, and current struggle.

Years after imperialist markings on a map separated their people and fragmented their territory, 7 years ago the Kurdish people realized a piece of their resistance and reclaimed territory in what is known as northeastern Syria, what has come to be known as Rojava.

A revolution led by women, based on ecological justice and anti-capitalism, that developed a political infrastructure for regionally nested direct democracy and a cooperative solidarity economy among an ethnically and religiously diverse population, Rojava is a beacon for anyone yearning for liberation from the forces of extraction, exploitation, and oppression that dominate global geopolitics.

Rojava is under constant threat from regional and global authoritarian and fascistic powers. With the recent US facilitated Turkish invasion, this threat is more real than ever. 


Tuesday, November 5

14. Tuesday, 8:00am – 11:00am, Residents to Defend Wood Street Homeless Encampment as City of Oakland Attacks

West Grand and Wood Street

(2217 Wood St.)


The United Front Against Displacement, an organization composed of Homeless and housed activists, is holding a rally

The residents have been repeatedly threatened by the City of Oakland with the towing and seizure of their vehicles, shelters and personal property.

The City of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department have been harassing a local encampment on Wood Street, issuing them a series of “notices to tow” by claiming that their shelters were abandoned or inoperable, subject to tow and removal. Residents have been given three contradicting warnings to vacate.

Confusion has been heightened as city officials have backed away from previous promises of expanded services in the area.

At the Nov. 5 action, residents and homeless advocates will come together in an attempt to stop the evictions on Wood St. and West Grand Ave. and fight back against this latest upcoming attack on their community.


Chilean Protests: A Revolt against Neoliberalism the Media Refuses to Acknowledge

“Neoliberalism was born in Chile and will die in Chile” has become a rallying cry for the movement. Yet few in the West are aware of the country’s tumultuous history as an experimental laboratory for free market economics imposed on Chile by the United States. 

by Alan Macleod (

October 29th, 2019

Santiago, Chile — “We are at war with a powerful, relentless enemy that respects nothing nor anyone” thundered Chilean President Sebastian Piñera during a speech to the nation, deliberately echoing the infamous catchphrase of fascist military dictator Augusto Pinochet. 

The “enemy” he was referencing were Chilean citizens, more than one million of them taking to the streets Friday afternoon in a revolt against the neoliberal system Piñera was implementing against their will, demanding his resignation.

The spark for the revolt that started October 14 was a 30-Peso increase to the subway fare in Santiago, the country’s capital and by far its largest and most important city. But demonstrations quickly escalated into a general protest against the decades of neoliberal economic policies carried out by successive governments that increased the cost of living and marginalized and disenfranchised the population, leading to greater social and economic inequality. As a popular slogan of the protest goes: “It’s not about 30 pesos; it’s about 30 years.”

The government’s response has been brutal. The President has declared a state of emergency across much of the country and ordered tanks through Santiago to break the movement in images that would be on endless repeat in our media if Piñera were not such a loyal ally of Washington. The death toll currently stands at 18, with security forces arresting over 5,400 people in the first four days alone, well over double the number arrested in Hong Kong after six months of unrest. This is one reason why many in Chile see the threat to their country coming not from the people in the streets, but from the Piñera administration itself.

While most of the images we see emanating from Chile are from Santiago, the protests have spread across the country, including to the sleepy southern regions where MintPress News staff writer Whitney Webb lives and reports from. Speaking earlier today she emphasized the regional differences in the protests:

“In Valdivia there have been a lot of riots and looting recently but a couple hours to its north, in Temuco, protests lately have been peaceful with whole families participating (kids and babies included) in marches against austerity and the AFP system, among other hot button issues,” she said, referencing the hated privatized pension program. 

“I have lived in the Araucania region for five years and have never seen protests (peaceful or otherwise) on this scale ever. From what I’ve experienced here and from what I’ve seen of Santiago, I think people are by and large fed up, whether on the left or the right, with the crony capitalism and corruption that has enriched people just like Piñera and those that surround him.”


“Neoliberalism was born in Chile and will die in Chile”

View image on Twitter

The protesters see themselves as fighting to end the neoliberal model imposed on them since 1973. 

“Neoliberalism was born in Chile and will die in Chile” has become a rallying cry for the movement. Yet few in the West are aware of the country’s tumultuous history as an experimental laboratory for free-market economics imposed on Chile by the United States. 

A Warning from History

 “I’m not at all surprised at what’s happening in Chile,” remarked Noam Chomsky. “They are the completely predictable consequence of the neoliberal assault on the population for forty years.”

After managing to overthrow the democratically-elected Marxist President Salvador Allende in a 1973 coup, the United States had an opportunity to construct a new society based on neoliberal principles, with the help of the new fascist dictator, Augusto Pinochet. The country became the “empire’s workshop,” where American economists had free rein to construct the perfect society along market principles.

The problem was that the population did not want everything privatized, sold off to foreign corporations, for workers’ rights to be removed and the social safety net to be destroyed. Therefore, the population had to be terrorized into submission first. At least 3,000 people were killed, and tens of thousands brutally tortured by the Pinochet dictatorship, which remained in power until 1990. Two hundred thousand managed to flee the country.

The economy immediately collapsed, as did living conditions for ordinary people. It continued to underperform and proved extraordinarily volatile throughout the 70s and 80s. However, the upper class prospered, and many foreign investors became incredibly rich, explaining perhaps why the Washington Post described the country as an “economic miracle” and a “model” for others to follow. Chile became one of the most unequal countries in the world; something that scholars of neoliberalism such as David Harvey, Gerard Duménil and Dominique Levy argue was precisely the point.

While the dictatorship is formally over, Pinochet negotiated a transition from a position of power, leaving many of his henchmen in high office and those handpicked and fast-tracked under the fascist dictatorship now in top positions in the police, army, courts and the media. Furthermore, the neoliberal economic system and Pinochet’s constitution remained, as did the people’s fear of the government and what it was capable of.

Two of those tortured in concentration camps were the parents of journalist and documentary maker Pablo Navarrete, founder and co-editor of Alborada Magazine. Pablo spoke to MintPress News about the protests threatening to upend the social order.

Chile Protests Feature photo

A protester mocks Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera during an anti-government protest in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 25, 2019. Rodrigo Abd | AP

“Chile is living through an incredible moment,” Navarrete said. 

The neoliberal model forced on Chilean society with such brutality under Pinochet from 1973 onwards and which served as a laboratory for the right in places such as the UK and US has been dealt a mortal blow.”

Despite the “vicious levels of repression” by security forces, Navarrete claimed that his country has reached a “tipping point” where “Chileans have lost their fear” of the state. What is the way forward now? Can the protesters topple a president, or will the replacement of a figurehead without meaningful structural change achieve anything?

“It’s now key that we support the Chilean people’s call for the creation of a Constituent Assembly, so they can create a new, democratic constitution, and discard the current one that was imposed under Pinochet,” he advised.

It is an outrage that nearly 30 years since the end of the dictatorship, Chile should still have this Pinochet-era constitution in place.”

Media Distortion

Mainstream media, like CNN, NBC News and the Guardian, have shown far less interest in, or solidarity with, Chile than Hong Kong, framing the former not as protests, but as “riots,” a word never used to describe the Hong Kong protests.

Webb criticized the press for their warped coverage: “The media in the West and also in Chile has focused largely on the looting and rioting (that does occur) and is claiming that ALL the protests are this way, and this is completely false” she told Mint Press.

Navarrete agreed, recommending that, “Those wanting to keep abreast of events in Chile in the English-language will, as with most other issues, have to turn to independent media for balance, as there has been a relative absence of mainstream media coverage regarding the scale of the uprising and the ferocity of the government’s repression.”

There has been comparatively little coverage of the massive movement in Chile. And much of it obscures what the protests are for, and crucially, what they are. Neoliberalism is largely absent in mainstream reporting of the protests; there has been no mention of the word or its derivatives in any reporting on Chile from CNN, MSNBC or Fox News, for example. Meanwhile Slate amended the title of an article originally titled “Chile’s People Have Had Enough of Neoliberalism” so the headline read simply “Chile’s People Have Had Enough”, removing all mention of the word from their reporting

The real driver in all this, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, was not crony capitalism, but the socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela, who are “playing a key role” in directing the movement. Piñera, it explains, was “forced to declare a state of emergency” to “protect property and life” from the “left-wing terrorists savaging Santiago and cities around the country.” Only a fool would believe these protests are organic, it explains. After all, “market policies have been successful” in Chile, so why would anyone be unhappy? The United States, however, sees a Russian hand directing the protest. Trump-appointed Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Kozak claimed that the Kremlin has penetrated Chilean social networks and was circulating fake news in order to inflame tensions.

Whitney Webb@_whitneywebb

The US govt is blaming Russia for the protests in Chile, what a f–king joke.

It’s not the Russians fault that Chileans are tired of living in a US client state …Raúl #PiñeraPresidenteDel26%@raulacho73Al Tío Sam no le gustó que le tocaran a su títere @sebastianpinera …”Rusia” estaría detrás de #LaMarchaMásGrandeChile !#ChileDespierto #AsambleaConstituyente9657:47 AM – Oct 26, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy540 people are talking about this

Meanwhile Human Rights Watch, always quick to condemn leftist Latin American governments like Bolivia, Venezuela or Nicaragua for their transgressions, called for the swift prosecution…of the protestors. Its Director of the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco, stating, “Prosecutors should also carry out prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations into serious crimes committed by demonstrators in recent days.” The full-scale crackdown and the suspension of the most basic civil liberties merely had Vivanco “worried” that “there has been an excess of force” from the government. 

The Future of Chile

Piñera has already gutted his cabinet in an attempt to placate the public. But Webb suspects the protesters will not be silenced so easily. 

“He is mistaken to think this will die down. I think at this point the only way he could quiet it would be to do something more drastic in terms of policy, like end the AFP program” she said. “I doubt he will though, since his brother was a key factor in putting that program in place and it would be a blow to the great neoliberal “experiment” that was foisted on Chile during the Pinochet era.”  

Despite the elite voices in the West working to undermine the emerging anti-austerity movement, Navarrete is hopeful:

 It’s clear that Chileans have had enough and are demanding profound democratic changes. Chile has awoken and I’m excited about the country’s future.”

Corporate media is unlikely to give the protestors a fair hearing, given what their demands are and what they are struggling against, but that should not surprise or disappoint them. Those who witnessed how Occupy Wall Street, the anti-war demonstrations, the Global Climate Strike or the Sanders campaign were treated by the press know how it works. After all, as the jazz poet Gil Scott Heron told us, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

Feature photo | Susana Hidalgo | Twitter

Alan MacLeod is a MintPress contributor as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Bernie Sanders Holds Secret Campaign Meeting With 15,000 Working-Class Democratic Donors

Tuesday 1:34PM• (

AMHERST, MA – FEBRUARY 22: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks at a rally on February 22, 2016 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. Sanders is campaigning in the lead up to Super Tuesday primaries on March 1 when 11 states will vote. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

DETROIT—Releasing bombshell evidence in the form of hundreds of cell phone videos taken during the gathering, numerous anonymous tipsters confirmed this week that Bernie Sanders recently attended a secret campaign meeting with 15,000 working-class donors from the Democratic Party. “This damning footage shows Sen. Sanders clandestinely mingling with thousands of representatives from the nursing, food service, and public education sectors, many of whom were apparently chauffeured to the event aboard city buses and enjoyed fountain drinks upon arriving,” said political strategist August Buckminster, adding that the event, which reportedly took place at a local vocational school, could prove problematic for the presidential candidate in his bid for the Democratic nomination. “Sanders can be heard promising a highly underprivileged audience everything from a minimum-wage increase to healthcare access to educational opportunities—whatever it takes to get them on his side. In one video, he explicitly offers a group of steel workers a quid pro quo of affordable housing in exchange for their votes. If the senator wants to win the backing of the national party, he will certainly have to answer for hobnobbing with this room full of people at the absolute lowest levels of power.” At press time, Sanders had received further criticism after documents were uncovered showing he has acted on behalf of a contingent of approximately 625,000 Vermont residents over a period of nearly 30 years.

Sanders Tops CNN Poll in New Hampshire: Bernie Edges Warren as Biden Dives

October 29, 2019 by Common Dreams

“As we have said from the beginning, this is a campaign built to win and planning to win,” campaign manager Faiz Shakir told Common Dreams.

by Eoin Higgins, staff writer

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders gestures after speaking during the 2019 J Street National Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on October 28, 2019.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders gestures after speaking during the 2019 J Street National Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on October 28, 2019. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the field of hopefuls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in a new CNN poll released Tuesday, the latest good news for the campaign over the past month.

“As we have said from the beginning, this is a campaign built to win and planning to win,” campaign manager Faiz Shakir told Common Dreams. “We’ve been steadily and consistently executing our strategy, even while the media analysis of our campaign has been in disarray.”

Sanders topped the poll (pdf), which was conducted between October 21 and 27, with 21% of voters naming the Vermont senator as their first choice for the nomination. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was close behind with 18%, setting up the possibility of a protracted battle between the two progressive frontrunners—both of whose home states border New Hampshire. 

The poll found that voters believe Sanders is better suited to handle healthcare and the climate crisis than Warren, his closest competitor on those issues, by 33% to 17% and 30% and 15%, respectively.

Sanders supporter James Zogby, founder of the Arab-American Institute, said on Twitter that the results show that Sanders is on the upswing.

“He’s seen as best on climate change and health care—the two issues rated most important by N.H. voters,” said Zogby. “I guess #BerniesBack (as I knew he would be) and the ‘bouncing ball’ polls show it.”

Joe Biden, who came in third with 15% of the poll, saw support drop nine points from the last New Hampshire CNN poll. It’s the latest sign of trouble for the former vice president, whose falling fundraising numbers have been a source of concern to supporters and staff recently. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg sat in fourth with 10%; no other candidate cracked double digits in the poll. 

As Common Dreams reported on October 24, Biden’s supporters were considering starting a super PAC to assist the flailing campaign; that super PAC, Unite the Country, launched Tuesday afternoon.

Sanders’ lead in new Hampshire comes after a tumultuous month wherein the senator had a heart attack, performed well in a debate, earned the endorsement of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), rallied in New York City in front of over 26,000 people with Ocasio-Cortez, and laid out a plan to legalize marijuana. 

“This month has definitely been huge for Sanders,” tweeted Michael Sayman, a political activist who works as a top manager for Google.

On Monday, Sayman issued a series of tweets saying that he would welcome a future Sanders administration taxing “the hell out of” millionaires like himself.

“Being in the top 1% of income, my taxes will go sky-high under a Bernie Sanders administration,” he said, “but sometimes you have to be willing to fight for someone else, fight for someone you don’t know.”

Sanders responded to the poll by posting a video of a recent rally in Iowa to Twitter and sounding the same notes of consistency and fighting for progressive causes he has championed in recent weeks. 

“The ideas I am talking to you about didn’t come to me yesterday,” said Sanders. “These are ideas that I have fought for my entire life.”

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

California Opens the Public Banking Floodgates

The move shifts power away from profit-motivated board members of corporate banks and into the hands of the people.

by Aaron Fernando (

October 24, 2019

When you pay state and local taxes, parking fees and other payments to your regional government, chances are those funds will almost immediately end up in a corporate bank. 

For instance, until recently the majority of these payments to the city of Los Angeles were held by Wells Fargo, a bank that has routinely paid out millions of dollars in fines and settlements due to predatory lending, foreclosure abuses and defrauding investors. Although the Los Angeles City Council voted in December 2017 to divest from Wells Fargo, the city must still use the banking services of JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, which are among the largest financiers of fossil fuel industry. That’s in large part because the city has lacked the option of chartering its own public banks.

That changed on October 2, when the California Public Banking Act was signed into law by the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, making it explicitly legal for municipalities in California to create their own public banks and use those banks to hold and leverage public funds. 

The question at the heart of public banking may seem technical but is actually about political power. Should small groups of wealthy corporate board members get to decide how to leverage public money so that they may further enrich themselves? Or should public funds be used in a way that is accountable to the public itself, for initiatives that will secure the long-term health of society at large?

The question at the heart of public banking may seem technical but is actually about political power.

To date, the only publicly owned banks in the United States are in North Dakota and American Samoa. But now California, which has the world’s fifth largest economy and is known for setting national precedents and having its policies emulated by others, has opened the floodgates by permitting the creation of public banks. This will shift power away from profit-motivated board members of corporate banks and into the hands of the people. 

For example, these banks could follow in the footsteps of the German KfW Group, a collection of state-owned infrastructure banks that directed more than one-third of its funds to climate and environmental protection in 2018—not just in Germany, but in thirty countries. So instead of propping up oil pipelines, public money could catalyze a rapid transition to a zero-carbon economy. 

Public banks can also drastically reduce the cost of financing infrastructure projects, because if the lender is a public bank, interest payments can be re-used for public benefit, rather than to enrich investors.

Returning to Los Angeles, the city council voted to divest from Well Fargo in late 2017, following rapid grassroots mobilization against the bank. The movement that spearheaded that action, Revolution LA, also played an instrumental role in advocating for the California Public Banking Act, along with a coalition of other cities and regions that formed the California Public Banking Alliance

One of Revolution LA’s original organizers, Trinity Tran, recalls that its very first meeting consisted of “just me, an apolitical friend of mine who came to support me, and one other person who saw the Meetup post. But within a few months, we quickly outgrew the Koreatown coffee shops we were meeting in.” 

What happened in Los Angeles proves it is possible to create a society where the public as a whole determines its goals and sets its own financial strategies for achieving them.

This column was produced for the Progressive Media Project, which is run by The Progressive magazine, and distributed by Tribune News Service.

A Worldwide Revolution Is Underway

Column OCTOBER 31, 2019 (

Column default

By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

Puerto Rico. Hong Kong. Ecuador. Haiti. Lebanon. Iraq. And now, Chile. People are rising up around the world against austerity and corruption, defying police forces unleashed to suppress them. Many of these mass movements share a fierce critique of capitalism. In Santiago, Chile, more than 1 million people flooded the streets last weekend, and mass protests continue. There, the brutal Pinochet dictatorship from 1973-1990, during which thousands of progressive activists and leaders were tortured, disappeared and murdered, was followed by decades of neoliberal policies, with rampant privatization, union busting, stagnant wages and increased costs for education, health care, transportation and other services. Chile, among the richest countries in South America, is also one of the most unequal. At least 20 people have been killed during recent protests there, further angering and emboldening the crowds.

These global protests also occur at a critical inflection point in history, with as few as 10 years remaining for humanity to transition from a fossil fuel economy to one powered by renewable energy. On Wednesday, Chile’s embattled, billionaire president, Sebastian Pinera, abruptly announced that his country was cancelling plans to host two major international summits, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in mid-November, and the United Nations climate summit, the 25th “Conference of the Parties,” or COP25, in the first two weeks of December.

Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s COP25 president-designate, said, “The citizens have expressed in a strong way their legitimate social demands that require the full attention and all efforts from the government.”

Chile’s cancellation of the COP could be a setback for global action on climate. But climate activists should take heart: This renewed spirit of rebellion around the world signifies a rejection of the status quo, and could portend accelerated, grassroots mobilization to avert irreversible, catastrophic climate change.

“Social injustice and the climate crisis have a common root cause,” the Climate Action Network said in a release not long after Chile’s COP cancellation. “Climate justice and solidarity is fundamentally about the protection of human rights and a better quality of life for all.”

The climate crisis touches everyone, first and most forcefully the world’s poor. The mass uprising in Puerto Rico that forced the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rossello was the culmination of decades of frustration with Puerto Rico’s colonial status and the more current exploitation by Wall Street vulture funds. But the discontent was fueled by the utter devastation of the back-to-back hurricanes Irma and Maria two years ago. “The austerity policies that have been implemented have put the people of Puerto Rico in a position of vulnerability. Social inequality has increased to levels that we have never seen here,” Manuel Natal, a member of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, said on the “Democracy Now!” news hour days before Rossello’s resignation. “We need more democracy, not less democracy. We are on the brink of a political revolution here.” Rossello’s ouster was the first time in U.S. history that a governor was forced from office by popular protest.

Indigenous people are also leading the way, often at the front lines, confronting resource extraction with disciplined, nonviolent resistance. Hundreds of indigenous and campesino social leaders in Colombia have been murdered in recent years, simply for standing up for justice and environmental protections.

The Paris climate agreement specifically notes the importance of climate justice, and pledges to work “in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.” One of the enduring conflicts that has hampered international climate negotiations has been the refusal by wealthy nations, principally the United States, to accept the simple premise that “polluters pay.” The United States is the wealthiest nation in human history because, in part, it has polluted its way to the top, using cheap, dirty power: coal-fired power plants, diesel locomotives and now, so-called clean-burning fracked gas.

The Green Climate Fund was supposed to raise billions of dollars to finance renewable projects in poorer countries. The fund’s pledging conference last week fell short of its goal, primarily because the Trump administration reneged on the U.S.’s $2 billion commitment. Australia and Russia followed suit, refusing to make contributions.

A new study by Climate Central, a news and science organization, shows that climate-induced coastal flooding will likely be far worse than previously predicted, forcing between 200-600 million people, rich and poor, to flee their homes later in the century. Climate change-fueled wildfires are now raging across California, with hundreds of thousands of people evacuated from their homes and at least 1 million people without power.

Popular uprisings are also spreading like wildfire, though, against corrupt autocratic leaders, austerity and inequality. People are also flooding the streets, globally, linking the movements against inequality with the fight for a just, sustainable world powered by renewable energy.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.