Our Time Has Come


The stars have aligned for a massive revolution in the summer of 2016. A Bernie Sanders defeat at a rigged ballot box may actually turn out to be the catalyst we need for the system change we seek.

Without mass protest, the most powerful expression of the people is through voting. Democracy, after all, depends on the participation of people. The 2016 primary elections have shown that the Democratic Party does not want people to participate. Through willful negligence, manipulation of debates, superdelegates, support of Citizens United, media supplicants, party apparatchiks, and voter suppression, the party has done all it can to throw the election to their annointed CEO, Hillary Clinton.

Long lines at polling stations – some requiring people to wait for as much as six hours to vote – and hundreds of thousands of citizens purged from voter rolls have made a mockery of our democracy. Some voters have seen their registration flipped from Democrat to Independent, thus denying them the ability to vote. Others have been hoodwinked through hasty changes to election rules or disenfranchised through voter ID laws. The whole election process seems to operate with the goal of screwing those with the least political power. To consider that the most celebrated free nation on Earth can’t manage its own elections would be lunacy.

It’s no secret that corporate powers get their bribed politicians elected when they limit access to the ballot box. Suppression of the people’s voice ensures that we get a Congress stuffed with corporate lackeys that actually vote against the will of the people. As a recent Princeton University study points out, the opinions of middle-income and poor Americans (a dominant majority in the U.S. population) have little or no independent impact on policy while rich people and organizations have a powerful grip on U.S. government policy.

Our sacred belief of one person, one vote has devolved into no dollars, no voice. Never has this been more clear than the current election cycle. We live in the land of oligarchy rule.

The year 2016 also happens to represent a convergence of voices across the activist spectrum uniting for campaign finance reform. With the fossil fuel industry flooding elections with campaign cash, environmental activists know they must join with those demanding money out of politics to save our planet from climate chaos. The “Fight for $15” movement draws its power through those very people disenfranchised at the polls. The millions of Americans crying for affordable education and health care see their path to reform through an end to Citizens United.

Bernie Sanders has done an outstanding job of uniting our cry for system change. When he rallies against the billionaire class, he speaks for us. When he lambasts politicians for running their campaigns with Super PAC money, he shouts for us. When he demands that we convert to 100% renewable energy, he speaks for our children. More than any other politician, Bernie Sanders is the voice of the overwhelming majority of Americans left out of the political process.

That is why we will converge on the Democratic National Convention in July of 2016 when they throw the election to Hillary Clinton. Those of us fighting for racial, social and environmental justice will be there to denounce a political system rigged for the 1%. Where else in the developed world do you see people waiting six hours in line to vote, and that on a working day? Where else do you see a government so dedicated to pay-to-play politics? What other democracy purges millions of its citizens from voter rolls?

We will be had no more. When the party apparatchiks crown Hillary our queen, we will not go away. Our frustration will explode through the streets of Philadelphia in the summer of 2016. When we are denied our vote, our last hope for change is through a citizens’ revolt. Let the revolution begin.

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Democracy Spring March


Here’s a nice video of our Democracy Spring march to Washington, DC. How I miss all those hearty souls who are now like family, some of whom are still in Washington getting arrested for demanding our politicians stop taking bribes for their votes.

Many of these people have promised to join us in Philadelphia for the DNC in July. I think I will have to set up our house/yard as a campsite – or, we could occupy Valley Forge!

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Revolution at the DNC


The growing tension between an angry populace finding its voice and the corporate powers laboring to suppress that voice will erupt into open revolt at the party conventions later this summer. Disparate groups fighting for racial, social and environmental justice will unite at these events in numbers the mainstream media can no longer ignore. Party efforts to anoint their chosen candidates over the will of the people will create riots on the streets.

At long last, the revolution will be televised.

tear_gas_attack6Until now, the corporate conglomerates that control our media have largely ignored public demonstrations that sound our discontent. Pundits and political apparatchiks spin a narrative that contrasts sharply with the reality on the ground. News blackouts of marches and protests, coupled with propaganda spewed from the major media outlets, create a false reality that the awakening masses can no longer pretend exists.

Governments and the moneyed elite employ different tactics to suppress the people’s voice, but the result of this oligarchy rule is the same: the Western World no longer embraces democratic values. As our illusions about constitutional rights and fair elections are stripped bare this election year, our anger will rise over the conventions in a unified cry for system change.

The recent climate summit at COP21 in Paris, for example, saw authorities use an unrelated terrorist attack as excuse for shutting down a massive march that had been in the planning for months. Organizers had expected tens of thousands to gather and demand immediate action to address global warming, but instead, police declared a state of emergency and arrested local activists, locking them up for the duration of the summit. When I arrived the morning of the planned protests, a sea of empty shoes filled the square.shoes_republique

The message from the jailed activists was clear: Without freedom, no peaceful assembly can exist, and without assembly, no democracy can survive.

We struggled for two weeks to sound the alarm on climate change and the need for radical action to save our species; the French authorities sought to muzzle our voice every day. The police prevented the People’s Pilgrimage, which was led by Yeb Sano who had walked all the way from the Phillipines with a blessing from the Pope, to even walk into town together. They dragged us out of the Grand Palais where we protested against the greenwashing solutions presented there by the energy and transportation sector. They encircled us with guns and batons at the Musee de Louvre for denouncing the sponsorship it received from oil companies ENI and Total.louvre_protest

Meanwhile, back at home, the press declared Cop21 a triumphant success when we knew it was close to a complete failure. They beamed little of our daily dissent into the homes of Americans and focused instead on oil barons and their lackeys in government shaking hands for spinning incremental action on climate change into a historic accomplishment.

In the United States, where we have the constitutional right to peacefully assemble, those who gather to protest against police brutality and racial injustice get greeted with tear gas and billy clubs to the head. The New York police department consistently violated basic rights during the Occupy demonstrations. Just last week I was arrested on the Capitol steps with over 400 others from Democracy Spring for partaking in a peaceful sit-in to demand that our politicians end Citizens United and pass bills before them to address the obscene amount of wealth corrupting our democracy.

we_the_peoplePeaceful dissent has become a criminal act in the USA and elsewhere. And the mainstream media refuses to report on it.

My arrest last week with hundreds of others represented the largest number of arrests at the Capitol in decades, yet those plugged into mass media heard nothing of it. Some of us had walked 150 miles from Philadelphia to Washington and witnessed first-hand the overwhelming support from the public for an end to pay-to-play politics. People came out on their doorsteps to cheer us on; passing motorists blared their horns in approval; church members thanked us profusely for marching before providing us with delicious food and a place to rest our heads.

Never before had I seen such massive and diverse support for a political cause, yet not a peep from the corporate media. Like so many other times, they tried to shut us up with a news blackout.

march_dcBut this time is different. I felt an incredible energy in the streets and pulsing through our line of marchers. We marched because we had to march. We vowed that this time after the elections, we will not go away. We will keep pushing, resisting, and non-complying because that is all we have left in the tattered scraps of our democracy. Just as we taped up the blisters on our feet with duct tape after walking all day, so, too, must we patch up this broken system of governance that determines our collective fate.

Indeed, when they try to ignore the will of the voters at these conventions, we will be there to denounce this corporate coup. Word has it that the authorities will not give permits for marches or demonstrations during the week of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but that will not stop us. We will materialize in the streets and demand that the people’s voice is heard. Our numbers will be too great for them to ignore. a_buck

If ever there was a time to unify with your fellow Americans, the time is now. Forget the labels of conservative, liberal, democrat or republican. We must, instead, align ourselves as people opposing the corporate oligarchy driving our planet towards ruin. When we stand united, we stand for democracy.

Please join us this summer at the Democratic National Convention and make your voice heard.

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Democracy Spring Sit-In


washington11Democracy Spring went into full bloom yesterday as over 400 activists got arrested at the steps of the Capitol in Washington, DC. Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Rebecca Green, Tighe, and the rest of the Codepink contigency helped to lead the march to the sit-in; Jodie and Rebecca later got arrested and spent much of the night in a holding cell with the police.

Yesterday’s rally began at Columbus Circle, where a thousand plus protesters gathered to hear speeches and mingle with the marchers from Democracy Spring. Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks and other leaders for campaign finance reform delivered inspiring messages before marching in mass to the Capitol to stage a demonstration that demanded our politicians act on four bills before Congress that would address the terrible plight of money corrupting our politics.washington4

An amazing energy pulsed through the crowd as activists took over the streets with banners, signs and chants that called for the people to reclaim their democracy: “Whose house? Our house! Money out, voters in!” and “Yo, Washington, don’t give me no sass, you all been taking orders from the donor class” echoed from the buildings that lined our path to the People’s House.

For those who had walked 10 days from Philly to DC to begin a weeklong sit-in, the march provided a climatic moment where all our energy, pain, joy, compassion and desire for a unified republic flowered into a demonstration of beautiful people simply asking that our politicians do their job and represent us instead of wealthy oligarchs. For all the effort, those sitting in at the Capitol steps got handcuffed and led off to a warehouse to spend the rest of the day and evening in lockup.

washington6No matter. As I exited the police station after paying my fine just an hour ago, I watched over 200 elders march by and carry the torch for another day of demonstrations that would lead to arrest, all for asking that our politicians stop their form of pay-to-play politics and begin behaving as representatives of the people. Once these elderly folk are processed through the system, another group will take their place, and then another, and another, until Democracy Spring morphs into Democracy Awakening over the weekend.

For all of us gathered here in Washington, and for those hearty souls who marched from Philly, we know that change is coming now. We energize and unite each other. Ask any of the protesters gathered here and they will tell you this is the place to be. Our movement is growing. Our discontent is finding its voice. And we are finding each other. washington8

Please join us in retaking the People’s House and making this a government of, by and for the people – and not the oligarchy busy destroying our planet. When we find each other, we find our voice. The time has come for the people’s voice to be heard.

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Democracy Spring Nears Washington

duct tape feet

As we prepare to walk into Washington DC with Democracy Spring’s march against oligarchy rule of our government, one thing becomes clear: democracy is held together with a big heart and a whole lot of duct tape.

baltimoreIt takes caring and committed individuals to walk 150 miles through rain, wind, and across highways and byways to take a stand against the moneyed elite who have hijacked our government. The march requires selfless individuals to patch up our broken feet at the end of the day, to feed us, to keep us safe on the roads, and to make sure we have enough sunscreen or ponchos. Warmth eminates from the members of churches and community centers who house us and feed us dinners prepared with a whole lot of love.

When we collapse on these church floors after a day of marching nearly twenty miles, the rooms look like mash units with veterans scattered about. The saintly figure of Zak moves from one downed figure to the next, applying ointment and lotions to blistered and battered feet, often working long into the night to make sure that everyone receives attention and care. He has become such a critical person to the march that I was astounded to hear that he signed up just eight days before it began, and that he had little idea of the role he was soon to play.baltimore4

I thought there was going to be a small team of medics, and that maybe I would play a small part,” he told me as we walked at the edge of the highway in driving rain. “I actually grabbed my first aid kit at the last moment, not even thinking I would need it. It’s a good thing I brought it.”

Indeed, Zak. And it’s a good thing that you brought that big heart of yours, which propels you to helping wounded walkers at every lunch and rest stop along the route. Thanks to the organisers that we have all that duct tape to cover blistered feet and to hold ponchos and feet together.

There’s a team of support vehicles that trails along with us, shielding us from aggressive drivers and ferrying us to bathrooms. There’s the figure of John who will appear at the side of the road when you least expect it, clapping his hands and cheering us on over another hill. The Native American from Texas named Rain delivers a prayer to the East, West, North and South each morning before we set off, as well as to the heavens, to Mother Earth and to the heart. We often see him at the edge of a parking lot blowing his conch to propel us onward.

baltimore3And there are the walkers themselves, a most varied, compassionate, and rebellious lot, who hail from all walks of life. There’s the Japanese Buddhist nun Jun Yasuda, who tirelessly beats her drum and chants a prayer for peace. She participated in “The Longest Walk” from San Francisco to Washington DC with Native American activist Dennis Banks and built a peace pagoda in New York. There’s 77-year old Bill from Gary, Indiana, who is a veteran of the riots in 1968 at the Democratic National Convention and who keeps us laughing with his sharp wit. There are those from 99 Rise, like Richard from West Virginia, who stood up at the Supreme Court to shout their opposition to Citizens United in the tradition of non-violent dissent and who still battle in the courts for their freedom.

Many walkers came just because they are pissed off at being had again and again, like Megan from New Jersey, or Jacob from DC, or James from Montana. An energy pulses up and down the line of marchers as we cross through counties. We move from one amazing conversation to the next as volunteers keep us away from obstacles and the ever-present threat of speeding motorists. Members of the Teamsters Union and UAW walk because they are tired of the crony capitalism that continually tries to strip them of a decent wage and secure life. baltimore5

When we set off, many of us didn’t come out here by choice to be away from our families and friends and face arrest. We came because we had to do something. And now that we have developed such a loving and caring society, a lot of us don’t want to leave. “I think we’ll have to turn around and just march back,” Mike from Florida told a circle of us, who laughed but felt that comment resonate through our bones.

Part of me is infinitely sad that we will stop walking in two days. I love these people around me. But I also know that we are a nucleus of a movement of the people, that we have reached a critical point in our history where we will either fix our broken system with a lot of heart and duct tape or face violence on the streets. We must come together for one another or face a disastrous fate.

We all know our system is broken. We all know something must be done. But those in power will continue to ignore our demands. They will continue to operate with the selfishness and greed that drives our species towards suicide. The only way we can stop them is through civil disobedience on a massive scale, conducted by people who care, who believe, and who have compassion for their fellow human beings.

baltimore6We are those people. And we are ready to face arrest on the steps of the Capitol to halt the political corruption that seeps through every pore of our collective psyche. It begins here. We make our stand on Monday. And the next day. And the day after that.

I want to get arrested every day,” many have spoken. “When they let me out of jail, I will go right back to the Capitol.”

That is the only way we can fix our broken democracy, with a whole lot of heart, determination – and duct tape.

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Day 3 of Democracy Spring


(This post also appeared on Codepink’s website)

We just finished day three of our Democracy Spring march to Washington, D.C. to demand campaign finance reform, and despite the onslought of rain in the late afternoon, our spirits are high. Each step brings us closer together; each chant of “one person, one vote” solidifies our resolve; and each night we find comfort and compassion – as well as delicious meals – in the number of churches providing us with a place to rest our weary bones.

Our numbers push 150, with marchers hailing from California, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and – yours truly – the Czech Republic. And those are just the people I’ve met. We are here to represent every state in the nation with our cry for money out of politics and an end to political corruption.

Throughout our walk from Independence Mall in Philadelphia until now, we have marched the gamut of expensive high rises to neighborhoods scarred with blight and neglect. Everywhere we find overwhelming support for our cause. But it is in those neighborhoods most beaten down with decay that we have found the warmest reception. Folks come out on their balconies or greet us on the street, wanting to learn more about our mission. They wait in their cars to let us pass. They wave from bedroom windows. They cheer emphatically and blast their car horns.

Each hour brings more information about the nation watching our pilgrims’ progress. We received great coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer and on Channel 6 news. Local stations in Delaware filmed and interviewed us. NPR has been watching us closely. Noam Chomsky and Bill Moyers have expressed their support. We even had Bill O’Reilly’s henchmen out to cover our departure from Independence Mall. Breibart.com denounced us as paid lackeys of George Soros and MoveOn.org while Alex Jones declared that we cried and went home when it rained in Philadelphia the first day.

Bring it on! Our numbers will only grow. Each day new pilgrims join us. We expect some conservative marchers to join us tomorrow, and we welcome them warmly. In Baltimore our numbers should greatly increase. And by the time we reach Washington, our numbers will be in the thousands.

I would love to share the incredible conversations I have had with some of the most amazing people I have ever met, from homeless individuals, to authors, to lifelong activists, to simply outraged citizens, but time and space are limited. Let me just say this: We all feel this is a magical moment. We all know this is the historical point when the battle for campaign finance reform and an end to Corporatocracy fuses with other environmental and social justice movements to unite our voices in one cry for real democracy in America and an end to corporate rule.

We look forward to joining with our brothers and sisters in Washington on April 11th, when thousands are ready to risk arrest, including Codepink members like Jodie Evans and Rebecca Green, as we move to reclaim the People’s House in mass through daily sit-ins intended to force Congress to pass any of the perfectly-viable reform bills now pending. We will make history.

Please join us on the march. Sit in with us in Washington. Share our message with others. All of us now marching feel deeply that we are where we want to be, that our numbers will only grow, and that soon our movement for justice will be unstoppable. We are ready to take the next steps tomorrow and every day until we achieve our goals.

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Day Two of Democracy Spring


Day Two of the Democracy Spring march on Washington began in a wind-swept parking lot where we pumped ourselves up with a number of songs, chants and refrains. We sang happy birthday to Pat, who was celebrating his 79th birthday and who is walking all the way to Washington with us. And then we set out singing and with our flags beating in the wind, heading out for a 16 mile walk that would lead us out of Pennsylvania and into Wilmington, Delaware.

We passed through clean suburbs into neighborhoods of blight and neglect. In Chester, we stopped to see sirens ahead where an Amtrak train had just derailed and where two workers were killed. We stopped for a moment of silence and circled the accident, moving onward with cars honking their support and many residents coming out on their stoops to ask what we were up to and then vociferously voicing enthusiasm for our mission. We stopped for a group photo before a mural of Martin Luther King, Jr. at a church where he preached for three years, near highway overpasses and boarded-up row houses.

One thing was clear: the public overwhelmingly supported our cause. Besides the one or two yahoos zooming by and screaming Trump out the window, all folks pumped their fists and cried out for us to go, go, go. Some gazed at us in wonder when we told them we were marching to Washington. Others snapped photos and took our pamphlets. For me, this constituted a change from cruising around the South with Bernie banners all over the van. While I did receive significant support there, I also had many people shout their opposition and approach me to tell me off in a genial way.

Not with campaign finance reform. We all know the public overwhelmingly supports money out of politics and an end to political corruption. We know the system is rigged and works only for the very rich. As a recent Princeton study shows, no matter what level of public support for a cause, Congress votes at a 30% level of support – whether we hate or love the bill. Members of Congress remain tone-deaf to the people they are supposed to represent and are all ears for the corporations who fund their campaigns.

No wonder we get $400 billion corporate tax write-offs and cuts to education. Of course, we see billions given to the fossil fuel industry while our representatives make cuts to food programs that help the millions of children living below the poverty level. Drug companies continue to gouge us while families go belly up paying obscene medical bills. As we see daily on our walks, our cities suffer from extreme poverty and decay while children there are locked into a vicious cycle of poverty, denied a decent schooling and a chance at higher education because of the extreme costs.

Our country rots because our government remains under the control of oligarchy rule. That is not democracy. And this is why we are marching and will occupy Congress. Like our forefathers, we demand no taxation without representation!

The long walk through the day also afforded ample opportunity to get to know my fellow pigrims, and what a dedicated and beautiful crew we have assembled. Note: this will be brief, as I am writing this while eating breakfast at a lovely Unitarian church where members came out to greet us last night with clapping hands and smiles, welcoming us in to an incredible feast and providing wonderful sleeping quarters (a carpeted floor is a luxury). They sat and chatted with us during dinner. A youth group recited us a poem, “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost – how fitting – and then circled about to learn more about our mission.

Back to the people:

There’s James, who follows along with us on a three-wheeler that generates power through pedaling and a solar panel on the roof. James road his vehicle up from Washington, DC where he lives (so I can fight for humanitarian justice in the belly of the beast) and met us in Philadelphia. He has been a solitary figure fighting various justice causes for ten years. I have had amazing conversations with him. He told me last night while fixing his wagon and chain that he at first doubted what he now sees clearly: that we are a serious, dedicated, beautiful group of people who may be helping to ignite a serious movement.

What I see in there” – he motioned towards the church – “Is real. I have never seen something like this in all my time. I believe our time has come. It is such a blessing.”

I met Andrea, a concerned citizen who was arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court while demonstrating against Citizens United on its second anniversary. She got arrested with twelve other sacrificial lambs that day where hundreds came to protest, and she fought the arrest through the courts and won. She carries with her now an American flag with corporate symbols instead of stars, and with strands of money flapping on its sides. Her dedication inspires me.

I spoke at length with Brian, who is the director of New Hamphire Rebellion, which works at the state level to overturn Citizens United and get money out of politics. Brian shared with me the battles at the state level and how citizens in each town get petitions signed by 25 individuals to voice support for overturning Citizens United. They have over a hundred towns that have done this, and soon they will present these resolutions to their state representatives for immediate action.

I want to write more — so many amazing people — but must pack my bags and figure out what to carry for the day. They call for rain and chilly temperatures. Steel the resolve! Go back for some more food at the mountains of dishes church members have prepared for us. Without the churches housing and feeding us, this trip would not be possible. Thank you to them!

Heading out!

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Democracy Spring Kicks Off

money_bags codepink

I’m writing this from the gym floor of a church around Ridley Park PA, listening to the wind howl through the trees in the early morning darkness. In about an hour the 130 or so of us will head over to another church for breakfast before setting off on our second day of our march to Washington to occupy Congress and demand money out of politics. Our walk will cover 140 miles over nine days.

demspring2Our movement, Democracy Spring, began yesterday at Independence Mall in Philadelphia near the Liberty Bell and with the backdrop of Independence Hall to remind us of our forefathers’ fight to build a government of, by and for the people. Sadly, a small, wealthy cabal of oligarchs has seized control of our government and buys off our politicians with campaign cash. We are marching to demand an end to pay-to-play politics and to continue building the mass movement necessary to overturn Citizens United and oligarchy rule.

Despite the rain, a colorful crowd turned out in Philadelphia to see us off on the march. After a series of speeches, a friendly police escort led us through Central Philadelphia, across the expressway and past The University of Pennsylvania before leading us through rows of brick houses. demspring1

An enthusiastic mix of activists and organizations got to know each other as we passed people waving to us from windows or porches and honking their horns. There appeared to be a lot of backing for our cause from the public as people stepped outside of restaurants and shops to clap as we made our way out of the city.

During the walk, I had the great fortune to help carry Codepink’s banner demanding money out of politics, joining organizer Rebecca Green and co-founder of Codepink Jodie Evans while others jumped in to lend a hand. Jodie shared with me experiences running Jerry Brown’s 1992 campaign and helping to initiate the move to using an 800 number and small donations to generate contributions from the people – a harbinger of Bernie Sanders’ hugely successful ability to raise cash through $27 contributions. In fact, Bernie launched his campaign from the funeral of Jodie’s political partner Tim Carpenter, vowing to run for Tim.

demspring5I had wonderful conversations with such people as actor, writer and director Nelson Camp, who has been an activist ever since he remembers as a child those around him helping out a Japanese victim of Hiroshima; with James of Montana, who traveled here to march the full route as well as take part in the demonstrations in DC; and with Dave, a guy from the Northeast who declared he was on a spritiual journey in answer to calls from organizers he met and who inspired him to action.

I also spoke at length with Derek Cressman, who began working professionally to reduce big money in politics as early as 1995 with Common Cause. In 2014 Derek ran for California Secretary of state and noted the huge enthusiasm of the electorate for overturning Citizens United, as well as for other issues that now resonate through the Sanders campaign. Even Lawrence Lessig helped carry our banner for awhile. Lawrence is a professor of law at Harvard and ran briefly as a Democrat for president in the 2016 campaign. He has done substantial work surrounding net neutrality and software freedom. He has dedicated much of his activist work to ending political corruption and the influence of lobbyists.

We’ve got influential and effective activists marching with us from all over the country. With so much time on the road, we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get to know each other. By the end we should all be good friends. That’s what much of these political actions are about – expanding our contacts and building our unity and coalition.demspring4

I’ve been promoting the People’s Convention for Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention and have received a great response. Events are shaping up. A lot of people will be there to demonstrate and continue supporting Bernie Sanders’ populist platform. Join us there!

Gotta run for breakfast and get ready for a day of marching. I will try to post as I can but am working under difficult circumstances. We are getting lots of coverage through the alternative media, or you can follow our activities at democracyspring.org. I heard NPR is providing hourly updates. demspring6

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Bernie in the South Bronx

Bernie and wife

What a thrilling day yesterday at the Bernie Sanders rally in the South Bronx. Thousands upon thousands of Bernie supporters came out to here him speak in St. Mary’s park. Lines to get through security snaked around the block, but that only deepened the enthusiasm as the estimated 18,500 in attendance got to know each other and share their support.

I blasted up from Pennsylvania in the morning while Mike made the shorter commute from where he’s staying in New York. We later met up inside as Mike had the good fortune of getting in early and securing front row seats – actual seats! – off to the side. Meanwhile, I conversed with a lot of people in line, most of them young and full of spirit. Nearly all I spoke with were fully committed to Bernie all the way to the convention. I didn’t meet one person who wanted to support Hillary in the event Bernie loses the primary.

And just to be clear about this: these people expressed their disgust with Hillary’s actions over the years. From promoting fracking around the world to pushing multi-billion dollar arm sales to Saudi Arabia – the most vicious autoritarian regime in the world – they were fed up with her double-talk on the campaign trail. Many claim these Bernie people are sore losers, but that is just not a true read on the situation. Rather, they refuse to vote for someone who will talk a leftist agenda and then who will fight for the multi-national corporations busy driving our world towards ruin.

Once inside, I found Mike seated in his place of royalty and surrounded by older, black locals. We had a fun time conversing with all of these people. Most couldn’t understand why Bernie doesn’t have more support from minorities, especially considering Hillary’s record when compared with Bernie’s actions. We talked a lot of politics but we also had a lot of fun.

Spike Lee, Rosario Dawson and Residente gave opening remarks before Bernie took to the podium to deliver his populist campaign speech. He had the place rocking. I will post a video link below – best to check the speeches out for yourself.

In the end, Bernie swept around to shake hands, coming right to where we were sitting. I had the great pleasure to shake his hand and tell him what a wonderful person he is, and that we’re supporting him all the way to the convention and beyond.

Thank you, thank you,” he said, looking at me with a genuine, caring gaze.

Rock on, Bernie! Let’s take NY and PA!

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