The Green Party of the United States held its presidential nominating convention, a virtual convention, this past weekend. The nominees are Howie Hawkins, a co-founder of the party and the first candidate to bring the Green New Deal to the US, for president and Angela Walker for vice president. Both are members of the working class - a retired Teamster and a truckdriver. Both are also lifelong socialists who are working to build the Green Patry and build unity among the Left in the US. We speak with Howie and Angela about the times in which we live, why they are running and what they hope to accomplish through their campaign.
Biden’s history of enthusiastic racism stretches back decades. From the moment he entered the U.S. Senate in the early 1970s, he vocally opposed busing to achieve school desegregation. “Opposing busing” has long been racist code for opposing Black and brown children going to school with white children. At a time when “separate but equal” was beginning to become politically unpalatable, Biden’s leadership against busing, in the most generous possible interpretation, provided cover for segregationists to continue their work. He has spent his life fighting for policies that make life worse for Black, Indigenous, and white working-class Americans. Why should anyone believe he will do anything different as president?
Over the last two years, more Americans were killed by police than Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan over the last 18 years. More Americans were killed by police in the last three years than people were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Combine this with a devastating economic crisis and pandemic, and it is easy to understand why a tipping point has been reached, as the accumulated rage and humiliation of centuries spills over onto the streets. Earlier this year, in the 2020 draft Perspectives for the Coming American Revolution, we wrote the following: “2008 profoundly transformed the consciousness of billions. The most serious strategists of capital understand and fear this. The Edelman Trust Barometer polled people in 28 major countries and found that 56% of the population believes that ‘capitalism today does more harm than good to the world’ – including 47% of Americans.
We often hear criticism of Donald Trump for, among other faults, his overwhelming Olympian arrogance, which drives millions of Democrats to pray daily for an end to his presidency. But on the topic of Medicare for All, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, exhibits similar heights of arrogance. Recently, Biden told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, that even if the Congress sent him a Medicare for All bill, he would veto it. And a week later, he confirmed that position. Under our current private, for-profit, health system, the lack of treatment and care for the 75 million uninsured and underinsured puts them at extreme risk. Now with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, that risk will extend to tens of millions of the newly unemployed in our country.
Have you heard about the Joe Biden allegations? If you’re relying on corporate media for your information, the answer is “probably not.” As of April 8, there has been exactly zero coverage of the sexual assault allegations on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ABC or CBS News. Likewise, The New York Times and USA Today and have failed to discuss it. Meanwhile, the only mentions of Reade’s name in The Washington Post appear as a paragraph buried thousands of words into a long news roundup and an unscripted question from a reader in a live Q&A session. After Bernie Sanders pulled out of the race today, Joe Biden appears to be the Democrats’ man for November. However, the former vice president’s past is again coming back to bite him; in an interview with writer and podcast host Katie Halper, his former staff assistant Tara Reade accused the then-senator of sexually assaulting her in the Capitol Building in 1993.
Unsurprising. There was always a stark contradiction between Bernie’s call to a political revolution and his steady promise to support the eventual nominee at the Democratic convention. The new crew of young socialists who were inspired by the Sanders campaign must now learn their own lessons on their own timeline. Some will be willing recruits to the paid apparatus of the Democratic Party. Some will take Bernie’s advice to vote for Biden. Some will refuse and finally split to an independent socialist movement. In a week in which the death toll of the new coronavirus pandemic is still rising in this country, the actual fractures and failures of the existing medical and political system are also brutally exposed.
The media is not covering a new sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden from a woman named Tara Reade, who says she has been trying to share her story since 1993 when it allegedly happened. Reade's allegation comes in the midst of Biden’s surging presidential campaign and is consistent with other stories women have shared about their discomfort with the way Biden has touched them.
"As the debates continue, I hope that my fellow Democrats will take a good look at our bill and get the facts right," wrote Jayapal. "The Medicare for All movement has overwhelming public support, unprecedented grassroots organization, and a serious plan that is ready to change our healthcare system right now." As Common Dreams reported Wednesday, Jayapal expressed her frustration with fellow Democrats who she said are using the Medicare for All label, which has widespread appeal, to push plans that fall far short of the fundamental goals and principles of Medicare for All. Though she didn't mention Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) by name, Jayapal's criticism appeared to be directed at the California Democrat's healthcare plan, which would preserve a significant role for private insurance. "For-profit industry does not have a role in determining one's right to healthcare," Jayapal tweeted. "Anything less is not Medicare for All." In her Washington Post op-ed, Jayapal also took aim at other half-measures "such as a public option," which "might sound appealing but would still leave more than 10 million people without coverage while keeping in place a costly private-insurance middleman that eats up 25 to 30 percent in administrative waste and profits." "If we want to achieve true universal healthcare while containing costs," Jayapal wrote, "Medicare for All is the only answer."
Six participants in a sit-in at Joe Biden's Centre Square campaign headquarters in Center City were arrested Wednesday afternoon, after hours of protests and demands for an apology from the former vice president of the United States. Movimiento Cosecha, an immigrant rights advocacy group, organized the sit-in protest at Biden's headquarters and was seeking an apology from the Democratic presidential hopeful for the deportation of 3 million immigrants during President Barack Obama's presidency.
A new survey from MoveOn Political Action asked members if they believe progressive candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination should skip this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, held Sunday, March 24th to Tuesday, March 26th in Washington, DC. More than 74% of MoveOn members responded agree or strongly agree with the statement that “any progressive vying to be the Democratic nominee for President should skip the AIPAC conference.”
It is January 2019. This signals the start of the 2020 election circus. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the first big-name Democrat on stage. But we will soon be deluged with candidates, bizarre antics and endless commentary by fatuous TV and radio pundits. The hyperventilating, the constant polling, the updates on who has the largest campaign war chest, the hypothetical matches between this hopeful and that hopeful, the mocking tweets by Donald Trump, will, as we saw in the 2016 election campaign, have as much relevance to our lives and political future as the speculation on cable sports channels about next year’s football season. This farce takes the place of genuine political life.
By Benjamin Dangl for Toward Freedom - The Zapatistas and National Indigenous Congress (CNI) held an assembly in May in which they chose María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, a Nahua indigenous healer, as their spokesperson and presidential candidate for the 2018 elections in Mexico. Patricio’s candidacy and radical vision for Mexico challenges conventional politics and marks a new phase for the Zapatista and indigenous struggle in the country. The 57-year-old traditional Nahua indigenous doctor and mother of three from western Mexico is the first indigenous woman to run for the presidency in Mexico. Patricio joined the struggles related to the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in 1996, when she was involved in the formation of the CNI, a network of indigenous communities in the country. She began helping out sick members of her community with herbal remedies when she was 20-years-old. Her skills as a healer were passed down to her from elders in the community, and are based on a close relationship with the local ecosystem. “Back then, there was a shortage of doctors and medicine and the health department had no answers,” Patricio told the Guardian. “But we have so many plants and so much knowledge from our elders. My grandmother would give us special teas to cure stress, coughs or diarrhea, and they worked. So I thought: why not give herbal remedies to those who can’t afford medicine?”
By Richard Winger for Ballot Access News - On February 1, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued a 28-page opinion in Level the Playing Field v Federal Election Commission, 1:15cv-1397, D.C. She ruled that the FEC clearly did not look at the evidence presented by the plaintiffs Peter Ackerman, the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and Level the Playing Field. The evidence is voluminous and shows that the Commission on Presidential Debates, and particular commissioners, are not non-partisan when they act to keep all presidential candidates (except for the Democratic and Republican nominees) out of the general election debates. The decision says that when the FEC refused to investigate the behavior of the Commission on Presidential Debates
By Maud Jullien for BBC - Political opponents and activists say that everything is in place for President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in power, thus violating the constitution and potentially precipitating the continent-sized central African country into chaos. "What we need is to have a specific action plan for the elections," says Serge Syvia, a doctor and activist. "Because theirs (the government's) is already being implemented." In a small wooden house that was built, like much of the eastern city of Goma, on dried lava rocks, members of a youth group called Lucha (struggle for change) are holding a meeting.
By Dylan Eldredge Fitzwater for Truthout - After two decades of declining to engage with electoral politics in Mexico, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress of Mexico (CNI) have announced their plans to form a national Indigenous governing council and choose and support an Indigenous woman candidate in the 2018 Mexican presidential elections. For many longtime supporters of the EZLN and CNI, the October 14 announcement came as a surprise, given these organizations' consistent and staunch critique of electoral politics.