From Mark Wachtler at Opposition News:
America’s opposition left wing will meet in Chicago this weekend to discuss the future of anti-establishment progressive and socialist politics in America. Opposition political leaders who have pledged to participate represent a who’s who of the country’s political left wing, from middle-left to far left. They include Green Party elected officials, Peace and Freedom representatives, SPUSA, Justice Party, Socialist Alternative, United Working Families, Progressive Alliance and more.
Electoral Action Conference
The large meeting being held this coming weekend in Chicago is being called the Electoral Action Conference. According to the event’s website at LeftElect.org, the reason for the gathering is to discuss the, ‘future of left and independent politics.’
‘From impending climate catastrophe to the renewed assault on working class living standards, we don’t have time to waste on the status quo, lesser evils, and token reforms,’ conference organizers detail, ‘The richest 1% may own the two major parties, but the past year has seen an uptick in left electoral activity. From Kshama Sawant’s election as an open socialist on the Seattle City Council to the numerous other socialist and independent left campaigns in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere throughout Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, interest in a working class alternative is growing.’
Speaking of Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative rising star of the opposition left has also endorsed the conference. She may be the most well known locally elected socialist, but Sawant won’t be the only elected official participating either in person or via online. Some of the others include three Progressive Alliance City Council members from Richmond, CA; two Green Party Mayors from Greenwich, CT and New Paltz, NY; and Green City Council members from Madison, WI and Minneapolis, MN.
The above list, which represents successfully elected leaders from the opposition-left, is only the tip of the iceberg. Not only are there too many opposition political leaders participating to list, either attending in person or via the internet, there are too many to even count. Dozens upon dozens of the most active political leaders are energetically endorsing the Chicago conference. Just a few examples include; Jill Stein & Cheri Honkala (2012 Green Party Presidential ticket), Howie Hawkins (Green Party NY), Cindy Sheehan (Peace & Freedom CA), and Linda Thompson (Green Party CT) who alerted us here at Opposition News about the conference. There are literally dozens more.
America’s Opposition Left
We’ve been saying since the first day Opposition News began publishing, we’re not third parties, alternative parties or anything else that implies something lesser than the two establishment political parties. Instead, we are what the opposition is called in every other country on Earth – the opposition – equal to or better than the ruling establishment.
In case readers are curious just which parties and organizations make up the left wing of America’s political opposition, we’re listing out all the groups whose members are participating in this weekend’s conference in Chicago, with or without their party/group’s official endorsement. They include:
Green Party – GA
Socialist Alternative – WA
Green Party – NY
Progressive Party – VT
Socialist Party – OH
Peace & Freedom Party – CA
Socialist Alternative – MN
Green Party – CT
Socialist Party – CA
Socialist Party – IL
Green Party – NJ
Green Party – MD
Green Party – MN
Green Party – TN
Green Party – CA
Green Party – WI
Socialist Party – IN
Green Party – MI
Justice Party – WA
Socialist Party – MA
Justice Party – CA
Green-Rainbow Party – MA
United Working Families – IL
Green Party – PA
Green Party – OH
Justice Party – IL
Socialist Party – MI
Socialist Party – TX
Teamsters for a Democratic Union
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Black Agenda Report
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Chicago Socialist Campaign
National Anti-War Committee
Progressive Global Commons
If at first you don’t succeed, try again
The organizers of the Electoral Action Conference eloquently state their reasons for putting together this weekend’s unity gathering. They want all the activists across America’s left wing to meet each other and forge a united front against the left and right of the Washington-Wall Street establishment. Readers may recall the same Parties made a similar effort in 2011 in an attempt to unite behind one Presidential candidate. With each Party’s unofficial nominee pledging to support the caucus winner, nearly none of them did when the Green Party chose Dr. Jill Stein ahead of the candidates from the other Parties.
Needless to say, all the left wing opposition parties ran against each other in the 2012 Presidential election, not together. To illustrate just how much disunity there truly is, in the city hosting this weekend’s conference, the Green Party was the sole challenger to the Socialist Party Presidential candidate’s ballot access petitions, kicking him off the entire 2012 Illinois Election ballot.
Describing the idea behind the Electoral Action Conference, the event’s website explains, ‘In order to really begin building a viable electoral alternative, we first need to forge unity between our disparate campaigns. Those of us struggling to build a left pole in the electoral arena have much to learn from one another. Therefore we propose a gathering of candidates, individuals, and organizations committed to a left political alliance in opposition to the two-party system of corporate-capitalist rule.’
This is what America’s opposition looks like
We at Opposition News truly wish LeftElect.org and the Electoral Action Conference all the best in their effort. As far as we’re concerned, uniting the opposition-left should be easy, just kidding. Here, we’re trying to unite America’s entire political opposition – left, right and center, at least on the many issues in which we all agree.
Fortunately, we’re not alone. Groups like Free & Equal, Ballot Access News, Independent Political Report, Crush The Duopoly and many more have aided the cause. It’s worth mentioning that when this author first jumped into these trenches to fight against the two party establishment 20 years ago, Christina Tobin and Richard Winger were already there. Christina Tobin of Free & Equal was Illinois’ foremost opposition authority on ballot access, as a teenager no less. And Richard Winger had already been publishing Ballot Access News for years and was already the country’s foremost opposition authority on ballot access. Just FYI.
The idea of uniting, organizing and working together as a national opposition is your author’s and Opposition News’ number one goal, and it has been for decades, which illustrates just how elusive it is. Someday, it’ll happen. And when it does, then maybe we can end the Empire, reinstate the Constitution, keep the internet free, ban GMO’s, jail the banksters, release the whistleblowers, protect the children, save the vets, legalize weed, get equal ballot access, open the debates, and a host of other issues we all agree on but the Republicans and Democrats are united against us. Some of us might beat them someday. But we’ll do it a lot sooner if we do it together. That’s the spirit behind the Electoral Action Conference in Chicago this coming weekend. And we couldn’t support that effort more.
For more information, visit LeftElect.org.