Category Archives: Reports

Reports of past events or actions, or news stories, generally

Report from the “People’s Summit” and upcoming meeting with Sanders’ Democratic Convention delegates!

By Rand Wilson

The People’s Summit

About 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters met in Chicago from June 17 to 19 searching for the way forward to continue the Political Revolution and fight against the takeover of government by the “billionaire class.” Despite Hillary Clinton’s apparent victory in the primaries and likely nomination, the mood at the People’s Summit was very upbeat. Most of the people at the conference clearly felt that through the Sanders Campaign we have achieved something very important.

The main conference organizers — National Nurses United and National People’s Action — had a highly structured agenda which somewhat limited discussion and participation. The conference reflected the Sanders’ movement, but it didn’t provide a direction for the future.  It was about vision, not organization or strategy.

Many of the speakers implied their support for Clinton — but did not state it outright. More explicit was the need to keep building the movement for “down ballot” candidates who embrace the Sanders’ platform.  There were no resolutions. It was not the founding convention of anything, but rather an opportunity to share perspectives and ideas for the future. 

The conference showed how all of the social movements could come together to create a larger political movement with a comprehensive program for social change.  The thorny question of whether and how to do that, within or outside of the Democratic Party remained the key unanswered question.  DSA leaders and members were highly visible throughout the weekend. For more on the conference from a DSA member click here.  

Rand Wilson & Comrades at the People's Summit

Rand Wilson & Comrades at the People’s Summit

June 28 meeting with Sanders’ Democratic Convention delegates

In April and May of this year, 45 Congressional District and At-Large pledged delegates were elected to support Bernie Sanders at the 2016 National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28.

The state Democratic Party has provided us with something usually lacking on the left: Instead of self-appointed leaders, we now have a diverse, statewide group of 45 elected representatives committed to the Sanders’ platform. It would be a very exciting prospect if after the election these delegates could serve as leaders of a network in Massachusetts dedicated to continuing the “political revolution” with the support of the Sanders campaign and access to its large list of donors.

All Bernie Sanders’ supporters are urged to attend a meeting on June 28 at the Ironworkers Local 7 with the many of these elected convention delegates. This meeting will also be an opportunity to strategize about plans for activities both inside and outside the national convention as well as deepen our collective discussion about the future.

Rand Wilson is an elected delegate from the 7th Congressional District.  He works for SEIU Local 888 and has volunteered with the Labor for Bernie network.  

Download a PDF flyer for the June 28 meeting HERE.

Listen to the MA 5th CD Progressive Voters Forum

5thCD_Candidates

The Candidates (left to right): William Brownsberger, Katherine Clark, Peter Koutoujian, Carl Sciortino & Karen Spilka

On September 12, eight progressive organizations including DSA hosted a forum with five Democratic Party candidates to fill our new Senator, Ed Markey’s seat in Congress. Our goal is to give Massachusetts’ voters a better understanding of the differences between the five candidates and their positions on important issues to these groups. The room was filled to capacity, but in order to allow still more voters to hear the discussion, we are posting the audio links, below.

Listen! Forum Part 1
The questions in this first segment are on the environment and climate change, the Citizens United decision and fair elections, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s “Back to Work” budget.

Listen! Forum Part 2
The questions in this second segment are on income inequality, military spending, the Syria crisis and Iran, and the Israeli settlements in Palestine.

Listen! Forum Part 3
The questions in this third and final segment are on women’s rights and reproductive rights, and how to be an effective progressive in Congress. This segment also includes the candidates’ and moderator’s closing remarks.

The forum was sponsored by: 350 Massachusetts, Better Future Project, Democratic Socialists of America, Massachusetts Peace Action, Greater Boston Move to Amend, National Organization for Women, Progressive Democrats of America, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts. The forum moderator was Jordan Berg Powers of Mass Alliance.

The 5th Congressional District Includes: Arlington, Ashland, Belmont, Cambridge (part), Framingham, Holliston, Lexington, Lincoln, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Revere, Sherborn, Southborough, Stoneham, Sudbury (part), Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Weston, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn

The special primary election will be Oct. 15. The general election is set for Dec. 10.

SEIU Organizes Boston Rally and March for Immigrant Rights

Immigration Rally at Faneuil Hall, Boston

Immigration Rally at Faneuil Hall

By Paul Garver.  Reblogged from Talking Union.  Originally posted April 7,2012. Some 800 immigrants and their supporters rallied at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall on April 6 to demand comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship. The lively and boisterous rally was organized primarily by SEIU and allied community organizations including Jobs with Justice , MassUniting and MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition). SEIU Local 615 President Rocio Saenz,  herself an immigrant from Mexico and a veteran of SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaigns, led the rally. She spoke eloquently of the integral connection of immigrant rights with union rights and human rights.  She also introduced supportive speakers Sen. Elizabeth Warren and new Mass. Congressman Joseph Kennedy III. Perhaps the most moving speakers were four immigrants of varying ages and countries of origin, one of them herself an Executive Board member of Local 615. who had suffered lengthy separations from their families and loved ones because of arbitrary regulations governing immigration.   No immigration reform issue appeared more important and pressing than easing family reunification. The population of Massachusetts includes about 320,000 residents with green cards, and another estimated 180,000 without legal permission.  ICE raids remain a constant threat in many Mass. workplaces, as evidenced by raids such as one in New Bedford.   The JFK Federal Building that looms over Fanueil Hall has been the locus of many court-ordered deportations of hard-working residents and family members whose only “crime” was overstaying visas or entering without papers. From the rally everyone took to the streets to march to the Federal Building to lay carnations as symbols of determination to win immigration reform this time.  Since the Federal Building was only a block away, we took an hour’s long detour assisted by a marching band through downtown historic and shopping districts to get there.  For this day at least, the onlookers were friendly, the police cooperative and amicable. The atmosphere was hopeful and festive. with numerous chants of Si se puede! The time has come to reclaim the best American tradition of openness to and inclusion of immigrants.