Tag Archives: social movements

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Florin Poenaru

More gutting than Bernie Sander’s ultimate defeat in the Democratic primaries is the paradoxical context in which it happened. He exited the stage just as the policies he so much advocated in the past two electoral cycles, if not his entire career, were badly needed to fight the rampant consequences of the new corona virus. His moment thus came either too early, or definitely too late, to ensure him a solid electoral base in order to achieve the political power needed to implement those policies that could save the lives of millions of Americans. I am definitely in no position to judge Sander’s campaign and c ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign

Bernie Sanders’ second presidential campaign brought a ray of hope to what had been a dismal political news cycle in the United States dominated by Trump’s odious figure and the Democrats’ ineffectual, “back to normal” opposition to him. To be sure, the broader resistance to Trump has also galvanized genuine movements devoted to protecting the undocumented and other marginalized groups he went out of his way to threaten, to fighting against climate change, and to demanding universal healthcare. These righteous but disparate causes lacked unity until the Sanders campaign made them pil ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Marina Antic

In the days following the end of Bernie’s initial 2016 campaign, I remember many of us put a lot of hope in Bernie’s plans for building a lasting organization beyond a national electoral campaign. The leftover funds and some of that grassroots energy were eventually directed into Our Revolution, an effort to elect progressive candidates and pursue issues Bernie brought to the forefront of Democratic party politics. Unfortunately, the results of this effort were negligible and underwhelming at best. Despite the electoral loss in 2016, Bernie’s first campaign was victorious in two very specific and profound w ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Julia Alekseyeva

For a brief moment, a little over a month ago, we thought it would be easy. I had amazing conversations with genuine and thoughtful people in five states. We shook hands and smiled and I stood in doorways and chatted with people in their homes and kitchens. I was finishing my monograph and teaching two grueling classes but that all took a back seat to the rush I felt from January to March. It felt like anything was possible, that goodness would prevail, that there could finally be justice and the righteous, thoughtful champion of human rights would win the election. The campaign was wonderful. It was full of kind ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Mary N. Taylor

I felt kicked in the gut, that morning when I heard Bernie had pulled out of the race. It was a surprising feeling, because in recent years I have been less and less passionate about electoral politics. The last electoral cycle had really sealed it for me: the Democratic Party establishment decided to represent their interests by making sure Bernie would not be the candidate even if it meant losing to Trump. With the promise of serving the “people” that the Republicans undermine, the Democratic Party establishment has again and again shown its alignment with Wall street. I could not believe in the Democrats t ..

What Is Holding Back the Formation of a Global Prison Abolitionist Movement to Fight COVID-19 and Capitalism?

A note from LeftEast editors: we reprint this statement of the Alliance of MENA socialist, with the kind permission of the organisation. The statement was originally published in Spectre Journal. The COVID-19 pandemic has given new urgency to the need to abolish prisons, refugee camps and the inhuman capitalist carceral system. Prisoner and refugee populations are facing an imminent death sentence from the fast spread of the virus in the crowded and unsanitary conditions of prisons and camps. During the past week, there have been protests inside some detention centers and prisons in the US, Iran, Italy and elsewh ..

Radicalizing the Sanctuary Movement

In December of 2016, students organized several “sanctuary campuses” across the City University of New York (CUNY) system, one of the largest university systems in the U.S. Reeling from the victory of Donald Trump, activists organized sanctuary “safe spaces,” working with university administrators to ensure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigators would have limited access to background information, and to set up a system that reported harassment and intimidation of “undocumented” students. Disgust with the explicit racism of the current political regime is the basis for the sanctu ..

The times they are a changing: Rebuilding collective action in Albania

Following a wave of protests in Zharrez, Albania, Griselda Qosja spoke with activists affiliated with two of the leading leftist organizations in Albania, Organizata Politike and Thurje. From Aristotle to Hegel, the distinction between state and market has been the basis of understanding the role of civil society. In Albania, however, since the 1990s, unfortunately the role of civic activism has been often marginalized in public opinion, and perceived as an agent linked to the Open Society Foundation (OSF)[1] or backed by foreign embassies. Probably, an atavism of the communist regime, where the fight against fo ..

New hope for the Balkans, New Formations on the Left

This is the text of a speech by Pavle Ilić – a sociology student at the University of Belgrade, a member of Marks21 in Serbia, and a contributor to LeftEast – that was delivered at the Marx is Muss conference in Berlin earlier this year. Pavle was on the panel entitled New Hope on the Balkan Left, which took place on Saturday, 7 May 2016. We re-publish the speech kindly produced by Pavle as a contribution to discussions on how to build the left in the region. Dear comrades, I would like to begin my talk by thanking the organizers of Marx Is Muss 2016 for inviting me to speak at this event. I w ..

VIDEO: TalkReal in Madrid: Beyond the Ballot Box

Note from the LeftEast editors: following the first show of TalkReal on the Greek Crisis, European Aleternatives’ Lorenzo Marsili and the team of TalkReal explore the situation with the upcoming Spanish general elections. Together with ROARmag and OpenDemocracy, LeftEast publishes the talk as a kindred web portal to the TalkReal initiative. From the indignados and 15M to housing struggles and municipalismo, Spain has been at the forefront of some of the most inspiring and effective social movements of recent years. With citizen-led coalitions now governing in Madrid and Barcelona, many people see the Span ..