Tag Archives: USA

Interview with the Global Prison Abolitionist Coalition

Lefteast 1: Can you tell us a bit about the Global Prison Abolitionist Coalition? What are its basic demands? How did it form and how does it relate to previously existing organizations? In May 2020, the Global Prison Abolitionist Coalition emerged from dialogues betweenorganizations such as the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists, the Lausan Collective (Hong Kong and diaspora), the Emergency Committee for Rojava, various Brazilian socialist andanti-racistorganizations, Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana Abolitionist Collective of Canada/U.S., Black and Pink, along withvariousEgyptian,Indian ..

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 ..

Don’t Mistake the Finger for the Moon: Bernie Sanders and the Movement

Note from the LeftEast editors: Now, in the aftermath of the defeat of the Corbyn-led Labour party in the United Kingdom, the left’s hopes for an electoral path to power using the vehicle of some pre-existing mass, centre-left party have been reduced to just one name: Bernie Sanders. His populist, common-sense account of the problems plaguing American society (and their root cause, capitalism) as well as his proposed solutions have not only legitimized the hitherto tabooed word “socialism” but have also inspired hope among millions of ordinary Americans. Bernie still has a steep hill to climb: he first has ..

We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism: Rossen Djagalov

What has the Corbyn project meant – as a model, an inspiration, or otherwise – to you and people in the milieu(x) in which you organize? I never thought of myself as a Corbynist/ Corbynista and found the early hype about him vaguely troubling. Don’t get me wrong: I very much like the man and his politics and certainly there is little reason to think he would ever “betray” the cause: he has stood on the right side of history for more decades than I have lived. But, granted I call myself a Marxist, I find it hard to think of a single person—rather than a set of principles—as my political lodes ..

The Commercialization of Science and the Struggle Against It

In the core countries of the global economic system, science has long been a productive power. Universities and laboratories today have become factories of knowledge and discovery, and scientists are the proletariat of these factories. There has long been a critique of the role of science and scientists in the capitalist system. What is happening with science/scholarship in the core countries, what is the position of science workers in Western universities and in particular, in the United States? In this text we present an interview with Denys Bondar, a young Ukrainian scientist working in one of the famous North ..

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 ..