Activists to Convene June 17-19 in Chicago to Step Up the Movement
Building the Political Revolution and Populist Moment: Grassroots
Progressive and community leaders and activists from across the U.S. will gather in Chicago June 17-19 for a People’s Summit called in part to continue the momentum and movement building associated with the ongoing Bernie Sanders campaign as well as community organizing on progressive issues that has been underway with less media fanfare around the nation for years.
Sen. Sanders is one of the invited speakers to the summit. Confirmed speakers and participants include environmental/social activist Naomi Klein, Dr. Cornel West, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, documentary filmmaker Josh Fox, and RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United.
What: People’s Summit
When: June 17-19, Chicago
Hundreds of activists, including those who have campaigned for Sanders and other activists, are already pledged to attend.
DeMoro terms the People’s Summit “a declaration of independence from establishment politics” that will directly address the current “rupture in the political fabric of this country. We need to give voice to that collectively.”
“The Bernie Sanders campaign,” DeMoro noted, “has brought incredible attention to issues that have been at the center of grassroots organizing for years – and while planning this exciting summit, nurses and many of our other participants are continuing to campaign for Sanders. We, like Bernie, are in it to win it.
“But Bernie has also repeatedly emphasized the relationship of his campaign to the challenge to the corporate stranglehold on our political and economic system. His campaign has been a brilliant moment in a broad and growing mass movement that works every day to bring about transformative social change,” DeMoro said.
In addition to NNU, a lead endorser, other Summit endorsers include Peoples Action, Presente, People for Bernie, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), 350.0rg, Food and Water Watch Action Fund, MillionHoodies: Movement for Justice, Physicians for a National Health Program, Iowa Citizens for Community Involvement Fund, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Progressive Maryland, the United Students Student Association, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), African Americans for Bernie, Working Families Party, HealthCare Now, and Friends of the Earth.
"Activists around the country have been electrified by Bernie's call to action. And now we're going to expand on the movements momentum to empower a new generation of young people to engage in the political process," said People for Bernie’s Winnie Wong
“We must build a movement that involve millions in the long term struggle to radically reshape our political and economic systems that benefit big corporations and the rich while devastating working families and the poor. We are coming together to ensure this movement flourishes beyond the conventions, the election and the inauguration,” said David Hatch of Reclaim Chicago.
“We're in an incredible, game changing moment in US history. We're seeing unprecedented uprisings around racial justice, poverty wages, and skyrocketing tuition. The establishment might think that this energy will die down after the election, but young people are organizing for the long haul because we know that the fight doesn't stop here,” said Leewana Thomas of USAS.
“The local connections we are trying to foster will be the beginning of deeper, democratic collaboration across organizations and movements for public protest, organizing to grow the revolution, and electoral action in the next four years,” said Maria Svart, national director of DSA. “Social networking has transformed information sharing and mobilization. We can spread the agenda to hundreds of thousands of Bernie supporters, and beyond. What we advocate are demands that are close to the hearts of millions of Americans, not just those who vote for Bernie.”
“Bernie reminds us all often that this is about movement and about restoring power to the people. This is the logical next step in solidifying this movement for political revolution to go beyond this election cycle and on to achieving economic and social justice for all,” said PDA’s Donna Smith.
Activities at the summit will include plenary and workshop sessions on ongoing national movement building actions, training on civil disobedience and how to bring actions back to local communities.
Among the key issues likely to be emphasized as unity for the movement include the ongoing campaigns for a national $15 minimum wage, improved Medicare for all, climate justice, voting rights, criminal justice reform, the fight for free and higher education and ending student debt, and a tax on Wall Street speculation to fund human needs and jobs. The summit will also include a music celebration with the theme of a “festival of joyous rebellion.”