New York City’s #March4Bernie saw 1,500 to 2,000 people energetically marching for a new type of politics. Bernie Sanders’ call for free tuition, a $15 minimum wage, taxing the rich, and more, has struck a chord with the millions of people who despair at the idea of yet another election between corporate candidates. There is no doubt that the recent attacks on Sanders by the Clinton campaign and establishment Democrats against his demands, have radicalized and convinced more and more people of the need to fight back.
The event was organized by Millennials For Bernie, an aptly named group, as the majority of the crowed were young people, and many of them will be voting for the first time in their lives. These are the same people who will do worse than their parents in terms of jobs and wages, and are accumulating record levels of student debt.
Socialist Alternative had over 25 members and supporters at the rally and one of our members spoke. We showed up an hour before the rally and immediately our table was busy, as we sold Socialist Alternative’s newspaper, buttons, and t-shirts.
Speaking from the stage, Socialist Alternative member, Meghan, exposed Clinton as a “war-monger and Walmart candidate,” as well as bringing up the need to build mass movements and an independent party of the 99%.
Every time Meghan mentioned our success in Seattle getting Kshama Sawant elected, the $15 minimum wage victory, the need for a new party, or the fight for a socialist society, the crowd cheered!
The march followed the rally, raising the level of energy even higher. Socialist Alternative’s contingent was led by a banner which read “Wall Street has two parties – We need one of our own!”
It was powerful when the march arrived at Zuccotti Park, now a symbolic space as the home of Occupy Wall Street (OWS). We can only compare the level of excitement and politicization to some of the best days of OWS. The crowd often chanted “We are the 99%” and “Black Lives Matter!”
We handed out over a thousand flyers for three #Movement4Bernie meetings in Queens, Brooklyn, and Harlem this week, where we’ll discuss “How Do We Win Bernie’s Political Revolution?”
NYC #MarchForBernie was a clear indication that thousands of people are prepared to fight for the change that Bernie is calling for. We need to turn the Bernie campaign into a sustained movement, beyond the primaries, and beyond November. The Democrats’ attacks on Bernie show the need to fight back against Clinton’s Wall Street politics, and start building a new party, independent of establishment politics and corporate money. We need a party of the 99%!