Beyond Bernie: Socialist Alternative endorses Jill Stein


KPFA Weekend News, 07.09.2016
Socialist Alternative has rejected "the lesser-evil logic," endorsed Dr. Jill Stein, and called on Bernie Sanders supporters to join them.


Seattle City Councilor Kshama Sawant's video address KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Rosenberg: Today Socialist Alternative and Movement4Bernie held the first of a series of forums titled “Beyond Bernie: We Need a United Party for the 99%.” The forums featured video addresses from Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and Seattle City Councilor and Socialist Alternative co-founder Kshama Sawant. The forums were held in 12 cities around the country, including Berkeley, today, and more will be held in 16 cities between now and July 21st, four days before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. KPFA’s Ann Garrison attended today’s forum at the Berkeley Library and filed this report. 
KPFA/Ann Garrison: The Berkeley Library meeting room was packed, with standing room only today- between 150 and 200 people - by the time today’s Socialist Alternative event began. Socialist Alternative is a nationwide membership organization which initially endorsed Bernie Sanders but has now endorsed Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Stein’s platform calls for bringing all the troops home, closing all the foreign bases, cutting the military budget by half immediately, and reallocating resources into a Green New Deal to create full employment, renewable energy infrastructure, public transit and sustainable agriculture. She also supports Medicare for All, the abolition of student debt and demilitarization of the police.
In Kshama Sawant’s video address, she explained the urgencies that had caused Socialist Alternative  to endorse Jill Stein.

Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein's video address Kshama Sawant: We cannot allow ourselves to be bullied into the same bankrupt "lesser evil" political logic that has brought us to this moment of crisis. For the left to win the changes Bernie Sanders has demanded, the things we have all been fighting for, we will need to build a powerful mass movement based on political independence from the parties of neo-liberalism. That is why Socialist Alternative is endorsing Jill Stein's campaign for president as the best way to continue the political revolution through the November election. We are urging all Sandernistas to help us register the strongest possible vote for Jill in November and to use Jill's campaign and this historic moment to prepare the ground for a new mass party to unite the 99%. 
KPFA: Socialist Alternative member, Oakland resident and event organizer Rob Rooke said that Socialist Alternative voted to endorse Dr. Jill Stein at their delegate convention in June. 

Rob Rooke: Socialist Alternative just recently had a national convention, and at the convention we decided to endorse Jill Stein for president as the best vote against the capitalist parties, against the big business parties.

KPFA: OK, and how did the organization come to that decision. Was it a floor vote? 

Rob Rooke: Yes, all of our decisions at the convention were delegate votes. Our delegates are elected from the local branches.

KPFA: OK, what would you most like to add to that? 

Rob Rooke: Well, I think it's an incredible moment in politics in America, and I think that the opportunities for socialism and for a third party that represents the 99% is fantastic. 
KPFA: Both Jill Stein and Kshama Sawant urged the audience to join them at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to declare their independence from the Democratic Party. Stein, Sawant, and intellectual activist Chris Hedges will all join Philadelphia organizer Cheri Honkala and the People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in the March for Our Lives scheduled to step off on the south side of Philadelphia City Hall at 3 pm on the first day of the convention.  

In Berkeley, for Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison. 

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