Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Which Side Are You On?

Bernie watches over me from the Black Men for Bernie bus as I march.

 Which Side Are You On?

The Peter, Paul and Mary song "Which Side Are You On?" keeps playing in my head. I bought the In These Times CD with the song on it at a recent library sale. It's was recorded about a decade ago, but it's a great recording full of songs about unions and workers and underdogs. Somehow the entire "Union Medley" feels appropriate to Our Revolution at this time. (Click on the link and sing along.)


Which side are you on? Are you on the side of the progressive political revolution or have you thrown in the towel and crawled back into your hole and given up? It's time to take a stand, folks! Our Revolution needs revolutionaries, not cowards. There's work to do and progressive candidates to support. So, let's stop licking our wounds and crying about injustices and do something about them.

Bernie has offered us suggestions (as have many others). Join his new organization called Our Revolution today and find out what all Bernie has in store in the coming weeks in transforming America and advancing a progressive agenda. He's also started the Sanders Institute to help educate voters and bring about more fair and balanced media. Brand New Congress is also helping to elect progressive candidates this November. Help them out!

But I realize we're human and it hurts. We were cheated and robbed of seeing the right person for the presidency, Bernie Sanders, made the nominee. Some of us aren't sure if we can keep fighting the self-serving politics of corruption and fear. (But we can.) First, let's get some of that anti-DNC angst off our chests with the following commentary and some photos from the Philly protests

The Party to Which We Belong
by Judy Cummings

In watching both the Republican and Democratic Conventions recently, I felt at a loss to know where I fit in. Seemed to me like a lot of folks manage to squeeze into a red, white, or blue party hat,just fine, but as I listened to the conflicting party views, one labelled “dystopian” the other labelled “hopeful,” I was pretty sure neither party was speaking to me.

I know come November I will be unable to vote a man into the presidency who has lied about his wealth, his care of others, and his love of our nation. Likewise, I will be unable to vote for a woman claiming to be a “change-maker” who is in the pocket of corporate interests, whose party rigged an election in her favor and and who stole campaign funding from those lower on the political rung to pursue her presidential agenda. (Realities that the mainstream media touch less than a bad case of poison ivy.)

Looking across the vast wasteland at both presidential conventions amidst all the hoopla, balloon popping, and talk of “hope for the new generation,” I did see one candidate for whom I might have voted. He sat quietly, sitting in a chair next to his wife, occasionally waving, as one speaker after another used his name in the hope of gaining his supporters. Yes, that candidate was the “impractical” Bernie Sanders. This was the real change-maker – but the one who will never be in the position to make the “changes” that corporate interests so fear.

Even as he sat there, I could see that he felt left out of the “party,” too. And, when the DNC delegates from overseas gave him 10 of their votes (the last one presented tearfully by his brother Larry Sanders), I knew that this candidate belonged to our nation, represented the values of this party, and had earned my vote as well.

Why did so many of the US expats vote for Bernie? Could it be that his ideas, “so outrageous and impractical in the US” are standard fair in Europe? Universal health care, labor rights and sick pay, parental time-off  are considered “rights” not “benefits” in many European nations, large and small. But, because of our privatization of everything from water to education to health care, these are not guarantees to the American people. In many cases these “rights” have not only cost Americans money, but have cost them their lives.

Who will make the change? The one who accepted millions of dollars in corporate money  (from Big Pharma and Energy) or the one who funded a campaign with $27 donations one at a time? Who is the one we can “believe in?” The one who syphoned donations from her party for local races to pocket it for her campaign – or the one who has set aside his personal interests to promote a progressive agenda for the nation despite the fact he will not be in a position to oversee this agenda?

In the midst of the hullabaloo and endorsements from one president after another, there truly is only one presidential candidate in this election. There is only one candidate who put the interests of nation above interests of self. And that is the candidate who had the humility to step aside in an attempt to unify a decidedly fractured party. That is the candidate who has spoken change from the beginning of his candidacy, not borrowed this idea to win progressive votes. That is the only candidate who is showing a true love for his nation but, sadly, he was not “partying” at his party's party. In my view, he is the only candidate that many Americans, voices now silent, feel deserves their vote: Bernie Sanders.

Bio: Judy Cummings is a middle class, grassroots citizen. She worked as a child-care specialist at a social service agency in the state of Illinois where she managed a family/early literacy program for newly-arrived families from seven nations. This program was funded by a state grant. Due to the ongoing bickering between Democrats and Republicans, Illinois has not passed a state budget in two years. Her position was terminated in March as a result. She currently is unemployed.

And now some words from a brave Bernie delegate who survived the convention.

This has been a very hard week and very great week all at once. I am sure you wondered if I had been swallowed up by the media rage and the social media blitz. Maybe you wonder if I lost my ability to use a computer, Facebook or went mindless.  In a way, all are true. I spent all my time totally absorbing and functioning and leading forth Bernie Sanders message, delegated to represent the 15,000 primary voters from NW Ohio.  I have written dozens of pages of notes and taken many photos.  

Instead of showering you with bits and pieces of the convention, I will soon spend  my observations, insights, concerns and opinions in an orderly way. Starting with the objective observations and ending with a role you can play in a stolen democracy!  For now, let me say that I am deeply moved by the Bernie effect and totally overwhelmed with the propaganda of the Democratic party. all at once. The tremendous emotional, mental and physical strain on all Bernie delegates of working for months with hundreds of dedicated Bernie supporters to see the steamrolling effects of a corporate media-driven propaganda machine appear to flatten has been extremely hard. We are not discouraged, though, and we're ready to reconstruct our activities for the transformation rises quickly on the rebound.  

All this I shall document with descriptions, photos and commentary.  It may take a few days, but that's because I prefer to make it meaningful, in context, valid in documentation and worthy of our friendship and our relationship.  You mean more to me than twenty sound bites from the floor and a dozen photos of Bernie T-shirts.  I take this very seriously.  

Thank you for understanding.  

Dennis Slotnick, Bernie delegate, 5th Ohio Ccongressional District 

And now a  few words from a marcher in Philadelphia.

Post-Philadelphia Thoughts
by Adrian J. Matthews

So, what did I bring back from the hot and dusty streets of Philadelphia? First, I got a sense of the amazing energy and enthusiasm on the streets and in FDR Park during the various rallies for Senator Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. People are no longer tolerant of the "business as usual" attitude espoused by the two "main" parties. They are in the mood to break things, particularly the rotten political system in this country. The Revolution is going forward, and things will never be the same.

Second, it's now obvious the so-called Democratic Party is anything but. After 2008, Clinton drones infiltrated the party machine until it became just another wing of The Establishment Party, of which the GOP is the other. They are not two sides of the same coin; they are on the same side, that which favors the oligarchy. Bernie Sanders had no chance of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee. He could have showed up in Philadelphia with every state primary in his pocket and 100% of the delegates, and the DNC would still have contrived to shut him out in favor of That Woman. Everything the party did was to promote Shillary by the flagrant breaking and bending of laws and party rules. You only have to look at how Bernie's delegates and surrogates were treated during the convention to see how it was rigged. There are even rumors of an assault on Bernie Sanders himself and threats against his wife and family by thugs in the pay of Clinton.

Third, independent voters will not tolerate any accusations of "spoiling it for Shillary" or "letting Drumpfolini win." The Bifurcation Fallacy is now known and recognized. Attempts to make this election like others of the past, where the campaigning name-calling is set aside after the nomination "
for the sake of party unity" are failing, and the party faithful can't understand why. Independent voters far outnumber the Establishment Party's two wings combined, and they are rejecting the pathetic attempts to force them to vote for the lesser evil. Green Party candidate Jill Stein is experiencing a surge in popularity the like of which has never been seen by the Greens in this country-- something that should make the oligarchs very worried indeed.

For myself, I'm Still Sanders. He's a man of integrity and honesty, a genuine public servant and man of the people. By running as a Democrat, Senator Sanders has exposed the Democratic Party to the world for the rotten edifice it is. I left behind any interest in the Democratic Party once the nomination was given to Shillary. As far as I'm concerned she and that other guy are now irrelevant. I will do my best to promote the peaceful and progressive policies espoused by Senator Sanders and Jill Stein, to work on a positive theme for the future and the betterment of humanity as a whole and not just for the 1%. It would be great if Bernie and Jill Stein combined forces, as I'm positive they would bury Drumpfolini and Shillary (along with what's left of her party after DemExit) and take the presidency. For the sake of sanity and world peace I hope it's so.

(Use of silly names is to prevent the two people I despise more than any other in the world from trending on Twitter and elsewhere).

Bio: Adrian J. Matthews is a published novelist, artist and avowed Democratic Socialist.

Which side are you on? Are you ready to join Our Revolution today? Whatever you do--keep talking about progressive issues and candidates. We can change our country and world if we don't give up.


  1. 'Which Side are You On' was _sung_ by PP&M, but is not _by_ them.

    It is a song written in 1931 by Florence Reece, the wife of Sam Reece, a union organizer for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky.*

    And, FWIW, a terrific, somewhat updated version done by Ani Difranco

    And let's not forget Pete Seegers version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XEnTxlBuGo

    = = =

    1. Yes, it's sung by Peter, Paul and Mary and not written by them. I knew it was an older song. ;)

      Thanks for the links to the song by different artists. I know I've heard Pete Seegers' version once or twice.

      Whichever version you prefer, don't forget its message. Which side are YOU on? It's time to take a stand.


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