Fed up with decades of two-party rule, hundreds of thousands of Americans tuned in for the People’s Convention, where they voted to form a new political alternative unbeholden to corporate power or the military-industrial complex.
The event drew more than 400,000 viewers to its livestream on Sunday, organizers said. It continued to trend on Twitter through more than 5 hours of speeches that culminated in a vote to create a “major new corporate-free political party in America.”
Among the speakers at the convention were several disgruntled Democrats, from Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2020 national co-chair Nina Turner to a candidate in this year’s primaries, Marianne Williamson. The roster of speakers also included former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, comedian Jimmy Dore, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who summed up the spirit of the convention in a fiery address.
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“There is only one choice in this election, and that is the consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump, or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden,” said Hedges, who also hosts RT’s ‘On Contact.’ “The oligarchs with Trump or Biden will win again, and we will lose.”
Only one thing matters to the oligarchs, it is not democracy, it is not truth, it is not the consent of the governed, it is not income inequality, it is not the surveillance state, it is not endless war… it is the primacy of corporate power, which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class and the working poor in misery.
The People’s Convention was held on the heels of the Republican and Democratic national conventions earlier this month, which event organizers said “erased the needs of poor and working people in a time of mounting national crisis.” It ended with a vote to create the People’s Party in 2021, in which some 99 percent of its 400,000 viewers took part.
Williamson, who made an unsuccessful bid for Democratic nominee in the 2020 race, slammed an economic system that for decades has stranded “millions of people without even a life vest,” concentrating massive amounts of wealth upward and leaving the American middle class “completely devastated.”
We have reverted to aristocracy; it is now a corporate aristocracy.
“It is health insurance companies, it is big pharmaceutical companies, it is big oil, it is food companies… and of course, it is the military industrial complex,” she said.
A former Ohio state senator and a senior figure in the Sanders campaign, Turner told the convention that “we are in a fight for our lives and for future generations,” adding “We don’t believe in the lies and the bribes and the contentment in a lousy peace,” quoting from a 1938 poem by Langston Hughs.
“How can we have peace in moments like this, when over 90 million of our sisters and brothers are either uninsured or underinsured?” Turner asked. “How can we have peace when on the streets of America right now, black lives have been reaching out, calling out the racism and the white supremacy and the bigotry of a system that was created for black lives to languish.”
How can we have peace when you got a Congress that goes on recess while millions of people are facing evictions from their homes?
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“We need a third or fourth entity to step in. The lesser of two evils is still evil,” said Ventura, who was elected Minnesota governor on a third-party ticket in 1998 and has since been involved with the Libertarian and Green parties. Ventura has also hosted RT’s ‘Off the Grid’ (ending in 2015) and ‘The World According to Jesse.’
Harvard professor and social critic Dr. Cornel West also addressed the event, calling to “transform the American empire into a more democratic space,” while dubbing the two major parties the “neo-fascist” and “neo-liberal” wings of the “ruling class.”
“We are living in a moment of massive imperial meltdown, spiritual breakdown, and we need prophetic fight-back,” West said, arguing the new party would provide just that.
The Movement for a People’s Party, the organization behind the project, now says it is working to establish local branches around the US, which will “form the building blocks of state parties” and work through the long and often arduous process of securing ballot access. The group has set a lofty goal for the new anti-corporate outfit, hoping it will be “poised to sweep Congress and the White House” by the next election cycle in 2024.
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