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We the undersigned were inspired by the Bernie Sanders campaign for President and, beyond that, support a fundamental transformation of American society including its basic economic, cultural, social, and ecological structures. We therefore welcome the new organization called “Our Revolution” that has emerged from the Sanders campaign and was announced on August 24, 2016.
However, even understanding that one event doesn’t permanently define an organization, and that working to maintain the momentum of a national campaign is difficult and takes time to best determine its own priorities and processes, three things troubled us about the initial definition of “Our Revolution.”
1. At the August 24th event, despite linking the new project to a very broad heritage of feminist, civil rights, ecological, and labor activism, one particular focus was notably absent: International relations and antiwar activism and policy, including such matters as intervention, bases abroad, drones, nuclear danger, disarmament, the military budget, adherence to international law, and more. We believe "Our Revolution" should address these immense violations of human well being as well as their connections to all the other topics already addressed.
2. At the August 24th event, even knowing that there is time for change, and knowing that start up requires attributes that can transform over time, the picture of a new organization that emerged evoked concerns of having a typical corporate structure including a board and a chief executive but having no explicit membership rights, powers, or even responsibilities and little visible evidence of diversity, as well. We all believe accountability, democracy, diversity, transparency, and participation are critically important. We therefore hope and trust there will be a wide discussion of the need to arrive at ways for decisions to reflect and benefit from the will and backgrounds of those doing the work. We hope you share the belief that our political revolution should be foreshadowed by the shape of our own projects.
3. At the August 24th event, and on the "Our Revolution" website, we are concerned that many will get the impression that only progressive Democratic Party candidates will get "Our Revolution” support, not Greens, for example. We hope it will become more clear that "Our Revolution” will support progressives of all kinds whose campaigns can usefully educate and especially elicit and organize support for social change, including trying to win office to advance that change.
As supporters, and with the expectation that everyone involved in “Our Revolution" will want to move forward on all these issues (for reasons including that the huge potential base of support for “Our Revolution" will lack trust and motivation otherwise), we call on “Our Revolution” to undertake a public discussion of these matters. We sincerely hope such a discussion will lead to steps that properly include matters of war and military spending, begin to seek democratic and participatory organizational structure, and include support for worthy third party and independent candidates.
Please join the initial signers/authors of this petition by co-signing with us...
Initial signers include Michael Albert, Ramzy Baroud, Medea Benjamin, Karen Bernal, Peter Bohmer, Leslie Cagan, Noam Chomsky, Marjorie Cohn, Jeff Cohen, Mike Davis, Vincent Emanuele, Barbara Epstein, Ann Ferguson, Bill Fletcher, Joseph Gerson, Ted Glick, Linda Gordon, Andrej Grubacic, Kathy Kelly, Robert McChesney, Ilan Pappe, Cynthia Peters, Frances Fox Piven, Stephen R. Shalom, Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Tom Vouloumanos, Gregory Wilpert.
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