Bernie Sanders rally in San José
Bernie Sanders rally in San José
at the California State Democratic Party State Convention on February 27, 2016
by Stan Woods
Feb 27, 2016
A few notes re the approx. 1000 strong Sanders rally in San José today (Feb. 27). Several hundred pro Sanders campaign supporters stormed into the San José Convention center where the California State Democratic Party State Convention was being held (Hundreds more entered later). Dozens of SJPD and numerous Federal agents (Including uninformed Secret Service agents) blocked the demonstration from entering the convention floor. There was almost non stop chanting centering on Anti Wall Street, Pro Union and demanding that the party's "Super delegates" not block the "Will of the people". Probably most of the participants were under 40. Few African-Americans but many Latinos and a couple dozen Sikhs carrying signs praising Sanders for supporting Immigrant rights.
Unions were very visible. Most notable contingent was the California Nurses Association. But the Communication Workers of America had a sizeable contingent. As did the National Union of Health Workers.(There also was a number of American Postal Workers Union members but it was a little uncertain where they lined up. No signs, Chants, etc.) The only open hostility I witnessed came from a few SEIU staffers (I think they worked for the International) I heard them sneering at and ridiculing the Pro Sanders crowd one describing Sanders as a " Ultra Left Schmuck"!
After about an hour the Cops and the Secret Service (There for VP Biden) demanded that the demo leave the Convention center. The main organizers decided to avoid a confrontation and the demo continued outside.
I decided to conduct a (very unscientific!) survey of 21 Sanders supporters. The feedback I received was interesting. All were very pro union but were disappointed that most Union leaders were backing Clinton. All were glad that police violence was now being highlighted. The only criticisms I heard of Sanders centered around US military interventions. Most felt that US troops should be brought home now and seemed to be puzzled that Sanders hasn't stated the same.
One pleasant somewhat surprise was there were hardly any illusions in the Democratic party as a institution. ALL thought that Sanders should run as a independent if denied the nomination. And only three said they would vote for Clinton if she got the nomination (and Sanders decided not to go Indy). That's about it. The only thing I would add is that I selectively passed out the Oscar Grant Committee Fact sheets on the Police Murder of Pedie Perez Uniformly positive response. And shortly before we were forced out of the center Former State Senator Tom Haydyn approached me and asked for a leaflet. He asked a few questions about the case. Very friendly. He said that he thought that "Kamala" (Harris) should "look into the case." I encouraged him to talk to her about it.
Stan Woods is a State Central Committee member of Peace and Freedom party and has no intention of re-registering DP or Decline to State so that he can vote for Sanders in the June Primary. Though he obviously is sympathetic to the aspirations of those that will vote for him.
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Bernie Sanders' African Immigrant Supporters
from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
by Ann Garrison
February 23, 2016
Senator Bernie Sanders has a group of hardworking, dedicated volunteers that he and his campaign aren't even aware of. They are immigrants from the African Great Lakes Region. most of all Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who hold Bill Clinton ultimately responsible for the wars and massacres that left millions dead and turned the Democratic Republic of the Congo into the killing ground it continues to be today.
Why are they out working for Bernie Sanders? Because he is NOT Hillary Clinton. The Clintons return to the White House would be a nightmare for their family still in Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo, and for their own struggle for truth and justice about what has really happened there, from 1990 to today.
These immigrants tell me they're working as hard for Bernie as they did for Barack Obama in 2008, even though Bernie Sanders has never made a policy statement that they know of regarding their countries of origin. He is, nevertheless, NOT Hillary Clinton. Some say they will stay home on election day if Hillary is the Democratic nominee; others say they might consider voting Green, or even Republican.
This African immigrant community believes that Bernie Sanders is the candidate who stands for the American dream that if you come here, go to school, get your degree and then work hard, you can get ahead, but their greater motivation is that he is NOT Hillary.