Bill Fletcher, Jr. – Leading Socialist Calls for Mass Actions, Law Breaking, to Re-Elect Obama in 2012

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Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the far left Institute for Policy Studies and a member of both Democratic Socialists of America and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

In 2008, Fletcher co-founded Progressives for Obama, with veteran activist Tom Hayden, leftist actor Danny Glover and fellow DSAer Barbara Ehrenreich.

Writing in The Rag Blog, Fletcher explains what “progressives” must do, to secure a victory for Barack Obama in 2008.

It is a grassroots vision, taking focus off the President and instead using mass action and the people’s movements to unseat and defeat Republicans and centrist Democrats.

It is a revolutionary vision, in that it calls for law breaking and “masses of people making a situation untenable.”

It is an internationalist vision, looking to revolutions abroad, both for inspiration and solidarity.

This is a “people’s power” strategy, owing not a little to recent events in the Middle East.

Comrade Fletcher says “progressives” must:

1. Forget running a candidate against Obama in 2012. That would be a sure way to alienate much of his black and Latin base. Instead, there needs to be a progressive strategy focused on Congressional races. That means identifying key races to run genuine progressive candidates against conservative Democrats and/or Republicans.

2. We need to build an electoral organization that can run such candidates. There are examples of these around the country but we need to expand, ultimately building something at the national level that rivals the vision of the National Rainbow Coalition from the late 1980s. It needs to be an organization that has a mass base and can run candidates inside and outside the Democratic Party.

3. We desperately need mass action. Wisconsin was wonderful for many reasons but one important one was the sustained presence in the capitol. A protest movement focused on power needs to be prepared to break the law, not through the actions of a few individuals, but much as happened in Wisconsin, as well as in the Civil Rights movement, with masses of people making a situation untenable.

But we also have to develop key strategic targets for our actions where we are clear on what we want them to do. This will largely happen at the local level at first, but it can also happen at the national level, such as through selective boycotts.

4. We have to think and act globally and locally. We must link with social movements around the world challenging U.S. foreign policy, providing such movements with whatever level of support we can. We cannot allow more Honduras coup situations, and we have to make it clear that U.S. policy in Afghanistan is a disaster.

While many on the US left express disappointment with Obama, when push comes to shove, they will back their man to the hilt.

The US left understands that 2012 is decisive.

If a conservative Republican wins, they know that many of the US left’s hard fought gains will be rolled back.

If Obama wins, they know the socialist juggernaut will be virtually unstoppable.

Consequently, the US left from Democrats to socialists, to Marxist-Leninists, will throw every thing into this election. Look for mass protests, street violence, intimidation and mass law breaking as the US left mounts a do or die, last gasp, “Thet Offensive” against Middle America and its values.

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