A bitter political battle has broken out in Seattle where one of the city's councilmembers is facing a recall effort led by residents who expressed dismay over her conduct during recent protests. The Democratic Party is utterly undemocratic — the party members and activists have essentially zero say over what their elected officials do once in power.”. Residents of the city are fed up with the way she worked with antifa as they set about destroying the city. Born in Pune, she studied at Mumbai University before moving to the US for higher education. But we also know that in one year we are not going to vanquish the money machine of the Democratic establishment. Immigrant business charges illegal eviction, abuse by corporate developers. One outstanding example is Gayle McLaughlin, who as Green Party mayor of the California city of Richmond, invited the fury of Wall Street banks with her valiant fight on behalf of ‘underwater’ homeowners. However, Rogers kept four charges, saying that "the petitioner has shown actual knowledge of facts indicating that the councilmember intended to commit an unlawful act.". The consciousness of the American people has changed. “What we need is a big surge for an independent working-class political alternative while people are experiencing a sense of confidence, after decades of bitter defeat. Besides her conduct during protests, Sawant has caught attention for her stances on major policy issues. Kshama Sawant's Biography . The obstacles the Establishment will throw up to prevent such a movement will be numerous, costly and unscrupulous. To avoid frivolous recalls, a judge must rule there are sufficient grounds for the recall. An Independent, Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. She belongs to the "Socialist Alternative" party, which has portrayed itself as more strident than the socialist organization -- Democratic Socialists of America DSA -- that backed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Seattle Ethics Commission filings show that Sawant's Kshama Solidarity Campaign received at least one out-of-state donation an employee of the Socialist Alternative. Access your favorite authors, articles and more. “We need to stand up for the hundreds of millions of lives devastated by global capitalism. All content © 2021 Truthdig, LLC. Now you can personalize your Truthdig experience. She … Even spending $15 million on a mayoral race and having President Obama come and campaign wasn’t enough to buy him an easy victory. JUDGE RULES RECALL PETITION CAN PROCEED AGAINST CONTROVERSIAL CITY COUNCILWOMAN, Touting a series of victories, including an "Amazon" tax levy to support a Green New Deal, Sawant argued that "victories like these are why the ruling class wants a do-over. She is an advocate for abolishing the police and capitalism. Seattle city councilmember Kshama Sawant had a personal message for billionaire Jeff Bezos after the passage of the so-called Amazon tax, warning him that "we are coming for you." And gave them her key to city hall allowing them to take over the building. And she cited the problems of Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel in seeking re-election as evidence that even the very beginnings of movements by working people and communities of color can shake and weaken the Democratic Party establishment. Kshama Sawant abused her access to the City Hall and allowed protestors to storm and occupy City Hall. Who could have imagined that kind of false humility from him? John Cole, by Thor Benson / TruthDig, by “Something important has changed,” she said. I take home $40,000 after taxes. It is going to be Hillary Clinton or some Republican. She marched with them. Get all the stories you need-to-know from the most powerful name in news delivered first thing every morning to your inbox. This does not necessarily mean all those people who support us are socialist. It is a call to put forth a program that offers an alternative to global capitalism. “We want to win. This is what is happening in Greece and Spain.”Sawant proposed that the left prepare the ground for a new party that will be “broad-based, organized around democratic principles and have as its fundamental goal the mission of working with the labor movement, nonunionized workers and young activists of color.”, “It has to be 100 percent grass roots,” she said. Legal Statement. Will Boko Haram Cause Nigeria’s North and South to Separate? She describing the rules as too onerous for grassroots groups and warning they could discourage political organizing by ordinary people. Kshama Sawant, 46, who now serves on the Seattle City Council, is encouraging activists in the CHAZ 'to hold out on giving back the precinct to cops or allowing officers inside the barricaded region. mail Email. She knows that there will be no genuine reforms, let alone systemic change, without the building of radical mass movements and a viable third party. Market data provided by Factset. The Green Party has not often sought to do that. "In addition, during or after Councilmember Sawant’s speech at that rally, her followers vandalized my home by spray-painting obscenities.". Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Kshama Sawant; image via Facebook. “While young radicals correctly see the need for mass action, some have not yet made the vital link between mass movements and the need for alternative political structures,” she said. Her mother is a former principal, and her father, a civil engineer, was … Seattle City Council District 3 incumbent candidate Kshama Sawant speaks to her supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center, in Seattle. SEATTLE — Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the City Council, is up for re-election this year. All rights reserved. General. According to Seattle P-I, attorney Dmitri Iglitzin accused Lou of engaging in a politicized attack. This last condition, she said, “has to be non-negotiable.” The party, she added, “must not bow down to the pressure to endorse Democratic candidates against Republicans, which would completely undermine its independence and ultimately relegate it to the role of an enforcer for the Democrats, as the Working Families Party has become.”. Sawant says she did it to show City Hall belongs to the people and she wanted the diverse group of demonstrators to be heard in the halls of power.” Far Left crosses second red-line, June 9th, 2020. She has successfully lobbied for city money to support tent encampments and is fighting for an excise tax on millionaires. or redistributed. The call for a national party is, in the end, a call to educate. Juan Cole / Informed Comment, by Councilwoman Kshama Sawant of Seattle is in the fight for her political life. People say they are Democrats, but when was the last time they were invited to a meeting and asked to vote on the policies to be taken up by the Democratic Party? This demonstrates the wide opening for the U.S. left to present a principled working-class alternative. Both of the globally focused resolutions sprouted from District 3 representative Kshama Sawant’s office. Four states — two of them Republican states — increased the minimum wage last year. “In Socialist Alternative,” Sawant said, “any elected representative who runs has to pledge to only take the average worker’s wage. This will be one of the most important elections in the country this year. It needs to be about building a mass movement, a viable radical alternative. Might there be a role for the Green Party in such a change? It will pit a socialist, who refuses all corporate donations — not that she would get many — and who has fearlessly championed the rights of workingmen and workingwomen, rights that are being eviscerated by the corporate machine. Most terrible ideas are spawned from terrible worldviews. "You can't convert political disagreement into a recall," Iglitzin said. Follow him on Twitter @DormanInDC or at facebook.com/SamDormanFoxNews, Seattle to cut police funding as homicides spike, Trump, Pence meet for 1st time since Capitol riot, FBI internal memo warns of plans for armed protests in all 50 state capitals around day of Biden inauguration, Airbnb canceled reservations connected to domestic terrorists, hate groups ahead of Capitol rioting, Angela Merkel rips Twitter's 'problematic' Trump ban. Truthdig, by City Councilmember Kshama Sawant hailed Durkan’s order Thursday and called for additional measures. Even the most radical youths end up implicitly defending capitalism when they accept the parameters of lesser evilism, as so many did with supporting Obama in 2008 and 2012.”. Any presidential campaign cannot be run as an end in itself. Post Office Box 34025 Seattle, WA 98124-4025. But this moment is qualitatively different from the period when Ralph Nader ran. The rest goes into a solidarity fund. The Green Party has made some important contributions to the struggle against the Democrats’ lesser-evil politics. Be well, stay safe and look out for each other. And for this she has become the bête noire of the Establishment, especially the Democratic Party. Kshama Sawant and her campaign staff speak with union members outside the auditorium hall at the Labor Temple. "All of us have joined hundreds of demonstrations across the City, but Councilmember Sawant and her followers chose to do so with reckless disregard of the safety of my family and children," Durkan said in a letter to the city council president this summer. It must be willing to “use the platform of the presidential campaign and other electoral campaigns to push the message of mass movements.” And, she stressed, it must never accept corporate money. During her two terms on the Seattle City Council, Kshama Sawant has brought a distinctly different style of politics to city hall. How Kshama Sawant took on Amazon – and won! Steve Sack, by On Thursday, Seattle resident Ernest Lou made his case again for the recall effort, which he based on four specific charges relating to how Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. But it means people are infuriated about income inequality, about the pillaging by the big banks. Since joining the council in January of 2014 she has helped push through a gradual raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle. “If you take office you have to be accountable to the members of the party. Venezuela should not be the poster-child for how to take a rich and vibrant nation and decimate its wealth as well as its citizens through … Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. The issue is currently headed to the Washington Supreme Court in January after an appeal from Sawant, a socialist. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper. Sawant, born in India, is a leader of the Socialist Alternative Party. only those belonging to specific religion, as provided in the Lautenberg Amendment, can get refugee status to US,” says the petition. The Democratic elite dominate Seattle government, and the Democratic elite, as they did with Ralph Nader, have declared war against Sawant. The judge ruled that her support of rioters was enough to justify a recall. Now is the time for us to strike.”. She has expanded funding for social services and blocked, along with housing advocates, an attempt by the Seattle Housing Authority to allow a rent increase of up to 400 percent. I’m still frozen in the moment. And while unions are under massive attack, as you see in Wisconsin with Scott Walker, there are also successful labor initiatives getting onto the ballot. She holds a doctorate in economics from North Carolina State University and before her election to the City Council was a professor at a community college. Occupy and the Black Lives Matter movement have radically shaken U.S. consciousness. A new party, she said, is essential if the corporate coup is to be reversed. It has raised demands in the interests of workers, against corporate domination, against the war, and against climate change. And it is a call to empower the citizenry to break the corporate stranglehold to make this alternative possible. Choose authors to follow, bookmark your favorite articles and more. Personalize your Truthdig experience. “We cannot get rid of capitalism without building a mass political organization as a tool to do that.”, “If a genuine alternative is not built,” Sawant said, “the Democratic establishment will continue to co-opt generation after generation of young people who are concerned about the need to fight the Republicans. China Okasi / TruthDig, by Statements and opinions expressed in articles and comments are those of the authors, not Truthdig. By Sawant’s reckoning, anyone who has been as successful as Amazon or Jeff Bezos is obligated to do more than they already do to help everyone else. Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant delivers a message after passing the "Amazon Tax" at a digital city council meeting on Monday. To bookmark your favorite articles, please create a user profile. ... Sawant said the resolution expresses solidarity with Seattle’s South Asian community regardless of religion … Natasha Hakimi Zapata / TruthDig, by Your Truthdig, your way. The City Council pays me nearly $120,000. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. SOCIALIST CITY COUNCILWOMAN: OVERTHROW 'RACIST, SEXIST, VIOLENT, UTTERLY BANKRUPT SYSTEM OF CAPITALISM', Sawant won a partial victory in September when King County Superior Judge Jim Rogers rejected some of the charges against her. David Sirota. As a socialist, I have never experienced any hostility, except from the Establishment. This idea should also be taken up in some form by the new party.”, “A campaign cannot be an end in itself,” she said. Kshama Sawant, 46, a former techie, is the first socialist elected to Seattle’s City Council in nearly a century. Specifically, Lou alleges that Sawant let protesters into City Hall during a nighttime protest and spoke at another demonstration in front of the Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan's house. “But look now at his vulnerability. “The idea that things have to get a lot worse to have some sort of awakening and bring about an alternative to this corrupt and defunct corporate political system is inaccurate,” she said to me. Sawant believes that because of the presidency of Barack Obama — who has served corporate power, expanded imperial wars, carried out a massive assault on civil liberties and failed to address the needs of the mounting numbers who are unemployed or underemployed — many people, especially young people, are hungry for political alternatives to “the two big business parties.” Poll after poll, she pointed out, shows the American majority to be disgusted with the Congress. Bill Blum / TruthDig, by Our campaign needs to be a launching pad for something bigger. And it needs to be formed soon. They are burning at the entrenched racial injustice in America. She herself lives in an $800,000 home with $500,000 of equity but has railed against the … Office. I met Sawant in a restaurant a block from City Hall in Seattle. As long as she remains in office she will expose the leaders in the Democratic Party for who they are — corporate puppets. All rights reserved. In September, Seattle's city council voted to pay legal fees for Sawant, whose private lawyers reportedly cost $75,000. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman, and Editor in Chief, Robert Scheer. Not Giving Up on Happiness: Care of the Self and Well-Being in a Plague Year, Imagining A New World on the Other Side of the Pandemic, Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness. Efforts to reform the Democratic Party, whose leaders are in the service of the corporate oligarchy, amount to pouring energy into “a black hole,” she said. "I have a message for Jeff Bezos and his class," Sawant warned. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions. But the party for the left, for the American working class, needs to go beyond the electoral arena and lead struggles and movements of low-wage workers, people of color and women. You have to have actual meetings. “We must convince people that we need an alternative and we must convince them about what that alternative is,” Sawant said. The elites cannot let the Sawants of the world proliferate. He has written 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the…. ", She added that since "they have failed in all their efforts to force my office to back down, pro-capitalist politicians have fought relentlessly to block or co-opt social movements — and, if all else failed, to claim credit for their victories. 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