Should Socialists Support Bernie Sanders?





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Published on Oct 8, 2015

The Democratic primary campaign of Bernie Sanders has ignited a new enthusiasm among many who are fed up with the status-quo of politics in the United States. Tens of thousands have joined rallies to hear Sanders decry the billionaire class and call for an end to inequality. Many on the socialist left have embraced the campaign. Others have argued against support for Sanders, calling instead for socialists to organize independently of the Democratic Party.

On Oct 3, 2015 the International Socialist Organization hosted a panel discussion on the question of support for the Sanders campaign and socialist strategy during elections. This is an audio recording of that discussion. (audience comments have been removed.)


Steve Early
Steve Early is a Labor for Bernie Volunteer and member of TNG/CWA Local 39521. Early worked as a national union organizer for the Communications Workers of America in New England for nearly 30 year and is the author of Save our Unions (Monthly Review Press, 2014) along with other books about the US labor movement.

Ragina Johnson
Ragina Johnson is a member of the International Socialist Organization. She is involved in the climate justice movement and has been active in struggles for LGBTQ Liberation, Palestinian Solidarity, and against war and racism. Ragina was a coordinator for the Green Party’s Million Votes for Peace campaign and Todd Chretien’s 2006 bid for US Senate. In 2005 Ragina also helped organize the successful “College Not Combat” – Prop I ballot initiative in San Francisco which declared the city’s opposition to military recruitment in public high schools and universities.

Alex Shantz
Alex Shantz serves as Co-Coordinator for the Green Party of California. He is also an elected official serving on the St. Helena Unified School District Board of Trustees. He believes the Green Party can play a pivotal role as an electoral arm of the movement for social justice, socialism, and radical change.

Caely Barrett
Caely Barrett is a lead organizer with Bay Area for Bernie, a grassroots group supporting Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president and has spent most of the past decade working with environmental and international development organizations. She is inspired by the groundswell of support for Bernie’s candidacy among volunteers who are engaging in political activism for the first time.


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