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'Occupy Wall Street' is Now 'Occupy the Democratic Party'


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With regard to Occupy, we all knew that no one could speak for the movement. We all knew that the movement could not be reduced to one group of people in one park. The power of the movement was its capacity to replicate and extend itself, to be more than any city or practice.


The Sanders campaign extends the fight to the terrain of the Democratic Party. Since Bill Clinton’s co-creation and occupation of the Democratic Leadership Council in the 1980s, the Democratic Party has shifted ever rightward, jettisoning any commitment to the working class it might once have had, courting the finance sector and other elements of the corporate elite, and adorning itself with just enough cultural politics to placate its base. No wonder most of the left left the party. Like the other institutions of extreme capitalism, the Democratic Party is not for us (the far-left). But we can treat it as a site of struggle.


If we win, that is, if Sanders gets the nomination, we have access to a political apparatus that extends throughout the US, into every state and community. If we lose, we have gained valuable political experience and created an opportunity for building a new political organization for and of the left.


Just as Occupy was never about one group, so the Sanders campaign is not about him. It’s about changing the conditions of political possibility. The Democrats are terrified of this, which is why they dismantled the rules barring PAC donations to the party.



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