People’s Summit Offers Hope for a Movement Bigger Than Bernie

Source: Common Dreams

A conference organized around the progressive issues that formed the cornerstone of Bernie Sanders’ presidential run has re-energized the American left, attendees said, as the gathering provoked conversations and connections that will invigorate political and social movements to come.

Coming in the wake of Sanders’ primary losses earlier this month, and after the recent murders in Orlando and in the U.K., the so-called People’s Summit became a “place of healing,” said activist and author Naomi Klein, who took part in the opening panel.

“I could feel that people were down,” Klein said of the start of the summit. “This was not a rah rah rally. People came in licking their wounds.”

Klein continued:

So many people had given their lives over to chasing this dream… And he got so close, you know, I think 12 million votes was the last tally. So, people had tasted this thing which the left hadn’t tasted in a long time. [Bernie Sanders] came so close to winning.

We were also coming off of this really bloody week of political violence, with Orlando, with the murder of Jo Cox… It was absolutely fitting that we had been convened by nurses, by caregivers, because we were bruised. And it became this space of healing. 

By the end of it, people were so ready to be back in it. By the end of the opening panel and by the end of the whole gathering, people were energized and ready to go again. Energized by these face to face connections.

“This was very much an exchange,” Klein added. “It was as much about the conversations you’re having in the hallways and over meals as the speeches. It was very much the connective tissue of movements that was what this was all about.”

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