While the country eagerly awaits the Juggalo March on Washington on Sept 16th (more to come later), the People’s Convergence Conference will convene in Washington D.C. from Sept. 8-10 to tackle burning questions about the future of the American progressive movement.
The three main organizations putting on the conference are Draft Bernie, Progressive Independent Party, and Socialist Alternative. In a joint statement from the heads of each organization, they proclaim: “This conference is an important next step in bringing together working people, youth, people of color, activists and progressive leaders to prepare the ground for a powerful challenge to both establishment parties, Republican and Democratic alike, as we move forward.”
The three-day event, according to a press release from Draft Bernie, will revolve around creating dialogue on the following questions:
- What will it take to defeat the right wing and build a powerful left alternative? Should progressives continue the fight to reform the Democratic Party or should we launch a people’s party independent of corporate money and influence?
Headlining the event is a town hall event featuring leading leftist intellectual voices, political activist Cornel West and Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant on the evening of September 9th. The conference plans on live-streaming this event, making it widely available to the public. Kshama Sawant, in a fundraising email for the event, describes why she thinks the Convergence Conference is important:
In light of the barbarous violence of the neo-nazis and white nationalists in Charlottesville, it’s critical working people, youth, people of color, activists and progressive leaders come together to discuss the way forward for our movement and how we can build a political left alternative to isolate and defeat the right wing threat. I think the People’s Convergence Conference is an important event to do just that.
The Day before the event kicks off, Draft Bernie will attempt to deliver a petition signed by over 44,000 people to Bernie Sanders, inviting him to join the Convergence Conference and start a new party. The petition specifically calls on Bernie Sanders to create an independent party, rooted in the platform he ran his presidential bid on.