Skip to main content

Amazon vs. the Socialists in Seattle

 by Kshama Sawant

Part 3 - Left Unity Needed

The best defense is a good offense. Our movements are going all out to fight for rent control and for a Green New Deal in Seattle, and have energized thousands of working people in our city. Over 12,000 Seattleites have signed on to a petition for citywide rent control, free of corporate loopholes, in just a few months time.

We are building the most powerful grassroots re-election campaign Seattle has ever seen. In addition to our army of volunteers going door to door across the district, we’re on track to raise more in donations than ever raised before by any Seattle City Council campaign, without taking a dime in corporate cash. If the corporate PACs are going to break records, working people need to as well.

And crucially, we will need to build left unity across the city if we’re to stop big business’s attempts to buy the elections.

Amazon and the Chamber of Commerce were successful in getting their purchased candidates through in all seven City Council races this year. This includes my opponent, Egan Orion, who was the #1 recipient of corporate PAC money out of the record 55 candidates who ran in the primary.

To the Chamber’s dismay, fellow socialist candidate Shaun Scott is also campaigning for a Green New Deal and to tax big business to build public housing, in the district just north of mine. Meanwhile, in the district to the south, progressive candidate Tammy Morales is campaigning for rent control and a Green New Deal. Both are running as Democrats, while I am an independent socialist and calling for a new mass party for working people, but the bold left platforms we are campaigning on has struck a chord with people across the city.

We’re jointly organizing Green New Deal meetings with other progressive candidates and our movement in different neighborhoods in the city, starting with Tammy Morales’ event in south Seattle earlier this week. On Oct 1, Morales and others will speak at our “System Change Not Climate Change” Green New Deal meeting in District 3. We’re also discussing with other campaigns about a joint event to stand against the corporate PAC money flooding into Seattle’s elections.

If we can win all three campaigns, not only can we block Amazon’s and the Chamber’s efforts to buy the elections, we can push the City Council further to the left and pave the way for future victories for working-class movements.

But first we have to unmask the fake progressivism of the Chamber candidates, who are all now pretending to represent ordinary people, despite being thoroughly beholden to Amazon, the real estate lobby, and wealthy Republicans. They each say that the massive corporate PAC funding doesn’t mean anything, that it is out of their control. In some of the most brazen dishonesty, some are even lamenting the existence of the corporate PACs. In fact, in order to even be eligible for the Chamber’s PAC funding, the candidates had to apply for it, fill out lengthy questionnaires, and participate in closed-door interviews.

My opponent has taken the dishonesty a step further, putting up posters around the district saying “No corporate PAC money,” pretending he had no hand in the matter. This was after he not only applied for Chamber funding but publicly thanked the Chamber for their support (while addressing a business audience).

Morales’ and Scott’s Chamber-backed opponents, Mark Soloman and Alex Pederson, have been thoroughly disingenuous on as well. In a recent candidate forum, when put on the spot about taxing big business to fund the social services they were claiming to support, Soloman and Pederson both fell back on Republican talking points about “getting our fiscal house in order first.

Source:


[1] [2] [4]


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Greece is about to become the blueprint for modern feudalism

globinfo freexchange
After almost ten years of an unprecedented crisis, Greece has been trapped into an ongoing, slow motion recession. The economy still struggling hard to recover, with unemployment and national debt being permanently in a red alarm mode.
As has been already pointed out, the result of the recent Greek national elections could be characterized "paradoxical" mainly for two reasons: 
First, the voters gave a clear governmental order to one of the traditional powers of the old political system, which are highly responsible for the Greek crisis that erupted in 2010. Several top names of the new government, and even New Democracy leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have been accused of being involved in various corruption scandals, in the not so distant past.

Second, the fact that the voters elected perhaps the most fanatically neoliberal government ever. This means that Mitsotakis administration is expected to implement the brutal neoliberal policies imposed by Greece&…

Roger Waters: militarism is exacerbating the Climate Crisis

The Real News Network
Pink Floyd co-founder and activist Roger Waters speaks to the Real News at the People's Mobilization Against the U.S. War Machine in New York City.

Why NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden risked his life to expose surveillance state

Democracy Now!
Six years ago, Edward Snowden leaked a trove of secret documents about how the United States had built a massive surveillance apparatus to spy on Americans and people across the globe. 
Snowden was then charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. As he attempted to flee to Latin America, Snowden became stranded in Russia after the U.S. revoked his passport. He has lived in Moscow ever since. 
Snowden just published his memoir, “Permanent Record,” in which he writes about what led him to risk his life to expose the U.S. government’s system of mass surveillance. 

Greta Thunberg: “We are striking to disrupt the system”

Democracy Now!
Greta Thunberg, is the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions across the globe. Last year she launched a school strike for the climate, skipping school every Friday to stand in front of the Swedish parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Her protest spread, quickly going global. Hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren around the globe have participated in their own local school strikes for the climate.
Since her strike began in 2018, Greta has become a leading figure in the climate justice movement. She has joined protests across Europe. She has addressed world leaders at the U.N. climate talks in Poland and the European Union Parliament. She has even met the pope. 
She is also planning to attend the U.N. climate summit in Santiago, Chile, in December.

Gaddafi's plan for a pan-African independent power as the main reason for which the Western neocolonialists finally destroyed Libya

'Hillary Clinton is a war criminal'
globinfo freexchange
Afshin Rattansi of RT's Going Underground, speaks with Muammar Gaddafi's spokesperson during the Libyan Civil War, Moussa Ibrahim, about how Gaddafi's government's predictions came true on terrorism, extremism and tribal conflict plaguing Libya following Gaddafi's downfall.
Ibrahim gives details about Gaddafi's plan to create a fully independent African Union from the Western neocolonial powers. And he implies that this was the main reason for which the Western neocolonialists finally destroyed Libya. He claims that Gaddafi administration was very open to a dialogue with the West, but he had been deliberately ignored. He also characterizes Hillary Clinton as a 'war criminal'.
Some key points:
Gaddafi was laying down real plans and real project for the control of African natural resources through the African Organization for Natural Resources. Unifying African armies into one army called th…

Το βαθύτερο νόημα του να κάνεις κολοτούμπες σε σύνοδο του ΟΗΕ

globinfo freexchange
Επικυρώθηκε με κάθε επισημότητα η μεγάλη απάτη του Μητσοτακικού καθεστώτος και του βρόμικου μιντιακού κατεστημένου της ντόπιας ολιγαρχίας, το οποίο έκανε τα πάντα, προκειμένου να κερδίσει τις εθνικές εκλογές η χειρότερη δεξιά της μεταπολίτευσης. 
Μετά τις θεαματικές κολοτούμπες Παναγιωτόπουλου-Βαρβιτσιώτη σε συνέδριο του Economist όσον αφορά το Μακεδονικό, ήρθε η σειρά του ίδιου του Μητσοτάκη να τους μιμηθεί, όχι απλά σε κάποιο συνέδριο, αλλά σε σύνοδο του ΟΗΕ για το κλίμα. 
Η δήλωση Μητσοτάκη δεν αφήνει κανένα περιθώριο παρερμηνείας:
«Νωρίς το απόγευμα της 23ης Ιουλίου πέρυσι μία μικρή πυρκαγιά ξέσπασε σε λόφο έξω από την Αθήνα. Οι πυροσβεστικές υπηρεσίες αντιμετωπίζουν χιλιάδες τέτοιες φωτιές κάθε χρόνο. Αυτή όμως ήταν διαφορετική. Οδηγημένη από ισχυρότατους ανέμους, εξαπλώθηκε γρήγορα και έφθασε στην προαστιακή κωμόπολη του Ματιού. Μόλις μπήκε στην πευκόφυτη οικιστική περιοχή κατέστη αδύνατο να περιοριστεί… Τα ακραία καιρικά φαινόμενα είναι η άμεση συνέπεια τη…

'How dare you!': Greta Thunberg rages at 'fairytales of eternal economic growth' at UN climate summit

In a speech to the United Nations Climate Action Summit Monday, Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg lit into world leaders for their "empty words" around solving the climate crisis and said decades of inaction have left her generation without a future.

"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosytems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth," said Thunberg. "How dare you!
Thunberg delivered her remarks during a panel on the climate crisis after she was asked what she thought of the worldwide climate strike movement that she began, alone, 13 months ago. But the youth activist wasn't interested in rehashing the past or praise from politicians.

"I shouldn't be standing here," said Thunberg. "I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my d…

EVERYONE is on the list: Snowden says no ‘innocents’ in mass surveillance world

Asked if buying his memoir would get one on a spy list, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden chillingly replied that everyone in the world is on the “list” and there are no innocents in the age of mass surveillance.

Responding to a reader who joked that buying Snowden’s book ‘Permanent Record’ might have put him on a list of people to be spied on, the exiled former intelligence contractor said in all seriousness that everyone is being spied on regardless.

Systems of mass surveillance strive to record all people, in all places, at all times. The question is no longer ‘Am I on the list?’ it is ‘What's my rank on the list?’,” Snowden tweeted on Wednesday.
The former NSA and CIA contractor became a household name in 2013, when he revealed the extent of surveillance by the ‘Five Eyes’ network of US and its allies. He fled to Hong Kong ahead of being charged with espionage and eventually found asylum in Russia.

The US government reacted to the publication of his memoir by filing a civil l…

Chris Hedges: "Democracy has been destroyed by global capitalism"

Democracy Now!
House Democrats have subpoenaed President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, seeking documents related to his work in Ukraine, after Giuliani admitted on television that he had urged the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. This comes as House Democrats continue to build their case for impeaching the president, following a whistleblower complaint focused on a phone call in which Trump asked the Ukranian president to do him a “favor” by digging up dirt on his political rival ahead of the upcoming election. 
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges says the president's latest behavior merely scratches the surface of the underlying corruption and malaise that plagues the country, and describes global capitalism as an impediment to democracy. Currently, he says, "we have the façade of democracy." The capitalist class has leveraged its influence to draft legislation, invert the constitution and orchestrate the &…

Amazon vs. the Socialists in Seattle

 by Kshama Sawant

Part 2 - A Corporate Tax Haven

As he has himself publicly acknowledged, Bezos largely based his decision to launch Amazon in Seattle on his desire to dodge taxes. Washington State has long been a corporate tax haven, having the most regressive tax system in the entire nation. More than anywhere else in the U.S., the tax burden falls most heavily on working and middle-class people, while big business pays next to nothing. This is no small part of why Seattle has become one of the most deeply unequal cities in the nation.
The region’s corporate elite means to keep it that way. Bezos made national headlines last year when he bullied Seattle to stop the Amazon Tax on the largest 3% of businesses in the city, aided by corporate-bankrolled Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Democratic establishment. Over a modestly-sized tax, Amazon executives acted like mafia dons: threatening to move 7,000 jobs unless the City Council backed down. After the Council passed it unanimously anyway, u…