Introduction by Roger Annis, Feb. 17, 2015
The political left is surging in many countries of Europe. This is most evident in Greece where the mass, left-wing Syriza party won the parliamentary election of January 25, 2015. It now governs the country and is embarked on a push to reverse the austerity policies that have devastated the country. A similar party called Podemos is surging in Spain. The left is on the rise in other countries of Europe. In Latin America, an historical shift to the left has been ongoing for the past 15 years or so.
Is political progress for the left, perhaps even a breakthrough, possible in the United States? Jill Stein thinks so. She was the presidential candidate of the Green Party in the 2012 presidential election. She and the Green Party are weighing a presidential electoral run in 2016. Jill Stein envisions a campaign that would speak on behalf of the broad, popular protests taking place today in the United States today against racism, war, economic inequality and environmental degradation.
Watch a three-part interview with Stein, below, that is broadcast on The Real News Network in mid-February 2015.
Postscript, Feb 25, 2015: A radical candidate for mayor of Chicago, Jesus Garcia, has finished in second place in the first round of the city’s election on Feb. 24. Incumbent Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff for President Barak Obama from 2008-2010, failed to reach the 50 per cent-plus-one threshhold, so there will be a runoff election. The New York Times reports, “It was a serious blow after a campaign in which Mr. Emanuel had a huge fundraising edge over lesser-known opponents, not to mention an in-person endorsement last week from President Obama in his adopted hometown.”
Jesus Garcia is supported by the Chicago Teachers Union. He commented following the election result: “Today, we the people have spoken — not the people with the money and the power and the connections, not the giant corporations, the big-money special interests, the hedge funds and Hollywood celebrities who poured tens of millions of dollars into the mayor’s campaign.”
A high school teacher told the Chicago Tribune, “I think the mobilization of the community that came together is symptomatic of what’s been happening (with Emanuel). He’s alienated communities. He’s alienated social classes. In a sense, (Garcia) is the result of all of that. We need change.”
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Part one, 21 minutes. Jill Steins’s background and upbringing.
Part two, 16 minutes. Why run a left-wing presidential campaign in the U.S.? Should the left focus more on local political constituencies?
Part three, 14 minutes. Jill Stein says the people of the United States should start preparing for their own ‘Syriza moment’. The Democratic Party has failed working class people and it is time to move on from it.