Thousands at People’s Summit plan beyond resistance to Trump
People's Summit 2017, Chicago. Cameron Orr | People's World

CHICAGO—Thousands of progressive activists held a three day gathering here, June 9-11, determined to take the already impressive national mass movement against the Trump agenda several huge steps forward.

At the “People’s Summit” here, folks who have already played leading roles in mass actions coast to coast hammered out plans for a program that goes beyond resistance to Trump, whom they unanimously consider to be the most corrupt and dangerous person ever to have occupied the Oval Office.

Conveners of the summit included National Nurses United, People’s Action, United Students Against Sweatshops, The People for Bernie, Our Revolution, United Electrical Workers union, Color of Change, Progressive Democrats of America, Democratic Socialists of America and Million Hoodies.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a hero to many of those gathered here, spoke to thousands June 10, at the Arie Crown theater in McCormick Place, Chicago’s convention center.

Carmen Perez of the Justice League NYC and Linda Sarsour, former director of the Arab American Association of New York, key organizers of the largest demonstration in U.S. history, the Women’s Marches that occurred the day after Trump was inaugurated, both addressed enthusiastic crowds here Saturday night.

Perez pointed out that what was different about this conference is that participants spent three days building “power.”

“This includes taking concrete steps for further progressive movement building, including candidate training, independent political action, civil disobedience, educational workshops and how to build unity in mass actions,” she said.

Sarsour called for unity of all the movements that have been taking on the Trump agenda, declaring, “We must take care of each other, and unity is the only way that we can make any progress.”

Many attended a workshop on fighting attacks on democracy. In the minds of thousands who were here those attacks include, but go well beyond, hacking scandals that the media is focusing on. There was deep concern about the attacks on voting rights, women’s health care, civil liberties, the right to organize unions, civil rights, LGBTQ rights and many other issues. The wealth gap and control of the U.S. economy by a small group of home-grown oligarchs was seen here as a major threat to democracy.

“The People Speak”

Another highlight June 10 was “The People Speak,” featuring an all-star lineup of actors and musicians celebrating the often neglected working-class history of the United States. Performers included Hong Chau, Jesse Eisenberg, Frances Fisher, Laura Gomez, Brian Jones, Melissa Leo, Aasif Mandvi, Susan Pourfar, Kendrick Sampson, and Wallace Shawn.

 

John Wojcik will be speaking aboue his takeaways from The People’s Summit, the continuing disasters in the Trump administration, and the state of the resistance tonight (June 12) at 8:00pm Eastern/7:00pm Central. Click here to register and participate.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is editor in chief at Peoplesworld.org. He started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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