Old Occupiers for Bernie
Sanders' 2020 senior adviser Winnie Wong, national organizing director Claire Sandberg, California grassroots director Melissa Byrne, national field director Becca Rast, and deputy national field director Nick Martin were all on the ground for Occupy, in one city or another, in 2011.
Reidar Strisland June 16, 2017.
Yesterday I received the good news that Norwegian Professional Writers Association has decided to support my project about writing book about the United States and the progressive movement around Bernie Sanders. I celebrate that with a long weekend of visits by central organizers from the precisely Bernie campaign. Do you want to hear me lead conversation with Claire Sandberg, Winnie Wong and Moumita Ahmed you simply have to get at Popvenstre-en festival med politikk og kultur in kubaparken tomorrow. The Festival already starts kl11. 15 with an exciting debate on right populism with beni and Emma Rees, the leader of corbyn organization Momentum. In 16.10, I'm going on stage to lead conversation about steel in the United States.Reidar Strisland with Claire Sandberg and Winnie Wong.
A delegation of Norwegian activists attended the People's Summit in Chicago in June 2017, and a few days later, three American activists Winnie Wong, Claire Sandberg, and friend and collaborator Moumita Ahmed (founder of Millennials For Revolution)—accepted their invitation to travel Oslo to see Nordic social democracy first-hand. We learned about the effort by the left-wing Rodt party to bring together young urban voters with working class rural voters to protect and expand the welfare state—at a time when nationalist appeals of the far-right are gaining traction here, as they are throughout the west. We were also there to speak at Popvenstre, the Roedt party's outdoor festival of music, politics, and culture, and to run some trainings for party leaders ahead of their general elections this fall.
- We met Reidar Strisland, our main point of contact from the Rodt party, at the central station in downtown Oslo. Reidar -- a 28 year-old author and teacher -- attended our People's Summit training on distributed organizing and was excited to share the knowledge with the rest of his collaborators, so the first order of business for us in Oslo was getting out the slide deck and running a similar training for Roedt party grassroots activists in their downtown office.
- All of the mostly young Norwegian activists gathered in the Roedt party meeting room were steeped in US politics. Someone asked Winnie about other major political figures in the US. She asked the room to see how many people have heard of Elizabeth Warren, and nearly every hand shot up.
After the training, the group headed to a cafe nearby to hear about the current state of play in Norwegian politics. In its current incarnation, the Rodt Party formed in 2007, and has been growing quickly in the past few years. Since 2013, formal membership has roughly doubled. The party's new young leader, Bjornar Moxnes, has attracted scores of millennials to join its ranks, sparking "Bjørnie" comparisons. Roedt politicians currently hold ten county council seats nationwide and have 80 municipal representatives, and they're hoping that the upcoming election on September 11 is their chance to break through a key threshold that will allow them to gain eight seats in the legislature.
To address this deepening inequality, and the growing inclination of the Norwegian government to run the welfare state like a private enterprise, the Roedt party launched its "Inequality Norway" campaign with a series of redistributive policy demands. With the slogan "Community Works," Inequality Norway underscores the belief that a society based on cooperation and equality is fairer than a society based on capitalist competition.
- When we arrived at the outdoor festival in Kuba Park in downtown Oslo on a hot, glorious Saturday for our first panel on the main stage, it was only a few days after the dramatic and unexpected result in the U.K. general election.
- There was a lot of excitement in the air about what might be on the horizon—not just about the possibility of Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn sitting down with President Bernie Sanders within a few years' time, but more broadly about a new common sense rejection of austerity and inequality in favor of policies that ensure a decent standard of living for all.
- We were joined in a discussion on the emergence of competing left and right populisms by Paolo Gerbaudo, author of the new book, The Mask and the Flag, and by Eirik Grasaas-Stavenes, a Norwegian journalist who came to the US to cover the People's Summit for Klassekampen, the leftist daily newspaper in Norway.
There were a ton of other panels throughout the day on intersectional feminism, the importance of protecting workers rights by strengthening unions, and fighting for just refugee and immigration policies The day closed out with evening performances by some of Norway's hippest bands (with Samsaya and Awesomnia headlining).
- With two more days in Norway following the festival, we spent hours in trainings and breakout strategy sessions with Roedt party organizers digging into the nuts and bolts of digital and social media best practices, barnstorms, peer-to-peer text messaging, dank memes, and more.
- On our final day, we also had a chance to sit down with Madnus Marsdal from the Manifest Center for Social Analysis, a Norwegian left think tank doing innovative work advocating for expanding the welfare state and also running popular education programs training union workers on policy.
Back with Bernie/backing Omar
Claire Sandberg, who was hired to March 2019 Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign, said freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) was right to call out AIPAC for "shaping" U.S. policy and encouraged Democrats to give monthly donations to her reelection campaign.
Sandberg is joining the 2020 campaign as the director of organizing, a senior leadership role tasked with channeling Sanders's grassroots support into a proactive volunteer-initiated network. As a progressive organizer, she has been active on Twitter in defending multiple progressive politicians, including Ilhan Omar.
Sandberg, has repeatedly defended Omar, specifically her comment about politicians being bought by AIPAC, an organization that advocates pro-Israel policies. A few days after Omar tweeted the anti-Semitic trope, Sandberg said she was "unfairly vilified" and that people should "set up a recurring monthly contribution" to her campaign.
"If we think @IlhanMN was unfairly vilified for correctly pointing out the role of money in shaping US policy on Israel, then we should support her not just w/ tweets but also w/ money. I just set up a recurring monthly contribution and I hope you will too," Sandberg tweeted.
Sandberg is also friends with Linda Sarsour, a fierce critic of Israel. Sarsour has repeatedly defended Omar's anti-Semitic remarks and has come under scrutiny herself for ties to radical Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Sanderg was one of several core staff members who stepped down in August 2016 from Our Revolution, a political nonprofit that spun off of Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign. She and others were concerned that Jeff Weaver, who was tapped to lead the organization, would waste money on television advertising and would be "plowing that billionaire cash into TV instead of investing it in building a genuine movement."
"It's no secret that I had my disagreements with Jeff in the past, but a little less than four years later, I look back on the first campaign and I can think of many more things that he did right then that he did wrong," Sandberg told CNN in an interview. "I think it says a lot about who he is and his commitment to Bernie and to our movement that he was willing to accept my apology and ask me to return despite the history there."
Love, Power, Solidarity and Protection
Winnie Wong November 23, 2016;
- Love, Power, Solidarity and Protection to brothers and sisters who are at Standing Rock for #PeaceGiving. — with Bill Gallagher, Mary Clinton, Lorenzo Serna, Phil Aroneanu, Tom Hallaran, Brett Banditelli, Gerard Brogan, Nick Katkevich, Alyssa Kang, Rae Breaux, Jodi Archambault-Gillette, Claire Sandberg, Patsy Games, Caleb-Michael Files, Wiyaka Eagleman, Sarah Cecile, Katherine Brezler, Judith LeBlanc, Desiree Kane, Daphne Carr, Lena Tso, Susan Rubin and Moumita Ahmed.
Winnie Wong July 31 2018:
Winnie Wong September 17 2018:
With Claire Sandberg, at German Bundestag.
We Will Replace You co-founders included:
- accessed Jan 15 2020
- [https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9kw8dp/norways-bernie-bros-are-trying-to-inspire-a-political-revolution VICE Norway's Bernie Bros are Trying to Inspire a Political Revolution Organizers check-in on how the Norwegian Roedt Party is trying to bring together young voters to protect and expand the welfare state. By Winnie Wong and Claire Sandberg Jul 28 2017, 10:00am]