by Alec Hudson
With the presidential primaries approaching and with Bernie Sanders gaining an edge over Hillary Clinton in the first primary and caucus states, the January 23rd March for Bernie was an embodiment of the enthusiasm for Sanders and his campaign. Over a thousand marchers arrived in front of the Daley Center and marched to the Chicago Board of Trade building, chanting slogans supporting Bernie and claiming “banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” In such an electric atmosphere people of all backgrounds spoke out against the inequality and lack of social services plaguing our nation, the state of Illinois, and the City of Chicago. The March was planned in coordination on social media with other marches supporting Sanders around the country.
The Chicago March was organized primarily by Movement4Bernie, a group created by Socialist Alternative to garner support for Bernie outside of the Democratic Party. Our participation was welcomed by Socialist Alternative, and perhaps will foster further cooperation with them in the future as their support for Bernie continues. Beyond Socialist Alternative members of organizations like the Chicago Teachers Union, National Nurses United, as well as delegates for Bernie to the Democratic Party National Convention were all in attendance as were elected officials like Alderwoman Susan Garza. Chicago DSA’s attendance was great, with about a dozen DSA members from our City and Oak Park branches marching along with members from DuPage county. There was a solid turnout for our city branch which has been steadily growing since our first meeting in December.
So far major media has chosen to ignore the March and the other marches around the country, but there is no doubt in the minds of progressive and left-wing voters that something is happening in this country when hundreds and thousands of people are marching for a social democratic candidate like Bernie. With the involvement of DSA in rallies like these as well as our own #WeNeedBernie campaign we are helping to build a movement that will go beyond this election and move our politics more into the realm of socialist thought and action.