Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — Nonviolent Revolution in America

Photo courtesy Cultura Colectiva

A nonviolent, grassroots revolution is happening across America. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old woman from the Bronx, New York City is one of the frontline leaders of this revolution.

Corporate Democrats are fuming in anger.

If you follow media stories, you’ll find out quickly how angry they are. Either they are subtly expressing their disapproval — read today’s New York Times article here. They are busy to prove how “leftist” these leaders are.

Or, the other side — the Trump-variety far right-wing side — is doing their best to help their establishment Democratic buddies to bring this courageous, people’s revolution down. Read today Fox TV story here.

Or, worst, known corporate politicians such as Joe Lieberman, who won his last senate election first by losing against his Democratic opponent in the primaries, and then managing to win as an “independent” going to bed with Republicans (he went to bed with Republicans many times before) — is openly endorsing Joseph Crowley, the ten-time well-known congressman whom Alexandria defeated in the primaries. Joe Lieberman is sabotaging his own party, and Clinton Democrats are not too unhappy about it. Follow the Lieberman sabotage story here. He is endorsing Crowley over Ocasio-Cortez.

And because the above corporate powers I hate are working against Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, I’m going to be throwing my support 100 percent behind her. When I see evil forces trying to bring a young leader down, I know this leader is a people’s leader. I know she represents me, and ordinary, working-class Americans and immigrants like me.

I have never met Alexandria. And honestly, I was not following the Democratic Party’s primary elections, as they are always boring to death. Fact is, incumbents always win in New York. They have millions of dollars to spend, they never keep in touch with their people, and they take both the voters and election system for granted. My long activist experience is that in the primaries, 5 to 10 percent registered voters bother to come out to vote. It’s a disgrace for democracy. And media never talk about such apathy. They are happy with the deeply entrenched status quo, where by default, nothing changes.

And honestly, even though the ten-time incumbent Democratic bigwig Joseph Crowley took the primaries for granted, and lost to this young woman, I have worked with Crowley before. Sure, he belonged to the Clinton-Obama corporate establishment party. Yet, he came out to help us after 9/11 when we were organizing on the ground against anti-immigrant hate crimes. Crowley also was a friend of our vast Bangladeshi immigrant community. He has been a friend of our labor union. I have no personal ax to grind. He is a decent man whom I have never disliked.

But I am very excited that a young immigrant woman, who worked as a bartender and waitress (and whose her mother cleaned houses and drove school buses as they struggled to fight foreclosure of their home after her father died of cancer), caused one of the biggest upsets in recent American politics.

And also the fact that she got the second highest prize in the Intel science competition doing research in microbiology. And the fact that she did a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations.

(Wow, an immigrant activist switching from science to humanities and politics? That’s like me — twenty years later!)

Oh yes, the other reason I’m supporting her is because she is a Democratic Socialist, and on the team of my inspiration Bernie Sanders. 

I do believe taking over the corrupt and degenerate Democratic Party — one seat at a time — by young, energetic, brilliant, honest, people’s leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the ONLY way to eventually take America back from the cruel and inhumane clutches of the richest of the rich. Democracy must be returned to the people.

I do believe this is the ONLY way to save America from Trump’s fascism, and a total destruction of the world peace and environment.

I hope you understand the critical importance of this election victory, and support leaders like Alexandria across the nation.

Together, we can make this revolution happen. Let the lying status-quo cringe.

Sincerely Yours,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York


(Photo courtesy: Cultura Colectiva. For one-time, educational, non-profit use only.)

[NOTE: I wrote this article on my own — on my personal blog.]

A Nonviolent Revolution in America

CNN bias

“Bernie Sanders’ Worse-than-Expected Performance in New York.”

That’s what most people would say, given than Hillary Clinton won the state by 16% votes two days ago: Hillary 58% vs Bernie 42%. It is disappointing for us who keep supporting Bernie.

But was it as miserable as the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and other such “liberal” media want us to accept, and take it as an end for the Sanders candidacy? No, I’m not talking about the number of delegates each of them got out of NY primaries. I’m talking about a much more reassuring aspect of this election, both in NY, and across the U.S.

Perhaps across the world, because I see similar scenarios.

If you look at the NY results map, the entire state except for New York City and surrounding areas practically voted for Bernie Sanders. Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse — three cities with a relatively higher diverse population (African-Americans and Latinos in particular) gave Hillary a very small margin of win: in Buffalo, it was 0.6%. In other NY cities, including state capital of Albany (where we lived for years), Sanders won decisively.

It is very clear from the map, therefore, that primarily New York City handed Hillary Clinton the victory she needed so desperately, especially after losing seven out of eight primaries and caucuses before NY. And in my opinion, she won so big in NYC mainly because the African-American and Latino votes went in her favor. And some other factors too, which I tried to explain in my blog post yesterday at…/why-hillary-won-in-ne…/.


Again, to put my African-American and Latino friends, students and colleagues at ease, I am not in the business of blaming you. I am not blaming anyone: whites, blacks, browns, LGBT, religious institutions, young or old voters, men or women. If there is anyone to blame, I blame the big DNC bosses and corporate America who played a very major role to make sure Hillary was elected in NY with a big margin. Their money, their media, and their mafia made it happen. Sure, I am disappointed. But I am not surprised with the outcome at all.

I do hope Bernie Sanders will press on, because as they say, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” My years of political activism tells me 2016 is going to bring in a lot of unprecedented drama — both on the Democratic and Republican sides. Even New York Times and CNN won’t be able to hide it.

So, what was so reassuring about Bernie’s NY defeat? Here’s some bullet points for those who are interested to look indepth.

Hillary fracking

1. Massive Bernie victories across the rural, traditionally conservative areas. — Unbelievable! Why did these rural and small-town Democrats voted for a media-declared “socialist with radical ideas?” Normally, one would think they would go with a big-name candidate (a state senator, a former Secretary of State, a board member at Wal-Mart, a high-paid speaker at Goldman Sachs and Verizon, and that too, with a very big husband — no pun intended), as opposed to an unknown outsider.

2. The reason they voted for Bernie was that they are much more informed and politically savvy than we the elite New Yorkers want to give them credit for. They know what’s going on both in the U.S. and around the world, in the name of a globalized economy. They do their own research well. They know what Glass-Stegall Act is, what Hillary’s role was in Iraq war, and how Sweden, Germany and Japan — three rich capitalist countries — practice their capitalism, and keep their inequality at a minimum. They know how women and labor unions play a major role in the society in Denmark and Finland.

3. Climate change and global warming are critical issues they considered before they voted. Just the same way they had voted for a totally unknownZephyr Teachout recently against a very powerful, union-busting, pro-1% governor Andrew Cuomo. In fact, Bernie got even more votes in many more areas than Zephyr got against Cuomo. But the pattern was similar.

4. The vast swath of NY state knows about the disastrous impacts of fracking, and Hillary’s close association with fracking industries. They know she has been a prime spokesperson for fracking, as well as Exxon, both in the U.S. and around the world. They know until recently, she was ambivalent about the Keystone XL pipeline, a project Obama stopped after national and international outrage, leading to the Paris Climate Summit in late 2015.

Bernie NY map

5. Upstate and rural NY showed a similar voting pattern that we’ve seen in favor of Bernie Sanders in some other states such as Kansas, Missouri (now a Bernie-win state), Oklahoma, Colorado…states that one would think were sure Hillary wins. Oklahoma, such a Deep South state with a huge number of rural, conservative voters? Kansas? Colorado? We the New York city snobs often discount rural, conservative America to be pro-establishment and uninformed. That shows how stupid and detached we are.

6. Again, in states where Clinton won, or even Sanders won so far, the African-American votes went strongly in favor of Clinton. Look at this map at…/bernie-sanderss-black-vot…/. Why? Again, without ever blaming the black voters, it is perhaps because of two important reasons: (a) the Clintons’ name recognition vis-a-vis Bernie’s relatively unknown face (thanks to media again); and (b) from my personal experience to work with black and immigrant communities, very few of them ever heard of Bill’s crime bill that put more blacks in jail and militarized America’s police force, or his immigration law that opened the floodgate of family-breaking deportation, a trend that goes on until today, through Bush and Obama administrations. And of course, on information that most ordinary people get through CNN, NBC or Fox, there is hardly ever any mention of Hillary’s close association with the private prison industry, Monsanto, Exxon, Verizon, or Wal-Mart.

People simply do not know.

OK Bernie7. So, the reassuring thing is that perhaps for the first time in modern, post-Reagan U.S. history, a pro-99% political force is building where both progressives (the so-called “left”) and conservatives (the so-called “right”) are coming together, and making decisions in the same direction — not for the status quo, but for a futuristic change. In my opinion, this trend will continue, and gain momentum. The young generation America is rising in lightening speed, and nobody can stop them. They have knowledge, and they are not afraid to speak up against media’s and establishment politicians’ lies.

I have often talked about this urgency and pragmatism of this moderate and nonviolent bridge building, and wrote a peer-reviewed paper that was published in an international journal. I am willing to revise and expand the thoughts, if and when I find a platform to do it.

I am firmly convinced, more so than ever before, that such a broad coalition of the ordinary, working men, women and families will make the 99% victorious in the coming days. Bernie Sanders may or may not be the president, but this nonviolent, democratic revolution will happen. In fact, it is happening right now.

I can hear its footsteps.


Partha Banerjee
Brooklyn, NY
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Twitter @TeachActivist

Second Circle by Partha Banerjee