Democracy Awakening

by Bob Schwartz

DA general 6

We are hearing questions about whether the Bernie Sanders phenomenon is a “movement”. It is pointed out that many other moments, in and out of electoral politics, either never turned into movements at all or, if they did, quickly fizzled out.

Last weekend in Washington D.C. there were events sponsored by a group called Democracy Awakening, mobilizing a wide array of progressive organizations, big and small.

We’re a broad coalition of organizations representing the labor, peace, environmental, student, racial justice, civil rights and money in politics reform movements. We share a firm belief that we will not win on the full range of policy issues we all care about until we combat attacks on voting rights and the integrity of the vote by big money.

At a demonstration on Monday, more than 300 were arrested, including Ben and Jerry, Rosario Dawson, and others famous and not. If you didn’t see or hear much about it, it was overshadowed by New York Primary coverage. And by the fact that there are many who are hoping that this isn’t a movement—at least not one that lasts.

Think about those who stand out in the ocean at low tide, facing the shore. The water gently laps at their ankles, rises a little more vigorously to the knees. Still they stand confident and firm. They can choose to ignore the tide and the waves, but eventually the tide has a way of coming in and rising, and the waves have a way crashing against whatever is in their path.

So maybe the best idea is to turn around and face the ocean. That’s where the movement comes from.

DA Robert Reich quote 1