Saturday, June 3, 2017
Feel the Bern
Dave and I went to see Bernie Sanders speak at an appearance in Brixton last night. This was a crazy evening -- a few weeks ago I heard about Bernie's upcoming appearance from a coworker, and I told a few other coworkers, and before long a whole web of people were going. I got invited to not one but three pre-parties, which put me in a bit of a quandary about which one to attend! I finally met up with Dave at his coworker Lisa's house, where I only had time for a few slices of frozen pizza before we had to make our way to the theater (above).
Bernie reiterated his political philosophy about the need to redistribute wealth downward through higher minimum wage, stronger social programs and better market regulation and taxation. He chastised Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate accords and emphasized the need for international cooperation to solve our problems and maintain world peace. (He never said the word Brexit, as I recall, but he certainly implied that he isn't a fan.) He told the crowd they needed to get involved not just by voting but by running for office and helping to organize resistance to the damaging trends being funded by the "oligarchy," the super-wealthy powers that be.
He never knocked Hillary Clinton, even when asked if he thought he would have won the election had he been the Democratic nominee. He said it's not helpful to look backward, but he did point out that early polls had him beating Trump. (Of course, polls had Hillary beating Trump too, right up to the end.)
Bernie also emphasized that most Americans did not vote for Trump, and do not support him now.
It was a fun evening, and it was heartening to see so many enthusiastic people -- mainly young people -- turn out to see him. They were a solidly pro-Labour, pro-Corbyn crowd, and British politics were very much in evidence too. (Parliamentary elections are being held in just a few days.) Corbyn even sent a text message, which was read onstage to the cheers of the audience.
In other news, I had my two tiny stitches removed yesterday after my skin biopsy the week before. I had to go to my doctor's office and have it done by a nurse. Still no word on whether I'll need to return for further treatment. Fingers crossed that I'm finished!
(See The Guardian's coverage of Bernie Sanders' British speaking tour here.)