A fresh model for economic and social-justice politics

    May 10, 2017

    Action without a name, a ‘who’ attached to it, is meaningless.

    -Hannah Arendt

    Emerging in the south:

    Jackson, Mississippi – nominated radical activist Chokwe Antar Lumumba to be the next mayor

    This post originally appeared at The Nation.

    When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, NAACP president Cornell Williams Brooks and actor Danny Glover joined thousands of Mississippians in marching for labor rights two months ago, economic and social justice activist Chokwe Antar Lumumba was in the thick of it. “I stand for workers’ rights,” Lumumba said as the marchers converged on a Nissan plant where workers have been organizing for union protections. “[The] struggle does not cease and so we’re constantly in the battle of how we create self-determined lives for people. And we believe in human rights for human beings and you cannot support human rights if you’re not prepared to support workers’ rights. And so, we live in a world where you have so many with so little and so few with so much. And so, we’re trying to change that dynamic right here [in Mississippi] — we want to change the order of the world.”

    You cannot support human rights if you’re not prepared to support workers’ rights.


    The Washington-obsessed national media paid scant attention to that “March on Mississippi.” But it was big news in the state, sparking serious talk about the new wave of in-the-streets and at-the-polls activism that is sweeping the South. On Tuesday, that wave swept into Mississippi’s largest city, Jackson, where voters nominated Lumumba for mayor.

    The 34-year-old attorney and son of Chokwe Lumumba, the epic Southern radical who served as mayor until his death in 2014, won big — grabbing 55 percent of the vote in a multi-candidate Democratic primary that included the incumbent mayor and other prominent local political figures. He is now all but assured of victory in the city’s June 6 general election.

    Campaigning on the slogan “When I become mayor, you become mayor,” Lumumba promised to carry forward the vision outlined by his father, announcing, “With my candidacy I offer the People’s Platform that my father ran on and I co-authored. It is a platform which arises out of several years of discussion on human rights, political, economic and social empowerment.” That platform’s message has been that people-powered strategies for using participatory democracy can achieve economic democracy.


    Posted by dayle at 1:25 pm
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