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After the 2008 financial crash, were you disappointed that there wasn’t more of a left turn in U. But at the same time, I think what we’re seeing is a slow but steady change, and the Occupy movement was a really significant expression of the disenchantment from the system that we knew that everybody was feeling…In the absence of movements, especially mass movements, people tend to feel atomized, and everybody is privately thinking that “the system is not working for me.” The Occupy movement, what it did was it ended that silence and people were more openly talking about the economic crisis, the fact that the banks got bailed out and the rest of us were left with unemployment, low-wage jobs, and an epidemic of foreclosures and evictions.
The workers of [nearby airport city] Sea Tac and the labor movement, they put a $15 an hour minimum wage initiative on the ballot for Sea Tac city, and that is now leading …All of this is happening in the cauldron of the economic crisis and the burden placed on the shoulders of working people …
The conditions that shape people’s consciousness in Seattle are not different from anywhere else.
And in fact, there is a deep frustration and disgust with the political system …
This is the background in which our campaign has had a resounding echo. I think it’s been it’s been demoralizing for the left for a while.
They can see that a two-party system is not working for them. We have to provide the alternative…Boeing workers…rejected this contract that has been forced on them by Boeing executives [who are] holding the state hostage to their demands…Every few years Boeing demands a massive corporate giveaway from the state, and the state each time gives into it – and this is a Democratic governor of the state who was leading this effort.
For Boeing workers, it’s very clear that neither of the two parties is going to stand by them.
And so the signal that it sends to the labor movement is that we have to have our own political organization.
On November 5, Seattle voters made Occupy activist and economics professor Kshama Sawant the first avowed socialist city council member in their city’s history – and the country’s first big city socialist council member in decades.
In an interview Thursday – one day before her vote count lead spurred her opponent to concede the race – Sawant slammed Obama economics, suggested she could live to see the end of U. capitalism, and offered a socialist vision for transforming Boeing. It appears you’re on the cusp of winning a major city’s council race as a socialist. I think the basis for everything that’s happening in Seattle, and everywhere else, is the fallout of the economic crisis …