Video Weekend 6/17/2017: The People’s Summit (Pitchforks or Sheepdogging?)

This article is intended to give those among us who (like me) could or would not attend this year’s “People’s Summit” a chance to get a feel for how things went and also hear and consider both approving and critical voices across a wide range of positions.

Earlier this week, I produced a first report on the 2nd annual People’s Summit in Chicago. In hindsight, it may have been a little too favorable. I soon found out it was a bit controversial. Video bloggers who attended have admitted to mixed feelings and been rather late, maybe hesitant, reporting about their experience. From what I have been able to gather, many or most of the event’s visitors were largely the kinds of wonderful folks who put their energies into ousting our establishment and fighting for a better world. They created an uplifting mood. On the other hand, there have also been signs of co-opting attempts from the organizational top by our false friends in the “Democratic” Party leadership and their various cronies. At least some of the organizers may merit skepticism, and some of the panelists really do. There seemed to be a deliberate attempt to shape the conversation towards working within our party duopoly, a.k.a. the two-party tyranny, a.k.a. our two-armed corporate party which exists purely to obstruct the will of the people.

Here are some of the ominous signs: Jill Stein wasn’t allowed to participate. And Kshama Sawant, who did slip in last year and is a real fighter for working Americans, was not permitted participation this year. These are both bad omens. Even back in 2016, at the first summit, there apparently were signs that the summit is a “Democratic Party” establishment effort to get berners and any other kind of progressives in line behind the “Democratic” Party and the undemocratically nominated Hillary Clinton. Quote from the source: “The claim to non-partisanship is a fraud, since most of those participating are Democrats (though, on the web site, no speakers are identified with their party affiliation).” Another quote worth posting here comes from Working Families Party’s (WFP) Joe Dinkin who commented this year: “One of the failures of the neoliberal imagination is the instinctive belief that the more moderate proposal is always the more popular one. When people say we have to pursue the possible and not the aspirational, that’s often cover for them not having the same aspirations.”

If you wish, you can read a thorough critique here. Or, if you don’t have time to read, you can listen to this reading and commentary of that same article:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “People’s Summit Confirms Democrats Have Learned Nothing”)

So, while the summit was well polished to look like the real thing on the surface, even having some progressive speakers mixed in, speakers promoting a true alternative to our establishment-run system of gross economic and political unevenness that is — and even though progressive minds like Jimmy Dore, Tim Black, and Jamarl Thomas were drawn to the event as observers — it is beginning to look more than just a little like one of those talk the talk but walk the opposite walk kind of scams with which we have been controlled from above for a long time. Buyer beware!

Now, people can go to such events to find more allies who think like themselves (say, Draft-Berners who wish to bring down and replace the “Democratic Party” with a true people’s party). It may be well worthwhile. Just be wary of establishment-picked panelists and their brainwashing attempts and the overall sheepdogging work done in co-opted and astroturfed events and institutions all over the country. Time will show if the People’s Summit will devolve into yet another co-opting mission by the power elite, or if the attending grassroots forces will prevail in it — or if they will have to create their own summit or convention to advance true change.

Here now are various notable videos from the summit which I was able to gather:

I was hesitant to include this video for reasons which would take too much time to explain. But at least one person makes a good point, and this video helps to flesh out the diversity present at the summit (the next ones will be richer):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Progressive Resistance to Trump Must Also Challenge Corporate Democrats”)

Jimmy Dore speaks in this one. Nuff said. 😉

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Jordan and Jimmy on Corporate Democratic Insanity”)

And another. Woohoo!

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Jimmy Dore at The People’s Summit”)


Here are two more good videos on the subject:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Aaron Bowersock Discusses People’s Summit”)

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Black Lion Roars on The People’s Summit”)


Debbie, the Sane Progressive, who I see as our most sensitive problem-and-scam detector, argues that the People’s Summit was a DemEnter event. Whether ultimately this is true or not, or whether it can still be turned around in the future or not, I definitely wanted to share her video with you, to underscore the point that fighting for change, but working with (or inside of) established institutions, places us on a slippery slope, where – time and again – throughout history good people have ended up standing with the bad people and established power they originally set out to fight:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “How Dem Establishment CooptsThrough Progressives, And Ending Trump Victimization Narrative”)


Last, but not least, a recorded, long, audio-only, call-in live show dealing with this summit and related topics:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Hard Bastard Live Call In Show W /Jamarl Thomas. Peoples Summit & Credibility In Media”)

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2 thoughts on “Video Weekend 6/17/2017: The People’s Summit (Pitchforks or Sheepdogging?)

  1. Great collection of videos! I hadn’t seen all of these yet. The People’s Summit should have been less controversial–we need to unify progressives to fight off fascism. Dragging the corrupt DNC into the mix defeats the purpose, IMO. Most people who attend said they met a lot of friends and fellow progressives, so I hope it’s overall effect was positive. I doubt the corrupt DNC can ever stop the Political Revolution, no matter how much corporate cash they throw at us. Power to the people!


  2. Yes, I suspect that for now the annual summit helps like-minded progressives to meet. A good thing. In the long run, though, it will wither have to be divorced from neoliberal-“Democrat” co-opting and sheepdogging attempts or devolve into just another establishment tool, forcing progressives to find other avenues. I agree with Jamarl Thomas’ judgement (if I heard him correctly), that there should be more frequent local gathering like this, with a heavier focus on agenda and action. Basically what I suggested last year on my APC page.

    I just posted two more Jamarl videos on the topic:



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