Speaking at a rally Monday for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Tacoma, Washington, a campaign surrogate dispelled any remaining doubts that Sanders and his supporters ardently support socialism and desire to implement it in the United States.
Kshama Sawant, herself a socialist member on the Seattle City Council, delivered an impassioned speech at the rally, which aimed to criticize “corporate elites” and the “billionaire class” in Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ backyard.
“We need a powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation!” she exclaimed to thunderous applause during the speech.
The controversial figure — who helped lead the push to raise the minimum wage in Seattle to $15 an hour and once drew ire from the city’s mayor after calling for a “wave of protests and strikes” to shut down highways, airports and other key infrastructure — made sure the crowd knew what kind of campaign Sanders is running.
“Bernie’s socialist campaign is poised to win from Massachusetts to California,” Sawant said.
During the speech, Sawant slammed the Democratic establishment, calling for the creation of “a new party of, by, and for working people” in order to “win Medicare for All, to end the racist mass incarceration system, and to win a bold Green New Deal to avoid climate catastrophe.”
She also warned of elites “rigging” the election against Sanders in favor of their preferred candidates, such as former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Sanders has referred to himself as a democratic socialist akin to a type of socialism represented in some European countries, but has often shied away from labeling himself a socialist on the presidential campaign trail, despite a lengthy career of heaping praise on socialist and communist regimes.
Sawant had no problem doing as much for him, and his supporters didn’t seem to mind.