One of the radical groups that helped to shut down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally has long maintained a close relationship with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In fact, Sanders raised funds for the group, the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, and himself helped to recruit new members to the socialist organization.
Sanders further was a key player in helping to elect DSA-supported candidates to Congress and was involved in an effort to rebrand and incorporate that socialist-oriented legislative axis within the Congressional Progressive Caucus, or CPC.
The DSA in turn was critical in organizing early support for Sanders’ national political career and Sanders has since maintained close working ties to the organization.
Sanders was one of six founding members of the CPC. It was also founded in 1991 by Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Ron Dellums, D-Calif.
The story of Sanders, the CPC and the DSA spotlights the largely forgotten but entirely public role the DSA played in founding the CPC, the largest membership organization within the House Democratic Caucus, currently boasting seventy-five members.
Besides the DSA, the George Soros-backed, pro-Sanders MoveOn.org played a prominent role in organizing the anti-Trump activism.
DSA ‘Disruptors’ sent to Trump event
On Sunday, Trump sent out the following Tweet:
Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2016
Sanders in turn said on Sunday that Trump is “lying” by claiming Sanders campaign sent protesters to the business mogul’s canceled Chicago rally.
While Sanders’ campaign may not have been directly involved, the DSA certainly sent its members to the Chicago event.
The DSA’s Chicago chapter is the Chicago DSA, which is separately incorporated and is one of the most active branches of the DSA. Anyone paying membership dues to the DSA in the Chicago area is automatically a member of the Chicago DSA local, the website documents.
Chicago DSA drove its members to the Trump Protest Rally on March 11 at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion in Chicago, the 9,500-seat arena where Trump had planned his local campaign event. The event was canceled at the last minute due to safety concerns, with protesters clashing with Trump supporters at the nixed rally.
The Chicago DSA website linked to the main Facebook page that provided details for the anti-Trump rally, which announced it had planned to “make our way to the Pavilion in solidarity.”
The Facebook page provided a link for activists to sign up to get inside Trump’s campaign event, purportedly to infiltrate and disrupt the Trump rally.
The Chicago DSA is one of over a dozen organizations that drove its members to the Trump event in Chicago. Other groups, some larger, included Black Lives Matter Chicago, MoveOn.org, La Raza Chicago, International ANSWER Chicago, SEIU Local 73, The Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and more.
The DSA’s own super PAC has been supporting Sanders.
The ties between Sanders and the DSA run deep and encompass over two decades of mutual activism.
The DSA has worked to utilize the Democratic Party to push its socialist agenda.
“Stress our Democratic Party strategy and electoral work,” instructs an organizing document of the DSA. “The Democratic Party is something the public understands, and association with it takes the edge off. Stressing our Democratic Party work will establish some distance from the radical subculture and help integrate you to the milieu of the young liberals.”
DSA aided Sanders political rise
This reporter previously first documented the DSA’s role in helping to organize support for Sanders’ national political career:
On Oct. 24, 1988, The Nation magazine, identifying Sanders as “the socialist Mayor of Burlington, Vermont,” reported he had been endorsed for Congress by both the Democratic Socialists of America and the progressive founders of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
The DSA endorsed Sanders for every one of his subsequent elections and has openly helped to raise funds for him over the years.
In 2006, for example, the DSA boasted in its literature about the socialist group’s “involvement in Bernie Sanders’ pivotal independent 2006 Senate campaign in Vermont.”
Indeed, the DSA held “Elect Sanders” house parties in Atlanta; Boston; Detroit; Portland, Maine; Boulder, Colorado; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Ithaca, New York; Springfield, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; and New York City.
“DSAers wanting to hold Sanders house parties should contact me at email@example.com,” wrote one senior DSA activist in the socialist group’s July 2006 newsletter.
That same year, Sanders spoke at a Detroit fundraiser for DSA’s Political Action Committee. The fundraiser was connected by telephone link to a simultaneous DSA fundraising event in Atlanta.
DSA literature notes that in January 2006, DSA Detroit Chair David Green “took Bernie Sanders to tour Stan Ovshinsky’s United Solar Ovonics plant in Auburn Hills northwest of Detroit.”
“The plant makes successful, cost-efficient solar panels and is pioneering the hydrogen fuel cell,” added the DSA.
Sanders helped recruit new members to the DSA. In one example, he was the featured speaker at numerous DSA “house parties” in the fall of 2006 that were aimed not only at garnering support for his senatorial bid but also used by the DSA to recruit new members to its ranks.
As this reporter previously documented:
One New York City event was held Sept. 19, 2006, at the home of DSA activists Gene and Laurel Eisner on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
“The questions and comments actually had to be cut off to let Bernie get to the plane,” reported the DSA.
DSA reported the Sanders events helped to recruit new members to the socialist organization.
“Sanders support work provides a natural vehicle in any locality for DSA to reach out to – and potentially recruit – unaffiliated socialists and independent radicals.”
Infiltrating Congress, hosting CPC website
The DSA’s role in openly helping to found the CPC has been documented but largely forgotten.
Chicago DSA’s New Ground publication identified the Progressive Caucus in Congress as a group which the DSA “helped to organize.”
The ties were so close that until November 2002, the CPC’s websute was openly hosted by the DSA’s own website. However, after numerous news media outlets pointed to the connection, the online list of CPC members was relocated to Sanders’ own website before getting its own website.
The radicalism of the DSA’s website was openly brandished. In 1998, it featured “The Internationale,” the worldwide anthem of communism and socialism, WND.com reported.
The website also featured the song titled “Red Revolution,” which was supposed to be sung to the tune of “Red Robin.”
The lyrics, WND noted, include:
“When the Red Revolution brings its solution along, along, there’ll be no more lootin’ when we start shootin’ that Wall Street throng. …”
“Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie. And when the revolution comes, We’ll kill you all with knives and guns, Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie.”
The CPC being hosted on the DSA’s website is noted in the Congressional record.
This reporter previously documented:
The issue of the CPC being hosted on the DSA website rose again in June 2000 in connection with a heated dispute on the House floor among Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif.; Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.; and David R. Obey, D-Wis., over the “merits of the F-22 fighter plane.”
When Cunningham stood to defend himself, he included in his argument the fact that the relationship between the CPC and DSA was an open secret.
The CPC was still hosted by the DSA website in April 2002. On April 23, 2002, Author and political philosopher Balint Vazsonyi noted the connection in the Washington Times when he asked: “‘What?’ I hear you say. ‘Socialists in the Congress of the United States?'”
Dozens, dear reader, dozens. And they make no secret of it. Although of late it has been refurbished and the address altered, they have their own Web site. They call themselves members of the Progressive Caucus, until recently an arm of the Democratic Socialists of America, itself an arm of the Socialist International. The Progressive Caucus may be a separate entity now, but the details of its program, as advertised on the website, are indistinguishable from that of the Socialist International.
To their credit, they make no secret of it. Only the rest of us prefer not to believe it.
In an earlier article in November 2002, Vazsonyi further highlighted the presence of the CPC on the DSA website.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.