Praising the “visionary agenda” of Sen. Bernie Sanders and decrying the corporate media’s treatment of him as a “fringe candidate” in the Democratic presidential primary race, the Florida-based social justice group Dream Defenders on Wednesday joined the massive grassroots movement Sanders is building for his second presidential run.
“Our people believe in Bernie and his vision for building power with us. He has the most diverse, the youngest, and the most working class base of any candidate.”
Dream Defenders initially formed to fight for justice for Trayvon Martin but has since blossomed into a broader “movement for freedom and liberation in Florida.” A lengthy statement from the group’s Fight PAC endorsing Sanders spotlighted his campaign slogan (“Not Me, Us”) and explained that “Bernie is not our political savior. It is the movement behind him that will change this country.”
“Our people believe in Bernie and his vision for building power with us,” the statement said. “He has the most diverse, the youngest, and the most working class base of any candidate. He has more donations from students, Walmart Workers, Amazon workers and teachers than anyone else—at an average of $18.”
“The mainstream media is afraid of this,” the group added, condemning how some major media outlets have regarded Sanders’ campaign. “That’s why they’ve attempted to paint Bernie as some fringe candidate and his support base as comprised of only ‘white Bernie bros’ and erase the millions of black, brown, and immigrant youth and women at the helm of his campaign.”
Welcoming the group’s support in a tweet, Sanders thanked Dream Defenders for its “incredible” work in Florida, emphasized the power of young people, and reiterated his commitment to working with his movement “to create a nation where every person is able to live with justice and dignity.”
Sanders also shared a video that Dream Defenders released detailing its history and goals. As the group’s statement explained, “Because our lives and the lives of the people we love depend on it, we have chosen to take a side in this election: to stand against a world order rooted in greed, authoritarianism, and violence.”
Dream Defenders highlighted how Sanders’ agenda aligns with that of the group, including tuition-free public college, the elimination of student and medical debt, Medicare for All, a jobs guarantee, a moratorium on deportations, the reunification of separated families, overhauling the immigration system, ending mass incarceration, a just transition for incarcerated individuals, cutting the U.S. military budget, pursing diplomacy with Iran, and respecting the rights of Palestinians.
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