United Left Fireside Chat with Shahid Buttar: Everyone Should Be A Hypercitizen

On October 30th, 2020, United Left invited Shahid Buttar to its first Fireside Forum, a series of roundtable discussions with progressive organizers, activists and thinkers. Buttar is an activist, attorney, and former congressional candidate for California’s 12th district. In this discussion, he answered the United Left membership’s questions about his campaign against Nancy Pelosi, his post-election plans, and his perspective on hyper-citizenship.

Q1: Fellow Californian here. What’s the biggest hurdle during the campaign since the pandemic crisis has started early in the year? What were the problems you faced and how did you overcome it?

Shahid Buttar: The biggest challenge…

By Allan Max Axelrod, #NoAmerenShutoffs Campaign Lead

Pritzker’s Utility Shutoffs

Utility shutoffs are a pandemic safety risk, and utility service continuation is explicitly enumerated as a priority in the Bush-era 2007 Congressional Research Service’s “Pandemic Influenza: An Analysis of State Preparedness and Response Plans.” In the 2nd half of September alone, over 16,000 households (over 35,000 people) were disconnected by utility corporations. In the last week of September, according to WCIA, Ameren Illinois’ 6,543 residential disconnections for nonpayment occurred in the last week of September, alone. Commonwealth Edison disconnected over 9,000 households in the same month, presumably starting the same day as Ameren…

We’ve all seen the jokes. “No one sabotages leftists like other leftists.” We’ve seen the memes. We’ve seen the attacks. The claims that anarchists are “useless” or MLs “are just fascists.” In our weakest moments, we’ve made these attacks ourselves. But now more than ever, we can’t afford weak moments.

The left CAN stop infighting. More importantly, we NEED to stop infighting.

As police terrorize our most vulnerable communities, we need to stand together. As an eviction epidemic threatens to leave millions of Americans without roofs over their heads, we don’t have time for petty bullshit. …

For the first time in most Americans’ lives, calls to defund the police are rapidly growing in popularity. The conversation is making headlines. This conversation is long overdue and deserves all the attention it has been getting, but there is another discussion that needs to be had. One that fits in perfectly with the calls to defund the police. We must defund the military.

The violence of systematic racism in the United States is nightmarish for those subjected to it. What the United States does abroad is Hellish. This year alone is not even halfway over, and already our country…

Whatever you think about the wave of protests in the United States right now, there is a reason the CNN sign in Atlanta was defaced. The average American doesn’t feel represented by the news media. It’s time journalists acknowledge what we’ve been doing wrong. The wave of protests in the United States and the government’s response is a perfect learning opportunity.

I graduated from college in May with a BA in journalism. The most important thing I learned from studying journalism is how cowardly the press in the United States is. My school constantly emphasized outdated forms of media such…

…In the Year of Change

I grew up thinking America was a secure, and wonderful place. I grew up thinking people got along and were happy in this country. I grew up thinking this was my home. I was naive… In this country, people are murdered simply for their skin color and the socio-economic background they were forced into by the powers that be. What is even worse is that these crimes are committed by the people who were supposed to protect us, who were supposed to keep us safe.

But no, in this country, the only ones who are…

On Sunday, May 31st, 2020, President Donald Trump sent a tweet that read as follows: “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”

It is important to clarify a few things. First, “ANTIFA” is not an acronym, and thus does not need to be written in all caps. In actuality, the word serves as an abbreviation for “Anti-Fascism.” “Anti” as a prefix means “to be opposed to; against,” while fascism is defined by Merriam-Webster as being, “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for…

Do you wonder why they riot, loot, or vandalize business property? Do you question these actions, in one way or another? Whether you approve or disapprove, lend an ear, to the words of someone who served in the front lines of a protest. Hours later, protesters were deemed as the villains of the story. If you have a hunger for truth, then this will be a first hand account of truth. In this world, there are two types of people, those who accept truth, and live it, and those who deny truth, and live within their own version of reality…

Yolanda Thomas.

Xavier Tyrell Johnson.

Darrell Banks.

Cedric Chatman.

Say their names. These are the fallen, forever lost. These are just a few of our brothers and sisters whose lives were taken through the deadly force of police brutality. There are too many to name here, but each life taken left a hole too large and too deep, and one that can never be refilled. They were our fathers, our sons, our sisters, our daughters. They deserved to live. Instead, they were taken and in their place we have only memories and pain.

Today, we are here to demand justice…

On May 25, 2020, 46-year-old George Floyd suffered a harrowing death in Minneapolis, MN, during an arrest by local police. Four officers, each of whom was directly responsible for ensuring his safety while in their custody, played a role in how the event unfolded:

  • Derek Chauvin
  • Tou Thao
  • Thomas Lane
  • J Alexander Kueng

An ongoing investigation seeks to formally reveal what role these officers played in Floyd’s tragic death. …

United Left

Posts from the United Left’s Writing Team.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store