Move to Amend Reports on the Difference Between Populist Campaigns and Social Movements with Bill Fletcher Jr.

June 30, 2016

Move to Amend Reports connects you with activists and organizers working on the front lines of the democracy movement, to bring you the lowdown on corporate rule, corporate personhood, and money as speech.


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The call for “political revolution” is strong in the 2016 election cycle, with many Americans turning to “outsider” political campaigns like Bernie Sanders to lead this revolution. Is it the role of political campaigns to be at the helm of popular movements, or is it the other way around? Join us for an extended conversation with international, labor, and racial justice activist Bill Fletcher, Jr. as we examine the difference between political campaigns and social movements in the context of history, followed by a discussion about the importance of labor organizing and the role of unions and race in building an inclusive democracy movement.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. was involved in activism as early as high school. After graduating from Harvard, Fletcher took a job as a shipyard welder as a way into the labor movement.  There he became involved in issues such as union democracy, health and safety, and racial justice.  Fletcher involved himself in the desegregation of the building trades in Boston, and later was a staff member in various unions including District 65-United Auto Workers, the Service Employees International Union, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and the national AFL-CIO. Fletcher served as Education Director for the AFL-CIO and, eventually, Assistant to the President. A visiting professor at Brooklyn College-CUNY, Fletcher was also president of TransAfrica Forum, a non-profit advocacy, research, and education center focused on justice for the African world.

During his prolific writing career, Fletcher co-authored The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1921; and Solidarity Divided. His most recent book is, “They’re Bankrupting Us!”: And 20 Other Myths about Unions.  You can learn more about Bill and his books at

Move to Amend Reports is hosted by Laura Bonham and Egberto Willies, members of Move to Amend's National Leadership Team. Executive producer is Keyan Bliss. Production team is Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Keyan Bliss, Laura Bonham, Egberto Willies and Renee Babcock with assistance from Grace Novak.