• Triston Mendez

Our Revolution Has Abandoned Their LA Chapter as a Means of Silencing Dissent

As most of you probably know by now, Our Revolution Los Angeles (ORLA) has joined the coalition under Movement for a People’s Party (MPP), consisting of Progressive individuals and organizations who all share the same goal of forming a Political Party explicitly for the people; here is the Press Release. Now you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with the headline? Well, according to the Mission Statement of Our Revolution National (ORN)l, their goal is “… to win progressive issue fights, elect progressive champions, transform the Democratic Party, and get big money out of politics.” ORLA did not agree with some elements of this mission statement, so ORLA joined MPP, effectively ignoring the “transform the Democratic Party” part of the mission statement, and giving Progressive candidates a party to be backed and supported by, because the Democratic Party CLEARLY does not support Progressive candidates. Due to this decision, ORLA has had to face consequences directly from ORN, including subtle threats, infiltration, and silently trying to replace the LA Chapter with one consisting of Democratic Loyalist; details of infiltration will be covered in another article.

The day Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, was the day ORLA decided to poll their members, in which it was decided that ORLA would form a new major party for the people. ORLA then met with MPP, resulting in ORLA joining the coalition under MPP (the decision was made due to numerous reasons, which can be saved for its’ own article). ORLA decided afterwards to begin voicing their opinion and asking to open the topic of “forming a major new party” up for discussion amongst the leadership, since ORN has, on numerous occasions, neglected to respond to communications initiated by the leadership of ORLA. ORN held multiple online public video conferences for people in California; members of ORLA attended and were kicked for asking questions as to whether discussion could be opened to the possibility of joining a coalition working towards a major new party. They also asked questions as to why they invited an ORLA endorsed candidate to be a speaker on their public call but have failed to nationally endorse her. ORN continues to hold public calls, inviting Progressive champions from California to be panelists, yet STILL refuses to add them to their endorsement list on their official web-page.

As you can see, ORN has used ORLA for their image and proof of active presence in California, but have treated ORLA members with disrespect, completely ignoring their opinions, concerns, or questions. After this, ORLA has set itself on a mission to recruit as many Our Revolution chapters across the nation, to which Our Revolution Oregon (ORO) and Our Revolution Central Connecticut (ORCC) joined. ORO has since backed out of their agreement to join the MPP coalition, however, ORLA is unaware as to the reason why. I personally believe it’s due to ORN aggression and the very same threats ORLA has received from ORN.

Once ORO and ORCC agreed to join, MPP put out a press release announcing the addition of these new allies. After this press release, the Field Director of ORLA, Jerry Perez, received an intimidating phone call from Mike Oles, the Field Director of ORN, in which he tried to get Jerry Perez to make ORLA back down. Mike Oles threatened to publicly sever ties between ORLA and ORN. He also accused Jerry Perez of stealing a Master List of emails (which was publicly available until they conveniently took down the webpage). For the record, ORLA has not directed MPP towards that email list, out of respect for the Memorandum of Understanding signed by ORLA leadership. ORLA did not violate anything, and was not notified of any official violations by ORN, meaning they have had no right to exhibit such hostility towards ORLA or any other OR chapters which have joined the MPP coalition.

In relation to the Memorandum of Understanding, Kat Verges, the Chair of ORLA, had this to say:

You can see that no violation of any stipulation occurred. Their tactics were underhanded, had we broken any rules, we should have been notified in an official capacity. Instead, we were iced out and ostracized while Mike Oles went behind our back to other OR chapters and spread falsehoods about us.

As of recently, ORLA recently took notice of their Action Network account’s disaffiliation from the ORN Action Network account (Action Network is a paid online service that allows for Our Revolution to stay connected to the community). This shows how refusing to sell your loyalty to the Democratic Establishment gets you silenced by the inner-circle of the “Progressive” Our Revolution hierarchy. Simply asking for representation from the group whose people ORN has exploited, gets you silenced. Asking to #DemExit so the people can no longer try to win elections when the Establishment can “legally” shape and break the rules of Primary elections, gets you silenced. Asking groups of Progressives around America if they share the same sentiments as ORLA and would like to join MPP to continue the revolution, gets you silenced. ORN is no longer loyal to the people, they are loyal to the Democratic Establishment; they want to sustain the illusion that they are making Progressive change, while keeping a tight grip on their members, coming across as paid opposition.