Tennessee is rapidly becoming a Marxist political fantasy come true. In a super RED state like Tennessee which too often is undeserving of being described as “conservative”, Marxist-backed candidates are winning their political races.
Candidates don’t call themselves Marxists. Instead they use labels like “socialist” or “progressive” to camouflage their desired outcomes, which align with the openly radical left.
Jonah Goldberg summarizes it this way in Liberal Fascism – “In Italy they were called Fascists. In Germany they were called National Socialists. [later renamed Nazis] In America we call them progressives…”
Marxism provides the theoretical framework for communism and socialism – political systems which centralize power, suppress opposition and exert control over the masses using economic, social and psychological means.
There are many Marxist groups operating in Tennessee. They all act as electoral fronts with the same objectives and goals, such as the organization, Liberation Road – to fill seats in local elections with like-minded comrades, a sweet feat in a Trump state.
Liberation Road, Our Revolution, Nashville Justice League, Memphis for All, and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to name a few, work in concert to get their candidates elected. They refer to each other as “comrade” as affirmation of solidarity with a Marxist movement to overthrow ordered government.
Student groups like the Vanderbilt Young Democratic Socialists of America and the UT Knoxville Progressive Student Alliance (which has nothing to do with being “progressive”), are becoming more engaged in local elections helping to provide boots on the ground to canvass and man phone-banks.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what they call themselves – it’s what they seek to accomplish that matters. The groups discussed below work in concert with each other, creating the “new political ‘us’” laid out in Liberation Road’s 2019 – 2022 strategy, which is an agreement to form strategic alliances to defeat their enemies – the United States Government, the Republican Party and establishment Democrats.
The bottom line for these groups – if you don’t support creating a totalitarian socialist/communist America complete with the economy killing Green New Deal, Medicare for All, abortion on demand and open borders to name a few, you are their enemy.
Our Revolution (OR) – federal and state elections
Our Revolution (OR) and the Democrat Socialists of America (DSA) often collaborate to help fellow comrades win elections. The senior electoral manager of OR who was also the former deputy director of the DSA has disclosed that nothing prevents the forming of a two-sided DSA/OR local chapters. In a 2017 interview, OR cited Knoxville’s OR chapter which helped elect two DSA candidates to the city council.
OR is very active in Tennessee. It has a Nashville/Mid TN chapter and one in Memphis called Memphis for All.
In 2019, OR’s 6 endorsed candidates all won their races for the Metro Nashville City Council. Two winners along with another Metro Council member served as Bernie Sanders’ Tennessee 2020 presidential campaign co-chairs.
Our Revolution began as the 501(c)(4) arm of the failed 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. It now joins the mix of revolutionary change agents working to “grow the squad” and get more of their “progressive” radicals like Jew-haters Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib elected to public office. OR is also responsible for helping Ocasio-Cortez get elected.
In 2020, OR endorsed Nashville’s Keeda Haynes who lost her primary race for U.S. House of Representatives against 30-year incumbent Democrat Jim Cooper. But Tennesseans should not lose sight of the fact that Haynes took 44% of the vote.
OR also endorsed first-timer and BLM protest leader, Cori Bush in Missouri, who won her primary for Congress, ousting a 20-year incumbent. Bush’s campaign includes defunding the police which is part of OR’s “progressive” platform to “defend democracy.”
OR did not endorse first timer from Memphis, Marquita Bradshaw in the Tennessee Democratic primary for Lamar Alexander’s seat. After winning her primary, OR support for Bradshaw is now coming in the form of Cori Bush’s endorsement who herself was endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
Bradshaw campaigned as an environmental activist who was also an experienced labor organizer. She was first endorsed by the DSA. Her platform is based on The Justice Guarantee, (you have to read the 6 planks to believe it), which is supported by the Sunrise Movement and many other radical left wing groups including the ACLU. The Justice Guarantee platform is a project of Tides Advocacy which according to Capital Research, runs the Fund for Fair and Just Policing campaign funded by George Soros.
After winning the primary in Tennessee, Our Revolution’s Nashville & Mid TN chapter, Nashville Musicians For Change, Memphis-Midsouth DSA, Sunrise Tennessee, Vanderbilt Young Democratic Socialists of America, & Indivisible Tennessee joined together to endorse Bradshaw and are working to get her elected to flip Lamar Alexander’s seat.
The joinder of these groups follows the formula promoted by Liberation Road.
Our Revolution’s Nashville candidate James Turner for the Tennessee House, lost his primary to long-time incumbent Rep. Mike Stewart. But OR’s Memphis for All candidates fared much better. Gabby Salinas and Torrey Harris won their primaries, while Jerri Green and Andrea Bond-Johnson had no opponents in the Democrat primary. They will each face incumbent Republicans except for Harris who will be challenged by 26-year incumbent Rep. John DeBerry who is running as an independent after being kicked out of the Democrat party for being too conservative.
Memphis for All and OR’s Nashville and Mid-TN chapter, are part of Liberation Road. Thomas Wayne Walker, a member of Liberation Road’s National Executive Committee is also a Memphis for All Steering Committee member.
In 2018, Memphis for All endorsed and helped get former state senator Lee Harris elected for Shelby County Mayor. The group also added two county commissioners, Tami Sawyer and Racquel Collins. Sawyer, is a Black Lives Matter Leader and organizer of taking down Confederate statutes in Memphis.
The following year, Sawyer ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Memphis with support from Memphis for All and Marxist fellow traveller Highlander co-director Ash-Lee Henderson.
Memphis for All also endorsed and helped elect Katrina Robinson for state Senate and London Lamar for the Tennessee House. Liberation Road volunteers were noted to have helped Memphis for All canvassing in these districts.
In early August 2020, Sen. Katrina Robinson was indicted on 48 counts of theft and embezzlement of federal program grant funds.
Memphis Liberation Party
This newly formed group endorsed Marquita Bradshaw and is working to help her get elected. This group identifies itself as a “political party fighting for workers’ rights, environmental justice, and self-determination for the people of Memphis” and is promoting a comprehensive platform of demands to “liberate Memphis” from the State of Tennessee.
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)
Knoxville’s DSA is an affiliate chapter of Our Revolution and has successfully helped three of their comrades get elected to the Knoxville city council running on platforms that reject capitalism in favor of supporting “working class interests.”
Seema Singh Perez was the first Knoxville DSA member to win a seat on the city council in 2017.
This DSA chapter is running the “City Council Movement” and two years later, the chapter endorsed three comrades for the council – Amelia Parker, David Hayes and Charles al-Bawi. Amelia Parker won an at-large seat.
In 2018, Knoxville DSA member Edward Nelson, endorsed by Our Revolution for a Tennessee House seat lost to the Republican candidate.
Anti-police Sean Parker in Nashville (no relation to Amelia other than in comradeship), is the co-founder of the Middle TN DSA, a fact he proudly shared on his campaign page. He was elected in 2019, to represent District 5 (hipster East Nashville neighborhoods), on the Metro Nashville City Council.
Chattanooga’s DSA chapter is just getting started by issuing a “list of demands on local government and business leaders to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the working and vulnerable people of greater Chattanooga.”
Highlander co-director Ash-Lee Henderson has deep agitator roots in Chattanooga. In 2012 she was an organizer with United Campus Workers, an organization that the college DSA chapters attach to.
She was also a Board member of Chattanooga Organized for Action (COA).
In 2014, working as an organizer for Concerned Citizens for Justice (CCJ) in Chattanooga, Ash-Lee was arrested while marching against alleged police brutality. That same year, Ash-Lee marched again with CCJ to affirm organization’s solidarity with Palestinians.
Don’t be surprised when Chattanooga Marxists start catching up to their comrades in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis.
Nashville Justice League (NJL) whose tagline is “A New Power is Rising” helped 13 “progressive” far-left radicals get elected to the Metro Nashville city Council.
Shortly before the August 2019 election for the Nashville Metro Council, three organizations came together to form the Nashville Justice League (NJL), a PAC whose goal was to move the city council further left. Of the 15 endorsed candidates, 13 won their races.
Well into 2020, the NJL candidates have proven to be the “progressive” far-left radicals the PAC wanted.
The three organizations which organized the NJL are:
TIRRC Votes is the 501(c)(4) arm of the Soros-funded TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), which advocates for illegal aliens and legal immigrants such as refugees. TIRRC began its collaboration with BLM in 2015; this was during the time that TIRRC’s board was led by Daoud Abudiab, a Muslim activist.
The Equity Alliance Action Fund which is the 501(c)(4) of the Equity Alliance. Founded in 2016, The Equity Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, employs state-wide and community organizers, communications and operational managers along with two co-executive directors. This group organizes around issues of alleged police brutality, equity for people of color, and like every other far left group, maintains a 501(c)(4) arm which is working to vote Trump out of office and elect progressive socialists.
The Central Labor Council of Nashville & Middle TN (AFL-CIO) – Jobs With Justice has a chapter in East and Middle TN and is part of the Central Labor Council. Jobs With Justice lists the Highlander Center as one of their partners. The Council endorsed state Rep. John Ray Clemmons in the 2019 Nashville mayoral race. Clemmons is a fellow traveler of the radical left and is running unopposed for a fourth term.
“The Nashville Justice League launched at the end of June to bring together the strategic alliance into the electoral field. This IPO Project is a new PAC, and a joint project with the Central Labor Council, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, and the Equity Alliance, a civil rights and civic engagement organization run by black millennial women. We are using voting pledges, social media advertising, and canvassing to break down the silos of our membership and combine our strengths to get true champions of justice elected. We are currently focusing on Nashville metro elections, but have our eyes set on combining the IPO city-based projects for 2020.”
Given the NJL’s core mission there is no surprise about the candidates they endorsed.
For example, Bob Mendes and Colby Sledge were the council members who in 2017, introduced two bills that if passed, would have made Nashville the most liberal sanctuary city in the country. Sledge is married to Lindsey Harris who until very recently, was a co-director of TIRRC.
The NJL also endorsed Zulfat Suara who openly admitted to being a socialist. She resigned her leadership of the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) to run for the Metro Council. Under her leadership, AMAC board members began agitating against alleged police brutality. From the comfort of her new $650,000 home, Suara served as one of Bernie Sanders’ three Tennessee campaign co-chairs. Suara led her activist AMAC board to join forces with Linda Sarsour, a defender of Sharia law and intensely vocal anti-Semite, who served as “Bernie Sanders’s Anti-Semitic Surrogate”. More recently, Suara was chosen as a PLEO (party leader and elected official) delegate to the DNC. She nominated Bernie Sanders and voted “no” on the DNC platform because of the absence of Medicare for all and, following the lead of Jew-haters Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the absence of “stronger foreign policy language, especially on Israel and Palestine.”
Kyontze Toombs, who serves as Secretary and General Counsel for the Equity Alliance was endorsed and won her Metro Council race so they now have a front row seat at the table.
Gicola Lane, another NJL endorsed, but losing candidate, was paid by Black Voters Matter as a campaign coordinator in getting the anti-police Community Oversight Board on the ballot and passed. This year she is an electoral justice fellow with the Movement for Black Lives, the policy setting umbrella organization which Highlander Center’s co-director Ash-Lee Henderson, helps lead.
Ringleader TIRRC has a long-established relationship with the Highlander Center which they list as a coalition member. Beginning in 2007, Highlander provided Justice School for TIRRC with “sessions combin[ing] nuts-and-bolts training on organizing and leadership skills with broader discussions of social, political, and economic issues related to immigration and the immigrant rights movement.”
Vanderbilt sociology professor Dan Cornfield and his wife Hedy Weinberg the TN-ACLU director who has also served on TIRRC’s Advisory Board, have been long-time supporters of the Highlander Center.
Cornfield co-led Highlander trainings for Vanderbilt college students and faculty organized by Vanderbilt’s Office of Active Citizenship with “programs such as ‘More Radical Than Communism’ and on ‘Becoming a Change Agent.’”
Our Revolution joined forces with TIRRC Votes in July 2019.
Sunrise is a movement to stop climate change. Their platform includes pushing for more regulations and government control of the economy under the guise of fighting climate change. They are mainly college, high school and middle school students who have been inducted into world of the socialist/progressive platform.
They call their chapters “hubs” and have hubs in Nashville, Franklin and Knoxville. According to the Memphis Progressive Student Alliance, there will soon be a Sunrise hub in Memphis.
Sunrise Tennessee joined with Our Revolution’s Nashville & Mid TN chapter, Nashville Musicians For Change, Memphis-Midsouth DSA, Vanderbilt Young Democratic Socialists of America, & Indivisible Tennessee, to endorse U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Marquita Bradshaw.
The leader of the Nashville Sunrise Movement is Rick Herron, believed to be the son of Roy Herron, former chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party. Roy Herron served in the Tennessee House and Senate.
Party for Socialism & Liberation
The Party for Socialism and Liberation has been active working outreach to like-minded minority communities in Nashville and held an event at the Islamic Center of Tennessee.
UTKnoxville Progressive Student Alliance (UTKPSA) has close ties to both the Highlander Center and Liberation Road. The UTKPSA has become active in local Knoxville elections, endorsing Charles al-Bawi in 2019 for the Knoxville City Council.
Here’s an example of how these Marxist organizations work together. Thomas Wayne Walker, a Memphis agitator, is a member of Liberation Road’s National Executive Committee. During his tenure as an executive board member of the United Campus Workers (UCW) movement in Tennessee, he engaged the UTKPSA in a campus protest. At the time, Ash-Lee Henderson was an organizer for the UCW. Several years prior, Ash-Lee and Walker were together at a public option rally in Nashville.
Coming full circle, Ash-Lee, who is also connected to Liberation Road, is currently the co-director of the Highlander Center whose staff members Coy Wakefield (also a BLM organizer in Knoxville), and Andre Canty interface with students at UTKnoxville.
Following the Marxist footpath of Ash-Lee Henderson, Movement 4 Black Lives, BLM and the DSA, the UTKPSA has signed onto the Jew-hating anti-Israel platform.
Vanderbilt Young Democratic Socialists of America (VYDSA)
In December 2019, the VYDSA was given official DSA chapter status. Following the model laid down by the UTKPSA, the Vanderbilt DSA is endorsing Marquita Bradshaw for U.S. Senate, and staying connected to Robin Kimbrough who was also a socialist candidate in the primary but lost to Bradshaw. Kimbrough says she’s coming back in 2022.
VYDSA has also connected itself to BLM Nashville and pushed the VYDSA members to lobby Metro Nashville council members in support of the Peoples’ Budget Coalition recommendations.
The VYDSA also promotes a “mutual aid network” meaning that its members should also connect with their local Our Revolution and/or Sunrise movement chapter.
Memphis Progressive Student Alliance (MPSA)
The University of Memphis PSA has been around for a while. In 2011, six students attached to the MPSA, were arrested along with Ash-Lee Henderson for protesting inside and during a Tennessee legislative hearing. In late 2019, however, the board resigned and the organization disbanded due to improprieties of its president. The MPSA has now folded into the Memphis Liberation Party.
Justice Democrats – a federal political action committee (PAC)
It is a great concern for our state that the Justice Democrats operate out of a Knoxville address. This organization successfully installed “the squad” (Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley) in Congress.
They claim credit for Cori Bush’s win in Missouri. Of their 9 new candidates for Congress, 5 have so far won their primaries with one primary upcoming. Of the 7 incumbent candidates, 6 have won their primaries with one soon to come.
Incumbent Pramilla Jayapal, from Washington state, served as the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) which Ilhan Omar joined as soon as she was elected to the U.S. House.