Labor/Community Strategy Center
Eric Mann always been an anti-imperialist internationalist, in support of international campaigns such as U.S. Out of Vietnam and Boycott Apartheid South Africa as well as the historic efforts of the world communist movement to form international organizations.
- Based on lessons from these experiences, I believe the conditions for successful international work are based on support for the right of self-determination for oppressed nations and protection of the strength and integrity of constituent organizations. I do not view this as a question to individuals but to organizations. I have always been part of an organization—from CORE to SDS to League of Revolutionary Struggle, to the New Directions Movement of the United Auto Workers, to the Strategy Center. Each organization has had many international relationships.
- But not every invitation is positive or will have a positive outcome. The Strategy Center would respond to any invitation but would not participate in any initiative to form a single international organization (in which currently independent organizations become subordinate as “chapters” to the international) or any initiative based on the subordination of national sovereignty of nations and peoples oppressed by U.S. and European imperialism in the name of an abstract, colorblind, “working class” that considers movements of national liberation a threat.
Eric Mann's Strategy Center has had many successful international relationships—as an NGO at the UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, and the UN World Conference on Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, where we worked on the NGO organizing committee and Mann spoke to the UN on behalf of the NGO organizations against a theory of “partnerships” between NGOs and polluting corporations. There the Strategy Center developed relations with the African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions, (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP). The Strategy Center has been invited and sent delegations to Cuba, Chiapas, the SUTAUR-100 (Mexico), France, Germany, Italy, and South Korea. They have allied with trade union organizations and environmental justice/indigenous peoples campaigns. We have participated in the World Social Forums in Venezuela and Brazil.
- The Strategy Center has also allied in many nation-wide coalitions—some based on significant strategic and tactical agreement, such as the First and Second People of Color Environmental Justice Leadership Summits, the Black Radical Congress, and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (each initiated by other organizations) and the current Transit Riders for Public Transportation (which we initiated). We also have sought participation in formations with much broader temporary unities, such as the Boston Social Forum, the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta and, coming in 2010, in Detroit. We have also participated in explicit nation-wide left-building projects within the United States, with grassroots organizations as well as with anti-imperialist and socialist organizations—Freedom Road Socialist Organization, League of Revolutionaries for a New America, and other organizations with whom we had significant disagreements but wanted to pursue a long-term strategic unity. We want to see organizations coalesce but envision coalitions and federations of organizations, not an international or national single organization of individuals gathering in regional chapters.