Solidarity

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Solidarity is an independent socialist organization dedicated to forming a broad regrouping of the U.S. left.[1]

Solidarity was formed as part of a project of regrouping of the U.S. Left. This publication, as part of this project, presents many points of view. As such, debates are frequent and informative, and the level of analysis is very high. Against the Current's goal is to promote dialogue among activists, organizers, and serious scholars on the Left.

A check of the current leaders of "Solidarity" as well as their Advisory Committee shows a strong presence of former members of the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party and its youth arm Young Socialist Alliance, most of whom joined and were very active in the late 1960's through the early 80's when the SWP fragmented into several factions and split-off groups.

Against the Current Journal

Against the Current is the journal of the U.S. Trotskyite organization, Solidarity.

Among the members of "Against the Current" staff and Advisory Committee in 2010 are the following former members of the SWP:

Editors:

Advisory Board:

Congressional hearings that include the YSA/SWP identifications of some of the above include:

  • - "Trotskyite Terrorist International", Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, Hearing, July 24, 1975
  • - "National Peace Action Coalition NPAC and Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice PCPJ, Paarts 1-4, House Internal Security Committee, 1971
  • - "Subversive Involvement in the Origin, Leadership and Activities of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and Its Predecessor Organizations, HISC, Staff Study, 1970
  • - "New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam", Part 1 & 2, HISC, 1970
  • - "Extent of Subversion in Campus Disorders: Testimony of Max Phillip Friedman", Part 2, SISS, Aug. 1969/Oct. 1969

People's Progressive Convention

In 1992, a "call" went out to leftist radicals and communist revolutionaries of various orientations to hold a national People's Progressive Convention in Ypsilanti, Michigan, August 21-23, 1992.

Endorsers included Solidarity .

Solidarity West Coast Day School

The Solidarity West Coast Day School, which focused on the theme of ‘Transnational Solidarity with Latin America’, was held at the Los Angeles Worker Center on Saturday June 23 2018. The event brought together around 30 people – organizers, workers, and activists from Los Angeles, Mexico, and El Salvador – to share their experiences on topics from Baja California strikes to news and updates on Venezuela and Cuba. Throughout the planning process and during the event, Solidarity was able to engage with local socialist groups like LeftRoots, LA CoIL, and Democratic Socialists of America, and to build a deeper relationship with Latin American solidarity groups like CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and Raices sin Fronteras.

The event began with a panel on the theme of ‘Solidarity Campaigns in Latin America’. This first panel featured two speakers, Jeanette Charles from Witness for Peace, Venezuelanalysis, Chiapas Support Committee, and other groups, and Henry Prudencio, a recent immigrant from El Salvador and CISPES organizer. Charles’ presentation focused on the revolutionary models of Cuba and Venezuela with an emphasis on people power, African diasporic traditions, and a reparations-based economic lens. Prudencio briefly discussed the history of U.S. intervention in El Salvador, the country’s current conditions, and paths for solidarity.

An interactive discussion on issues around borders and immigration followed, headed by Lucila Conde and Louie Gomez, from Solidarity and Raices sin Fronteras; Silvia Brandon-Perez, from People without Border Temple, The Oscar Romero and Simone Weil Catholic Worker House, Solidarity, and other groups; Jessica Gomez, from Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families; and Leon Fierro, via Zoom software, a Mexicali Resiste member leading the fight against water privatization in Baja California who has been unjustly arrested and imprisoned for violence against the police during an action. The conversation touched on many topics, from workers resistance to water privatization and Fierro’s case in Baja California to anti-imperialist frameworks around border solidarity.

The program concluded with a panel on indigenous struggles and activism, moderated by Robert Caldwell, member of Solidarity’s national committee and an indigenous organizer based in Texas and Louisiana. It featured Edgard Sanchez, member of Mexico’s PRT who worked with indigenous Zapatista presidential candidate Marichuy’s campaign; and Carmen Marta, from The Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizations for Social Justice from San Quintin, Baja California. This panel addressed the importance of centering indigenous struggles throughout the continent. Sanchez spoke about the importance of Marichuy’s campaign, who was the first indigenous candidate running for Mexico’s presidency, and Marta spoke about the farmworkers in Baja California, many of whom are indigenous, and their struggles and strikes against Driscoll Berries’ exploitation and racism. After the program, a smaller group of speakers and Solidarity members met and continued discussing the current situation and politics in Mexico over an informal dinner.

The Day School is influenced and inspired by the efforts of Latinx organizers and other supporters, who have been working hard to develop these links of solidarity across borders long before this event. We hope this opportunity last weekend can continue to help bridge connections and stimulate more discussions and works of solidarity between left groups and other organizations in the U.S. and in Latin American countries. The effects of U.S. imperialism and global neoliberalism on the working class, indigenous, women, refugees, especially in Latin American countries, are deleterious. We also hope that Solidarity members, sympathizers, and branches in the West Coast can continue developing more educational and solidarity programs to support and uplift the struggles of workers and marginalized populations internationally.[2]

Solidarity Day School, Dallas

Solidarity Day School in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, March 10, 2018, the first in what we hope will become a quarterly series of Day Schools for local leftists, movement activists, and organizers, all with differing levels of familiarity with Marxist theory. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate that our theoretical tradition arose from revolutionary organizing, and that same tradition is crucial to today’s leftist activism and organizing.

The event took place in two parts–the first held from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM in the Meadows Convention Center, a space designed to serve community organizers and area non-profits at no cost; the second at the Pan-Africa Connection from 7:30-9:00 PM, an amazing bookstore, art gallery, and cultural center in South Dallas. Participation in this inaugural event was based on intentional outreach rather than broad promotional efforts, including representatives from area community organizations, movement groups, and other organized socialists (especially the International Socialist Organization and many more from the Democratic Socialists of America - North Texas). Most significantly: participants also included community members whom we met in the process of collecting signatures, riding the trains and talking to passengers to fight Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)’s proposed fare hike.

Topics discussed included black liberation (Jules Clain, Solidarity Steering Committee member from Milwaukee), fighting capitalism with regard to fair housing (Ryne Poelker, Solidarity Staff organizer, from Chicago), the history of socialism (Dan La Botz, New York), socialist feminism (Zoe Holden, DFW Solidarity and Democratic Socialists of America), the BDS Movement and solidarity with Palestine (Maddie Fenn, International Socialist Organization Denton), the necessity of labor unions in the struggle for socialist revolution (Ryan Haney, DFW Solidarity and Democratic Socialists of America), strategies for building a local power base for socialism (Robert Caldwell, DFW Solidarity), ecosocialism (Gary Stuard, DFW Solidarity), trans solidarity and an introduction to trans politics (Max L., Trans Pride Initiative, Dallas), and a history of socialism, communism, and the civil rights movement in Texas (Dick Reavis, DFW Solidarity and the North Texas Transit Riders).

In our evening session at the Pan Africa Connection, we turned to the ways in which capitalism in America developed through genocide, slavery, and unspeakable brutality with a panel entitled “Understanding the Past, Confronting the Present, and Building a Socialist Future.” Jodi Voice Yellowfish spoke on First Nation struggles for social justice, especially with regard to reclaiming sovereignty over lands stolen by the US. Joining us via electronic technology, Kali Akuno, organizer for Cooperation Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi, discussed local struggles in Jackson, and confronting the far right and the new confederacy, and a comrade from the Mexican PRT reflected upon a recent, contentious election.

Throughout the day, topics also included ongoing, local movement organizing like the North Texas Transit Riders (NTTR), a rapidly expanding, deeply collaborative effort across multiple leftist organizers and activists and community members to fight DART’s (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) proposed fare hike. Robyn Kirk (of Democratic Socialists of America) described the ways she and Alex Teleky (of DFW Solidarity and the Green Party) worked to establish NTTR as a direct challenge to the logic of capitalism infiltrating every aspect of public transportation in Dallas. To date, NTTR petitions include almost 7,000 signatures. Before NTTR began their efforts several months ago, the DART Board strongly supported the proposed fare hike. NTTR efforts have made a significant impact, however. Last month, the DART Board passed the proposed fare hike by a very narrow margin. NTTR efforts continue in an attempt to overturn this unjust decision.

Participants praised the event for the urgency and interest of its session topics, the variety of its discussion formats (fishbowls, roundtables, panel presentations, concurrent sessions), and the opportunities that it afforded to meet and build alliances with other area activists and groups. Some of these meetings developed into concrete plans for political action; three people voiced interest in joining Solidarity.

Looking back on the Day School, one of the most significant outcomes was the opportunity it provided to expand existing projects, including a collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Democratic Socialists of America - North Texas to fight for a living wage for support staff employed by the Dallas Independent School District. Following a hallway conversation between Andrew Kirk (DSA and AFT) and Shannon Carter (DFW Solidarity and the Greens), Shannon met with union staff and membership at the AFT Offices in Dallas in an attempt to complement their ongoing campaign with a community organizing tool designed to facilitate storytelling (Roadside Theatre’s “Story Circle”), which she has used successfully in other contexts (with incarcerated women and seniors in Dallas and with social-justice oriented academics in Boulder, Colorado). For months, this fight has been a priority among North Texas DSA membership, with Andrew Kirk (DSA and AFT) and Zoe Holden (DFW Solidarity and DSA) taking lead. A key strategy has been to gather testimonials from cafeteria workers, custodians, and support staff to present at upcoming DISD Board meetings.

Additional joint actions include a fight for paid sick leave for all workers in Dallas, following the lead of Austin, which recently became the first city in the south to pass such an ordinance. To this end, DFW Solidarity hosted a public educational in Dallas on April 1, 2018, with Sarah Swallow (Fight for the $15, Work Strong Austin, Young Active Labor Leaders), a key organizer in the Austin campaign. Sarah spoke about her work in our state capital and how we might bring that fight to Dallas. AFL CIO-Dallas recently launched a similar campaign, as has the Workers Defense Project. DFW Solidarity have reached out to them to stand in solidarity and collective action.[3]

Radical Scholars & Activists Conference

In 1993 Solidarity was an endorser/sponsor of the Midwest Radical Scholars & Activists Conference. The theme of the conference was, "Popular Empowerment in the Clinton Era". The conference was held between Oct. 29 - 30, 1993 at Loyola University, Chicago.[4]

Solidarity with Sept. 24 FBI Raid Activists

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression lists Solidarity as one of the organizations that has issued a statement of solidarity in support of the activists raided in the September 24, 2010 FBI Raids.[5]

Solidarity Summer School 2015

Black Lives Matter! The Police State and Mass Incarceration Organizers from the movement(s) against police brutality and mass incarceration will speak about the state and future of the movement and the relationship of racial state violence to capitalism and class struggle, the labor movement, and the oppression of LGBTQ people. Featuring:

Neoliberal Assault and Popular Resistance A panel will discuss the nature of neoliberalism and what is different about both ruling class strategy and working class resistance in the neoliberal era. Speakers will address more specific aspects of attacks and resistance including ecological struggles, Black Lives Matter and anti-racist struggle, and more. Featuring:

The Politics of Trans Liberation Organizers from around the country will discuss various areas of trans activism and politics, including basic terms and ideas around trans politics, efforts in the labor movement and workplace organizing, intersectionality and the work of trans people of color, and anti-violence organizing. Suggested readings. Featuring:

Teachers' Unions and Education Reform Speakers will cover big picture questions around education reform and privatization as part of the neoliberal agenda, as well as particular organizing projects such as union reform caucuses. Featuring:

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Grassroots Organizing and Non-Profits In their 2007 book, The Revolution Will Not be Funded, INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence presented a collection of essays that raised an alarm about the “non-profit industrial complex” which, they argued, posed clear and present dangers to grass-roots organizing projects. Yet, community-based non-profit organizations, from workers’ centers to immigrant rights and environmental justice groups, are organizing some of the most exciting struggles and taking on the most pressing issues facing working-class people. This workshop will be an opportunity for participants to confront the challenges that INCITE has posed and to identify the organizational and strategic elements of transformative organizing work. Featuring:

Socialist Perspectives on the Bernie Sanders Campaign and Independent Political Action Presenters will give two different socialist perspectives on the Bernie Sanders and his primary campaign, followed by a longer period of participatory discussion. This workshop is designed to give attendees the space for an in depth collective discussion of the campaign and its meaning for the left and the future of independent politics. Featuring:

Women's Activism and Contemporary Feminist Politics Socialist-feminist activist and author Johanna Brenner will speak on the state of women's activism today to introduce a workshop focused on collective participation and dialogue about relevant issues in feminism. Featuring:

Building the Next Left Steve Williams, a veteran community organizer and co-founder of Left Roots, and Lucia Lin, Left Roots member, will speak about the Left Roots project in order to kick off a discussion concerning strategies for building a movement for 21st century socialism in the U.S. Participants will be invited to respond based on their own ideas and experiences. Featuring:

Gendered Violence This workshop will focus on education and discussion about gendered violence. Background, reference, and case study material will be provided, and some time will be allotted for participants to review the material in order to inform the discussions. Small groups will discuss individual, community, and organizational responses to gendered violence, as well as strategies for building cultures of resistance to gendered violence. Featuring:

Neoliberalism, Colonialism, and the Puerto Rican Debt Crisis Rafael Bernabe, who ran as the Working People's Party of Puerto Rico's candidate for governor, will address U.S. colonialism and the debt crisis in Puerto Rico, as well as anti-austerity efforts on the island. Suggested readings. Featuring:

Converging Storms Part 1: The Crises of Energy, Capitalism, and the Environment Part 1 first briefly reviews the approach of the eight-week "Converging Storms" class series given in Los Angeles on the converging crises of energy, capitalism, and environment. It then presents a compressed version of the class, focusing on critical building blocks comprising its substance, as well as its unique, cutting-edge analytic framework. We start with the centrality of energy and biosphere for all life on earth, consider pivotal ways in which fossil-fueled energy use has generated climate change and other dangerous disruptions of our environmental and social systems, analyze the role of capitalism in precipitating such developments, and explore current efforts and possibilities for progressive change. We also will bring home the implications of our approach, suggesting why the earth's ecological crises should be centrally positioned in our overall assessment of capitalism today, and in the development and application of our strategies for progressive social change. The workshop will employ a Socratic method, engaging class participants with the presenters throughout the session, and also end with time for full discussion. Featuring:

Converging Storms Part 2: If "This Changes Everything," does that include socialists and socialism? Part 2 will begin with a short synopsis of material covered in Part 1, highlighting what we think are the most important implications of the Converging Storms "big-picture" analysis of the intersecting ecological and social systems for society today. We will then explore some of the more critical issues this analysis raises for "system-changers" today and their efforts to build a movement (e.g. the significance of capitalism's imperative for growth, the ways ecological conscerns reposition our labor strategies, and how these converging crises of energy, capitalism, and environment situate issues of "otherness"--including race, gender, and class--at a central faultline in our struggle for life's future on earth). We then will use the majority of the session for an extensive, interactive discussion with workshop participants on what we all think needs to be done, given the analysis--and ecological and social considerations--raised in our session. Featuring:

External Links

Solidarity website

References

  1. Solidarity website: about
  2. [https://solidarity-us.org/report-on-our-west-coast-day-school-2018/ Solidarity Report on our West Coast Day School: Transnational Solidarity with Latin America Promise Li June 27, 2018]
  3. [https://solidarity-us.org/socialists-converge-texas/ Solidarity, Socialists Converge Upon Conservative Texas Shannon Carter May 1, 2018]
  4. Radical Scholars & Activists Conference pamphlet, 1993
  5. Committee to Stop FBI Repression: Solidarity Statements (accessed on Oct. 6, 2010)
  6. Solidarity Solidarity Summer School 2015: Program