Boston Socialist Unity Project

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Boston Socialist Unity Project seeks to bring about unity through collective projects and educational events. Our mission is to foster a greater sense of community among Boston area socialists and organizations in hopes of developing better communication, stronger campaigns, and a broader vision of a future without capitalism.

BSUP provides information on upcoming events, actions, and meetings as well as links to organizations and resources in the Boston area related to socialist issues. We encourage groups, organizations, and activists to post information about Boston-area events and actions relevant to progressive social issues, such as environment, human rights, social justice, poverty, labor, etc. We have an easy-to-use, open calendar for posting information about events to the site. Post your event now!

"Get Connected" is a directory of links to Boston-area socialist organizations, groups and information.

BSUP aims to become a valuable resource for organizing, communicating, networking and outreach for the Boston socialist community, as we believe that we are stronger in numbers – Together we fight. Together we win.

Vision

Through our efforts, functioning organizations will be supported and strengthened, and individuals not tied to one organization will feel a greater sense of connection to others in Boston.  Over time, collective projects will germinate and socialist education events will become sustained with the long-term goal of establishing a permanent socialist school offering basic classes in Marxism, organizing, etc. The greater the number of organizations and individuals working together means the greater possibility for building effectiveness and power.

BSUP has already begun collaborating with project endorsers, and we look forward to working with the numerous organizations in Boston, who are fighting for freedom and equality for all people. The 200-strong conference at Old South Church proved that very diverse socialists and socialist groups in the Boston area can discuss issues and work together productively.

Goals

  • Organize an annual conference each spring.
  • Sponsor the Boston Socialist School.
  • Promote community events and projects that support our mission.

History

The idea of Boston Socialist Unity Project was first raised in November 2014 with a talk among local socialist activists about what a minimum level of practical unity between them might look like. While the question of electoral work can often be a divisive one among people who come from different left-wing traditions, social and educational initiatives tend to be areas where more agreement can be reached.

With this in mind, leaders of the local affiliates of the Communist Party USA, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, and Solidarity were chosen to form a "continuations committee", to further explore areas of possible cooperation. This committee organized the September 2015 event "Jacobin, Young Radicals, and Left Unity," with Bhaskar Sunkara and Karen Narefsky, at the SEIU 615 Local in Boston. The question which emerged from this meeting was how to build socialism while also building activist movements.

April 2016's BSUP1 conference was convened to take on this challenge, and it involved a wide range of organizations: Boston for Bernie; Boston Solidarity; Center for Marxist Education; Color of Water Project; Committee for International Labor Defense; CCDS; Communist Party of Greater Boston; Democratic Socialists of America; Freedom Road Socialist Organization; Global Zero; International Socialist Organization; Jill Stein for President; July 26th Coalition for Solidarity with Cuba; Mass Global Action; Mass Campaign to Abolish Poverty; Socialism and Democracy; Socialist Alternative; Socialist Party USA; System Change Not Climate Change; United for Justice with Peace; Venezuela Solidarity Committee; and Workers World Party.

The Communist Party of Greater Boston's Casey Doyle opened the morning plenary by reflecting on current events:

"We find ourselves in an exciting time. In 2016, socialism is no longer the taboo word it once was. More and more people are joining social movements and demanding a better world. This renewed discussion has led us to the question of what socialism looks like today: what it is, what it isn't, what it could be."

Speaking of the struggle to find unity among the disparate socialist traditions, Doyle said, "While we must look to history to guide us, we often get caught up in arguments of the past and lose sight of our common goal: a future society based on human need and not based on the unending drive for profit."[1]

First annual conference, April 2016

OPENING PLENARY: Socialism in the 21st Century Presenters:

 CLOSING PLENARY: Socialism and the Social Movements Presenters:

ABC's of Socialism Presenter: Nicole Aschoff, Editor of Jacobin Magazine

Boston Socialist School Presenters: Juliet Ucelli, a founder of the NY Marxist School/Brecht Forum, Duncan McFarland, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Casey Doyle, Center for Marxist Education, Suren Moodliar, Massachusetts Global Action

Feminism and Socialism Presenter: Monica Poole, Bunker Hill Community College

Health Care: The Crisis That Won't Go Away! Presenter: Sandy Eaton, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism  Origins of Police Presenter: Nino Brown, Mass Action Against Police Brutality

Radical Organizing and Base-Building Presenter: Steve Meacham, City Life/Vida Urbana

Secrets of a Successful Organizer Presenters: Chris Brooks and Dan DiMaggio, Labor Notes

Red, Black and Queer Presenter: Gerry Scoppettuolo, Workers World Party

Socialism or Social Democracy: What's the Difference? Presenter: Chris Morale, International Socialist Organization

Socialism and the Elections Presenters: Rand Wilson, Labor for Bernie and Howie Hawkins, Green Party of New York

Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution: Accomplishments and Prospects Presenter: Jorge Marin, Venezuela Solidarity Committee and Boston Bolivarian Circle

What is Eco-Socialism? Presenters: Chris Williams, System Change Not Climate Change and Keely Mullen, Socialist Alternative[2]

2016 sponsors

Boston Solidarity, Center for Marxist Education, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Communist Party of Greater Boston, Democratic Socialists of America, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, International Socialist Organization, Mass Global Action, Mass Campaign to Abolish Poverty, Socialism and Democracy, Socialist Alternative, Socialist Party USA.[3]

References