Dan La Botz

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Dan La Botz

Dan La Botz is a Cinncinnati-based teacher, writer, and activist, and a leader of Solidarity. He is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a co-editor of New Politics[1].[2]

New Politics

As of 2009 Dan La Botz served on the Editorial Board of New Politics, magazine almost completely staffed and run by members of Democratic Socialists of America[3].

Campaign for Peace and Democracy

La Botz is listed as an endorser of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, as of March 15, 2010.[4]

Left Forum 2014

Left Electoral Campaigns: Independent Politics, Social Movements, and Community Power

Chair/Facilitator: Alex Fields - Solidarity


Socialist tour

During the last two weeks of April 2016 Dan La Botz visited three European countries speaking about Bernie Sanders and the American elections. He spoke in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and in French-speaking Switzerland, while in May he spoke in four Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro, the Rio suburb of Niteroi, Vitoria, and Fortaleza. In Paris I spoke to Ensemble, part of the Front de Gauche, in the suburb of Bagnolet. In Madrid and Barcelona, I spoke at meetings organized by the journal Viento Sur which is linked to Anticapitalistas, the leftwing of Podemos. In Switzerland, La Botz spoke at the Spring University of solidaritiéS Suisse, an independent, multi-tendency left wing group.

In Brazil his talks were sponsored by either the Party of Socialism and Freedom (PSOL), which came out of a leftwing split form the Workers Party (PT) several years ago, or by Insurgencia, a Trotskyist (Fourth International) group active within PSOL. In addition to speaking before these groups, La Botz also met and talked with local activists and leaders and sometimes with national leaders. And I visited union halls and strikes and spokes with union activists and also joined and participated in protest demonstrations around a variety of issues. While these are very different countries and even regions of the world, one can see some general similarities in the situation of the left in both Europe and Brazil.

Finally, I think that those of us on the left in groups such as Solidarity and DSA or involved in the journal New Politics should recognize ourselves and our methods as part of this new left tendency and work to build networks of international solidarity with such groups. (Solidarity is a permanent observer at Fourth International meetings and has been for several years.[5]


In 2016 Dan La Botz was a member of NYC Democratic Socialists of America. He signed the Give The People What They Want: DSA Members on 2016 and Beyond letter.[6]

“Revolution at the Crossroads"

From February 17-19 2017, members of Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) gathered for “Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump.” The first YDS conference since the post-Bernie/Trump boom, the gathering "acted as a rally point for all our new members as well as the staging ground for building and confronting the new far-right administration".

More than 250 people attended, almost three times as many as last year. Many of the attendees had just joined DSA in the past couple of months, and many were first politicized by the Bernie campaign. But "as less than a month had passed since the Inauguration, all attendees were concentrated on President Trump's new far-right administration".

The plenaries continued Saturday, with the first focused on introducing many of the new members to Democratic Socialism. On the panel were Joseph Schwartz, member of DSA's National Political Committee and DSA vice-chair; Dan La Botz, author and long-time trade union activist; and Rahel Biru, co-chair of New York City DSA. They were followed later in the day by Jose La Luz, trade unionist and DSA vice-chair, and Komozi Woodard, professor at Sarah Lawrence College, who spoke on people of color in socialist movements. Of particular note was Jose LaLuz's rousing call to arms against the Trump administration, delivered without the use of a microphone, which received a standing ovation.[7]

"What Went Wrong?"

Dan La Botz , a member of Democratic Socialists of America, is the author of What Went Wrong? The Nicaraguan Revolution: A Marxist Analysis, Brill (September 2016), Haymarket, September 2017. Comprehensive work on why the revolution failed. [8]

NPC candidate

In August 2017 Dan La Botz stood for election to the Democratic Socialists of America National Political Committee, at the National Convention in Chicago.[9]

I have been a socialist activist since 1969 when I joined the International Socialists (IS), which in 1986 became part of Solidarity. I served on the national leadership bodies of both of those organizations. After attending the last DSA Convention two years ago as an observer for Solidarity, I joined DSA about a year and a half ago.
In the 1970s I became involved in unions. I was a founding member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union in 1976 and subsequently worked for various unions and community groups as well as with immigrant rights groups. I was a Socialist Party USA candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio in 2010, built an organization, campaigned throughout the state, and won 25,000 votes. I am co-editor of the independent socialist journal New Politics and a writer for Jacobin, Labor Notes, Against the Current and other publications. I was for 20 years editor of the Mexican-U.S. union publication Mexican Labor News and Analysis.

I teach labor studies, principally about Latin American labor, at the Murphy Institute, the labor school of the City University of New York. I am the author of several books on labor and politics in the United States, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Indonesia.
I believe the central political issue facing DSA is its relationship to the Democratic Party and especially to progressive organizations such as MoveOn.org, Our Revolution, and Indivisible. While we should work in coalition with those groups, I want to work to make sure that DSA charts an independent and socialist course. We should harbor no illusions about reforming or capturing the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is not our party; we should not become involved in its internal life.
We should support socialist candidates and progressive candidates in the Democratic Party, but we should not–if and when those candidates lose–back the corporate Democrats. The central political challenge is to avoid being swept up into the progressive organizations, which in the end usually support the Democrats corporate candidates.
So while joining coalitions where appropriate, we should be wary of the Democratic Party and especially of its progressive wing, which will be most enticing to our members and friends. We do not want DSA to become simply a small group at the left margin of the Democratic Party. We want through coalition work to build a powerful social movement, a resistance with its own political identity, and its own political expression.

I work in the NYC DSA Political Education Committee and well as in the Immigrant Justice Working Group (IJWG) and with the New Solidarity Coalition. I am a member of the Central Brooklyn Branch. I have worked with the IJWG in the New Sanctuary Coalition, involving Latino and Haitian churches. Rahel Biru and I led the introductory class for hundreds of new members in New York over the last several months. I was also involved in planning, organizing, and speaking on the labor movement at our socialist day school. I have been a regular at DSA political meetings, social events, and picket lines.[10]

DSA Immigrants Rights Committee

In September 2017 Dan La Botz of the - New York City Democratic Socialists of America Immigration Justice Working Group, was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Immigrants Rights Committee.[11]

NYC-DSA Socialist Day School

May 12th and May 13th, 2017, NYC-DSA will host a Socialist Day School that will investigate the influence these historical movements have on our current moment and what lessons we can learn as activists and organizers fighting for socialism today.

Speakers include: Jabari Brisport, Meghan Brophy, Maurice Isserman, Dan La Botz, Mark Levitan, Joseph Luders, Bob Master, Nivedita Majumdar, Yotam Marom, Maxine Phillips, Frances Fox Piven, Rene Rojas, Kristin Schall, Joseph Schwartz, Gay Semel, Reg Wilson.[12]

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.

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.

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).[13]

Philly DSA/Solidarity Day School 2018

Solidarity x DSA Day School Program

Working Class & Labor History

Why should socialists focus on the working class? Are unions a vessel for political power, or are they bloated bureaucracies? What are the successes and failures of the rank & file strategy in labor movement since the 1970s? Stephanie Luce (CUNY, Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies), Jane Slaughter (Labor Notes, Solidarity, Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America), and Dan La Botz (NYC – DSA, Solidarity, Founding Member for Teamsters for a Democratic Union).[14]

Vote NO on Nixon/Williams

OP-ED: Vote NO on Nixon/Williams was circulated to New York Democratic Socialists of America members in July 2018.

We ask that you vote “no” on endorsing Cynthia Nixon and Williams. If you agree with the case we’ve laid out here, please consider signing on to this letter at bit.ly/no-on-nixon.

Signatories included Dan La Botz.

Socialist Forum Editorial Committee

Socialist Forum (DSA) Editorial Committee, November 2018.

DSA’s International Committee

In June 2019 members of the Democratic Socialists of America International Committee included Carrington Morris, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Dan La Botz, Ethan Earle, Ella Wind, Dave Grosser, Carl B.[16]

External links