- 1 Against the Current Journal
- 2 People's Progressive Convention
- 3 Solidarity West Coast Day School
- 4 Solidarity Day School, Dallas
- 5 Solidarity Midwest Day School
- 6 Radical Scholars & Activists Conference
- 7 Solidarity with Sept. 24 FBI Raid Activists
- 8 Solidarity Summer School 2015
- 9 External Links
- 10 References
Solidarity is an independent socialist organization dedicated to forming a broad regrouping of the U.S. left.
- 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:
- Stephanie Coontz - whose columns and book reviews often appear in the Washington Post, the most recent being in early November, 2010.
- Milton Fisk
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
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.
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.
Solidarity Midwest Day School
The Solidarity Midwest Day School was held at People’s Church in Chicago on Saturday 28 July 2018. The event brought together about 50 people from Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee.
Our Midwest Socialist Day School panel on taking power at the ballot box, with aldermanic candidates Ugochukwu Okere (40th Ward), Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th), Maria Hadden (49th), Bob Quellos representing Rossana Rodriguez (33rd) and Angela Clay (46th).
The first session was “What do we mean by socialism? An introduction” and featured Ryne Poelker (Solidarity, Democratic Socialists of America) and Robin Peterson Solidarity, Democratic Socialists of America). Poelker offered a brief overview of the contemporary political, economic, and ecological situation, working definitions of socialism and capitalism, and sources for further study of these topics. (At the top of this introductory list: Jacobin Magazine’s The ABCs of Socialism, Ernest Mandel’s Introduction to Marxism, and Michael Zweig’s “Six Points on Class”, published in Monthly Review.) Poelker emphasized the priority of movements in fighting for socialism and the crucial importance of the next years and decades.
Peterson spoke on how she became a socialist, and especially on the radicalizing experience of working as a math tutor at a “Turnaround” school targeted for closure by the city of Chicago in 2013. She subsequently worked with the People’s Lobby on a campaign to increase the minimum wage in Cook County, and joined DSA after the 2016 presidential election. She is now co-chair of the South Side branch of the DSA and an activist in the “Lift the Ban Coalition”, a campaign to improve affordable housing options in Illinois. Peterson came to socialism from liberalism; she was drawn to socialism, she said, for its superior analysis of how power works and how to build it, among whom, and to what end.
This session was followed by “The fight against US imperialism today”, with talks by Andy Thayer (Gay Liberation Network, Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism), Vicki Cervantes (La Voz de los de Abajo) and David Finkel (Solidarity, Jewish Voice for Peace). “Our mission,” Thayer concluded, “is to get the yoke of the US off the necks of oppressed peoples around the world so that they can decide their futures for themselves.”
Cervantes spoke on the history of U.S. imperialism in Latin America, from the 1823 Monroe doctrine and the Mexican war of 1846–48 forward to the present day.
David Finkel, the third speaker in the session on imperialism, began by contesting the prevailing liberal discourse, according to which President Trump and his administration have initiated an unprecedented departure from a rules-based international order.
Afternoon sessions began with a panel on “Labor resistance today: post-Janus and more”. Speakers were Peter Landon (Solidarity, Teamsters for a Democratic Union), JP Kaderbek (DSA National Labor Commission, Teamsters for a Democratic Union), Abby Agriesti (co-chair of Chicago DSA Labor Commission) and Jane Slaughter (Labor Notes).
Landon reported on the state of contract negotiations with UPS, where the Teamsters union establishment has negotiated a concessionary contract, despite the objective strength of labor’s position within this large and highly profitable corporation. For additional details Landon pointed the audience to the article “Embattled Hoffa Offers Two-Tier, UPSers Push for a Better Deal”, published earlier this year in Labor Notes.
Kaderbek, also with Teamsters for a Democratic Union, spoke on the DSA’s activities in the labor sector, which, he said, is improving after years of disengagement. Much of the work of DSA’s National Labor Commission is presently focused in strike solidarity, Kaderbek said. Agriesti, who spoke next, reported that labor solidarity is a main focus of Chicago DSA’s Labor Commission. Other areas of focus include education and outreach, often in partnership with Jobs with Justice. Agriesti underlined the importance of educational and outreach work, noting that Chicago DSA is primarily a millennial organization: most members have no direct experience with unions. CDSA’s Labor Commission recently ran a “labor 101” workshop for social workers in training, aiming to give unorganized workers a toolkit for union organizing.
Slaughter pointed out that the West Virginia and Arizona teachers’ strikes were begun by young socialists who knew how to organize – in person and on social media – and knew how to craft policy demands with a clear class analysis. These strikes, Slaughter contended, show how to organize after Janus. Labor Notes has just published a special issue on this topic.
Discussion of labor and unions continued in the fourth session, “From the Classrooms to the Streets: Dispatches from Today’s Teacher Movement”. Panelists, all union members, were Dawn Tefft (University of Illinois-Chicago Graduate Employees Organization), John Fleissner (Milwaukee public schools), Nina Chacker (Detroit public schools), and Noreen Gutekanst (Solidarity, Chicago public schools). Panelists spoke about how their unions have responded to ‘open shop’ and ‘right to work’ legislation in their states and how they are preparing for the consequences of the Supreme Court’s Janus decision.
The final session, “Taking Power: Activists and the Ballot Box”, featured a panel of community activists who are running for office on the Chicago City Council: Angela Clay, candidate for 46th ward alderman and community activist; Maria Hadden, candidate for 49th ward alderman and community activist; Ugochukwu Okere, candidate for 40th ward alderman and DSA member; and Byron Sigcho, candidate for 25th ward alderman and DSA member. Also on the panel was Bob Quellos (DSA, 33rd ward Working Families), representing the aldermanic campaign of Rossana Rodriguez.
Each of the candidates is a community activist and organizer, turning to electoral politics as an extension of their activist work. Their presentations and the subsequent discussion centered on the many ways in which Rahm Emanuel and his neoliberal allies on City Council have failed the people of Chicago: divestment from schools and other social services, corrupt zoning practices, unchecked promotion of the interests of property developers, racist policing, and an out-sized police budget (currently 40 per cent of the total city budget). Many of the panelists are running against incumbents who have been in office for decades. This panel brought them together for the first time, to put forward their visions for a more just city of Chicago.
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.
Solidarity with Sept. 24 FBI Raid Activists
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:
- Brandi Grayson (Young, Gifted, and Black - Madison, WI)
- Jason Tomkins (Black Lives Matter Chicago - Chicago, IL)
- Mike Elliott (Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and Chicago National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression - Chicago, IL)
- Ja'Leah Shavers (BreakOUT! - New Orleans, LA)
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:
- Rafael Bernabe (Working People's Party - Puerto Rico)
- Theresa El-Amin (Black Left Unity Network, Southern Anti-Racism Network - Columbus, GA)
- Stavroula Harissis (Chicago Greece Solidarity Committee - Chicago, IL)
- Jan Cox (System Change Not Climate Change, Illinois People's Action - Bloomington, IL)
- Alex Fields (Solidarity - Knoxville, TN)
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:
- Donna Cartwright (Pride at Work - Baltimore, MD)
- Xavier Maatra (Chicago Freedom School - Chicago, IL)
- Keith Mann (Solidarity - Milwaukee, WI)
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:
- Kelly Collings (PFT Caucus of Working Educators, Teachers Action Group - Philadelphia, PA)
- Michelle Gunderson (Caucus of Rank and File Educators, Chicago Teachers Union - Chicago, IL)
- Debby Pope (Caucus of Rank and File Educators, Chicago Teachers Union - Chicago, IL)
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:
- Steve Williams (Left Roots - San Francisco Bay Area)
- Lucia Lin (LeftRoots - San Francisco Bay Area)
- Viviana Moreno (Little Village Environmental Justice Organization - Chicago, IL)
- Amisha Patel (Grassroots Collaborative - Chicago, IL)
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:
- Traven Leyshon (Vermont Workers Center, Vermont Progressive Party - Middlesex, VT)
- Dan La Botz (New Politics - Brooklyn, NY)
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:
- Amy Good (Solidarity - Detroit, MI)
- Debby Pope (Solidarity - Chicago, IL)
- Susan Dirr (Solidarity - Chicago, IL)
- Giselle Gerolami (Solidarity - Bollingbrook, IL)
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:
- Gene Warren, Jr. (Converging Storms Action Network - Los Angeles, CA)
- Lisa Lubow (Converging Storms Action Network - Los Angeles, CA)
- Jose Cordova (Socialist Party USA - Los Angeles, CA)
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:
- Gene Warren (Converging Storms Action Network - Los Angeles, CA)
- Lisa Lubow (Converging Storms Action Network - Los Angeles, CA)
- Jose Cordova (Socialist Party USA - Los Angeles, CA)
- Solidarity website: about
- [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]
- [https://solidarity-us.org/socialists-converge-texas/ Solidarity, Socialists Converge Upon Conservative Texas Shannon Carter May 1, 2018]
- on our Midwest Day School Ian Cornelius August 15, 2018
- Radical Scholars & Activists Conference pamphlet, 1993
- Committee to Stop FBI Repression: Solidarity Statements (accessed on Oct. 6, 2010)
- Solidarity Solidarity Summer School 2015: Program