DSA Convention 2019—Overcoming Divisions—Votes to Maintain Strong National Organization, Takes up Ambitious Organizing Agenda

Dan La Botz

August 8, 2019

Some 1,056 delegates to the Democratic Socialist of America convention, representing around 55,000 DSA members, met in Atlanta over the weekend and voted to adopt a series of resolutions that will continue to build a strong national organization capable of carrying out ambitious campaigns in labor and community organizing as well as electoral politics. The central division in the convention, largely driven by rival caucuses and fought out over a number of resolutions, was between those who wanted a stronger central organization capable of organizing strategic national campaigns and those who wanted a more decentralized organization that would encourage local organizing initiatives.

Beyond those debates, the delegates adopted significant political positions, such as a motion stating that in the event that Bernie Sanders loses the Democratic Party nomination, DSA will not support any other Democrat in the 2020 national election. And they passed a measure requiring nationally endorsed candidates to run as open socialists. The assembly also adopted a radical position in support of open borders, came out in support of an eco-socialist priority and the Green New Deal, and carried a resolution opposing U.S. imperialism. And by a very narrow majority the convention voted to support anti-fascist work. The convention reasserted the centrality of union work, adopting several resolutions on labor organizing. On-going efforts, such as work on the Bernie Sanders primary campaign and the fight for Medicare for All, were implicitly endorsed by the convention.

The convention elected DSA’s new leadership, a 16-member National Political Committee (NPC) made up of individuals from various caucuses or independents who more or less proportionally reflected the convention divide, with about ten members committed...

Promise Li
August 1, 2019

Earlier this week, Hong Kong had been rocked by perhaps the largest demonstration ever in the city’s history. In response to a murder case committed by a Hong Kong man in Taiwan, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) proposed a bill that would establish the transfer of fugitives between the city, Taiwan, Mainland China, and Macau. As protesters argue, this would legally allow the Hong Kong government to transfer political prisoners to China, a huge step forward for China and Hong Kong government...

Dianne Feeley
July 30, 2019

Why does the once-powerful United Auto Workers keep losing?

That question is on many lips after the union’s sad organizing defeat at Volkswagen in Tennessee; its unfolding corruption scandal; and its toothless response to the news that General Motors will close five plants.

The symbolism was clear last January when, instead of joining a spirited coalition demonstration at the International Auto Show, the UAW held a candlelight vigil nearby.

Why does the once-powerful United Auto Workers keep losing?...

Michael Hirsch
July 25, 2019

Few films portray working people realistically. One thinks of rare movies such as Hollywood’s Norma Rae, the independent Salt of the Earth, Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike or the Italian classic, The Organizer. These films portray struggle mixed with joy, no matter the success or failure of the plot line. So the appearance of At War, is a welcome event.

The French-language film is a raw-boned, deep dive into modern labor relations that has the feel of an...

Collective Statement
July 24, 2019

We express our solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico in their struggle against the corrupt government of Governor Ricardo Rosselló. Friday

The protests began after accusations and arrests of several heads of government agencies in the Rossello administration, including former Education Secretary Julia Keleher. Keleher, in addition to awarding contracts to his relatives, was distinguished by implementing the policy of privatization of the public education system and the closure of more than 400...

Pierre Gottiniaux
July 23, 2019

On 11 July 2019, an anonymous source published personal messages from the governor’s Telegram account (a crypted application similar to Whatsapp). Two days later, le Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (Centre for Investigation Journalism) in Puerto Rico published them on line, thus exposing messages that are marked by misogyny and homophobia, and place him in line with Donald Trump. Two of the senders immediately resigned, including State Secretary Luis Rivera Marín....

K Mann
July 18, 2019

“The Storming of the Bastille,” by Jean-Pierre Houël, at the National Library of France

This year marks the 230th anniversary of the beginning of the French Revolution of 1789. The storming of the Bastille by an angry crowd of Parisians on July 14 of that year has always been the chief symbolic event of the French revolution. For good reason: the Bastille, a fortress in Paris used as...

Peter Solenberger
July 16, 2019

The British working class is divided over the question of Britain’s leaving the European Union (EU), popularly known as “Brexit.” The trade unions and the Labour Party are debating whether Britain should remain or leave. So far they have not been able to decide.

The British far left is divided too. The articles below represent three different positions on Brexit. All see the inability of the Labour Party to articulate a Brexit policy as dangerous to its prospects and to the recovery of the workers’...

Alan Davies
July 16, 2019

The Corbyn project is in crisis, writes Alan Davies. The EU elections results were a disaster for Labour, brought about by a major failure by the Corbyn leadership. It was an election that Labour could have won and within the terms of the policy agreed by conference last year, but this policy was repeatedly watered down by the front bench.

This is a crisis that is a direct threat to the most important development ever on the left in Britain in modern times; the Corbyn leadership of the Labour...

Sally Campbell
July 16, 2019

Goodbye Theresa. Socialist Review is happy to file you away in the box marked “Tory detritus”. Private Eye’s new issue following May’s announcement that she would be resigning on 7 June features the headline, “Theresa May Memorial Issue: The Prime Minister’s Legacy in Full”, followed by a blank space. But this is far too kind. May’s legacy is the hostile environment for migrants that she championed as home secretary; the Windrush scandal that was a direct result of it; the utter failure...

Costas Lapavitsas
July 16, 2019

Signed in 1992, the Maastricht Treaty represented the victory of neoliberalism in the European Union, as expressed by the single market and the single currency. Since then, democracy has steadily retreated across the European Union, accompanied by a collapse of popular sovereignty — the power of workers and the poor materially to affect their conditions of life and work.

The declining power of workers and the poor is especially...

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