Thanks to our generous contributors, we’ve successfully concluded Solidarity’s year-end fund appeal, reaching and exceeding our $10,000 matching fund challenge. To date the total has gone over $10,800 and still counting. Together with the entire socialist left and the social movements, we look forward to a vibrant year of organizing and struggle in 2021 — whether it’s still remotely for a while, or in-person as soon as it’s possible. Forward to a world without the pandemics of exploitation and oppression, racism, sexism and imperialism!
~The Solidarity National Committee
During this year of the pandemic, it’s gratifying to report that our members’ contributions and sustainer commitments have remained largely intact.
We recognize of course that the pandemic disaster has a debilitating impact on some comrades’finances, and they’re understandably not in a position to contribute as much as usual. At the same time, we hope that those whose income has remained secure – and perhaps whose expenses may be lower during this extended work-from-home regimen — can find the resources to contribute more.
This is a time for solidarity! Most important, we need to maximize participation in our fund drive. To achieve our ambitious goal, we have a challenge grant to match every fund appeal contribution up to a total of $10,000. That means the impact of your donation is immediately doubled.
This challenge grant derives from the generous bequest of a lifelong socialist, activist and educator whose life is remembered in the new issue of Against the Current. Nettie Kravitz devoted her work to the same vision of socialism-from-below and workers’ and oppressed people’s self-emancipation that motivates our organization.
The Political Moment
Following the Trumpster fire of the election, even without Agent Orange in the White House or the Constitutional crisis that was feared, the United States will enter 2021 profoundly polarized – between the Movement for Black Lives, with its anti-racist allies, and the white-nationalist and supremacist base that Donald Trump has mainstreamed; between a growing majority concerned with climate catastrophe and a profit-driven system marching us toward extinction; between the majority that supports women’s reproductive rights and a well-organized rightwing machine determined to use the Supreme Court to wipe out Roe v. Wade and roll back much of the civil rights and labor gains of the past six decades.
Obviously no existing organization, whether Solidarity or any other, can provide central leadership and direction for the resistance to Trump and even more, the reactionary trends behind horrific policies – many of them bipartisan — that will continue long after he’s gone. We don’t entertain “vanguard” pretensions. But our political perspective and organization have a meaningful role to play inthe movements in the streets and communities and workplaces, and indeed a responsibility to them.
We’ve made some real progress in expanding our public profile, not only through the revitalized Solidarity webzine and the new dedicated Against the Current website but also with our social media presence. Members and friends are encouraged to use your social media accounts to re-post materials from Solidarity and ATC!
Our members are activists, and in places leaders, in the magnificent movement of educators in the face of the coronavirus disaster superimposed on the ongoing attacks on teacher unions. They’re on the ground in local housing struggles such as Detroit Eviction Defense and anti-gentrification coalition organizing in Boston. Many of our members are locally involved in branches of Democratic Socialists of America, building DSA as the expression of an emergent new socialist movement as loyal, non-sectarian principled leftwing activists in that organization.
Through the work of the Education Committee, we’ve also organized a continuing a series of webinars for members and activist friends of Solidarity that help bring us together in a time when we know – all too well – that practically all meetings have to happen remotely. The post-election members’ call is an example of how we have to conduct our discussions well into next year.
Beyond the problems of the small size of existing socialist groups is the stark fact that a large segment of white workers in the United States have been won over to the racist and nativist appeals of Donald Trump — even while his politics and those of the Republican Party represent the deadliest danger to workers’ rights and lives. It’s a central contradiction that socialists must confront in the unions, in our communities and every other arena!
As we know well, this retrograde development is a product of the decline and decay of the organized labor movement, and the cynical abandonment of the working class by the neoliberal corporate forces that control the Democratic Party. That’s part of why our message, beyond the crucial importance of today’s resistance movements, is finding a path to a new political movement that breaks the Democratic stranglehold on social movements and labor.
COMING OUT OF the current electoral cycle, we’ve committed to organizing a fully open discussion on what we mean by “independent political action“ in what we’re experiencing as a new and challenging political moment. While we won’t try to begin that discussion here, Solidarity already has reason to be proud that our website – in a spirit different from other groups that we’re aware of – has launched a platform of opinion articles on electoral perspectives, without attempting to impose any “line” or orthodoxy. Against the Current has published a similar diversity of pieces. In a small way, this is a contribution to a profound discussion on the left about what’s needed to break the “duopoly” of the U.S. capitalist parties.
Building Our Finances
In order to maintain and build on this modest but important progress, we need to ensure Solidarity’s financial security. That’s why we’re launching an ambitious fall-winter fundraising campaign. This year 2020, we received the final annual disbursement from the estate of our late comrade Barbara Zeluck. Going forward, we need to make up at least a substantial part of her generous contribution that has helped sustain us for many years.
We’re asking comrades and friends of Solidarity to undertake a goal of raising $20,000 to bolster the organization’s finances. Contributions are tax-deductible if paid to the Center for Changes. They can be made by check to Solidarity, or to Center for Changes, mailed to the national office (Solidarity, 7012 Michigan Avenue, Detroit MI 48210).
“From each according to their abilities” is the first step toward the future we need. Forward to a world without the plagues of coronavirus and capital!
The National Committee of Solidarity