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Statement by the SPUSA National Action Committee passed 1/30/17
Resolution by the SPUSA National Committee passed 1/29/17


The events of the past few days have proven two things. First, that Donald Trump is fully prepared to carry out the threats he made during his presidential campaign against Muslims, refugees, undocumented workers, women, Native Americans, and other oppressed groups. Second, that we on the Left are fully prepared to fight back against these horrific policies and stand with the communities under attack.

The reaction to Trump's inauguration, as well as the millions who marched around the world the day after and the thousands who responded to support the refugees being detained and turned away at U.S. airports, are clear signs that a mass movement is being born to oppose the new administration. This mass movement has no specific ideology and is controlled by no party or organization, but is united in its opposition to the hate-filled actions of the Trump administration and in its support of human dignity and freedom from oppression.

The Socialist Party's National Committee met this past weekend and, breaking from its agenda to discuss the events unfolding, passed a resolution to state that “the position of the Socialist Party USA is that mass movements currently taking place should be advocated and supported by members and others who support our principles.” Our support for refugees, undocumented immigrants, Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQA+ community, Muslims, Native Americans, and any other group or community under attack by Trump and his alt-right supporters will be steadfast and unwavering.

The Democrats have already declared their intention to co-opt this new movement in its infancy. The detainment of refugees at U.S. airports has already seen high-profile Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker parachute in to demonstrations to win points and claim leadership.

Let us be perfectly clear: our opposition to Donald Trump cannot be built on or with the Democratic Party. Over the next four years, there will be many times in which they publicly oppose Trump and pretend to be our ally. As we move forward into this new and dark time, we have to remember who they are. They are the party that supported George W. Bush in invading Iraq, Afghanistan, and launching the War on Terror. They are the party that supported Barack Obama as governments were overthrown and thousands of innocent people died in drone attacks. Now they are the party that will claim opposition to the policies and actions of Donald Trump that they previously supported and normalized. The road to oppression is paved with their lies and the road to defeat Trump and the system that created him cannot involve them.

As we said after Trump's election and we say again at the beginning of Trump's presidency, any hope for progress we have lies with us, our neighbors, our co-workers, our communities, and our working class that has the collective power to challenge capitalism and build a new system in its place.


 
 
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Statement written by International Relations Committee Co-Chair Zach Medeiros and SPUSA Vice-Chair AJ Segneri. Passed by the SPUSA National Action Committee

Late last month, Reuters and the Italian media reported that Franco Gabrielli, Italy’s national police chief, sent a written directive to police stations across the country ordering them to take "extraordinary action" before the "growing migratory pressure in an international context marked by instability and threats" to "control and remove irregular foreigners." A source within the Italian Interior Ministry confirmed the directive to Reuters and elaborated on what this extraordinary action would entail: the creation of several new detention centers. Following a January 4th uprising at a migrant reception center sparked by the preventable death of a young Ivory Coast woman and dismal living conditions, the Italian government publicly reiterated its hardline stance and further pledged to step up deportations.

It should go without saying that these are reactions based on fear, political desperation, and racist and xenophobic disregard for the lives and rights of people in need. While terrorism (from both non-state and state actors) is a real threat to the world, the answer to this problem is not mass reprisals against people whose only crime is to be undesirable in the eyes of Europe’s gatekeepers. These are the same gatekeepers who, as representatives of the capitalist ruling class, have proven themselves unwilling and unable to provide for the needs of the majority across the planet. 

Socialist Party vice-chair AJ Segneri states “The is a prime example of the failure of the Grand Coalition who feel they are conducting Left politics but in reality are making neoliberal policies that further harm the people of Italy. These same policies are now harming those seeking refuge.”

The failure of then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s referendum initiative in December, followed by Renzi’s resignation and replacement by another made-to-order neoliberal politician is yet another sign of the growing rejection of the status quo by those who suffer under it. In Italy, as in Europe as a whole, the shrinking credibility of the neoliberal center provides a political opening for the far left and the far right. While the left has won victories, it is the neofascist far right that is on the rise globally. Operating under a populist mask, they are attacking immigrants, refugees, and all other “outsiders” on their path to power. In order to stave off these upstarts, the establishment appeases them by cracking down with increasing severity on the vulnerable and the most oppressed. 

However, this form of fascism-lite will not stay lite for long. While the forces of fascism are on the upswing, drumming up fear and hatred to shift attention away from the real problems, we must all understand and be unafraid to say that the enemy is capitalism. It is the ravages of capitalism and capitalist entities that forces tens of millions of human beings to flee their home countries to find sanctuary elsewhere, often dying in the thousands in the process. The depredations of capitalism throws those people into a false, needless battle for resources with the residents of the countries they flee to. 

We must fight for the human rights of those who seek refuge across capitalist borders, and stand alongside those already fighting the conditions that cause them to seek refuge in the first place. The path to a better world is not found through mass detentions and deportations, or through a retreat into ruthless nationalism, but through internationalism and socialism.


 
 
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Even though we recognize the fact that a large protest in Washington DC has the potential to be impactful, the Socialist Party USA Women’s Commission is critical of the March on Washington taking place on January 21st and, therefore, does not support or endorse the event. From the very beginning, this event has proven to be a predominantly straight white event.  Even the name was a blunder of appropriation, starting with One Million Women then March on Washington, two historic events organized by African Americans. Following this and additional criticism of lack of inclusivity, the organizers of the group made a general statement asking individuals of marginalized groups to join them instead of bringing in various organizations that support minorities to help plan the event. This is not radical feminism. This is classic white feminism which the Women’s Commission cannot support.  

Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be any organization of continued action post the event. It is of the utmost importance that continued action be planned.  An event of this size should be followed by an organizing convention so that women of the United States can plan coordinated protests and action against harmful legislation that the Trump Administration will undoubtedly bring in. This lack of organizing reduces the effectiveness of such a large event and is even wasteful of valuable time and resources. 
 
As an alternative to this predominantly straight white event, the Socialist Party USA Women’s Commission encourages members and locals to organize and attend events locally that are taking place on January 20th.  Aside from the reasons listed above, affordability and accessibility are major concerns. We do not believe that women of color or LGBTQ women will have a voice if they attend the March on Washington on January 21st. Poor under-represented groups cannot afford to travel to Washington to have their voices heard.  It is because of this, that a coordinated effort among many activist groups is considered a best practice. In this way, we can refocus our efforts on bringing to light income inequality faced by women as well as give a greater voice to minorities, including individuals who identify as LGBTQ.  

Aubrey Adrianson
Michelle Borok
Holly Carpenter
Stephanie Cholensky
Chloe Dawson
Patricia Hefner
Valerie Liesenfelt
Lynn Lomibao 
Jen McClellan
Mary Nichols
Arianna Norris
Brooke Shannon
Jenna Tuttle
Anne James Wallace
(Passed unanimously by the Women’s Commission of the Socialist Party USA on January 7th, 2017)