The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took root in the United States just over a month after Socialist Resurgence held our founding convention in December 2019. The impact has been enormous especially on working people and on communities of color. The ravaging effects of the pandemic—economically and politically—will continue long after the virus has gone away.
Already, however, political activity is on the upswing. With the recent murder of George Floyd by racist cops in Minneapolis, young people have filled the streets to express their unwillingness to live in a white supremacist society. At the same time, bus drivers, health-care workers, and retail and warehouse workers are demonstrating for the right to work with the most elemental safety equipment during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. A new radicalization is underway.
A review of working-class history shows how critical the role of socialist groups can be in periods like this. As the upsurge of oppressed people deepens, the role of revolutionary workers’ parties, armed with a program for socialism, can be absolutely crucial. Today, revolutionary socialist groups—even the relatively small ones—can provide a framework for building such a party, while serving as a training ground for workers and young people who want to join the struggle.
Socialist Resurgence has deep roots in the socialist movement in the United States and internationally. We look to the lessons of the Russian Revolution and other mass movements and rebellions as guidance for our strategic methods and goals. Here in the U.S., the Minneapolis Teamsters strikes of 1934 and subsequent workers’ actions have given us some understanding of the stupendous power of rank-and-file workers in their fight for economic justice and for dignity.
SR advocates political action by workers and oppressed people that is independent of the two capitalist parties—the Republicans and Democrats. We support the idea of building an independent labor party based on a democratic, fighting labor movement. We believe that Black Lives Matter! We call for justice for people of color who have been murdered by killer cops and to dismantle the racist police and the criminal “justice” system. Socialist Resurgence calls for reproductive justice including free, accessible contraception and abortion on demand. But that’s not all! To learn more about what we stand for, please click here: https://socialistresurgence.org/program/
In the short few months since our founding, Socialist Resurgence has made significant gains. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we have attracted new members, are in the process of building several new branches, and have generated broad interest in our ideas. SR members are actively involved in labor union organizing, the movements against climate change and imperialist war, and movements for immigrant rights, feminist and reproductive rights, and prisoners’ rights. As we write, SR members are heavily involved in the recent protests based on yet another police murder of a person of color.
And last week, the Socialist Resurgence branch in Connecticut launched a socialist electoral campaign for State Representative with a teacher comrade, Dan Piper, as the candidate.
For the last few months, Socialist Resurgence has organized a number of exciting webinars on topics as diverse as the background to the growing economic crisis, a political history of the Spanish Civil War, an analysis of Chinese imperialism, and an international panel of activists discussing the recent revolts in Latin America. We also collaborated on a webinar on the pandemic with the Revolutionary Socialist Network (RSN), and on a webinar on “Cross Border Feminism” with International Women’s Strike. These webinars have been very popular and have helped to advance our political views throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Since the advent of the pandemic, we have been doing our organizing work mostly through social media, podcasts, and webinars and online classes. These unique challenges require funds to expand our ability to reach out to people who are interested in socialist ideas. We have had great success in boosting readership to our new website and our Facebook page, with articles and interviews often posted several times each day. Current tasks include upgrading our technological capacity, as well as the design and content of our electronic media, and providing translations of our documents and webinars for socialist cothinkers abroad.
When travel restrictions begin to lift, we will need the funds to send organizing teams on the road and to send comrades to international meetings and events. This spring, we published the inaugural edition of Socialist Resurgence newspaper, and we hope to resume publishing as soon as possible after the pandemic subsides. We would also like to publish a magazine that can provide in-depth commentary on topical political issues, as well as book and art reviews, and contributions to Marxist theory.
You can join us in this endeavor by contributing to the Socialist Resurgence Summer 2020 Fund Drive. The drive begins TODAY, with the goal of raising $8000 by Aug. 31. If everyone pitches in, we can do great things. We rely on supporters like you to help us spread the word that the Solution is Socialism.