Socialist Party USA Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

November 24, 2014

The mask is off. We have seen behind the curtain. American Imperialism has come home to roost, and it is wearing a badge.

The grand jury decision in the case of Darren Wilson — the officer who shot Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African American man six times — is another tragically clear indication that the people of the United States are the targets of a brutally racist and oppressive system that has multiple definitions of “justice” dependent on one’s class position. Racism, police brutality, and oppression have received pardons. Again.

The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin are tragedies, but not isolated incidents. Such deaths have become disturbingly frequent in an era of increasing police militarization, decreased police accountability, and continued racial profiling.

Police departments have reacted with increasing force in response to protests stemming from public outrage caused by the deaths of these men, and many others. Across the country, many police officers have demonstrated their willingness to harm innocent civilians with impunity. These are not mere accidents, but rather the predictable result of aggressive ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ policies that allow police officers to use lethal force with little consequence.

The Socialist Party USA stands in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown. We denounce Jay Nixon and call for his removal from office, and for Darren Wilson to be held accountable for his criminal acts.

We stand by those who have taken to the street to demand justice for these men and all the victims of police brutality and systemic racism. We support non-violent efforts to confront the growing police state in the US and condemn the constant harassment and brutality that communities of color and working-class people face.

The people have received their marching orders. Together, we can and will fight for the changes that deliver equality, peace, and justice for all. Nothing short of universal equality, peace, and justice is acceptable.

Passed by the Socialist Party USA National Committee

Socialist Party L.A. Local Freedom School with the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition

When: Friday, December 12th, 7pm

Where: 2617 Hauser Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

What’s going on:

Join the fight against the use of Drones by LAPD.

At a community town hall on Nov 8th over 160 people spoke unanimously against LAPD Drones. The LAPD can’t be trusted, and Angelenos won’t stand by and watch the rapid militarization of police!

In May 2014, LAPD received two Draganflyer X6 Drones from Seattle Police Department. Contrary to earlier statements by Mayor Garcetti and Chief Beck about seeking community input, the Drones are now in the possession of LAPD Inspector General Alex Bustamante. On September 12th, Mayor Garcetti publicly reneged on his “commitment” to seek community input by endorsing AB 1327, a bill passed by California legislature authorizing the use of drones by law enforcement. The bill was vetoed by Governor Brown on September 29th.

People in Seattle stopped their police department from using Drones, we can do it too in Los Angeles. Over 2000 Angelenos have already signed a petition. Be a part of this growing movement. Speak Out – Take Action!

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/576075929159276/

Non-Violent Communication Workshop

Last night’s Freedom School RAWKED!

Jose C. gave a concise summary of communication challenges he’s/we’ve seen in organizing spaces.

Then our workshop facilitator, Shannon Wheeler, taught us about violent forms of communication from the dominant paradigm (judgement, criticism, blame, using power over people, conditional love, etc.); compassionate communication from the non-violent paradigm (neutral observations, connecting with feelings & needs, making requests/developing solutions, etc.); and how to practice empathy.

We’ll have more workshops in the future. Stay tuned!

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Socialist Party USA Post-Election Statement

Democrats Steer to the Right and into Defeat

by the Socialist Party USA National Action Committee

If progressives can learn one thing from the 2014 election cycle, it is that they no longer have a place in the Democratic Party.

With Republicans on the offensive, Democratic incumbents and hopefuls spent the entire election running away from anything perceived to be associated with President Obama. In effect, this created numerous Democratic campaigns that ran to the right of a president that was already on a long-standing drift to the right of his own. This is in contrast to the normal state of affairs, which is where Democrats campaign on ideas that appeal to the progressive base and then do not deliver when elected.

This set of events left progressives and even many liberals without the party that they would normally identify with and vote for. The result was a sweeping defeat for Democrats in the congressional and gubernatorial elections, losing their Senate majority in the process.

At the same time that voters gave a resounding defeat to the Democrats, they also voted heavily in favor of raising the minimum wage in several states. Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota all approved minimum wage initiatives by double-digit margins, while at the same voting down statewide Democratic candidates by double-digit margins in three of the four states. By doing this, working class voters have proven that they are prepared and willing to embrace the issues and cast off the party and politicians that fail to deliver on them.

Outside of the twin parties of capitalism, Tuesday’s election saw candidates running to the left of the Democrats collectively receive over a quarter of a million votes. The parties and specific beliefs of these candidates may be different, but the fact that so many people threw their support behind at least one left-wing candidate cannot be ignored. Our own Adam Adrianson can take credit for 33,000 of these votes from his Socialist Party campaign for the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

Moving forward, progressives in the United States have to realize that they no longer have a party that represents them. The Democratic Party is on a one-way charge to the right, and progressive-minded people have no place on that trip.

Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the limit of what the Democrats have to offer. They serve as icons to entice progressives and liberals with populist messaging and hopes of building a radical element within the Democratic Party. In reality, they are puppets meant to distract voters and activists with hopes that will never be realized in the current political alignment.

Aside from staying in place and becoming increasingly marginalized and powerless, the only alternative for progressives in the United States is to break from the Democratic Party and move to the Left. By this, we mean the real Left, rather than the left that the Democratic Party has pretended to be.

Socialism, specifically democratic socialism, offers the social justice and economic democracy that progressives yearn for but will never see in a Democrat majority or the capitalist system. By moving towards democratic socialism, working class people who currently identify as progressive or liberal will find radical ideas they could have never dreamed of with the Democrats, along with a rapidly growing movement that is dedicated to building a new society of radical democracy from below.

We hope you will join us in this struggle.

Socialist Party L.A. Local Non-Violent Communication Freedom School

When: Saturday, November 15th, 6pm

Where: 2617 Hauser Boulevard, Los Angeles

What’s going on: A handful of our members have been attending non-violent communication workshops and will be leading a discussion on the issue. We will also have a brief communication presentation from L.A. Local member Jose C and a brief presentation from practiced non-violent communicator Shoshana Wheeler . Open to all!

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/545541808914024/

Happy Birthday to Eugene V. Debs!!!

Today is the birthday of Eugene V. Debs. If you don’t know who he is, take a few moments to find out why folks continue to draw inspiration from this guy. Probably pretty appropriate today. When you find out who he was and what he did, take a step forward. This isn’t a game. This isn’t a hobby. This is your air. This is your water. This is your child. This is your education, your work, your justice. This is your peace!

Mimi

http://www.socialistparty-usa.net/

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz will be talking about her new book “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Revisioning American History)” at Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center 681 Venice Blvd., Venice CA 90291 at 4:00 PM on Sunday, November 9th. Free parking in the lots on Pisani Place and on Venice Blvd.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1454971978087141/