Sunday, November 16, 2014

Democrats Steer to the Right and into Defeat

Democrats Steer to the Right and into Defeat
by the Socialist Party USA National Action Committee 11/8/2014

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.

Join the Witness Against Torture

Please start making your travel plans to Washington D.C. for our
annual fast to close Guantanamo and end torture. - January 5th -13th,
2015.

You are all invited to Join the Witness Against Torture community as
we gather in Washington D.C. to remember the opening of the prison
camp in Guantanamo. This January 11th, 2015, marks 13 years of
torture and indefinite detention. Right now 149 men remain, 79 of whom
have been cleared for release but remain held without charge or trial.
The administration will not disclose how many of them continue to
hunger strike and how many are being tortured through the brutality of
force feeding. We continue to struggle until all those unjustly
detained are free.

If you can only come for one day, join us for the major event with our
coalition partners on January 11th. Or join us as we gather in
community all week, from Tuesday January 5 until Tuesday January 13th,
to fast in solidarity with the men at Guantanamo, especially those who
remain on hunger strike, and to use our creative energy to encourage
citizens and government officials in Washington D.C. to see the
humanity of the men in Guantanamo and call for the closure of the
prison. For more information about coming to DC contact us at
witnesstorture@gmail.com


Chris Knestrick <cknest11@gmail.com>
Cleveland Catholic Worker
Witness Against Torture

Mass Mobilization to Shut Down School of the Americas

November 21-23: 25th November Vigil in Georgia Mass Mobilization to Shut Down Latin American Security Forces Training School, Largest For-Profit Immigrant Detention Center

Columbus, Georgia - This year is the 25th anniversary of the 1989 University of Central America massacre, in which School of the Americas-trained soldiers murdered a 16-year-old girl, her mother, and six Jesuit priests. Every year since 1990, human rights activists have gathered to call for justice at the gates of Fort Benning. Thousands will gather this year, from November 21-23, to close the SOA/ WHINSEC, shut down Stewart Detention Center, and organize against the cruelly intertwined immigrant prison system and militarized US foreign policy.

The Central American refugee crisis, the "Drug War" massacres and disappearances in Mexico, and the racist police brutality in Ferguson have made clear, peoples' movements across the Americas are uniting and pushing back against militarized security forces that only "serve and protect" the interests of the elites. On September 26, 43 Mexican student activists were disappeared, prompting mass protests against the collaboration between the Mexican state and organized crime, and against the US-supported war on drugs, which is used as a cover for political violence.

Mexico’s security forces are being trained at the notorious SOA/ WHINSEC (School of the Americas, renamed in 2001 Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), and the institute continues to train the military muscle for US economic interests in Latin America. In 2009, Honduran president Manuel Zelaya made social reforms, considered closing a US military base on Honduran soil, and took on big business. In turn, SOA graduates staged a military coup and installed a repressive regime that was favorable to US corporate interests. Honduran security forces have since received increased US military aid and training, despite their well-known record of human rights violations and infiltration by the drug cartels they ostensibly combat.

“The annual November Vigil has grown to the largest annual anti-militarization gathering in North America,” said SOA Watch founder and veteran Father Roy Bourgeois, “because we stand with those whose bodies, lives, families and communities have been torn apart by militaries, police and prisons, on both sides of the border. We call for the closure of the for-profit Stewart Detention Center, just 30 miles from the SOA, and at the gates of Ft. Benning we will continue to call out the names of the martyrs killed by SOA/WHINSEC graduates. The struggles in Mexico, in Missouri, in Georgia, they stand together, as we will, with one voice, denounce those with blood on their hands and lift up our righteous demand for justice and peace.”

The three-day convergence will include a march to the Stewart Detention Center on Saturday, November 22, and a rally at the gates of Fort Benning in the afternoon. Speakers from North, Central, and South America will speak out against US military and political support of human rights abusers in their countries. A funeral procession will follow on Sunday, November 23 to commemorate the victims of US militarism. The event will also feature workshops, concerts and a movement strategy session. For a full schedule of events, visit SOAW.org/november