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Commentary :: DNC
A Call to Protest the DNC
18 Feb 2004
Modified: 11:09:37 PM
The following is a statement being offered by the Democracy Commission of the Socialist Party USA as a political basis for DNC protest organizing. If you would like to build a coalition effort along these lines, please contact me.
The Democratic National Convention to be held in Boston July 26-29th of 2004 gives us a unique opportunity to expose the inadequacies of the US political system. Historically, a large segment of the US left has been stuck within the Democratic Party. The US labor movement, much of the non-profit sector, and community activists throughout the country have wasted an unimaginable amount of time, money and energy on the myth of voter power and the Democratic Party. The result has been stagnation and loss on many critical issues such as peace, economic and social equality, health care, environmental protection, workers rights, and much more. The problem we face is rooted in an exclusive political system that perpetuates the interests of the super rich. An elitist minority limits the scope of debate and the powers of government before any candidate is given a platform. The Democratic Party cannot be reformed within such a system to be a vehicle for the people.

We call upon people everywhere to come to Boston to protest the Democratic National Convention. Rather than accept the mantra of “anyone but Bush” we must break free from the demoralization that grips the left and present a revolutionary alternative. We refuse to be pushed into a capitulatory position by self-styled “practical” moderates or right-wing extremists. We will unite with all radicals to present our demands. We call for deep cuts in military spending, ending US imperialism and the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the occupied territories of Palestine. We call for increased taxes on the rich. We call for the abolition of exploitative free trade organizations such as the WTO, IMF, World Bank and free trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA and the FTAA. We reject bipartisan attacks on our civil liberties such as the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and the USA PATRIOT Act. We call for opening the electoral process to alternative political parties and independent candidates through reasonable ballot access laws, public financing for elections, inclusive public debates and proportional representation in legislative bodies.

As Boston area residents, we oppose the spending of public revenue on red carpets for the rich while unions are broken and poverty is ignored. We oppose the intimidation and unequal treatment of immigrants and people of color who make up the majority of Boston residents. We support the empowerment of all communities to veto policies and projects being imposed on them by corporations or the government. As we push for our immediate demands, we welcome an inclusive and substantive public discussion on the tactics of social and economic change.

We will also share a vision of authentic democracy that reaches beyond the limitations of electoral democracy. We believe that authentic democracy requires the creation of a new society based on cooperation and equality. Such a society must give workers control over their workplaces. It must empower people to create the kinds of communities in which they wish to live. It must shape both economic production and public policy in the interest of human health and happiness. These things will only be accomplished by a massive grassroots movement with an historical perspective of our current situation and an egalitarian vision for our future. In this spirit, we welcome the protesters of the Democratic National Convention.
See also:
http://www.sp-usa.org/democracy

This work is in the public domain
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A world without bosses!!
19 Feb 2004
Modified: 02:42:10 PM
Your browser does not support embedded sound files. <a href="http://boston.indymedia.org/usermedia/audio/13/1_Vanguard.mp3">Download the file.</a>
Icepick, Icepick, Makhno Zivet!!
Icepick, Icepick, Makhno Zivet!!
Icepick, Icepick, Makhno Zivet!!


Vanguard
by David Rovics

Worker's World says that they have all the answers
And Milosevic is a guy that they admire
The ISO says Trotsky is the man
And they'll debate it until they all expire
The industrial workers will lead the revolution
So claims the SWP
No, the truth lies among the lumpen
That's the RCP

The Sparts say the rest can go to hell
And everyone else is a Stalinist
The CP will just do their thing
And pretend the others don't exist
Well I had a realization this morning
When I looked into the red and dawning sun
I've figured out the truth
And I'm forming a party of one

(Chorus)
I am the leader of the workers
And I'll tell you why the Left is suspect
Because there's something you don't understand
Only my line is correct
'Cause I am the vanguard of the masses
And all of you should just follow me
If you doubt my analysis
You must be in the petty bourgeoisie

But I am not sectarian
It's all the rest who are
I work fine in coalitions
As long as I'm the shining star
So bow down to your master
The lastest V.I. Lenin
And off to the camps to all of you
Who'd say, "not this again"

(Chorus)

And I'll have no music at my protests
And none of that goddamn puppetry
I'll just have some somber slogans
No decadent frivolity
My chants will be the right ones
Just the ones that should be said
And my banners we'll wave proudly
Just the proper shade of red

And I will build the party if it kills me
I am solely dedicated to the cause
If I have to stab you in the back
This won't give me pause
'Cause my platform will take us forward
And the ends always justify the means
And you must step aside behind me
Be you Quakers, Jews, anarchists or greens

(Chorus)
Re: A Call to Protest the DNC
19 Feb 2004
This article is divisive only because it presents itself as an ad for recruitment. can we talk about this as humans and drop the party loyalties? I know it will help all of us if we focus on the things we agree on rather than the differences. Socialists, communists, anarchists, the vangaurd, the sparts, none of them will win this silly war for the people's hearts. NO PLATFORM WILL. People are sick of dogma. And all of the old organizations are hopelessly outdated. We need to be open to experiment and new ideas. We need to move forward. The answers are here in the present, right under our noses.
How to alienate
20 Feb 2004
>The US labor movement, much of the non-profit
>sector, and community activists throughout the
>country have wasted an unimaginable amount of
>time, money and energy on the myth of voter
>power and the Democratic Party.

This is true. But to put it this way is going to be pretty alienating. Do you really expect people from labor, community groups, and non-profit orgs to read a statement that says this and then come flocking to your side?
Re: A Call to Protest the DNC
20 Feb 2004
Great song! I'm a big fan of David Rovics too. But what does the have to do with my post?
Pete - I'm sorry that being honest about where something is coming from looks divisive to you. I think you're over reacting to the "P" word. In fact I wrote the statement myself - not some central committee. Notice that David Rovics's song doesn't mention the SPUSA - it is a criticism of the Bolshevik tradition. The SPUSA has is wholely American in origin and pre-dates the Russian revolution, so don't put us in the Bolshy boat. I agree with the rest of your statement except you leave out the very obvious fact that we must discuss and debate platforms! Otherwise actual solutions will remain hidden under our noses and we will fall victim to dogma as you warn. On another indymedia forum you've said there are many groups planning to protest the DNC. Could you please tell me who? The Black Tea Society has taken on the extremely narrow (sectarian) mission of just facilitating post-left anarachists. From what I've seen, they only talk about local issues - or smashing the state. Everyone not like them is "authoritarian" and they are not interested in dialogue with a broader audience. Clearly, the BTS is not the place for mass organizing. The "Clearinghouse" group maintained by the NLG is just a venue for exchanging ideas. United for Justice with Peace has discussed organizing DNC protesters but from what I've seen the vast majority of them aren't prepared to break from the Democratic Party and have doubts about protesting the DNC. So where does that leave us? Where are folks actually coming together to plan major public events? Can we come together as a community on any message? Will there be an all-inclusive march and protest? The SPUSA cannot be that umbrella group and I don't suggest it. But if nobody can pull together a genuine coalition, I'll just do stuff at the DNC as the Socialist Party. But if the DNC comes and goes without any serious discussion about the Democratic Party, and without any advancement toward organizing opposition, I will be extremely disappointed.
Re: A Call to Protest the DNC
20 Feb 2004
Matt,

No one from the BTS has felt the need to come and write slanderous things against you or your intentions. In fact, we have repeatedly encouraged you and offered to provide support in getting your group up and running. Our repayment for our openness is this slander and these attacks.

It is laughable to call a group as open as ours "sectarian", especially since - even though you were personally welcomed and encouraged to stay - your outrage is solely on the part of the ISO members with whom we chose not to associate, and not even your own experience. After the ISO intentionally wrecked - after having attempted to hijack - the campus anti-war meetings in Boston, Chicago, and California, I don't think you're going to win many converts to your view that keeping these hard-core, divisivee cadres out of coalition groups is a bad idea.

We have gone out of our way to be encouraging to you personally and on an organizational level, and, as usual, we have been re-paid with nothing more than attacks and lies.

I would request than you issue an apology to the BTS for these unprovoked and unfounded attacks and lies.
Re: A Call to Protest the DNC
22 Feb 2004
I have to apologize here. The Socialist Party does have a long history in the USA and they have done a large number of good things. I apologize for coming off as derogatory or overly zealous. I merely meant to emphasize that we need to find unifying strategies today, putting aside our greater causes for a moment. With my poor choice of language I have offended folks and I respectfully apologize. I think what I was responding to was one, the use of we (who's we?) and two, the link to the party website. Admittedly I am not an expert on the history of every group in Boston and the country and their individual histories and dynamics, but I am learning quickly.

For anyone interested in who all is organizing for the DNC there will be articles forthcoming, we are still gathering information (anybody I don't mention-please let us know you are there, maybe advertise your meetings here in the events section?) For my part I know of the already mentioned Black Tea Society and a larger coalition of Boston Activists without a name other than DNC that most recently met tonight at Project Hip Hop. Both groups seem to be working hard although I have to say BTS has made more progress. The larger DNC group is much more diverse and made up of individuals and representatives of larger groups, including at least one well known city council member and a good representation of the staff of another. There are also out of town groups organizing, including all those present at BTS's Consulta and possibly another group out in Western Mass. Hopefully, as we at indymedia investigate this labyrinth we can pull groups together at the same time. Again, please email us via the contact section of this website if you would like to be included in this coverage and use the facilities available here, like the newswire, the events listings, and these comments to further discussion and convergence.
a bit late matthew
24 Feb 2004
there's been organizing along these very lines for close to a year already and you would probably do better to join up your forces with the other community groups working to expose the democrats' hypocrisy and inadequacy. check act-ma for updates on meetings and other happenings. or speak to the national lawyers' guild or maybe united for justice with peace (things have evolved since even a couple months ago)... and looks like imc-bos is starting to become a more functional resource as we get closer to the dnc... like your ideas tho
Great article
01 Mar 2004
This is a very well written article and it has definitely convinced me to be there with the rest of you in July to protest the DNC. Previously I had gone along with the "anyone but Bush" idea but I never liked Kerry, and I realize that if I vote for any old candidate that's not Bush, I'll just be perpetuating this corrupt system.