IC Quarterly Newsletter – Q4 2020

Interested in joining DSA’s International Committee? You can learn more about the work of our subcommittees in this newsletter and apply here anytime until June 2021. 


Quarterly International Committee Newsletter

Period: 09/21–12/31
Volume 1, Issue 2


Main Activities & Results

IC Secretariat 

This quarter, the Secretariat participated in the International Committee-wide process of onboarding our largest wave of new members ever and helped with activating some of the newly formed subcommittees. It passed a resolution condemning all acts of aggression against the Republic of Cuba. It endorsed an event in support of the Philippine Human Rights Act hosted by the Malaya Movement and International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines. It has continued to develop diplomatic relationships, meetings with the following  international groups and organizations: the Danish Red-Green Alliance, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Barcelona En Comú, Left Bloc (O Bloco) from Portugal and Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, Broad Front (Frente Amplio) from Chile, and Canada’s New Democratic Party. The Secretariat continued discussions with at-large members living outside of the United States, focused on integrating them into the International Committee. 

IC Steering Committee

The IC Steering Committee continues to focus on getting the IC smoothly up and running— supporting IC Subcommittees as they onboard new members and plan early programming; setting up IC-wide communications, including numerous Slacks, Action Network, Facebook, Twitter and the IC Website; building out subcommittee and administrative structures and establishing best committee practices, including the early formation of bylaws and regular meetings ensuring good communication between the IC Secretariat, Steering and Subcommittees. We’ve also initiated conversations with national DSA working groups, including Ecosocialism, Labor, Immigration, Political Education, BDS + Palestine Solidarity, as well as Democratic Left re future collaborative projects. 

We’ve helped coordinate IC-Ecosocialism’s first national event—Indigenous Resistance in a World on Fire—a first collaboration of what we hope will be many with DSA National Political Education (NPEC). We also collaborated at least nominally on Empire in Crisis: a Teach-In and Symposium on U.S. Imperialism Today, an in-depth look at U.S. foreign policy. With external coalition partners, we signed onto a letter to Joe Biden re ending U.S. participation in the war on Yemen. And we look forward to the upcoming Yemen Day of Action (1/25/21).

Over this past quarter, members of Steering have met with leaders and members of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance, Portugal’s Bloco de Esquerda, PSUV, and Canada’s New Democratic Party.

Beyond the above, IC-Steering has continued to produce quarterly newsletters + analysis, and look forward this year to sending out regular email updates of upcoming educational events and campaigns for DSA members nationwide to participate in.

SUBCOMMITTEES

Americas

As a subcommittee, our main objective has been 1) the onboarding of new membership and 2) building our internal Subcommittee processes and infrastructure. Beyond this, we’ve held two very constructive meetings, we’re onboarding the majority of our membership onto a IC Americas Slack channel, and our comrades are beginning to develop statements and brainstorm projects. A successful panel was hosted with members of PSOL (Brazil), and we have begun to explore a relationship with the ACERE Coalition regarding the embargo of Cuba. Cooperating with Ella Wind of the Secretariat, members of the Americas Subcommittee have worked to contact political organizations in Canada, and engaged with members from the New Democratic Party in a diplomatic capacity. The annual National Network on Cuba Meeting was held, in which DSA was represented by two delegates from the subcommittee, and an informal Cuba Committee has been established to launch a national anti-embargo campaign. statements have been written by subcommittee members, and have been successfully published with input by the Secretariat and Steering Committee. We are very excited about the future of the Americas Subcommittee!

Antiwar

The Anti-War Subcommittee is rebooting its work on the No War Campaign, which DSA’s NPC adopted earlier this year in response to Trump’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani. The campaign aims to build DSA’s national organizing capacity, to enable us to mobilize our full membership effectively against any further military escalation that could drive us into a hot war with Iran. The campaign also recognizes that US sanctions on Iran—as well as Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and any countries targeted for regime change—are an act of war, with the worst effects felt by the working class and vulnerable populations. We are currently developing proposals for federal sanctions relief legislation targeting the four countries just mentioned, to be introduced as a package in the next congressional session. We have drafted a bill proposal for Iran, and we recently made contact with the National Network on Cuba to solidify demands for a bill that would provide sanctions relief for Cuba and acknowledge the important work of Cuban doctors in fighting the virus around the world.

The Anti-War Subcommittee has also been focused on getting a sense of membership capacity. We have been meeting twice a month with a recent focus on preparations for multi-chapter involvement in the Yemen Day of Action on January 25th, part of a global call to end the US support for the conflict in Yemen. The subcommittee may use this event to gauge interest in a longer-term focus on Yemen and a possible War Powers Resolution. As part of the day of action, we are building out and strengthening teams on Communications, Research, Political Education, and Internal Organizing to connect with and assist DSA chapters across the country. Members of the subcommittee have also drafted a statement in response to the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsin Fakrizadeh and are monitoring reports of further US or US-backed aggression in the region.

Asia & Oceania

The Asia/Oceania Subcommittee held its inaugural meeting. We also met with DSA members interested in establishing formal ties between DSA and Sri Lankan left activists/parties, reviewed a DSA statement on Kashmir in the face of escalating oppression from the Indian government, reviewed a request from the Japanese left formation Movement for Democratic Socialism to have DSA send a letter of solidarity, and approved endorsing Bayan and the Malaya Movements’ response to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Union Address. The subcommittee also drafted and approved two statements (currently under review by the IC leadership) on rising Sinophobia, a US-led Cold War with China, and the farmer protests in India against recent neoliberal agriculture legislation. The subcommittee also put together a list of leftist organizations in the region and among its diaspora, and is discussing how best to reach out to them. Finally, we also interviewed members interested in joining the Asia/Oceania subcommittee.

Economics & Trade

Over the past few months, the Economics & Trade Subcommittee has been relaunched and reopened to the general DSA membership, along with the rest of the International Committee. After reviewing applications to the SC, the leadership team brought on over 40 new members. These members have interest, experience, and expertise in many pertinent issues. In the first two meetings of the SC after the relaunch, the SC has established project teams to work on areas of shared interest including Introduction to Global Economics and Trade, post-extractivist economics and an international Green New Deal, US/China trade relations, multinational tax avoidance and global economic inequality, World Bank/IMF and global economic power, and other issues. The subcommittee hopes to work on some of these issue areas jointly with other IC subcommittees. The subcommittee is planning for regular monthly meetings, as well as individual project team meetings. Subcommittee leadership is also rolling out a reading group to help foster internal political education of the members.

Ecosocialism

Our primary external facing activity for this quarter was organizing a political education panel event on Indigenous resistance in collaboration with DSA’s national Ecosocialist Working Group and National Political Education Committee with speakers from Brazil, Bolivia and the United States. A description of the event can be found here and the recording here.

Europe

During the late fall and early winter, the Europe Subcommittee welcomed dozens of new members and began setting up our internal operating procedures in advance of a new round of members joining the committee by the end of winter. Our subcommittee co-hosted a webinar along with the Americas subcommittee featuring comrades from PSOL in Brazil analyzing November’s municipal elections and the state of the struggle against Bolsonaro, a recording of which can be seen here. Several subcommittee members also took part in educational and political events hosted by a number of parties and organizations in Europe including Bloco Esquerda in Portugal, Momentum in the UK, the Swedish Social Democratic Party, and Another Europe is Possible (video here).

Labor 

Two members met to discuss presenting research on domestic workers from around the world and creating a three part webinar series to present to all DSA members interested in participating. More details on this are mentioned below. Our committee also discussed recommendations by our chairs to focus on exposing our membership nationally and establishing working relations with trade unionists in South America. This was unanimously approved of, and we want to begin in the next two months with research and production of material for our membership on Bolivia. This is likely to include educational work via a webinar as soon as we can establish contact with MAS-IPSP representatives. We of course welcome all involvement and assistance from regional committees (Americas) who would be interested in pursuing this project. We feel that DSA membership has much to learn from the Bolivian peasants’ and workers’ movement which has established a functioning and challenging party which influences and wields government power in Bolivia.

Middle East + Africa

We are carrying out the beginning of several education events highlighting movements in Sub Saharan Africa.

Migration & Refugees

We’ve had two general member calls to 1) onboard new members into the International Committee, and 2) lay out priorities and future work projects. To that end, we are working on political education events in collaboration with the Ecosocialism Subcommittee as well as the DSA National Immigrants’ Rights Working Group with more collaborations in progress. With multiple M+R Subcommittee members also part of the DSA National Immigrants’ Rights Working Group, we plan to use our Subcommittee to take an internationalist lens, to build durable working relationships with comrades overseas, and to create the scaffolding for our fight for Open Borders. We plan to produce political education materials to go along with our events so that local chapters can use them as templates.

Activities Planned for Next Quarter

IC Secretariat 

The Secretariat will continue to work on diplomatic and public communications. It will also compile a list of international left publications.  

IC Steering Committee

In the next quarter the Steering Committee will continue to support Subcommittees in reviewing applications and onboarding new members to the IC. Steering will continue its support of Subcommittee starting projects and in developing a coherent body of work from the full IC that will provide both educational and activist opportunities for DSA membership. The Steering Committee will also plan to support the NPC and national as appropriate in the lead up to the 2021 DSA National Convention.

SUBCOMMITTEES

Americas

We are very optimistic about the inclusive, multi-tendency subcommittee we are constructing. Beyond developing statements, the membership has expressed interest in organizing several educational events as well as local campaigns regarding international issues. We have also begun working collaboratively on compiling a document summarizing Obama and Trump-era foreign policies towards North, Central, and South America (as a means to compare and contrast), as well as a list of Biden platforms and statements regarding the regions. We would greatly benefit from a standardized voting process in the event that a vote is necessary. I would also suggest more templates and documents for event reports, agendas, etc. to begin building a more efficient, standardized bureaucracy. 

Additionally, many of our new members are knowledgeable regarding international affairs but very new to organizing generally, and would benefit from some guidance and training. Perhaps there are more educational materials we could distribute to our members on how to organize the logistics of a campaign, or develop a basic national project. We envision a training day in which a more veteran organizer (either from IC or another Working Group) can present on the basic, fundamental logistics of organizing something as simple as a reading group, or a mail writing campaign. Even a document outlining how to write effective language for a DSA IC statement would be useful. These are just suggestions, but we truly believe the development and political education of Subcommittee membership to be a worthwhile investment in the long term.

Antiwar

Aside from continuing to support the No War Campaign and securing support and introductions for all proposed sanctions legislation, we hope that this subcommittee will serve as a place for anti-war and internationalist organizers around the country to meet, share resources, and coordinate their local campaign work with comrades around the country. We also plan to support the ongoing Black-led social uprisings against police, emphasizing the connections between US state violence at home and abroad. Finally, we are hoping to assemble great resources produced by local DSA bodies on political education around issues of militarism, state violence, and US imperialism, and want to supplement that with programming developed in close collaboration with other entities within DSA to further educate ourselves around organizing to end these injustices (for example, a discussion of POC-led anti-war work in the US, such as that from the Panthers and Young Lords, or the Chicano Moratorium.)

The Yemen Day of Action will be our first big public action on January 25th. The IC has already endorsed the event but we could use support in promoting it. We are also hoping to start a political education/study series on lessons from the history of BIPOC anti-war organizing in the United States and would love to be able to collaborate with members of any and all subcommittees that would be interested in crafting this important project and/or contribute to a broader landscape analysis of the anti-war/internationalist movement in the United States.

Asia & Oceania

We would like to have at least two public education events providing context around the current state of the Indian government and the new cold war with China. We would like to plan more topics after onboarding new members. We also would like to meet and build relationships with leftists organizations, movements, and individuals from the Asia and Oceania region. Our subcommittee will greatly appreciate support from the Steering Committee and the Secretariat in establishing these relationships, whether by connecting people or by participating in these exchanges. Lastly, we hope to organize more political education events, such as panels, webinars, film/documentary screenings, etc. A political education event on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with the Econ/Trade Subcommittee is currently under consideration. 

Economics & Trade

The previous membership of the subcommittee had been discussing five project areas: international aspects of the green New Deal, US domination of the international financial payments system, tax avoidance and inequality, the US/China economic and trade conflict, and the World Bank/IMF role in the world economy. After adding new members, we will go over those project areas and see if new members have other proposals, then we’ll aim to decide on priorities among the proposed projects. The projects could lead to public actions, webinars, policy statements, and/or political education documents. When we send proposals to the Steering Committee and/or Secretariat, it would be helpful if they can offer constructive advice and, if a proposal requires approval from one or the other body, that the decision will be made in a timely fashion. We are trying to get our project teams up and running so that they can start working on different sub-issues within economics and trade. We are well supported by the others in our SC leadership team.

Ecosocialism

IC-Ecosoc has developed and internally approved a proposal for a series of political education events about ecosocialism and its intersection with a variety of other internationalist issues. The next step to begin in early January will be identifying members to take on the work of organizing these events and reaching out to the other relevant IC working groups to get their approval and begin coordination.

Europe

In the coming weeks, the Europe subcommittee will be holding a webinar on the new internal security law in France that is whipping up Islamophobia and cracking down on civil liberties. We are also considering an invitation to participate in an ecosocialist conference in France in the spring in consultation with the Ecosocialist Subcommittee. Upcoming webinars will feature the fight for immigrant rights in Europe, the history and uses of NATO, Portuguese drug law reform, and assessments of left party experiences across the continent.

Labor

A co-chair is currently speaking to BAYAN USA on arranging an educational webinar with Filipino unionists from the KMU (a labor federation) and their allied organizations to speak on trade union struggles, including fightbacks against human rights violations and abuses by the Philippine government. Two of our members are also arranging a three-part webinar series on Domestic Worker issues representing different countries from across the globe, yet to be specified but participant ideas currently include an International Domestic Workers Federation representative for part one. This series will include representatives from the International Labor Organization and will be co-moderated by a member of the National Socialist Feminist Caucus. The date will be some time in late January or early February to start. Another volunteer research group on comparative labor policy is going to be meeting,to build and present on reforms in countries such as Uruguay, whose labor movement has achieved political influence in social democratic programming in their state that has had beneficial results for working people there, and offering suggestions for moving toward such policies in the United States.

Middle East + Africa

At this point we are working on plans to react to the situation in Western Sahara, US Militarism in Africa, education on the effects of Bush’s strategy to bring regional states to recognize Israel. Most of this is on the drawing board at the moment.

Migration + Refugees

See above.

Communications (Tweets, pictures, videos, etc.)

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Contact Us!

Steering Committee: sc.international@dsacommittees.org

Secretariat: international@dsausa.org

Secretariat Members: 

Voting Members:

Ella W. (Liaison to: ME & A, Migration and Refugees) [At-large]

Ethan E. (Liaison to: Econ & Trade, Europe) [At-large]

Jack S.L. (Liaison to: Americas, Migration & Refugees) [Los Angeles Chapter]

Marvin G. (Liaison to: Americas, Europe) [NYC Chapter]

Sepehr M. (Liaison to: Antiwar, ME & A) [NYC Chapter]

Nicole G. (Liaison to: Ecosocialism, Europe) [Syracuse Chapter]

Morgan D. (Liaison to: Americas, Labor) [New Orleans Chapter]

Bench Members:

Alex W. (Liaison to: Antiwar, Asia & Oceania) [Portland Chapter]

Kevin L. (Liaison to: Asia & Oceania, Labor) [Metro DC Chapter]

Michael G. (Liaison to: Econ & Trade, Ecosocialism) [Metro DC Chapter]

Steering Committee Members: 

Voting Members

Chip G. (Liaison to: Antiwar, Europe) [Metro DC Chapter]

Carrington M. (Liaison to: Econ & Trade, Ecosocialism, Europe) [NYC Chapter]

Jared A. (Liaison to: Americas, Europe) [New Orleans Chapter]

Lindsey S. (Liaison to: Antiwar, ME & A) [NYC Chapter]

Candy L. (Liaison to: Americas) [Portland Chapter]

Fernando S. (Liaison to Migration and Refugees) [North New Jersey Chapter]

Joshua B. (Liaison to: Econ & Trade, Ecosocialism) [Metro DC Chapter]

Bench Members

David D. (Liaison to: Labor) [NYC Chapter]

Brace B. (Liaison to: Asia & Oceania) [San Francisco]

International Committee’s Subcommittees

Americas

Co-chairs: Tom W. [West Suburban IL Chapter], Lala P. [NYC Chapter]

tomwojcik93@gmail.com, societyisland@gmail.com 

Antiwar

Co-chairs: Aditi S. [NYC Chapter], Dylan A. [NYC Chapter]

aditi.s86@gmail.com, me@dylan.ac 

Asia & Oceania

Co-chairs: Ronald J. [Philadelphia Chapter], Anlin W. [Philadelphia Chapter]

ron.raju.joseph@gmail.com, anlin_wang@yahoo.com 

Economics & Trade

Kathleen B. [Baltimore Chapter], David K. [Pioneer Valley Chapter]

kathleenb27@gmail.com, dmkotz@econs.umass.edu 

Ecosocialism

Co-chairs: Maggie S. [Twin Cities Chapter], Paul G. [Boston MetroWest Chapter]

mschuppert@gmail.com, paulgarver1@gmail.com 

Europe

Chair: Todd Chretien [Maine Chapter]

toddchretien@mac.com

Labor

Co-chairs: Alec D. [At-large], Mícheál M. [San Francisco Chapter]

curtis.desbordes@gmail.com, mmadden1916@gmail.com 

Middle East & Africa

Chair: Isaac M. [Cleveland Chapter]

isaacm040@gmail.com, dlightfoot1994@gmail.com 

Migration & Refugees

Co-chairs: Gaston L. [East Bay Chapter], 

gaston.lau@gmail.com