Open Letter to DSA, ISO, Socialist Alternative and all Socialists
Even though Bernie Sanders contributed to a popularization of the word socialism, we need to be clear that Sanders was not anti-capitalist, revolutionary socialist. His policies were a mixture of watered-down social-democracy, support for imperialist interventions abroad, and finally, loyalty to the Democratic Party through his support for Hillary Clinton.
Rather than attempt to reform the capitalist Democratic Party or the reformist Green Party, we call on the International Socialist Organization (ISO), the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Socialist Alternative (SA) and other socialists to build an independent, working-class, socialist electoral vehicle.
The Peace and Freedom Party is on the electoral ballot. It is an explicitly socialist party with a socialist program. It is a multi-tendency front composed of socialist organizations and independent socialist activists.
The Peace and Freedom Party is explicitly anti-imperialist, anti-racist, feminist, and pro-immigrant. In fact, it is the only party which allows openly undocumented immigrants to register and to run for leadership positions. Socialist parties and groups should be in this front to work together and present their own working-class candidates and demands.
The Peace and Freedom Party, itself a gain from the struggles of the 60s and 70s against war and for Civil Rights, is under threat of losing its ballot status. It must receive at least 2% of the vote in the next state-wide election or maintain a registration roll of 1% of the votes cast. It is an obligation of all socialists to defend this conquest.
Elections are not, nor will they be, the road the movement of the workers and the oppressed will take to political power. We will need a revolution based on mass mobilization and organization under a program of social liberation.
For socialists, elections serve as a platform to disseminate our revolutionary politics to wider layers of the working-class. They provide openings to promote genuine socialism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and women’s liberation.
The Peace and Freedom Party is the only tool at our disposal on the ballot that allows us to carry forth this type of campaign.
Why insist on the support, even minimal, of the Democratic Party and its candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, given that they’re put in place in order to distract and coopt young people and dissidents and promotes imperialist policies?
In the past, under different circumstances, we gave the Green Party support to confront the bipartisan political regime and would occasionally continue to do so critically when they don’t compete with socialist candidates.
Building the Green Party at this moment will be a step back given that this organization has spent years to decide whether they would include anticapitalist demands or not, and they never did.
Why align ourselves with the Green Party, given that it is non-socialist and even denies socialists the right to present their own candidates internally?
Furthermore, we call upon those calling themselves socialist inside the Green Party to leave it and join us in building a unified socialist front-
We call on the DSA, and Socialist Alternative (SA) to break with their vestiges of support for the Democratic Party and the ISO to break with the Green Party, and build together the working-class movement, socialist policies and candidates and the Peace and Freedom Party.
3311 Mission Street, Suite 223, San Francisco, CA 94110