Las Vegas DSA Stands in Solidarity with the Demonstrations Around the Country

by Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America
May 30, 2020 | Press Release

Las Vegas DSA stands in solidarity with the demonstrations around the country. Members of our chapter will be attending the demonstrations in Las Vegas and we will be active participants in this moment.

We will be there to provide information, to offer resources (masks, water, etc.), and to stand in solidarity with everyone from Minneapolis to Las Vegas who is tired of living in a world where the voices of our Black comrades are silenced and their lives are threatened everyday by state-sanctioned violence.

Our communities are opening up again as our leaders put economic concerns over the health needs of the people in this country. Most individuals will not be able to maintain isolation as communities open back up, jobs force those to go back to work whether they are comfortable or not, and people are forced to return to work even if they are high-risk. All of us as individuals will be forced to make the inevitable choice about when to enter the world. We don’t believe there is an easy choice either way. We believe that everyone should make their own decisions, weighing the choices based on their own risk levels, circumstances, etc., but that everyone should do it with eyes open. 

As more unified actions happen across the country, we must remember that our power lies in numbers. We need democratically organized, centrally coordinated and disciplined mass actions of militant direct action and social disruption that are welcoming and inviting to new people, including those who can’t get arrested—the undocumented, formerly incarcerated, parents with childcare responsibilities, those in high-risk categories, etc.

Our Black comrades should not be forced to shoulder this responsibility on their own. The police are only going to get more organized and repressive; we have to prepare and account for that by taking steps on our side to become more organized and take seriously the defense of our movement. The refusal of the Transit Workers Union to transport police and those who’ve been arrested gives a small glimpse into the power of the organized working class. We have to expand and build on that.

For many, this isn’t just some “abstract” issue, but a question of brutality and violence that they face in their day to day lives. The police, especially in working class Black and Brown neighborhoods, have come to symbolize the sharpest and most brutal edge of an entire edifice of poverty, oppression and governmental abandonment that is rotten to its core.

If you opt to join a demonstration, please wear a mask, and please understand that the efforts at social distancing at these demonstrations will be important, but will usually fall short. Read these guidelines on protesting safely: https://www.dsa-la.org/guidelines_for_safe_protesting_covid 

We encourage individuals to show solidarity by donating to the Vegas Freedom Fund to help pay bail for anyone arrested: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/vegasfreedomfund 

Racism does and can operate independently and in conjunction with capitalism, these systems reinforce each other. Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism does an excellent job showing racism emerged long before capitalism in medieval Christian Europe. Open racists have always tried to treat race and racism as separate from class and capitalist ideology. That’s not something that just started “nowadays.” By separating them, it actually serves the purposes of racist capitalist ideology to claim capitalism isn’t racist and based on merit.The capitalist ruling class admits a few Black people to their exclusive club so long as they understand that they are not to rock the boat with any anti-racist criticism or struggles. Our lived experiences expose this lie when we look at our own lives, our families, our neighborhoods, and the data. The capitalist economy is not an equalizer, it needs racism to exploit, dominate, and oppress the working class. Capitalism needs racism to break ties of solidarity among workers and those who depend on workers. The last thing racial capitalists want is solidarity, multiracial organizing against racism and capitalism.

We can’t afford to keep having debates in DSA on why it’s bad politics to claim that pointing out racism exists as its own particular oppressive system somehow makes one a neoliberal. It is a reactionary and class reductionist form of politics that should have no place in DSA. Black people, Indigenous people and people of color are suffering and dying right now when we should be living and thriving. The sooner the class reductionist sections of DSA understand we’re not aiming for a colorblind society but a beautiful multiracial socialist society where our differences are embraced and don’t determine our quality of life, we’re one step closer to liberation. We contend that we will never be positioned to fight capitalism, much less win a socialist society, so long as part of the working class quite literally has a cop’s boot on our necks. We must apply the old labor slogan “an injury to one is an injury to all” as much to struggles that impact the whole working class as we do by standing in solidarity with the most oppressed under capitalism.

-DSA AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus

Source Credit: Keegan O’Brien