Below is the text of a leaflet that our new Socialist Alternative chapter in Tampa Bay, Florida is distributing in the run-up to the Republican National Convention which will be in Tampa Bay Monday, August 27 - Thursday, August 30. Please click the donate button at SocialistAlternative.org to donate to our efforts to organize the strongest possible resistance to the Republican National Convention.
Protest the Republican National Convention!
Resist the Two Parties' Capitalist Agenda
The banks that helped crash the economy got trillions of dollars in bailouts, while ordinary people got home foreclosures, layoffs, and tuition hikes. Big corporations and the richest 1% get tax breaks while we get schools shut down and budget cuts. Women’s rights are under attack while racist murders and police violence run rampant. Enough is enough!
The explosive protest movements of the past year-and-a-half, from the Middle East to Wisconsin, and from Greece to the Occupy movement, show that people around the world are ready to stand up, fight back, and change the course of history.
Now, the country’s right-wing politicians, the unabashed representatives of the richest 1%, are descending upon St. Pete and Tampa. Let’s greet them with mass protests and a regional student walkout to build a movement against corporate domination and the dictatorship of Wall Street!
We Need Mass Action
Unions, community groups and civil rights organizations should all unite around a set of central demands that can mobilize as many people as possible to the protests. We should call for an end to home foreclosures and police violence while also campaigning for a massive jobs program and an increase in social services like education and health care.
Organizers of the protest against the Republican National Convention (RNC) should help build support for these actions in every working-class and poor community in the area through concerted outreach, while also incorporating local community issues into the struggle.
The government’s legislative attacks on our civil liberties and police repression have been challenging our right to protest in recent months and years. Nonetheless, we can still take action - and we have to. There is no power stronger than huge numbers of ordinary workers and young people when we are united and determined, not even dictators like in Egypt or the Southern segregation laws of the past. Civil rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, and more were won through building ongoing large protest movements.
We need to take direct action to disrupt business as usual when the Republican vultures start circling our town. However, direct action shouldn’t be the acts of a small group of people without a focused purpose or demands. We need mass direct action that aims to empower and involve as many ordinary people as possible.
Build a Student Walkout!
Young people have always been at the forefront of social movements, from Egypt to Occupy. We have a chance to make a powerful statement in Florida by organizing student walkouts against the RNC across Tampa and St. Pete!
These walkouts can be a catalyst for larger direct action and lay the basis for an ongoing youth movement for better affordable education rights while also organizing against war, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia. Contact us for help building a student walkout in your school!
Are the Democrats an Alternative?
President Obama promised hope and change. Instead, we got more of the same policies as Bush. More bank bailouts. More racist policing. More war. More layoffs. More recession. More attacks on civil liberties and our right to protest. While the Republicans do pose a threat to workers, people of color, women and LGBT people, we can see now that the Democrats have been in power for 4 years that they provide no alternative, despite what they claim.
We need an independent movement in the streets, campuses, workplaces and communities that focuses on organizing social struggles to win victories for working people. Socialist Alternative in Minneapolis is active in Occupy Homes, a movement that has saved the houses of families facing foreclosure by the big banks by occupying them and organizing determined community blockades. Mass direct action, not capitalist politicians, can achieve positive results.
Instead of voting for the “lesser evil,” we need independent, anti-corporate, pro-worker candidates that stand up against budget cuts, bailouts, racism and home foreclosures. This could be a step towards what we really need - a mass working-class party that takes no corporate donations and is democratically-controlled. We need an independent party that not only fights in elections but leads mass struggles to improve the lives of workers and young people.
Join the Socialists!
The problems we face are symptoms of a sick social system. This whole capitalist system needs to be completely overhauled, not just tweaked or regulated. Socialist Alternative advocates tackling the root cause of our society’s problems through a democratic socialist transformation of society. This will require the working class to rise up and take the top 500 corporations and banks into public ownership to be run for public good, not private profit, under the democratic management of elected representatives of workers and the broader public.
We in Socialist Alternative fight for every positive reform that can be won for working people, while also organizing to fundamentally change society. We are internationalists, working closely in political solidarity with the Committee for a Workers’ International which is organizing workers and oppressed people in over 40 countries to fight for democratic socialism. We build social movements while also educating ourselves to learn the lessons of past social movements and revolutions. We are organizing new branches in the greater Tampa Bay area, Mobile, New Orleans, and other areas, and we want you to get involved to help us achieve this goal! There are massive opportunities to build the forces of democratic socialism - become part of our growing movement!