By Carrington M
Wednesday, February 20, saw the inaugural gathering of the NYC International Committee, where some 30 DSA members braved the snow to meet up at the West Village’s Jefferson Market Library.
Starting with a brief presentation on internationalism and why, amid DSA’s other priorities, it is worthy of our members’ time and efforts, the meeting proceeded with member attendees sharing their own thoughts on the subject and what inspired them to weather the stormy conditions to attend. Members representing the NYC Anti-War Working Group, the NYC Immigrant Rights Working Group, and the DSA national International Committee were all present.
The NYC International Committee was founded in autumn 2018 on the principle that “As socialists, we are also internationalists who believe that we are engaged together with working people around the world in the struggle for socialism.” Our objective is to promote member education and solidarity efforts in the struggle for “national sovereignty, for equality, democracy and justice in nations around the world.”
The committee’s founding document emphasizes that the fight for socialism extends beyond borders: “Consequently we are also anti-imperialist, opposing U.S. imperialism and other imperial powers that threaten the sovereignty of nations and peoples.” It also emphasizes that this principle comes with a mandate, namely for socialists to keep informed about international developments and engaged in solidarity efforts across the globe.
While February 20 marked the first membership meeting of the NYC International Committee, it comes after four separate NYC-IC events since the committee’s inception. The debut event, which took place on November 1, 2018, in Manhattan, came on the heels of Brazil’s run-off election that brought Jair Bolsonaro to power and featured Pedro Fuentes, a leader in the Brazilian Party for Socialism and Freedom (PSOL), in discussion with DSA member and NPC representative Ella Mahony.
Subsequent events included a panel on the political repression of journalists and dissidents in Turkey, with a focus on the case of Max Zirngast, an Austrian journalist and socialist activist working in Turkey; a “Lessons from Yellow Vest Movement” panel discussion; and “Socialists in Office: Against Bolsonaro, Against Trump,” featuring socialist congresswomen from both Brazil and Brooklyn in conversation about the power and limits of the electoral approach in the struggle for socialism.
Wednesday’s meeting concluded with aspirational talk of how the committee could best carry out the group’s mandate for membership education and international solidarity campaigns and actions. Suggestions included further discussions, greater collaboration with citywide working groups, and possible segments on NYC-DSA’s Revolutions Per Minute podcast. The committee plans to begin an email list of members to hold off-site discussions and to meet again in March for elections, starting with 2 co-chairs and a liaison to the national International Committee.