Events Catalogue – 2023

Understanding the Israeli–Palestinian Colonial Conflict – December 9th, 2023
On September 22, 1967, shortly after the end of the Six Day War, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an ad signed by a dozen Israeli socialists that now reads hauntingly prescient. The ad stated in part, “Occupation entails foreign rule. Foreign rule entails resistance. Resistance entails repression. Repression entails terror and counter-terror. Victims of terror are mostly innocent people. Holding onto the occupied territories will make us into a nation of murderers and murder victims.” Half a century later and 75 years after the Nakba, Palestinians continue to face ethnic cleansing, torture, bombings, and housing demolitions under Israeli occupation. Following the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7, Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza has once again thrust the long struggle for Palestinian liberation back into international headlines. While the mass murder of Palestinians by the Israeli Defense Force is nothing new, the scale of Israel’s latest assault on civilian life and infrastructure has rapidly outpaced most conflicts in the last few decades, with 1.7 million displaced and more than 15,000 killed – over 6000 of them children. How should we understand what is taking place in Gaza and across occupied Palestine? What history do we need to know to understand and interpret the present? What can we do in the present to shape the future? Moshé Machover and Sumaya Awad will help us answer these questions.

Reconstruction: Past and Present – November 18th, 2023
“Alone among the societies that abolished slavery in the nineteenth century, the United States, for a moment, offered the freedmen a measure of political control over their own destinies. However brief its sway, Reconstruction allowed scope for a remarkable political and social mobilization of the black community,” Eric Foner, 1983. As Foner suggests, the period of Reconstruction, not limited to the older interpretation of 1865-1877 but extending into the 1890s, offered a chance for a fundamental socio-economic revolution in the United States. And much did change: public school systems were established in the South and the antebellum ruling class of the region saw its wealth fall dramatically. The foundations of the institutions that were in later decades to become the sources of African-American political and social power were laid. Finally, the 14th and 15th Amendments were added to the existing Constitution, and both remain politically contested terrain in the 21st century. But property – beyond that “in man” – was not redistributed. The hoped-for revolution came up short. What happened? Was there a chance of a different path? And what insights can we as socialists draw from this incomplete revolution that might have relevance in today’s struggles for freedom and justice?

Imperialism: the US and Mexico – September 30th, 2023
The relationship between the United States and Mexico, both today and historically, constitutes a significant feature of U.S. imperialism. Speakers at this panel event will discuss concepts of imperialism; the long drive by U.S. capital and the U.S. government to dominate Mexico and seize economic benefits at the expense of Mexico and the working class of both countries; and Mexican/Chicano labor in the U.S. including the ways in which the U.S. imperialist relation to Mexico has tended to divide the working class and responses to those divisions. This unequal relationship continues today, affecting workers on both sides of the border. We aim to develop a better understanding of the relationship between the two countries and deepen our bonds of solidarity.

Fighting the Police State – July 29th, 2023
Each year, police kill an average of 1,000 people in the United States. 2023 began with the killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. His murder was followed by the execution of Manuel Terán, which brought further attention to the ongoing struggle against a massive police training facility in Atlanta, where activists and protesters were charged with domestic terrorism and money laundering. In New York, police continue to harass and intimidate street vendors. Meanwhile, police were further empowered by a 2022 Supreme Court ruling against Miranda Rights. How can we organize against the U.S. police state? How can we place the struggle against police power within the larger struggle for political democracy and socialism? DSA’s National Political Education Committee (NPEC) welcomes four community organizers to speak on these questions and more: Kobi Guillory (Chicago Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression), Gabriel Sanchez (Atlanta DSA), and Eric Nava-Pérez (New York City DSA).

Confronting the Threat of the Far Right – April 3rd, 2023
Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, but the forces he represented and the ideas he furthered – the contemporary US right – have not gone away. These forces are continuing their efforts to push the US – both at in the electoral and the extra-parliamentary terrains – further towards their anti-democratic vision for the U.S.

We will hear from and ask questions of Bill Fletcher, John Huntington, and Nancy McLean. These three presenters have engaged with the US far right as analysts, organizers, or both.

The Path to An Accountable Party – January 27th, 2023
How do we defend democracy while fighting for transformative changes to our society? Do socialists need to ally with progressives or liberals to defeat Republicans, or should we antagonize establishment politicians to build a base? Is our goal to form a new party? DSA members have many different opinions about these questions, and in this debate hosted by the National Political Education Committee, four panelists will present unique paths forward based on their analysis of DSA’s electoral success and U.S. politics more broadly.