By Whitney Maxey and Calvin Cheung-Miaw
Let’s be honest. We’re all a little worried that 2020 will be a repeat of 2016. Okay, maybe more than a little worried.
Nobody knows how the presidential election will turn out. This time around, however, the left is larger, more energized, and far more united around the importance of defeating Trump.
For leftists that see the removal of Trump from office as necessary for confronting neoliberalism, advancing racial and gender justice, and beginning to tackle climate change, most agree that a key task is defeating the far right while bolstering the capacity of progressive grassroots organizations.
What about strengthening the socialist wing of the anti-Trump front?
The Left Inside/Outside Project launched Freedom in the Fall with the hope that socialists can make an important contribution to defeating the right wing, shift the national balance of forces, thicken our relationships to visionary organizations rooted in working-class communities and communities of color, engage newly politicized activists, and come out of the 2020 election with greater cohesion and a stronger position.
FOCUS ON NORTH CAROLINA
From October 3 through October 8, members of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), Communist Party USA (CPUSA), DSA, LeftRoots, Liberation Road, and unaffiliated leftists will be volunteering to support independent political organizations in North Carolina: Durham For All, The Carolina Federation, and Mijente. North Carolina is an important swing state in the presidential election, but it also has a contested Senate race that will be key in Democrats flipping the Senate, and a governor’s race to defend the seat for their incumbent Democratic Governor who regularly takes on the right.
Local races are also important for North Carolina groups hoping to move transformative policy initiatives. As Aaron Jamal writes in his analysis of North Carolina politics, the South is not only the frontline for battling the right-wing, but also the birthplace of radical and revolutionary movements.
In early 2020, we started preparing for Freedom in the Fall by reaching out to and building a relationship with Durham For All. Durham For All is a grassroots political organization in Durham, North Carolina that harnesses the power of elections to grow the political power of people of color communities across class and working people’s communities across race. Since 2016 they have been running campaigns based on their For All vision that win local governing power and grow our movement across race and class. Durham For All’s 2020 campaign is called Swing the State, and they are working in local and state alliances to fight for major progressive victories in North Carolina that will advance their People’s Platform!
PHONE-BANKING AND EXCHANGING IDEAS ON STRATEGY
Freedom in the Fall volunteers will spend three days phone-banking for North Carolina organizations, but will also have the chance to dig deeper into Durham For All’s approach to power-building, and will spend time discussing electoral strategy with other participants. While gathering in person is impossible during the pandemic, we hope the mix of political discussion and hands-on work will lay the groundwork for future collaborative efforts and more sustained debate over left political strategy.
Building a movement for socialism will only happen in tandem with the growing movements to defend democracy and win racial, gender, economic, and climate justice. It will also require the organized socialist left to balance out our strengths and weaknesses and gain experience working across organizational lines. After that, the sky’s the limit.
Our people need power. Our movements can win. Freedom in the Fall.
Register at bit.ly/FreedomInTheFall