Think Globally & Act Locally. From Anti-Imperialism to Immigration to BDS, DSA needs to up its game.


Colonialism and imperialism are often presented as far off affairs a world away, something reserved for experts. However, as citizens of the United States, imperialism is part of our daily lives, even if we can’t always perceive it. The most publicized movement of 2016 was the Standing Rock struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Not only was it an environmental issue, Standing Rock was also fundamentally anti-imperialist, a direct attack on the colonial super-exploitation faced by indigenous peoples. As we saw with the police brutality at Standing Rock, there’s an imperial component to policing. The same brand of tear gas police fired at black demonstrators in Ferguson is also used by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. In fact, even before the Ferguson protests erupted, the St. Louis police chief had travelled to Israel for tactical training. Ultimately, imperialism starts at home. While the military rains death and destruction on countries around the world, it preys on the desperation of the poor and racial minorities in our own local communities to recruit.

Socialism must not only speak about U.S. imperialism, it must intervene. DSA must act.

Leaving the Socialist International is very likely for DSA. Yet, what's our positive vision for internationalism going forward? For us, it's an internationalism through struggle and beyond party affiliation. It is the NPC’s responsibility to emphasize and institutionalize both anti-imperialism and international solidarity. Domestic deportation policies and the surveillance of local Muslim communities are inextricably linked to imperialism abroad. As chapters and working groups take on these issues, the NPC should help them strategically highlight this connection throughout our campaigns. DSA has the capacity to practice meaningful international solidarity. For instance, DSA just raised over $45,000 for the National Network of Abortion Funds. New possibilities could emerge if we connect the members raising funds for abortion in the US with the organizers who just pulled off a 100,000 woman strike against an abortion ban in Poland.

DSA Praxis stands on these principles of International Solidarity:

  • We support the resolutions to support BDS campaign and to leave the Socialist International.

  • We believe that any future DSA affiliations should be developed democratically and transparently, under the aegis of the NPC.

  • We support expanding the existing Translation working group through a recruitment campaign of additional translators and creating transparent workflows to manage requests, similar to what the design and media groups should have.

Finally, as local chapters engage in anti-imperialist work, the NPC should support their capacity to amplify their message, organize new communities into these struggles and, should capacity allow, pursue specific fundraising campaigns for these projects.