In Solidarity with Delé Balogun, Re-Issuing our Call for an Abolitionist Framework
DSA Praxis would like to wish Delé Balogun well on his continued run for the NPC. We admire his commitment to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution, and his response to our call for an abolitionist horizon. We share his belief that DSA must link domestic struggles against the state repression disproportionately waged against racially marginalized people, especially Black people, to the Palestinian struggle for existence in the face of Israeli state violence.
Earlier this week, we called for DSA to embrace the abolition of the police and prisons as a political horizon because state repression is a proximate threat to each and every campaign we seek to pursue, especially BDS and anti-racism. The same brand of tear gas police fired at Black demonstrators in Ferguson is also used by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. What happens in places afar affects us at home. In order to act locally, we must consider global struggle.
At a minimum, we can embrace the divestment/investment approach recommended by Black Lives Matter and Black Youth Project 100 as we pursue massive goals like universal healthcare. Healthcare can never be universal if prison and police violence remain the primary and best funded response to social needs.
We called for an abolitionist framework because we can’t just define our political horizon by looking to Scandinavia. It’s time we imagine a world free of repression with the same fervor we envision a world without capitalism. Violence is real, and it is scary. But we are socialists, we can move past the fear and organize towards possibility, to new ways of treating and rehabilitating one another. We can rise to the occasion. We must.
Signed, in solidarity forever,
Ravi Ahmad (New York)
Michael Patterson (Anchorage, AK)
Allie Cohn (Knoxville, TN)
Zac Echola (Red River Valley, ND & MN)
Celeste Earley (Anchorage, AK)
Leslie Driskill (Oklahoma City, OK)
R.L. Stephens (Chicago)