New Chapter in run for NPC

I’ve decided to resign from the DSA Momentum slate and to independently run as an NPC candidate. This was a difficult decision for me as I have a lot of respect for all the candidates on the slate and their years of organizing experience. They have put in a lot of work for DSA and the Left over the years, and we will remain comrades in the struggle for a better world.

What changed? The call for DSA to commit to the abolition of police and prisons. With an abolition framework, DSA has an opportunity to tie together the occupation of Palestine with the oppression of Black and Brown people in the United States. As one of the authors of DSA’s Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution, it’s critically important to me that this link is made.

I traveled to Palestine in the Fall of 2014 with the 3rd African Heritage Delegation of Interfaith Peace Builders. Before we left, Palestinian activists asked us to promise that we’d do everything we could to help them end the occupation.

Solidarity with Palestine is more than a political position to me, it’s a life commitment. That’s why I have worked to get the BDS resolution put on DSA’s convention agenda. We have collected 1,476 signatures and have been endorsed by Jewish Voice for Peace. If we strengthen that commitment with an understanding of the necessity of abolition work, it will give us a real chance to institutionalize our resistance to Israeli apartheid, and so much more.

The boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement has experienced an uptick in victories and influence in recent years. But at the same time, it also faces mounting repression. This month, the Intercept reported that 43 U.S. senators, including 14 Democrats, want to implement a law making it a felony to support BDS. The penalty would be a minimum $250,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison. At the same time, the Black struggle against police killing and other fights against oppression in the United States are at a critical moment. The Trump administration’s rhetoric has emboldened police repression against Black and Brown communities. Nearly every week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces a new horrific policy that expands prison power and reinforces the oppression faced by marginalized people. We need to act now.

One has to understand just how all-encompassing, strategic, brutal, and established the occupation of Palestine is. When we were in Palestine, it appeared insurmountable at times to us, but we understand that nothing is insurmountable.

Palestinians understand this. The conditions for Palestinian liberation exist, and the conditions for Black liberation exist. We need to build a massive international movement in order to end the oppression of both Palestinians and of Black and Brown people — and abolition is absolutely part of that struggle. Abolition is not a utopian dream, it’s a concrete vision that we need to fight for. It must be part of the struggle for the type of society we want to build.

Thank you, and there will be more to come as I continue my campaign.