National Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) hereby resolves to reaffirm our previously established position as an anti-war organization, committed to fighting militarism in whatever form it manifests on our campuses across the country.

Over the last year, war has continued to wreak havoc on the lives of people all around the world. When we speak of war, it is important to understand that we are not simply talking about armed conflicts, like those we see in Syria and Afghanistan. War also encompasses the realm of economics; for example, sanctions imposed by the United Nations—often at the behest of the United States and the European Union—on countries seeking an independent path of development, such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Korea, and countless others. Another form of economic warfare are tariffs against exported goods, as is the case with the Trump administration's policy toward China. It is not uncommon for these different types of warfare to intersect, as is the case in Yemen. We see a “hot” conflict on the ground between popular forces and Saudi-led coalition forces, but also an extensive blockade of the country enforced by the US, Israel, and the Gulf monarchies.

What progressive activists organizing with SDS should concern themselves with is the central role played in these and other conflicts by the US. Our ruling class—the 1%, the mega-rich, the CEOs of massive corporations based in the US who control large portions of key global industries (such as oil)–has a particular vision of how the world should be structured. That vision often seeks to emphasize the private interests of US capital at the expense of the national development of current and former colonial territories. When this exploitative model for the global community is challenged, war is the only response that the ruling class knows.

The impacts of war extend beyond the frontlines. The cost of empire at home can be seen when vital social programs are gutted and investment in the people—particularly in the form of funding for public education—is slashed. Those resources that should otherwise be used for the benefit of the masses is pumped into the defense budget to incite terror all over the globe. Unfortunately, the military-industrial complex has borne deep roots at our campuses. Therefore, students can and must play a role in combating the threat presented to the people of the world by US-led economic war and militarism.

As such, National SDS calls on all of our members and other student activists to:

Lead campaigns to divest from institutions of war, including the US Department of Defense, and from corporations who profit from wars

Demand an end to US-imposed sanctions on countries seeking an independent path, namely Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Syria, and Korea

Demand an end to the military occupation of well over 100 countries through the removal of the 800+ US military bases abroad

Demand that all arms deals signed by the US with countries engaged in genocide and war, including (but not limited to) Israel in Palestine, Saudi Arabia/the Gulf monarchies in Yemen, and the Duterte regime in the Philippines

Host rallies and educational events to raise awareness among the general student body about the various endeavors of US empire

Demand the removal of ROTC programs, military recruiters, and other institutions of the US military on our campuses