New SDS Condemns Abortion Bans in Georgia, Alabama, and Six More States: Abortion is a Human Right

UPDATE: SIX more states have passed bills banning abortions within the first trimester, modeled after the Georgia ban, after we first wrote this statement, totaling EIGHT states so far. They are: Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky, Utah, Arkansas. Another is in the middle of passing through Wisconsin's legislature. Copycat bills have been defeated in Florida and Tennessee.

May 2019

New Students for a Democratic Society stands firmly against the abortion ban bills that have been passed into the Georgia, Alabama, Missouri and Wisconsin state legislatures. We also stand against the bills that have been introduced but fortunately defeated into the Florida and Tennessee legislatures. We stand firmly with women and trans people who seek reproductive rights, including the right to abortions and birth control in any circumstances. The GOP is advancing its attacks on women and veteran Democrat Party leaders are not doing enough about it, or less. Our hope will be a movement in the streets. We need to stand up for women's liberation and for people's control of their bodies, health and their livelihoods.

The Georgia bill criminalizes, fines, and imprisons doctors who provide abortions to any fetus with a "detected heartbeat," which is often even before pregnancy is detected. The Alabama bill criminalizes anyone who provides any type of abortion and contraceptives, using fertilization as the point at which a zygote or embryo is "a minor." Neither bill allows exceptions for rape or incest. They are the most far-reaching anti-abortion bills that we have seen in decades and are also meant to pave the way for an overturn of Roe vs. Wade, as well as create new attacks against birth control.

Alabama House Representative and GOP member Terri Collins himself admitted that in an interview for the Washington Post that "the entire bill was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade." This would make it even more dangerous than it already is for people to receive safe abortions by doctors and would send us all back to the days of unregulated "back-alley" abortions, when countless women died or suffered from complications. The right to a safe abortion and birth control are basic rights for health care, particularly for women.

This stinks of misogyny in the era of the Trump administration and its passionate defence of rapists, from Betsy DeVos' Title IX initiatives to Trump's ardent campaign for Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court. At the same time, the #MeToo movement has shown people's willingness to fight against patriarchy, including in the fight for reproductive rights.

SDS will not stand for these attacks. We call on campuses to organize against them as soon as they can. We will continue to strike down these bills and patriarchy until we have liberation for women, LGTBQ+, and oppressed peoples everywhere.

UNF Students for a Democratic Society calls on all chapters, affiliates and sympathetic groups to continue the fight for Black Lives Matter and the fight against hate crimes.

October 2018

Black Lives Matter is a movement that was popularized after the death of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Rekia Boyd, Alton Sterling and many others. Black Lives Matter disavows police brutality, stand your ground laws and hate crimes. The Black Lives Matter movement consists of citizens, students, community organizers, activists, professors and many more. The Black Lives Matter movement consists of major protests across the country, such as, The Ferguson Uprising, Hands Up, Don’t Shoot, Justice for Sandra Bland and I Can’t Breathe. The Black Lives Matter movement has also inspired celebrities like Jay-Z, Colin Kaepernick, Jalen Ramsey and Lebron James to speak out against Stand Your Ground Laws and Police Crimes.

The Black Lives Matter movement fights against hate crimes across the country. The Black Lives Matter movement disavows white supremacy, racist symbols and hate crimes.

Students for a Democratic Society will continue to fight for the Black Lives Matter movement. Students for a Democratic Society will continue to fight against hate crimes. We have taken action on campus to increase the amount of institutional scholarships available to students of color on campus. We have taken action to work with Professors create an African American studies major. We have taken action to demand administration increase faculty of color. We have taken action to demand that administration hire more counselors of color. We have taken action on campus to demand that administration to ban and suspend Neo-Nazis on campus.

With this resolution we call for:

·         Students to create an SDS chapter on their campus.

·         Students to organize a Black Lives Matter rally on their campus.

·         Organizations to support the call for police accountability.

·         Organizations to work with students to fight against hate crimes and white supremacy on campus.

"Resolution to Stop Trump and Build New SDS"

by Tampa Bay SDS, October, 2018

New Students for a Democratic Society has stood in the way of Trump's campaign since he announced his presidential run in 2015. Today, we resolve to continue the fight to stop Trump's agenda.

Trump's administration has built its platform out of bigotry and hate. His campaign calls for a hatred of Arab and Muslim refugees and immigrants from Central America, the Caribbean, and other places. His Muslim ban and his call for a border wall on the US-Mexico border show that he is willing to escalate until more immigrants and refugees are deported or detained. Since taking office, ICE and Border Patrol have been exposed as separating 6,000 undocumented immigrant families through deportations, detentions, and the trafficking of these children to Christian adoption agencies.

To this, SDS says, "No Ban, No Wall, Sanctuary For All!"

From the beginning, Trump helped to cultivate a right-wing surge of people who believe that we should "Make America Great Again." Overtly he declared that the United States of America should act as superior to the rest of the globe, should continue wars for markets in Latin America, in Asia and Africa. Like administrations before him, he approved ever increasing omnibus bills to increase US military aid to brutal, repressive governments. He pushed through an omnibus budget bill that allotted $716 billion dollars to the Department of Defense. At the same time, Congress and the White House reduced funding to the Departments of Education and Children and Families.

To this, SDS says, "End US Wars!"

He tries to move us backwards by appointing a cabinet that would damage protections for the environment, rights for women, LGBTQ and disabled people. He looks for ways to open the door to privatizing key social services that people need to survive. His slogans became a rallying cry for neo-Nazis who held hate marches like in Charlottesville or even conducted shootings. He appointed Supreme Court judges and White House cabinet officials who are rapists or rape apologists and are looking for ways to undermine Title IX or undermine Roe vs Wade.

To this, SDS says, "Stop Trump!"

All throughout 2015 and 2016, SDS bashed Trump pinatas and held Stop Trump events. We organized a contingent to March Against the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2016. When Trump was elected in November 2016, we held emergency protests. When he was inaugurated in January 2017, we called for student walkouts and protests nationwide. We will continue this fight until Trump's appointments, proposals, and policies are long gone.

SDS Resolution to Organize Against Police Crimes and Killer Cops

October 2018

Since the SDS National Convention in October of 2017, many more black and brown people have been targeted and murdered by the police and white supremacists alike in this country. On September 5th of this year, one of the biggest trials in recent memory began. Jason Van Dyke, a member of the Chicago Police Department, shot 17 year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times and murdered him. After three years of people's struggle in the streets, it was finally announced that Van Dyke would face a trial by a jury. While the criminal injustice system of Chicago did everything it could to stack the deck in favor of Officer Van Dyke (such as enlisting an almost entirely white jury in a city where African Americans make up a third of the population and covering up video evidence of the shooting), the jury came back with a guilty verdict on one count of 2nd degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery. It was a powerful moment in the courthouse as the jury read off each count of battery, one for each shot.

For years now, students and community members have rallied for killer cops to be convicted and held to justice. Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration only released video evidence of the shooting after months of protests. SDSers held solidarity protests all around the country. Chicago protesters were again present during the hearing and then Van Dyke's trial itself. They not only called for a first-degree murder charge, but also for the city of Chicago to form a civilian police accountability council (CPAC) wherein leaders elected by the community could investigate polices crimes. In the end, Van Dyke was charged with 2nd degree murder. It was the first time a police officer who killed an African American person was ever charged with murder in the history of Chicago.

The violence that is done unto oppressed peoples in the United States is not something new, but something essential to its foundations through chattel slavery and the systematic genocide of the indigenous peoples. More importantly, the struggle against these practices has existed since the beginning. Slaves held uprisings on large plantations; indigenous peoples waged wars for self-defense; people took to the streets to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, Stephon Clark, and Isaiah Tucker; people used social media to express outrage when racists used police violence to keep them out of public places, as demonstrated by #BBQBecky, #PermitPatty, and #PoolPatrolPaula.

SDS stands with the working class, oppressed nationalities and peoples in the fight against police brutality. We demand there should be justice for the families of these victims, and we demand community control of the police in the form of CPACs. We resolve to continue rallying for justice and accountability, on and off campus.

National SDS Anti-War Resolution

October 2018

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

Resolution to Remove Racist Statues and Confederate Monuments

By Tallahassee SDS and Oshkosh SDS, October 2018

The campaign and subsequent election of President Donald Trump has emboldened white supremacists in recent years; they have been holding rallies and marches across the country, including high-profile speaking engagements at various universities. They have defended the usage of racist symbolism; such as Confederate flags, statues to Confederate leaders and slave owners,and buildings honoring prominent racists. Every step of the way, progressive organizations like SDS have stood up to challenge this racist rhetoric, and in many cases, have been able to win positive demands that directly challenge threats to oppressed people.

The United States is a country built on the continued oppression of Black people. At universities all over the country, racism still pervades in hiring and admissions practices, as well as underfunded or non-existent African American studies or similar departments. Many universities also honor racists, Confederates, and slave owners with statues, building names, and other such recognitions: this problem particularly affects universities in the South. One instance of a struggle against these monuments was led by the SDS chapter at Florida State University in Tallahassee. This July, FSU administration removed a statue of slave owner and Confederate supporter Francis Eppes, who was previously honored as the university’s founder, and agreed to take further action on a building named after the segregationist B. K. Roberts.

The victory in Tallahassee is merely a small part of a national movement to fight back against racist symbols on universities across the country. In August of this year, activists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill toppled “Silent Sam”, a statue of a Confederate soldier that stood for over a century in a prominent place there. Other campaigns are ongoing, such as the fight to remove the name of Confederate General Albert G. Jenkins from a building at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. University students have also had important roles in the fights against racist monuments in the area around their campuses: this includes the students at Duke University’s role in removing a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, as well as the role of University of Virginia students in the ongoing struggle against racist statues in Charlottesville. With each successful campaign like this, the movement for Black liberation grows stronger and the powers of white supremacy grow more afraid of organized people power.

SDS chapters should take concrete steps to investigate and challenge white supremacist narratives that pervade our campuses and communities. This includes contacting professors and other historical experts on the history of African American oppression in our area. For too long, racists have been allowed to monopolize the telling of history, and it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and correct the erasure of oppressed voices.

In all that we do, we must seek to question and dismantle the historically dominant narrative that says Black lives don’t matter. SDS reaffirms its commitment to fighting white supremacy in all of its forms on university campuses: including fighting against hate speech, white supremacist organizing, and against the presence of statues and buildings that honor racists and slave owners as heroes.