Dear friends and supporters,
The period we have entered — the “Age of Disorder” — brings with it a massive polarization of society and presents the working class and oppressed with many dangers across the globe. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic lays bare the brutal inequalities created by capitalism. The virus continues to ravage many parts of the world, especially in Latin America, Africa and Asia, with dramatic shortages of oxygen and vaccine supplies unnecessarily exacerbating the death toll. Many advanced capitalist countries, on the other hand, have hoarded vaccines and are using those stocks to engage in ‘vaccine imperialism’. Since Biden took office, the new cold war between China and the US has in no way subsided, reflected among other things in rising tensions around Taiwan with an actual threat of military conflict. On top of this, the working class and oppressed suffer in regional wars and conflicts and through the worsening climate crisis, with the most vulnerable groups being generally the hardest hit.
At the same time, however, this period offers a large array of opportunities for the working class as a whole as well as for our revolutionary socialist organization. From the revolt in Belarus to the massive rebellions in Myanmar and Colombia and the uprising of the Palestinian people — the working class is more and more waking up and leading the way. The method of the general strike is increasingly taking center stage, people discuss strategies and tactics in popular assemblies and in most places these movements are overcoming ethnic and sectarian divisions sowed by the ruling classes. International Socialist Alternative (ISA) is active in over 30 countries across the globe and has been intervening in those movements and struggles with comrades on the ground and via social media solidarity campaigns, supporting these struggles and putting forward our political ideas.
What is our political focus? — Current ISA work in a nutshell
Our section in Israel-Palestine has intervened in the current conflict, which is marked by repeated unequal wars and ongoing state terrorism against the Palestinian people, in a very nuanced way. We call for a socialist Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a socialist transformation of Israel as part of a socialist confederation in the Middle East. Only a mass struggle for national and social liberation can offer a way out. The Palestinian youth uprising and general strike indicate how this struggle could be developed and expanded to all the Palestinian communities within the 1967 and 1948 borders and throughout the region.
Via social media solidarity campaigns our International has been able to intervene in the ongoing revolts in Myanmar and Colombia and to establish contacts on the ground.
In light of the attacks on democratic rights in Hong Kong and increasing repression in China, ISA has launched, together with our section in CN-HK-TW, the campaign Solidarity Against Repression in China & Hong Kong. The aim of this independent campaign, which opposes both sides in the cold war between the US and China, is to spread awareness about what is really happening in China and Hong Kong, to mobilize solidarity from ordinary people, workers and youth.
Other focus points of our recent work are the Kshama Solidarity Campaign to fight the right-wing recall of our Seattle council member, the campaign Youth Against Racism & Inequality in Ireland, as well as our work on the ground in Bessemer Alabama, where we have helped to build the BAmazon struggle for several weeks against dirty corporate tricks, allowing us to draw some key Lessons for the fight to #UnionizeAmazon. Moreover, we continue our socialist-feminist work, incorporating it into our everyday practice as well as specifically with ROSA International and our ROSA banners in the sections. For November, we are planning an international intervention to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow and a climate campaign around it that stresses the necessity for public ownership, democratic planning and real economic strikes.
We need your support — bottom up finances to take on the system
In order to win fights and battles against the ruling classes, the working class and oppressed need their own organizations, structures and finances. In terms of financial resources we are obviously outnumbered — Forbes recently reported that the combined wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $5 trillion during the pandemic.
But if we move collectively and decisively we can nevertheless beat them, as we demonstrated in the 2019 Seattle city council election. The candidate of our US section Socialist Alternative, Kshama Sawant, was re-elected despite corporate PACs spending over $4.1 million to buy the city council (of which Amazon alone paid $1.5 million). This was only possible through a hard-fought grassroots campaign involving thousands of volunteers, workers and ordinary people that won the support of a substantial majority of Seattle unions along with a number of major endorsements.
We are therefore asking you to support us with a financial contribution, which will greatly help us to continue to further strengthen and improve our political work and fight for a better future for all of us.
This is also the point at which we want to say thank you for all the support we have already received and are receiving at the moment: Thank you for the countless paper subscriptions, donations and the support and endorsement of our campaigns and candidates running for elected positions — all of this is of tremendous help for our political work. Now, we are launching an international finance appeal with a target of €150,000. This appeal will form part of our July political educational event — the Virtual Marxist University which is taking place July 20 till 25. Last year more than 1,500 attended this event, making it the largest gathering of the ISA to date — we expect even higher numbers this year. The appeal itself will be part of the closing rally on the 25 July, which will be broadcasted publicly on Sunday 25 July at 7 pm Brussels & Joburg time (10 AM Seattle; 01 AM July 26 China).
€150,000 is an ambitious target, reflecting our ambitious plans to intervene in struggles worldwide in this new and explosive period.
It is necessary for us to fundraise in this way to cover the costs of producing our publications and other materials, to cover the post-covid travel costs of our international organizers, international solidarity work, to support movements and struggles in various parts of the world, to pay for equipment that we need to carry out our work and to rent our office spaces among many other things.
International Socialist Alternative is different from mainstream political organisations in that we receive no financial backing from big business or wealthy donors, nor from the capitalist state. Being independent in this way is very important — we stand for the interests of ordinary, working class people, not the wealthy elite. We raise money through grassroots donations from people like you who support us and agree with our ideas.
Can you consider making a donation of [€10, €20, €50, €100 or €200] to help us reach our target and continue our work around the world in the period ahead? You can donate [here]