As the prospect of Donald Trump being sworn in as president loomed at the end of 2016, people might be forgiven for fearing that this was The End of Civilization as We Know It. But no! 2017 entered not with a whimper but a roar — a “pussy roar,” as millions of women and their male comrades marched on D.C. and demonstrated around the world against Trump and everything he represents. The Women’s March followed an also massive inaugural protest that landed many demonstrators in jail facing felony charges.
The battle was joined. And it was and is international. Huge numbers of people across the globe are challenging the same things — like the rise of the far right, the daily epidemic of sexual abuse, and repression by authoritarian heads of state. A lot of the mobilizations and protests were “conservationist”: save the unions, save the planet, save healthcare, save the Dreamers, save constitutional protections, save civil rights, save reproductive rights.
There were lots of things to be “anti”: Trump’s wall, the new U.S. Supreme Court justice, the Republican tax giveaway to the wealthy, unpunished police violence, Islamophobia, and attacks on workers’ rights and livelihoods from Brazil to India. All of these battles were important.
The Freedom Socialist Party was in the midst of the fray. We sent a socialist feminist contingent to protest in D.C. in January, organized against modern-day fascists in the U.S. and Australia, made progress in the campaign for an elected civilian review board in New York City, stood up against the union-busting Freedom Foundation, and deepened our ties with international socialists through the Committee for International Revolutionary Regroupment — just to cite a few examples.
In our opinion, the way to carry the fight forward in 2018 is to take the offensive in every way possible while offering a vision of what life could and should be like. As we tackle what we are against, let’s not forget to promote what we are for.
While we do our damnedest to save Social Security and Medicaid, let’s also talk about socialism. While we continue to work to curb police assaults, let’s discuss how much strength can be found in multiracial solidarity and organizing across the lines that divide working people. While we protest inhumane anti-immigrant policies, let’s demand open borders! While we rail against the Democratic Party’s failure to be a champion of workers and the poor, let’s talk about running anti-capitalist labor candidates and the need for an independent working-class voice in the form of a labor party.
Those are some of FSP’s resolutions for the new year, and we would love to hear from you about yours. Let’s open 2018 like we opened 2017 — with a roar!