Pedro Fuentes (USA travel report to DN PSOL)
I’ve been in New York responding to an invitation from New York DSA (Democratic Socialists of America Party). We contacted them at the last WSF in Canada, where Juliano Medeiros and I participated, and we had already perceived that the DSA was the most organized and dynamic party that supported the Sanders campaign. On this occasion, the DSA NY already invited us to exchange experiences and ideas of collaboration and at the same time organize a meeting with the prestigious magazine Jacobinand us from PSOL. Francisvaldo, secretary of international relations, and Juliano participated in the organization of the trip.
DSA is organized by states and cities. We had contact with the New York organization, which has about 150 militants present in unions of communications workers, teachers, transports and young students. At the meeting which was just two days after the election result, participated about 50 people from Brooklyn, the being the vast majority party members who had joined in the last four or five months because of the campaign promoted in support of Sanders and its defense within socialism.
The great theme of the meeting, after the general catharsis due to Trump’s triumph, was how to advance the organization of the local party, bring in more people, collect money, and have professional members. Also the preparation of posters, banners and participation in the activities that have arisen during these days that are very varied. Our talk was very welcome. The most active were already aware of the PSOL, they had followed our campaigns for the municipal elections, and I especially emphasize the sympathy they have with the struggles in Latin America, both for its history and for the present.
One of the conclusions of the trip is precisely the strength that has so far this relationship since they have Trump and here we also have new governments and the end of a cycle of Foro of São Paulo directions in Latin America. But the relationship is also structural, the presence of Latino immigrants, the question of having Spanish as the common language, and the presence of many Brazilian immigrants.
In relation to the DSA we are also establishing relations with the national leadership that is located in other states (Boston, Michigan) and participating as fraternal delegates at its next convention to be held next summer. (The old historical direction of the DSA was part of the second international, but left many years ago and now have no affiliation). The DSA-NY colleagues are also part of the staff of the independent magazine Jacobin.
We gave a talk with more than 100 activists convened by Jacobin magazine. The vast majority of participants were young. In the talk we spoke Thiago Aguiar (who is in the US for his doctoral studies) and me. The truth is that we were shocked by the enthusiasm of those present, their willingness to fight against Trump and to organize. A majority also attended a talk for the first time. We could talk about Temer, about PSOL from its foundation until now, Marcelo Freixo and his fight against the militias, the campaigns of Luciana Genro, Edmilson; of the challenges we face. They asked us a lot about how we organized relating to how they organize themselves in the USA, for mobilization activities and elections. In the end and as is the tradition of Latin militancy, after the talk we went to a bar to drink beer and wine.
It is very important to remember the memory to a certain extent common between the vanguard of the US and Latin America and that increasingly the relations between workers and exploited are closer. USA is a country of immigrants and almost 40% are of Latin origin.
I also had the opportunity to feel the climate of the city a bit. NYC voted massively against Trump, about 90% voted for Hillary. I participated in some demonstrations where people were very combative and determined, especially women and young people. I was able to observe something similiar in a school, to which many Latins and blacks go. The principal convened a parent meeting to discuss the electoral outcome and the importance of defending the community against racism, discrimination and called for the involvement of all parents. It was very good because of their response, with a lot of solidarity and fraternity between them.
New York has many and varied associative movements in defense of the immigrants, of the liberties and of specific subjects, as of the ecology etc. At the same time the US is a federal country, states and cities have a lot of independence. For example, in these elections referendums took place in many of them on different topics, and in some the legalization of marijuana was voted for. The mayor of Los Angeles announced that he would not collaborate with the deportation of immigrants.
The transition of the government has many critical aspects. The designation of an ultra-right anti-ecological politician as environment minister, echoing those scientists who believe that there is no global warming, can trigger many reactions in the movement itself that is well aware of this issue. There will be much resistance, and in this sense our experience against Temer is going to be important.