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Students for a Democratic Society grows with 13th national convention

By staff |
October 29, 2018
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Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) 13th national convention.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) 13th national convention. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT - Student activists from as far as Massachusetts, Florida, Texas and Minnesota gathered in Salt Lake City for the 13th annual Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) national convention over the weekend of October 20.

The two-day convention, with the theme, “Struggle! Solidarity! Strike!” focused on the current period of Trump’s attacks, and our need to build movements against police crimes, opposing racism and hate crimes, and international solidarity. Speakers included organizers speaking from Jacksonville Community Action, Anakbayan, and the SLC Brown Berets.

Members of Teamsters Local 220 and the Jersey City Educators Association spoke about workers’ strikes and the need for student-worker solidarity actions. SDS speakers from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, University of North Florida, University of Minnesota and the host chapter, University of Utah, spoke on experiences and tips for how to start, lead and maintain SDS chapters to win campaigns on campus.

On the second day of the convention, resolutions were passed, with SDS chapters recommitting themselves to the fight against Trump’s attacks, racism and police crimes, attacks on labor, predators in power, and war. These came with specific calls to action, such as promising to fight all reactionary proposals by the Trump administration, to demand justice for the families of victims of police crimes, to organize Black Lives Matter demonstrations on campuses, and organize events and campaigns alongside labor unions, especially unions on campuses.

Olivia Crull, University of Minnesota SDS, called on SDS chapters to “pursue campaigns that reflect the specific needs of their campuses,” and to “and continue to struggle because these gains aren’t easily won.” Many felt charged and ready to build toward those new victories, with several chapters using newly acquired skills to immediately organize against Trump’s agenda of transphobic attacks. Students for a Democratic Society continues to grow and forge a path of struggle for the student movement across the United States.

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