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Students mobilize for 8th annual Students for a Democratic Society National Convention

By staff |
October 9, 2013
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 2010 SDS National Convention
2010 SDS National Convention (Fight Back! News/File Photo)

Clarksville, TN - In less than one week, progressive students from throughout the country will attend the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) 8th annual National Convention, Oct. 11-13, at Austin Peay State University here. Featured at this year’s convention are Rebel Diaz, Sara Flounders and Kait McIntyre.

SDS is the nation’s largest multi-issue student organization. Since its re-founding in 2006, SDS is broadly building the student left - helping to lead mass campaigns against tuition hikes, school privatizations, and student debt. SDS is the leading voice of the student movement against U.S. wars and occupations.

Sara Flounders, anti-war activist and co-director of the International Action Center, will speak about the ongoing wars, occupations and so-called ‘humanitarian interventions’ of the U.S. government. Speaking with Flounders will be Kait McIntyre, an SDSer with the Chicago Anti-War Committee. McIntyre says about the convention, “As students, much of the technology utilized by the U.S. to further its wars and fuel the military-industrial complex begins at our college research institutions. I believe the SDS Convention will offer student organizers the tools to take back their campus and demand money for education and human needs, not war and destruction across the globe.”

Rebel Diaz will perform at the convention as well as host a workshop on Saturday called “Hip Hop and Immigration.” Rebel Diaz is a politically-minded hip-hop group based out of South Bronx, New York. Their workshop will focus on the historic role of immigration, the criminalization of immigrants and youth of color, and hip-hop’s role and responsibility in defending immigrant rights. Rebel Diaz will perform at 8:00 p.m. on Oct. 12 in Clement Auditorium. Admission is free and it is open to the public.

Other workshops will feature topics such as abortion rights, overcoming problems with organizing through student governments, revolutionary organizing in America’s heartland and the international student movement.

Preston Gilmore, a Clarksville SDSer and lead organizer on the SDS National Working Committee explains, “The SDS National Convention is of huge importance to the student movement. It allows all of us to learn from each other’s experiences and gain knowledge about how to synchronize our campaigns and build a national movement that unites students across the country. We are in a historical period where atrocities are being committed not only abroad, but also right here at home. From the murder of Trayvon Martin to the threat of U.S. war with Syria, students and young people are looking at the world they will be inheriting and are rising up to fight back. The convention provides an opportunity for us to meet each other. We will come together to build a more powerful movement together.”

The convention is free for everyone and is open to the public. Registration will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 in the University Center on the Austin Peay State University campus with introductions from speakers and organizers beginning at 7:00 p.m. On Oct.12 the convention will open at 9:00 a.m. in the University Center ballroom and will run until 7:00 p.m. Rebel Diaz will perform at Saturday night in the Clement Auditorium. On Oct. 13, the convention runs from 10:00 a.m. until around 1:00 p.m.

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