CCDS 8th National Convention: Resolutions and Proposals
Page 1: “Socialist Education Today,” submitted by Harry Targ, Indiana, and the CCDS Socialist Education Project
Page 3: “Advancing to Socialism through Substantive Democracy,” a strategy proposal, submitted by Karl Kramer, northern California
Page 5: Resolution on Organizing, submitted by Paul Krehbiel, southern California
Page 6: Resolution on responding to imperialist plans for a twenty-first century ‘New World Order’ and supporting international peace and solidarity, submitted by Peace and Solidarity Committee
Page 9: “Educating about Substantive Democracy through the vehicle of the Democracy Charter,” a program proposal submitted by Karl Kramer, northern California
Page 11: “Defend and Strengthen Labor, and Build Social Justice Unionism,” a resolution submitted by the Labor Committee
Page 13: VII. Resolution on Support for Trade Union Organizing
Submitted by Pat Fry, Paul Krehbiel, Anne Mitchell
Page 14: “CCDS supports the Black Lives Matter Movement,” a resolution submitted by Jim Grant and Daniel Mejia for the Police and State Committee
Page 16: CCDS supports fund for Prisoner education, a resolution submitted by Paul Krehbiel
Page 16: Proposed Amendment to CCDS by-laws, submitted by Paul Krehbiel
I. SOCIALIST EDUCATION TODAY: a Project of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism / Convention Resolution; submitted by Harry Targ and the Socialist Education Project
Context: CCDS, an organization with a long and honorable record in support of workers, people of color, and women, is now over twenty years old. It formed out of existing left and progressive organizations in the period after the collapse of Socialist states in the early 1990s. Its members have been involved in virtually every mass struggle since then. CCDS, like other left organizations, must continue to reassess its mission and role in the struggle for socialism based upon its talents and capacities for work.
Given its long history of activism, educational work, and its continuing contributions to building left unity and the progressive majority and with full recognition of reduced size BE IT RESOLVED, THAT:
1.CCDS continue as a left organization, maintain its issue committees, and work with others to to build the left and progressive majority, particularly working with our comrades in new younger political groupings. This work must be realistically crafted to our capabilities and talents.
2. CCDS prioritize a newly expanded Socialist Education Project. This project would utilize the skills and resources of its existing membership to address current issues, develop theory and articulate socialist pedagogical techniques. The SEP will sponsor online discussions and resources, and produce literature, visual aids, modules, and cultural products of value to those creating a socialism that both draws upon its history and is relevant to building a Twenty-First Century Socialism. The SEP will collect oral histories of members who volunteer to participate.
3.CCDS charge the Socialist Education Project committee with the task of reconstituting itself such that the various educational activities of the organization, current and future, are more effectively coordinated. The new SEP committee will report directly to the NCC as a priority.
Members who wish to participate in writing, electronic communication, constructing educational materials, developing materials to better understand specific issues, and/or outreach to other left groups and millennial organizations, should be encouraged to participate in SEP.
4.The Twenty-First Century Socialist Education Project should prioritize building left unity, networking with millennials, and developing materials relevant to the progressive majority.
In sum, The Twenty-First Century Socialist Education Project will develop materials that relate struggles today to the Marxist tradition, the history of Socialist movements, assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of prior Socialist regimes, and the understanding of the global political economy of finance capital.
Further, it will facilitate the deepening of our understanding of the centrality of the connections between class, race, and gender.
And, the education project will advance the study of historical and dialectical materialism, the role of spirituality in human development, and the connections between individuals, classes, nations, and the global system.
Finally, the project should contribute to the elimination of the fragmentation of the mass movement, advancing and linking together contemporary political activism around the Fight for $15, union organizing, immigrant rights, climate justice, anti-war, women’s reproductive choice, Black Lives Matter, and youth student debt. At the same time networking around education will encourage further left unity projects.
II. ADVANCING TO SOCIALISM THROUGH SUBSTANTIVE DEMOCRACY: A STRATEGY PROPOSAL
Author: Karl Kramer, Committee: Northern California
Goal: to advance a revolutionary process to socialism by deepening democracy to achieve a substantive and transformative democracy
- to counter neoliberalism in the United States and around the world
- to reverse income inequality and wealth disparity
- to develop class consciousness among the people of the United States
- to promote the development of economic democracy and democracy in the workplace
- to defend the public sector as a socially-owned sector of the economy
- to combat racism, sexism and xenophobia as ideologies to push down wages and working conditions
- to fight militarism as a projection of imperial power to create areas of cheap labor and to steal resources
Proposal: CCDS will implement a strategy to develop a social movement that will have a clear class consciousness in the struggle to achieve a genuine democracy that will begin a transformative process leading to socialism. We will do so by fighting the neoliberal economic agenda, imperialism, war, poverty and racism. This strategy will have the following components:
- We will build unity between the working class, the middle classes of professionals and small businesses, and the African American, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander and indigenous communities in a struggle against the monopolization of wealth and power in the hands of transnational corporations and the wealthy elite.
- We will work towards strengthening existing and building new relationships between progressive organizations that represent the sectors that are directly affected by exploitation and oppression.
- We will work on educating people to build the basis for a greater level of organization, that will then lead to realistic possibilities of mobilizing in a mass movement that can achieve substantial political and economic change.
Rationale: An effective organizational strategy requires the necessary work of providing political and economic education so that people have a clear vision of a better world, a class analysis of society and the class consciousness to know who are their allies across racial, ethnic and gender lines. Only through this type of radicalizing education can we develop the type of egalitarian and liberating organizations that will mobilize a mass movement of people to transform society. This proposal shifts the main emphasis of our work to focusing on the education that will lead to revolutionary organizing.
To be perfectly clear, this is not an educational process that forfeits taking action. This is an educational process that accompanies the battles against racism and police repression, the attacks on social programs, militarism, economic exploitation and the devastation of the environment.
This is an educational process that will build the basis for a five-point program to reverse income inequality and wealth disparity.
- Stopping the elimination of union and public sector jobs
We need to support the fast food workers and WalMart workers in their Fight for $15 and a Union. We need to strengthen the National Labor Relations Act and extend its protections to farm workers and domestic workers. Public sector workers who were laid-off in the 2008 recession have not been reinstated due to political reasons, not budgetary. Unemployed parents on public assistance are being used to do the work of civil service employees. The Republicans are trying to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service which has been a source of good-paying, union jobs with an integrated workforce.
- Ending the injustice of mass incarceration
We need to stop the incarceration of a large percentage of the population, particularly African Americans and Latinos, for the benefit of the prison industrial complex, the profiteering of private prisons and the exploitation of captive labor that averages 25 cents per hour. We need to end the life-time of employment discrimination against the formerly incarcerated that forces them into the lowest wage, dirtiest and most dangerous work.
- Fixing a broken immigration system
We must stop the repression by immigration authorities that is breaking up families and forcing people into the shadows. We must end the worksite enforcement of immigration law that makes workers feel vulnerable in asserting their workplace rights. We need to promote alternatives to comprehensive immigration reform, which trades some legalization for increased repression, such as the progressive legislative proposals of the Dignity Campaign and (www.dignitycampaign.org). and the Democracy Charter Committee.
- Fixing a broken welfare-to-work system
Across the country, parents are compelled to do degrading and menial work for their public assistance checks and food stamps. Once they reach their time limit on public assistance, they are forced to take whatever low-wage job they can find. We need to fight for a program that provides real job training that is a path to a living wage job. We need to fight for expanded public sector jobs that provide opportunities for permanent civil service positions for unemployed parents.
- Fixing the “free trade” regime
We need to expose the failed promises of NAFTA, CAFTA-DR and other free trade agreements that have led to job loss, decreased wages and worsening working conditions on both sides of the border. We need to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership in its scheme to create lower-wage areas than China in a spiral to the bottom. We need to build cross-border solidarity with workers in Mexico, Latin America, Africa and Asia. We need to promote “fair trade,” with real protections for workers and the environment, as an alternative. We need to resist the military build-up and aggression with which imperialism projects its military might to create and maintain cheap labor areas of the world and rob their resources.
III. RESOLUTION ON ORGANIZING
Submitted by Paul Krehbiel, southern California
Whereas, CCDS membership is aging and shrinking, and
Whereas, If this is not corrected, CCDS will continue to shrink in size and will eventually lose its ability to remain a viable nationwide socialist organization, and
Whereas, we highly value the work of CCDS and the many unique contributions it has made over our 25 years and continues to make to all the people’s movements and organizations, including the movement for socialism, and
Whereas, we would like to see CCDS continue to make the greatest contributions possible to the people’s movements and organizations, and
Whereas, more members working on whatever CCDS chooses to work on will make a larger contribution than a smaller number of members,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, THAT CCDS shall establish an Organizing Committee whose chief goal will be to develop an Organizing Plan to recruit more members into CCDS, especially millennials, people of color, women, workers, students, and social justice activists, and will develop materials and propose organizational forms to the appropriate CCDS bodies to help achieve these goals.
IV. RESPONDING TO IMPERIALIST PLANS FOR A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ‘NEW WORLD ORDER’ OF MORE VIOLENCE, DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, AND HUMAN SUFFERING
Submitted by the CCDS Peace and Solidarity Committee
For a look at the current justification of US foreign policy, we quote the Washington Post editorial of May 21, 2016:
HARDLY A day goes by without evidence that the liberal international order of the past seven decades is being eroded. China and Russia are attempting to fashion a world in their own illiberal image…This poses an enormous trial for the next U.S. president. We say trial because no matter who takes the Oval Office, it will demand courage and difficult decisions to save the liberal international order. As a new report from the Center for a New American Security points out, this order is worth saving, and it is worth reminding ourselves why: It generated unprecedented global prosperity, lifting billions of people out of poverty; democratic government, once rare, spread to more than 100 nations; and for seven decades there has been no cataclysmic war among the great powers. No wonder U.S. engagement with the world enjoyed a bipartisan consensus.
US imperialist policy elites have been divided between the pragmatists, who recognize some limitations to US power, and the hard right, who want to assert hegemony through military force. Pragmatists had some influence in the Obama administration, with reluctance to attack Syria and desire to deal with Iran and Cuba. However, the 2016 elections clearly show a consensus moving towards the the hard right in foreign policy.
The Washington Post editorial quoted above clearly articulates the dominant view envisioned by US foreign policy elites for the years ahead. It in effect constitutes a synthesis of the “neocon” and the “liberal interventionist” wings of the ruling class. In our judgment, with all our attention on primaries and elections, and different diversions, a New Cold War has started. Only this time it may have even greater consequences for global violence and devastation of the environment than the first one.
The Post vision of a New World Order built upon a reconstituted United States military and economic hegemony has been a central feature of policy-making at least since the end of World War II even though time after time it has suffered setbacks: from defeat in Vietnam, to radical decolonization across the Global South, and to the rise of new poles of power in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe. And grassroots mass mobilizations against neo-liberal globalization and austerity policies have risen everywhere, including in the United States. The Washington Post calls for the mobilization of the same constellation of political forces, military resources, and concentrated wealth, that, if anything, is greater than at any time since the establishment of the US “permanent war economy” after the last World War.
Recent US diplomacy illustrates the application of the vision. President Obama remains committed to trade agreements that will open the doors in every country to penetration by the 200 corporations and banks that dominate the global economy. He continues to expand military expenditures and to authorize the development of new generations of nuclear weapons (at the same time as he visits the site of the dropping of the first atomic bomb at Hiroshima). He engages aggressively in words, deeds, and provocative military moves against Russia and China.
Also, he recently visited Cuba, proclaiming the willingness of the United States to help that country shift its economic model to “free market” capitalism and “democracy.” He then traveled to Argentina to give legitimacy to President Macri, recently elected advocate of that country’s return to the neo-liberal agenda. Meanwhile the United States encourages those who promote instability in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Honduras and offers continuing support to the long-term violent politics of Colombia.
During the President’s visit to Vietnam, he declared an end to the longstanding US arms embargo against that country and warmly supports that country’s incorporation into the Trans Pacific Partnership. He hopes to construct a military coalition against China, even while criticizing Vietnam’s record on human rights. After Vietnam, Obama traveled to Hiroshima at a time when new militarist currents have become more popular in Japan and while US troops continue to engage in violent behavior against citizens of Okinawa, where the US has a military base. In addition, US naval vessels patrol the South China Sea.
These trips have been paralleled by the President’s historic trip to the Persian Gulf earlier this year, shoring up the ties with Saudi Arabia which have been a centerpiece of Middle East/Persian Gulf policy since President Roosevelt negotiated a permanent partnership with that country in the spring of 1945. President Obama has resumed a slow but steady escalation of “boots on the ground” in Iraq, continued support for rebels fighting ISIS and at the same time the government of Syria. And to carry out the mission of reconstituting US hegemony drone strikes and bombing missions target enemies in multiple countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The increasing contradictions of finance and industrial capital grow on a worldwide basis and masses of people in many countries are standing up against the imposition of austerity policies. Also it is becoming clear that the natural environment is in peril. Powerful sectors of the economic and foreign policy establishment agree with the Washington Post calls for a return to the US global hegemonic policy of the last seventy years. The pursuit of global hegemony has benefited banks, multinational corporations, and the military-industrial complex while millions of people have died in wars.
THEREFORE, CCDS will work with the peace movement to oppose:
1. the renewal of an even more aggressive US imperial policy supported by an ever-expanding, huge military budget,
2. the expansion of new strategies and tactics of high-tech, covert warfare: deep-state decision-making and fomenting color revolutions, assassination by drones and special operations teams, economic sanctions and destabilization, electronic surveillance, cyberwar, full-spectrum dominance coordinated through joint operations command and space technology,
3. policies that escalate tensions with Russia and China including a trillion dollar nuclear weapons modernization program, the TPP and the TTIP,
4. efforts to undermine the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador and support for repression in Honduras,
5. US military penetration of Africa,
6. continued collaboration with Saudi Arabia and Israel, the main instruments of violence in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.
CCDS also declares its continued support for:
1. the trend towards a multi-polar world and international institutions that support economic development, real democracy and human rights,
2. Progressive grassroots movements in the Global South and in Europe, including socialism,
3. solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people for equal rights, self-determination and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,
4. legislation to end the embargo of Cuba, and the return of Guantanamo to the Cuban people,
- breaking up the military/industrial complex and building a movement of the progressive majority that connects peace with movements concerning climate change globally, for economic and social justice, and programs for a just transition to a green economy in the US.
- We support efforts to get more sponsors and pass the Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Act.
- We recognize the international policies of our country is a historical, organic and all-sided extension of how our country treats its own citizens
V. Educating about Substantive Democracy through the vehicle of the Democracy Charter: a Program Proposal
Author: Karl Kramer
Committee: Northern California
Goal: to develop a deeper shared understanding of the struggle for democracy and how the Democracy Charter is a platform to moving forward towards substantive democracy
- to carry out and implement the strategy proposal “Advancing to Socialism through Substantive Democracy”
- to develop a shared vision of a better world of living wage jobs or a living income for all, affordable housing, universal health care, quality public education, progressive taxation of corporations and the wealthy, sustainable environment, and peace and self determination for all peoples of the world regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation or identity, or immigration status.
- build relationships and unity between organizations so that they get out of the silos of their single-issue campaigns and see the interconnectedness of issues
- develop cadre rooted in the theory of dialectical and historical materialism
- educate activists about the history of the struggle for democracy and how people of color have been central to that struggle and its intersectionality with today’s struggles
Rationale: We do not have a singular multi-issue movement in the United States but a multitude of movements, often single issue or representing a single group. While they may win momentary battles, by themselves they do not have the joined strength to achieve systemic political and economic change. We also have a low level of organization in the United States. Union density is headed to the single digits and there are no social and economic justice organizations that we can point to as mass organizations. The number and size of progressive organizations is decreasing.
To organize and mobilize a Movement with a capital M, we need to develop an educational program that will convince people that collective action can produce change and that a better world is possible. Only by providing a vision for the future will people be inspired to take action.
The Democracy Charter, penned by the iconic Civil Rights Movement figure Jack O’Dell, provides a vehicle to develop the grassroots organizing potential of activists, to help expand organizing of the rank-and-file base and to create the dialogue that builds relationships between organizations that leads to movement building. O’Dell saw the Democracy Charter as a work in progress that he put in the public domain, an evolving document that is meant to inspire discussion and amendments. The Democracy Charter is not a finished product but a tool to spark continuing discussion.
- CCDS chapters or activists in different regions will in a very intentional manner determine who to approach to join a study discussion group on the Democracy Charter.
CCDS activists would look at what organizations represent people who are directly affected by exploitation and oppression, who are the social movement actors fighting racism and poverty and who are the activists in these organizations involved in grassroots organizing. CCDS activists would then look at which CCDS members have connections to these organizations and activists. In these discussions, CCDS members would decide who should approach activists in these groups to participate in a study discussion group.
- CCDS activists would meet one-on-one with the activists they identified as potential participants in a study discussion group.
CCDS activists would have face-to-face conversations with grassroots activists to identify what are their shared interests and explain how the study discussion group would expand their thinking through dialogue on those shared interests. CCDS would produce talking points to help CCDS activists describe the Democracy Charter.
- CCDS activists would conduct study discussion groups on the Democracy Charter.
CCDS would produce discussion guidelines for the study groups. The study discussion groups also would be train-the-trainer sessions to develop participants to hold study discussion groups among members of their organization or as part of their grassroots organizing.
- CCDS activists would identify participants in the study discussion groups who wish to continue in a longer study discussion group “Long March for Democracy.”
In the “Long March for Democracy” study discussion groups, facilitators would lead a discussion of the organizing framework and study guide “The Struggle for a Substantive Democracy,” compiled by Tim Johnson, a historian, librarian and Marxist theoretician. Other materials that could be incorporated in the sessions are Zach Robinson’s DVD project on the Community Manifesto and the curriculum on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights developed by Carl Davidson, Randy and Tina Shannon. There could be discussion sessions on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 2nd Bill of Rights.
- CCDS activists would identify participants willing and interested in a regional Congress of the People.
CCDS activists would follow up with the facilitators of study discussion groups to identify participants to request to be involved in organizing a regional gathering. The organizing committee would include activists from organizations of strategic importance who particularly would invite members of their organizations to develop base-to-base relations between groups. The Congress of the People would include workshops on the sections of the Democracy Charter and then a plenary session to share, and possibly vote on, proposed changes to the Democracy Charter. The proposed changes and additions from each region could be shared on an existing website for the Democracy Charter www.democracycharter.org. The Congress of the People also would develop a People’s Platform of measures and actions to take on a federal, state and local level.
VI. Defend and Strengthen Labor, and Build Social Justice Unionism
Submitted by the CCDS Labor Committee
Paul Krehbiel, Labor Committee co-chair
Whereas, the labor movement has been under an intensified attack for over 40 years by capital, causing great harm to workers, unions, the working class and society as a whole, resulting in loss of pay, benefits, working conditions and quality of life; and
Whereas, workers, their unions and their allies are resisting these attacks and making some advances, such as gains in the fight for $15, organizing the unorganized, and resisting cutbacks and austerity; and
Whereas, workers of color, women, youth and workers in the south often face the greatest discrimination, exploitation, and oppression; and
Whereas, global capitalism, led by US capital, is exploiting and oppressing the workers of the world; and
Whereas, trade unions and the broader labor movement has historically played a strategic role in advancing democracy, equality, social justice and peace in the country; and
Whereas, Labor for Bernie and the broader national upsurge of support for Bernie Sanders’ progressive pro-labor social democratic program for president broke new ground in the struggle for social progress and the movement to reject the neoliberal agenda from both major political parties and the proto-fascism of Trump, and
Whereas, CCDS members, our supporters and other progressive labor activists can make a special contribution to strengthen the labor movement with our class analysis of capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism, and other forms of exploitation and oppression, and our experience in the trade unions and broader working-class movements;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, THAT the 8th National Convention of CCDS direct CCDS and specifically its Labor Committee to develop a plan to:
(1) help strengthen workers ability to fight more effectively to protect and advance worker’s pay, benefits, working conditions, quality of life, and the working-class as a whole, and rebuff attacks on workers by employers and the political right, using a broad array of tactics from shop floor actions, to strikes, boycotts, building community coalitions, education, political action and other strategies and tactics that are useful,
(2) help strengthen unions and other labor organizations to be more effective in day-to-day struggles by raising workers’ consciousness, from democratic union consciousness, to class consciousness, to socialist consciousness, which will strengthen the struggle against racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination to achieve social justice unionism,
(3) help workers and organized labor unite with other people’s movements, in the workplace, community, and in the political arena to build and strengthen the working-class and the Progressive Majority, to combat racism and white supremacy, sexism, and all forms of discrimination to advance the fight for social justice unionism, including fighting for single-payer health care, free education through college, climate justice, jobs programs, to oppose free trade agreements such as the TPP, and to develop labor’s independent political action, and that we give special attention to the struggles of workers of color, women, youth, workers in the south, and those workers and working-class persons who are among the most exploited and oppressed,
(4) help build solidarity with workers in other countries in the struggle against imperialism, neoliberalism and all forms of exploitation and oppression, and for peace,
(5) help build fully democratic unions and help CCDS members and other progressive and left workers win leadership through democratic processes in their unions and other workers’ organizations,
(6) help build upon the advances made by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, including helping to build an on-going organizational presence for Bernie Sanders’ program and movement,
(7) help more politically advanced workers develop a socialist consciousness through education and activism that includes the organization of classes, forums and action campaigns, help build left forms in the labor movement that unites the many around a progressive program, and recruit politically advanced workers to the CCDS.
VII. Resolution on Support for Trade Union Organizing
Submitted by Pat Fry, Paul Krehbiel, Anne Mitchell
Whereas, trade union membership has fallen from 20.1% in 1983 to 11.1% in 2015, directly leading to the decline in wages, benefits and working conditions and the widening of income inequality;
Whereas, a key reason for union membership decline is greater employer resistance and NLRB rulings under Republican administrations that have tilted power toward employers;
Whereas, trade unions have an historic role to play as the primary agents representing the interests of the working class on the job and in communities;
Whereas, trade unions represent the multi-racial, multi-national working class unmatched by any other organization in the country;
Whereas, trade unions have the capacity to contribute resources, human and material, to allied social movements of civil rights and Black Lives Matter, women rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, peace, and social justice and climate change, among others;
Whereas, trade unions must play a central role in fighting for a just transition to a green economy, for jobs and training, eliminating inequality and discrimination in all forms, for a just transition from military production to a peace economy, and strengthening the agenda of the progressive majority overall;
Whereas, trade union members’ voluntary contributions to political action has made the organized labor movement one of the most powerful forces in get-out-the-vote mobilizations on behalf of labor supported candidates, mobilizing their memberships and communities;
Whereas, trade union leaders at all levels have played a role in challenging racism in the labor movement and the country at large, and have aligned with protests of police killings of Black and Latino people;
Whereas, the AFL-CIO has taken up the challenge of confronting directly the right wing populist sway of the Trump campaign in door-to-door surveys of white working class people and has launched an ad campaign exposing the anti-worker agenda of the Trump campaign;
Whereas, it is in the interests of the whole of the progressive movement and its many sectors that the trade union movement grow in numbers and political muscle;
Whereas, three recent decisions of the NLRB have turned the tide away from being an anti-union board to one that is levelling the playing field with labor friendly decisions: inclusion of temporary and part-time workers in the bargaining unit with full time workers, prohibiting employers’ use of replacement workers if motivated by union-busting, and expedited union elections to shorten the time employers have to intimidate, harass and fire workers.
Whereas, the AFL-CIO in response to the 2013 convention resolution to organize the South has targeted the cities of Dallas, Houston, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta to elect progressive, pro-union candidates to office laying the groundwork for political support in union organizing drives in the South;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, THAT CCDS:
1. work to aid union organizing drives and contract campaigns throughout the country but particularly in the South, working with others on the left and key social forces of the progressive majority;
2. work to help build the Fight for $15 and a Union and the National Day of Action on November 29, the 4-year anniversary of the first strike by 200 fast food workers in New York City, November 29, 2012;
3. work to support labor-community coalitions in get-out-the-vote campaigns to defeat Trump and support pro-union candidates down ballot;
4. work to support labor’s role in campaigns for single payer health care in states;
5. work to make this resolution a task of the CCDS Labor Committee.
The CCDS Labor Committee shall consider the above action plan
VIII. CCDS supports the Black Lives Matter Movement and Efforts to Stop All state Violence
Submitted by Jim Grant and Daniel Mejia for the Police and State Committee
“The Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism joins hands in this movement calling for an end to what amounts to war on Black America.” (CCDS statement July 13th, 2016)
The main result of the violence of police against armed or unarmed civilians seems to end in the same way, overkill of the person confronted. These type of extreme acts seemed to be witnessed more than often in poor and mainly large minority communities, and the justice seems to be mostly the immunity or unequal justice of the officer compared to similar crime offender.
According to tracking by the Washington Post, 533 people have been shot dead by police in 2016. In 2015, 990 people were killed by police: 258 Black, 172 Latino, 494 White, 66 unknown – 250 showed signs of mental illness.
In one recent example in Clinton, NC on the night of May 29, 2016, police shot and killed Mark Coffey, 53, or Warsaw NC. Seven Clinton PD officers and one State trooper are believed to have shot at Coffey. The victim in the shooting was a resident of Warsaw NC, a town east of Clinton. This town has a large African American population, and Coffey is believed to have been of African-American decent. The violence orchestrated by Clinton PD was witnessed by bystanders moments after they arrived to the scene They tried to talk to Coffey, and when he opened the door around 50 rounds of ammunition were shot at Coffey. The officers claim he pointed the gun at them before they shot at him. From the video and the officers account, Mr. Coffey did not fire a round, thus the officers shot first. The events that occurred on the night of May 29 were first recorded by a curious citizen, like many other horrible police executions. If the witness recorded video would have not surfaced, the police and the media would have reported the events as a dangerous altercation that resulted in usual apprehension of a criminal.
SWAT teams are routinely used with the desired effect of overkill. Such extreme conditions demand extreme measures. The Black people that killed police in Dallas and Baton Rouge were veterans of U.S. occupation wars in the Middle East, and many of the police that are killing Black and Latinos are also veterans of US wars – we are living in a completely militarized society. The military industrial complex is destroying whole countries and creating war zones in our cities and towns and borders, threatening the lives of working people shut out of jobs, adequate housing and education.
There is little doubt that the control of the police must be placed in the hands of the people, and taken out of the hands of those who operate as minions of the ruling class. This may involve a democratically elected body, elected by the people. The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (Chicago chapter) has a proposal which has gathered strong support for community control of the police. The people in the oppressed Black and Latino communities need to be able to hold the police accountable for their crimes. They want more than a change in attitudes. They want a change in power relationships between the community and the police. They want an all elected, all Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC).
We call on CCDS to work through our community and religious organizations, trade unions and social movement and electoral coalitions to press for the following measures:
1. Support local initiatives that are pressing for civilian control of police. A leading example is the campaign in Chicago to press for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). A Control Board is more than a Review Board. It would establish democratic control by an elected board with full transparency in investigations of police misconduct and insure accountability.
2. Short of a civilian control board, a special prosecutor should be required in all cases throughout the country where police are involved in killings, or where victims die in police custody, no matter the color of the victim.
3. We oppose the private training of police.
4. We support our immigrant communities and and stand with them in opposition to harassment, arrests, detention, and deportations. We oppose the militarized police and vigilante violence at the boarder
5. Build support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
6 We stand with Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Muslims and all oppressed minorities.
IX. Resolution on funding Prisoner Education
Submitted by Paul Krehbiel
Background: CCDS in southern California is recruiting members who are incarcerated. We have recently organized a Prison Chapter in the California prison system. There are currently members in three prisons. They have formed a CCDS study group thorough the help of a CCDS NCC member on the outside and have received books and other study materials. More incarcerated members are being recruited to the study group and to CCDS. Five of these members have written articles for the 2016 Dialogue & Initiative. Two are getting out of prison next year and are looking forward to getting involved with CCDS. All new incarcerated members to date are young African American men, but the prison chapter is open to incarcerated persons of all races. Most of these incarcerated members are financially destitute.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT CCDS supports donating money to a fund to pay for books and other study materials for incarcerated members.
X. Proposed amendment for CCDS by-laws
Submitted by Paul Krehbiel
PROPOSAL TO ADD SUBSECTION (C) TO BY-LAWS ARTICLE II, SECTION 3:
Membership dues shall be waived for CCDS members who are incarcerated.
Current bylaws Article II, subsections (a) and (b) will remain unchanged. They read:
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP
Section 3. Dues and Sustaining Memberships
(a) CCDS shall have a regular three level, yearly dues structure: an individual rate, a low income rate, and a household of two or more persons rate.
(b) Alternatively, a sustaining membership may be established. Recognizing that dues will only partially fund the organization, CCDS encourages every member to make a voluntary commitment to assist the organization, in the form of a regular sustaining-membership contribution. Sustaining memberships may be established if a member pledges to pay a monthly or quarterly rate of their choosing, as long as the total value pledged for each year is more than a regular dues rate.