This is the link to our face book event :)
Join Liz and Vivi for a pozole dinner fundraiser for college expenses on Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm. The fundraiser will take place at 2700 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido Ca, 92027. Dinner will include a bowl of pozole, a water (agua fresca), and a slice of cake.
Tickets will be pre-sold for a suggested $10 donation or can be bought at the door the day of the event. Contact Liz (760) 670-9934, or Vivi (760) 917-1334 to purchase tickets or respond to this email.
All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the college expenses of Liz, a CSUSM Sociology student and Vivi, a SDSU Graphic Design student for the Fall 2013 semester. As continuing college undocumented students your support will truly make a difference in our education.
Attached is the flyer for our fundraiser. Feel free to invite other community members or forward this email to friends that may be interested in attending the fundraiser. If you can not attend the fundraiser but would like to donate you can do so online through our FundRazr account (https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3Wgz4).
We can’t wait to see you there!
Liz and Vivi
Submitted by: http://vivi-ahna.tumblr.com/
On the real though, it’s WAY easier to condemn than create.
Let me ask a question—and with it, include a disclaimer that I don’t think party-building or newspaper sales actually constitute good praxis at all:
What SHOULD they be doing?
Like, what’s the game plan here? What’s the plan of attack? Does anyone have any idea?
Yeah newspaper sales are a joke, and a funny one at that. No, they don’t work. But what should these guys do instead?
What should ANY of us be doing?
I’m more critiquing the Socialists than anything else. They’re acting as if the revolution is tomorrow IF ONLY WE SOLD MORE PAPERS.
Like, I’m just fucking mad that they think newpapers are the only way to communicate. that they think the state is the only way to organize. That they do things simply out of tradition and not out of effectiveness.
Fuck the newspapers. Go fucking talk to union leaders. Talk to coworkers. ANYTHING BESIDES BECOMING A SUBCULTURE. The groups here are literally hang out groups. Everyone in the WIL are friends and hang out and drink and whatever. They’ll go out, set up a table, bother some people walking to class, sell a paper or two, then go back to one of their houses and hang out.
It’s a subculture, not a threat. It’s empty slogans. I just want them to acknowledge that what they’re doing isn’t working, and they need to think before they sell. Think before they act. Like, how many times do you need to hold paper sales, sell nothing, and go home, to realize that it isn’t working? They do the same thing every fucking week. It’s a routine.
I don’t know what we should be doing, I just know that we can’t keep repeating the same mistakes and same actions if they’re not helping at all.
Just because the ISO and the CPUSA are more focused on selling papers than anything doesn’t mean anything. Trots and democratic socialists don’t speak for anyone but themselves; I’m a socialist and I’m assisting in starting up a chapter of the IWW here in Dallas, I talk to coworkers, I openly criticize (and mind you, I work at a place notorious for union-busting), and I happily work with anarchists. Please don’t generalize and group all socialists together just because a couple of college frat ISO Trots think that selling newspapers are a legitimate form of starting a revolution.
Um, the vice president of the Chicago teachers union is an ISO member, as is a large proportion of CORE. This is not to mention the large number of members who are rank and file union members. One of my closest comrades is a union steward.
ISO branches are almost ubiquitously involved with Students for Justice in Palestine chapters. This is the work my branch focuses on. Comrades at my branch have been involved in Occupy, have organized for Prison Awareness Week, and have attended actions sponsored by the farm laborers’ union FLOC. That’s not even a complete list of the stuff we’ve done beyond “selling papers” and we’re a small and frankly ineffectual branch when compared to others.
I’ve interned with FLOC and have been heavily involved in prison activism for about three years now. This isn’t strictly ISO work, but I’m an ISO member who’s sure doing shit other than selling papers and the work I do is highly informed by what I have learned in the ISO.
The ISO branch in Detroit has organized and/or co-sponsored several panels in opposition to racism and police brutality. Among other events, we had a panel that included as speakers Mertilla Jones, Aiyana Johnes’ grandmother, as well as community leaders and comrades. Via local ISO events, I’ve heard former members of DRUM and the Black Panthers speak. Just in the last year, the Detroit branch has also done day schools on Rape Culture and Leninist Organizing.
Which is not even to mention the fact that the ISO puts on the biggest and best Left conference in the country every single year.
This whole “ISO thinks selling new papers will start the revolution” thing is complete and utter bullshit, and frankly that level of bullshit can only come from ignorance or willful dishonesty.
That line; “This whole “ISO thinks selling new papers will start the revolution” thing is complete and utter bullshit, and frankly that level of bullshit can only come from ignorance or willful dishonesty.” needs to repeated everywhere. I’m so fucking sick of that silly baseless piece of nonsense. Seriously, if someone actually thinks that, that all we do is sell papers, then you clearly have never actually met any of us or worked with any of us. The extent of our work is pretty goddam broad, significant and diverse, there is no way to sum it up. And even then, it always bugged me how some Anarchists put so much on putting zines and the like, but if you do the exact same thing but call it a paper, then there’s something wrong with you (also the IWW has a paper too, you know).
There’s definitely some mis-characterization here but there’s also alot of truth to the criticism. I just think selling papers on the corner is destructive organizationally, and I think there is a cultural problem within some organizations that doesn’t allow the sort of criticism that would change that to really be dealt with in the organization.
Like, I’ve seen it brought up many times in different groups, and the response is always pretty dogmatically in ‘defense of a revolutionary paper!’ I think selling papers on the corner is a big turn off for people who might be sympathetic to your political views otherwise, especially if you have a kind of really weird/outdated looking website. I think it’s one of those ‘elevation of tactics to the ideological level’ things that I hear lots of socialists level as a criticism against anarchists.
I don’t have a dog in this race. I’d love to see some cooperative broad synthesis between what I see in alot of Trotskyists and what I see among anarcho-syndicalists. I think Richard Wolff and others have started to do lay the ground work for framing this sort of strategic union. I think there has to be some broader identity for leftists who are devoted to making communism happen and can see multiple paths, who are not married to any one strategy and don’t believe there is some pre-written answer based on completely different circumstances 100+ years ago. And that doesn’t mean just throwing in the line ‘There is no pre-written answer,’ in your talk right before you start announcing the definitive historic lessons of far-gone revolutions. I think newspaper sales are self-destructive for the organizations that utilize that as an ‘important/valued’ strategy. Have a paper, maybe spend some money giving it away. It shouldn’t be a highly valued tactic.
Most of the issues I see both in groups of socialists and anarchists are issues regarding the culture of the groups, not necessarily the ideology they reflect. I seen no practical reason why newspaper sales should be held onto so rigidly. Neither would I recommend bands of anarchists selling zines on various corners, coming to rallies that others have spent alot of energy organizing and trying to focus on selling zines. It fosters discontent for your organization. It is not constructive. I also would like to see more emphasis on stuff that isn’t Russian/Bolshevik specific. I don’t mean ignore the history, but allow a culture to develop in your organization that reflects society today, use terminology that is relevant. If there isn’t a practical use for emulating Bolshevik words all the time, stop. It can be distancing for people who are new to your politics. Allow the culture of the organization to breath a little.
These are real criticisms. There are real problems in these organizations. And I love you all so much. I want to see you grow, flourish, succeed and become wildly popular. I want a broad, strong, mighty left. I want a communist future. But I think there’s a lack of seriousness/maturity dominating the culture of certain groups, and I think there is a knee-jerk reaction to suppress, dismiss and ignore criticism rather than really consider & engage with it.
I think there is an ass-backwardness to a lot of the criticism that is both dated and missing what is really being argued about here. The paper is just a tool. Its not the reason for setting up tables on street corners by any stretch of the imagination. The purpose is to set up tables on street corners and wherever else to engage with people in discussion. To talk politics in the public area and in the community. Thats it. Thats what you are all on about. The paper can be a usefull tool in doing that at times, conversation starters and such, but sometimes a petition works better, or just handing out fliers, or something else. We’re not married to the paper. We don’t even call them “paper sales,” they’re called “Tablings” cause that’s the purpose. And I can’t imagine anyone who’d have an issue with that, of trying to engage with the public, of getting socialist ideas out there, of trying to break through the corporate media sound barrier with radical politics, by just talking and relating to people. Thats all it is.
Yeah, I understand that that’s the intent. But you must be aware of how it is perceived. In a society where print-media is increasingly not a preferred means of information, to have people walking around asking for a $1 for a paper, breeds suspicion and distance. When you use it to start conversations, and then say, would you like a copy, it’ll cost $1, that’s really weird, it can make people really uncomfortable, and (I believe) does a disservice to you strategically.It feels like the same format as a sales pitch.
If it is a tool, then do what you would do with an ineffective tool, throw it away, pick up another tool, try something else. That’s what I’m saying - try something else. Put energy into paperless tablings. Try and come up with creative alternatives. Try LOTS of stuff. I’ve been to ISO & other tablings in several cities. I’m sorry but I see the same kinda-weird stuff over and over, and the same reactions by people who feel like they are being asked if ‘they’ve heard the good news’ or if ‘they can spare a bit of change’ because the interactions are very often more like that than a lively political discussion.
It’s intention & ideal execution are not the problem. It’s the reality of what actually happens, and how it is perceived by people who could be very turned off. I mean, ask yourself, how would you know when paper sales became ineffective? Do you believe there will come a time when print media digestion has dropped to a point that paper sales won’t be the best tool for having a political conversation? How will you know when you get there?