Archive for January, 2008

National Days of Student Action Against the Iraq War

January 25, 2008

The following call to action was unanimously endorsed by the Southeast SDS convention, January 18-21 in Tuscaloosa, AL.


This March will mark a grim milestone – the fifth anniversary of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Despite the clear mandate from the American people to end the occupation, the U.S. government continues to wage war upon the Iraqi people. Bush’s mocking response to dwindling public support for the war has been the “troop surge,” or simply more of the same, while simultaneously threatening neighboring countries like Iran. For their part, the Democrats refuse to commit to a clear anti-war stance, even as they try to posture as the opposition party. Meanwhile, the threat of domestic recession looms, racist attacks increase, and millions lack decent housing, jobs, education, and health-care.

The war will drag on for many more years–draining billions of dollars and resulting in thousands of more causalities, both American and Iraqi, on top of the hundreds of thousands already killed, injured, and displaced–unless the people stand up and fight for change.

Every year, there have been protests marking the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that was launched on the basis of lies and deceit. Students have historically had an especially important role in the struggles against racism and war, and we continue to do so today. Last March, over 80 high schools and colleges answered the call by chapters of Students for a Democratic Society to come together to send one loud resounding NO to the Bush administration and the Republican agenda, to the Democrats who refuse to carry out the mandate of their constituents, and to the University administrations that so often support war efforts.

This March, SDS is urging all students, as part of the broader community of people of conscience, to voice our opposition to the war in Iraq. As the presidential election nears, candidates need to be sent a clear message: we will not stand for vague time lines and empty promises, we will not tolerate sanctions, threats, and aggression against Iran, and that we will stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people who are struggling to liberate their country.

We want as many people as possible to join us in this protest; the larger the protest the stronger the impact we have, and the sooner we can help end this war. We are calling on any and all student and youth based organizations that are opposed to the war in Iraq to mobilize their memberships, their campus, their community and hit the streets for the week of March 17-21, with March 20 as the focal point.* We are calling on students to take action on their own campuses, where we have the power to reach the entire student body with our message and build resistance on our own campuses. We are calling on our fellow students and youth to take the lead and do whatever it takes–from rallies, marches, walk-outs, civil disobedience, and direct action–to send a clear message to the U.S. government: Get out of Iraq Now!


Students for a Democratic Society

March 20th Working Group

January 4, 2008

Contact if you would like to sign on to the call.

*This call is flexible so that each campus/community can organize an action that works best for them. For instance, if March 20th is an inconvenient date due to Spring Break, actions can be held in the weeks prior to or after 3/20. We are encouraging those who are on spring break during this week to mobilize their chapters to participate in the anti-war actions being held in D.C. on the 19th; for more information on the actions in DC, email


Resolution in support of the International Worker Justice Campaign

January 23, 2008

The following resolution was unanimously endorsed by the 3rd regional convention of SDS chapters in the South, January 18-21 in Tuscaloosa, AL.

For fifty years, public sector workers in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia have had their human rights violated by Jim Crow era laws that prohibit collective bargaining agreements with their employer. Because of these laws, hundreds of thousands of workers in the South are left without the ability to collectively negotiate binding agreements.

The result is that public sector workers in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia suffer from substandard wages, inadequate healthcare, insufficient pensions, discrimination and harassment on the job, racist attacks, and more.

The laws that prohibit collective bargaining for public sector workers in these states are a hold over from Jim Crow. These laws exist to suppress the labor movement generally, but in particular they serve to stifle the collective strength of Black workers in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. That is because historically there has been a high concentration of Black workers in the public sector in these states.

The right to collective bargaining is a fundamental human right. It is what allows workers to collectively reach agreements on wages, healthcare, and other issues that are binding upon their employer. With it, they are able to negotiate fair contracts that meet their needs. Without it, the workers are subject to the whims of the bosses.

The International Worker Justice Campaign is a project of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, a democratic and independent union ( For over three years, union organizers with UE in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have been working tirelessly to build worker power on the shop floor, and to build a broad grassroots movement to repeal the anti-worker laws in these states.

They need our support. Important legislative battles are on the horizon that would overturn the anti-worker laws and empower public sector workers. This would be a huge victory for labor in these three states; further, it would be a giant stride forward for the labor movement in the South as a whole.

As students and youth in SDS, we have an important role to play in this historic campaign. Some of the worst exploitation of public sector workers happens right where we organize–on high school and college campuses. Our schools are battlegrounds in the overall struggle to win collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, and as students and youth, we must dedicate ourselves to giving real support and solidarity to these workers in their fight for justice and equality.

Therefore, let it be resolved that the 3rd Southern SDS Regional convention hereby:

1. Endorse the International Worker Justice campaign;
2. That delegates attending will bring back this resolution to their local chapters for endorsement;
3. That delegates attending will pledge to support the campaign through signing endorsements, raising awareness, and/or organizing events around the IWJC in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.