Socialist Alternative

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Socialist Alternative is affiliated with the United for Peace and Justice.[1]

Socialist Alternative is in political solidarity with the Committee for a Workers' International, a worldwide socialist organization in 37 countries, on every continent.


Socialist Alternative first emerged as “Labor Militant” in 1986. Its activists were inspired by the example of the U.K. socialist group Militant Tendency, which sought to enter the British Labour Party in order to radicalize its rank-and-file. A decade later it would use its position on the Liverpool City Council and elsewhere to lead an aggressive campaign against the Thatcher administration’s cuts to social programs.

The American militants adapted their tactics to the conditions in their own country. Without a mass social-democratic party to enter into, Socialist Alternative used its early influence in the now-defunct U.S. Labor Party of the late 1990s to advocate for electoral opposition to Democratic Party politicians. In the coming years the organization would be active in social movements, but it wasn’t much of a presence even by the slim standards of the American Left. It had neither the clout of the Democratic Socialists of America nor the number of activists of the largest American bastion of Trotskyism, the International Socialist Organization.[2]

Nationwide Anti-Trump Organizing

In an article at a Socialist Alternative publication, Patrick Ayers writes:

"Within hours of Trump’s victory, on November 8, Socialist Alternative branches around the county helped initiate protests that saw as many as 40,000 people come out on the streets on November 9."[3]

Additionally, Ayers continues:

"Defeating Trump’s agenda would massively raise the confidence of working people to fight for other demands including a $15 federal minimum wage, single-payer healthcare, an end to mass incarceration, and tuition-free college. But victories under capitalism, as in the past, can be reversed. Globally, capitalism faces a historic crisis that the U.S. cannot escape. The world economy faces an epoch of sluggish growth, while wars, social conflict and environmental catastrophe threaten to engulf the planet. We believe the fight against the right must be part of building an independent movement of working people to fundamentally transform society along socialist lines."

Anti-Trump Protests

See also: NeverTrump

Socialist Alternative "helped kick off massive marches in New York City, Seattle, Philadelphia, Oakland, California, and Ann Arbor, Michigan."[4]

2020 Antifa riots

See also: 2020 Antifa riots

In Marxist–Leninist and Maoist theory, a United front is a coalition of leftist organizations that collude for the purpose of taking over a government. In the 116th Congress, the Committees of Correspondence for Democratic Socialism, Democratic Socialists of America, Liberation Road (formerly Freedom Road Socialist Organization}, and Communist Party of the United States formally created a united front of the nation's four largest Communist organizations to take over the Democratic Party.[5] As of 2018 the umbrella group is known as the Left Inside/Outside Project (“One foot in the institutions, one foot in the streets.”[6]) consisted of 57,000 community organizers.[7] At its August 2019 convention the DSA passed a resolution to form a

“National Working Group to help drive collaboration and resource sharing to support our antifascist organizing.”[8]

Law enforcement authorities found evidence of pre-planning. The Minneapolis Star/Tribune reported:

state officials said several caches of flammable materials were found both in neighborhoods where there have already been fires and “in cars we’ve stopped as recently as this morning,” said John Harrington, state public safety commissioner. Some of the caches look like they may have been planted days ago and some only in the last 24 hours or so, he said. Police are also finding stolen vehicles with plates removed that are being used to transport the flammable materials. Looted goods and weapons also have been found in the stolen cars, he said.[9]

The Sunrise Movement, with established groups in several major cities, has heavily recruited activists from the DSA and Liberation Road affiliated groups, such as the Pennsylvania Student Power Network. Sunrise founding activists are all current trainers with Momentum Community, which is a training workshop funded by millionaires and billionaires to “incubate” supposed "grassroots" organizations such as Sunrise and the Movimiento Cosecha (Harvest Movement). Democrat millionaire donor and former 2020 presidential election candidate Tom Steyer's NextGen America is also tied to the Sunrise Movement, and according to the New York Times, the two groups “strategize” together.[10]

The DSA itself as of 2020 has 66,000 members nationwide and locals in almost every state. Other communist groups such as Communist Party USA, Liberation Road, Socialist Alternative, Workers World Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Socialist Unity Party, and Revolutionary Communist Party and their allies in Black Lives Matter and Antifa can mobilize tens of thousands of militants and organizing cadre at short notice. The American Left has the power to start race riots in nearly every major U.S. city. DSA branches in Memphis, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Louisville, Philadelphia, and Richmond are raising funds for “George Floyd Uprisings Nationwide.”[11]


Marxist insurrectionists set up check points and border walls in Occupied Seattle. Residents were extorted and forced to pay protection money.
See also: 2020 Antifa riots

After two straight nights of violence, the Seattle Police Department abandoned its east precinct building.

Several hundred demonstrators, led by Seattle City Council Socialist Alternative[12] Kshama Sawant, occupied City Hall calling for the resignation of Democrat mayor Jenny Durkan and the defunding of the Seattle Police Department after a march from the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Sawant was backed by Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).[13] The DSA provided logisitcal support for the riots.[14] Sawant called for the importance of Black LGBTQIA+ women and other issues. At City Hall another speaker decried Sawant’s cooptation of the movement to push her own agenda.

“Please stop using Black Lives Matter for your political campaigns....I’m really sorry, I want to tax Amazon too, I want to do all these things too, but this is not a movement for you to be politically active, for you to be politically correct, and for you to gain all these votes. Please stop taking advantage of us.”

The speaker noted the whiteness of many speakers at recent protests. Protesters left City Hall chanting “Defund SPD” and headed back to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), where protesters watched 13th, a documentary on the The New Jim Crow.

A two-hour rally of an estimated 2,000 protesters gathered in the rain for a community meeting hosted by Sawant.

“What we’ve defeated here is the political establishment of this city....You can never have zero police and an elimination of racism and oppression on the basis of capitalism."

A 30-point list of demands was published. “We demand the de-gentrification of Seattle, starting with rent control," etc.

Community members were subjected to barricades set up by the protesters with some armed individuals running them as checkpoints in the neighborhood,” a police spokesman said. “While they have a constitutionally protected right to bear arms there is no legal right for those arms to be used to intimidate community members.” Residents described a small number of people armed with rifles who have been seen serving as guards. Many businesses and residential buildings in the so called C.H.A.Z. hired private security staff. The entire area was lawless, and residents were left to fend for themselves. A social media posting from inside the occupied territory read,

"Due to the police not being able to respond for fear of reprisal and the shear amount of police resources required that makes it possible to have any presents in our area, residents needed to have an emergency plan that does not involve 911. Whether it is contacting friends, family or driving someone or yourself to the emergency room. You can still call 911 for help with planning and dealing with emergencies, but they may ask that you attempt to make your way to one of their other locations or possibly deal with a significant delayed response.[15]

The Occupied Seattle Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone offered no social and mental health care for victims of the occupation.

Regional affiliates

  • Socialist Alternative - Austin
  • Socialist Alternative - Houston
  • Socialist Alternative - Michigan
  • Socialist Alternative - NYC
  • Socialist Alternative - Seattle

Solidarity with Sept. 24 FBI Raid Activists

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression lists Socialist Alternative as one of the organizations that has issued a statement of solidarity in support of the activists raided in the September 24, 2010 FBI Raids.[16]

Electoral politics

In 2013 Socialist Alternative ran several high-profile local city council races — Kshama Sawant’s in Seattle, Ty Moore’s in Minneapolis and Seamus Whelan’s in Boston.

Savant won, Moore came very close.[17]

Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant is a Seattle, Washington, activist and politician. Sawant was born in India and moved to the United States after graduating from college when her husband was hired by Microsoft. She is an economics professor at Seattle Central Community College. When Seattle police evicted the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Westlake Park, she arranged for the camp to move to the campus where she teaches. Sawant, herself, was an organizer for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

She is a member of the Socialist Alternative party, followers of Leon Trotsky. The labor leadership in the U.S. she has stated, "has completely betrayed the working class. They are hand in glove with the Democratic Party .... and they tell the workers that you have to be happy with these crumbs."

She charges that the "Democratic Party pays lip service to workers' needs. In reality both the Democrats and Republicans serve the interests of a tiny financial aristocracy."[18]

Sawant is a Berniecrat, a term used for those democrats (generally) running for office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[19]

Seattle DSA endorsed Kshama Sawant for Seattle City Council District 3: "Councilmember Sawant has been a tireless advocate for workers and tenants during a period where the Council has been under intense pressure to fold to corporate interests. She has never wavered in her support for the issues that matter most: from fighting for the $15 minimum wage, to taxing big business and rent control. Councilmember Sawant is the best choice for Seattle's working class."

Bryan Watson is a Democratic Socialists of America activist in Seattle District 3. In 2015 he was the Finance Director for Kshama Sawant’s independent socialist re-election campaign to City Council.[20]

Seattle voters shocked the political establishment , Nov. 5, 2013, when they elected an avowed socialist, Kshama Sawant, to the nine-member Seattle City Council.

All council members in this city are elected non-partisan and at-large. So Sawant's 51 percent victory over 16-year incumbent councilman, Richard Conlin, was seen as an indication of a shift to the left among voters citywide.

Sawant wracked up 60 percent margins in the Central District, Seattle's historically Black community, the International District with heavy concentrations of Asian American voters, and in Wallingford, adjacent to the University District. She scored 55 percent or higher in the University District home of the University of Washington. She also won above 55 percent in Fremont and Ballard, the center of Scandinavian American voters, and in Beacon Hill, a solidly working class district south of downtown.

Sawant made the fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage the centerpiece of her campaign. The issue is so popular that voters in SeaTac, home of the Seattle-Tacoma airport, put an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour on the ballot. It was approved by a razor thin margin. Enemies of the increase are now challenging it in court and a recount is expected. Already, Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the nation with increases pegged to the rising cost of living. Currently $9.19 an hour, it is set to rise to $9.32 in January.

Sawant also campaigned for rent control in the city. She called for a "millionaires tax" to curb income inequality and ease the fiscal crisis in Washington State where there is no income tax, only a regressive 8.5 percent sales tax. She denounced police brutality and police use of lethal force in Seattle. And she campaigned for immigration reform.

A few weeks ago, a reporter asked incumbent Seattle mayor, Mike McGinn, his view of the SeaTac minimum wage initiative. McGinn said he fully supports it. Not to be outdone, McGinn's challenger, State Senator, Ed Murray, said he supports a $15 minimum wage not just at SeaTac but for all Seattle workers. Murray won the election. He is now "Mayor-elect" of the Emerald City. He is a Democrat.[21]

Inspired by the victory of socialist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, the Chicago Socialist Campaign launched in the winter of 2014, with the goal of running a candidate for City Council in 2015. On May Day, the campaign announced who that candidate would be: Jorge Mujica, a long-time immigrant rights and labor organizer, who plans to seek election as the alderman for Chicago’s 25th ward.

Kshama Sawant traveled to Chicago to support Mujica.

Left Forum 2015

Occupy Democracy: The Public Square and/or The Ballots!

  • Jesse Alexander Myerson Chair,
  • Kshama Sawant Vote Sawant
  • Charles Lenchner Ready For Warren & Organizing 2.0
  • Winnie Wong Ready For Warren & Occupy Wall Street NYC

80th anniversary of Social Security celebration in Seattle on Saturday, Aug. 8 2015 at Westlake Plaza, Seattle.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, US Senate
  • Rep. Adam Smith, US House of Representatives
  • Sen. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Legislature
  • Hon. Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council member
  • Lynne Dodson - Secretary Treasurer, Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO
  • Heather Villanueva - Senior Community Strength Organizer, SEIU 775, Board member, Ingersoll Gender Center
  • Rebecca Saldana - Executive Director, Puget Sound Sage
  • Gerald Hankerson - President of Alaska, Oregon, Washington State Area Conference NAACP
  • Marcelas Owens - Youth leader, Washington CAN!
  • Hugh Foy, MD. Physicians for a National Health Plan Western Washington, Professor of Surgery, UW School of Medicine, Director of the Surgical Specialties Clinic, Harborview
  • Jackie Boschak - President of Washington Alliance for Retired Americans

Organised by Robby Stern of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, and Chuck Haunreiter, Washington Community Action Network.[22]

Left Forum 2016

Saturday Night Event, May 21, 2016: Black Liberation & the Sanders Groundswell: Prospects for Left Unity with Keeanga Taylor|Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Kshama Sawant, August Nimtz, and Debbie Bookchin.[23]

The People's Revolutionary meet and greet

Seatttle People's Party - Black Zia Cantina Burien Washington August 18 2018.

This event is for political networking and having a good time celebrating progressive wins around the country with fellow progressives/leftists/comrades and discussing how we can do better in the future. We have a few speakers and performers. The performers are entertaining us on a saturday evening so we ask for a suggested donation of $27 of which 100% will go to the performers.

Speakers: Kshama Sawant, Sarah Smith, Georgia Davenport, Robert Satiacum, Nikkita Oliver, Krystal Marx.

Organized by comrades Amber Wood, Georgia Davenport Glen Casebeer, Supreet Kaur, Tania Singh,

External links

See also


  1. Affiliates
  2. In These Times, December 9, 2013 Can Socialists Win Elections in the U.S.?, BY Bhaskar Sunkara and Micah Uetricht
  3. College students plan nationwide walkouts to protest Donald Trump's inauguration, accessed January 12 2017
  4. College students plan nationwide walkouts to protest Donald Trump's inauguration, accessed January 12 2017
  12. Socialist Alternative is a Trotskyite organization.
  16. Committee to Stop FBI Repression: Solidarity Statements (accessed on Oct. 6, 2010)
  17. In These Times, December 9, 2013 Can Socialists Win Elections in the U.S.?, BY Bhaskar Sunkara and Micah Uetricht
  18. Seattle elects socialist to city council by: Tim Wheeler December 9 2013
  19. Berniecrats, accessed August 24
  20. [1]
  21. [, Seattle elects socialist to city council by: Tim Wheeler December 9 2013]
  22. Medicare, Social Security success Aug. 8 in Seattle By ROBBY STERN and CHUCK HAUNREITER (July 20, 2015)
  23. [2]