Socialist Alternative (US)


Socialist Alternative (US)

Socialist Alternative is a Trotskyist organization in the United States. It is the US section of Committee for a Workers' International (CWI).

Publications

Socialist Alternative publishes a bimonthly newspaper called "Justice".

In Boston, Massachusetts, Socialist Alternative publishes a bimonthly newsletter called "The Boston Organizer".

Positions

Socialist Alternative considers the formation of a mass workers party to be integral to the development of the working class movement. This position is influenced by the history of Socialist Alternative's sister organization in England and Wales, which reached its peak in the 1980s while operating as a tendency within the Labour Party (UK). Socialist Alternative contends that unlike Europe, no mass workers party has ever existed in the US, and that this has restrained the development of a healthy working class movement.

Origins

Socialist Alternative was originally named Labor Militant (it shared this name with the CWI's England and Wales section). Labor Militant was founded in 1986.

Activities

Labor Party

Labor Militant intervened in the Labor Party during the party's formation and early period. It was influential in the New York Metro Chapter of the party. Labor Militant members argued that the Labor Party should vigorously run candidates against Democrats, whereas the national leadership of the Labor Party wanted to take a more cautious approach. Labor Militant accused the union bureaucracy of fraud in New York Metro Chapter elections to prevent the running of candidates against Democrats. The dispute ultimately resulted in the Labor Party national leadership closing the New York Metro Chapter, effectively expelling most Labor Militant supporters.

Electoral Work

Nader campaigns

Labor Militant/Socialist Alternative gave critical support to the candidacy of Ralph Nader during the 1996, 2000, and 2004 presidential elections. Members played a particularly prominent role in the 2004 campaign since most other left groups had adopted the "Anybody but Bush" position (effectively supporting John Kerry). Other Trotskyist organizations have criticized Socialist Alternative's support for Nader's campaign on the basis that Nader is not a socialist, that he has relatively right-wing positions on immigration, and claims that he is a bourgeois candidate.

Boston City Council

In 2007, Matt Geary ran for City Council in Boston, Massachusetts as a Socialist Alternative candidate. He received 3,025 votes (2.41%) in a plurality-at-large election in which each voter could cast up to four votes. [- City of Boston. http://www.cityofboston.gov/elections/currentelections/default.asp.]

Antiwar Activism

Socialist Alternative has been very active in opposing the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In 2004 Socialist Alternative members initiated Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR). YAWR works mainly in highschools, and has been at the forefront of counter-recruitment activism in several cities.

Expulsions/Splits

In 1996 five members were expelled who then formed Labor's Militant Voice.

A grouping around Carlos Petroni fused with Socialist Alternative in 1999 constituting the Class Struggle Faction, but then split in 2002 and formed the Left Party.

References

External links

* [http://www.socialistalternative.org Socialist Alternative (US)]
* [http://www.socialistalternative.org/justice/ Socialist Alternative's bimonthly newspaper "Justice"]
* [http://www.votegeary.com/ Matt Geary Campaign]
* [http://www.yawr.org/ Youth Against War and Racism]
* [http://www.laborsmilitantvoice.com/ Labor's Militant Voice]
* [http://www.leftparty.org/ Left Party]


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