September 21, 2017

SDS Charlottesville Statement

SDS National stands in full solidarity with the recent actions by anti-racist and anti-fascist forces in Charlottesville, Durham, Boston and all across the country that confronted gatherings of white supremacists and sought to smash the symbols of white nationalism in this country. We believe in zero tolerance for those who use hate speech to agitate violent sexist, racist and homophobic bigots into committing hate crimes. SDS believes that the way to defeat the right wing in the streets, in our communities and in our institutions is through mass action that confronts white supremacy, anti-LGBTQ hate, sexism and chauvinism no matter the form it takes.
Following the events in Charlottesville, a country-wide movement to remove Confederate symbols has gained strength and expanded to new areas. We believe that every confederate statue across the country should be torn down in the next few months. We also recognize that these statues are symbols of the systemic white supremacy that students and youths face in schools and campuses across the country. We call on the removal of monuments like the “Silent Sam” confederate statue at UNC Chapel Hill, Francis Eppes at Florida State University, the confederate soldier at Ole Miss, and the many other confederate symbols on college campuses including University of Georgia and University of Tennessee.
SDS has been a leader in the struggle against white supremacy and hate speech in schools from Florida to California. Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society has been leading a struggle at Florida State University to remove the statue of a slave owner and confederate Francis Eppes on campus as well as to implement affirmative action measures to increase enrollment of students of color at the university. Additionally SDS chapters from Minnesota to Berkeley have taken militant action to confront the white nationalist and transphobic Milo Yiannopoulos as he attempted to spread hate at college campuses across the country. Chapters across the country took action earlier this summer to organize counter protests against the “March Against Sharia” that were called across the country by the anti muslim hate group ACT for America. In all cases it was demonstrated that by putting in the work to call for actions that seeks to mobilize and unite our communities we can drown out and drive out the forces of white supremacy, sexism and anti-LGBTQ hate with the power of the people.

White Supremacy, anti-LGBTQ hate, sexism and national chauvinism isn’t new in U.S. history, in-fact it lays at the very bedrock of America. However since Trump’s election we’ve entered a period where these groups and people feel emboldened to act more openly and more violently than in recent years. With the upsurge of the violent right we have also seen the people stand up and fight back. This upsurge of people has been inspiring and maps out the path that we need to continue to fight against white supremacy, bigotry and hate. Activists in Charlottesville, Boston, Durham and countless other cities have set an example we need to follow. We must continue to drown them out and assert a politics that seeks the liberation of all oppressed people and seeks to crush the movement of right wing hate in our communities and in the streets through mobilization and struggle. When we dare to struggle, we dare to win!