Since re-forming in January of 2006, the revived Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) has grown over two-hundred chapters around the United States. These chapters have been involved in a variety of different organizing efforts from antiwar work to fighting tuition hikes at universities around the country. SDS will hold its second annual convention next month in Detroit. Michigan is home to at least eight SDS chapters, including chapters at Wayne State University, University of Michigan, and Grand Rapids.
SDS has issued a call encouraging chapters to send their members to Detroit:
In less than a year-and-a-half, SDS has grown to thousands of members at hundreds of chapters across the U.S. and represents one of the largest radical multi-issue voices on the American student left. SDS has proven itself to be an emerging force against imperialism, leading targeted actions to shut down the war machine from New York to Washington State. SDS is also combating the multi-layered forms of oppression that exist within our organization and the society at large, including but not limited to class, heterosexism, racism, and sexism. SDS incorporates a vision of environmental and climate justice, working to reverse the trend of ecological destruction that threatens the planet. And through it all SDS remains committed to participatory democracy as not only a goal but as our basic operating principle.
As last year’s National Convention resolved, the main priority this July will be to decide on issues of national structure, meaning the way that SDS chapters will be linked together to form a coherent whole. SDSers from all over the nation will gather to resolve those issues, during four days of food, fun, networking, strategy and training.
The burning question this summer is “How do we organize ourselves?” How do we effectively build student power, fight oppression and the militarization of society, ensure internal democracy and at the same time have a functional framework to support the thousands of new students that will join SDS in the coming year?
To answer these questions, as the old SDS saying goes, we need to “Let the People Decide!” And as a member of SDS, that means YOU!
Here’s 2 easy steps you can take to participate in this conversation and help SDS decide on national structure:
Come to Detroit this July (and bring your chapter!!!)
Send your ideas and proposals for how SDS should be structured, *early* so they can be circulated and read by SDSers across the country before the convention. In the meantime, brainstorm!
The 2007 SDS National Convention may become a pivotal event for our generation, not unlike what the 1962 Port Huron convention became for the generation that preceded us. The world faces some of the same grave challenges that it did in the ’60s, the stakes may be higher today, but the struggle continues. Come help turn the tide this July. See you in Detroit!
More information on the convention is available at http://newsds.org/wiki/index.php?title=National_Convention.