Reflections on the First Year of the Socialists of Faith Caucus and Plans for 2019

The Washington Socialist <> March 2019

By Kaiser F

The Socialists of Faith Caucus formed in 2018, with the recognition that different faith traditions have been at the heart of many radical social movements. We’ve sought to build a space for comrades of any and all levels of faith, and a means to pursue faith-based socialist activism.

Our first year began with deep involvement in the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC), during the 40 days of action where people across the country converged on state capitals and DC to launch a national call for moral revival. The campaign focused on poverty and intersectionality; fighting racism, xenophobia, and voter suppression; dismantling economic injustice and militarism; combating ecological devastation and the lack of healthcare; and undoing the degradation of our social safety nets. SoF members and other comrades in DSA joined in mass mobilization, demonstrations, and sit-ins in DC. The PPC continues to this day, having transitioned into a long-term strategy with chapters in DC and Virginia.

The Socialists of Faith caucus has also transitioned into growing and building coalitions with other groups. DSA is a partner, with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), in the Occupation Free DC campaign, which aims to end DC Metropolitan Police participation in US-Israeli counter-terrorism police exchanges;  and the Resist Islamophobia Coalition with the Justice for Muslims Collective (JMC). We’ve also been supporting other MDC DSA groups such as Mutual Aid and Migrant Justice.

Which brings us to 2019. The SoF Caucus has a few goals for this year:

(1) Continue to support internal and external groups through coalition work: Our partnerships with the PPC, JMC, and JVP, have been an important source of solidarity on issues that specifically concern us as socialists of faith. Those concerns also overlap with that of other DSA groups such as Mutual Aid and Migrant Justice, and we look forward to supporting our comrades across the chapter as well.

(2) Grow the SoF caucus: Our group is relatively small, but we want to continue to foster a place for comrades of any and all faiths, or who are simply interested in how faith and socialism intersect. We’ll continue to have both meetings and informal gatherings throughout the year.

(3) Host political education events and discussions: Lastly, one of the earliest ideas in the caucus was a reading group and political education series — only now do we have more resources to get this off the ground. Some of the ideas raised in the caucus include: Sikhism, land reform, and anti-imperialism; the Social Gospel and the dialogue with Marxists; Catholic Socialism and Liberation Theology; and Maulana Bhashani, a.k.a. “The Red Maulana”, of Bangladesh.

Other ideas are always welcome, or if you just want a place to talk to other comrades of faith, join us in the #socialists-of-faith channel or at our next meeting.

The Washington Socialist is the newsletter and editorial publication of Metro DC DSA. The views and opinions expressed here may not reflect those of the chapter, and publication of any information should not be considered an endorsement. For our chapter's official statements, please visit the Statements section of our main site.

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