DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Sat Jan 11 10:40:55 MST 2014

Paul, this *was* a bit tongue in cheek. The object of my ire toward Joaquin
political assumptions. What I said about Solidarity in the Bay Area...which
I believe is factually accurate, doesn't necessarily correspond to *other*
branches of Soli, such as NYC where they have a much younger membership.
The point about raising this in the Bay Area is because I know the Bay
Area. I see which groups recruit and which don't. The groups with a graying
and aging membership are not recruiting. Those that don't orient toward
where youth are in struggle...and by this I don't necessarily mean Occupy
but the fightback in defense of Education in areas where youth (and unions)
are often struggling, such as the fight against privatization, tuition and
fee increases. If you are not there, you are not speaking to the youth that
can join revolutionary organizations. This fightback, IMO, is *more
important than Occupy* at this moment because it *seems* to be the only
area that both pre-dates Occupy, became part of Occupy, and continued
onward after Occupy faded.

By "language" I don't mean speech but overall understanding of youth
culture and like the above paragraph, where they are actually struggling
*as youth*. Paul, I'm an ol' fart as well. I was speaking from experience
here. The ISO understands this, SO and La Voz understand it, others don't.
Groups such as FSP and Solidarity are worth looking at as groups that in
the Bay Area intervened in the education/youth fightback. Both were very
active in two struggles: Solidarity via the different unions at UC Berkeley
(where the FIRST general assembly was ever held in 2009) and the FSP
via..the unions at the current City Collage of San Francisco (the latter
struggle just realizing a big victory). But the orientation of both toward
these important struggles, while in unconditional support, missed the need
to really try to discuss with students and youth, and instead worked in
areas, naturally, they were more comfortable, that is in the unions. And
this is not to slight that very important orientation, Paul, but it is
simply not the area where you'd recruit young people, in my experience. At
least not directly as union activists. And then Soli would be up against La
Voz, which has an implantation in the unions AND among students and
appeared...far more dynamic than anything Solidarity could put forward or
relate too. And it was worse for FSP who, like Socialist Action members at
the coalition (also oldsters), were relying on "relaying their experiences
20 and 30 years ago" instead of addressing the particular struggle as if
they had some authority on the question. It's an "old-fogey perspective"
and seen as such by youth activists.


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