Opinion Editorial on the Democratic Socialists of America calling the police on LGBT activists and their supporters in Austin
by Ed Dalton
On Tuesday June 25, revolutionary LGBT organization Stonewall Militant Front (SMF) confronted the DSA night school which opportunistically presents itself as both “socialist” as well as LGBT supportive. The confrontation and the DSA response speak volumes about the real role that DSA plays in the struggle of the LGBT community.
Instead of engaging in dialogue with the LGBT organizers who verbally confronted DSA, either the DSA or their supporters in attendance called the police on the activists, turning what could be a beneficial political debate into an antagonistic contradiction by their reliance on the abusive and homophobic Austin Police Department.
There could not be a clearer denunciation of the history of the Stonewall Riot than using the capitalist police to suppress and intimidate LGBT activists. The activists themselves refused to give into the police presence and stood valiantly against both the DSA and their defenders, the APD.
The legacy of Stonewall has been met with endless capitalist appropriation, but in reality it was first and foremost an act of just rebellion from the LGBT community, who utilized revolutionary violence against the police in order to be seen as human beings with basic civil rights. This rebellious tradition has been gutted by the capitalist press and the DSA clearly belongs to this camp of liquidators.
The LGBT people of Austin should be able to speak up against the corrupt politics of the DSA without having a police force, notorious for abusing and ignoring their civil rights, called in to restore bourgeois order and protect the revisionist event.
The DSA and other “democratic socialist” formations have been rightly called social-fascists by the genuine left since the Social Democratic Party of Germany used the Freikorps to murder Communist Party leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919 and again when they used the police to murder May Day demonstrators in Berlin in 1929.
This is the historic tradition of which the DSA remains a part, through their willingness to activate targeted and homophobic harassment of revolutionary LGBT people. Even with the oppressive state at their disposal, they did not manage to restore order or maintain control of the space, because the oppressed and revolutionaries will always find a way to overcome the odds.
This action took place during a nationwide spike in the murder of trans people, mainly trans women, and it is important to note that SMF maintains trans leadership and that it grew from the mass organization Revolutionary Alliance of Trans People Against Capitalism (RATPAC). The DSA itself, while it presents as an LGBT-friendly organization is not an LGBT organization. It proved to be no friend to actual LGBT people and the enemy of the only decidedly left-wing LGBT organization in Austin.
Instead of hearing the voices of the LGBT community, the DSA only seeks to use them as a recruitment prop to draw more people into their corrupt capitalist organization. The event itself becomes secondary to the role both forces play.
SMF and their supporters in Popular Women’s Movement (PWM-MFP) stand decidedly with the most oppressed masses and the working class. Their focus is to organize these people in their own interests which align only with the working-class revolution. This is the clearest political demarcation between them and the DSA, which only seeks to gain votes for whatever capitalist they fancy at the time.
The main function of DSA, however, is not to win votes. This is just the form which their betrayal assumes. Their main purpose is to sell capitalism to the masses in the form of phony socialism; this is to protect the ideology of the old-state by giving it a new dressing. The DSA, and their handlers in the Democratic Party, know that the masses of people in the US clamor for socialism, will rebel, and even use revolutionary violence provided the correct leadership is established. So, the DSA and their Democrat bosses will go to any vile and repugnant lengths to see the prevention of rebellion and accomplishment of revolution. Those who would call the police on LGBT activists must be understood as resolute enemies of the people.
For revolutionaries the path is also clear—defend the most oppressed in the US, and organize them in proletarian socialist revolution, this means war and not elections. This means mainly grasping real and true socialism and popularizing it among the most oppressed sections of the proletariat, a task both of the revolutionary organizations who confronted the DSA at this event specialize in. Ultimately, this means the principal task is to reconstitute the Communist Party, which can only be carried out through the class struggle and with the participation of the most oppressed. DSA is and will remain a cancer on the left, always selling out to politicians and always routing the people’s struggles into failed reformism. That is, until they are overthrown from the ground up. This is the political aspect of the disruption, to push the cop-calling traitors out of the city, so they cannot continue their dark deeds in service of the ruling class.
This is not the first time DSA has been confronted by the revolutionaries in Austin, and with the escalation of calling the police, it must be understood that it will not be the last time. Incendiary stands in unshakable solidarity with the LGBT community and its revolutionary organizations. We support and echo the call to force the police out of Pride parades by any means necessary. This necessarily means opposing using the police against LGBT activists.
It is high time to see the DSA for what it is: an organization of snake oil salesmen who insult the red flag with their shameless pandering to capitalist authority and their betrayal of the working class and LGBT community by having the nerve, in their cowardly fear, to not only call the police, but to use anti-communism and cop-jacketing. They resorted to these counterrevolutionary schemes in spite of the fact that it was either them or their supporters who called the police to begin with. We must ask ourselves why, in the middle of calling the cops, the DSA has the nerve to accuse the LGBT activists of being police agents? This is the twisted logic of the opportunist.