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A diverse group of activists gathered on March 13 to begin the first North Texas group discussion leading to the CPUSA national convention in July. It was explained that discussion will take several forms over the coming months. Discussions will be supplemented with written and electronic exchanges until the proposals are hammered out for the convention to vote on.
Our first proposal was the Draft Main Political Resolution, which we had just received via U.S. mail. We had already downloaded it from www.cpusa.org. We tried to compare the international and national assessments with our own information from local developments. We talked about evidence of a political and economic crisis that we have seen. The currency crisis was underlined when it was revealed that South Americans, who usually hoard dollars, are now scrambling to buy euros!
We also discussed the fight for peace in our area. We related the fight to stop the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in Congress to the overall fight against imperialism.
Events in the Texas Legislature drew our attention, particularly because the capitalists in our own state are trying to resolve their economic crisis by shifting more wealth from the poorest Texans to the richest. The process is similar to and illustrates what is happening nationally.
One of the sentences in the Draft Resolution created a lot of interesting discussion: "While the Bush regime cannot be described as fascist, it is also no ordinary bourgeois democratic government." To begin with, several participants took issue with the use of French word "bourgeois" that could be expressed better in English "capitalist or ruling class". Others said that the sentence is incorrect when viewed from the point of view of specially oppressed Americans, such as the immigrant population. The prevalent view was that America may not be experiencing a Hitler-style fascism, but that it is going that way.
All of us agreed with the positive assessment of the growing progressive coalition in America and in our own area. Bush barely won Dallas County, 50% to 49%, and certainly can claim no mandate even here, where he and Dick Chaney both formerly lived.
We took the time to make criticisms of our own local work. One person said that we were not involved enough in civil rights, and particularly not with the Moslem community. Our problems in organizing need to be discussed.
The document itself was criticized for spending too much time evaluating the capitalists and not enough time evaluating the problems that working people face in trying to unify their opposition. Racism is a particular division that needs a lot more attention, the participant said. He was glad to learn that other documents specifically on civil rights are already in process.
Everyone agreed that the call for unity and working in all-people's coalitions was the way to go and that the ruling class tries to divide us along racial, age, immigrant status, sexual lines.
The group plans its next meeting April 9.
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