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Statement

Introductions

“Fists.” November 9, 2016, Austin, TX – Spontaneous student walk-out, rally and march, following a dreadful election night.

We are activists in Texas. We are revolutionary socialists in the classical Marxist tradition, endeavoring to understand our world in order to change it. While our world is far, far larger than Texas, we believe a deeper grasp of its social history, political economy and grassroots campaigns has implications for social justice everywhere.

Texas is the site of enormous contradictions: border walls that funnel into concentration camps as well as a massive immigrant population; the heart of the oil industry and its innovations in hydraulic fracking but also some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the country; the new home to tech, healthcare and aerospace companies but whose workers have among the fewest protections; the birthplace for one in ten children in the US alongside some of the nation’s worst schools; the station of several branches of the US armed forces and several large military bases as well as the New Black Panther Party; and more.

The cliché “as goes Texas so goes the country” holds a dynamic kernel of truth. Regrettably, there is no shortage of half-truths – that the state is quaint, provincial, self-important, exceptional, bigoted and full of bullshit – about Texas. Actually Existing Texas is Black, Brown, Muslim, Indigenous, Asian, Queer, Trans, majority women, working-class, speaking dozens of languages, and the product of all their struggles. It’s the Texas where African-American soldiers stationed at Houston’s Camp Logan mutinied in 1917, turning their guns against white cops; where the Kichai tribe resisted and defeated the Texas Rangers at the Battle of Stone Houses in 1837; where the German revolutionaries of 1848 ultimately settled, established anti-slavery societies, made preparations for slave insurrections and ultimately died firing bullets at the Confederacy; where Galveston activists in 1872 established an active chapter of the First International, known as Section 44; where Mexican revolutionaries organized and led massive huelgas; the state where the Socialist Party did some of its most outstanding organizing; in short, it is a Texas of immense promise and extraordinary struggle.

Ultimately this site hopes to be an inclusive, grassroots collaboration that we wish to build and expand, with the wider goal of advancing socialist activism, theory, and organization adequate to our present moment. We hope to make a contribution to fellow activists, seeking to build on the legacies of the best of radical Texan activism and struggle. Welcome to Section 44.

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