2018 Congress Day 2: Noelle

On February 15, 16, and 17, LeftRoots is holding its first national congress. Members from across the country are gathering to identify, discuss, and debate the key features of the current moment, the strategic implications of those conditions, and how LeftRoots and its members can continue to develop and grow to make decisive interventions to push the moment closer to 21st century socialism.

After each day of the congress, a few LeftRoots cadres will blog about their experiences that day in hopes of giving those interested a peek at what we’re doing in California and why we’re so excited about it.

Noelle, Philadelphia:

The theme of our second full day at the 2018 LeftRoots National Congress was ‘Trust through Rigor,’ which rang true for me as we started the day with practices that grounded us in our histories, culture, selves, and one another as comrades. We celebrated the lunar new year and a comrade’s milestone birthday, and centered together. In this large space, with over 200 comrades, I felt connected and plugged into the very moment we were in. This set us up for a major protagonist challenge for the day: attempting to engage in principled struggle. Our NCC facilitators put forward our aims: to ground our assessments (even if only partially articulated) and be willing to shift our positions if we were so moved by other assessments being offered. An analogy that I found useful was that this exercise is like jumping on a trampoline – it allows us to see what we cannot currently view, and to practice doing that again and again (taking a leap to see what’s beyond the horizon). As I reflect on this exercise, I am struck by how much listening and openness is required, along with trusting the process—that we can, in fact, be rigorous while upholding our own and each other’s dignity. Our comradely relationships can actually be strengthened in these moments as we get to know each other, ourselves, and who we are struggling with and for.

As the day continued with self-organized meet-ups and the introduction of the Little Red School (yeah!), I noted how many of us—particularly myself—are wrestling with our own underdevelopment and are hungry for the space to build the capacities that will ultimately lead to us all getting free. At the end of this day, I am more clear that I am here for all of that—and I am ready to get down with my comrades that dedicate themselves to the self-transformation required to get there. I am feeling incredibly appreciative for LeftRoots—all of the cadres that are building this organization, and the leadership bodies and staff that have made sacrifices beyond what many of us know. Last full day—let’s go!

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