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.
About 40 years ago, when I was 20, I participated in the founding congress of a revolutionary left organization, mostly people of color, in Oakland. The passion and inspiration that I felt then brought tears to my eyes.
Today, we passed out of the meeting hall and into the church sanctuary, generation by generation—activists forged in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, the oughts, and finally the “youngest” who have emerged since 2010—touching each other one by one with a hi-five, a clasp of the hand, a hug. For this 60 year-old revolutionary, there was nothing more inspiring than that moment.
There were challenges as well. As we tried to practice honest, constructive feedback and struggle, we managed defensive and reactive feelings as well. We spent the day in breakout groups, struggling with our confusion, our differences, our need for clarity, but preparing to launch collective work projects and committed to learning together through the work. Since I have felt this as LeftRoots’ most important challege for the past two years, since I joined, I left with a feeling of momentum, hopeful that this practical learning is what will push us forward in greater unity and in developing a more cohesive and bottom-up organization.