“The people united, will never be defeated,” chanted students and community members who marched to the beat of their own drums on Sunday, Nov. 18 with the SUNY New Paltz chapter of the International Socialist Organization (ISO).
Starting at the Scenic Overlook by the bridge, residents rallied from the bottom of Main Street to the Samuel Dorsky Museum on campus in solidarity of social justice issues that have been sweeping the nation.
“It’s important to stand up in support of groups who are vulnerable or being threatened,” said fourth-year political science major Angela Guerin, who attented the march. “Their rights are human rights, and we stand with them in solidarity.”
Neither the cold nor snow could stop the loud chants and colorful signs from standing their ground. Signs stating “Cis silence is violence” and “Work together, solidarity forever” were held high and accompanied by billowing Antifascist International and LGBTQIA+ flags.
“With a resurgence of fascism across the globe, uniting and building the left is what is required today,” the fliers distributed by the ISO stated. “By using our experiences to fuel our fight against oppression, we find solidarity with each other. We invite the community to help us organize a united front to fight for a more equal and democratic future.”
The demonstrators were rallying for LGBTQIA+ liberation, antisemitism and the Jewish case for Palestinian solidarity, Black liberation and Latinx liberation/immigration, among other things. Each issue also served as topics of the group discussions held afterwards.
Although there were a good deal of residents in support of the march, the demonstrators were met with some protesters outside of P&G’s. As the two groups passed by each other, chants such as “Black lives matter” and “Money for school, not police” were met with opposing views. “If you don’t like it, you can leave this country,” one passerby said. “This is for Trump.”
After the march, those interested were welcomed to join the ISO at the Student Union Building at an informational panel that spoke of the event’s purposes and the importance of educating ourselves on such broad issues. After, the demonstrators split up into five separate discussion groups, one for each issue, and explored different opportunities of how to fight for social justice locally. Throughout the march, ISO was also raising money for the immigrant caravan escaping poverty and violence in Latin America.
“The march was really good, but the teach-in was what made our action successful. We had four talks on different groups facing oppression and then we had a fifth on the socialist case for solidarity,” said ISO e-board member Serena Hale. “After the talks we split up into mini discussion groups about each talk. This format helped us connect to members of our community along with providing a platform for our politics.”
For more information on ISO and any of their upcoming events or organizations, visit their weekly meetings on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Lecture Center 100 or contact email@example.com.