Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Talking Socialism with Alexandreia Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her way to speak at NYC's Women's March. [Photo by Corey Torpie]


TALKING SOCIALISM | Catching up with AOC



And so it was that first meeting that I felt, ‘Okay, this is something that’s real.’ Also, in the history of New York City and in communities of color, when you have the Young Lords and you have this organizing heritage, there has historically been tension between DSA and these organizing collectives of color, whether it was Latino and Puerto Rican collectives, Chicano collectives, black collectives…. It was like, “Oh, it’s these white folks. [LAUGHS.] There was this historical fissure. But it really felt like a moment where we were coming together. And so when I would see DSA showing up providing real structural support at BLM rallies, or support for abolishing ICE, where we felt like there wasn’t this class essentialism, but that this really was a multiracial class struggle that didn’t de-prioritize human rights, frankly, I was really impressed. And I felt like it was something worth being part of.

My run for Congress, so much of it was based in coalition building. In the New York City context, I wasn’t a DSA candidate that was homegrown from the start. I went through a process of earning the DSA endorsement. And that was in addition to stitching a collective together of the movement for Black lives and the movement for immigrant rights. Our congressional district is half immigrant, extraordinarily working class and just incredibly diverse in the Bronx and Queens. Along with Senator Sanders’s campaign, which I also proudly worked on, prior to all of this, you know, all of that, I think, really contributed to this moment.

And, for me, there’s a real distinction between us saying that we’re about something and us really being about it in our actions. And it was really that distinction, in the action and in the praxis, that made it distinctive to me and made it something to be a part of.

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