By Trevor Loudon | The Epoch Times
This country’s largest Marxist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), played a major role in pushing the Green New Deal into the highest reaches of the Democratic Party.
The Green New Deal is supported by more than 90 members of the House of Representatives and 15 senators, including presidential candidates Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Now, the DSA has endorsed a related project, the “Red Deal,” which comes from even further left. How long will it take the DSA to bring the Red Deal into the Democratic Party?
The Red Deal
The Red Deal is the project of the New Mexico-based Native American activist organization The Red Nation—a group of fewer than 50 core members. However, with close ties to Cuba, Venezuela, and Palestinian militants, The Red Nation has some revolutionary credibility on the left.
The Red Nation is openly communist.
The organization’s Third General Assembly formally adopted “revolutionary socialism and liberation as the primary political ideology of The Red Nation.” The document went on to “articulate the basic principles of revolutionary socialism and Marxism and its connection to Indigenous socialism and communism.”
The Red Nation website explains the origins of the Red Deal:
“The proposed Green New Deal legislation is a step in the right direction to combat climate change and to hold corporate polluters responsible. A mass mobilization, one like we’ve never seen before in history, is required to save this planet. Indigenous movements have always been at the forefront of environmental justice struggles.
“Democratic socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the main proponent of the GND, is herself a Water Protector who began her successful congressional run while she was at Standing Rock protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Thus, the GND and the climate justice movement in North America trace their origins to Indigenous frontline struggles.
“With this background in mind, [The Red Nation] is proposing a Red Deal. It’s not the ‘Red New Deal’ because it’s the same ‘Old Deal’—the fulfillment of treaty rights, land restoration, sovereignty, self-determination, decolonization, and liberation. Ours is the oldest class struggle in the Americas; centuries-long resistance for a world in which many worlds fit.”
So what is the Red Deal? Like the Green New Deal, it’s constantly evolving, but essentially it’s an attempt to impose full-blown communism on the United States under the cover of restoration of made-up Native American “rights” and bogus environmentalism.
“The Red Deal is not a counter program of the Green New Deal. It’s a call for action beyond the scope of the US colonial state. It’s a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land—an affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for human and other-than-human relatives to live dignified lives.
“The Red Deal is a platform that calls for demilitarization; police and prison abolition; abolishing ICE; tearing down all border walls; Indigenous liberation, decolonization, and land restoration; treaty rights; free healthcare; free education; free housing; full citizenship and equal protection to undocumented relatives; a complete moratorium on oil, gas, coal, and carbon extraction and emissions; a transition to an economy that benefits everyone and that ends the exploitation of the Global South and Indigenous nations for resources; safe and free public transportation; restoration of Indigenous agriculture; food sovereignty; restoration of watersheds and waterways; denuclearization; Black self-determination and autonomy; gender and sexual equality; Two-Spirit, trans*, and queer liberation; and the restoration of sacred sites.
“Thus the Red Deal is ‘Red’ because it prioritizes Indigenous liberation, on one hand, and a revolutionary left position, on the other.”
And where is the money coming from for this leap into full-blown socialism?
“Where will we get the resources to achieve these monumental tasks? We call for a divestment away from the police, prisons, and military (two of the largest drains on ‘public spending’) and fossil fuels and a reinvestment in common humanity for everyone (health, wellbeing, and dignity) and the restoration of Indigenous lands, waters, airs, and nations.”
In a Nov. 15 statement on its website, the DSA fully endorsed the Red Deal and committed to a partnership with The Red Nation:
“The Democratic Socialists of America is proud to endorse the Red Deal, an indigenous centered set of policy recommendations that was written by The Red Nation. We are also proud to endorse the work of The Red Nation and commit to a long-term partnership with them in the furtherance of decolonizing our society. The Red Nation is a group of radical indigenous people that are fighting back against the US imperialist settler colonialist state. They are not just fighting for land and sovereignty, but for survival.”
The DSA, which claims to be a “democratic socialist” and noncommunist organization, appears to have no qualms about endorsing communist principles and partnering with a revolutionary communist organization.
The Red Nation was founded in 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in a fusion between Native American militants and comrades from the pro-North Korea and -Iran Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). The Red Nation and PSL held numerous events together and worked out of the same office. Several Red Nation activists were also PSL comrades, including Paige Murphy, Sam Gardipe, Michael Butler, and Melissa Tso.
In recent years, The Red Nation also formed a close bond to the Trotsky-oriented International Socialist Organization (ISO).
For several years, ISO website Socialist Worker has carried coverage of The Red Nation’s conferences and protests. Most were written by Wisconsin-based Native American activist and ISO member Brian Ward and his California-based comrade Ragina Johnson.
At The Red Nation’s Native Liberation Conference held Aug. 11–12, 2018, in Albuquerque, ISO hosted the panel “Solidarity Will Win: Socialism and Indigenous Peoples” featuring ISO comrades Khury Petersen-Smith, Johnson, and Ward and moderated by The Red Nation leader Nick Estes.
In early 2019, ISO collapsed as the result of a long-simmering sexual harassment scandal. Many ISO comrades moved into the DSA, bringing their The Red Nation contacts with them.
At the DSA’s national convention in Atlanta, in July 2019, seven comrades moved the resolution “Amendment on the Red Deal and Rejecting a Green Military.”
Two of the seven, Sofia Arias and Brian Ward, were former ISO comrades. Two more, Rory Fanning and Spenser Rapone, had addressed a major ISO-sponsored conference in Chicago in 2018.
The resolution amendment called on the DSA to:
“endorse the Red Deal, launched by comrades in The Red Nation, a radical anti-capitalist Indigenous liberation group, and its principles on the fight for non-reformist reforms. As described by The Red Nation, ‘The Red Deal is not a counter program of the GND. It’s a call for action beyond the scope of the US colonial state. It’s a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land—an affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for human and other-than-human relatives to live dignified lives.’
“At the end of this Convention, the Green New Deal Coordinating Committee will be tasked with initiating a more direct working relationship between DSA and The Red Nation. The GNDCC will make direct connection with The Red Nation, dedicate one person to serve as the main point of contact, and collaborate with the comrades on joint actions, statements and local, national and international campaigns around indigenous liberation and climate justice.”
So far, the only Congress member to show an interest in the Red Deal is far-left New Mexico Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland.
In June, Haaland sent a representative to a Red Deal workshop in Albuquerque. According to New Mexico Report, Haaland said The Red Nation activists “are absolutely right, for far too long the U.S. government has not lived up to its obligations to Indian tribes, and this is a new era.”
Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal and said she plans to make sure “tribes are included as it is developed.”
The Green New Deal became ubiquitous in a few short weeks thanks to a social media blitz by the DSA and other forces on the left.
How long will it be before the Red Deal is on the lips of Democratic House members, senators, and presidential candidates?
Feature image: Members of the Democratic Socialists of America gather outside of a Trump owned building on May Day in New York City on May 01, 2019. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics
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