by Eva S
The Boricua Socialist caucus started out as many things do nowadays, on Twitter. A comrade alerted me to a new group DM that was forming for Puerto Rican DSA members and fellow travelers to connect. Not being a fan of DSA group messages, I hesitantly joined, and found myself in a community of people that kept me grounded through many microaggressions and many, many thoughts of quitting DSA. (Not to turn this into an opinion complaint piece, because I do want to focus on organizing, but it’s frustrating being a DSA member in a mostly white organization and one that often sees issues such as imperialism and colonialism as second-tier concerns while those are the issues that drive many of our organizing because they’re literally life or death for our families and friends.)
Members of BoriSoc come from all over, showing just how far the diaspora reaches. We have members in Australia, in Portland, Oregon, in Maine, and members organizing in the South. Some of us were born and raised on the island, some of us don’t speak a lick of Spanish. What unites us is a shared commitment to Puerto Rico: advocating for independence and decolonization, advocating for the auditing and cancelling of the illegal debt, and planning political education events to bring awareness to what’s happening in our island.
Since we’re a caucus that, much like the diaspora, is spread out all over the country, the DSA National Convention was our first chance to interact and connect in person. It was one of the highlights of the convention weekend for me; it just felt like home. During our meetup we formalized communication and decided on a couple of things moving forward which include connecting to other diaspora organizations and working in coalition with them, connecting with organizations on the island and providing support however possible, and formalizing political education materials we can bring to our respective chapters. The latter was one of the most important, I was raised on the island and Puerto Rico’s school system teaches a very colonial narrative of our history — one in which the United States is our “savior” and many nationalist and independence struggles are glossed over as “terrorist” acts, if they’re even taught at all. Educating ourselves and others and the collective process of unlearning and relearning is key to understanding where we go and act from here.
Political education goes alongside a resolution passed at convention, Resolution 50: Decolonization, Self-Determination and Anti-Imperialism, authored by some of our caucus members. The resolution states that “DSA will commit to the full decolonization of all the occupied lands of the so-called USA: self determination and full sovereignty for Hawaiʻi; Puerto Rico; Amerika Sāmoa; Guåhån; Northern Mariana Islands; Virgin Islands; and to all Indigenous nations whose ancestral lands are within the USA’s current borders; and independence to all other overseas territories and dependencies controlled, occupied, or otherwise exploited by the USA.”
The Boricua Socialist caucus is looking forward to working with the National Decolonization Working Group, with the Palestine and BDS Working Group, and with Cuba and other Latin American solidarity. It’s important for us to remember that all of our struggles are shared, and that none of us are free until all of us are free.
¡Pa’lante, siempre pa’lante!