SDS prepares for national convention in Gainesville, FL
Gainesville, FL – On Saturday, Oct. 27, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) will be hosting their national convention at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Since their resurrection in 2006, SDS has become the largest multi-issue, student-led organization in the U.S.
This convention will last a day and a half, ending in the afternoon on Sunday, Oct. 28. Workshops, collective breakouts and plenary sessions, all led primarily by students themselves, will highlight and feature a multitude of issues, including SDS’s primary national campaigns: education rights, ending wars and ending political repression of activists.
“The SDS convention is one of the most important things our organization does in a given year, because it brings young activists together throughout the country to not only consolidate ourselves around our primary national campaigns, but also to learn from our peers about issues we may not know about and become better activists.” Stephanie Taylor of the University of Minnesota SDS chapter explains.
Speaking at the convention will be Noor Elashi, a journalist and award winning author. Noor Elashi is also a longtime advocate for her father Ghassan Elashi, an American Palestinian political prisoner and one of the imprisoned Holy Land Five charity leaders. Also present will be Tom Burke, who is a spokesperson for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. Burke was a leader of the Progressive Student Network while in college and became a labor and international solidarity activist, launching the Coca-Cola boycott to support Colombian unions in 2003.
Other student organizations and individuals have also been invited to attend this year’s convention. Organizations expected to attend include the Dream Defenders, Student Labor Action Project (SLAP), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Occupy Colleges and others. Skye Schmelzer of University of Florida- Gainesville SDS says, “In light of our exciting merger with Occupy Colleges, this year’s convention aims to unite various student organizations in hopes of building a stronger, united student movement.”