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Letter to Organizers of SDS Convention

By Joe Iosbaker

To: Planning Committee SDS National Convention

On August 4, student activists and others will be meeting in Chicago to launch a new Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In the 1960s SDS was one of the largest and most influential radical student organizations.

The editors and staff of Fight Back! view any attempt to build the student movement as positive and necessary. Unfortunately, some of the SDS organizers have decided that socialist and communist groups cannot set up information tables. We think this does the movement a disservice.

Below is a letter that was sent to the convention organizers:

To: Planning Committee

SDS National Convention

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

As a longtime activist in the student movement, having been a founder of the Progressive Student Network in 1980, I was very excited to hear about the national SDS convention being held here this weekend.

I’m also a communist, and so I was disappointed to learn that the convention has decided to prohibit Marxist organizations from setting up literature tables. It’s ironic, given the historic struggle that SDS fought against their sponsors, the League for Industrial Democracy, to include communists in their efforts.

While I understand that certain political groups have a negative history of involvement in the student movement, I feel that the decision taken by the planning committee is a mistake. I hope the convention as a whole considers this matter.


Joe Iosbaker

Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Fight Back! newspaper

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