On Saturday 15th, 2018, myself and two other members of the SRA drove up from the North Georgia Chapter staging grounds to run supplies to shelters holding those fleeing Hurricane Florence in South Carolina. It was amazingly successful, with half of the supplies delivered to the Augusta Hispanic Seventh Day Adventist Church and the other half delivered to Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School. Both shelters were very grateful for the supplies, the latter having only water at the time we arrived despite being filled with many refugees. Nearly half a million calories were delivered, enough to keep individuals fed and healthy for several days. It was all made possible by the donations of the membership and the time and equipment volunteered by the North Georgia chapter membership. Small actions add up in the aggregate, and this will not be the last mutual aid operation the SRA will conduct.
What business does the SRA have in doing disaster relief? Is the core statement of the SRA not, to defend and advocate for the right of the working class to self and community defense? Are we now a disaster relief organization? These questions have come up in the last few days. The membership has responded overwhelmingly positively to the actions, however, and there is a good reason for this. As a leftist organization we exist in a unique philosophical position, that when others are in need and we have the ability and the resources to help them, we are obliged to assist them. In the words of Eugene Debs, it is simply "the higher duty" we owe to ourselves. A creation thesis, one of the pillars this organization was built on, is a leftist alternative to the historically racist and bourgeois NRA. We must be in the offices and the courtyards of power, to begin pushing the narrative further left and showing that a healthy gun culture has a place there. It doesn't mean, however, that our place is also not out in the field. We are no militia: we didn't show up to a community as foreign invaders, brandishing weapons and intimidating children, as one might find right wing militias doing. We showed up as socialists ought to come to the people: with food to feed the hungry, water to quench the thirsty, and blankets for the cold.
In the coming days, a full report of the events of the weekend will be outlined for the membership, including purchase receipts. The quarterly financial transparency report is also due soon and will show what the financial health of the organization is. As a member of the Central Committee, I see no purpose in idle money. A buffer must be maintained for emergency expenses, and we must always be seeking to save money, but not for the purpose of padding some arbitrary number. We must have funds available to provide services like this and travel out to where there are those in need, to "go to where the masses are" as Lenin said. Building a leftist movement in America requires leftist organizations to show what the cause means: not some dystopian propaganda that anti-communist forces have barraged the public with for nearly a century, but every day people who want to bring real and honest change to society.
Our community is one that is incredibly generous and incredibly self-sacrificing, giving what money they do have to provide for those in need. Not only was the hurricane fund very successful, I was involved in an accident heading back from Georgia and the community immediately rallied around my crisis. I received enough money to be able to purchase a plane ticket back home and get back to Wichita to my family until my insurance figures out what to do with my vehicle. I am incredibly thankful to the community for that, and blown away at how much we can do when our membership gets behind a cause. These events have only furthered my dedication to the belief that not only is genuine leftism on the rise in America, it is one built on the foundations of mutual aid and volunteer work.
Augusta Hispanic Seventh Day Adventist Church
Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School