The term Popular Front refers to a coalition of activists and artists. In the labor era, the Popular Front in the United States included artists, writers and filmmakers as diverse as Pete Seeger, Jack London, Woody Guthrie, George Bernard Shaw, Frida Kahlo and Charlie Chaplin. The cultural and social influence of the Popular Front was immense and led to the New Deal, women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, and the rise of labor parties that created well-paid middle-class jobs out of working-class manufacturing work.
Part of PopFront’s mission concerns the merging of journalism, activism, culture and politics to build a contemporary Popular Front; as such, we are proud to offer a curated guide to activism and political events in the west coast. Currently we are working on curating a list of events and groups in Northern California; later we hope to expand to SoCal, Portland and Seattle.
Please click on either “Groups” to read about political parties, organizations and causes with regular meetings; click “Events” to read about upcoming events and marches with political significance.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) root their vision of socialism in the concept of democracy; specifically, extending democratic control to the economic sphere. In their words: “We are activists committed to democracy as not simply one of our political values but our means of restructuring society. Our vision is of a society in which people have a real voice in the choices and relationships that affect the entirety of our lives. We call this vision democratic socialism — a vision of a more free, democratic and humane society.” Important theorists for DSA include Marx and Antonio Gramsci, the 20th-century Italian political theorist who originated ideas about cultural hegemony. Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) is the student and youth branch of DSA.
The DSA considers itself a socialist-feminist organization and involves itself in a plethora struggles that adhere to its social vision. These include advocating for LGBTQ rights, civil liberties, environmental justice, anti-imperialism and anti-racist struggles. As DSA is not a political party but rather a political organization, its members are often also members of other various parties—Greens, Peace & Freedom and even the Democratic Party. DSA has a strong presence within the intellectual left in the United States; Professor Cornel West is an honorary chair, and other notable members include Michael Walzer, Frances Fox Piven, Michael Harrington and Barbara Ehrenreich.
Northern California has multiple chapters.
East Bay DSA
Meets bi-weekly, often at the Niebyl-Proctor Library.
San Francisco DSA
See link above.
UC Davis Young Democratic Socialists