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Join us in a Conversation with Tara Reade

18-Oct-2020Steering Committee of DSA's Reform & Revolution caucus

The Tempest Magazine, Reform & Revolution, and others are co-sponsoring an event with Tara Reade on Sunday, October 25, 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern [more information]

The #MeToo movement sent a loud and clear message: Sexual harassment and assault will not be tolerated, survivors will not be silenced, and we will defend every survivor who chooses to speak out. Tara Reade, a former staff assistant in Joe Biden's Senate office has alleged that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago. Her allegations are credible, with more corroborating evidence than most sexual assault cases, as Natalia Tylim documents.

The response of the Democratic Party and the liberal media to ignore, dismiss and deny Tara Reade’s credible allegations and attack her for them, does harm to Tara Reade, and it sends a terrible message to other survivors to stay silent. This is deeply damaging to the achievements of the #MeToo movement, and weakens the fight against gender-based and sexual violence. While credible accusations against the then Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh by professor Christine Blasey Ford were supported as they fit the Democrats’ political agenda, the credible allegations by Tara Reade against Joe Biden were sidelined and silenced. The Democrats are adopting inconsistent standards based on political convenience, which we vehemently oppose. All allegations of sexual harassment and assault must be treated seriously, and those of us on the socialist left must be outspoken and consistent defenders of the right of survivors to be heard and seek justice.

Tara Reade came forward in March, when the Democratic Party could easily have chosen a different candidate, one not credibly accused of sexual assault, if they were serious about supporting #MeToo.

DSA's Reform & Revolution caucus was therefore glad to be asked by the Tempest Magazine and We believe Tara to co-sponsor this event that those comrades put together.

We are aware that this event will happen nine days before the end of the voting in a crucial presidential election. In our view getting rid of Trump will create better conditions to organize social movements in favor of working class and oppressed people and push back against the right wing, racist and misogynistic agenda of Trump. To kick out Trump we recommend socialists in swing states vote for Biden, but without any illusions and without hiding any disagreements or criticisms of him. At the same time, we also urge socialists in safe states to take advantage of the conditions there to register a left-wing protest against Biden by voting for Howie Hawkins, the strongest socialist challenger on the ballot.

Furthermore, we need to do all we can to overcome the trap of the two-party system of big business by building a viable working-class political alternative so we won't be forced into such a dilemma in future elections. We are working to build the movements needed to fundamentally change the balance of power and fight for a society based on racial, gender and economic justice - a socialist society.

Our call for a vote for Biden in swing states is therefore not an endorsement of Biden. It does not mean that we will hide criticisms of Biden or that we will prettify his politics or his actions such as how to respond to credible allegations of sexual assault. Survivors must not be silenced. The movements for our collective liberation have to be built beyond any election, even important ones. Join the conversation with Tara on October 25.