Party for Socialism and Liberation holds local study group.

The San Diego Justice Center the Party for Socialism and Liberation hosted a study group event on May 20 that was open to the public.

The subject of the event was a book reading of “Socialist Reconstruction: A Better Future for the United States.” The book discusses capitalism as the core cause of human-accelerated climate crises and envisions a socialist future that would work to solve these issues—a concern of top priority for the group.

Much of the content covered had to deal with capitalist nations’ disproportionate emissions per capita compared to developing nations and more socialist-modeled nations, as well as the topic of “climate debt” developed nations owe to countries that have been put at disproportionate risk due to a changing climate.

Party Members Jeremiah Bursian and Huitzilpochtli Marron led the event, reading pages from the book, speaking on a slideshow presentation, coordinating group activities and holding plenty of open discussions. Both see study groups such as these as a way for the party and its members to connect with the community and share their message in an educational and constructive way.

“Ultimately we’re hoping to connect with like-minded people, bring more people into our community and just generally educate people so that we can start having these conversations,” Bursian said. “A lot of the work is just beginning to talk about this stuff and normalizing those conversations.”

Study groups are not the only way the group connects with new individuals. The grassroots organization is very active in its communities, holding music concerts, fundraisers, charity events, rallies and planning protests. They also conduct their own reporting and publication through their newspaper Liberation News.

“I love being around comrades, but especially when folks that aren’t a part in the party come out,” Marron said. “Obviously, these folks want talk about these struggles and they maybe want to be around like-minded people and maybe hear some new ideas that they haven’t thought about. It’s getting people to talk about what matters to them.”

Connecting with the public and potential voters is important for any political group, but especially so for third-party grassroots organizations that lack the funding the Democratic and Republican parties possess.

Championing socialism as their ideology can also be difficult considering its relative unpopularity in the United States. A 2021, Gallup poll showed 59% of respondents expressed an unfavorable view of socialism; the result was 52% in an Axios poll of the same year.

However, data suggests their message might be reaching more people. Gallup’s poll showed that favorability of “big business” has dropped from 52% to 46%, and Axios’s poll suggests that young Americans aged 18 to 24 especially view capitalism far less favorably, down from 58% to 49%.

“Seeing that there is a system set in place that all these issues are rising constantly from and there is a solution to the system, which is working together,” said Marron. “For us, we are the Party for Socialism and Liberation, so we would call it ‘socialism.’”

With the general election season right around the corner, it is almost certain that more community events and rallies hosted by political organizations will be held across San Diego. In a functioning democracy, it is important for voters to be aware of all their options, even non-traditional ones, and listen carefully to their messages.