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Denton ISO organizes activist movements
The International Socialist Organization branch for UNT and Denton represents people against capitalism as they participate in movements around the city to promote a socialist society.
The Denton ISO started in Spring 2008 as a group called Denton Labor Solidarity as a socialist discussion and activist group. At that time, members ranged across a broad spectrum between the revolutionary left – that included anarchists, communists, socialists, anarcho-syndicalists – and social Democrats.
“Rather than having a system that is prioritized to sustaining humans and the planet, it prioritizes wealth, leaving billions in poverty,” said Mario Ovalle, branch organizer and anthropology senior.
In November of 2008 the organization attended the Texas Socialist Conference in Austin, after which the group affiliated with the International Socialist Organization and became the Denton branch of the ISO.
ISO Member and anthropology senior Elizabeth Clinton joined the group in 2009 after moving to Texas from Massachusetts, where she was also part of an ISO branch. Raised by a father who introduced the Marxist concept to her, Clinton joined the organization because it represents the political theory. The organization looks at how society produces products, physical or intellectual, and how it reproduces itself.
“The understanding of Marxism is that, collectively, working people produce all of the wealth within society,” Clinton said. “Because there are different classes, a small minority within society controls the wealth that other people create, which leads to massive instability. Making profit becomes more important than protecting the environment or making sure people have a healthy community to live in.”
Despite 560 “likes” on their Facebook page, the Denton ISO faces opposition.
“Our country was founded on the ideals of individual liberty and taking the advantage to further yourself, rather than being given what you think you deserve,” political science sophomore Tristan Tucker said.
Tucker questions whether there is a successful, modern communist country.
“The answer is always no,” Tucker said. “Capitalism is freedom. Capitalism breeds creativity.”
The Denton Anti-War Network, Campaign Denton Death Penalty, Radical All for Gender Equality and Denton Off Fossil Fuels are some of the movements ISO members have also worked with , representing the fight for what they believe to be a free life for all.
“We have the productive capabilities to spread the wealth and feed all of them, but choose not to because it’s not in their interest,” Ovalle said. “I think that is very rotten and evil.”
The group meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Language building, room 310, to discuss socialist theory and history, current social movements and local activist events that happen locally and nationally.