June 12, 2020 Weekly Update

Not subscribed or want to send this update to a friend? Sign up here.

Support Metro DC DSA here - all donations go directly to the chapter.

Help the rent strikers of Southern Towers feed their families! Donated funds will be distributed to those most in need through the tenant organizing committee.


UP FRONT

ACTION TODAY – MDC DSA, Empower DC, Claudia Jones School for Political Education, 350 DC, and others are planning a rally/march this afternoon (Friday 6/12) 5:30 at John Marshall Park to FUND CARE, NOT COPS! Details can be found at this event page. On Monday, June 15 at a DC Council committee hearing on the MPD budget we will demand the Council defund MPD, divest from policing, and invest in our communities through housing, healthcare, education, social services, public transportation, and real anti-violence programs. Today, let’s make that case.

LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN – Defund the MPD! MDC DSA has launched a letter writing campaign to tell the Mayor, City Council, and Attorney General to defund the police and reinvest in our communities. Check out our DEFUND PAGE for instructions on how to submit. It’s quick and easy, and we need as many signatures by June 16 as possible, so don’t wait! Sign and share on social media with #DefundMPD and #DefundthePolice!


THE WEEKEND AND UPCOMING

Saturday, June 13 | 12:00 PM
The Publications team will be meeting virtually to discuss the weekly chapter update, the Washington Socialist, our active website, and more. Anyone interested in getting involved with publication activities is welcome to attend. Please check out the #publications group on Slack for more information.

Saturday, June 13 | 5:00 PM
MoCo DSA is co-sponsoring a “Defund the Police, Invest In Communities” rally at 5 pm outside the Silver Spring Civic Center. Please join DSA and other justice organizations to demand that Montgomery County cut police funding and fund needed social services instead! More info can be found here..

Sunday, June 14 | 3:00 PM
MDCDSA General Body Meeting
Remote meeting; please register in advance. The provisional agenda includes introduction of the portfolio system outlining tasks and duties for the new Steering Committee; discussion/debate on final read of chapter’s revised electoral endorsement process and the resolutions to endorse Will Merrifield and Ed Lazere; a presentation from the Defund the Police working group; reports from our branches and some working groups.

Sunday, June 14 | 5:30 - 7:00 PM
June MDC DSA Labor Working Group will meet to discuss ongoing solidarity efforts with the DSA for the Postal Service campaign, service workers/unemployed organizing, and updates on worker organizing and repealing right to work.

Tuesday, June 16 | 10:00 AM Our comrade Bill Fletcher discusses reform vs. abolition and related matters including the AFL-CIO’s relationship with police unions. Presented by UnionBase Details, RSVP and access info at this link.


BRIEFS

DC Reinvest - Passed along by our comrade John G: “For those of us who worked on DC ReInvest a few years back, you’ll be bemused to see that the Public Bank feasibility study has finally been released.” The study itself can be viewed here.

Publications Meeting - The Publications team will be meeting virtually to discuss the weekly chapter update, the Washington Socialist, our active website, and more. Anyone interested in getting involved with publication activities is welcome to attend. Please check out the #publications group on Slack for more information.

In GOOD READS below, we have built a “Defund the Police File” with articles and other resources for how to consider and argue for reducing funding to the MPD. Check it out.


MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR JUNE AND BEYOND

Sunday, June 14 | 3:00 PM
MDCDSA General Body Meeting
Remote meeting; please register in advance.

Sunday, June 14 | 5:30 - 7:00 PM
MDC DSA Labor Working Group Meeting We’ll be discussing ongoing solidarity efforts with the DSA for the Postal Service campaign, service workers/unemployed organizing, and updates on worker organizing and repealing right to work. Follow link for virtual access.

Monday, June 15 | 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Socialist Feminist Working Group
Organizing meeting to assess and develop interest in officially forming a Working Group for our chapter.

Tuesday, June 16 | 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Prince George’s DSA Organizing Committee meeting
Virtual meeting; follow link for details and access info.

Tuesday, June 16 | 6:30 PM
Ecosocialism and the Green New Deal - Socialist Night School
Ecosocialism is a framework for combining insights from the rich tradition of Marxist social analysis with scientific knowledge of our biosphere. How does ecosocialism help us understand how capitalism and overlapping systems of oppression fuel the kinds of extraction that now undermine basic systems of life on Earth?

Thursday, June 16 | 6:00 - 7:30 PM
NOVA Branch DSA Organizing Meeting
This meeting will be hosted remotely only. Please register in advance.

Monday, June 22 | 5:30 PM
Queer Caucus Happy Hour
Take a breather for a few hours of smashing the cis-hetero patriarchy and enjoy a comradely social atmosphere.

Sunday, July 5 | 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Socialist Feminist Reading Group: Feminism for the 99%
Proposed first reading, Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto

EVENTS BY OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV

Saturday, June 13 | Noon to 1 PM
Our Revolution Maryland Statewide Zoom Conference
Including Nina Turner, Jamie Raskin, and Larry Cohen.

Saturday, June 13 | 2:30 PM
DC Pride 2020 March + Caravan
Jesup Blair Park, 900 Jesup Blair Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20910
In response to the continued terror that Black People face in DC, Join No Justice No Pride and community partners for a family friendly #DefundMPD themed pride celebration. This will be a Black and Centered space. We are working with partners to make this accessible and will be updating with those details as we get closer.

Saturday, June 13 | 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Equity in Practice: Community-Driven Solutions
Hosted by DC Grassroots Planning Coalition and Empower DC, join a conversation with experts and grassroots representatives on the future of equity in the District.

Tuesday, June 16 | 10:00 AM
Understanding Police Unions
Our comrade Bill Fletcher discusses reform vs. abolition and related matters including the AFL-CIO’s relationship with police unions.


NATIONAL DSA ONLINE HIGHLIGHTS

Wednesday, JUNE 17 | 8:00 PM
The Fight for Public Education
On the call, we’ll hear about Pedro Noguera’s chapter on education in the recently released book We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism — American Style and The Fight for Public Education. RSVP to join Pedro Noguera (Dean, USC Rossier School of Education), Nicole McCormick (West Virginia United caucus), and Michael Bennett (DSA Fund) on June 17th!

Thursday, JUNE 25 | 8:00 PM
Workers Organize and Win
Essential workers share their perspectives on organizing and winning protections during COVID-19.

INFO ACCESS

As the country, and not least DC, experiences notable unrest, we hope that this weekly newsletter helps keep local socialists and our allies engaged and informed. So long as there is a Friday, this newsletter will be in your inbox at 9 AM. For DSA members or allies organizing protests or other relief, please consider this a common bulletin to know where to look out for protests, virtual events, and other means of getting involved to help alleviate this chaos. If you have events, information, or would like to help out in compiling this weekly report, please reach out to us at publications@mdcdsa.org, or join our #publications channel on slack.

PUBLICATIONS SCHEDULE: June Updates will be published Fridays, June 19 and 26, and the July issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled to be published on Wednesday, July 1 with an article deadline of Thursday, June 25. As always, submissions are welcome at thesocialist@mdcdsa.org. We welcome all comments, questions, or observed issues with the new site from members; please send notices through the Red Desk or notify us in our #publications slack channel.


WASHINGTON SOCIALIST

In our June edition of the Washington Socialist:

  • “The Battle for Rent Control” identifies the current struggle to strengthen tenant protections in the city, observing the evolution of the local movement in the context of COVID-19 and evidence of a new local left in DC.
  • “Reflections - 1983” recalls a time when a socialist and DSA member was once present and prominent in District leadership - a reminder that socialism is hardly novel, but revived.
  • “Communists at the Waterfront” explores the actions of past socialists – particularly, union workers’ early fights against racism and division promoted by merchant-marine fleet owners – and of our (often overlooked) comrades in Baltimore.
  • “Bernie or Bust?” makes the case for DSA member engagement in the upcoming presidential election, emphasizing the unique threat posed by another four years of President Trump.
  • “Soft Landing for the System Formerly Known as Capitalism” reconsiders the role and future of automation in a post-pandemic world.
  • “Pixel Riot” explores the premier video game launched by a cooperatively owned media enterprise
  • “Counter to the Planet of the Humans” pinpoints the shortcomings of Michael Moore’s newest climate documentary.

COVID-19 NEWS

Click here to view our page dedicated to compiling local COVID-19 relief and resources links. We will begin collecting news and updates for COVID-19 relief and benefits specific news in this section of the Weekly Update.

The DC Government recommends any resident experiencing any COVID-19 symptom (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, congestion, body aches, chills, runny nose) or with known exposure to COVID-19 should get a COVID-19 test. Free public testing sites have been opened across DC.

Site Location Days Available Timeframe Appointment
Anacostia: Walk-up 2241 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am - 2pm No
Anacostia: Drive thru 2241 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am - 2pm Yes (call 1-855-363-0333)
UDC-CC Bertie Backus Campus: Walk-up 5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE Tuesday, Thursday 10am - 2pm No
UDC-CC Bertie Backus Campus: Drive thru 5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE Tuesday, Thursday 10am - 2pm Yes (call 1-855-363-0333)
Judiciary Square: Walk-up F Street NW, between 4th & 5th Streets NW Monday-Friday 10am - 2pm No

Additional testing is available at DC Firehouses. See DC Government guidance for full location layout, and information on what to bring to the test site.

The DC government is beginning to roll out its contact-tracing task force. Here is some key information to know about the program:

  • The DC government emphasizes that contact tracers will never ask for the patient’s immigration status, social security number, or financial information;
  • Based on a patient’s needs, the case interviewer will be responsible for connect the patient with support resources, including the option to isolate somewhere if you cannot safely isolate at home;
  • The contact interviewer will ask (but you will not be required to provide) contact information for anyone who was in close contact at a given time. The contact interviewer will attempt to call those contacts, but the patient’s identity will not be revealed to the contacts.

GOOD READS

The Defund the Police File:

A white UMCP student writes in the Diamondback student newspaper on street-level learning about privilege and allyship and how, among other things, to keep one’s mouth shut and listen.

A discussion with author Victor Pickard conducted by the European Journalism Observatory about the crisis in US media and information. Pickard’s new book is Democracy Without Journalism? Confronting the misinformation society and discusses “the creation of a government-supported but independent public broadcaster along the lines of various European models.”

Our hometown right-wing rag, sometimes overlooked, outs us (DSA) as bourgeois leftists, demographically “the caricature of a modern left-wing radical,” and more like the Democratic establishment “than they care to admit.” The mock-scholarly opinion piece conflates establishment Democrats and radicals of DSA’s ilk – based on, well, class – presumably to demonstrate that the Biden campaign is a stealth-rad formation that can be labeled both “socialist” and linked to “antifa” when the Trump campaign turns its money that way.


Ages have come and gone, kingdoms and powers and dynasties have risen and fallen, old glories and ancient wisdoms have been turned into dust, heroes and sages have been forgotten and many a mighty and fearsome god has been hurled into the lightless chasms of oblivion.

But ye, Plebs, Populace, People, Rabble, Mob, Proletariat, live and abide forever.
-Arturo Giovannitti