August 21, 2020 Weekly Update


UP FRONT

  • Supporting Park Morton residents - Tuesday, Aug 25 at 3:30 PM
  • Red Rabbits Interest Meeting - tonight at 6 PM
  • Digital action in support of Graduate Student Workers - TODAY at 1 PM

Demonstration Against Displacement in Park View
This Tuesday, August 25 at 3:30, Park Morton residents are rallying to stop the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) from displacing longtime Park Morton families during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Families at the location want to return families to a redeveloped Park Morton with longterm Community Equity! Residents of Park Morton have been organizing to prevent relocation for some time. But DCHA has decided to start pushing residents from the site to gentrify the community when there are working families on this site.

The demonstration will convene at Park Morton Resident Council Bldg at 615 Morton Street NW on Tuesday, August 25 at 3:30 PM. This will be a SAFE (Stay Away Far Enough) Protest. Masks are strongly encouraged & advised at all times, social distancing is a mandate, please bring hand sanitizer, posters & banners will be provided, however you can bring your own that you’ve created.

Extended coverage of what’s been happening at Park Morton can be found in this WAMU story. MDC DSA’s Steering Committee voted for the chapter to sign on in support of the Park Morton Equity Plan, which has been crafted by the Park Morton Residents Council to prevent future displacement of Park Morton residents, many of whom are multi-generational Black residents, during redevelopment of the housing unit (see on map). And if you haven’t already, we ask that you sign this petition created by Park Morton residents in support of the Residents Council.

Red Rabbits Interest Meeting
Direct action is essential in demonstrating our collective beliefs and demands and for agitating authorities. The Red Rabbits, a model that was created nationally, will be a cadre of members trained in the roles of marshaling, jail support, de-escalation, and police liaison work. In these roles, they will be able to assist and promote the safety and effectiveness of direct actions, and help protect other members and our comrades from various movements. Want to learn more about these roles or have experience in any of them? Come hear about the Red Rabbits and share your thoughts on the future of this group at our interest meeting tonight, August 21 at 6 PM!

Supporting Georgetown’s Graduate Student Workers
The Georgetown Alliance of Graduate Employees(GAGE) is asking for in-person and virtual support at their rally TODAY, Friday August 21st. GAGE is demanding that the administration #PutInWriting and agree to a letter of agreement to protect graduate workers through the pandemic. If you are able to attend please fill out this RSVP for details!

BRIEFS

MDC DSA Electoral Update
The campaigns to elect Janeese Lewis George in Ward 4, and Ed Lazere at-large continue on. Thanks to DSA’s work over this summer, we were able to assist in unseating a corporate backed incumbent in the Ward 4 primary. Now, if Ed wins his at-large race, there will be two Democratic socialists on the District Council, providing a legitimate path to the policy prerogatives of our chapter.

To make it across, we’ll need the continued support of members to engage in this city-wide effort. Here’s where we need your help:

DC Tenants Union Makes Headlines
The DC Tenants Union has been doing great work organizing tenants across the city. Recent abuses from property developers brought the DCTU to the doorstep of Chris Donatelli following harrassment of Park 7 canvassers by MPD officers. The actions of the DCTU have been covered in detail in this Washington City Paper article. A great anecdote of outlining DCTU’s effectiveness - an exec at NOVO Properties stated that organizing from DCTU dropped rent collection rates from ~95% to 50%.

This Sunday - Medicare for All Group Meeting
DSA has a new working group! Right now, as people are losing their employment-tied healthcare during the worst pandemic in modern history, there has never been a more pressing time to demand Medicare for All! Please join our #m4a Slack channel to see what we’ve been working on and join one of our new campaigns! Register here.

Montgomery County Charter Amendment B: Bad for Families and Communities
MDC DSA comrades made calls to voters yet again this past Wednesday to get out the word out about Montgomery County Charter Amendment B, which would primarily benefit the wealthy and corporations and force cuts to the public health department, schools and other county services. Tell your friends, family and neighbors in Montgomery County to vote no on Question B and join us for a training and phonebanking session next Wednesday, August 26 at 6:30 PM. We plan to ramp up our phonebanking program as we get closer to the election. To sign up to volunteer and get updates about this session and other future sessions, sign up here.
Nicole Z

Prison Abolition Session in Baltimore
Our comrades at Baltimore DSA next week begin a study circle on police and prison abolition. The first session will be this Tuesday, Aug. 25. See our Allies Calendar, below, for details and remote access. You can also review the topic by checking out our Socialist Night School session on police abolition on the website.

DSA Palestine National Working Group
Following attacks fired at the NYC-DSA by Democrats in the state legislator of NY, now is a good time to remind folks that DSA has an active Palestine National Working Group. If you are interested in partiicpating in the group, please fill out this survey to get involved.
Cesar Garzon, International WG

NoVA Branch Updates
NoVA had their monthly meeting last night, you can find the meeting notes here. We were given updates on the NOVA tenant organizing and the ongoing evictions crisis in VA, discussed Rosa Luxemburg and the question of Reform or Revolution, migrant justice organizing to aid those in ICE detention and upcoming political education events.

There are also some NoVA Meetings coming up:

  • The Migrant Justice Working Group will be meeting on Saturday at 5 PM. At the meeting, we will discuss future strategy for the group.
  • the NoVA Tenant Organizing Working Group will be meeting on Saturday at 1 PM. The meeting will have updates on court records research, tenant canvassing, the current status of the eviction moratorium being discussed by the VA General Assembly and a training for having organizer conversations with tenants.
  • the next meeting of the VA DSA chapters will be on August 27th at 7 PM. Please email novabrance@mdcdsa.org to RSVP.

Can you administer first aid? Do you support rent control? Can you juggle? Speak Klingon?
We need to know about your SKILLS & INTERESTS! So hurry and complete our Member Interests and Activism Survey if you haven’t yet done so. All supporters are welcome to participate.


MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR AUGUST

Friday, Aug 21 | 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Red Rabbits Working Group interest meeting
Direct action is essential in demonstrating our collective beliefs and demands and agitating authorities. But history has shown us that the capitalist class and government agencies regularly assault protesters, striking workers, and the left during times of dissent. So who keeps us safe? We keep us safe. Learn to create an infrastructure of safety in our actions through marshaling. The Red Rabbits Working Group is a chance to form a cadre that can assist and promote direct action and help protect each other and our comrades in various movements.

Saturday, Aug 22 | 5:00 PM
NOVA DSA Migrant Justice Campaign
The NoVA migrant justice working group will be meeting again to plan next steps for Free Them All demands and working to end detention and deportation.

Sunday, Aug 23 | 1:00 PM
Southern Towers Tenant Support Planning Meeting
This meeting is for planning the support of the striking tenants of Southern Towers to discuss research and canvassing work.

Sunday, Aug 23 | 5:00 PM
Medicare for All Workgroup Weekly Meeting
Democratic Socialists are fighting to make single-payer Medicare for All healthcare a reality. Help us fight to replace our fractured and broken health system with a unified Medicare for All system.

Thursday, Aug 27 | 6:30 PM
The US Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - Socialist Night School
Mainstream depictions of the world’s first use of nuclear weapons paint it as a military necessity. This is false. It was a political decision on the part of US leaders. As August is the 75th anniversary of both bombings, Peter Kuznick discusses the decision to use the atomic bomb, its impact, and what the ramifications of this decision are 75 years later. Kuznick is a professor of History, and the director of Nuclear Studies Institute at American University. A virtual event; access at link.

Thursday, Aug 27 | 7:00 PM
Grrlz* Night Out Happy Hour
Grrrls* Night is a happy hour space for women, trans comrades of all genders, enbys, and femmes to come together. With the pandemic, having a space to talk about socialism and be social is a great way to decompress from the oppressions we face in our patriarchal and capitalistic society. The event is open to all Grrrls*, DSA membership is not required.

Sunday, Aug 30 | 1:00 PM
Southern Towers Tenant Support Planning Meeting
This meeting is for planning the support of the striking tenants of Southern Towers to discuss research and canvassing work.

Sunday, Aug 30 | 5:00 PM
Medicare for All Workgroup Weekly Meeting
Recurring Sunday virtual event - access and info at link.

Monday, Aug 31 | 7:00 PM
DC Council Elections Workgroup Biweekly Meeting
Join us to learn about our efforts to elect democratic socialists to the DC City Council, Janeese Lewis George (Ward 4) and Ed Lazere (at-large), and learn how to help bring the red wave to DC!

Wednesday, Sep 2 | 7:00 PM
Prince George’s Branch (prov.) Biweekly Meeting
Join us to refine and finalize bylaws and move closer to formal branch status while we develop a program to tackle the many inequities in Prince George’s County and engage allies to make it happen inside county government and in the community; members, also visit our #prince-georges-oc Slack channel.


NATIONAL DSA EVENTS

** Tuesday, Aug 25** | 8:00 PM EDT
The End of Policing with Alex Vitale
“The Police do not prevent crime. This is one of the best kept secrets of modern life. Experts know it, the police know it, but the public does not know it. Yet the police pretend that they are society’s best defense against crime.” Alex Vitale elaborates.


INFO ACCESS

Washington Socialist for August and Labor Day
The most recent articles in our long-running online monthly newsletter are here. Our upcoming Labor Day issue of the Washington Socialist is always a big annual effort stressing our dedication to the primacy of the class struggle in bringing socialism to all members of US society and ending inequality. The deadline for articles is Saturday, August 29. Campaigns and working groups: write action reports for this strange year so far to be included in the Labor Day issue. They need not be of full article length. Our Pubs WG editors will wrap these into one or more article-length reports on the impact MDC DSA members have collectively had on the politics and activism of this tumultuous year so far – and what you/we plan for the next few months or more. Chime in at the length you can manage. Submit your contribution to thesocialist@gmail.com

We are repopulating our archive of articles going back to 2012 - newly liberate from several previous MDC DSA web platforms. Watch for that as the Washington Socialist migrates soon to its own website in tandem with updates to our home site.


EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV

Friday, Aug 21 | 4:00 PM
Webinar: An Introduction to Cooperative Conversations
Presented by Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy.

Saturday, Aug 22 | 11:00 AM
Faith Community Virtual Summit on issues of re-entry
In this pandemic environment, social and economic re-entry from mass incarceration is even more difficult than usual. Members of the faith-based community are presenting a Virtual Summit on issues of re-entry this Saturday, August 22 from 11 AM- 1 PM.

Sunday, Aug 23 | 7:00 PM
Our Revolution Montgomery meeting

Tuesday, Aug 25 | 7:00 PM
Police & Prison Abolition Study Circle - Liberal and Radical Positions on Police Reform
What kind of police reform will eventually lead to the abolition of policing? What kind of reform will obstruct abolition? And what can YOU do to help? Join our study circle to epxlore these questions together! Email the GBDSA Political Education Committee or our People of Color Caucus for RSVP, and we’ll send you the Zoom link and study materials.

Wednesday, Aug 26 | 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Maryland Clean Energy Town Hall
Discuss clean energy policy in Maryland and Joe Biden’s climate plan. with special guest MD Sen. Chris Van Hollen*, Maryland – Speakers include: MD Del. Brooke Lierman, Adam Ortiz, Johanna Neumann, ( 100% Renewable Campaign) Mike Tidwell, CCAN; Jahi Wise (Green Capital); Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, (350.org).

Thursday, Aug 27 | 11:30 PM
Rally for Airport Workers!
Rally of/for airport workers at airports authority office, 2733 Crystal Drive, Arlington – demand healthy airports, paid sick leave. Sponsor is SEIU 32BJ.


GOOD READS

  • NYT Account of how Marxist scholar Adolph Reed and NYC DSA ran into issues about a planned speech. The event has ignited a debate across DSA universe (including on our own Facebook group). Here’s one take from Class Unity DSA.

  • With the DNC over, what do we do now? We’ll likely be debating this for sometime, so here are a few articles to start. Jacobin’s just-published new issue, headlined “After Bernie” leads with this: “The Two Paths of Democratic Socialism: Coalition and Confrontation.” And another view about how the Left should orient ourselves toward the 2020 election in Portside: “The right tactical call for activists is to elect the politicians they’re most able to cajole, persuade, and pressure.”

  • From The Intercept: Mick Mulvaney is back in action on his favorite deregulatory turf, using the CFPB to deploy predatory lenders as “first reponders” to the pandemic.

  • Teachers’ unions around the country, with new clout and confidence from their widespread and successful rebellions against (often Red-state) cutbacks, are rallying again to make sure that they and their students are safe as some of those same governors desperately attempt to make schools open – despite rising infection rates – for in-classroom learning. An extensive and detailed report from Politico.

  • A good summary of the way Democrats are organizing their anticipated reassumption of power, and the unaddressed issues that got us to this point, in The Week. A sweet read for the Biden skeptics among us, topped off with a controversial title (“Joe Biden is already planning for a failed presidency”).

  • Finally, a republished interview with Karl Marx, in Portside.


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