August 28, 2020 Weekly Update

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER


August 28, 2020 Weekly Update

UP FRONT

  • Weekend March on Washington – Saturday at 8:45 AM
  • Call for bilingual and spanish dominant comrades
  • NOVA Tenant Organizing – next Saturday at 2 PM
illustration of lightning bolt striking a rose on top of U.S. Capitol Building

This Weekend: March on Washington, this Saturday at 8:45 AM

If the last few nights have been any indication, this weekend is shaping up to be quite loud. Saturday’s March on Washington will feature a labor contigent which is gathering at the United Unions building located at 1750 New York Avenue, NW. The march plans to head out at 8:45 AM. If you are going, wear some red and DSA gear to let folks know the socialists are out and about! If you would like to connect with members beforehand, contact @Rachel B on Slack.

If you do demonstrate this weekend, know that Luther Place Memorial Church will be offering water, basic first aid, bathrooms, snacks, face masks, and charging stations throughout the weekend. They also have an on-call protest support line at 202-351-6168. Be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing!

illustration of lightning bolt striking a rose on top of U.S. Capitol Building

Call for bilingual and spanish dominant comrades!

MDCDSA’s endorsed candidate for DC Council At-Large, Ed Lazere, is looking to pilot some Latinx to Latinx virtual and in-person organizing targeting Wards 1 and 4. You do not have to be Latinx to participate, but bilingual and strong Spanish abilities are needed to do this work effectively!

Email Paola (salasparedespa@gmail.com) or reach out via Slack if you’d like to participate or have questions.

illustration of lightning bolt striking a rose on top of U.S. Capitol Building

NOVA Tenant Organizing

The NoVa Branch Tenant Organizing Working Group will be canvassing Saturday, Sept 5 to provide support to tenants facing evictions and discussing the possibilities of organizing against their landlord.

Next Saturday, we will meet at 2 PM in front of the 7-Eleven at Southern Towers (4901 Seminary Rd.), where we will provide a brief training. Please bring a mask, hand sanitizer, comfortable shoes, and practice social distancing! After training, we will head to our destination, so we advise coming by car! After the canvass, we will meet back at Southern Towers for a socially distant happy hour in the park at 5 PM.

Want to catch up on what’s been happening in NOVA? Check out our featured dispatches in Washington Socialist:

BRIEFS

DC Council Elections WG

The campaign has switched over to CallHub, and we’re excited to see DSAers command that volunteer leaderboard. We are making strikes towards our 10k call goal! For folks who have already been trained, feel free to jump right in – CallHub is fairly similar to Open VPB aside from the fact that it allows you to make calls directly from your computer. Here is a video from another campaign that details CallHub’s functionality.

If you have any questions feel free to contact Nikko (nikkobilitza@gmail.com), ask questions in the #ed-call-team channel or sign up for another training session with the working group or Ed’s campaign.

Want to meet MDCDSA’s endorsed candidates? Ed’s campaign is planning a variety of events throughout the next few weeks, which you can find on his campaign’s website. Janeese Lewis George is also hosting weekly listening sessions for different neighborhoods in Ward 4 – a great way to meet Janeese and your neighbors!

Vote Against Ballot Question B in Montgomery County!

MDCDSA comrades have made over 1,300 calls urging voters to vote against Ballot Question B in Montgomery County in our first three weeks of phonebanking. We’re finding that voters have not heard of Ballot Question B and are against the question after we explain that it would force cuts to schools, public health programs and more while benefiting the county’s wealthiest. This makes our work to reach as many voters as possible even more important. We’ll hold another phone banking session this Wednesday, September 2 at 6:30pm. Sign up here to get updates about more sessions as we expand our phone banking program in September and October.

Park Morton Residents

This week, DSA members (including candidate Ed Lazere!) showed up to rally for residents of the Park Morton housing complex. If you haven’t already, please sign this petition in support of a redevelopment plan that prioritizes the concerns of current residents of the complex.

MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR SEPTEMBER

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
Join MDC DSA’s new Medicare for All working group as we begin a campaign to enact the Health Care Emergency Guarantee (HCEG) Act. 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 help our campaign on the HCEG and to see what other campaigns we’re working on!

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.

Saturday, Sep 5 | 2:00 PM
NoVA Anti-eviction Canvass
NoVa Branch Tenant Organizing Working Group will be canvassing to provide support to tenants facing evictions and discussing the possibilities of organizing against their landlord. Location and details at link.

Sunday, Sep 6 | 1:00 PM
Southern Towers Tenant Support Planning Meeting
Recurring virtual meeting — info and access at link.

Sunday, Sep 6 | 5:00 PM
Medicare for All Workgroup Weekly Meeting Join MDC DSA’s new Medicare for All working group as we begin a campaign to enact the Health Care Emergency Guarantee (HCEG) Act. 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 help our campaign on the HCEG and to see what other campaigns we’re working on!

Sunday, Sep 6 | 7:00 PM
NoVA Branch DSA Movie Night
Join the NoVA DSA Branch with a little popcorn and praxis for our first Movie Night!

Tuesday, Sep 8 | 7:00 PM
MDC DSA Socialist-Feminist Caucus Meeting
At the next Soc-Fem Caucus meeting we will be electing leaders for the caucus. Please remember, at this time, the caucus is open to womxn and non-masc spectrum nonbinary folx only.

Wednesday, Sep 9 | 6:30 PM
Phone-banking: NO on Question B
Join MDC DSA comrades and the Montgomery County branch to make calls urging voters to vote NO on question B, a Prop 13-type move to cut taxes, favor the rich and reduce revenue for public services.

Wednesday, Sep 9 | 6:30 PM
The Alabama Communist Party, 1930-1950 | Socialist Night School
In spite of harrowing obstacles, organizers in Alabama were able to build a majority-Black Communist Party whose struggle for justice helped to in some ways prefigure the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s. This session will be led by Mary Stanton, author of Red, Black, White: The Alabama Communist Party, 1930–1950.

Saturday, Sep 12 | 2:00 PM
MoCo DSA September Branch Meeting
MoCo DSA’s September Branch Meeting is on a Saturday this month. Please join us to talk about Defunding the Police, a tax scam for the rich that will be on the November ballot, and more. Email us at MontgomeryCountyDSA@gmail.com for the Zoom link. (And when you RSVP, we’ll email the link to you from the MeetUp account – check your Forums/Promotions/Junk folders!)

Sunday, Sep 13 | 3:00 to 5:00 PM
Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting
Our general body meetings convene all chapter members once monthly. Workgroups, caucuses, committees, and leadership provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. Members may also propose and vote on business.

NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS

Check out the newest edition National DSA’s seasonable publication, Democratic Left!

Wednesday, Sep 2 | 8:00 PM EDT
DSA Q&A with Amy Vilela
Interested in DSA but haven’t joined yet? Looking to get involved in the fights to stop evictions, win Medicare for All, and defund the police, but unsure how to get started? Join Amy Vilela – former congressional candidate in NV, national Bernie surrogate and NV state co-chair, and featured in Netflix’s Knock Down the House documentary – as we talk about how we can come together in DSA right now to win our demands in communities across the country.

INFO ACCESS

Washington Socialist for August and Labor Day
First, just be reminded that that article you have been working on for the Labor Day issue of the Washington Socialist (published Sep 4) faces a deadline tomorrow, Saturday August 29.

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: we encourage you to 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 the socialist@gmail.com .

Weekly Updates will be emailed Fridays, Sept. 11, 18 and 25 and the October issue will appear Friday, Oct. 2.

The most recent articles in our long-running online monthly newsletter are here.. We are also 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

Saturday, Aug 29 | 12:00 PM
Our Revolution Maryland “Organize to Win” meeting
Discuss our 4 POINT PLAN to WIN in 2020 and beyond — this means defeating Trump, electing more progressives to the House and flipping the Senate, winning key down-ballot races, and growing a movement powerful enough to pressure the people in power to advance our progressive policy agenda. Virtually join us and our endorsed candidates Mia Mason (US House, MD Dist. 1) and Marylin Pierre (Circuit Court Judge, MoCo).

Thursday, Sep 3 | 6:00 PM
Participatory Defense with Life After Release
Join Qiana Johnson, Executive Director of Life After Release for an interactive presentation on participatory defense. Participatory defense is a powerful model that organizes people facing criminal charges, their families, and their communities around public defense in their cases while challenging mass incarceration.

Wednesday, Sep 9 | 6:00 PM
BLM DC’s Street Law 101: Know Your RIghts with Kiki and Lorenzo
This training will be about what actually happens on the street. It will provide the legal definitions of terms like detain, stop, frisk and consent, etc. but also helps participants identify those things in real time, in real life when those words aren’t actually used. ASL, Spanish translation will be provided.

GOOD READS

  • Even Baltimore, like all cities, has an enclave of Trump True Believers, emulating his vindictive and thuggish behavior. Identification hint: if not in Hawaiian shirts, they are frequently in Blue.

  • Friday’s broadcast of “On the Ground” (just one of the stellar locally produced shows on Jazz and Justice Radio, 89.3) featured a great interview with Historian Gerald Horne who explained the historic and interconnected roots of colonialism and white supremacy. A must listen for folks unfamiliar with the development of modern capitalism, or for any folks who have been looking for a detailed refresher!

  • The least unradical Fed chairperson ever teams with an economist who used to work for Biden (and may again, who knows?) to flog Congress about its duty. Yellen, like the current chair, has been handing Congress the cheapest money ever to get some positive shit done; crickets in McConnell’s corner continue.

  • Community Justice Exchange has released a great Direct Action for Prison Abolition resource index. Aside from organizing a bunch of great content on directing and engaging in protest, the webpage has a unique and innovative style to boot!

  • An updated energy democracy package. Here’s an interesting roundup by Utility Drive, a biz-to-biz energy newsletter that nevertheless highlights the areas where democracy, or at least better regulation on a path to energy democracy, can find seams to enter the picture. A few days later Utility Dive provided this analysis of the recently released Dem climate package, which would impact both energy logistics and popular access to and control of how the logistics are applied; including statutory requirements that federal agencies build consideration of climate risks into their regulatory impact assessments.

And here are some Good Reads suggestions in anticipation of Labor Day:

  • Chris Townsend, long time socialist unionist — wrote a letter to fellow socialists old and new (“long-distance runners all”); it serves as a reminder of the critical importance to reach across generations. We can build together by learning from each other.

  • Jonah Furman in Organizing Upgrade makes a different set of connections in his article “No Left Without the Labor Left” — a phrase weighted with meaning for labor, for the left, and for an understanding of the relationship between the two and power.

  • Right now, management is winning its contest of power with labor. Kim Kelly is probably the best labor reporter out there — and her article in The Baffler talks about a “kinder and gentler” type of union busting all too common in the DC Metro area.

  • And behind it all, all struggles for labor for justice are undermined by mass incarceration, are undermined when schools cease to be places of learning. Uma Nagarajan-Swenson writes about the need to get police out of schools as a step to turn both those around in her article on the school to prison pipeline.

  • Speaking of police– are some unions more union than others? Here’s a piece from The Conversation, where academics go to evade journal-talk, about police unions as the outlier in the trade union movement.

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