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September 4, 2020 Weekly Update
- Justice for Deon Kay – this weekend
- Stand with restaurant workers – Monday at 1 PM
- Washington Socialist Labor Day issue
Justice for Deon Kay – weekend actions
On September 2nd, MPD murdered 18 year old Deon Kay in Southeast DC. Community members and comrades once again took to the streets, demonstrating in front of the 7th District Police Station late Wednesday night and Mayor Bowser’s home early Thursday morning. While MPD has been brutalizing protestors and murdering young men, Mayor Bowser was demanding that the US Attorney for the District of Columbia violate the 5th and 14th Amendments and prosecute protestors without due process. The Defund MPD group will hold its monthly meeting to discuss future actions. In the meantime, we want to elevate these actions and events from our partner organizations in the Defund MPD coalition:
They/Them Collective: FTP March, Sep 5 @ 7pm – Dupont Circle
Marching in support of lives stolen by police: Deon Kay, Dijon Kizzee, Daniel Prude
Black Lives Matter: Street Law 101, Sep 9 @ 6pm – Online Webinar It is important that the people most targeted by police have critical information about their rights during police interactions. We encourage youth and young adults to attend as they are the most targeted. 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.
*Black Lives Matter: Resourcing the Revolution, Sep 10 @ 6:30pm – Online Webinar
We invite you to take part in the first of a series of conversations on healing relationships to money and by extension, healing community. COVID has made it impossible to ignore, even for the wealthiest among us, the deep and painful ways capitalism is sustained by racism, patriarchy and ableism. We feel the renewed commitment to learn to share resources, and to do so in a way that re-makes the foundation/grantee, giver/receiver power relationship. We want to share what we’ve learned over the past 18 months about income sharing in a cross class multi racial group, and to hear from other resource sharing models on how we could build to make sure we all have what we need.
Sunrise DC Fundraiser for M4BL – Month-long action
Join Sunrise DC for a month of solidarity to raise funds for the Movement for Black Lives Money Pot. Funds raised will be used to directly support Black organizers and those continuing to fight to defend Black lives as well as respond to our communities ongoing needs during this pandemic.
Relational Organizing for Abolition – Metro DC DSA’s Online Resource
The Defund MPD working group announces our new guide to help you talk with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers about abolishing police. It’s structured around common stages of consciousness around policing, beginning with a baseline liberal/reformist understanding and progressing all the way to full-stop abolition. Along the way, the guide is full of discussion points and links to articles and resources to help you radicalize and organize the people in your life to get them involved in our fight to defund and abolish the police.
Standing with workers – Monday, September 7th at 1pm
Mayor Bowser has refused to roll back opening up of restaurants despite worrying COVID trends. With 25% of new cases coming from these workers, it’s vital that we stand with them. Come out to Malcolm X Park at 1pm on Monday, September 7th to demand justice for restaurant and service workers! We need fair and equitable working conditions and support for all unemployed workers during this time. We demand the administration to seriously review the threats to safety, financial security and equity of workers in restaurants during this pandemic.
We will be meeting at the Joan of Arc Statue in Malcom X Park (16th and W Sts. NW) at 1pm. You can find more details about the rally here.
Washington Socialist Labor Day Issue
This summer, publications has been developing a secret new website for the Washington Socialist. The website is not completely finished yet – but we are soft-launching the website to host this month’s collection of articles. We hope you’ll excuse any temporary bugs on the site – we are looking to finalize the website sometime within the next two weeks. If you have thoughts, comments, or would like to contribute or help build out the new site (or the Washington Socialist’s treasure trove of content in general), please join the #publications channel in slack and let us know!
You can view this year’s Labor Day issue here. Here’s a preview of some of this month’s articles:
- “Days of Revolt: Notes on DC’s Summer Uprising” brings us the latest eyewitness reporting on protesters, hostile and often brutal police conduct, and Mayor Bowser’s duplicitous and self-serving maneuvers.
- “UE and the ILWU: the possibilities of class-conscious unionism” covers the rich histories of the United Electrical Workers and the International Longshore Workers’ Union, two radical worker formations who were at the forefront of resistance when many other unions were taking a compliant route for short-term gains.
- “At the heart of capitalism lie prisons and police” helps us think about the police and their unions — their entanglement in capitalist, ruling class goals since the days that cops were slave-catchers, and why their unions are outliers in the real workers’ movement.
- “Workers and work, before and after the pandemic” weaves labor history from a new-ish book and observations on how the pandemic changed things today and perhaps into the future.
- “Reflections: Women, struggle and gains” recounts a longtime DSA member and local comrade’s experience as a delegate to the1984 Democratic Convention, when for the first time a Democratic ticket had a woman vice-presidential candidate. This Washington Socialist article first appeared in a 1984 issue. The echoes are uncanny today.
- “Trump intends to steal the 2020 elections. Here’s how to stop him” rounds up the many indicators that Trump will try to cheat his way to victory, and the importance of rallying to stop his interference in the voting process.
- “Politics in the post-COVID era: a matter of survival” outlines the sense that Left politics remain beset by adversaries and their preservation demands a unified front with a strong political program.
- “I took the Hillsdale ‘Survey’ on socialism” is a teeth-grindingly amusing look at how a small right-wing college serves as academic cover for a classic push-poll about the dread menace socialism. The construction of the Hillsdale “survey” will bring a pained smile even to those who respond to the more benign “objective” surveys with their narrow range of possible responses.
Biweekly Steering Update
We’re excited to share the theme for our next general body meeting (9/13) — a retrospective of MDC DSA’s role in this summer’s series of actions. We’ll hear briefly from chapter members who have been involved in past actions, including Occupy, J20, the Venezuelan embassy action, and the recent Black Lives Matter protests, but the bulk of the GBM will be hearing from you! The format will be open discussion of our involvement…what we did well, how we could improve, and what our role(s) ought to be moving forward. We are also piloting “Question Time”—10 or so minutes at the end of the meeting for members to ask any questions they might have for our Steering members. We hope to see you then!
Vote Against Ballot Question B in Montgomery County
The Montgomery County Branch is ramping up our campaign urging Montgomery County to vote AGAINST Ballot Question B in September and adding additional training and phonebanking sessions on Saturday afternoons. Join us this Saturday, September 3 at 3:30pm for a phonebanking and training session. We’ll go over how ballot question B will starve our county of resources needed to fund schools, public health programs and more while benefiting the ultra-wealthy and corporations and how to use our autodialer. Join us at 4:00pm to help make calls if you’ve already attended another session. Register here.
NoVA Migrant Justice Campaign Update
The working group is looking for a volunteer to coordinate mutual aid on behalf of the group for communities in NOVA hit hard by COVID (working with allied orgs like La ColectiVA and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)). Email email@example.com if interested! And if you’d like to sign up for mutual aid work with La ColectiVA, International Mayan League and SURJ Northern Virginia directly, fill out this google form.
The campaign’s next meeting is still being scheduled. If you’d like to join, please fill out this when2meet poll.
Right to the City webinar series on Eviction Defense
ONE DC is local co-sponsor of the multi-session series Right to the City’s Rooted & Ready: Eviction Defense for the Renter Nation series. This series reviews the basics of the eviction process and shares helpful tips you can add to your toolkits to stop evictions in your neighborhoods. Hear from on the ground experts who will share tools and inspiring stories of resistance. Together, we will prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally and tactically to defend our homes. Sessions are 7-9pm Wednesdays, September 9, 16, 23 and 30. Spanish-language sessions parallel this series on Thursdays. Zoom training for participants begins one-half hour before the 7 PM sessions, which also feature interpretation into Spanish, Kreyol, Cantonese and Vietnamese. Register here.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR SEPTEMBER
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 to 9:00 PM
DMV Red Rabbits Leadership Call
The DMV Red Rabbits, MDCDSA’s rapid response action team, is looking for its first group of leaders to coordinate the team and organize responses to requests for action support. If you are interested in helping to lead the Red Rabbits, join us to learn more about the team and to discuss how the team leadership will work.
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.
Wednesday, Sep 9 | 6:30 to 8:00 PM
September Labor Working Group
We’ll be going over the proposed restructuring of the Working Group and, if approved, set up elections for co-chairs at an upcoming meeting.
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.
Sunday, Sep 13 | 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.
Monday, Sep 14 | 7:00 PM
DC Council Elections Working Group Meeting (Biweekly)
Join us to learn about our efforts to elect democratic socialists to the DC City Council, Janeese Lewis George (Ward 4), Ed Lazere (at-large) and Mysiki Valentine for the DC State Board of Education at-large.
Wednesday, Sep 16 | 7:00 PM
Prince George’s County DSA Branch (prov.) Biweekly Meeting
Join our growing organizing group as we polish our bylaws and aim to take the (prov.) off our name. We’ll sharpen our developing program combining Maryland state issues and the pressing needs for change in our own county — making socialism work for all.
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Check out the newest edition National DSA’s seasonable publication, Democratic Left!
Thursday, Sep 10 | 8:00 PM EDT
Roundtable on Rank and File Reform Movements
The DSLC is excited to give DSA members a chance to hear about both past and current union reform efforts to better understand how and why union activists go about revitalizing the labor movement. The Roundtable will feature leaders from important union reform efforts in healthcare, auto and transportation.
Thursday, Sep 10 | 8:00 PM EDT
A Green New Deal for Safe Public Schools
Classrooms have emerged as an urgent arena of class struggle, as educators resisting a return to work in unsafe conditions are connecting the dots between the COVID-19 pandemic, a deeply unequal educational system, crises of racial injustice and social reproduction, and the climate crisis. Several teachers unions, along with left social movements and coalitions.
Monday, Sep 21 | 9:00 PM EDT
Health Workers Organize for Power!
DSA’s Health Worker Collective (HWC) is partnering with the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) on industry-focused trainings to empower and educate health workers. This national call will include a panel of worker leaders who will share experiences organizing in the workplace around demands related to the Covid pandemic.
MDC DSA Weekly Updates are scheduled for Fridays, September 11, 18 and 25, and the October issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 with an article deadline of Saturday, Sept 26.
Are you an MDC DSA member who wonders how to get on our chapter Slack? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and identify yourself as a member. Use the email address by which national DSA knows you. If you are a new member, forward the email that national DSA sent you acknowledging your status. Our Slack platform, with numerous channels for all our caucuses, branches, campaigns and working groups, is a great place to get connected with the kind of socialist work YOU want to do in DSA. You might even find a job opportunity on #rosaslist.
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Wednesday, Sep 9 | 6:00 PM
Black Lives Matter: Street Law 101
It is important that the people most targeted by police have critical information about their rights during police interactions. We encourage youth and young adults to attend as they are the most targeted. This training will be about what actually happens on the street. ASL, Spanish translation will be provided.
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.
Thursday, Sep 10 | 6:30 PM
Black Lives Matter: No Grant Zone – Resourcing the Revolution
Conversations on healing relationships to money and by extension, healing community amid the deep and painful ways capitalism is sustained by racism, patriarchy and ableism. Learn resource sharing that re-makes the foundation/grantee, giver/receiver power relationship.
Monday, Sep 26 | 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Worker Coops and the Movement for Socialism
The Claudia Jones School for Political Education, cosponsored by ONE DC.
Mass incarceration and re-entry practices discussed by Maryland officials including the Prince George’s State’s Attorney in this article from the Washington Informer.
In These Times has a richly detailed rapid-reaction article on the just-announced nationwide eviction ban, including the predictable loophole cascade. “We know that landlords will find ways to evict and retaliate against their tenants because it’s already happening,” says Tara Raghuveer.
Joe Stiglitz and Kitty Richards write about taxes in the NYT. Which headline do you prefer? “Doesn’t Feel Like a Recession? You Should Be Paying More in Taxes” or “You Want Progressive Policies? You Need Progressive Taxes” (they are one click apart on the NYT website).
From Portside, Jamie Galbraith on the post-COVID economic challenges facing the next prez. “…an even bigger problem… is that the largest share of increased spending in the last recovery — and the secret of American success at job creation — was not in the purchase of goods, but in the production and consumption of services. … the U.S. economy became a gigantic carnival of doing each other’s washing and scratching each other’s backs.”
“Looting” has a variety of manifestations in any unusual collective behavior in public and sounds distinctly different in the mouths of different politicians. Here’s an exploration of the concept and of the many instances labeled as looting, from The Nation.
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.