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December 11, 2020 Weekly Update
- TODAY – FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES – March against Biden’s neoliberal cabinet
- SUNDAY – MDC DSA’s Local Virtual Convention
- TOMORROW – Defending DC from fascist agitators
We’re in the middle of an unprecedented emergency with massive human costs. People are dying. The planet is on fire. And instead of figuring out how to align with popular movement demands like a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and defunding police to reinvest in care, establishment Democrats are blaming the left for their own losses in the November elections.
That’s why today at 11:30am, as part of a national DSA mobilization, our chapter is demonstrating at the downtown DC offices of Biden’s major Cabinet appointments. It is time to put establishment Democrats on blast for their ongoing failure to support the working class. This is do or die — now is the time to fight for our lives.
We’ll be marching a giant Biden puppet through the streets to make sure this cabinet gets the message. Our chapter has been highlighting the the corporate infiltration that runs deep through the cabinet.
Meet us at Dupont Circle at 11:30am and march with us through K Street. Sign up and get more info to take action here.
And before our action – Stop the Money Pipeline will be delivering letters demanding banks end their financing for fossil fuel projects, and to commit to dropping support for the Line 3, Keystone XL, and Trans Mountain oil pipelines. Some of our demonstrators will be bolstering this group beforehand.
Just two days until the MDC DSA Local Convention! Join us on Sunday, December 13th at 12:00pm as we convene for the first time since 2018. Help us chart the future of our chapter!
The Convention Bulletin, which includes the proposed Convention Rules and the resolutions and amendments that we’ll be considering can be seen here.
As noted in other communications, any amendments to these submissions are due by 11:59pm Friday, December 11th. Amendments can be submitted here. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Defending DC from fascist agitators
The Proud Boys will be rallying downtown on Saturday, 12/12. All Out DC, BLM DC, and other organizations are organizing a “Defend DC” event this Friday evening and all-day Saturday to hold space at BLM Plaza and keep it safe before and during the MAGA Rally (see defenddc.org). Different organizations are prioritizing holding the space during different time slots.
- Date: Saturday, December 12
- Time: 2-7pm (but come and go as you feel comfortable)
- Place: BLM Plaza
- Make sure you have a buddy, FILL OUT THIS FORM
Stand up for DC’s hotel, restaurant, and entertainment workers!
The D.C. Council is considering a bill that would make it easier for workers laid off during the pandemic to get their old jobs back. However, corporate interests are trying to weaken the bill to exclude some workers. Sign on to this letter to tell the council: Don’t water down this bill!
You can also check out background info from the Labor Working Group below:
Right to Return to Work
On December 1st, the DC Council unanimously voted to move forward B23-0965, which gives workers in hotels, restaurants, retail, entertainment venues, and contracting jobs the right to return to any jobs they lost as a result of COVID-19. Now, the Bill is advancing to its second and final vote on December 15th. During the vote, some Councilmembers voiced concerns about including restaurant and retail workers in the Bill. Now, we need to make sure the Council holds the line and keep the bill from being watered down! Sign a letter to the DC Council today!
If you need extra motivation, the Baltimore Council just overturned a Mayoral veto on similar legislation.
Updates from the Defund MPD Campaign
Following a very successful letter writing campaign with the Defund MPD coalition (over 1,000 signatures!) our working group met with Councilmembers Nadeau, Cheh, and Henderson to discuss our demands for a collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, DC’s police union. There’s still time to send a letter to the DC Council telling them to stop police union control. Here is a link to the letter writing template.
Councilmember Allen, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, has announced a public oversight roundtable on “Exploring Non-Law Enforcement Alternatives to Meeting Community Needs,” to be held Thursday December 17th, 10 am to 3 pm. If you would like to provide live testimony, email the Committee at email@example.com by close of business on Monday, December 14th. You can also submit written testimony to the Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, December 18th. If you are interested in getting involved in this or any of the Defund MPD campaigns, please fill out our onboarding survey.
Update from the Socialist Feminist Caucus
Due to the holidays, the SocFem Caucus will not be meeting until the new year. On January 7th we will be hosting an online Happy Hour starting at 7pm. We will then have our monthly meeting on January 12th at 7pm. Just a reminder that the SocFem Caucus is open only to womxn, non-binary persons, and persons that identify as a marginalized gender. Make sure to RSVP through Action Network in order to receive a link to the meeting. Happy Holidays!
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, December 11
11:30 AM – 2 PM | Fight For Our Lives — Biden’s Corporate Cabinet Tour
Protest Biden’s neoliberal Cabinet appointments as part of the first wave of DSA’s national Green New Deal mobilization. Meeting at Dupont Circle, marching across the K Street Swamp, and conclude at Biden’s transition team office at the Department of Commerce.
Friday, December 11 – Saturday, December 12
All times | Defend DC Rally
Shutdown DC will hold a march and rally in response to an upcoming MAGA march. Show up at Black Lives Matter Plaza and help us keep each other safe.
Sunday, December 13
noon – 5 PM | MDC DSA Local Chapter Annual Convention
One of the most important events held by the chapter. Open to all MDC DSA members in good standing. Members should RSVP early to get a count of attendees.
Sunday, December 13
2 – 3 PM | Protesting in a Pandemic
MDC DSA Red Rabbits will outline how to be safe amid a pandemic in an age of right-wing violence
Monday, December 14
6 – 8:00 PM | Monthly Queer Caucus Happy Hour
The QSC will be having our monthly Happy Hour, for all Queer, Trans, and Nonbinary comrades, as well our allies and accomplices. Event is open to the public, DSA membership is not required.
Thursday, December 17
7 – 8:30 PM | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
We will be welcoming new members and discussing planning for our current actions and working groups
7 – 8 PM | Medicare 4 All Discussion Group
Biweekly discussion; readings info here.
Monday, December 21
7 – 8:30pm | Queer Caucus 2021 Planning Sessions
Tuesday, December 22
7 – 8:30pm | Biweekly MDC DSA Steering Committee Meeting
Virtual meeting; all MDC DSA members welcome to attend. Zoom access in Slack #steering channel.
Thursday, December 31
7 – 8pm | Medicare 4 All Discussion Group
Biweekly discussion; readings info here.
Tuesday, January 5
6:30 – 8:30pm | A Radical History of the Young Lords <>Socialist Night School
The Young Lords were an explicitly socialist organization (60s-70s) led predominantly by poor and working-class Puerto Rican youth and modeled after the Black Panther Party. Discussion is led by Prof. Johanna Fernández, author of the acclaimed book The Young Lords: A Radical History.
Thursday, January 7
7pm | SocFem Caucus Happy Hour
Registration link will appear in a future Update
Sunday, January 10
3 – 5 PM | MDC DSA General Body Meeting for January 2021
Sunday, January 17
7 PM | SocFem Caucus Monthly Meeting
Registration link will appear in a future Update
Weekly or regularly recurring events:
NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting:
Sundays – 1 to 2pm (This week’s moved to Monday December 14th to prevent conflict with the Chapter Convention)
Saturdays – Canvasses scheduled as needed
Medicare 4 ALL (#M4A) Workgroup:
Sundays – 5 to 6:30pm
New Member Orientation
Wednesdays – 8pm to 9pm
New to DSA? New-ish? Joined a while back and want to get involved again? Find out how we can build a brighter socialist future together! We’ll talk about our working groups and how you can get involved in building real power with your fellow comrades.
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
SUN Dec 13 | 3:00pm
DSA4USPS: Banks for the People — Postal and Public Banking
The Democratic Socialist Labor Commission’s DSA4USPS subcommittee is planning a series of educational webinars on the United States Postal Service. This webinar will explore the history and possibilities of postal and public banking. While Trump soon-to-be holdover Louis DeJoy goes about his mission to cripple the USPS through piecemeal downsizing and privatization, More at link…
WED Dec 16 | 8pm
The Fight for Racial and Economic Justice: A Virtual Discussion with Darrick Hamilton, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Symone Baptiste, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, and Bianca Cunningham
Join the Democratic Socialists of America Fund, Dissent magazine, The New Press, DSA’s Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus (AFROSOC), Haymarket Books, and DSA’s Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC) for the next installment in an ongoing series of virtual discussions based on the book We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism—American Style. More at link.
THURS Dec 17 | 8pm
Indigenous Resistance in a World On Fire
Indigenous communities are fighting for their survival and for self-determination. But what is the relationship between their struggle to the broader class struggle and the fight for a socialist future? The DSA National Political Education Committee and International Committee are co-hosting an international panel featuring Indigenous leaders from the U.S, Brazil, and Bolivia. More at link
THURS Dec 17 | 8pm
Structured Organizing Conversations During Social Distancing
Although social distancing due to COVID-19 is drastically interrupting our standard organizing practices, we must find ways to make the most of technology and what contact we can have with one another via video conferencing and phone calls so that we can build working class power to fight against a repeat of the corporate bailouts…More at link
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13 — 4th Maryland Legislative Coalition Summit
Virtual conference with participation from many state activist organizations on Legislative Priorities For the 2021 General Assembly Session, with themed sessions Saturday 10:30am on Social Justice, Immigration, Police Reform; 2pm Consumer Rights, Elections and Sunday 10:30am Economic Justice and 2pm Education and Health. Read more here, including participating organizations.
Tuesday December 15| 3pm ET
HOUSING IS THE CURE – National Briefing on COVID & The Eviction Crisis
Join the Right to the City Alliance and Human Impact Partners for a conversation on the deepening housing and public health crises as the CDC Eviction Moratorium is set to expire on December 31st. This National Briefing will offer concrete solutionsas well as strategies pressuring the incoming administration to act.
Wednesday, Dec. 16 | 10am
Maryland Center for Economic Policy, part of the Fair Funding Coalition, is hosting a briefing for media and advocates to help people better understand the state revenue situation and how the fair share tax plan would help. Sign up here
Publications Schedule –In December we will email Updates on Fridays, December 18 and, yes, the 25th (might be short on events, tho), and the New Year’s 2021 issue of the Washington Socialist will appear on Friday, January 1, 2021. The December 16 Update may include articles about the local convention, which will have just taken place. Stay tuned on that.
You know who you are — you signed the DSA 100K pledge to approach three folks you know about joining DSA, but ummm… the first move is the hardest, But hey, this is the perfect icebreaker. Just send them this link, with “hey, I know you wanted to know more about DSA. Well, there’s this: Why You Should Join DSA | 8-9pm on Wednesdays” (for example, Dec. 9) … where your friends will learn about who we are and what we do. We’ll outline our chapter’s structure and our campaigns, branches, and caucuses and the breadth of our DMV action. Give them the full picture about the amazing upside of DSA and democratic socialism.
Are you an MDC DSA member who wonders how to get on our chapter Slack? Just email email@example.com and identify yourself as a member. Put “request for #Slack” in the subject line. Use the email address by which national DSA knows you. If you are a new member, forward the email receipt that national DSA sent you acknowledging your status. Please be patient; our admin committee is loaded with chores and shorthanded to boot. 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.
A solid and detailed Politico article on the troubling numbers of ex-military brass populating the Biden transition teams and now, with the top defense pick, emerging into actual cabinet nominations. The forest of names with cadence-count histories is pretty amazing.
It might be fun, of a sort, to get in a shouting match with a toxic conspiracy theorist. But the opportunity may offer to change the person’s mind instead, as this Guardian article indicates.
Not a big surprise, but Trumpland is putting loyalist minders in transition meetings between the incoming Biden folks and civil servants in the executive departments.
- And if you are nervous about next Tuesday – a co-production from Vice News compiles surrealist comedian Vic Berger’s five years of absurdist Trump coverage into the form of a one-hour movie.
- DC’s attorney general bars Doordash from raising commission fees charged to restaurants above the city’s 15 percent cap. Hope the move doesn’t show up in workers’ paychecks.
Demography is destiny, but for whom? “The joke is that the GOP is really assembling the multiracial working-class coalition that the left has always dreamed of,” says David Shor, a Democratic polling and data expert, who has unsettling news about the inevitable Dem majority.
For our liberation, queer and trans people must organize as socialists, and socialists must defend queer and trans life, these authors argue in the DSA Organizer. DSA, they say, offers a unique political home for queer and trans workers.,
- And to end on something lighter – a thorough review of CyberPunk 2077 filters an apocalyptic future, but also covers where the game falls short on issues relevant to socialists – particularly in terms of non-binary representation and in the abusive labor practices that contributed to its production.
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.