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MARCH 19, 2021
- DSA national issues statement on Atlanta-area mass shooting
- Metro DC DSA continues to mobilize in VA to support Karishma Mehta — with reinforcements
- DSA National Convention 2021 update — virtual to be held August 1 – 8
DSA national groups issue statement on mass-shooting in Atlanta area
In response to a mass shooting in Atlanta Georgia, DSA national released a statement expressing grief, truncated below:
“We mourn the lives of the 8 people, including 6 Asian women, who were murdered last night in Georgia and send love to their families and communities.
These attacks fit into a xenophobic pattern of anti-Asian violence that the capitalist class not only condones, but welcomes as a scapegoat for their complete inaction in the face of the COVID crisis…While there is a rush to classify these crimes as hate crimes, it is not hate that is allowing this violence but power: the power of white supremacy and capitalist exploitation whose violence is minimized as hate between individuals based on race and/or gender. The response so far has been an increase in police presence: violence met with more violence…As long as both the Republican and Democratic parties continue to sustain the Sinophobic rhetoric as related to COVID and US-China relations, the attacks against Asian Americans, regardless of their ethnicity, will continue. So we commit to building socialism and dismantling the systems and structures that uphold white supremacy, empire, and perpetuate racist violence.”
You can read the full comments at this link. Additionally, DSA’s International Committee released a statement condemning anti-Chinese sentiments shared among American political elites which has contributed to rising Sinophobia in the United States.
MDC DSA members joined Total Liberation Collective DC, Anakbayan DC and DC residents Wednesday night to march and hold space for a vigil to remember and honor the 8 lives lost yesterday in Atlanta, Georgia, and the countless number of Asian individuals who have been harassed and assaulted. Total Liberation Collection has added a digital library which contains resources for those interested in learning more about what is going on and how to help.
DSA for Karishma Mehta joins Sunrise Movement DC in canvassing operations this weekend
Big news for Karishma Mehta’s campaign for 49th VA House district: Karishma was endorsed by our friends over in Our Revolution Arlington, unanimously. We’re very happy to have an old ally in the fight against Amazon and corporate power in Arlington!
We’ll be canvassing again this weekend (and the weather is looking great) with some added reinforcements – Sunrise Movement DC will be joining us for the Saturday canvassing shifts! As per previous weeks we have Saturday at 10 AM and 2 PM and 11 AM on Sunday. You can sign up for any of the canvassing opportunities using this link.
If you’re interested in phonebanking, we’ll have two shifts running tonight at 5:30 or Sunday at 2 pm. Sign up for any of the phonebanking opportunities using this link. If you haven’t already and are interested in getting involved with the campaign to put NoVA Branch member Karishma Mehta in the House of Delegates, fill out our interest form!
Finally, we’ve scheduled a canvasser training for next week on Tuesday, March 23rd at 6 PM! While there’s always an in person training at the start of canvasses, this will allow people to get a more in-depth training before they go, get more info on the issues and do practice conversations.
DSA’s National Convention to take place August 1 – 8 virtually
A virtual national convention beginning August 1 requires MDC DSA to elect delegates in a set timeline, chapter Secretary Ryan M reported to members at the past Sunday’s GBM and updated at this week’s Steering Committee meeting. A new National Political Committee will be elected at that convention and local members may self-nominate as outlined in the national convention rulebook. Sec. Ryan reported today “We learned last night we’ll be getting 48 delegates and 10 alternates. We will have a form for people to nominate for delegate very soon.” Watch for a chapter-wide email on the subject in the next week or so. “The elections [for delegate and alternate] themselves will likely be in May,” he said.
Metro DC DSA’s Socialist Feminist Working Group to raise money for local abortion support funding
The Annual Abortion Access Fund-A-Thon is an annual national campaign, organized through the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) to raise money for local abortion funds. Our fundraiser will benefit the DC Abortion Fund, which provides care across the DMV. In 2019, a total of 75 DSA teams brought in more than $120,000. But because the COVID-19 pandemic hit right as the 2020 Fund-a-Thon started, DSA teams were only able to bring in about $30,000 last year.
There are opportunities for involvement at various levels including: campaign planning, one time event hosting, soliciting donations, individual fundraising, etc. If interested in joining the effort, fill out this form!
Detention Watch Network’s Week of Action — March 22 to March 26
The NoVA Branch with the Free Them All Virginia coalition is taking part in Detention Watch Network’s (DWN) Week of Action. We will be boosting actions during the week of March 22 to March 26 focused on the push to shut down ICA-Farmville and other detention centers across Virginia as part of the #FirstTen to #CommunitiesNotCages campaign. This includes a Facebook live webinar on Tuesday at 3pm, online action on Thursday, and a phone zap on Friday. Follow the Free Them All VA coalition and the #nova-migrantjustice Slack channel for more updates during the week.
Spring 2021 “Capital in the Capitol” Reading Group
Are you interested in reading Marx’s Capital, Vol. 1 with a group of comrades in the DMV? If so, sign up here!
Interest in the reading group this spring has been high, and there will be five sections of the reading group meeting weekly or every other week from ~late March through ~mid-July on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The group will be reading through Capital, Vol. 1 as a group using sources available for free on the internet. People of all experience and knowledge levels are welcome and encouraged to join! For more information, view the sign up form here. Make sure to sign up ASAP to make the first meeting.
Defund MPD Working Group Monthly Meeting this Sunday, March 21
MDC DSA Messaging App Survey
The Administrative Committee is researching messaging platforms to support chapter organizing, and we need your help to learn what to look for. Please take a moment to tell us about your messaging needs by answering these questions.
Prince George’s Branch Election — nomination period extended to Sunday, March 21
Prince George’s Branch comrades will choose our first elected Steering Committee in an April 5 – April 19 electronic vote. Candidates can declare their candidacy by sending the Temporary Election Committee a link to a Google Doc containing a personal statement. The statement submitted need only be the candidate’s name, initially, and can be completed or expanded at any time before and during the election period, but candidacy should be declared by THIS SUNDAY, March 21, the end of the extended nomination period. PGComrades are urged to “declare now, explain at your convenience” by the election committee — send the read-only link to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find full details here.
Prince George’s DSA Labor WG meeting: Focus on Amazon
Saturday, March 6, Prince George’s DSA labor working group, joined by members from Baltimore and Montgomery County DSA, hosted a meeting addressed by activists who are part of Amazonians United — an organization building community and workplace power at various locations across the country, including in Maryland. Participants heard about Amazon’s exploitation of its own monopoly power and of the pandemic’s “opportunities.” Exploitation of the workforce for increased profits, the global corporate playbook, has to be countered by building worker power on the job; to jump in, contact Taylor at email@example.com.
We will continue to do what we can to act in solidarity going forward. We also discussed the PRO Act now in Congress, which would remove many of the existing barriers for union organizing and also strengthen the ability of unions, once organized, to strike and act in solidarity with other workers. At our next meeting we’ll hear about worker organizing at University of Maryland in College Park. Find a complete report here.
—Kurt S, PGDSA
Socialist Feminist Reading Group March discussions begin next Saturday, March 27
On Saturday, March 27 at 2pm, we’ll read (1) “Aren’t socialism and feminism sometimes in conflict?” by Nicole Aschoff and (2) “Until Black Women Are Free, None of Us Will Be Free” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. See details, links to essays and RSVP here. We ask that men do not participate at this time.
We’ll also be having a virtual social gathering on…April Fools’ Day? It’s not a joke! [sorry] But we’d love to see folks swing by. Possible discussion topics: What issues are you most passionate about these days? How are you engaging those issues currently? Did you hear of any good April Fools’ Day pranks? RSVP here.
Share a Seed Project Reconnects the People to the Land and One Another
Share a Seed is the project of Metro DSA chapter member Reana Kovalcik and Slow Food USA. The project was inspired by Kovalcik’s increased work with local mutual aid organizations and the recognition that these small but powerful people-centric groups could do big things.
Share a Seed circumvents the capitalist supply chain and returns to the communal roots of growing. Slow Food DC is partnering with FRESHFARM, Kyanite Kitchen (a Black-led mutual aid org) and hopefully many others in mutual aid and urban garden circles.
Redistribute your seeds and/or gently used growing equipment by signing up online (and sending via mail) or connecting at one of Slow Food’s in-person collection events: Monroe St Farmers Market (716 Monroe St NE) – SAT; Mt Pleasant Farmers Market (Lamont Plaza) – SAT; Arlington (1400 N Courthouse Rd) – SAT; Dupont Farmers Market (Dupont Circle) – SUN.
Washington Socialist March issue — Inside/Outside games
National and local political strategy in a cluster of home-grown analyses (including keeping our own organization secure); plus an amalgam of history, online aesthetics, bottomline socialist theory and (electric) power mapping — all in the March issue of the Washington Socialist. If you decided to put it off till later when you saw it go by last week — well, later is now. And speaking of later, the deadline for article submission to the Washington Socialist’s April edition is March 27, so scribble scribble, as the lady said.
And if you’re interested in helping out in publication of the monthly, or in helping corrall the weekly update this week, our Publications Team will be having a meeting this Saturday at 11 AM. Newcomers always welcome.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, March 20
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Book Club
Reading Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. More info and access suggestions at link.
Sunday, March 21
6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Working Group Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, March 23
6 – 7:30pm | Canvass for Karishma Training
DSA for Karishma is hosting a training for canvassers. If you’ve never been canvassing before, this is a perfect opportunity to learn the ins and outs of canvassing and get confident in your door-knocking skills. We’ll hear from Karishma Mehta, delegate candidate for VA-49, about her platform.
Thursday, March 25
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Saturday, March 27
2 – 3:30pm | Socialist Feminist Reading Group
Reading two online essays; readings and access at link.
Monday, March 29
6:30 – 8:30pm | NEW Socialist Night School: Eugene Debs and American Socialism
As a five-time presidential candidate and founding member of both the Socialist Party of America and Industrial Workers of the World, Eugene Debs’ legacy has loomed large over the American socialist movement. Join Shawn Gude (of Jacobin and Substack’s Debs Dispatch) to explore the many facets of Debs’ legacy. Register at link.
Wednesday, March 31
7 – 8:30pm | Workplace Organizing Workshop
A monthly open space for those wishing to organize their workplace to learn more about the process, or get help in building up their own campaign! Connect with organizers for follow-up.
Thursday, April 1
7 – 9pm | SocFem Grrrlz* Night Social Hour
Saturday, April 3
2 – 4:30pm | MoCo DSA April Branch Meeting
Regularly recurring MDC DSA events
Thursdays, 7 – 9pm — MONTHLY | Grrlz Night/Happy Hour
A happy hour space for those who identify as womxn, non-binary people or those of marginalized genders. We ask that men do not participate at this time.
Wednesdays, 5 – 6pm | NoVA Tenant Organizing Planning Meeting
The NoVA Tenant Organizers meet weekly to give updates, discuss strategy and prepare for upcoming canvasses.
Wednesdays, 8 – 9pm | New Member Orientation
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.
Sundays, 6 – 7:30pm | Medicare 4 ALL Workgroup (#M4A on Slack)
The Medicare for All Working Group is organizing a vaccine distribution outreach campaign and also working to pass a resolution endorsing M4A in the DC Council. Come join us to find out more!
NATIONAL DSA HIGHLIGHTS
Sunday, March 21 | 1pm
DSA PRO Act Campaign Training
DSA’s highest national priority for the first 100 days of the new presidential administration is to pass the PRO Act (Protect the Right to Organize), which would strengthen unions, the power of the working class to organize on the job, and our collective capacity to win a just transition to a green economy for all. Organized … More at link
Wednesday, March 24 | 8pm
Haiti in Revolt: The Struggle for Democracy in the Neoliberal Era
Backed by the Biden administration, the neoliberal government of Jovenel Moïse has led to economic disparity, injustice, and terror for the working people of Haiti. Nationwide demonstrations have erupted in the recent months in reaction to failed neoliberal policies, many of which have been met with suppression and state violence. Haiti’s struggle for democracy illuminates … More at link
Wednesday, March 24 | 8pm
Cancel ALL Student Debt: How to Host a Phonebank
Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) has been hosting weekly phonebanks to build support for the Cancel ALL Student Debt Campaign. If you or people in your chapter have never hosted a phonebank, then this training is for you. We’ll go through what it takes to host a successful phonebanking event. More at link
Thursday, March 25 | 8pm
Eyes on ICE: Truth and Reconciliation Forum
The Immigrants’ Rights Working Group, Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus, and MiJente invite you to participate in a virtual Truth and Accountability Forum on Thursday, March 25 at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. President Biden issued a Day 1 memo calling for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a 100 day review of its … More at link
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Saturday, March 20
11am – 1pm | ONE DC 2021 Virtual Annual Membership Meeting
The Annual Membership Meeting is a space for members to guide the vision of ONE DC. Agenda includes: election to board seats; 2020 review; discussion of membership and leadership; treasurer’s report.
1 – 3pm | DC Grassroots Planning Coalition Meeting
Empower DC invites everyone to attend the DC Grassroots Planning Coalition meeting for Comp Plan updates and action steps, discussion of hot topics and Q&A with Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.
Sunday, March 21
2 – 3pm | Conversation on “Public Health and Climate Change”
Climate Action Group, or Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax
Panelists include: Dr. Neelu Tummala, Steering Committee, VA Clinicians for Climate Action; Karen Campblin, President, Fairfax County NAACP; and Pieter Sheehan, Dir. Division of Environmental Health, Fairfax County Health Department. For further information: Jean Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the Zoom meeting at link.
Wednesday, March 24
5pm | Getting Real About COVID-19 Vaccination
Metropolitan Washington Labor Council
Join the Metropolitan Washington [Labor] Council for “Getting Real About COVID-19 Vaccination.” The hour-long forum will feature insight from union workers who have taken the COVID-19 vaccine about their thought process and concerns, and why it is safe, effective and advisable for all workers to be vaccinated. Register at link.
Publications Schedule: One more March Update appears Friday, March 26, and the April issue (no foolin’) of the Washington Socialist appears Friday, April 2. The deadline for articles is Saturday, March 27. Start writing now; join the #publications Slack channel to see the state of play and issues folks are interested in; email email@example.com to submit an article or discuss what you are writing. The Publications Working Group is what it sounds like: a workshop for socialist thought and action.
For April: We’ll have Updates on Fridays, the 9th, 16th and 23rd, and the May issue of the Washington Socialist appears Friday, April 30, with all the terrific events celebrating May Day (which happens on Saturday this year).
What actually goes on in MDC DSA? Places to find out are in our Slack channels (not on Slack? Email firstname.lastname@example.org); on our MDC DSA website; or in the Washington Socialist. But, um, all these committees, working groups, caucuses, branches? Yep, here is the encyclopaedic explainer for all those names we keep dropping.
Prepared by member Max Sawicky, Part 3 in a three-part series on how to finance the Green New Deal — with deep (but plain language) explanations on heady economic topics such as Modern Monetary Theory. A good resource for in-the-weeds socialists.
Racial Capitalism and COVID-19 — From Monthly Review via Portside: “Many social scientific analyses of the global political economy … are race neutral or willfully indifferent to the persistent racial pattern of global inequalities. If they do address … colonialism, they ignore embedded racial logics of oppression.”
GND campaigns: for your immediate attention: “The world’s three biggest consumers of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, are getting ready to boost usage so much that it’ll almost be as if the pandemic-induced drop in emissions never happened.” But with Biden’s proposed green-energy policies, “we could actually see changes pretty quickly.”
Our local comrade Kurt Stand reviews (in Portside) Eric Lotke’s Union Made, a novel about labor organizing/organizers that highlights “something else critical to why labor organization is so important — it enables workers to be part of a community, to take pride in the work they do as part of a shared endeavor. … the connection between dignity gained by economic security and dignity gained through rights won by collective action.”
The Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS), a Takoma Park-based effort to further the “Blue Green Alliance” in more radical directions, has completed and published this important study on how workers in affected sectors view the possibility and promise of a Just Transition.
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.