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August 20, 2021
Chapter-wide General Body Meeting — Sunday, August 22 at 3pm
MDC DSA joins March on Voting Rights — Saturday, August 28
DSA International Committee condemns decade-long imperialist intervention in Afghanistan
General Body Meeting — this Sunday, August 22 at 3pm
Please join us this Sunday for our chapter’s monthly General Body Meeting. During our monthly meetings, our various workgroups, sections and committees provide key updates on campaigns and other activities. The General Body Meetings are a great place to get to know chapter members and get plugged into ongoing chapter campaigns.
This month, local delegates who attended the DSA National Convention will be providing a roundup of what went down. We’ll also be hearing the second and final reads on two MDC DSA resolutions: one that will reform and update our electoral endorsement questionnaire, and the second on establishing a chapter store. Per Section 3.1.1 of Our Bylaws, the resolutions had their first reads at Steering Committee meetings this month but require a second read before the General Body before enactment.
Register and retrieve access info here. As always, new and non-members are welcome!
(PS: Not a member? Why not join today?)
March On for Voting Rights — Saturday, August 28
Metro DC DSA will have a visible presence at the March On for Voting Rights next Saturday, August 28th — join us!
March On for Voting Rights is a national mobilization demanding that elected officials stop hijacking democracy, denounce voter suppression and ensure fair, easy access to the vote for all on the 58th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic March on Washington. Marches will take place in states where voter suppression efforts are already imperiling our democracy: Atlanta, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Houston, Texas; in Washington, DC; and across the country.
The restriction of voting rights has been the far-right’s strategy to dilute and destroy the working class’ electoral advantages. If we ever want to implement any of the big popular ideas we need to save the planet and reconfigure the makeup of capital — like passing a Green New Deal, expanding the tax regime on the wealthy or truly building Medicare for All — the masses must be able to have their voice heard and respected in our democratic system.
And for those of us in DC, this march is personal. The nearly 700,000 residents of DC (the majority of which are — and have historically been — non-white) have been denied voting power in the Senate and House since the United States’ inception. This colony status does not only have national implications — it’s also allowed wealthy business networks and corrupt politicians to strip DC residents of local autonomy and squash the will of local voters. Any protection of voting rights must include DC Statehood!
All this goes to show why we’re marching on August 28. Sign up here for updates and join the #march-on-voting-rights channel in our chapter Slack if you’d like to help out with planning.
DSA International Committee (August 18) condemns decades-long imperialist intervention in Afghanistan, calls for immediate unconditional support of Afghan refugees
The Taliban has seized power in Afghanistan two weeks before the US was set to complete its withdrawal from the country. The event brings an effective end to the two-decade “War on Terror.”
DSA’s International Committee released a statement on the issue this week condemning American imperialist aggression while urging support for refugees from Afghanistan:
The Taliban’s rapid takeover demonstrates the failure, by its own metrics, of the U.S. “nation-building” project. Despite rhetoric about humanitarianism and peacebuilding, the U.S. invaded for cynical interests of the U.S. government and corporations, building institutions that were never intended to stand on their own. Leaked documents from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), known as the Afghanistan Papers, revealed in 2019 that the U.S. military had long operated without a credible plan to defeat the Taliban and manipulated data to present the false idea that the war could ever be won. However, the Pentagon refused to admit defeat and risk harming the U.S. position as the global hegemon. …
As socialists, we recognize that one of the greatest threats to liberation is U.S. militarism. We must stand against not only open conflict but also against occupation, interference in foreign affairs, sanctions, and other coercive trade practices. In other words, we must move beyond being anti-war to being anti-imperialist.
Read the entire statement here.
If you’d like to learn more about the issue, or help engage in active organizing around the effort, the DSA International Committee will be hosting an urgent organizing call this Saturday, August 21 at 12pm. The impromptu call will feature: Zaher Wahab, Professor Emeritus at Lewis & Clark College; Taimur Rahman, General Secretary of Mazdoor Kisan Party and Associate Professor at Lahore University of Management Science; May Jeong, investigative journalist at Vanity Fair; organizers from DSA International Committee; and more.
Our local is still figuring out the best way to aid in relief and resettlement support for refugees. Those looking to help structure or looking for ways to get involved directly and locally, check out our community section of the newsletter below.
Call for Childcare from Stomp Out Slumlords
Stomp Out Slumlords organizers and tenant leaders will be hosting a gathering this Saturday, August 21 and are seeking volunteers to provide childcare during the meeting. Supplies will be provided by Stomp Out Slumlords, only your attendance and childcare skills are required! This volunteer opportunity is open to Metro DC DSA members only. Please DM Olivia D in the Slack to volunteer and/or learn more.
PGC branch to represent at Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Information Day
MDC DSA’s Prince George’s branch will have a table at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Information Day, Saturday, September 4. To get involved in promoting socialism at this annual local institution, contact Vijay P at firstname.lastname@example.org or Woody at email@example.com .
Support request from Free Them All Virginia
Two notices of support from our allies at Free Them All VA. The first is Louis, a 45-year-old Black man from Cameroon currently detained at ICA-Farmville Detention Center in Virginia. Louis came to the United States in 2017 to make a life for his family and dreams of being able to support his 12-year-old son in Virginia. Louis has been detained at Farmville for over a year. Last summer, he contracted COVID-19 due to Farmville Detention Center’s negligence. Now, ICE is trying to deport him to Cameroon. Support Louis’s fundraiser so that he can support his family, access critical and time-sensitive medical care and continue fighting his immigration case outside of detention. Donate and learn more about his campaign here.
Second, Hanif is a 36-year-old man who was an attorney in Pakistan and came to the United States in 2015 to get a master’s in law. In 2018, Hanif was taken into ICE custody while he was leaving his apartment to go to work. He has been in immigration detention for close to three years and now has to fight his case in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and needs to pay $10,000 in legal fees to afford a lawyer. Help support Hanif and learn about the campaign to free him here.
Defund MPD Campaign Retreat, this Saturday, August 21
Join the MDC DSA Defund MPD working group for a retreat on Saturday, August 21, 12:00-4:00pm to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead. Whether you’ve been engaged with MDC DSA’s Defund MPD working group already or are just getting involved, your voice is needed– this is a great time to plug in. The gathering will be held over Zoom; you will receive the link upon registering at the sign-up link.
Federal cops break up encampment in Burke Park
Fences go up, tents go down, but where do the people go? An encampment at Burke Park was destroyed by Park Police this week. Last month, activists and local ANC commissioners were able to stay an earlier attempt at eviction in order to give people living in the encampment the chance to connect with local support resources first. However, an abrupt change of course announced late last week scrambled activists and mutual aid groups who worked to support people living in the encampment.
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau joined an effort initiated by ANC Commissioner Alexandra Bailey to stop the displacement, but Councilmember Brooke Pinto — who represents Ward 2, where Burke Park is located — declined to get involved. In a statement, CM Pinto denied that there was anything she could do, took credit for a budget amendment which would provide more support to homeless District residents that she voted against, and attempted to spread the dangerous lie that the encampment was endangering a nearby school.
Pinto’s indifference to poverty extends to DC’s working class as well. Brooke Pinto is actively trying to water down a ban on non-compete legislation in DC which is meant to protect workers from exploitation, willfully participated in the crime panic pushed by DC police in a run-up to dilute budget cuts to MPD, and has introduced legislation which would have allowed landlords to increase rents on vacant housing in the city (a move which would have incentivized landlords to eject tenants behind on evictions).
Publications Schedule: One more Update in August (Friday, August 27) and our Labor Day issue of the Washington Socialist is scheduled for Friday, September 3 with an article deadline of August 28 — so send your articles about fall plans for your campaign or WG to firstname.lastname@example.org to signal your socialist intentions and recruit for your cause.
A reminder of what’s up in the newsletter: here’s the August issue and here’s an example of our theme-oriented indexing, a deep dive into more than two years of extensive coverage of the abolition/defund movement in the DMV and elsewhere. You can find much more on what you care most about indexed in our Topic Hub.
Wondering how to get into MDC DSA’s Slack, where campaign channels host the essential daily conversation about all our diverse ways of making socialism happen? If you are a member in good standing of DSA, email our secretary at email@example.com with the heading “Slack access request” and use the email address by which national DSA knows you.
The author of the well-known Stern Report repeats his warning of 2006 — every year’s delay on addressing climate change increases the eventual cost. Including to capitalists. So UK austerity measures are NOT on the table, whatever Boris thinks he wants …
From Polygon: How the video game industry can unionize in the wake of Activision-Blizzard’s collapse. Concrete steps workers can take today to spur the unionization effort. (Though media production can sometimes seem far away, one of the largest game publishing companies squats in our jurisdiction out in the foothills of Bethesda.)
The DC Line reports: Community advocates pitch alternate affordable housing model for city-owned site in Southwest DC — 1101 Half St. SW, the current site of a firetruck repair shop, could be the new site of a community land trust.
Probably no better source for a measured overview on this than IPS’s Phyllis Bennis in The Nation: Washington’s War in Afghanistan Is Over. What Happens Now?
What does it mean to say the US was “humiliated” by the outcome in Afghanistan? It says that for us, it’s still all about us. The WaPo’s Robin Givhan has an acute perspective: “Each time someone describes the logistics of the withdrawal as America’s humiliation, it places the country’s pride and self-image at the center of this heartbreaking story in a way that seems more distracting than constructive. Humiliation and hubris are siblings. They are the conjoined twins of self-regard.”
Stanley Aronowitz, Marxist scholar and frequent participant at DSOC/DSA conferences of the ’80s, died this week at 88. In Jacobin, a former student of his declares: “Stanley was a distinguished scholar of labor, work, unions, class, education, American politics, and Marxism. What sewed these issues together for him was a concern over our collective control of time, time which is so central to our individual concerns of daily life as well as human destiny as a whole under capitalism.” Via Portside.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Going forward, we’ll be putting the National DSA and local DSA events into one Calendar list.
Friday, August 20
Saturday, August 21
noon – 4pm | Defund MPD Campaign Retreat
Virtual retreat, followed by optional face-to-face social
7pm | Black Liberation in the Workplace: Finally Got the News Film Screening with Jerome Scott | National DSA
In the 1960s, Black autoworkers fought against exploitation on the shopfloor. They also confronted the officials of their white-dominated union, who had tried to stop Black workers from taking action to resolve grievances ignored by the union. Inspired by the Black Power movement and guided by Marxist theory, workers from several plants throughout Michigan … more at link
Sunday, August 22
3 – 5pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting
De-briefing DSA Convention 2021
4 – 5pm | DSA4USPS: Dump DeJoy — Why and How | National DSA
This panel, seventh in a series on USPS, takes up the fight against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Trump crony and Republican megadonor DeJoy has launched a 10-year plan (“Delivering for America”) featuring mail delay, price hikes, cuts and closures of mail facilities and privatization schemes — this is an in-depth look at why we need to remove DeJoy and how we’re going to do it.
Monday, August 23
Tuesday, August 24
7 – 8:15pm | Queer Section Monthly Meeting
Thursday, August 26
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
8 – 9:30pm | Palestine BDS Campaign Meeting
Monday, August 30
Tuesday, August 31
7 – 9pm | Biweekly Steering Committee Meeting
Thursday, September 2
6 – 8pm | Southern MD DSA monthly meeting
Monday, September 20
7 – 8:30pm | MDC DSA Labor Working Group
Be a Good Neighbor, SIV Resettlement Support | Metro DC DSA
A large number of Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) individuals and families will be coming to/through the DMV as they are evacuated from Afghanistan. Join your fellow Metro DC DSA members in becoming Good Neighbors by volunteering to resettle families through Lutheran Social Services (LSS) National Capital Area. LSS is an excellent organization for anyone looking to support resettlement; you can also find a helpful thread of resources/volunteer options here. Metro DC DSA members interested in coordinated support should DM Gayatri Sanku in the Slack for more information.
Peace Day 2021 | People for Fairness Coalition, et al
Join People for Fairness Coalition, Ward 1 Mutual Aid and Ward 2 Mutual Aid on Saturday, August 21 at 4pm in Malcolm X Park (16th St NW & W St NW) for a celebration of International Peace Day. Attendees will enjoy a free day of music, family activities and feeling connected to our DC community. Interested in volunteering? Reach out to @ward2mutualaid on Instagram.
#WeKeepUsSafe Back to School Bash | Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid
On Saturday, August 28 from 11:30am – 4:30pm at Eastern Market Metro Plaza, Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid will host their Second Annual Back to School Bash to make sure that ALL DC students have the resources and support they need to thrive. Food, music, activities and good times with neighbors to be had! Backpacks must be requested in advance, click here to request. Click here for more event info and/or to donate.
Urgent Call for Volunteers | Ward 3 Mutual Aid
Live in or near DC’s Ward 3? Join the cause and support your neighbors by volunteering with Ward 3 Mutual Aid! Contact @Ward3mutualaid on Twitter or Instagram to get involved.
The flame of thought, the magnificence of art, the wonder of discovery, and the audacity of invention all belong to revolutionary periods when humanity, tired of the chains of its restrictions, shatters them, and stops inebriated to breathe the breeze of a vaster and freer horizon.