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March 4, 2022
- Rally for Union Kitchen Unionization — Saturday, March 5 at 11am
Defund and Refunk: Reimagining public space without the police — Saturday, March 5 at 1pm
Chapterwide Electoral Fundraiser — Thursday, March 10 + Canvassing Operations
Rally for Union Kitchen Unionization — Saturday, March 5 at 11am
Following weeks of harassment, intimidation and retaliation by Union Kitchen CEO Cullen Gilchrist — including firing one of the lead union organizers — United Kitchen Workers (at all five stores!) will finally start voting to form their union next week. Ahead of the election, workers are holding a rally to show management that Union Kitchen employees and the community are united, committed and voting #UnionYes. Show solidarity by attending the rally (1251 9th St NW) at 11am and signing up in advance here, visiting Union Kitchen stores to order “union strong” coffee and telling workers you support the union!
Defund and Refunk: Reimagining public space without the police — Saturday, March 5 at 1pm
On Saturday, join Defund MPD and local art collective Good Vibe Tribe on Saturday from 1-3pm in Ward 8’s Oxon Run Park amphitheater for Defund and Refunk, a workshop for residents to reimagine what public spaces can look like without the police. Using music, art, and creative writing, we’ll generate visions of DC where everyone’s basic needs are met and where everyone can feel safe in shared public spaces. Discussions of these ideas will be grounded in education around the DC budget.
The District continues to thrive through a pandemic and an uptick in harm. Yet we are constantly told the only way to survive this is with more police. At this gathering, we’re working to reimagine our city as a place where everyone feels safe — free of over-policing, police abuse, occupation, terror, and harassment. Snacks and childcare will be provided. Sign-up here for location and additional details.
Chapterwide Electoral Fundraiser — Thursday, March 10 + Canvassing Operations
MDC DSA efforts to support our 2022 endorsed candidates are in full swing. Chapter members knocked on over 1,200 doors last weekend for endorsed candidates Zachary Parker (DC Council, Ward 5), Max Socol (Maryland State Senate, District 18) and Brandy Brooks (Montgomery County Council at-large). We’re out every weekend through the end of June, canvassing, meeting porch kitties and getting happy hour after!
This weekend, we’re joining a joint Max Socol and Brandy Brooks canvass in Wheaton on Saturday, March 5 at 11am. This will be the first Brooks campaign event after the powerful Montgomery County Educators Association endorsed her candidacy. We’re also canvassing for Zachary Parker on both Saturday and Sunday in Ward 5 of DC. Fill out the volunteer interest form, and one of our volunteers will reach out with the meeting place and times for this weekend.
Next, join us this coming Thursday, March 10 at 6pm, to support MDC DSA’s the Millions not the Millionaires Slate at our first in-person chapter happy hour and fundraiser of the year at Denizens Brewing in downtown Silver Spring. Meet your comrades for happy hour drinks and build socialism across the DMV. Chip in a $25, $50 or $100 donation split between the Metro DC DSA Solidarity PAC and Zachary Parker’s campaign. Donations to the PAC will allow us to buy canvassing literature for our endorsed candidates in Montgomery County.
We have reservations starting at 6pm, and the owners don’t think we’ll get more than 35 of us in, so let’s prove ’em wrong and start the cycle out strong! Denizens Brewing is walkable from the Silver Spring Metro and the 16th street bus lines. RSVP here.
Related: On Wednesday, Zachary Parker released his Good Jobs and Worker Power platform, which includes calls for a local PRO Act, greater protections against wage theft, strengthening public school infrastructure and more.
Next MDC electoral endorsement cycle
The Steering Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday, setting the schedule for additional electoral endorsements in 2022 as required by Section 4 of Our Bylaws. The chapter will be accepting candidate questionnaires for the 2022 general elections from now until July 8, resolutions with five members as sponsors will be due on July 15 and we will hold an endorsement meeting at the General Body Meeting on August 21. The chapter will also have a deadline of November 1 for questionnaires from candidates in the 2023 primaries for which resolutions with five members as sponsors will be due on November 15. The endorsement vote will be held at the Local Convention in December 2022. For more info, go to mdcdsa.org/endorsements and review the Metro DC DSA Endorsement Handbook.
MDC DSA’s Socialist Spring Reading Groups Open in Early March (that’s, like, now)
Groups include Capital Vol. 1, Marx at the Movies, Black Marxism, Socialism 101, Work Won’t Love You Back, Indigenous Resistance, Ecosocialism and Public Power, Socialist Feminism, Debt and Finance and the groundbreaking “big history” reboot The Dawn of Everything. More about the groups here; everyone is welcome! Sign up here. Also, check out the archive of our acclaimed series of MDC DSA Socialist Night Schools, which includes both recordings and some transcripts.
Convoys Arrive in DC This Week — Stay Alert!
A string of far-right convoys arrive in the DC area from Hagerstown this Saturday, where they intend to slow traffic and harass residents until they get their reactionary wishes — be careful! While Capitol Police have prepared and the National Guard has been called up, we can’t expect them to keep the District safe. Because of the convoys’ ideological alignment with police forces, expect similar kid gloves treatment to what the January 6th insurrectionaries got from MPD (and that Ottawa police showed the Canadian convoys until the end). While we’re uncertain of numbers (reporting on the largest, the “People’s Convoy,” has it at 7,000 vehicles in Ohio and $1.5 million dollars) and where exactly they intend to block traffic or occupy, all convoys should be treated as a threat to our community and as a threat to democratic governance. Be careful around convoy members; an “advance team” member from Indiana was arrested in Georgetown on Thursday with assault rifles and body armor, and we should expect them to be even more well-armed and belligerent than their Canadian predecessors. There are resources to help others deal with convoy traffic or occupations or contribute to mutual aid efforts here. If you decide to counter protest the convoy, consider signing up for a texting buddy here. The chapter will match you with someone who will check in to make sure you get home safe.
New to the DSA? Sign up to chat with a comrade
Are you a DSA member but not sure how to get involved in the chapter? Do you love this newsletter and are curious about joining, and want to talk to someone about it? No matter where you’re coming from, we’d love to talk to you! Follow this link to schedule a conversation with one of our comrades!
MDC DSA Governance
The DSA is a member-run organization — our strength and power comes from our ability to come together and build power. Want to learn a bit more about how the DSA is structured? See our public content link to learn more about reports to and acts of our highest governing body, the General Body Meeting, and recent chapter conventions, agendas and actions of our Steering Committee(s) and more. If that’s not enough to nerd out on, here is our Full Resolutions List for 2022.
And if you are wondering if you’re up to date on your DSA membership (meaning paid-up dues), you can check by opting in for Auth0 access here and going to proof.dsausa.org — you may be a socialist in your heart, but as DSA’s founder once said, “an unorganized socialist is a contradiction in terms.” By the way, you can contribute $ to our local MDC DSA chapter separately at this link and get your socialist heart on your sleeve (metaphorically) via shopping at our merch store.
Publications Schedule: Today’s Update includes the monthly Washington Socialist for March. March Updates will publish Fridays, March 11th, 18th and 25th, and the April Washington Socialist newsletter publishes — yep — Friday, April 1 with an article deadline of March 26. All Fools Day? Good humor and satire writing is harder than ever — how can you find subjects for satirical exaggeration when somewhere out there, someone is doing it for real? So better start now, and when you’ve got it right, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Washington Socialist has a rich archive, indexed by issues, in our Topic Hub here. See what we have been writing, and get ideas about topics that could be updated or articles that could be improved upon (wait, what?). Send your articles, whenever they are done, to email@example.com. And because we are vigorously canvassing and campaigning in Maryland for MDC DSA-endorsed candidates, dip into our past coverage of that complex, allegedly Blue state where we have two branches, several organizing committees and staunch comrades at Greater Baltimore DSA.
Between Friday publications of the Update, MDC DSA members can keep up with fast-breaking activities and news — and participate in the activist traffic — on the MDC DSA Slack. If you are a member in good standing (self-check process is shown one entry above) and want to get on (or stay on) Slack, contact firstname.lastname@example.org using the email by which national DSA knows you.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, March 5
1 – 3pm | Defund and Refunk the District
Public park social & spirit event
Sunday, March 6
2 – 4pm | PG Branch March Steering Meeting
2 – 4:30pm | MoCo Branch March Meeting
6:30 – 8pm | SocFem Spring Reading Group first meeting
Monday, March 7
6 – 7:30pm | Defund MPD Working Group Biweekly Meeting
6:30 – 8pm | Labor Spring Reading Group
Week 1 — Jaffe, Work Won’t Love You Back
Tuesday, March 8
Wednesday, March 9
Thursday, March 10
5 – 6pm | Student Debt Action Planning Meeting
7 – 8:30pm | Internationalism Working Group Monthly Meeting
7 – 8:30pm | Nova Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Saturday, March 12
Noon | NoVA Branch Social Meetup
Wednesday, March 16
Saturday, March 19
4:30 – 5:30pm | Public Power Panel w/ Organizers Across the Country
Sunday, March 20
1 – 3pm | Prince George’s County Branch of MDC DSA general body meeting 3 – 5pm | Metro DC DSA General Body Meeting for March
Wednesday, March 23
Wednesday, March 30
Up Against Amazon Training Institute | For Us Not Amazon
On March 12 and 13, the For Us Not Amazon Coalition (FUNA) will be hosting a two-day training program. There will be sessions from 10am to 4pm each day on the core issues the coalition is challenging, including: impact on housing, threats to workers’ rights, Amazon’s monopoly over local communities, the surveillance state, and ways to get involved locally. Register for any or all of the sessions here!
(Plant) Baby Shower & Adoption Day | Very Sad Lab
Start your new plant family this week by joining Very Sad Lab for the closing day of The Incubator at Transformer DC. This exhibit is a living, growing installation and resource lab presented by artists Valerie Wiseman and Naoko Wowsugi of Very Sad Lab, a houseplant rehab and research-based community art project. Very Sad Lab seeks to create a greener DC by connecting people to nature through plants. Closing day is on Saturday, March 19, from 1 to 6pm at 1404 P Street NW and will feature free seed babies from Share A Seed + additional special guest engagements. Free and open to the public; face masks required.
Mutual Aid Flea Market | Heal Da Homies
Come pick up some clothes, jewelry and art at Heal Da Homies’ monthly flea market! Heal Da Homies will be hosting their March Market at Adams Morgan Plaza on March 19 from 1 to 5pm. If you are interested in donating art or participating as a vendor, please send them a DM on Instagram at @isabellescholesyoung.
Black Graphic Designer Needed | Ward 1 Mutual Aid/Baldwin House
Are you a DC-based Black designer looking for a freelance gig? Ward 1 Mutual Aid is looking to hire someone to create a logo for Baldwin House, a new housing co-op in our neighborhood. Reach out to Ward 1 member @allisonpress on Twitter.
Bikini Kill Concert + DSA Happy Hour | Socialist Feminist Section (SocFem)
SocFem wishes to invite everyone (no identities excluded) to join them on July 11 to watch iconic riot grrrl band Bikini Kill at the Fillmore, as well as for a pre-show happy hour. The riot grrrl movement, in particular Bikini Kill and frontperson Kathleen Hanna, helped usher in third-wave feminism, introducing young womxn to feminist ideas and helping to bring awareness of class and intersectionality to feminism. The show is likely to sell out, so plan to get tickets early if you want to attend. RSVP for the DSA SocFem Happy Hour here.
Parent Town Hall | Alliance to Reclaim our Schools — PG County
Calling all PG County parents, students and community members! Join the PG Branch and AROS-PG for a virtual Parent and Community Town Hall to learn more about Education concerns that parents and community members throughout Prince George’s County have on Thursday, March 17th from 6 to 7:30pm. We will have interpretation to Spanish available. Register here! We welcome parents, community members, educators and students to attend.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
“LeftEast Condemns Putin’s Imperial War Against Ukraine” — statement from a post-CP European collective that our comrade Kurt Stand describes as independent Marxists and socialist feminists trying to rebuild the left throughout Eastern Europe. And more from the Euro left, this from transform! europe.
Want to think through the class composition of the Canadian (and by proxy, the US) convoy movement? Here’s a sharp Marxist analysis of who was part of the far-right movement in Ottawa; its inheritors come to the DC region on Saturday.
Shortest of reads: excerpt from POLITICO Playbook Monday morning, but an evergreen if there ever was one: “A gift for all journalists (and anyone else spending time on the occupational hazard known as Twitter): WaPo’s Jose Del Real has come up with a handy flowchart for those critical few seconds after you’ve drafted your few lines of brilliance and before you hit the ‘Tweet’ button.”
Watch our comrade David Schwartzman and others challenge neoliberal trickle-down economics in light of the huge challenges the world now faces. It was four against one, the neoliberal Nicholas Economides (Professor of Economics, Stern School of Business, NYU), at the Helix Center, February 26, 2022, in People & Things in Motion: Economics and the Future.
And check out David Schwartzman’s contribution and others in this dialogue on an energy commons.
Majority of US Voters Blame Corporate Profiteering for Inflation — 80% of voters want the federal government to “crack down on large corporations that raise prices unfairly.” From Common Dreams, tipped by our comrade Dave R.
Touted by an upstate NY comrade, Andrew Bacevich’s imagined letter from JFK (on the Other Side) advising Joe Biden in advance of his own SOTU message. In both the Berlin Wall and Cuban Missile crises, JFK advises, “I set aside the question of fault — the U.S. not exactly being an innocent party in either instance — in favor of identifying the terms of a resolution. That meant conceding their side had legitimate concerns we could ill-afford to ignore.” From TomDispatch/Common Dreams.
Some useful history; Krugman surprises more often than we might think. A benefit of globalization (since the “long 19th century”) has been how much harder it’s become to get real material benefits from the use of brute military force.
Yep, Facebook again, this time corporately looking the other way while Putin’s digital gangsters wallow in the FB disinformation pool. The whistleblower Frances Haugen, writing in The Guardian, hopes that Nick Clegg can recover his nice-guy cred as Facebook’s latest human shield (shedding slime from his days as David Cameron’s LibDem co-bro?).
Comrade Nate McIntyre describes how society can reform for the better after climate change in their piece Democracy 3.0: “The Earth’s problem was well understood, long before it became a crisis, in fact, back in that so-called Information Age. Only then humanity hadn’t acted fast enough.”
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.