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April 1, 2021
- #CancelStudentDebt Protest — April 4 at noon
- Badges Without Borders: DC Walking Tour — Saturday, April 9, 1pm
- Garden Day at Upshur Community Garden — Sun Apr 3
#CancelStudentDebt Protest — MDC DSA, YDSA Chapters, The Debt Collective — April 4 at noon at the Dept of ED HQ
The Debt Collective is organizing a “Pick Up the Pen, Joe” Day of Action to Cancel Student Debt on April 4, 2022, from noon to 4pm at Eisenhower Memorial, Washington DC. Sign up here. Student activists will be meeting at the Department of Education HQ on April 4th at high noon.
Despite our efforts, calls from Congress to cancel student debt and a growing number of city resolutions demanding the same, President Biden has refused to fix the crushing burden of student debt by picking up a pen and issuing an Executive Order to cancel all student loan debt. Debtors and our allies are taking action to say: Pick up the Pen, Joe. Cancel student debt for all 45 million Americans.
April 15th, 2022, will be the “Bring Your Debt to Work Day,” during which participants will “wear their debt” on signs that reflect the amount they owe. If you don’t personally have debt, you can still bring awareness to the cause by wearing the average amount of debt from higher education or that of a friend/family member. Join #student-debt in the MDC DSA Slack to get involved in our chapter mobilization
Badges Without Borders: DC Walking Tour — Saturday, April 9, 1pm
The Badges Without Borders: DC Walking Tour starts at 1pm on Saturday, April 9th at Dupont Circle — sign up here. The tour will explore four sites in Northwest DC connected to how policing and state violence has been, and continues to be, exported and imported worldwide from the District. The walking tour will be led by author and scholar Stuart Schrader, who researches how the United States projects imperial power overseas through police training and security assistance — and how this effort reverberates to shape the policing of city streets in the USA. The walking tour will connect those efforts to the people and sites in DC that made them happen and to contemporary organizing work against policing and the exchange of violent policing tactics — specifically to ongoing organizing to ban Israeli Occupation Forces training with the Metropolitan Police Department.
This is the perfect event for new members and friends who are looking to get involved in the chapter, and anyone in Metro DC DSA who wants to learn the history of the internationalization of policing. The tour is co-sponsored by MD 2 Palestine. It will meet at Dupont Circle at 1pm and will end in Georgetown at 3:45pm, followed by a happy hour afterward. Be sure to sign up to help or request assistance or to get notice in the event of inclement weather.
Community Garden Days at Upshur Community Garden — Saturday, April 3 from 10am to 1pm
On April 3, DSA’s Food|Justice working group will join Ward 4 Mutual Aid and Share a Seed at Upshur Community Garden for a garden workday, resource share and plant swap (come through to see the new DSA “Rose Garden”). You can register to attend here.
There will also be additional opportunities to exercise your green thumb:
- This Saturday, April 2 (10am to 1pm), Share a Seed + Washington Youth Garden will be hosting “Spring into School Gardening.” Share resources and growing tips with classroom and garden educators at the National Arboretum. Free with RSVP.
- On April 10 (11am to 1pm), Share a Seed/Ward 1 Mutual Aid gather at Euclid Street Community Garden for a garden workday and plant/seed share.
APRIL WASHINGTON SOCIALIST
Metro DC DSA’s monthly digital publication and living archive. Three entries this month:
Peekskill, 1949: What Was Lost, What Remained, What it Means Today
The fall of the New Deal labor-left alliance contains many lessons for socialists seeking a path forward through modern political unease.
Testimony Provided to the DC Council’s Policy Oversight Hearing
Over the last two years, the District has made strides to replace police with non-law enforcement public servants and non-carceral programs. Metro DC DSA’s testimony to the DC Council is simple: keep going.
No Sympathy for Killers
Russia has legitimate grievances about the way it has been treated over the past three decades. But a deadly total war against Ukraine is not a justified incursion, it’s not escalation, it’s a war of choice with the aim of erasing a sovereign country.
Immigration and Abolition: Socialist Night School (virtual) — Tuesday, April 5, 6:30pm
This Night School will explore the connections between the criminal punishment system and the immigration enforcement system. This session will be led by Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, a national coalition building power to abolish immigration detention in the United States. RSVP here!
Veterans Section Meeting — Sunday, April 3, 1pm
Sunday, April 3 at 1pm the MDC DSA Veterans Section will be hosting week eight of our study group session on What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution by Gar Alperovitz, Part VII, Chapter 23 and the Afterword. New participants are welcome to hop in. We will wrap our work on the book and pick a new one. We will also discuss outreach and socials and share our chapter work priorities. RSVP here.
Two petitions to DC Council demand stronger reinvestment in DC’s communities
The Defund MPD Working Group is requesting DC residents send a letter to DC Council’s Judiciary Committee urging the funding of our communities over MPD budget expansions. Then, sign the Drug Policy Institute’s petition to decriminalize drugs and fund harm reduction services in the District. (DSA is an organizational member of the Decriminalize Poverty Coalition).
Stomp Out Slumlords Protest at DC Candidates Forum
On Tuesday, March 29, Stomp Out Slumlords led an action at a forum for Mayoral and Council Chair candidates at Metrobar. While there have been wins for tenants in recent months, including some buildings deciding to exercise their TOPA rights to purchase their buildings, tenants are still facing slum conditions, rent hikes and eviction threats.
Tuesday night’s action was a huge success in drawing attention and awareness to the issues facing DC renters. Tenants had the opportunity to talk face to face with Council Chair Phil Mendelson and his challenger Erin Palmer to tell them about the issues they were facing and invite them to visit the buildings with them. Moderators proceeded to ask Mayoral candidates Robert White and James Butler questions about how they would help renters in DC. Despite landlords receiving $165 million in STAY DC funds, many are still trying to evict tenants who were approved for STAY DC, facing rent hikes to force indirect evictions, and are refusing to fix properties with issues like black mold, rodent infestations and broken heat and A/C.
Amazon Workers on the Offensive in Maryland
More than 30 workers (most of those on the shift) walked out at an Amazon warehouse in Upper Marlboro on Wednesday, March 16, as part of the first coordinated job action by Amazon workers, with warehouse workers also walking off the job at two delivery stations in Queens, New York, while Amazon workers in Camden, New Jersey delivered management a petition. The demand at every location: a $3 per hour increase across the board. Organized by Amazonians United (AU), these actions follow a series of others in which workers act as a union without waiting for the company to grant formal recognition and without going through the cumbersome process of filing for an election. Workers have already won some workplace concessions by acting in a unified fashion, which is what gave them the sense of their own strength to engage in this walkout. AU has organized groups in Illinois, North Carolina, California and elsewhere: building the union from the ground up by acting like a union.
Amazon workers were also buoyed by solidarity from comrades. Undeterred by the early hour – 6am – over 50 supporters gathered at the Upper Marlboro facility’s parking lot, greeting the workers with music and food (including wonderful homemade cookies). Management came out twice to tell people to go away; each time they were shouted down by the crowd. They would have gotten a better reception had they agreed to grant a pay raise. That still hasn’t been won — but this fight is far from over. Workers went back to work the following day but expect more actions to follow.
For more information about Amazonians United, see a three-part dialogue that ran in Stansbury Forum.
Socialist Feminist Section Quarterly Business Meeting — Monday, April 11, 7pm
Spring is here and it’s time for the Socialist Feminist Section to have our quarterly organizing meeting! On Monday, April 11 at 7pm, Marie will be asking for volunteers to step up into a leadership role. We’ll hear from Alexandra about the annual abortion fund-a-thon. Jordan and/or Marie will report on the most recent national Socialist Feminist Working Group Zoom call. We’ll discuss tentative plans if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Marie will discuss their participation in a group of DSA members representing chapters all over the country in response to all the attacks on Trans (and Queer) youth. We’ll see if members think we should have a “just us” happy hour in May, and talk about the open Happy Hour and Bikini Kill concert in July. Members can share what’s happening in their lives and their organizing. Mostly business with a little bit of social mixed in.
Planning Meeting Sign-Up for Chapterwide Book Exchange
Are all your DSA book group reads piling up with no place to go? Why not exchange them with your local comrades for more essential lit at a chapterwide book swap this spring or summer? If you’d like to be involved in organizing this fun event, fill out this When2Meet ASAP as we determine when in April to hold our first planning meeting. For more details, DM Julie (she/her) on Slack and expect a follow up shortly with next steps.
Publications Schedule: Weekly Updates for April are scheduled for Fridays, April 8, 15 and 22, and the May issue of the Washington Socialist drops on Friday, April 29, in advance of May Day events (our Bureau of Internal Scoops assures us on the best authority that MDC DSA is going to make May Day sizzle). Write for us anytime; hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org (all writers welcome, DSA members or not). If an MDC DSA member, join our #publications Slack channel to keep up with the chatter and watch the issues build.
To get on MDC DSA Slack there’s a new path, and the most intuitive ever: email email@example.com. Use the email address by which national DSA knows you. The requester must be an MDC DSA member in good standing. Here’s the link to find out your paid-up status with national DSA: http://proof.dsausa.org/
Standing resources: Metro DC DSA has substantial local-chapter online resources for understanding our past, present and future. Find out about our present structure and configuration here, including current campaigns; yawn over our nevertheless-essential bylaws and check out the accompanying explainer on our governance. See our archive of recent statements from the chapter. Get the picture on our branches in Virginia and Maryland, working in very different political environments and adapting to them while rooted in MDC DSA’s advantages of scale. We are making socialism every day in two states and a colony.
Find more at our chapter website — including backfiles of the Washington Socialist article hub sorted by issue areas. Our activists in housing justice and Defund MPD are UP FRONT this week so check those archives for our rich and evolving approach.
Looking to get involved in the chapter?
Are you a member who’s been looking for ways to get involved in our chapter’s organizing? Are you interested in joining the DSA but would like to talk to someone about it first? 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!
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, April 2
Sunday, April 3
1 – 2:30pm | MDC DSA Veterans for Socialism Section meeting
3 – 5pm | MoCo Branch Monthly Meeting
Monday, April 4
noon – 4:30pm | Student Debt Cancellation Direct Action @ Dept of Education
6:30 – 9pm | Labor Reading Group Spring 2022 – Week 3
Tuesday, April 5
6:30 – 8:30pm | Immigration and Abolition | Socialist Night School
Wednesday, April 6
7 – 9pm | Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 5
Thursday, April 7
6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting
7:15 – 8:15 | Labor Working Group April meeting
Saturday, April 9
1 – 3:45pm | Badges Without Borders: DC Walking Tour
Monday, April 11
6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare for All Working Group biweekly meeting
Wednesday, April 13
7 – 9pm | Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 6
Thursday, April 14
7 – 8:30pm | Internationalism WG Monthly Meeting
7 – 8:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Sunday, April 17
2 – 4pm | PG County Branch Monthly General Meeting
Monday, April 18
6:30 – 9pm | Labor Reading Group Spring 2022 week 4
Wednesday, April 20
6 – 7pm | WePower DC All-team Meeting
7 – 9pm | Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 7
Thursday, April 21
6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting
Monday, April 25
6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare for All Working Group biweekly meeting
7 – 8:30pm | April Campaign Council Meeting
Wednesday, April 27
7 – 9pm | Dawn of Everything Reading Group mtg 8
Thursday, April 28
6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting
Saturday, April 30
The Basics of Organizing | Heal Da Homies
Interested in organizing in/for your community? Stop by the Tenleytown Library (or drop in on Zoom) on Saturday, April 2, from 4 to 5pm and be equipped with the basics of being an advocate in this training from Heal Da Homies! This teach-in will cover how to be an effective organizer and the various avenues one can pursue to advocate for others. RSVP here.
Community Table | Ward 6 Mutual Aid/Serve Your City
Ward 6 Mutual Aid will return to Miner Elementary (601 15 Street NE) to share free food boxes, clothing, household goods, COVID-19 supplies and more with community members at their Community Table event.
Ward 3 Candidate Forum | Cleveland Park Smart Growth
On Monday, April 4 from 6 to 7:30pm, Cleveland Park Smart Growth/Ward 3 Vision/Greater Greater Washington will host a candidate forum for the Ward 3 Council seat. The discussion will cover everything from housing to transportation to land use. The forum will be on Zoom, and will be recorded for those of you who can’t make it that night. Sign up here.
April Classes | DC’s Truth School
Starting April 3 with a session on Microaggressions, online discussion/classes at DC’s Truth School cover organizing, coalition building and development for radical seekers; find April’s offerings here.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
This NYT op-ed is getting repeats all around the progressosphere: “We’re in a Fossil Fuel War. Biden Should Say So.”
Carl Davidson and Bill Fletcher Jr. examine what Putin’s ethnonationalist, “Eurasia” strategy might be. It appeared in TruthOut.
In Naked Capitalism, how corporations keep wages low, how their spin doctors distract the public and how the government and working class could be mobilized to stop it.
Institutions are crucial, and our comrade Dave R passes along this alert: “The Labor Board Is Withering Away, and That’s Bad News for the Labor Movement.” Years of flat funding — even under a Democratic Congress — has left the National Labor Relations Board bleeding staff, imperiling its mission to protect workers. From HuffPost via Portside.
In New York Magazine, Rep. AOC warns old-school Democrats to avoid the old-world approach to political maneuvering on Capitol Hill.
The spring 2022 issue of Democratic Left is out and with it the announcement of a national campaign to re-energize our membership, asking lapsed members to rejoin and current members to recommit to building working-class power in DSA’s 40th year.
From The American Prospect — “How to Solve the Housing Crisis With One Weird Trick: American cities are (finally) beginning to hear about social housing.” Featuring research conducted by a prior MDC DSA steering committee member.
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.