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May 20, 2022
- Help working-class tenants attend the first event convention of ATUN
- Stomp Out Slumlords to support Philly Tenants and Comrades — Wednesday, May 25 at 1:30pm
- MDC organizing May & June abortion rights actions
Help working-class tenants attend the first event convention of ATUN
Stomp Out Slumlords is fundraising to send tenant leaders from DC, Maryland and Virginia to Los Angeles in late June for the first convention of the Autonomous Tenants Union Network (ATUN). This is an amazing opportunity for poor and working-class tenants to meet other tenant organizers from across the country, to share strategy and tactics, to begin to build connections beyond our local struggles and to further the development of a tenant organization uniting tenants at the national and even international levels. SOS will be sharing stories about the tenants we are fundraising for over on Twitter, including Estela, who has helped start tenant unions in two other buildings in DC using what she learned from organizing her own building. To send Estela and others, we need help with covering lodging and airfare costs for our delegates. Unfortunately, inflation is making this trip even more expensive than usual. Currently, airfare alone is anywhere between $800 to $1,000 per person for the weekend we’re going! Donate here to help cover these costs.
Stomp Out Slumlords to support Philly Tenants and Comrades — Wednesday, May 25 at 1:30pm
Philadelphia Housing Action and tenant leaders in Philadelphia are fighting to save the UC Townhomes, a Section 8 housing complex home to 70 families set to be sold and demolished. The owner has announced mass evictions in July, leaving families that have lived in the UC townhomes for 30 years little time to find replacement housing that will accept vouchers. You can read their demands here. They’ve called on DC comrades to join a multi-city day of action to pressure the buyers, National Real Estate Advisors, out of purchasing their homes — and to give them more time to fight to make their homes permanent! Join SOS and Philadelphia Housing Action by protesting at the NREA headquarters on Wednesday, May 25th at 1:30pm. Meet at the corner of K and 7th Streets NW.
MDC organizing May & June abortion rights actions
MDC is organizing a series of abortion rights actions in the coming weeks so that you all can save the dates. Please see below for our upcoming actions:
- Saturday, May 28, 2pm: Rally at the steps of the Supreme Court
- Wednesday, June 1, 7pm: Rally at the steps of the Supreme Court
- First week of June (date tbd): Teach-in on abortion history in DC at the Supreme Court
Please note that these dates are rescheduled from the original dates of Saturday, May 21 and Thursday, May 26, due to the availability of our partners. We’re in the middle of securing partner organizations and speakers for each day. If you’re interested in helping us plan, please join #abortion-rights-planning-channel in MDC DSA Slack or ping email@example.com.
MDC DSA Abortion Access Events, Protests and Fund-A-Thon
More than ever, local abortion funds are essential to ensure equitable access to care. MDC DSA is stepping up to support abortion access generally and the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF) specifically. DCAF works with all clients, whether they are local or travelling in for care, to ensure that everyone can access safe abortion care. There are several ways to support the campaign:
- Order a baked good box from our Virtual Bake Sale from now until TOMORROW, May 20th. If you would like to volunteer your baking skills for this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Boxes will be delivered on Sunday, May 22nd.
- Monday, May 23rd at 7pm, we will have Trivia Night at Midlands Beer Garden. Each teammate can register ahead of time or at the event.
- Virtual Bingo is now open! Fill out the Action Network form to receive your bingo card. For each “bingo,” you will be entered into a prize raffle at the end of the month.
- Supreme Court protests: The first will be held on Saturday, May 28th at 2pm, and the second will be held on Wednesday, June 1st at 7pm. We also plan to hold a political education event at the Supreme Court in the first week of June — more details to come.
With the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion, assaults on medical best practices against trans youth in states across the country and the profound danger of this reactionary, cis-hetero, white supremacist “Supreme Court” using the precedent it would establish in the draft opinion to overturn things like Obergefell v. Hodges (marriage equality), Lawrence v. Texas (sodomy laws) and possibly even Griswold v. Connecticut (birth control), the Socialist Feminist Section urges members to attend as many events as possible that are promoted in the #action-alerts Slack channel and to tell your relatives and associates — especially those represented by senators, representatives and state-level legislators who may not be assured votes for self-determination and bodily autonomy — to contact their representatives and let them know how their constituents want them to vote/sponsor legislation.
Entering the Home Stretch of the Primary Election Cycle: Fundraiser and Canvasses
We’re in the final weeks until the DC primary election on June 21, and less than two months away from the Maryland primary election on July 19. There are two great ways to support DSA endorsed candidates in DC and Maryland:
- First, sign up for door-to-door canvassing and other volunteer roles! We’re out talking to voters every weekend in DC and MoCo, with social events afterward.
- Come to the all-chapter happy hour and fundraiser on Thursday, June 2. We’ll unwind, have fun and chip in a few dollars for our chapter’s endorsed candidates.
There will also be plenty of opportunities to chat with chapter members about how to get more involved. Check out #dc-electoral or #moco-electoral for more info!
Invitation: Political Education Working Group Meeting — Tuesday, May 24 at 8pm
Please join the Metro DC DSA Political Education Working Group meeting this Tuesday, May 24th at 8pm! The meeting is for anyone interested in volunteering to assist political education efforts, anyone who wants to help shape political education efforts or anyone who wants to learn what the Working Group is up to. The discussion will hear from Working Group leaders on the current planning for upcoming Walking Tours, Socialist Night Schools, Summer Reading Clubs, Fall Reading Groups and more. We hope to hear from campaigns throughout the chapter and Metro DC members on their political education needs — including efforts connected to the criminalization of abortion. Please sign up here!
Amazon Surveillance Protest Next Week — Tuesday, May 24 at 11am
La ColectiVA, Athena and allies will be coming out to Amazon’s massive AWS summit at the DC convention center to call on Amazon to cut ties with state violence. That means stop supplying ICE, police and the Israeli government with tech used to track and control our communities. Allies will gather Tuesday, May 24 from 11am to 1pm to create an art installation, gather petitions from and flyer attendees of the summit and speak out about how Amazon’s tech is fueling state violence. This event is taking place the day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where investors will vote on a proposal to require Amazon to do due diligence on its customers to prevent them from using Amazon tech to abuse human rights and surveil Black and brown people in the US and all over the world. We want to make sure that Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jassy and the entire leadership are feeling the heat. You can RSVP with La ColectiVA here!
Internationalism Working Group May Meeting This Sunday, May 22 at 5pm
Join Internationalism Working Group comrades this Sunday, May 22nd from 5 to 6:30pm for our May meeting! RSVP here!
We will be discussing an upcoming mobilization on June 18th with the Poor People’s Campaign, the Venezuelan women’s speaking tour which will be coming to DC on June 1st and an anti-Zionism education series we have in the works!
E-Vote on Two MDC DSA Resolutions
An OpaVote email message was sent to vote-eligible members of MDC DSA in the late evening of Monday, May 16.
Voting will end at 11:59pm on Monday, May 23rd.
This ballot contains two questions:
- Should the chapter adopt Resolution 2022-05-GR04: Purchase Items for Merchandise Store?
- Should the chapter adopt Resolution 2022-04-GR03: Recommit to Local Power?
Members should be sure to find this email in their in-boxes and exercise their vote.
Right-wing electoral plot uncovered in Ward 1 DC Council race
Earlier this week, a police officer running to replace a progressive on the DC Council was revealed to have hired fascist William Pack as his campaign manager. As uncovered by a local organizer with the community organization DC for Democracy, Pack is a registered Republican who worked for the pro-Trump, pro-coup, fascist think tank Claremont Institute. (Pack’s father, Michael Pack, was a Trump appointee and ally of Stephen Bannon.) Washington City Paper published a detailed write-up of this scoop earlier in the week.
Ward 1’s current CM — Brianne Nadeau — has long been a target of capital interests in the city, having been an early booster of the Reclaim Rent Control campaign, opponent to Bowser’s violent encampment evictions and close collaborator with labor unions and advocacy organizations. There is evidence that Mayor Bowser and her allies are attempting to create conditions for a split vote in the Ward: a second challenger running on a platform that mirror’s Nadeau’s received early financial backing from allies of Mayor Bowser (see Washington City Paper’s prior coverage and DC Geekery’s analysis of fiscal support between the candidates).
National Political Committee May Fireside Chat This Sunday, May 22 at 6pm
This Sunday, DSA’s National Political Committee will be hosting a Fireside Chat which will allow members to hear from the NPC regarding their decision-making with regard to structuring national working groups and formations. The NPC is expected to discuss their approach towards organizing the structure of the internationalism and BDS WG formations at the national level. Members are required to register by Saturday night by 11:59pm so membership status can be verified before Sunday. Register here.
Have a story or essay about a better anti-capitalist future? Send it to ATS!
After The Storm is a digital publication that describes a world beyond our current oppressive society. We want to tell stories that span beyond white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism, imperialism, capitalism and so much more. We operate under the assumption that to reach a place, you first have to imagine it.
And we want your vision of that future! We are paying writers in the DC area $50 for all accepted stories, sponsored by Metro DC DSA. Send your pitches to email@example.com and check out our submission guide here.
Publications Schedule: This is the last Update in May save one; next Friday (May 27) we’ll publish the last May Update and the following Friday, June 3 the Washington Socialist June newsletter appears. Article deadline for the June newsletter is May 27, so scribblers, start your ingenuity and hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the #publications Slack channel.
June Updates will appear Fridays, June 10, 17 and 24, and the July Washington Socialist newsletter will be sent Friday, July 1.
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 the 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; check our bylaws and the accompanying explainer on our governance. See our archive of recent statements from the chapter. MDC DSA has branches in NoVA and Maryland.
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!
Activism and solidarity: We don’t need to tell you that MDC DSA’s collective activism has been amped up by new and pressing events and challenges, even as comrades, members and allies are coping with everyday distractions that dampen our engagement. We urge you, sisters and brothers, to reboot your understanding of how we all belong in this effort by visiting or revisiting our individual member survey. It appears long but moves very quickly. And it provides a personal review of how your current interests and skills mesh with the broad and interlaced goals and strategies of the democratic Left. Today. It is not restricted to MDC DSA members (but be warned, we will invite you to join us). Re-commit to action, solidarity and power with this personal re-inventory of what you can offer — to our collective pursuit of the better world that we know is possible.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, May 20
Saturday, May 21
Sunday, May 22
11am – 3pm | Fund-A-Thon Virtual Bake Sale Delivery
Monday, May 23
6:30 – 7:30pm | Medicare 4 All Working Group Biweekly Meeting
Tuesday, May 24
8 – 9:30pm | Political Education Working Group meeting
Wednesday, May 25
Thursday, May 26
5 – 6pm | Public Power Action at Pepco HQ
6:30 – 7:30pm | Cuba Campaign Planning Meeting
Sunday, May 29
Monday, May 30
7 – 8:30pm | May Campaign Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 31
8 – 9pm | PEC Biweekly Meeting
EARLY ALERTS FOR JUNE
Thursday, June 2
Wednesday, June 8
Thursday, June 9
7 – 8:30pm | Internationalism Working Group monthly meeting
7 – 830pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Flower Bomb Pop-Up | Share a Seed
In honor of World Bee Day (May 20) and World Biodiversity Day (May 22), Share a Seed — led by MDC DSA member Reana — is hosting a Flower Bomb Pop-Up at Mt Pleasant Farmers market this Saturday, May 21 to share flower bombs, plantitas, growing kits for kids, seeds and more! Flower bombs are an easy and fun way to spread (non-invasive) flowers in your own yard, garden or anywhere! Share a Seed will be tabling with Earth Spring Farm (north side of the market) from 9am to 1pm.
DC Survivor Support Art Market + Community Conversation | Temperance Alley Garden et al.
Temperance Alley Garden (located behind Ben’s Chili Bowl in NW DC) is holding two free community events this weekend. Saturday, May 21 from 3:30 to 7:30pm will be the DC Survivor Support Art Market, with all funds going to support six Black trans women in DC who need help escaping abusive situations. Sunday, May 22 at 4pm, Temperance Alley Garden will host a Community Conversation with HIPS DC and other partners. There will be Narcan training, seed sharing, storytelling and more.
Remembering the Flesh: The Body as Technology and Machine | Wangari Gardens
Join Brittany and Amanda, local socialists, for the first of three writing workshops at Wangari Gardens on Saturday, May 21, from 10am to noon! Readers and writers of science fiction and cyberpunk, how might we remember and interpret the body even as we construct and engage in virtual worlds? This (free!) workshop will examine the assumptions we make of the body as machine and imagine the body as part of a wider community of nature. RSVP here!
Fight Like Hell Book Launch | Kim Kelly + Politics & Prose
Philadelphia-based writer Kim Kelly comes to DC on Saturday, May 28 (postponed from May 3) to promote her new book, Fight Like Hell, a revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement. The book launch event will be at DC’s only unionized book store, Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW. The event will be moderated by Sara Nelson, who has served as the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO since 2014 and is currently serving her second four-year term. This event is free, but RSVPs are suggested (you can also pre-order a signed copy of the book with registration).
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
Margaret Atwood watches aghast as the new Supreme Court majority is on track to make her fictional kingdom of patriarchy all too real.
Originally from the New Yorker, a deep take by DSA comrade Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor via Portside on the Buffalo mass shooting and its apparent motives, “American Racism and the Buffalo Shooting.”
It looks like a new pro-Israel group has popped up in New York to try and undermine DSA candidates. “The creation of New York Solidarity Network (NYSN) shows us that the Israeli right is deeply spooked by the rise of NYC-DSA,” explains Liza Featherstone in Jacobin this week.
The groundbreaking work of Antonio Gramsci is detailed in a new biography. In an equally detailed review, via Portside, we learn more.
The Left’s confused response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, say some comrades in New Politics, is due to “an analytical error rooted in a downplaying of the entire issue of the right of nations to self-determination.”
Even as we strive to create art that moves past the limitations of capitalism, we must still work within this system. After The Storm editor Alex Mell-Taylor sits down with artist Claire Alrich to discuss moving past this paradox. We also chat about the nature of beauty and activism and discuss her favorite futurist media.
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.