SEPTEMBER 22, 2023
Detention is Not Prevention digital teach-in — Tuesday, Sept 26 from 7 to 9pm
DC Free Brake Light POSTPONED to October 14 due to extreme rain and winds forecasted
- Organizing After Crisis with Stomp Out Slumlords: Socialist Night School this Wednesday, September 27
Detention is Not Prevention digital teach-in — Tuesday, Sept 26 from 7 to 9pm
In partnership with a network of activist organizations in DC, Metro DC DSA will be holding a virtual teach-in on a pack of legislative proposals being heard by the DC Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. Through the teach-in, attendees will learn what is actually in these bills, how they fail to actually address the systemic roots of crime and violence in our society, and train attendees on how to write testimony and engage in public outreach to the District Council on these issues. You can sign up to attend the event here. The event is being put on in coordination with allies in the city: Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, The Chosen Few at HIPS and DC Justice Lab.
Councilmember Brooke Pinto (Ward 2) recently introduced a bill package that would hyper-criminalize life in the city, particularly by reinstating stop-and-frisk in DC. The legislation is beyond odious – it is groundless. Two DC judges have already warned that parts of the bill appear to violate the Fourth Amendment. This comes on the heels of DC Council passing an “emergency” bill this summer that expanded carcerality under the guise of public safety, including by expanding pretrial detention for both children and adults. The Council is now moving to make parts — if not all — of this prior legislation permanent.
The Chapter’s Defund MPD Working Group, as well as the wider Defund MPD Coalition in the city, believe this can be fought through public awareness and political pressure – this teach-in will help train socialists, activists, workers and residents of the DMV about what’s going on and how to stop this. Sign up to attend here.
DC Free Brake Light POSTPONED to October 14 due to extreme rain and winds forecasted
Metro DC DSA’s Brake Light Clinic event — originally scheduled for this weekend — has been POSTPONED to October 14. Weather forecasts predict extreme winds and rains this weekend.
At the DSA’s brake light clinics, socialist mechanics fix people’s tail and brake lights for free to educate the public on removing police from traffic enforcement. Need a repair or know someone who does? Fill out this form so mechanics know what to plan for. The process for fixing brake lights is simple, but will help in reducing community interactions with police and help educate the community on legislation that activists are interested in passing in DC in the near future. DSA members, neighbors, or anyone in need of a repair are invited to attend. If you would like to request a repair for the October 14th event, or would like to volunteer to learn about the process, follow through to the appropriate link on this form.
Organizing After Crisis with Stomp Out Slumlords: Socialist Night School this Wednesday, September 27
Join core Stomp Out Slumlords organizers and tenant leaders for a panel discussion and Socialist Night School this Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm for a hybrid event — in-person at MLK Memorial (Central) Library, 401-E Conference Room, or online. The Socialist Night School will center on Stomp Out Slumlords’ most recent report on their organizing in the region — and where we go next. Stomp Out Slumlords will cover how they have grown exponentially since the pandemic hit in 2020, transforming into a fighting tenants’ union with organized buildings across the District and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Organizers will also discuss the current state of housing struggles in the DMV, and how to keep landlords from returning to “normal”. Make sure to sign up here, especially if you need the link to the online portion. If you have questions or to request accommodations, please email email@example.com. If you attend in-person, please make sure your COVID vaccinations are up to date. Masks strongly encouraged!
October General Body Meeting notice
In light of the recent Covid surge, the MDC DSA Steering Committee has decided to make the upcoming October 1 GBM completely virtual. While we were excited to have it be hybrid, we’d rather make sure the chapter is extra safe. We hope that, soon, this new wave will die down and we’ll be be able to showcase the new hybrid set up (thank you to all comrades who have been involved in that project!). We’re monitoring the Covid situation and hope to have our November GBM and local convention in person. You can register for the October GBM here.
Stomp Out Slumlords anti-eviction canvass — Saturday, September 23
Stomp Out Slumlords will also be conducting their next anti-eviction canvass at 1:30pm tomorrow, setting off from L’Enfant Metro Station at 1:30pm. Members are invited to participate if they’d like to come out and inform tenants facing eviction of their rights in court, how to get a lawyer and to see if they are interested in organizing their building. SOS has previously found that tenants that are canvassed are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact.
SOS will meet at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station on the D Street exit between 6th and 7th above the escalators (if the weather is bad, we’ll be downstairs just before the turnstiles). At 1:30pm we will have a short training to explain why these canvases are necessary, how to talk to tenants about their upcoming eviction suits and how to fill in walk-sheets. We will then hand out walk-sheets and set you up with a partner — if you have never done this before, we’ll try to set you up with a veteran who can show you the ropes!
During this month’s canvass, we’ll also be supporting tenants at Marbury Plaza. Tenants at Marbury have been subject to a large number of evictions as they have organized to form a tenant’s association at their building. With well over 600 units, there are hundreds of units to still knock, both for the dozens of eviction hearings that have been scheduled as well as signing up tenants for the association. We will need volunteers specifically for Marbury so if you’re interested in seeing more what building organizing looks like, make sure to come.
If you have a car, please drive it down to the meeting spot. Cars are helpful for getting canvassers to Metro-inaccessible areas. Parking near L’Enfant Plaza is a bit tricky, but doable. If you’re interested in our work but cannot canvass, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about other ways to get involved.
National and local labor militancy continues — opportunities to get involved
The UAW strike at the Big 3 automakers is off to a roaring start, with the union’s targeted “stand up strike” strategy already paying dividends. More strike locations could be announced today, Friday, September 22; if you haven’t already, make sure to sign the DSA Big 3 strike-ready pledge. Plus: “More than 60,000 California health-care workers last Thursday voted to authorize a strike against Kaiser Permanente if an agreement is not reached when their current contract expires Sept. 30. Members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West voted 98% in favor of a strike.”
Then: On Saturday, September 30 at noon, workers at MOM’s Organic Market in College Park (9801 Rhode Island Avenue, College Park, MD) along with elected officials and community leaders will rally to protest the company’s efforts to dissuade other workers from unionizing by discriminating against workers who are active in the union. Learn more and join the rally.
DSA’s New Member Orientation — Why You Should Join DSA
On Wednesday, September 27th, starting at 8pm, join DSA’s New Member Orientation to learn about DSA, what we do, our structure, campaigns and caucuses — and how you can get involved with us for a brighter future. New members are highly encouraged to attend — and if you’re interested in becoming a member, this is the place to start. RSVP here.
Socialist Feminist Section Monthly Happy Hour — September 28
The Socialist Feminist Section is hosting our monthly Happy Hour this coming Thursday at Lyman’s Tavern, a short walk from the Georgia Avenue Metro stop. The fall season is here, and it’s the perfect time to get outside and join your comrades for conversation, drinks and camaraderie. Be sure to RSVP for the details.
Sign up open: Big Tech and Capitalism: DC Walking Tour — Saturday, October 7
Everyone is invited to sign up in advance for the Big Tech and Capitalism: DC Walking Tour starting at 1pm on Saturday, October 7 in Farragut Square. Walking Tours are great ways to learn about socialism, bring friends to DSA events, learn the geography of the area through radical education, start volunteering for events, and get connected to local organizing. The Walking Tour will explore three sites in downtown DC connected to how tech firms undermined racial justice, used illegal lobbying to displace existing companies and used DC as a model to remake urban spaces around the world in Uber’s image over the last decade. The Walking Tour will be led by three scholars on labor in the DC region: Katie Wells, Kafui Attoh, and Declan Cullen, the authors of the new book Disrupting DC: The Rise of Uber and the Fall of the City, and will draw on material and research from the book. The tour will adjourn at 3pm, followed by a happy hour afterward at the outdoor tables at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. Sign up here.
Canvass with the Social Housing working group at Georgia Avenue Open Streets — Oct 7th
Have you told your DC Councilmembers that we need a strong Green New Deal for Housing Act yet? Sign the petition, and then join us to canvass at the Georgia Avenue Open Streets event on October 7th, starting at 10am. Meet up at the statue by Petworth metro station — RSVP here. And visit our campaign homepage for educational materials and all upcoming meetings and canvasses. Email us at email@example.com to get in touch.
Post-screening discussion of Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power urges activists to incorporate lessons imparted by past struggles
Last Saturday, Metro DC DSA’s held a film screening and discussion in Ward 8 on the film Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power. The screening attracted a great turnout, both from the chapter and wider community. The panel included voices from numerous issue areas in the chapter, including Sela L (of DefundMPD), Marbury Plaza Tenant Association President Barbara Cooper, SNCC Activist Jennifer Lawson (as featured in the film) and a UNITE HERE! organizer and DSA member who discussed the connection between the police state and broader working-class struggles against capitalism.
Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power is available for streaming on Peacock TV. Those interested in getting involved in Metro DC DSA’s work on police and prison abolition can fill out the form on our chapter’s website.
DC Council Passes E-Bike Subsidy Bill — tiered benefit encourages purchase of electric bikes
On Tuesday, the DC Council unanimously approved a bill that aims to get fewer cars and more e-bikes on District streets: the “Electric Bicycle Rebate Program Amendment Act of 2023,” sponsored by Councilmember Charles Allen. The legislation incentivizes residents to purchase e-bikes by introducing a tiered subsidy program based on income. Residents who cannot afford the upfront cost of purchasing an e-bike and waiting for a rebate will have access to a special voucher system for low-income purchasers. DCist breaks down the details here.
The National Tech Committee is proud to introduce DSA Feed, an RSS feed that aggregates multiple DSA publications — including our own Washington Socialist — in one convenient place. You can add the feed to browse socialist articles in your RSS reader of choice, add to the feed by submitting your caucus or working group publication here or even contribute to the open-source project on GitHub. Read more from the NTC’s announcement here.
MDC DSA Publications Schedule: One more September Update scheduled for Friday, September 29; the October Washington Socialist appears with the Update on Friday, October 6. Article deadline for October’s newsletter is September 30. Please send article submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to participate in MDC DSA’s publications? We write, we edit, we do the tech — there are so many ways your hand could lighten the load. Check us out on #publications and let us know what you would like to write, or write about. If you would like to see something included in the Update, suggestions can be submitted to the tip line.
Quick reference links for MDC DSA:
- Metro DC DSA chapter’s website
- Our local structure — campaigns, working groups, etc.
- Capsule introduction to the chapter including our branches covering the DMV
- A home-grown history of our local chapter
- Archive of the Washington Socialist
- Archive of our MDC DSA Socialist Night School
- National DSA’s website
And “live from our studio” Why You Should Join DSA/New Member Orientation with Q&A avails, on Wednesday September 27.
DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, September 23
9am – 3pm | DSA Tabling at Burtonsville Day (in person)
1:30 – 4:30pm | Stomp Out Slumlords Anti-Eviction Canvass
Wednesday, September 27
7 – 8pm | Repro Justice Working Group Meeting
Thursday, September 28
5:30 – 8:30pm | MDC DSA Socialist Feminist September Happy Hour
Sunday, October 1
2 – 4pm | MDC DSA General Body Meeting (virtual only)
7 – 8pm | NoVA Electoral Working Group Meeting
Tuesday, October 3
Wednesday, October 4
7 – 8pm | Defund NoVA Police Working Group Meeting
Saturday, October 7
10am – 3pm | Canvass for Social Housing
1 – 3pm | Big Tech and Capitalism: DC Walking Tour
Wednesday, October 11
Thursday, October 12
6:15 – 7:30pm | NoVA Branch Monthly Organizing Meeting
Bikes Not Bombs Ride | Food Not Bombs
Bikes Not Bombs rides again this Friday, September 22, at 7:30pm, departing from the top of Malcolm X Park! These rides are for any and all wheeled participants and are designed to be inclusive for riders of all abilities.
Building Blocks of Visionary Organizing | Visionary Organizing Lab
The Visionary Organizing Lab is an educational laboratory working to build new economies, institutions and cultural practices to create a new system from the chaos of our current one. They’re hosting a fall series of trainings on the Building Blocks of Visionary Organizing, including topics like Recognizing and Nurturing Interdependence, and Imagining New Possibilities. Learn more here and get tickets (available on a sliding scale) for the next session on Tuesday, September 26 from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
Female Rage Hot Sauce & DCAF Fundraiser | Female Rage Hot Sauce
Female Rage is a woman-owned, DC-based hot sauce made with homegrown peppers and local produce. On Thursday, September 28 from 7 to 9pm, they will be launching their brand at ANXO Cidery and Pintxo Bar (711 Kennedy Street NW). Sales support the DC Abortion Fund. This event is free to attend — RSVP and more info here.
Art All Night registrations open | Congress Heights Arts & Culture Center (CHACC)
The MLK Corridor in SE DC will be alive all night (and into the morning!) on Saturday, September 30 with arts and cultural events, including the CHACC party at 3200 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. From 6pm to 2am, CHACC is bringing over 40 vendors to Art All Night, live painting, live music, free workshops, a dynamite kids zone, and so much more. Want to be a vendor? Register here. Spots are limited and allotted on a first-come-first-served basis.
WIC Farmers Market is Back! | DC Hunger Solutions
Home delivery for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (aka, “WIC) Farmer’s Market Fruits and Vegetables is back! In partnership with Dreaming Out Loud, the Department of Health will be providing increased access to fresh, locally grown produce directly to WIC participants’ homes. WIC participants can browse Dreaming Out Loud Grocery‘s selection of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and pick their favorite locally sourced items. Participants will be able to purchase items using the WIC farmers market QR Code on their eWIC card. If you haven’t received your WIC farmers’ market QR code, reach out to your WIC clinic.
GOOD READS / ESSENTIAL TRAFFIC
Last Sunday, the DSA’s National Political Committee held its first meeting of the term. Official notes have yet to be provided, but the meeting sparked some interesting commentary and debate. For coverage:
- Bread & Roses, a caucus that holds three elected seats on the NPC, released their accounting through their caucus organ, The Call.
- Red Star, another caucus that also holds three elected seats on the NPC, released their analysis of the event on their caucus organ, Zenith.
- Socialist Majority Caucus, which holds two elected seats on the NPC, covered the event on their caucus organ, The Agitator.
- The DSA staff union released a statement in response to the organization’s budgetary matters and concerns.
- An analysis published on Medium assessed the tactics used to cover the NPC’s discussion on DSA’s budget.
Review of Mark Paul’s “The Ends of Freedom: Reclaiming America’s Lost Promise of Economic Rights”. “Rutgers Professor Mark Paul provides a full-spectrum picture of what we could think of as a version of the Sanders program, located historically in the history of U.S. social democracy. Paul’s objective is to propose a framework for understanding the full gamut of economic and social policy in the 21st century.”
“After being thwarted by Congress, President Joe Biden will use his executive authority to create a New Deal-style American Climate Corps that will serve as a major green jobs training program. In an announcement Wednesday, the White House said the program will employ more than 20,000 young adults who will build trails, plant trees, help install solar panels and do other work to boost conservation and help prevent catastrophic wildfires.” Maryland is one of 10 states with complementary programs in place or in the works.
“The Google trial is going to rewrite our future”
“The verdict [in Google’s antitrust trial] will effectively establish the rules governing tech competition for the next decade, including the battle over commercialized artificial intelligence, as well as newer technologies we cannot yet envision.The history of antitrust prosecutions shows this again and again: Loosening the grip of a controlling monopolist may not always solve the problem at hand (here, an online search monopoly). But it can open up closed markets, shake up the industry and spark innovation in unexpected areas. … Ultimately, antitrust law’s most important function is to rebalance economic power, taming the excesses that are the inevitable consequences of a capitalist economy.” Analysis in NYT from Tim Wu, prof at Columbia Law and Biden NEC counselor 2021-23; author of The Curse of Bigness.
What are the odds that Meta, and then the smaller fry, will follow Musk into direct monetization? (Variety)
“The Colombian right has done everything in its power to undermine Gustavo Petro. That hasn’t stopped the nation’s first leftist president from achieving ambitious reforms for Colombia’s poor and working class.” From Jacobin.
And a good watch from Jacobin and Progressive International: In episode one of the new video series The Internationalist, “we travel to Ramallah to hear from Dr. Yara Hawari on the past, present, and future of Zionist settler colonialism — and the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and justice.”
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.