November 17, 2023

NOVEMBER 17, 2023



  • Metro DC DSA to hold Organizer Fair at Petworth Library — Saturday, November 18 from 3:30 to 5:30pm

  • DC Council aiming to expand stop-and-frisk — statements in opposition due by November 22 at 5pm

  • Steering Committee nominations are now open for our December convention — Nominations due by November 26

Metro DC DSA to hold Organizer Fair at Petworth Library — Saturday, November 18 from 3:30 to 5:30pm

Are you a DSA member looking to get involved in organizing in the chapter? Have you heard about one of our successful campaigns and want to learn more? Are you curious about Metro DC DSA and want to hear more about what we do in the community?

Come out to the Organizer Fair TOMORROW, Saturday, November 18 from 3:30 to 5:30pm and meet members from our working groups including Labor, Stomp Out Slumlords, We Power DC and many more. This is a great opportunity to get more involved in the chapter or just to find out more about our work. RSVP here.

DC Council aiming to expand stop-and-frisk — statements in opposition due by November 22 at 5pm

On November 8, the DC Council Judiciary Committee had a hearing on their latest crime bill — the Targeted Interventions and Violence Enforcement Amendment or “ACTIVE” Act. The ACTIVE Act would expand stop-and-frisk and pretrial detention — two measures that will restrict freedoms in DC and compound the city’s prison population. Metro DC DSA’s Abolition Working Group (previously Defund) created a toolkit that can help District residents write and submit written testimony opposing this bill to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. The deadline to submit is Wednesday, November 22 at 5 PM, and testimony can be submitted digitally on the District Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety website here.

Steering Committee nominations, Bylaw Amendment and Resolution submissions are now open for our December convention — Nominations and submissions due by November 26

The 2023 Metro DC DSA Local Convention is happening on December 9 and 10, and with the announcement of the Internal Elections Department, Steering nominations are now open. Nominations will close on Sunday, November 26 at 11:59pm. Any chapter member in good standing who receives five nominations will be notified and will have until 11:59pm on Wednesday, November 29 to accept. There will also be a candidate forum sometime between November 28 and December 5, 2023. Additionally, the Bylaw Amendment and Resolution submission period has started — submissions can be made using this webform until November 26.

The chapter’s Steering Committee, according to our bylaws, “is the highest elected body of MDC DSA and is the political leadership of the chapter when the membership is not assembled.” All seats on the 11-member Steering Committee will be open for this election. These seats include: at-large (8 seats), treasurer, secretary, and campaigns coordinator. If you have any questions — whether about the election itself or because you’re interested in running — please post the #2023-local- convention channel, the #steering channel, or email And a big thank you to comrades Ali T, Dave O, and Sam M for volunteering to run this election.


Jewish organizers and activists outraged at Maryland state and local government officials in threats to CASA

In an open letter originally published in Maryland Matters and reposted on the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace, Jewish activists (including several comrades among the signatories) push back against opportunistic attacks by Maryland elected officials on CASA. Maryland legislators have explicitly threatened the public funding that allows CASA to “provide direct services to highly vulnerable immigrant families, assisting them with housing conditions, wage theft, English language learning, and much more.” Last Thursday, a major private foundation was reported to pull out of funding CASA. (CASA was a critical leader in the successful rent control movement in Montgomery County, which expanded rental protections across the state.)

State pushback against anti-apartheid activists in Maryland contrasts with the multi-faith, multi-racial coalition that has emerged in Montgomery County. On Sunday, October 29 a multi-faith rally held in Rockville, attended by over one hundred people, demanded an immediate ceasefire to stop the mass killing of many thousands of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli army. The rally had been organized by an ad hoc group consisting of Palestinians, Muslims, Jews and other peace and justice activists including members of DSA.

Speakers at the rally spoke of our shared humanity in condemning Israel’s murderous bombing campaign and called for an immediate ceasefire. Many speakers also spoke of the need to protect all civilians regardless of nationality. DSA speakers Nate Feinberg and MD State Delegate Gabe Acevero denounced the Hamas killings of Israeli civilians and called for the release of civilian hostages while also demanding an immediate ceasefire and the release of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons.


Pro-Israel rally brings thousands to mid-week DC in bipartisan celebration of war and violence

On November 14th, a gathering of Israeli nationalists, apartheid sympathizers, and right-wing sadists shuffled onto DC’s National Mall to denounce calls for an Israeli ceasefire. The profoundly weird affair featured Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate, a remote speech from Israeli President Isaac Herzog and infamous white-supremacist doomsday cultist John Hagee, but no actual rabbis. Rally goers cheered Gaza’s destruction, shouting down even the vaguest suggestion of ceasefire and calling for violence against counter-demonstrators calling for peace. Organizers bragged of attendance in the hundreds of thousands, however basic crowd counts suggest an attendance at under 30,000, meaning it was dwarfed by marches two weeks ago which called for ceasefire and an end to apartheid in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. The pro-war rally came as the Israeli Defense Forces continued their destruction of Gaza. Just a day later, Israel completed its conquest of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Israel also destroyed the Palestinian Legislative Council building — one of the few remaining vestiges of democracy in the territory.

Enraged and confused by calls for peace, Capitol Police attack peaceful demonstrators in downtown DC

On November 15, a multi-faith group of nonviolent peace activists led a vigil to mourn the lives of Palestinians and Israelis killed since October 7. Following the vigil, hundreds initiated an act of civil disobedience — shutting down the Democratic Party’s headquarters in Washington (the DNC was hosting a pageant for corporate-friendly candidates downtown) — in a plea to Democrats to end their funding of the Israeli government and to change their position on a ceasefire. 

In response to this peaceful act of civil disobedience, DC Capitol Police rioted in a violent escalation. Incensed by individuals calling for peace, police fired pepper-spray and pellet guns, pushed middle-aged protesters down flights of stairs and swung at others with bicycles and batons. One officer even dragged a protester by their hair. In taking a cue from their friends in the Israeli Defense Forces, with whom they share training, Capitol Police accused protestors of “violence.” However, footage of the event released by protesters and reporters contradicted these narratives.


Montgomery County DSA to canvass the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade — Saturday, November 18 at 11am

The Montgomery County Branch will be canvassing downtown Silver Spring during and after the Silver Spring Thanksgiving parade when hundreds of people are out downtown. They will be spreading the word with flyers about Montgomery County’s new rent stabilization law, which went into effect in late October, and helping renters figure out if the law applies to them. RSVP here.

For more information about the new Montgomery County rent stabilization law, see our FAQ here. If you are interested in working a tenant hotline to help tenants determine if their rent increases are legal under the new law, email

Metro DC DSA to provide free left-wing books at DC Punk Rock Flea Market — Saturday, November 18

DC’s favorite flea market is back. On Saturday, November 18 from 12 to 5pm, vendors, makers, and community advocates from across the DMV will gather at St. Stephen’s Church in Columbia Heights (1525 Newton St NW). MDC DSA’s Publications cooperative will be operating a free book exchange and will be selling copies of Storms of the Revolution as well as rare local propaganda. The Democratic Socialists will be offering free handmade buttons to members, and will offer basic member services such as membership renewal and sign-up, talking through our political positions, and promoting our campaigns throughout Metro DC.

In addition to vendors and makers, there will also be a food drive for We Are Family (attendance is free, but please bring canned or non-perishable food for donation). Parking in the immediate area is very limited, so walking or public transit is recommended.


SOS anti-eviction canvass — Saturday, November 18

Join Stomp Out Slumlords this Saturday, November 18 for their next anti-eviction canvass. Tenants that speak with SOS are twice as likely to go to court and fight their eviction, so every volunteer can make a big impact — especially if you have a car to help us get to metro-inaccessible areas. Meet at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro for a quick training at 1:30pm, and then pair up to canvass followed by a debrief/social. Get more detailed information at the signup link, or email to ask questions or find out more ways to get involved.

Calling all UMD Graduate Students — Join the UMD Graduate Labor Union campaign

The UMD Graduate Labor Union (GLU) launched their authorization card campaign this fall on Labor Day. To help them reach majority support, any chapter member who is a UMD grad worker can sign a union card by contacting GLU is organizing towards an industrial labor coalition modeled after peer institutions like Rutgers University. Read more about the conditions being faced by UMD Graduate Student workers in the Washington Socialist.


Councilmember Janeese Lewis George Introduces the Do Right by DC Tenants Amendment Act

The Do Right by DC Tenants Amendment Act of 2023 would prevent any individual or business from obtaining a new basic business license or building permit if anyone in the ownership structure has received more than five Class 1 or Class 2 housing code violations in a 12-month period. Class 1 and Class 2 infractions are the most severe housing code violations and are enforced by the Department of Buildings through inspections. “We welcome housing providers to our city, but we are also sending a clear message that if you want to do business in DC, you need to do right by our tenants,” said Councilmember Lewis George.

We Power DC campaigns for the Environmental Justice Amendment Act of 2023

We Power DC and a coalition of environmental justice organizations in the District worked with CM Zachary Parker’s Office to introduce the Environmental Justice Amendment Act of 2023. This legislation would protect communities from polluters by making it more difficult to build, expand, or re-permit polluting facilities in neighborhoods that are overburdened by pollution, especially in Wards 5, 7, and 8.

We Power DC has put together a sign-on letter in support of the legislation and are working to get organizations and Advisory Neighborhood Commissions across the District signed on. Socialists are urged to help in circulating this sign-on letter and get more signatures.


Apply to be an elector for the National Electoral Commission Steering elections

The National Electoral Commission will elect its Steering Committee starting on December 10, and our chapter has been apportioned 4 electors. Please consider applying if you have had experience with nationally endorsed electoral campaigns. Our electors will be appointed by an online vote of Steering, the Political Engagement Committee and Branch Delegates following a public meeting where the candidates’ qualifications will be discussed — said meeting will be scheduled between November 27 and 30 to permit submission of electors by the December 1 deadline. Please reach out to Tim at or on Slack with any questions.


MDC DSA Publications Schedule: November’s final Update is scheduled to appear Friday, November 24th. The December issue of the Washington Socialist zine/newsletter is currently scheduled for Friday, December 1 with that week’s first December Update.

Would you like to participate in MDC DSA’s publications? We write, we edit, we design, 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, or …? 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:

DSA Feed, an RSS feed that aggregates multiple DSA publications — including our own Washington Socialist — in one convenient place. More from the National Tech Committee here.


Saturday, November 18

11am | Tabling at the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade

12 – 5pm | Tabling at the DC Punk Rock Flea Market

1:30 – 4:30pm | Stomp Out Slumlords Anti-Eviction Canvas

3:30 – 5:30pm | MDC DSA Organizer Fair

Sunday, November 19

1pm | NoVA Abolition Research Sunday

Tuesday, November 21

6 – 7pm | Medicare 4 All Alexandria/Arlington Third Tuesday Update

Friday, November 24

6pm – 9pm | Community & Solidarity: Meet & Greet

Tuesday, November 28

6 – 7pm | Defund MPD Working Group Biweekly Meeting

Wednesday, November 29

7pm | NoVA Abolition Working Group Meeting

Thursday, November 30

5pm | Social Housing Organizing Meeting

6 – 8:30pm | Socialist Feminist Section Monthly Happy Hour (in person)

Friday, December 1

4:00pm | Community & Solidarity: Plan for Convention

Friday, December 2

6:30pm | NoVA Branch Gamenite

Sunday, December 3

7pm | NoVA Electoral Working Group Meeting

Tuesday, December 5

6pm | NoVA Migrant Justice Working Group Meeting


Thanksgiving Roundup | Misc.

There are a number of opportunities to receive and/or help distribute food to neighbors in the days ahead, including:

  • Common Good City Farm “ThanksFest Holiday Giveaway”: Friday, November 17 from 4:30 – 6:30pm at 334 V Street NW. Turkeys, meal kits and sides will be provided by Kelly Miller Resident’s Council and the office of Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. Donations are accepted. 
  • Shiloh Baptist Church Free Food Giveaway: Join the Shiloh Baptist Church for a free drive-thru grocery giveaway on Saturday, November 18 from 11am – 2pm, where 300 grocery bags will go to neighbors in need. Registration is required.
  • Ward 4 Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway: Ward 4 families in need can head to the Riggs LaSalle Rec Center (501 Riggs Rd NE) on Saturday, November 18, beginning at 11am. First come, first serve while supplies last. No advance registration is needed, but proof of Ward 4 residency is required. 
  • Martha’s Table, Volunteers Needed: Martha’s Table has added Joyful Markets at several schools before the Thanksgiving break and are looking for volunteers. Click here to sign up.

Bread for the City’s 31st Annual Holiday Helpings: Volunteers are needed as they distribute turkeys and groceries to residents in the community.

Community Ride | Bikes Not Bombs

Bikes Not Bombs, an affiliated arm of Food Not Bombs, will host a community ride on Friday, November 17. Folks are encouraged to gather at Malcolm X Park around 7:30pm, with an estimated roll-out time of 8pm. All bodies, skill levels, and meat-free snacks welcome.


Moving tribute to Canadian-Israeli peace activist Vivian Silver in +972 Magazine. Initially believed to be taken hostage, her body was identified this week to have been killed at her home village during Hamas’ initial attack on October 7.

US Labor has long been a stalwart backer of Israel. That’s starting to change (and from the bottom up): The US labor movement has a decades-long history of supporting Israel wholeheartedly, punctuated by moments of pro-Palestine actions by rank-and-file activists. As Israel wages its war on Gaza, those pro-Palestine moments are becoming increasingly common. From Jacobin via Portside

For Kurds, the War in Gaza Shows the Need for a Democratic Reordering of the Middle East

“It’s easy to stand with, or even cheerlead for, either nation. It’s rather harder, particularly in the fog of war, to imagine a genuinely socialist-internationalist response to the conflict. But this is precisely what we must pursue — and what the Kurdish movement has often managed to articulate. Internationalism is not to be sneeringly dismissed as “both-sidesism,” drawing false equivalences between profoundly unmatched forces or abstaining from judgment altogether. Rather, it is a call to dissolve the foundations of occupation and empire, by enabling repressed peoples everywhere to fight for self-determination in the broadest sense. Not just national self-determination conducted for the benefit of a national elite, but a deeper emancipation, dissolving not only borders but economic and social stratification.” From Jacobin.

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.

Virgilia D’Andrea