The week ahead… No2Nato continues, MDC DSA Labor Working Group meeting Saturday (April 6); MoCo branch General Meeting (2 PM) and Socialist Night School: Introduction to Marxism (2:30 PM) both on Sunday (April 7)
Articles featured in this issue: reportbacks from the recent regional conference <> A follow-up on our Venezuela coverage <> Prospects for DC Statehood improved, but… <> “cooperativism” at the core of socialist organizing <> Preparing our local chapter for a Bernie campaign (in five parts) <> Bill Blum’s lifelong expose of US imperialist practices <> and Good Reads. More details in the table of contents below.
First, action reports:
STOMP OUT SLUMLORDS TENANT ORGANIZERS ARE RAMPING UP THEIR ACTIVITY in three complexes across the city, as well as an active schedule of Know Your Rights canvasses (next canvass April 13th at L’Enfant Plaza Station, 1:30pm) and political education discussions (next reading group meets April 27).
At Oak Hill in Congress Heights, organizers and tenants held a meeting to gather tenant feedback about problems in the buildings and the failure of UIP, the building’s management company, to do anything about them. The apartments are in terrible condition, and a lack of light and building security (the building doors don’t even lock) has made the property a magnet for violence. Organizer Damiana D. posted a detailed Twitter thread about the experience. Tenants have become militant and determined to fight for better conditions. In coming weeks, Oak Hill tenants and S.O.S. organizers will be canvassing residents at other UIP properties across the city to ask for their support as we ratchet up the pressure on UIP’s bosses.
At The Summit at St. Martins, an apartment building owned by a Catholic non-profit, tenants have been organizing with us for months and pushing management to take care of long-deferred maintenance. Now management appears to be retaliating by threatening to evict key leaders in the tenant association. SOS and tenant organizers are planning to educate tenants about their right to organize and to confront management about this in the very near future.
At The Vistas and Forest Ridge, two Section 8 complexes near Anacostia metro, slumlord Joe Kisha has declared bankruptcy to avoid responsibility for the complex’s shocking state of decay and disrepair. SOS organizers are working with a number of local legal aid groups and nonprofits to help tenants organize to protect themselves against the profit-oriented brutality of DC’s bankruptcy court and to ensure that any developer that does buy the building has a plan to improve conditions and keep it affordable for the long-term.
All over the city, Metro DC DSA members have joined tenants on the front lines of the struggle against displacement and gentrification. Email email@example.com to get involved!
FIRST COMMUNITY GARDENING MEETING SETS TASK GROUPS, NEXT MEETING SOON
“The Ecosocialist Caucus and Mutual Aid Working Group held a fantastic general interest meeting on March 29. We have devised four focus groups to make the socialist garden of our dreams a reality: 1. Volunteering, 2. Skills-building and Education, 3. Short-term Small Plot Planning, 4. Long-term Large Plot Planning. If you are interested in getting involved in this exciting initiative under one or more of the focus groups, please fill out this form. Our next meeting will be happening in the next two weeks. Stay tuned for the date!”
Matt A (he, him, his)
What’s behind the No2Nato action? MDC DSA comrades are joining other peace, antimilitarism and anti-imperialism activists to push back against this week’s smarmy celebration of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 70th year in the grip of generals and their enablers in the capitalist US-EU hegemony. Here’s how our activists explained it in last week’s Update:
As this April marks 70 years since NATO was created, the left (including socialists) and the antiwar movement have an opportunity to push against NATO’s and U.S.’s aggressive global military and expansionist agenda and call for its abolition and for the implementation of truly peaceful methods of cooperation and international solidarity. Under the false pretenses that NATO is a peacekeeping organization, this international institution and its member countries have intervened militarily in a long list of countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya creating a global humanitarian crisis.
Despite the current administration’s initial rhetoric against NATO, it has put pressure on NATO members to buy more weapons, expanded NATO eastward towards Russia, added Colombia the first South American NATO partner, and proposed adding Brazil. These last two are key allies of the U.S. on its effort to overthrow the government of Venezuela.
Members of the internationalism working group of metro DC DSA have been playing an active role in the National DSA campaign to prevent military intervention in Venezuela and are looking for more comrades to join in. The campaign hopes to mobilize people around the country to push back against the DC imperialist agenda as it ramps up to unconstitutionally invade another sovereign nation yet again. The context is complicated but one thing is not— the US military is not a humanitarian force and we will not fall for this tired rhetoric. We recognize this corporate-backed push to liberalize Venezuela’s oil industry and install a puppeteer government for what it is and we are fighting against it with comrades around the country. The situation is urgent and we ask others in the DC area to join in. — Cesar G
Watch MDC DSA’s #internationalism Slack channel for more on a followup MDC DSA gathering in formation for No2Nato on April 4.
Here’s more for the week’s No2Nato events in general from a timeline provided on David Swanson’s blog http://davidswanson.org/trump-congress-love-nato-we-love-peace/
Chelsea Manning is being kept in solitary confinement for resisting a Grand Jury Subpoena and she needs legal funds to keep resisting, so donate to her here: Chelsea Manning Needs Legal Funds to Resist a Grand Jury Subpoena — for more, our comrade Chip Gibbons writes in Jacobin about Chelsea Manning’s plight: Let Chelsea Go by Chip Gibbons
Join our 2019 Bowl-A-Thon to raise funds for the DC Abortion Fund which helps provide direct logistical and financial support to people in or traveling to DC who are seeking abortion care. Help us raise socialist cash for abortions by donating here, and remember to share this link with your friends and family.
Keep up with the nuts and bolts of the local chapter – Steering Committee minutes from January and February meetings are available here.
FEATURED ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
>>Some of our chapter’s delegates to the Regional Conference of March 16-17 have reports on the event, the discussions, the pros and cons emerging. See https://mdcdsa.org/the-washington-socialist/mdc-dsa-chapter-delegates-report-on-the-regional-conference/
>>The continuing duplicity of US policy and practice toward beleaguered Venezuela is outlined in a follow-up to our earlier coverage here. See https://mdcdsa.org/the-washington-socialist/standard-oil-awakens-them-the-second-phase-of-the-us-regime-change-operation-in-venezuela/
>> Although prospects for DC Statehood being backed in the House are farther along than they have ever been, the current shape of Congress means the project will go no further till 2020 at least. See https://mdcdsa.org/the-washington-socialist/dc-statehood-moving-forward-in-2019-just-not-all-the-way/
>> Because the most unfree place in the “land of the free” is the at-will US workplace, socialism needs to grow from collaborative, “cooperativist” organizing at that level. See https://mdcdsa.org/the-washington-socialist/cooperativism-the-need-for-a-proletarian-socialism/
>> DSA has endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. What are the potential advantages and difficulties as the organization enters the fray and how will local chapters respond? A multipart analysis of the prospects opens the discussion. See https://mdcdsa.org/the-washington-socialist/imagining-an-mdc-dsa-bernie-2020-campaign-its-not-just-about-bernie/ and four successive articles linked from within that one.
>>The late journalist and author Bill Blum explored the details and practices of US imperialist foreign policy through a long lifetime. He was remembered at a recent celebration. See https://mdcdsa.org/the-washington-socialist/journalism-bill-blum-spent-a-career-exposing-the-nuts-and-bolts-of-us-imperialist-foreign-policy-practices/
>>Good Reads rounds up many recent articles you may have missed. See https://mdcdsa.org/the-washington-socialist/good-reads-for-socialists-april-2019/
MDC DSA APRIL PUBLICATIONS SCHEDULE
The MDC DSA weekly Updates will be published Fridays, April 5, 12, 19 and 26 and members can expect a May Day issue of the Washington Socialist on, you guessed it, May Day (Wednesday, May 1). Submissions for Updates or newsletters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE APRIL CALENDAR FOR MDC DSA:
MDC DSA General Body Meeting Sunday April 14 3 PM
Socialist Night School
Happy Hour Wednesday April 24 6:30 PM Franklin Hall
AND SAVE THE DATE
Sunday JUN 9 3:00 PM
Metro DC DSA Monthly General Body Meeting A PICNIC IN ROCK CREEK PARK
Rock Creek Park, Picnic Grove 24, Morrow Dr & Kennedy St NW, Washington, DC 20011
MAPPING MDC DSA – Get the big picture on our many activities and opportunities for activism. Join our Slack channels at email@example.com if you haven’t already (put “Slack request” in the subject line) and dip into our activist discussions and planning there. Or check out the “Chapter Structure and Campaigns” page on mdcdsa.org
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
Building Power in Virginia: This May, New Virginia Majority is hosting Solidarity Summer, an electoral training and political education program in Northern Virginia. The program is seven days (with one day off) of intensive training from May 15 to May 22, which will give participants the skills they need to run a district-wide electoral program: training staff, using and analyzing data, writing and revising outreach scripts, and more. More info on the program. How to apply.
Tuesday, April 2 Proposals for a Green New Deal require a transportation component. The Solutionary Rail Team will give a presentation at Busboys and Poets, 450 K St NW to discuss a worker and community-based approach to a just transition toward a decarbonized transportation and energy infrastructure. The event, free and open to one and all, will be held from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. More information can be found at: https://www.busboysandpoets.com/events/th-evt-8459867/
Friday, April 5 Rally With Irving St Rent Strikers! ⋅6:00 – 9:00 PM, Columbia Heights Civic Plaza Washington, DC 20010, USA, Washington, District of Columbia 20010 Hosted by Latino Economic Development Center – more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/415741709189048/
No, you haven’t missed GOOD READS – follow the link here.