IN THIS ISSUE, our last monthly newsletter before (gulp) 2020:
>>Action reports from MDC DSA strike solidarity and electoral campaigns and important notes from others;
>>our newsletter articles on the Check Your Complicity campaign in NoVA, DC labor history as seen in 1986, and “get on the bus” to drop petitions on management of that local NFL team, demanding a non-racist name. And don’t miss the statement to MDC DSA members by our endorsed Maryland candidate Mckayla Wilkes, and Kam W’s “Bernie Must Win or the Democrats Will Lose,” both previously published with Updates during November.
The next LABOR WG meeting, Thursday, Dec. 5, will be at 6:30 PM at the Arlington Central Library (Ballston Metro stop). 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22201. We’ll have organizing and solidarity updates and then go into a discussion about a campaign for labor law reform in Virginia, including repealing so-called “Right to Work”
WED Dec 4 Metro DC DSA Steering Committee meets, remote only. To join on Zoom, visit the #steering channel on Slack for the link. Draft agenda is also at that channel.
Is your building rent-controlled? The Rent Control Working Group is conducting a survey to identify chapter members who live in rent-controlled buildings and buildings that would become rent-controlled under its platform. Fill out the quick survey and help further the working group’s efforts to expand DC’s rent control law.
Here’s MoCo DSA’s weekly newsblast, sent Wednesday.
ACTION REPORT: ATU STRIKE SUPPORT ROUNDUP: MDC DSA Labor WG solidarity efforts with the 120 ATU members on strike at Cinder Bed bus garage.
UPCOMING Direct action—FARE STRIKE: This Tuesday, Dec 3 at ~4:30-6:30, activists with MDC DSA, rider groups, and local labor orgs will be holding a rider fare strike in solidarity with ATU. We need more volunteers for the action, which will be during the afternoon rush hour (time is somewhat flexible). There will also be a planning meeting and more prep work needed on Monday, Dec 2 from 5:30-7pm at 1226 Vermont Ave. If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact Sarah at email@example.com ASAP.
>Last Thursday, ATU strikers and allies packed WMATA’s Board meeting. Dozens of strikers participated in the public comment process. Unfurling an “Equal Work = Equal Pay” banner in front of the Board led to security quickly escorting them out of the meeting and an impromptu march outside followed. More at https://twitter.com/mdcdsa_labor
>We have handed out ~7,000 leaflets to riders at Metro stations! Leafleting continues; hook up at our Slack channel #labor.
>Transdev is back at the bargaining table. From Todd, ATU Staffer: some progress “but we do not have a deal yet. We are back at the table on December 4-5, which will be days 42 and 43 of the strike, respectively. No doubt the pace of bargaining would be better if WMATA opted to penalize Transdev for its failure to deliver service.”
Ways to help the Cinderbed workers:
Strike Fund: http://bit.ly/cinderbedstrike;
Meal Fund, http://bit.ly/cinderbedmeals;
Va picket (daily): https://facebook.com/events/2310195405775260/;
DC picket (daily): https://facebook.com/events/553753515478162/.
ACTION REPORT: DSA 4 Bernie Working Group Update:
General Meeting: The Bernie workgroup met for nearly two hours on November 19th to discuss future organizing efforts. The energetic group of twelve participants elected new leadership:
- New Co-Chairs: Rachel B., Callie R., Carl R.
- Recording Secretary: Virginia V.
- MoCo Liaison: Ryan I.
- NoVA Liaison: Renny C.
- Fundraising: Katlyn C., Liz G.
- Compliance: Kurtis H.
- At-Large: Owen S.
The group made plans to hold a documentary viewing, VAN training, and organize a phone banking event. They locked-in December 7th to canvass for Bernie to inform Metro DC residents about Bernie’s platform of Medicare for All, College for All, Green New Deal, ending cash bail, $15 minimum wage and more.
Debate Watch Party & Happy Hour: DSA 4 Bernie hosted a happy hour at Midlands on November 20th to watch the 5th Democratic debate. The small crowd filled multiple long-tables and unanimously agreed that Bernie won!
DSA 4 Bernie buttons were available for purchase at $5 for 3. Be sure to attend the next Bernie 4 DC event to get yours while they’re still available!
DSA 4 Bernie Canvass on Saturday December 7th from 12-3pm. Meet at the Wheaton Metro Station at noon. https://www.meetup.com/mdcdsa/events/266789446/
Would you like to learn more about the workgroup or possibly participate in any planned activities?
SOCIALISM: CAN YOU FIND THE WORDS?
Attention all writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, and designers: The Washington Socialist wants you! If you’re eager to contribute your talents to the Publications Working Group, fill out our contributor’s form and we’ll be in touch. We need your help to spread socialist ideas and news about the chapter’s work.
Meanwhile, our publications schedule: This is the last monthly MDC DSA Washington Socialist newsletter for 2019. Weekly Updates in December will be published Fridays, Dec. 6, 13, 20 and (maybe) 27 if urgent fresh info demands it. The January 2020 Washington Socialist will be published Friday, Jan. 3 with an article deadline of Dec. 28.
Actually existing right-now socialism – This newsletter is published Friday. As the weekend and the week unfold, make sure to keep up with any changes in the events in our calendars by following links to Facebook Events pages or Meetup, where the latest information will be found.
MDC DSA CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR DECEMBER 2019
Monday DEC 2 6:30 PM
Tuesday DEC 3 7 PM
Wednesday DEC 4 7 PM
MDC DSA Steering Committee meets, remote only.
Thursday DEC 5 7:00 PM
Thursday, DEC 5 6:30 PM
Saturday DEC 7 12:00 PM
Sunday DEC 8 3 PM
Monday DEC 9 7 PM
Sunday DEC 15 2 PM
Sunday DEC 15 4 PM
Thursday DEC 19 6 PM
EVENTS FROM OUR ALLIES IN THE DMV
MON Dec 2 Public Forum on Sanctuary and Safety 6:30 – 8:30 PM Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 15th St NW, Washington DC 20009 Join community members fighting for safe streets, safe schools, and a way to do their important work free from police violence. Vendors are under attack and subjected to a permit moratorium. Childcare and a snack will be provided. Call Megan at 618-722-8880 for more information, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org — Hosted by Many Languages One Voice and 2 others: https://www.facebook.com/events/459097164584039/
Monday DEC 2 7 PM
Join us at St. Stephens church, 1525 Newton St NW, for a collective dialogue about the intersections of climate change and migration. We’ll hear from a panel of local organizers fighting for immigration justice, we will have small group breakout sessions to explore the connections between climate justice and justice for immigrants, and we will discuss how we can all work together to show mutual aid and solidarity when we’re in the streets with comrades who may experience more risks while engaging in direct action.
Thursday DEC 5 12:30 – 2 PM
The far right is back with a vengeance. Leading global expert on political extremism Cas Mudde provides a concise overview of the fourth wave of postwar far-right politics in this timely book. Talk is at the AFL-CIO, 815 16th St NW. RSVP online.
Thursday DEC 5 7 PM
Progressive Cheverly forum, The School to Prison Pipeline — Exploring the school-to-prison pipeline’s nature, impacts and solutions with experts Karen Dolan, IPS director studying Criminalization of Race and Poverty who explains zero tolerance effects and restorative justice remedies; and Dana Coles of Key Bridge Foundation Center for Conflict Resolution currently working in Prince George’s for alternatives to criminalization of behavior. Multipurpose Room of Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School, 3324 64th Avenue in Cheverly.
Thursday, DEC 5 – 6:30 PM
Right to Housing Committee Meeting
614 S Street NW, ONE DC Office
ONE DC’s Right to Housing committee supports long-time DC residents to fight against displacement and for safe and affordable housing. At ONE DC, we believe in the universal right to housing and land, regardless of income or wealth. Join us in building power across the District to achieve community control over land and housing. Join us to strategize, create and share popular and political education, conduct outreach to the community and take bold direct actions to build and secure community controlled alternatives like limited equity co-op housing and community land trusts. Food is served and all ages are welcome! Click Here to RSVP
THURS, Dec 5 8-9:30 PM
Webinar on linked climate justice issues with journalist/activist Naomi Klein, , Greenbelt Community Center Room 114, 15 Crescent Road, Greenbelt. Klein will analyze relations between Palestinian liberation, white supremacy and climate justice. Discussion will follow. Webinar sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace; local event, open to the public, by Greenbelt Climate Action Network and Prince George’s Peace and Justice Coalition.
Friday DEC 6 7:30 AM
Join Extinction Rebellion DC and the #ShutdownDC Coalition on December 6 as we take to the streets around the UN World Bank Headquarters in DC. We will create massive gridlock during morning rush hour and bring business-as-usual to a standstill, making the consequences of inaction real for those in power. Meet at University Yard, George Washington University, H Street NW between 20th and 21st streets NW.
Friday DEC 6 11:00 AM
On December 6th, we’re going to shut down business-as-usual for the financial institutions that profit off of the climate crisis and immigrant detention. Meet us at 11 AM in Franklin Square (14th St. and I St. NW, Washington, DC 20005) for a rally featuring Jane Fonda and Fire Drill Fridays along with Saket Soni, the Executive Director of the National Guestworker Alliance, GreenFaith, the Franciscan Action Network and other climate, faith and migrant justice organizers. At 12 noon we’ll march through the streets of DC to visit the banks and financial institutions in DC that are profiting off of the climate crisis and immigrant detention.
Saturday DEC 7 7:30 PM
The chorus will share songs about the labor movement, peace, and justice at the Wesley United Methodist Church at 5312 Connecticut Ave., NW. The event is free and open to the public, is handicapped accessible, and will have sign interpretation.
Saturday DEC 7 Noon – 2:30 PM
Hosted by DMV De-escalation Collective at Luther Place Memorial Church, 1226 Vermont Ave, NW (Thomas Circle). This public de-escalation training is open to everyone! De-escalation skills equip us to identify and interrupt potentially harmful situations. We aim to create moments of pause in which people can make choices about their own safety. We also provide resources (emotional support, companionship, money, food, etc) that increase access to safety, especially for marginalized people. “Calming people down” and ending conflicts is part of this work, but not all of it! RSVP here.
Sunday DEC 8 7 – 9 PM
In time for the holidays: join SURJ Northern Virginia at UUCF, 2709 Hunter Mill Rd., for a facilitated meeting where we will discuss and practice initiating and sustaining conversations about systemic racism. If you’ve ever struggled to help connect with friends and family while advancing anti-racist ideas, this event is for you! We will also be decorating holiday cards for incarcerated folx through Black and Pink’s holiday program.
Sunday DEC 8 1:30 – 4 PM
Meeting will be held at the Miller Branch of the Howard County Library System, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, 21042.
Tuesday, December 10 – 6:00 PM
ONE DC Member Orientation
614 S Street NW, ONE DC Office
We welcome all supporters of ONE DC, whether long-time members or new volunteers, to join us for our next Member Orientation, where you will learn about: ONE DC Mission, Vision, & Values; our organizing model and principles; our history, shared leadership model, and organizational structure; and what it means to be a ONE DC member.
Click here to RSVP
Saturday DEC 14 10 AM — 3 PM
Build and Mobilize a Stronger Union workshop at NoVA Labor
Free seminar taught by Rutgers University Labor center faculty on how to build a stronger union and mobilize your members to take action. Workshop to be held at 4536 B John Marr Drive, Annandale, VA. RSVP to VirginiaDiamond24@gmail.com.
Sunday DEC 15 10 AM — 5 PM
Legislative process, lobbying, agenda-setting and more at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in Catonsville.
Monday DEC 16 1 – 3 PM
ROC DC Monthly Meeting!
Come together at the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Washington DC and meet other restaurant workers in DC who want to build worker power in order to improve wages and working conditions in the DC restaurant industry! Lunch is provided and children are welcome!
¡Vengan y conozcan a otros trabajadores de restaurante en DC que quieran desarrollar el poder de los trabajadores para mejorar los salarios y las condiciones de trabajo en la industria de restaurantes de DC! Se proveerá la cena y nenes son bienvenidos!
Tuesday DEC 17 6 — 10 PM
“International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers” is not just about ending violence against people engaging in sex work — it’s also about ending violence against Trans people, against people of color, against people who use drugs, against people living with HIV, against people experiencing homelessness, and the communities who love and support sex workers. Ki Ki Ball (as seen on T.V. hit series Pose) will raise awareness about the violence our communities face and continue funding the expansion of our support services. Eastern Market North Hall located at 225 7th Street SE, Washington DC, 20003 – info and tickets at link.
>>“To rebalance our democracy and economy, a real system of economic checks and balances must exist to ensure that working people have power in their workplaces.” https://ssir.org/articles/entry/new_forms_of_worker_organization_to_free_democracy_from_corporate_clutches
>> “As distinct as the protests seem, the uprisings rocking Bolivia, Lebanon, and scores of other countries all share a common theme.” https://www.thenation.com/article/global-rebellions-inequality/
>> “Worker centers’ organizational purposes are more like nonprofits, than labor organizations,” this article argues. But the Trump DOL is moving to classify worker centers like JWJ and ROC that way, making them vulnerable. https://onlabor.org/why-the-dol-should-keep-its-hands-off-of-worker-centers/
>>And this, history from Labor Notes https://portside.org/2019-11-26/twenty-years-later-remembering-battle-seattle
>>And “Democracy Now” had some good retrotakes this week on the Battle in Seattle as well https://www.democracynow.org/2019/11/27/1999_wto_protests_20_years_later
>>Walmart humanizing? You knew it was a truthless spin, and here’s the unsurprising outcome https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/nov/27/walmart-thanksgiving-workers-holiday-staff-pay/
From EPI’s Josh Bivens, refutation of the claim that taxing the rich more will slow economic growth (wait, was growth what we wanted anyway?) https://www.epi.org/blog/analyses-claiming-that-taxes-on-millionaires-and-billionaires-will-slow-economic-growth-are-fundamentally-flawed/
Uh-oh. Capitalism is not in crisis – it is larger and in charge-er, mainly because the next phase of commodification of previously unpriced activities and practices is well under way. Branko Milanoviƈ makes an unpleasantly plausible case. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/27/crisis-of-capitalism-europeans-gig-economy/