The Washington Socialist <> January 2020
Depending on where you like to make the cut, it’s a new decade! It’s trite to say that a lot has changed in ten years, but it’s difficult not to stress how our landscape has changed – after years of being a punchline or punching bag, socialism is on the rise as a way to cure what ails. Even with the veil of propaganda muddying the word, people are seeking an answer to the misery and failures delivered by successive right-wing reactionary and neoliberal administrations in this country. Our own Commonwealth is indicative of this trend: a tide of discontent and dissatisfaction has brought the Democratic Party to power in the General Assembly, but Virginians should be ready for disappointment if they do not fight for change beyond making their mark at the ballot box.
2019 in NoVA was a fight against corporate power in Virginia and changing the face of who wields power in elected office:
- Electoral: The MDC DSA chapter endorsed Yasmine Taeb for VA Senate against incumbent Dick Saslaw, a long-time party leader and Irma Corado for the Braddock district Fairfax County Supervisor in an open seat after the retirement of Sharon Bulova. Despite our best efforts both were defeated in the primaries this spring.
- Amazon HQ2: The NoVA Branch was a vital part of the For Us, Not Amazon coalition in the campaign to prevent Virginia and Arlington County from giving away public resources to benefit the largest corporation and the richest man. As part of the coalition, we went to Richmond to lobby and speak against the deal, rallied and led community resistance in Arlington and ultimately took over and derailed the final Arlington County Board meeting on the subsidies.
- Migrant Justice: Members joined with regional groups to march in the Community Defense Rally against ICE after the announcement in June of potential raids in major cities across the country.
- Labor Power: Members joined with union workers to picket in solidarity with airline food workers striking for higher wages and better benefits. Members also took part in supporting the striking WMATA contract workers at the Cinder Bed Road garage, a part of the larger fight against the privatization binge WMATA has undergone over the last several years.
- ShutDown DC: NoVA branch members joined with Metro DC chapter members along with other organizations to tell the government and corporate polluters: We have had enough climate denial in this country. NoVA and DC members were instrumental in shutting down streets to prove we meant business by taking to the streets last month in a pop-up action to disrupt business as usual.
In 2020 we plan to continue the fight against capitalist hegemony in Virginia and push our elected leaders and legislators to work for us and not the Jeff Bezoses and Tom Farrells of the world.
- Labor Power: the Metro DC DSA Labor Working Group is planning to take on Right to Work and other Jim Crow-era labor laws in Virginia. There will be a planning meeting on Saturday, January 11 at the Arlington Central Library at 2 PM. If you are interested in learning more, come out to that meeting or email Chris Bangs at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prison Labor: William & Mary YDSA organizers are taking on exploitative prison labor by advancing a bill to reclassify prison workers as “employees” subject to full labor projections. They are looking for NOVA-based DSA members to lobby legislators up here. If you are interested, fill out this Google Form.
- Migrant Justice: The NoVA Branch has just kicked off a Migrant Justice Campaign, inspired by the work of the chapter migrant justice campaign and work by DSA chapters elsewhere in Virginia and across the country. Come to the #nova-migrantjustice channel on the chapter Slack to learn more.
- Confederate Monuments: Comrades in Charlottesville are taking on confederate monuments, by pushing for legislation to give local governments the right to take down confederate monuments. If you’re interested in lobbying legislators on that issue, please email Elizabeth at email@example.com.
ShutDown DC: NoVA branch will continue to work with the MDC DSA chapter to shut down business as usual. For more information and to learn what actions are planned for this year: https://www.shutdowndc.org/get-involved
— Your comrades in the NoVA branch, MDC DSA