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Socialists Must Embed Themselves in the Student Labor Movement: Lessons from UO

The undergraduate student labor movement is growing rapidly. The authors bring their experience from organizing University of Oregon YDSA to answer how YDSA chapters should help build it. At colleges and universities around the country, undergraduate student workers are getting organized. The movement to unionize undergraduate workers began at small private colleges like Grinnell in…

The post Socialists Must Embed Themselves in the Student Labor Movement: Lessons from UO appeared first on YDSA.

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Committed to Ending the Genocide — Your March Dispatch

Here’s your March Dispatch. This month, help stop genocide in Palestine, grow our movement by reaching out to other members, get involved in DSA publications, and more!

And to make sure you get our newsletters in your inbox, sign up here! Each one features action alerts, upcoming events, political education, and more.

From Our Co-Chairs — Committed to Ending the Genocide

DSA members across the country are helping to lead the way on the wave of “Uncommitted” votes that have Joe Biden and the Democratic Party shaking in their boots. We’re sending a message: stop the genocide against Gaza now or whatever happens in November is your fault, Joe.

As a result of a campaign that spun up over the course of a mere three weeks, Michigan voters cast 100k “Uncommitted” votes. Last night, Super Tuesday elections saw a quarter of a million voters, including 20% of Minnesota Democrats, voting “Uncommitted,” and we’ve still got Washington, Wisconsin, and more on the way as momentum continues to grow. 

Tonight, we’ll be joined on our monthly Fireside Chat by DSA members from Detroit about what the ground game for the Listen to Michigan campaign looked like from the inside and what comes next, as well as DSA members from Seattle about how they’re building their Uncommitted campaign on top of the infrastructure of their recent massive Raise the Wage Renton win. Join us!

We also need you to get involved! This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and a momentous one. Please jump in if you can!

Honored as always to be in this struggle with you,

DSA Co-Chairs Ashik Siddique and Megan Romer

Tonight Wednesday 3/6 — National Political Committee Co-Chairs Fireside Chat

RSVP for our March Fireside Chat with the 2023-2025 National Political Committee Co-chairs Ashik and Megan! The call will be tonight Wednesday 3/6 at 9pm ET/8pm CT/7pm MT/6pm PT. Join us to hear about DSA electoral work, including a Super Tuesday wrapup and Seattle DSA’s campaign to raise wages.

Get Your 2024 Limited-Edition Membership Card!

It’s time to set our intentions for 2024. As a movement, we have to move forward—grow bigger, build power, and show our strength. That’s why DSA is rewarding $25 donations with a brand new 2024 limited edition membership card.

Now, if you donate to build our movement, you’ll receive a card to show your DSA (or YDSA) pride. Take stock of our organizing victories and join us in looking forward. Get yours by donating here and count yourself as a #CardCarryingSocialist!

Solidarity Dues Phonebanks — Build Our Movement and Win Chapter Swag!

As a working class movement, we need to build our movement ourselves. That means organizing our own resources — including money. You can help ensure we have the collective, democratic power to build our movement, increase our sustainability, and win real change! Sign up today for our Solidarity Dues Drive National phonebanks to reach out to other members and ask them to make the switch. Training is provided.

And refer a friend to the Solidarity Income-Based Dues Call-a-thon for a chance to win a chapter swag bag! Ask your friend to sign up for a specific date for the calls here and enter your name as the person who recruited them for your chance to win!

Call for Submissions for Socialist Forum May Day Issue — Deadline Monday 3/11

Socialist Forum, DSA’s quarterly publication featuring articles geared toward strategic and theoretical questions, is currently accepting pitch submissions for our upcoming Spring 2024 issue. We aim to release the issue on May 1, International Workers’ Day, with a special section on labor and international solidarity. All DSA members are invited to submit a short pitch on these or any other topics of potential interest using this form.

Pitches must be submitted by 11:59pm Pacific time on Monday 3/11 in order to be considered. If your pitch is accepted, the full article should be roughly 2000-3000 words in length. Please note that submissions are not officially accepted until after editors review the first draft of a full article. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

RSVP for National Political Education Committee Educators Conference Sunday 3/24

At our first conference of the year, the National Political Education Committee will bring together political educators from around the country to share and learn from comrades about local and national organizing efforts. Chapters and national working groups are invited to send up to two representatives each. Anyone else is welcome to attend as a viewer.

In this conference, we’ll examine political education’s role in building working class power; share NPEC resources and an application for NPEC’s 2024-2025 term; connect you with a national network of political educators from different chapters in and out of your region; and open the discussion to hear from you about your chapter’s needs as we prepare for NPEC’s next term.

NPEC conferences are terrific opportunities to further your chapter’s political education efforts through new pedagogical approaches and inter-regional collaboration. RSVP today to reserve your spot!

Volunteer for Our National DSA Publications!

Want to get involved in a sustained way with DSA’s national publications? The new Editorial Board is looking for volunteers for Socialist Forum or Democratic Left! We welcome any member who wishes to contribute regularly as a writer, editor, designer, photographer, illustrator, and more to either Democratic Left or Socialist Forum. Please fill out this form, and we’ll reach out with next steps.

 

Paid for by Democratic Socialists of America (www.dsausa.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

The post Committed to Ending the Genocide — Your March Dispatch appeared first on Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

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Building for Power Chapter Training (2024)

DSA’s Green New Deal campaign hosted a chapter-wide, 3-session training series in coordination with the Growth & Development Committee on how to create, assess, and build a Green New Deal-style campaign. The series was attended by over 50 comrades across 40+ chapters.

This is an updated version of our 2022 chapter training, now featuring case studies from LA, NYC, and Cleveland.

Session 1: Components of a strategic pressure campaign

Facilitators: Wren P (At Large), Marc K (LA), Daniel G (NYC)

  • Theory of Change
    • Socialism is the solution 
    • Building for Power
  • Breaking Down a Campaign
    • Case study: NY’s Build Public Renewables
  • Identifying a Winnable Demand
    • Case study: LA’s Green New Deal for Public Schools

Session 2: Identifying Targets, Opponents, and Supporters

Facilitators: Nicole M (NYC), Akshai S (Clevland), Rashad X (NPC, Lakefront)

  • Identifying the Target
    • Types of targets
    • Where does their power come from?
  • Developing a Power Map
    • Case study: Cleveland Public Square
  • Using the Powermap for Organizing
    • Organizing the base into DSA, and allies into a coalition
    • Intentional recruitment
The first few minutes of session 2 were not recorded, apologies for the oversight.

Session 3: Building a Team and Executing Strategy

Facilitators: Claire M (Metro DC), Lori (LA), Jeff (Austin)

  • What It Will Take to Win a GND
    • Using the demand to build the base
    • Building a coalition to win
  • Strategy vs. Tactics
    • The Anytown Transit Expansion Campaign
  • Building a Campaign Team
    • Assemble a team
    • Making adjustments
The post Building for Power Chapter Training (2024) appeared first on Building for Power.

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2024 Convention – Save the Date!

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Save the date!

We’re fast approaching that time of year again to come together and democratically decide the priorities and direction of our chapter! Our 2024 local convention will be taking place on Saturday, April 20. RSVP here.

CALL FOR LOCAL CONVENTION PROPOSALS

At the local convention, members debate and vote on adopting proposals or “resolutions” that will determine our priority campaigns for the next year. Priority resolutions are time-bound, large-scale chapter-wide campaigns that require major chapter resources. The most effective priority resolutions have clearly outlined plans with actionable items that can engage members. Up to but no more than 3 priority resolutions may be approved. When submitting your proposal, please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Is it a winnable demand?
  • Is the demand widely and deeply felt among working class Angelenos?
  • Does it build power?
  • Does it create more socialists?
  • Does it develop the organizing skills of our members and create new leaders?

If you would like to submit a proposal, your proposed resolution and/or amendment to the Bylaws must be co-signed by 25 members in good standing. Please make sure a Word doc or Google doc of your resolution and a list of the cosigners that include name, phone number, and email address associated with their DSA membership are shared to the Steering Committee by March 18. Please be aware of the resolution timeline below.

March 18: Resolution submission deadline 

March 20: Resolution text is shared with membership 

March 27: Deadline for amendments 

March 29: Final versions for debate are released to membership 

April 20: Convention 

We’re following this timeline to give our local time to digest and discuss the resolutions prior to voting. After release of the resolution text, there will be a week to add friendly amendments, but only proposals submitted by March 18 will be considered at convention.

We will be providing more information about how to write resolutions soon!



 

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Viewpoint: Globalize the Intifada

by AJ

The following article represents the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Detroit Socialist Editorial and Writers’ Collective or Detroit DSA as a whole.

‘Those governments remain determined to persist in their ignoble and dishonorable role as allies of a truly murderous regime.’ Oliver Tambo was not talking about the U.S. veto of the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire of Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Tambo, president of the African National Congress, was talking about the U.S. government’s boycott of U.N. sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1986. The parallels between the movement to end apartheid in South Africa and the calls to end apartheid in Israel today do not begin or end with Security Council resolution vetoes.

In the 1980s, President Reagan supported South Africa’s apartheid government as an ally in the Cold War “fight against communism,” designated Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress as terrorists, and supplied weapons to the South African army. Meanwhile thousands of Americans were arrested at protests outside the South African Embassy, many thousands more joined the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement, refusing to buy South African goods or support companies that did business with South Africa. Additionally, artists and athletes from all over the world joined cultural and sporting boycott’s, such as Arthur Ashe and Harry Belafonte’s Artists and Athletes Against Apartheid.

Similarly, successive Presidential administrations have viewed Israel as a strategic ally in the Cold War and the “War on Terror,” sending more than $318 billion in weapons to the Israeli Defense Force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. President Biden continues to place this political ideology over the lives and human rights of the Palestinian people, while the American people take to the streets, blockade ships, trucks and weapons manufacturers, and protest cultural events to make their opposition to the genocide of Palestinians heard across the country.

Looking back at the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa gives hope that this moment, with all its horror and pain, is an opportunity for true global solidarity. To remember that as all our liberation was bound up in the liberation of Nelson Mandela and all Black South Africans, today, all our liberation is bound up in the Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation and genocide. Whether we are Jewish, Muslim, Black, White, Arab, Indigenous, Latinx and/or Christian we face a choice between supporting regimes built on separation, militarization, surveillance, and fear or demanding a new paradigm based on mutual aid, respect, and peace in the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, and indeed here in the land between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

The export/import exchange between the U.S. and Israel is not limited to physical weapons. The two governments have a collaborative relationship that extends to ideas about policing, borders, border walls, checkpoints, surveillance tower design and implementation, and cyber, drone and communications surveillance tactics and how the U.S. treats the movement of people inside and outside its “borders.” The Congressional Research Service 2023 report on U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel found that Israel’s defense industry “now ranks as one of the top global arms exporters,” selling nearly 70% of their missile defense systems, spyware, and cyber surveillance systems around the world. In 2019, in addition to sending $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel, the U.S. purchased $1.5 billion in weapons and surveillance products from Israel.

Many of the weapons and tactics that Israel uses to terrorize Palestinian people are deployed by the U.S. along the U.S./Mexico border. On the Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona, surveillance towers, developed and built by Israel’s Elbit Systems, watch residents as they go about their daily lives. That may seem like a long way from us here in Detroit, but we should beware. As Bobby Brown, senior director of Customs and Border Protection at Elbit Systems of America, told The Intercept’s Will Parrish, “the company’s ultimate goal is to build a ‘layer’ of electronic surveillance equipment across the entire perimeter of the U.S. ‘Over time, we’ll expand not only to the northern border, but to the ports and harbors across the country.’” The Mexicanization of the U.S./Canada border that began after 9/11 continues today, and while border militarization and surveillance systems may not yet be as visible as the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints and Elbit’s towers in Arizona and Texas, we should be under no illusions that they are not there. To resist the proliferation of invasive border surveillance technologies is our intifada.

Is this what we want our tax dollars spent on? Taking just the $5.3 billion in 2019 U.S. military aid and payments for weapons systems to Israel and dividing that equally between all 50 states, Michigan would receive $106 million. That is enough, in one year, for 5,300 Detroiters to receive $20,000 home repair grants. The current ten-year Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, valued at a minimum of $38 billion, divided between the states would give each state $774.5 million that could be spent on education, infrastructure and environmental projects, as well as home repairs. To recapture that money is our liberation from leaky roofs, drafty windows, and concrete heat islands.

Importing the Israeli government’s ideas about borders creates emotional and relational barriers in addition to physical ones. It divides families, neighbors, and communities. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a complicated system of visas, permits, walls and checkpoints keeps Palestinians separated from families and friends and prevents building community between Palestinians and Israelis. In Dearborn, in the wake of 9/11 an invisible border wall was erected by the Department of Homeland Security separating families into “those who stay in [Middle Eastern Country]” and “those who stay in the U.S.” One of the wall’s many “bricks,” Operation Green Quest, made people sending monetary gifts as small as $50 to family members in Palestine, Jordan, Yemen, or Iraq vulnerable to federal enquiry, detention, and deportation [1].

Meanwhile Michigan’s anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) law also seeks to criminalize those who refuse to allow their money to be exported to support genocide and apartheid. To move freely and support our families, neighbors, and communities financially and emotionally is our intifada.

The Israeli State uses violence and intimidation to suppress Palestinian elections, arresting and detaining candidates, sabotaging election campaign events, and preventing access to polling stations. Here in the U.S. Zionist election interference has become increasingly aggressive as politicians and their constituents have become more uncomfortable about supporting the oppression of the Palestinian people. This is particularly true here in Michigan, where in 2022, AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee), a lobbying group with deep ties to the Israeli government, funneled more than $8 million through its Super PAC to try to unseat Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Andy Levin. In Levin’s case their efforts paid off. In the upcoming election cycle AIPAC has offered $20 million to a number of candidates if they will run against Tlaib in 2024. So far all have declined. To shake off AIPAC and Israeli government interference in our elections is our intifada.

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers re-enact the violent removal of Indigenous people that U.S. settlers perpetrated on Indigenous people across North America. In the U.S. dispossession and abuse of Indigenous communities continues, from mining on Oak Flat to the Enbridge Line 5 tunnel project and Mayor Duggan’s planned Solar Farms here in Detroit. To be free from colonial land appropriation projects that extract natural resources and destroy our human, animal, and plant relatives’ homes and habitats is our liberation.

It took the combined energy and engagement of millions of regular people around the world for South Africans, black and white, to shake off the oppression of apartheid. Since the start of the genocide in Gaza thousands of Detroiters have marched, prayed, learned and educated each other, called their elected officials to pass “ceasefire resolutions,” and amplified the voices of Palestinians at cultural events, in public spaces in Detroit, Dearborn, Ferndale and Hamtramck.

It will take all our ongoing collective commitment to support Palestinians and Israelis in rising up against the Zionist forces that devastate their lives and land today. In the 1970s, a group of Aboriginal activists in Australia made a simple statement to define solidarity. They said, “If your liberation is bound up with mine, let us work together.” Truly our liberation is bound up with Palestinian liberation. Let us work together. Globalize the Intifada!

[1] Howell, Sally, and Andrew Shryock. “Cracking Down on Diaspora: Arab Detroit and America’s “War on Terror”.” Anthropological Quarterly 76, no. 3 (2003): 443–62. Accessed September 12, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3318184.

The Detroit Socialist is produced and run by members of Detroit DSA’s Newspaper Collective. Interested in becoming a member of Detroit DSA? Go to metrodetroitdsa.com/join to become a member. Send a copy of the dues receipt to: [email protected] in order to get plugged in to our activities!


Viewpoint: Globalize the Intifada was originally published in The Detroit Socialist on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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What We Heard From Michigan

Listen to Michigan was a primary campaign which convinced voters, disillusioned with Biden’s ceaseless support for the genocide of Palestinians, to vote “Uncommitted” in the February 27 Democratic Primary. With only five weeks, a modest war chest, and an effective media strategy at their disposal, Listen to Michigan was able to rewrite the media narrative of the 2024 Democratic Primary. The campaign picked up 2 delegates and more than twice as many votes as candidates Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson combined.

In the last two weeks I have spent a good deal of time with this campaign. I was first introduced to this team in my capacity as a member of the National Electoral Commission’s Endorsements subcommittee. I will confess freely that I didn’t really “get it” at first. The theory of change that the campaign organizers put forward seemed unproven, if not altogether disproven by the results from the New Hampshire primary. I advocated for national endorsement for this campaign because I believed reinvigorating our No Money For Massacres (NMFM) volunteer network to be of critical importance. Once DSA was on board, I helped run a series of phone banks with our NMFM team, a joint effort of DSA’s NEC and Internationalism Committee. It was not until I was on the phone with Michigan voters that the efficacy of this campaign strategy clicked.

Michigan was understood as uniquely suited for a campaign of this form. It is a populous swing state, there is a substantial Arab-American population, and there is a printed “Uncommitted” option on all primary ballots. There is a large swath of voters, necessary to Biden’s electoral success in November, who are furious with Biden’s complicity in the carnage being unleashed upon Gaza by Israel’s government. Listen to Michigan was able to present these voters with a mechanically simple means of putting that anger and frustration into writing. Michigan’s history of community organizing, high union density, and the endorsement of prominent local politicians, as well as Rep. Rashida Tlaib, also bolstered this case.

In the span of about three weeks, Listen to Michigan, with support from Metro Detroit DSA and DSA’s NMFM team, was able to assemble hundreds of volunteers and make over 500,000 phone calls. Through GOTV Weekend, Metro Detroit DSA knocked thousands of doors. In other words, Listen to Michigan was a major undertaking.

The results speak for themselves. Over 100,000 voters, including the majority of voters in Dearborn (home to the greatest concentration of Arab Americans of any city in the country), sent their message to Biden on Tuesday. This story was picked up by The New York Times, BBC, NBC, Politico, NPR, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera. Within hours of the polls closing in Michigan, plans sprung into action to launch similar efforts in Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, efforts born out of a coalition of Arab American advocacy groups, anti-Zionist faith groups like If Not Now and Jewish Voices for Peace, and local DSA chapters. Some of these elections will be happening within a matter of days.

Michigan was understood to be unique. None of the states mentioned check every box that Michigan did. However, Maine checks none of them. The anguish and frustration of the Democratic base towards their own president found a new vocabulary in the Uncommitted vote, which was enthusiastically (if not necessarily supportively) amplified by major media. So long as Palestine supporters continue to vote Uncommitted in large numbers and in an organized fashion, the only story coming out of the Democratic primary will be Joe Biden’s rapidly eroding base of support. A highly publicized poor showing will weaken that narrative.

DSA is a small organization, but we punch far above our weight. To do so, we have to make difficult decisions about where we allocate our limited resources and the time of our volunteers. As a member of Maine DSA, I am proud to be a part of the Maine Coalition for Palestine, and wish to salute the tireless work of Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights and the Maine Party for Socialism and Liberation in confronting the brutal realities faced by the inhabitants of Gaza, and further tying this systematized mass violence to the broader political context of American imperialism and hyper-militarization. However, I would caution against taking on abortive write-in campaigns. What is already a complicated task is compounded further by Maine’s ranked-choice voting scheme. “Ceasefire” write-ins will be marked as blank, confused or cautious supporters will rank Biden after their “Ceasefire” write-in, thus voting for him anyway, and the Maine press has not been sufficiently seeded with the notion that a blank ballot is a pro-Palestine ballot. New Hampshire was considered a model state for a mass write-in campaign, and even there the results were deflating. If you want to keep the pressure on Genocide Joe, I would encourage you to sign up for a phonebanking shift for Uncommitted WA or Vote Uncommitted Minnesota. That is where you will find me.

DSA was asked to co-sponsor Listen to Michigan’s campaign debrief last night, and I will close with a quote from Wamiq Chowdhury, DSA’s NEC endorsements co-chair and NMFM organizer:

“[V]oting for an actual uncommitted option consolidates our voices into something measurable, something that can be right up there on the screen alongside Genocide Joe’s name. He’s our target, and a campaign with this kind of strategy forces him and everyone else to pay attention. And we’re seeing that clearly—just look at all the media attention this campaign has garnered. And the other benefit of a smart strategy is that it can be reapplied elsewhere, which is important since we need to keep this momentum rolling. Let’s do everything we can to make sure that Michigan was not just a warning shot, but the start of something even bigger.”

Tzara Kane is a barista from Portland, ME. She serves as chapter co-chair for Maine DSA and on DSA’s National Electoral Commission Steering Committee.

The post What We Heard From Michigan appeared first on Pine & Roses.