DSA Feed

This is a feed aggregator that collects news and updates from DSA chapters, national working groups and committees, and our publications all in one convenient place. Updated at 9:30 AM ET / 6:30 AM PT every morning.

Mon, Dec 4th, 2023

Okinawa to Palestine: Struggles Against Military Occupation & Colonialism

Join our rescheduled report-back event on the recent DSA delegation to Okinawa with ZENKO and hear from speakers in Okinawa on the struggles against military occupation and the parallels to Palestine today.
Suzuyo Takazato, co-chair of Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence and former Naha city councilmember
Kunio Arakaki, Secretary General of No More Battle of Okinawa Association and ZENKO member

The post Okinawa to Palestine: Struggles Against Military Occupation & Colonialism appeared first on Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

George Santos’s Expulsion Triggers Special Election + Two Groups Sue the BOE to Block Touch Screen Voting

The NYC Thorn is a weekly roundup of local political news compiled by members of NYC-DSA.

Local News

  • George Santos was expelled from the House of Representatives, becoming just the third member to be expelled from Congress since the Civil War. Governor Kathy Hochul will now call a special election to fill the vacancy created in New York's 3rd District (Long Island), considered a “highly coveted” seat in a moderate district.

  • Common Cause New York and The Black Institute are suing the New York State Board of Elections to block the implementation of touch screen voting in the 2024 elections. 

  • Governor Hochul will not pursue her suburban housing proposals in next year's budget, since it is an election year.

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James joined calls for a federal takeover of Rikers Island.

  • Mayor Eric Adams announced another effort to involuntarily hospitalize people having mental health crises in public areas.

  • Recent rulings by the New York Court of Appeals suggest the state's top court is heading in a more progressive direction since last year's resignation of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, in part because the new judge on the court, Caitlin Halligan, has emerged as a swing vote.

  • Gothamist has an overview of potential next steps for people who filed sexual assault claims under the Adult Survivors Act before last week’s deadline, as well as potential new pathways for anyone who did not file a suit but may want to.

    Eric Adams Scandal News

  • Following The City’s reporting last month on allegations that Mayor Adams’s Director of Asian Affairs, Winnie Greco, traded jobs and access to the mayor for money and personal favors, the NYC Department of Investigation has formally opened an inquiry into Greco.

The NYC Local

We're excited to say that last month, Alex Chan, David Kim, and David Turner revived our chapter's labor newsletter The Local. It arrives every other week with a focus on labor organizing, bargaining, and local legislation that impacts NYC's workers. Give them a follow and thoughts about what you'd like to see from a socialist labor newsletter.

Subscribe to The NYC Local

Revolutions Per Minute

Listen to NYC-DSA's weekly radio show Revolutions Per Minute. Check out the show here.

Thanks for reading The NYC Thorn! Subscribe for free to receive weekly updates.

Subscribe now

Sat, Dec 2nd, 2023

We Are the Revolution: The National March on Washington to Free Palestine

by Gregory Lebens-Higgins

How dare they call us “children of darkness.”
We are liberation.
We are enlightenment.
We are moral clarity.
– Mohammed el-Kurd

On Saturday November 4, 2023, tens of thousands of people (estimates are as high as 300,000) converged on the nation’s capital in the largest pro-Palestine march in U.S. history. The National March on Washington to Free Palestine was organized by a coalition of anti-war and pro-Palestinian groups and endorsed by hundreds of organizations, including DSA.

Attendees of the March walk past the Washington Monument holding a Palestinian flag
Attendees pass by the Washington Monument

For weeks, our own rallies in Rochester had grown from tens of people to hundreds, as the reality of the situation in Gaza set in. Now, the masses gathered in D.C. demonstrated the gathering strength of the movement. While there have been previous pro-Palestine marches on the nation’s capital, the largest was estimated at 35,000.

I arrived in D.C. on Saturday morning with a group from ROC DSA. We were welcomed by the sight of Palestinian flags in the hands of those wandering the streets or exploring monuments prior to the event. Stepping into a nearby café, we found many of its occupants wearing keffiyehs.

The atmosphere in Freedom Plaza was somber but comradely. It was a comfort to be among others unable to remain silent to the horrors we are seeing. The opportunity to challenge this madness, by raising our voices in the seat of power, promised cathartic release.

It was a diverse crowd—in race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality—but predominated by the youth. The popularity of the Palestinian Youth Movement and National Students for Justice in Palestine, along with growing Palestinian solidarity across U.S. campuses, signals eroding support for Israeli apartheid and a future of opposition.

A Union of Movements

The March also represented a diversity of causes, but with a unity of mission: to dismantle structures of U.S. imperialism. Speakers from Indigenous, Black, feminist, and international justice movements described their struggles and expressed solidarity with that of the Palestinians.

The legacy of the U.S. government, charged Mohammed Nabulsi of the Palestinian Youth Movement, “includes slavery and Jim Crow, genocidal campaigns against the indigenous people of this land, genocidal campaigns against the people of the global South, from Korea to Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan,” and support for fascist dictatorships and right-wing coups. Military and moral support for Israel’s genocide is a continuation of this bloody history.

Krystal Two Bulls of Honor the Earth, spoke of the treatment of Native Americans:

“We weren’t supposed to survive this settler colonial project. They tried to massacre us. … They tried to kill our life sources. They tried to take out the buffalo, and the salmon, and contaminate our waters. They forcibly removed us from our lands and chased us down like animals when we tried to return home. They sterilized our women and kidnapped our children and tried to kill the Indian to save the man.

And when they failed—because they failed—they now try to silence us and erase us from the history books. But we are still here, and we survive. And to my Palestinian relatives, so will you.”

Such acts of elimination are repeated on Palestinians. Israel restricts access to water and demolishes wells. Olive trees are uprooted and foraging is criminalized. Homes are bulldozed and Palestinians expelled from their lands. Palestinians, too, face historical erasure, encapsulated in Israeli prime minister Golda Meir’s infamous suggestion that “there were no such thing as Palestinians.”

Grey background with Palestinian flags and Al-Aqsa mosque. 

Sat. November 4, 2 PM - Freedom Plaza. National March on Washington. Free Palestine! Biden, no more US aid to Israel! Lift the siege on Gaza now! The People demand a ceasefire!

Names of sponsoring organizations at bottom.
A graphic promoting the March

Other speakers invoked the Civil Rights struggle. Jonel Edwards of Dream Defenders sang a refrain from the era: “What side are you on?” to which the crowd responded, “we on the freedom side.” The choice to stand against Israeli apartheid is as clear as opposing racial segregation. Black leaders recognized the connection of these struggles, including Malcolm X, who supported “the right of the Arab refugees to return to their Palestine homeland,” and Kwame Ture, who declared that the “[Palestinians] will win because theirs is a just struggle.”

Nina Macapinlac of Bayan USA, led the crowd in a chant used in opposition to the U.S.-backed Philippines dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos—“Makibaka! Huwag matakot!” (“Fight! Do not be afraid”).

“As Filipinos we know what it is like to struggle against foreign occupation and domination. … For centuries the Philippines was colonized by Spain and colonized by the United States and up to today remains a U.S. neo-colony. … Philippine and Palestinian liberation are inextricably linked because we have a common enemy.”

And Ju-Hyun Park of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, asserted that “we have one struggle, the struggle against imperialism.”

Marchers gathered at Freedom Plaza holding signs
Images of the March
Marchers in street holding signs

Channeling Our Power

When the crowd chanted, shouts reverberated off the surrounding buildings and hung in the air. The gathering showed the strength of our numbers. But to end Israeli occupation and genocide we must develop a strategy beyond marching. Throughout the day, many suggestions were put forward.

First, we must educate. A surprising moment occurred when the rapper Macklemore appeared on stage. “They told me to do my research,” he said. “In the last three weeks I’ve gone back, and I’ve done some research, and I’m teachable; I don’t know enough, but I know enough that this is a genocide.”

The events in Palestine did not start on October 7. The British-backed Balfour Declaration, calling for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, was issued on November 2, 1917. During the 1948 Nakba (“catastrophe”), hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly displaced for the creation of the Jewish state. Now, “Israel’s leaders call for a second Nakba as if the first one ever ended,” said Nabulsi. Recent images of Palestinians fleeing their homes reveals the continuity with this moment of inception.

Second, we must continue to pressure the country’s leaders to call for #CeasefireNOW. DSA’s No Money for Massacres campaign has made around 250,000 calls urging representatives to do so. More than fifty have now voiced support. The recent six-day truce falls short of a ceasefire as the necessary first step in ending the occupation.

Cartoon of Biden holding baby Netanyahu, feeding him Gaza blood
A protest sign highlights Biden’s role in the killing

But it will take more than phone calls to end the genocide. As Nabulsi put it, “we do not stand here because we believe that we can appeal to your conscience to end genocide. We stand here because the power of the people will force you to.”

President Joe Biden has quickly become the face of these horrors. Biden has made only tepid remarks to calm Israel’s bombing while repeating false claims about beheaded babies and mythical Hamas headquarters under al-Shifa hospital, and disputing the legitimacy of the death toll reported from Gaza. Biden bragged about sending $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Gazans, but continues to supply weapons to kill them in much greater volume. As Brian Becker of ANSWER Coalition put it, “Israel pulls the trigger, but the U.S. government sends the weapons, they pay the bills; it’s their genocide too!”

“Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” chanted the crowd. The pressure building over Palestine directly threatens the reelection of “Genocide Joe” Biden. If the President refuses to respect the wishes of his voters, he cannot take their votes for granted. The election may be a full year away, but this only provides additional time for horrors to unfold and be laid at Biden’s feet. Those present at the March promised that “in November we remember,” and “no ceasefire, no votes.”

Third, demands for Palestinian liberation must be backed by the threat of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. We must refuse to support businesses that profit off the occupation, and pressure pensions, college campuses, and corporations to divest from Israel. Most importantly, the U.S. must end all military aid to Israel and condition future aid on an end to apartheid and occupation.

Finally, we must take direct action by setting our bodies upon the gears of war. Calling to “Shut it Down,” disruptions have promised no business as usual while support for genocide continues. Targets have included weapons manufacturers Elbit Systems and Lockheed Martin, the investment company Blackrock, media entities New York Times and Fox News, college campuses, transportation infrastructure, political events, and individual politicians.

We can only accomplish these tasks by continuing to organize a mass movement. In addition to a visible demonstration of strength, protests and marches provide an opportunity to join organizations or to link arms across movements. Those present at the March were encouraged by Celine Qussiny of the Palestinian Youth Movement to “take a good look around you. Remember the energy that you’re feeling today and bring it home with you. Bring it to your workplaces, your schools, your neighborhoods, your streets.”

Those taking part in the struggle must support one another as a community. We have seen the consequences for those speaking out against genocide in lost jobs, censorship, and condemnation. “They want us to think that we are paying personal prices,” said Palestinian writer Mohammed el-Kurd. “They want us to think that we are alone, but we have our people supporting us.”

“Are you afraid?” he asked. “No!” came the resounding cry.

We Are the Revolution

“This march is the beginning,” proclaimed several speakers. It is often said that financial bankruptcy happens “slowly, then all at once.” The same is coming true for the unraveling of American empire.

Following Donald Trump, it was claimed that Biden would restore America’s moral leadership. Not only has he failed in this regard, but America’s complicity in genocide has exposed the hollow reality of the entire liberal order. Its ideals of democracy and human rights have been quickly sacrificed on the altar of power.

At the pro-war “March for Israel,” Democratic Party leadership—our supposed saviors from Republican fascism—joined the stage alongside election deniers and bigots. CNN and other news outlets have accepted censorship as the price of access for ride-alongs with the lie-prone IDF. And the “rules based international order” has been revealed to mean nothing but submission to U.S. imperialism.

Palestinian flags at Freedom Plaza
Palestinian flags at Freedom Plaza

Afro-Caribbean writer Aimé Césaire recognized Hitler’s fascism as the application to Europe of “colonialist procedures which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs of Algeria, the coolies of India, and the blacks of Africa.” In the same way, endless funding to maintain overseas American military hegemony manifests at home in the militarization of police, expansion of the surveillance state, and crushing of dissent. Techniques adapted from the occupied territories are used to reinforce America’s ongoing racial segregation.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government makes no pretense of providing material security for its people. “What are they doing for us today?” asked Edwards.

“Universal healthcare is too expensive. Canceling student debt is too expensive. Everything for the people is too expensive. But when it comes to funding the police, funding militarism, they always cut the check.”

These revelations are causing a shift in tone. In front of the White House, the marchers announced their presence: “We are the revolution.” A new era will be ushered in by these generations for whom the American mythos has been dispelled. The optimism of the moment was expressed in chants of “I believe that we will win.”

We will continue to organize for the liberation of Palestine and decolonization in all its forms. As Ahmad Abuznaid of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights quoted from the Palestinian poem Enemy of the Sun, famously found in the prison cell of Black Panther George Jackson: “I shall not compromise, and to the last pulse in my veins, I shall resist.”

The post We Are the Revolution: The National March on Washington to Free Palestine first appeared on Rochester Red Star.

Fri, Dec 1st, 2023

DSA-LA City Councilmembers Support Ceasefire

DSA-LA City Councilmembers Support Ceasefire

On November 28th, 2023, all of DSA-LA’s endorsed Los Angeles City Council members, Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman, and Hugo Soto-Martínez, publicly joined the growing number of calls for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, at the previously negotiated temporary pause in hostilities is set to expire.

Through our chapter’s Socialists in Office program voted on at local convention this year, we have been able to work with our electeds to move DSA priorities through offices and win material gains through city council and are actively coordinating to advance new legislation. Appointed liaisons meet regularly with our offices, and the consistency of these meetings create a foundation of trust and support between our chapter and our electeds. Sometimes there are differences in tactics and analyses, but our SIO framework allows these differences to be proactively addressed because this is how we must organize in order to win socialism. DSA members may always submit questions, concerns, or messages to DSA-LA’s Socialists in Office committee using the DSA-LA Red Desk.

While our City Councilmembers do not have the ability to directly impact aid or funding carried out by our National representatives, their voices are critical to add to the public pressure on President Joe Biden and our congressional representatives from California who have the authority to demand that our government halt its unconditional military aid to Israel, but have so far have fallen short in their responses.

Reportback Motions

Earlier last week, a tweet went viral claiming that CM Raman had seconded a motion “making littering a hate crime”. The motion is seconded by CM Raman, meaning the content of the motion is entirely CM Blumenfield’s. The relevant motion, which was submitted over a month ago, was actually requesting a report back on whether or not “littering in mass” – a tactic that has been used repeatedly over the last year by neo-nazi groups in Southern California – those actions could be prosecuted as a hate crime under current law, and asks for methods by which it may do so. This tactic is a hallmark of neo-nazi groups in the United States to target Jewish as well as Black and Armenian communities, and is not commonly used by leftist or pro-Palestinian organizing. 

The motion as written does not make any immediate changes to city code, nor would it affect other tactics that are more commonly used by leftists, nor does it introduce any changes in the definition of a hate crime, which is defined by California state penal code. Additionally, a large amount of report backs that are requested in motions never come back. Still, many DSA members and allies were alarmed about the possibility that such a motion would lean further into carceral “solutions” to hate speech or be abused by local police to target leftist organizing. 

Accordingly, at this week’s Public Safety meeting, CM Soto-Martinez introduced an amendment to the resolution to ask the city’s Office of Race and Equity to report back on non-carceral options to combat neo-nazi flyering, without further empowering LAPD. His amendment passed unanimously, and this motion will still go through many additional meetings and department report backs before it could affect city law, a process that could take months. We will follow this legislation through the process, and urge our elected officials to fight any legislation we consider contrary to our values. Though we recognize the imperfections of the original motion, we also cannot allow the rise of real anti-semitic and Islamophobic actions to go unacknowledged. As socialists, we have to condemn far right hate when we see it. In the weeks following the motion, our chapter has facilitated meetings with anti-occupation organizers to bring our electeds closer to our position.

If you’re interested in learning more about our chapter’s electoral and Socialists in Office program, come to the open electoral meeting on December 4.

Thu, Nov 30th, 2023

National Political Education Events and Resources on Palestine for DSA Chapters

NPEC has been developing several political education resources and events on Palestine over the last few weeks. This page has all the latest for chapters and their educators to let them know what’s ahead and how to get engaged.

First, to assist chapters as they plan their political education events on Palestine, we have started a Google Drive folder to centralize DSA-created political education materials. If your national DSA committee or chapter has any educational materials on Palestine to share, please submit them to NPEC using this form. Note: the inclusion of any resource in this collection is not an NPEC endorsement of its contents – we encourage you to look through the folder and use whatever materials are useful to you at your discretion. The folder with collected materials can be accessed here and will be continually updated. For a basic primer on Palestine from a socialist perspective, check out our recent Palestine and Socialism episode on NPEC’s Podcast, Class.

There are also a number of upcoming political education events on Palestine in December, including our Talking to Non-Socialists About Palestine training (Monday the 4th), Understanding the Israeli–Palestinian Colonial Conflict panel (Saturday the 9th), and Empower DSA Kids Event: Building Understanding and Support for Palestine (Sunday the 10th). Whether you’re able to join us for our trainings or not, we encourage you to check out our sample lesson plan for organizing educational discussion spaces on Palestine in your chapter. For other events organized by other national DSA bodies, follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest.

We are also expanding the events calendar on our website! Chapters can now add their upcoming virtual and hybrid events to a national calendar so DSA members and non-members around the country have no shortage of political education to learn from. This is an excellent way for us to show the fantastic events that our chapters are putting on while also opening those events up to a broader audience, especially right now with the urgent need for education on Palestine. If you want to add your chapter’s political education events to our national calendar, please write to us at [email protected] or reply to this email for more info.

November 2023 Newsletter

Every Palestinian has the right to fight for<br />
his home, his land, his family, his dignity—<br />
these are his rights.<br />
- George Habash<br />
November 2023 National Tech Committee Newsletter

Dear comrade,

In this newsletter, you will find information on:

  1. Testing OpenSlides for Chapters,
  2. How to get involved in the NTC,

But first, we have a new report to share with you…

The Discussion Forum Report

After the NTC was given stewardship of the Discussion Forum in the beginning of September, the committee immediately announced a Maintenance window scheduled for the morning of October 1 to begin the three years of maintenance updates the forum was behind on. This process involved tasks ranging from server maintenance, application updates, and configuration of the initial new features on the Discussion Forum. These updates have transformed the platform!

DSA Discussion Board Check out the About the Forum category to see what's new! If you need help, please search below. Kissinger dead! this mfer is finally dead
One of the biggest features of the revamped Discussion Forum is a new visual interface, “Discourse Air”. Along with our upgraded version of Discourse came the new sidebar which aligns the forum to messaging applications such as Slack and Discord.

Other major features we’ve implemented include the Discourse Groups feature, which permits some friendlier features like tagging associations via user titles and a smaller icon (called Avatar Flair) next to usernames.

Read our full report here.

Need access to the Discussion Forum, sign up using the email account associated with your DSA membership using this form.

Testing OpenSlides for Chapters

and National Bodies

The NTC is testing using OpenSlides, the same tool we used at Convention, for chapters and national bodies. The National Political Committee (NPC) has approved our work plan for this wider roll out of OpenSlides. DSA members will soon be able to use OpenSlides to read introduced resolutions, propose amendments, and finally vote, both at the chapter level and as part of national working groups and committees.

OpenSlides Dashboard Meetings Committees. Democratic Socialists of America. Committees. 1 of 1 Filter Sort. National Tech Committee. The DSA National Tech Committee (NTC) is a collection of volunteer tech.
While the NTC isn’t ready to announce this launch to the larger organization, two large chapters will be our beta testers prior to our DSA-wide roll out!

Following this initial period, we hope to give all DSA bodies the same features and functionalities enjoyed by delegates at Convention, with the added benefit that you will be able to use one login for OpenSlides across chapters and national bodies. On top of this, we’re working to get the NPC on-boarded and to permit any member to observe NPC meetings and voting. To catch up on our work with OpenSlides, check out this report we published in July before the convention. But there’s a ton of areas to get involved in and so much more for us to do!

We’re looking for comrades with technical or guide writing experience, sysadmin experience, or just general ability to be able to help build out chapters and national committees. We need all the help we can get to make sure this is a successful – and foundational – change for how DSA does its business. We have a Kanban board on the NTC Discussion Board of our current area of work which can be viewed here.

Get involved in the NTC

If you are interested in joining the NTC, please fill out this form or email us at [email protected].

Join us!

DSA National Tech Committee logo

Questions? Comments?

Email us at [email protected]

Wed, Nov 29th, 2023

The Hope of the World: 2023 Labor Year in Review

2023 has been a major year for workers so far, and the momentum shows no signs of slowing down as we head into 2024. While major strikes by UAW at the Big Three in the auto industry and by WGA and SAG-AFTRA in the entertainment world are making headlines, thousands of workers across the country are taking action in ways big and small that you may not always hear about. On this show, we're joined live by Jenny Brown, assistant editor at Labor Notes and author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work, to discuss the labor year so far and what organizers can learn going into 2024.


We also hear from Evan, vice chair of the Graduate Center Chapter of the Professional Staff Congress at CUNY,  on how union organizers are protecting the free speech of Palestinian solidarity activists on campus.

Call for Ceasefire

After the death of 14,000 Palestinians in Gaza and 1.7 million displaced, Israel has finally agreed to a 4 day pause in exchange for 50 hostages from Hamas. This pause will help but it is not nearly enough. To prevent further bloodshed, Israel must agree to a permanent ceasefire. Bombing Gaza is not the answer, negotiation is.

We urge all individuals to demand your Congressperson support Rep. Cori Bush’s resolution for a PERMANENT CEASEFIRE NOW in Gaza.

We at Grand Rapids DSA stand with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a member of Detroit DSA and the only Palestinian American in Congress, and her continued demand for a ceasefire in Gaza – a demand that is supported by a vast majority of Michigan Democrats. Her bravery to stand for what is right, despite the attacks against her from her fellow congress members, is commendable.

We demand Rep. Hillary Scholten, Sen. Gary Peters, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow to support Rep. Cori Bush’s resolution urging the Biden Administration to call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine. 47 of their colleagues support a ceasefire, with that number growing every day. No money for massacres!

For further action, read the statement from DSA National and Join DSA!

The post Call for Ceasefire appeared first on Grand Rapids Democratic Socialists of America.

Harassment And Grievance Policy

Central NJ Democratic Socialists (“CNJ DSA”) is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of gender, race, or class, to organize without fear of harassment. We aim to design a space that amplifies and protects marginalized voices by developing a policy for reporting grievances based on the harassment policy Resolution 33 which was passed at the DSA National Convention in August 2017, while adding several extra protections not guaranteed by the Resolution and an eye towards restorative justice, healing, and victim support.

DSA’s national harassment policy can be found at: https://www.dsausa.org/about-us/harassment-policy-resolution-33/

Section 1.0 Policy Overview

A. Scope Of This Policy

Prohibited behavior. Members shall not engage in harassment on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, race, color, religion, national origin, class, age, or profession. Harassing or abusive behavior, such as unwelcome attention, inappropriate or offensive remarks, slurs, or jokes, physical or verbal intimidation, stalking, inappropriate physical contact or proximity, and other verbal and physical conduct constitute harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a member’s continued affiliation with DSA;
  • Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for organizational decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment interfering with an individual’s capacity to organize within DSA.
  • Other protected classes. Harassment based on categories not encompassed by those listed section (a) will be evaluated at the discretion of the Harassment and Grievance Officer (“HGO”) and Steering Committee (“SC”) representatives.
  • Members may also file grievances not directed at a specific individual, such as hostile environments and other systemic issues. Investigation in these cases shall center and seek to support the grievant in determining the appropriate remedy.

B. Reporting Harassment

Complaints. Members may follow the standard complaint process as set out in the following sections if they believe they have been harassed by another member. Time Limitations. There will be no time limits requiring the grievant to file a report within any amount of time after the alleged harassment has occurred.

C. This document describes the complaint procedure adopted by CNJ DSA. If any grievant does not feel that their concerns can be adequately addressed by CNJ DSA, they may pursue a complaint with National Grievance Officers and the NPC without going through the Chapter procedure first.

D. The SC of CNJ DSA will publicize this policy and make HGO contact information available to membership as often as possible, including, but not limited to: Chapter- wide emails, meeting agendas, social media, and online chapter communication platforms.

Section 2.0 Harassment and Grievance Officers

A. Membership shall elect two members to serve as HGOs. Due to the gendered nature of many harassment complaints at the National level, no more than one HGO may be cismale. HGOs may not be SC members, but may run for Steering Committee when their HGO term has ended. Election of HGOs will follow standard procedures outlined in the Chapter bylaws. HGOs will serve staggered two-year terms.

B. HGO Responsibilities

  • Receive, acknowledge receipt of, and archive grievant reports
  • Contact the accused to notify them of the accusations, request their written response, and archive any written response
  • Conduct any necessary investigation of the claim
  • Present their findings to the Steering Committee with a written report.
  • If necessary, take disciplinary action and report the discipline administered to the Steering Committee.
  • Present an anonymized version of the report to deliver to membership after conclusion of an investigation. The HGOs may make exceptions to anonymity in service of the restorative justice process, in the case of any member who has been removed from the chapter permanently or temporarily as a result of the investigation.
  • Compile a yearly report that details:
  • How many reports were made
  • How many were taken to the formal disciplinary process
  • How many disciplinary actions were taken
  • Any recommended changes for making the reporting system effective, preferably informed by survey of membership

C. Removal of an HGO.

An HGO may resign at any time. If an HGO fails to perform their duties fairly, diligently, and ethically, there may be cause for removal. The SC may remove an HGO by majority vote after the HGO is informed of the cause for removal and given the opportunity to self- advocate to the SC.

Section 3.0 Complaints

A. Making A Complaint The SC will establish a confidential email for submitting complaints, which is monitored only by the HGOs. Login information will be changed at each new term or sooner. The SC will make a complaint form available upon request that is linked to the HGO email.

On the form, the grievant may have the option to submit the complaint as an emergency, in which case an expedited investigation will take place. If a grievant objects to both HGOs viewing a complaint, they may contact one HGO directly and confidentially. The identities of all involved parties will remain confidential to everyone who is not an HGO, including the SC (and at the request of the grievant, disclosure may also be denied to the HGO not currently investigating the case), pending the outcome of the investigation, except as necessary for a complete investigation. Multiple complaints against one person may be consolidated into a single investigation. Any grievant may veto this consolidation. Grievants have the right to a proxy or representative of their choosing to speak on their behalf and act as the primary contact with HGOs throughout the investigation.

B. Recusal

An HGO is required to recuse themselves from any investigation involving either a complainant or accused who is a close friend or family member of the HGO, or with whom the HGO has an extensive working relationship or past or present romantic or sexual relationship. An HGO should also recuse themselves if other conflicts would present an appearance of impropriety. Such potential conflicts may be raised by any party or by any member of leadership at the outset of an investigation and may be determined by other

Section 4.0 Responding To A Complaint

A. Informal conversation/mediation

Some complaints may be resolved without the need for a formal grievance process. In this case, there may be an informal conversation between parties mediated by an HGO. In an informal mediation, all parties must attend voluntarily and express a desire for resolution; the HGO remains neutral; each person has the ability to state their perspectives uninterrupted; the mediator may follow the general structure of affective questioning; and the goal is to find a solution to the conflict that is primarily developed and mutually agreed upon by all parties. a final summary of the conversation is made available to the SC, but the SC does not participate in the results of the mediation.

B. Filing Official Grievance.

After a written report has been submitted, whether through the email hotline or otherwise:

  1. The HGO(s) will contact the grievant within three days to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and set up a conversation.
  2. The HGO(s) will contact the accused member within five days to notify them that a report has been filed against them and request a written response to the report either affirming or denying its substance.
  3. The accused will submit their written response within seven days of being notified. If the accused fails to meet this deadline or request an extension, the HGO will consult the grievant first regarding appropriate disciplinary measures.
  4. If the accused denies the substance of the report, the HGO will set up a conversation. The HGO overseeing the dispute will have the option to investigate the report by:
    1. interviewing other members with direct knowledge of the substance of the report;
    2. requesting documentation from either the grievant or accused or any other parties directly involved; or
    3. employing any and all other means deemed necessary, with the utmost respect for the confidentiality and emotional needs of the parties, within a time period not to exceed ten days.
  5. When victims are closed out of the disciplinary process, they are re-victimized. In order to avoid replicating the oppressive structures of our current judicial system, before reaching a conclusion, the HGO(s) will schedule a final conversation with the grievant following the general guidelines of post-conflict affective questioning. The purpose is to amplify the voices of victims and consider their needs and perspectives when moving forward with disciplinary action or otherwise.

C. The HGO(s) responsible for investigating the dispute will determine whether the report is credible and take appropriate disciplinary action, if necessary, as soon as practicable, without exceeding thirty days. The HGO(s) may notify SC of the accuser’s report and its substance at any time after the report is filed, but must give written notice to both the accuser and the accused member before doing so.

Section 5.0 Remedies and penalties

A. Determinations

All reports will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the HGO(s) associated with the accuser’s reporting channel. The ultimate determination in each case will be made by the HGO(s).

B. Standard for Determining if a Report is Credible

The HGOs will find a factual allegation is “credible” if it more-likely-than-not occurred.

C. Remedies and Penalties

  1. If the HGOs find a factual allegation to be credible, they are authorized to carry out disciplinary action, which may include:
    1. A formal discussion between the accused and the HGOs and/or Steering Committee to develop a plan for repairing the harm;
    2. Suspension from committee meetings and other chapter or organizational events;
    3. Removal from chapter committee(s);
    4. Removal from the chapter; and
    5. Any and all other relief deemed necessary and just by the HGO(s).
  2. The SC will enforce any suspensions or expulsions in accordance with chapter procedures.

Section 6.0 Appeals Process

A. Either party may appeal the final result of the grievance by filling out an appeal form, available upon request from an HGO or the Steering Committee. Appeals must be filed within thirty days of receiving written notice of the decision. The limited grounds for appeal are:

  1. Either party believes the behavior was not interpreted using the standards for harassment set out in Section 1a;
  2. Procedural errors, misconduct, or conflicts of interest affected the fairness of the outcome; and
  3. The remedy or penalty determined by the HGOs was disproportionate to the violation committed

B. Appeals will be heard by the Harassment and Grievance Officers of North or South Jersey DSA, provided they have adopted a policy agreeing to this arrangement. They will follow Central Jersey’s grievance policy in deciding the appeal.

C. Nothing in this policy can limit a member’s right to file an appeal directly with the national organization.

Section 7.0 Retaliation

This policy prohibits retaliation against any member for bringing a complaint of harassment pursuant to this policy. This policy also prohibits retaliation against a person who assists someone with a complaint of harassment, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliatory behaviors includes threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to organizing. If any party to the complaint believes there has been retaliation, they may inform the HGO who will determine whether to factor the retaliation into the original complaint, or treat it as an individual incident.

The post Harassment And Grievance Policy first appeared on Central NJ DSA.

Ceasefire Now for People and Planet


In the past months, DSA has mobilized nationally to organize to end the US-funded siege on Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestine. From direct actions to marches and phonebanks, chapters across the country have rallied for a rapid response that meets this devastation at scale. Panelists will discuss this resurgence of a Left anti-war movement and answer how DSA as an organization can deepen internationalism and anti-militarism within our existing climate organizing. The event will explain why Palestinian liberation is central to the climate justice movement- and why demilitarization is not only socially necessary but a requirement for meeting climate goals.

This call is sponsored by the DSA Green new Deal Committee and the DSA International Committee. 

The post Ceasefire Now for People and Planet appeared first on Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).