Liberals and the left came together for many anti-inaugural events around Chicago though not always without friction. Chicago DSA signed on to a Daley Plaza rally organized by the Chicago chapter of Socialist Alternative that later joined a much larger rally in front of the local Trump Tower. It had a pretty good turnout though attendance never quite filled the plaza. It also turns out that Familia Latina Unida had formally reserved the plaza (which involves obtaining liability insurance, apparently) for its own anti-inaugural rally. While the two groups tried to work together, the Familia Latina Unida folks seemed inclined to filibuster the podium, leaving the Socialist Alternative folks seriously, I do mean seriously, irritated. It’s not clear whether many of the folks attending the rally actually noticed.
Emma Lozano and “Slim” Coleman, the principals of Familia Latina Unida, came out of the Stalinist movement(s) decades ago though today they’re Methodists. Familia Latina Unida is a part of Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s base of support on Chicago’s west side; indeed, for a while, they were boosting him as a potential candidate for Democratic presidential nomination. Gutierrez came out of the old Puerto Rican Socialist Party which went through its own flirtation with Stalinism though today Gutierrez is merely a nominally progressive Democrat. Socialist Alternative today has a fond regard for Leon Trotsky. One can imagine them regarding this as yet another political ice-pick, begging your pardon, but I expect Gutierrez’s crowd, if forthright, would merely reply: It’s only politics; you wuz punked fair & square. Not that Gutierrez would care much, but we’ll keep that in mind.
Chicago DSA had signs union printed that were handy for the Women’s March and the subsequent immigrant-ban protests as well.
Women’s March on Chicago
This was a huge march on January 21, estimates suggest a quarter million, and just about any delegation might have been lost there, but Chicago DSA mostly found one another through the miracle of modern technology and the fact that Greater Oak Park DSA met up near the end of the CTA Green Line and traveled as a group. Being at the end of the line was just about the only way one could board a CTA train that morning.
Introduction to Democratic Socialism
On January 28, Chicago DSA borrowed the National Nurses United conference room on the near west side to hold an introductory class on democratic socialism and DSA politics. We tried to keep enrollment to 60 to 70 at most, but 115 people turned up. Despite the packed conditions, only about a half dozen abandoned the class before the end. The presentation is available HERE. (Power Point)