170-2 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

Jennifer Swann touted DSA in Rolling Stone… Oh, Dr. Hook! You thought I was joking when I predicted DSA as a fashion statement, didn’t you? Never happen? Cheap sarcasm…. Hah! Check out Eviana Hartman’s prescriptions for how to dress for the Resistance (including a mention of DSA swag) at Vogue. We just so… tres outre, comrade. Were it not for Trump, I’d say this means fashion DSA has peaked. This would be reassuring to Adam Ozimek at Forbes who led off with DSA: bad socialism, bad.

At Al Jazeera, Patrick Strickland surveyed the growth of the socialist left since Trump, leading off with DSA.  TeleSUR inteviewed DSA national director Maria Svart about DSA’s explosive growth. An unsigned cut-and-paste article in SouthLive (India) also surveyed the field. The upsurge in student activism at Oklahoma University was examined by Sierra Rains with quotes from YDS activists at OUDaily. The Young Turks Network’s Nomiki Konst provided live coverage of an SRO DSA meeting in Washington, DC.

Mike Deehan at WGBH mentioned DSA as part of the Safe Communities Coalition. Ryan Thompson’s account of a defense of immigrant demonstration at Kansas City International Airport at Washburn Review didn’t mention DSA, but the accompanying photo featured DSA. YDS was among those organizing an immigrant defense protest at Bradley International Airport, according to michelle at Wesleying. DSA was among the groups defending sanctuary cities in Iowa, according to James Q. Lynch at Quad City Times.

Marc Gardner attended a Resisting Trump workshop in Oakland, California, encountering DSA among others, at Counterpunch. Derek Robertson featured DSA as a center of resistance to Trump at Medill Reports Chicago. The “secret” planning of Super Bowl anti-Trump demonstrations got attention from USA Today, but they managed to get a quote from DSA’s Amy Zachmeyer. Michael Tracey covered that secret Super Bowl demonstration for The Young Turks Network and mentioned DSA. Brian Zahn at the New Haven Register surveyed the upsurge in progressive activity and included quotes from Connecticut DSA organizer Puya Gerami.

Twin Cities DSA co-chair Debra Keefer Ramage tells what she saw at the Minnesota Women’s March at Southside Pride. DSA got a mention and a featured photo in Yoon Seok-Hee’s coverage of the NYC Women’s March in The AsiaN.

An article by David Taffet at Dallas Voice touted an upcoming LGBT defense demonstration, including DSA among the organizers. Sloan Smith wrote about Austin TX Democratic Socialists of America Queer Coalition’s work to create a solidarity network against attacks on the LGBTQ community at The Austin Chronicle.

Unicorn Booty’s R.S. Benedict celebrated Trevor Hill (and DSA) as the “Gay Socialist Hero We Need”. At Death and Taxes Magazine, Jamie Peck included DSA as part of his commentary on Nancy Pelosi’s defense of capitalism. Daniel Marans covered the same town hall comment at The Huffington Post and concluded with comments from DSA Deputy Director David Duhalde. The left needs its own version of the Tea Party, says Christopher Hooks at Texas Observer, and points to DSA as an example. This was also the subtext of Oliver Lazarus’ report on a DSA meeting in Brooklyn on WNYC’s The Takeaway. Steve Ahlquist’s coverage of a Rhode Island Town Hall meeting that featured the state’s entire congressional delegation included a mention of DSA at RI Future. That town hall got more coverage by Robert Shaw at RI Future, and DSA got a mention, in both reports because DSA members asked awkward questions.

An account of opposition to Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines by Natalia Saucedo at Daily Trojan mentioned YDS.

An unkind article about Steve Bannon (hey… I’m just sayin’) by Gabe Bergado led off with a quote from LA DSA chapter “Agitpop Co-Chair” Josh Androsky at Inverse Culture. Molly Bennet surveyed left of center talk podcasting and included DSA at The Village Voice. One of Shadowproof’s podcasts, “Delete Your Account”, featured Emily Robinson and “Larry Website” of DSA.

DSA’s Marc Silberman’s then upcoming appearance at before the Rock County Progressives was mentioned on WCLO. Isaac Serna noted the formation of a DSA chapter in San Antonio at The Paisano.

Cornel West’s appearance at North Carolina Central University earned DSA a mention in an account by Diamond Gwynn at Campus Echo Online. Ray Gronberg at the Herald Sun covered that appearance, didn’t mention DSA, though we did make it into the photo caption.

Wladek Flakin mentioned DSA in a speculation about a general strike in the U.S. at La Izquierda Diario (Mexico).


170-2 DSA News

Chicago DSA Facebook Group

The Chicago DSA branches (and DSA members from elsewhere in Illinois plus maybe even friends of DSA) have a new Facebook Group. A Facebook Group is Facebook’s equivalent of an old internet / web venue, the message board. The main differences are that you do need a Facebook account to participate and it does look like… Facebook. This is a closed Group, meaning you need to be approved to join. It’s HERE.

North Side CDSA branch education summit
North Side CDSA branch education summit. Photo by Ryne Poelker.

(Political) Education Summit

On February 8, Northside Chicago CDSA held a follow up to the highly successful January 28th Introduction to Democratic Socialism workshop. The Education Summit was held at the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, the event drew at least as many attendees as earlier event.

No Ban! No Wall! DSA Builds Activist Response to Trump’s Actions

Congratulations to all of those in local DSA chapters who have participated in the demonstrations at airports and immigration offices. Our next step is to increase our efforts and effectiveness by coordinating this work…

DSA’s Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) has been preparing for this assault, and we invite you to join us in this urgent effort.

A steering committee of the ARWG has developed two projects and intends to develop more.  Current projects include national committees on (1) Immigrant Rights and Solidarity and (2) Anti-Islamophobia / Police Brutality Subcommittee. Additional committees are in the planning stages.


Be the Change Congress Needs

by Tom Broderick
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) will be conducting an Advocacy Training in Oak Park. This training will be free of charge. It will be conducted by Maiya Zwerling, National Field Organizer for FCNL.

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Time: 6:30 PM start and 9:30 PM end
Location: Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, 405 S. Euclid Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
RSVP: David Kelm 708.975.9300
For more information CLICK HERE or call Tom at 708.386.6007.

FCNL is a national Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest group that works to empower people like you and me to influence our national legislators (Representatives and Senators).

Person to person meetings with our elected officials and their staff are the most effective way to influence policy decisions. We all need to become more effective in influencing the policy decisions of our elected officials.

Time to hone our effective selves and move our elected officials to follow our lead.

170-2 Politics

Trump Mussolini

History Has Been Hacked

At Jacobin, Mike Davis provides an extended analysis of Trump’s victory. He writes:

Trump’s victory, of course, may turn out to be the ghost dance of a dying white culture, quickly followed by a return to Obamian, globalist normalcy or, conversely we may be heading into the twilight zone of home-grown fascism. The parameters of the next four years are largely unknown. Much depends on whether the Republicans succeed in incorporating the old industrial states of the upper Midwest into their mid-continental reich of solidly red Southern and plains states. In this case, their structural electoral advantages, as the National Review recently pointed out, might override the popular vote for another decade.

But whatever the scenario, the issue of the utmost immediate importance to the Left is whether or not the Sanders coalition, including the progressive unions that backed him, can be kept alive as an independent movement bridging the racial and cultural divides among American working people. An extraordinary restructuring of political camps, cadre, and patronage is taking place in an atmosphere of chaos and uncertainty, but we need to understand more clearly whether 2016 actually reflects, or necessarily anticipates, a fundamental realignment of social forces.


This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Combating this new era of “alternative facts,” a research team led by Dr. Dana R. Fisher, Dr. Dawn M. Dow and Dr. Rashawn Ray from the University of Maryland, College Park provides data-supported facts about participants at the Women’s March. Teams of 2 surveyed participants throughout the march (full details of sampling and methodology available upon request) to understand who was protesting and why. In total, 527 people completed the survey (representing a 92.5% response rate).


Protest Chicago

by Jodie Eason
The rise of activism has made it difficult for action-minded people to find out where and when people are gathering to raise their voices. The volume of protest events is large and increasing, and it’s hard to find a comprehensive list of events in one place. ProtestChicago.com is an online guide to Chicago-area protest events, striving to consolidate all area protests into one easy-to-use website.

ProtestChicago.com accepts any protest and rally event notifications from progressive organizations and lists them in a simple, clean format. Events are displayed in chronological order, and include all the relevant details  — including links to organizers’ own promotional media –- with no analysis, opinion, or comment. Visit the site to find the protest nearest you or use the submission form to submit events that aren’t listed.

Content is limited to progressive public rallies and protests.

170-1 DSA News

Anti-Inaugural Chicago

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.

DSA at anti-inaugural Daley Plaza Demo

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

Intro 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)

Immigrant Ban Protests

by Chelsea Anderson
At around 6PM on Saturday, January 28th, a contingent of the Chicago DSA turned out to O’hare airport for a protest against Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban. O’hare was one of many international airports where green card holders, those with visas, and refugees were detained for hours. The protest lasted for several hours as protesters demanded the release of the detainees, who were under threat of being sent away from their families and from safety. A huge group stood outside Terminal 5, chanting “Let them in!” and other DSA @ O'Hare Airport demonstrationslogans, while inside the terminal volunteer lawyers gathered to try and help the people being detained. Chicago DSA was proud to stand alongside the hundreds of people who came to rally for the rights of middle eastern immigrants and against injustice. These demonstrations were called by Arab American Action Network and supported by a broad spectrum of groups and individuals, including just about every Democratic politician in Chicago with ambitions. There have been protests each day since the ban went into effect.