The Bowletariats

by Caroline Reid
The Socialist Feminist Working Group is raising funds for women who seek abortions but need financial help. This is an annual event we do through Abortion Bowl-A-Thon fundraisers around the country in April. This is a great way for chapters to have a fun social event while helping raise money for the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF). CAF is under the National Network for Abortion Funds whose mission is to “remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice,” which aligns with our values at DSA of reproductive justice.

For Chicago, the event is Sunday April 23 from 2:30-5pm at Burnt City Brewing, 2747 N. Lincoln in Chicago. All are welcome! Please sign up to be a Bowletariat with the DSA team or donate to us at: https://bowl.nnaf.org/IllinoisDSA.

If you have any questions please feel free to email IllinoisDSAbowl@gmail.com.

[Editor’s Note: For more information about the Chicago Abortion Fund’s work, see Peg Strobel’s interview with Brittany Mostiller-Keith, Lindsay Budzinski and Sekile Nzinga-Johnson at Talkin’ Socialism Episode 59.]

170-4 DSA News

Young Democratic SocialistsIgniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

At Democratic Left, Adam Cardo writes:

From February 17-19, members of Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) gathered for “Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump.” The first YDS conference since the post-Bernie/Trump boom, the gathering acted as a rally point for all our new members as well as the staging ground for building and confronting the new far-right administration.

The most notable aspect of the conference was its size. More than 250 people attended, almost three times as many as last year. Many of the attendees had just joined DSA in the past couple of months, and many were first politicized by the Bernie campaign. But as less than a month had passed since the Inauguration, all attendees were concentrated on President Trump’s new far-right administration.

MORE.

Socialist International

Judging by the list of participants, it was another not terribly well-attended event (and DSA was not there), but Socialist International held it’s 25th Congress in Cartagena, Colombia, on March 2,3 and 4. In addition to electing leadership, the body adopted 11 resolutions, including statements on Mexico and Puerto Rico. You can find out more HERE.

170-3 DSA News

After the Ellison Defeat

DSA’s National Political Committee adopted a statement on Democratic National Committee’s election of a Chair:

This weekend the Democratic National Committee (DNC) failed to choose Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) for Chair of the DNC. Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) backed Ellison’s election as part of a rebellion of progressive Democratic Party activists against a neoliberal Democratic Party national leadership that places corporate interests ahead of the interests of working people.

MORE.

Planned Inequality

Recorded 05.13.2011  at the 53rd Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner in Chicago. Our featured speaker for that evening was Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago. Martire contends the wreckage of our public institutions, our soaring private and public debt, our stagnating economy, the growing stench of racism in our politics: these are the natural outcome of an intentional decades-long policy of massively redistributing wealth to those who were already very very wealthy.

Download to listen later [right click]: MP3 (21.3 MB) or OGG VORBIS (17.9 MB) (22:10)

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Northside Chicago Branch

by Bob Roman

The branch held its monthly meeting at the Bucktown-Wicker Park Library on Wednesday, February 22. Over 115 people attended. The occasion could probably best be described as an organizational meet-and-greet, where attendees were introduced to the branch and its working groups, and provided a networking opportunity. The day before, DSA members had been mobilized to participate in a counter demonstration to a bigoted, right-wing protest of a proposed multi-family housing complex in Jefferson Park. See coverage by Alex Nitkin and Maya Dukmasova. It turns out there were carpet-baggers on both sides of the issue, with a Republican Party club active in helping organize the protest.

Both the Northside and Southside CDSA branches are new entities. Over a year ago, the original intent was to organize a northside branch, but by the time it reached a formal decision, the scope had expanded to a city-wide branch. It functioned that way until the Trump explosion when it became really obvious that there was not just room but a necessity for more than one branch. January saw reorganizing meetings. Judging by the February Northside meeting, there is very likely room and maybe a need for at least two branches on the northside.

The Chicago DSA Executive Committee has yet to catch up with any of this, not to mention the establishment of a West Suburban organizing committee and a Northern Illinios organizing committee in DeKalb and prospects for organizing committees in Joliet and Kankakee.

Elsewhere in Illinois, there is now a Champaign — Urbana organizing committee and a Quad Cities organizing committee.

170-3 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

David Weigel mentioned DSA members protesting at the end of his account of the election of Thomas Perez as DNC Chair at The Washington Post. It being The Washington Post, this got echoed at quite a few other sites. Jeff Stein also included DSA in his coverage of the DNC election at Vox.

Reuters distributed an account of DSA’s national growth by Justin Mitchell. Quite a few sites picked it up. Michael Moore added fuel to the fire by mentioning that DSA was among the organizations he had joined, and you should, too. It being Michael Moore, the post was reproduced on a good many other sites; Mark Hensch at The Hill even wrote a story about it. The video channel Now This also had an report featuring DSA’s growth. So you wanna be a socialist? Sara Bernard surveys your options in Seattle, including DSA, at Seattle Weekly. DSA’s growth was a minor part of John Reimann take on the developing mood in the U.S. at The North Star.

Jason Ruiz reported on the formation of a Long Beach, California, chapter of DSA at the Long Beach Post. The first meeting of the new Georgetown YDS chapter was covered by Claire Goldberg at The Georgetown Voice. The first steps by YDS activists toward becoming a recognized student organization at Boston College were noted by Chris Russo at The Heights. The activities of the YDS chapter at the University of Texas El Paso was the subject of a report by Michaela Roman at The Prospector Daily. Dave Kempa interviewed Linda-Ann Mattox of Sacramento DSA at Sacramento News & Review. Amber Enderton reported on the Sacramento DSA chapter in Elk Grove News.net. Kathie Obradovich reported on the growth of DSA chapters in Iowa at The Des Moines Register.

Steven Sherman at The Indypendent came away from the YDS national conference feeling a bit skeptical, but Emma Roller at Deadspin not so much.

Timothy Sheridan hypes the conflict between centrist Democrats and the left, personified by YDS, at OU Daily. The Indypendent posted an online forum on the future of progressives and the Democratic Party wherein DSA got mentions. Jon Ward and Hunter Walker mentioned DSA in a Yahoo News account of Tom Perez’ campaign to be DNC Chair. Creede Newton interviewed Samuel Ronan, a candidate for DNC chair, at Al Jazeera, and yes, absolutely, there is room for DSA in the Democratic Party in his opinion.

Patrick Iber reviewed recent books about Sanders and socialism, mentioning DSA, at The Nation.

On Valentine’s Day, the Alliance for Community Services attempted to deliver a valentine to Illinois Governor Rauner, asking him to have a heart regarding human services, and DSA was listed among the participating organizations at eNews Park Forest.

Wilson Pava’s account of 2017’s “Historic Thousand on J Street” march in Raleigh included DSA in the landscape at The Davidson.

Eugene Weekly noted the availability of non-violent direct action training, co-sponsored by University of Oregon YDS.

Kyle Scott Clauss at Boston Magazine mentioned DSA in discussing just what constitutes a “sanctuary” anything. Geoff Meldahl from Chattanooga DSA was quoted in Shaka Cobb’s coverage of an immigrant support vigil at Dalton Daily Citizen. YDS’ Dominic Chacon was quoted in Grecia Sanchez’s coverage of a “Day without Immigrants” at The Prospector Daily.

At The Glass Block, Brooks Butler Hays mentioned DSA in reviewing the history of workers’ bookshops in Pittsburgh.

Jeremy Moule noted DSA among the groups developing a local “Platform for a Progressive Movement” at Rochester City Newspaper.

DSA got mentioned in connection with single-payer health care in Jetta Rae’s coverage of Rep. Barbara Lee’s Fruitvale town hall meeting at Hoodline. According to Susan Maloney at The Badger Herald, DSA members raised a similar question at a town hall meeting for Republican Senator Ron Johnson, notable for the Senator’s absence. DSA was among the organizations sponsoring a town hall meeting defending the ACA, according to Kasey Bubnash at Missoulian.

Conor Lynch examined Slavoj Žižek’s argument that Trump is good for the left, citing DSA’s growth as one item in its favor, at Salon. Miles Kampf-Lassen cites the same evidence in his argument that the anti-Trump resistance is starting to win at In These Times. Your editor thinks this is akin to having stage 4 cancer and thinking, “Well, at last I’m getting my weight down to a healthy level.” And speaking of medical care, will Trump’s rampage over Obamacare lead to Medicare for all? Brendan Gallagher explored the prospect at Merry Jane, including DSA among those pushing for it. And Rick Paulas explained how Trump led him to socialism and DSA at Vice.

At Spiked, Tom Bailey mentioned DSA in passing while examining what he felt is the growth of conspiracy fantasies on the left. Rafael Khachaturian also mentioned DSA in passing in an essay about the “Deep State” concept at Jacobin.

West Suburban DSA

by Sam Miemczewski
West Suburban Illinois Democratic Socialists of America (WSDSA) had our first meeting on January 8th with 17 people in attendance and by our second meeting on February 12th we doubled that with 35 people in attendance. We just passed our by-laws and constitution and filed paperwork to become a chapter! We have four working committees: women’s rights, minority’s rights, legislation, and education. We formed a coalition with other groups and helped to organize a protest against Republican Congressman (6th District) Peter Roskam and had nearly 1000 people show up! We’re eager to work as a team with CDSA and other Illinois chapters and OC’s as they continue to form so that we can effectively organize to push DSA values in our communities. WSDSA is happy to be a part of such an ambitious organization and we hope to serve as a strong democratic socialist outlet for our comrades residing in the Western Suburbs of Illinois. MORE INFORMATION.

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).