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.


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.

170-1 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

DSA’s Taylor Jones was among the scheduled speakers at an anti-inaugural Human Rights rally, according to Sloane Smith at The Austin Chronicle. Nancy Benac at the Associated Press included DSA in a pre-inaugural report, as carried by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for example. A pre-inaugural political report by David Weigel at The Washington Post included DSA. Kristin Toussaint at Metro – Boston also mentioned DSA in coverage of upcoming Boston anti-Trump demonstrations.

DSA made Rachel Miller’s list of anti-inaugural to-do’s at Brooklyn Magazine, as we did in Madina Toure’s list at New York Observer, as we did in Eddie Pamintuan’s list at Sactown Magazine, as we did in Brenden Gallagher’s list at Merryjane, as we did in the editors’ list at Blunderbuss Magazine. Since Joseph Schwartz was included among Philadelphia’s 19 face of resistance at BillyPenn, so was DSA. DSA also made Talia Ergas’ list at Us Weekly. Now, will DSA become a fashion statement? Commodify your dissent with this decorative DSA membership! But Sarah Slamen at Texas Observer urged people to get active, and mentioned DSA, oh yes, as one of the possible alternatives.

Danielle DeCourcey included advice from DSA (among others) for first time protesters at attn:.

University of Oklahoma YDS staged an anti-inaugural demonstration, according to Hannah Pike at OUDaily. Adam Troxtell covered the same demonstration at The Norman Transcript. DSA was mentioned in Cynthia Moreno’s coverage of an anti-Trump demonstration at the California State Capitol at Vida en el Valle. John Ferrannini covered the same Sacramento demonstration and included DSA, at The State Hornet. DSA was part of the coalition of groups organizing 144 hours of protests in Sacramento, according to Dan Bacher at San Diego Free Press. Frank Torres’ coverage of an anti-Trump demonstration in Orlando, Florida, included DSA at The Orlando Political Observer. Alex Eng and Ryan Grewal included a quote from DSA’s Spencer Brown in their coverage of Boston anti-Trump protests at The Huntington News. Mass Live’s Gintautas Dumcius’ coverage of the Boston Commons protest also included DSA. The anti-Trump demonstration in New York was covered by Jake Offehartz for Gothamist, and mentioned DSA, as did Zach Williams at Chelsea Now. Sputnik News gave DSA full credit for organizing the anti-Trump demonstration in New York City, as did Jake Sigal at Pacific Press Agency. Is this the foundation for a conspiracy narrative? Well, funny you should mention it! None of this (including DSA) would be happening without George Soros, according to William Jasper at the John Birch Society’s The New American. A large contingent from DSA participated in the anti-Trump demonstrations in Philadelphia, according to Martha Woodall at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Layla A. Jones also included DSA in coverage of the Philadelphia anti-Trump demonstration at The Philadelphia Tribune. DSA was included Paul Schwartzman’s and David Weigel’s coverage of anti-Trump demonstrations in DC at The Washington Post. In India, Ruchir Ferroro Sharma mentioned DSA in connection with anti-Trump demonstrations at Swarajya magazine. The Young Democratic Socialists were involved in inaugural anti-Trump activities in Eugene, Oregon, according to Eric Howanietz at The Torch, likewise in downtown Kansas City, according to Emily Park at University News.

Gabby Bess’ interview with Winnie Wong about the Women’s March on Washington mentioned DSA, at Broadly. DSA made the photo gallery (#125 of 139) covering the Women’s March on Montana at Great Falls Tribune. Roqayah Chamseddine discussed some of the feminist politics surrounding the Women’s March on Washington at Shadow Proof, wherein DSA was mentioned. Art Forum provided several accounts of Women’s Marchs around the country, including an account from the DSA delegation in DC by Ed Halter. Paul Kengor managed to link Kim Il Sung, the Women’s March on Washington and DSA together at The American Spectator. An editorial at the Houston Chronicle mentioned DSA in connection with the Women’s March and opposition to Trump. At Case Western Reserve University’s The Observer, Eamon Sheehan and Christopher Nguyen mentioned YDS in their account of the Women’s March on Cleveland and on Washington. Nassau Weekly published a series of first person accounts of the Women’s March that mentioned YDS. Medill Reports Chicago posted an article and a photo gallery by Derek Robertson of DSA at the Women’s March on Washington. Robertson includes quotes from Clara Alcott and Peg Strobel.

Did you hear about the Women’s March scandal? Alana Goodman at the Daily Mail tells all. DSA got mentioned but nipples, money and the Communist Party (some how) were the focus, so to speak.

Joseph Schwartz mentioned DSA in the course of analyzing Trumpism and resistance to it at teleSUR. DSA got a curiously sympathetic mention in a commentary about socialist organizing under Trump by Todd Chretien at Socialist Worker. Brenden Gallagher predicts a great future for DSA at Merryjane. Kate Aronoff noted the explosive growth of democratic socialism in America, focusing on DSA, at In These Times. Matthew Schmieder wrote a letter boosting DSA at The Daily Targum. Bhaskar Sunkara called for a left Tea Party, giving DSA’s growth as an example, at The Guardian. Ben Burgis mentioned DSA’s growth in an essay asserting Clinton really wouldn’t have been much better than Trump at, of course, Counterpunch.

DSA was listed among the organizations supporting a sit-in protesting Purdue University West Lafayette’s failure to adequately deal with racist propaganda on campus, according to Meghan Holden at Lafayette Journal & Courier.

DSA’s Jessica Riegert organized a demonstration at Congresswoman Mimi Walters’ office in support of Obamacare, according to Alma Fausto at The Orange County Register. (This has provoked some panic from Orange County liberals.) DSA organized a protest outside of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office to demand a vote against confirming Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, according to Christine Mai-Duc at Los Angeles Times. DSA was mentioned in an article on constituent pressure on Senator Chuck Schumer by Michelle Goldberg at Slate.

At Penn State’s The Daily Collegian, Abbi Sales mentioned YDS as being among the organizers of a “The World in One Room: Capitalism and You”.

“Democratic Socialists of Alabama” are among the organizers of a demonstration supporting unionization efforts at a Nissan manufacturing plant in Mississippi, according to Kelly Poe at AL.com.

Sara Tabin included a quote from YDS organizer David Diaz in her account of a No DAPL demonstration in New Haven at Yale Daily News.

DSA @ O'Hare Airport demonstrationTrump’s travel ban provoked demonstrations across the country. Jacob Klinger noted DSA’s participation in the Pittsburgh response at PennLive Patriot-News. Chicago DSA’s Alec Hudson made Reuters “The Wire” but we don’t have the link. Michael Hardy gave Houston DSA partial credit for organizing the travel ban demonstration at Bush International Airport at Texas Monthly. Eamon O’Meara at WDBJ7 TV listed YDS as being among the organizers of a demonstration in support of immigrants in Blacksburg, Virginia. Maynard Wicked Local listed DSA as a member of the Safe Communities Act Coalition in connection with a protest of Trump’s immigration decree.

Habitual fringe candidate Bill Haas is revealed to be a satiric performance art piece, according to Zoe Barnes at Riverfront Times, and the creator of Bill Haas threatens to organize a DSA chapter next. DSA is also part of the landscape when Jeva Lange discusses the “first great art of the Trump era” at The Week. Katherine Brooks’ interview with artist Abigail Gray Swartz mentions DSA at Huffington Post.

DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

Metro Atlanta DSA projected a series of fight back messages on to Atlanta buildings, again, and 11Alive (an NBC affiliate) couldn’t resist. DSA is a credential for an internal Democratic Party election at Pasadena Weekly. DSA is among the groups meeting to plan collaboration in opposition to Trump, according to Shanna Grove at KOMU. Solidarity in the face of Trump was also on the agenda according to a report by Katie England at Daily Herald (Provo, UT), including a quote from Utah DSA’s Charles Nuckolls.

DSA got mentioned at Mel Magazine in “5 People Committed to Making 2017 Suck Less” by Steven Blum. Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn mentioned DSA in surveying anti-inaugural activities in DC and the nation at Mother Jones. So did Gabriella Paiella, who put together a guide to NYC inauguration protests at New York Magazine. Gosh! We are so in fashion. Today. The article was really about Socialist Alternative, but Antonio Planas at Boston Herald did manage to mention DSA in connection with an anti-inaugural demonstration. (Is this a pattern? See Tanveer Ali’s article at DNAInfo.)

DSA was among the groups sponsoring a demonstration in favor of a $15/hr minimum wage in New Jersey, according to Joan Verdon at The Record. Sarah Fentem noted DSA was among the groups organizing a 1,000 strong protest in Indianapolis against repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at WVIK (radio); the story was picked up other stations, but also the Congressional Black Caucus. DSA didn’t make Jeremy Fox’s story on an ACA repeal protest but we did make the photo at The Boston Globe.

Danielle DeCourcey notes criticism of Senator Sanders by his left-wing supporters, including DSA, at attn:. Also at attn:, DeCourcey notes DSA’s rapid growth as a reaction to Trump’s election. The intersection of the personal and the political includes DSA, at least for Daniel Pope at Loam Magazine. Also including DSA, Julia Mead explain’s the end of socialism as a fear word for millennials at The Nation.

Katy Grimes and Megan Barth imagine themselves channeling Paul Revere: The Mexicans are coming, and so is DSA! at Reagan Baby (talk radio). Tim Higginbotham and Matthew Burgoon of DSA provide a reply to a slightly unhinged Alaska State Senator Pete Kelly on the subject of socialism at Alaska Commons. Kevin Mooney mentions DSA in a discussion of left-wing plans (financed by George Soros!) to disrupt the Trump inauguration at The Daily Signal. I’m not sure The Daily Signal deserves a mention as news, however.

Equally dubious as news: WND, where an unsigned article attacking Congressman John Lewis included a dossier of his past association with the left, including DSA, as did Matthew Vandum at the misnamed American Thinker, though at least he didn’t find a way of including George Soros. At the John Birch Society’s The New American, Steve Byas also included DSA in his attack on Lewis.

DSA was also mentioned, in passing, as part of the John Lewis v. Donald Trump discussion by Marisa Fox-Bevilacqua at Haaretz.

DSA News

DSA in DuPage County, Illinois
Founding meeting. Photo by Bill Barclay

• DSA in the western suburbs is reorganizing after an absence of nearly two decades. An initial meeting this January drew a dozen or so participants. The next meeting is scheduled for February 12. For more information, CLICK HERE.

• The City branch of Chicago DSA is dividing into a Northside Chicago branch and a Southside Chicago branch. As one of its last activities, the City branch cosponsored a New Years celebration with the Chicago chapter of Solidarity. Over one hundred people attended the party at the In These Times office, suggesting that socialism, if not DSA, is becoming hip; it was a predominantly young crowd.

Northside Chicago DSA
First meeting of the Northside Chicago CDSA branch drew quite the crowd.

You can find more information about the Northside branch HERE  and the Southside branch HERE.

• DSA will be tabling at the Logan Square Farmers market on Sunday, February 5, 10 AM to 3 PM. It’s an indoor location, near the CDSA office, at 2755 N. Milwaukee, so please stop by to say hello.

• Greater Oak Park DSA is joining with the Democratic Party of Oak Park, the West Suburban Action Project (PASO) and the Community of Congregations to urge Oak Park Village Board to make Oak Park a sanctuary village. The initial action is directed at the Village Board meeting on January 17. While proponents are optimistic and Oak Park is liberal (not necessarily left), they are also prepared to continue the campaign if need be. Somewhat more ambitiously, we’re beginning a petition campaign advocating making Illinois into a sanctuary state. Stay tuned.

• This is going to press before Trump’s inauguration, but expect to see photos of a Chicago DSA contingent in the anti-inauguration festivities and other protest activities. Check our Facebook Page.