170-4 DSA in the News

compiled by Bob Roman

At Texas Observer, Gus Bova characterizes DSA’s explosive growth as a “red dawn”. And Matt Pearce at the Los Angeles Times is seeing red, noting the tripling of DSA’s membership. This was picked up by other publications in the old Tribune network, including the Chicago Tribune. MSN posted a 30 second spot (also see Wochit Headline News at Daily Motion), this also has been echoed at a few TV stations. John Sexton turned it into a brief item at Hot Air. DSA was on the menu in a report by Lisa Provence about the rise in activism at C-VILLE Weekly. Christian Horbelt wrote a report on DSA, focused on Pittsburgh, for International Politik und Gesellschaft. DSA came up in Harry Shukman’s interview of Winnie Wong at The Tab. At The Tab, Harry Shukman did a similar interview with Moumita Ahmed. A meeting of the Philadelphia DSA was the occasion for Jason Nark to examine DSA’s growth at The Philadelphia Inquirer. I missed this in the previous survey, but one episode of Bill Press and Friends included a growing DSA as a topic. And there’s a brief mention from Dan Sweeney at Sun Sentinel.

Sam Beem at Underground Voices covered a meeting of the Penn State YDS, focusing on their decision to not debate a conservative group. If you’re on a bandwagon, everyone wants on board so they invent an issue for a ticket: Aidan Mattis at The Libertarian Republic decided YDS was just afraid to debate. And Alana Hope Levinson at Mel Magazine contends a real cuckboi is a card-carrying DSA member. Aaron Klein passed off as fresh some stale canards and half-truths about DSA at Jewish Press and Trevor Loudon complains that it’s Not Your Daddy’s Democratic Party Anymore at World Net Daily. Cheryl Chumley whined about DSA’s growth at Washington Times.

So what is DSA? The Chicago Tribune posted a slide show as a brief explanation. Since we’re trending, here’s Circa.

It’s a dismal time for the left, sez Richard Whitten at Paste, but there’s DSA, among others, as light at the end of the tunnel? DSA was one of many topics touched on in an interview of Bhaskar Sunkara and Robert Brenner by Suzi Weissman at Jacobin.

Michelle Chen’s article on the immigrant rights movement mentioned DSA at Dissent. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s victory party was the occasion for DSA organized demonstration demanding LA be a sanctuary city, according to Gene Maddaus at Variety. It appears the Los Angeles Times ran a similar story but I can’t find the URL; however, here is a more recent Los Angeles Times article on Garcetti’s victory by Dakota Smith. The YDS chapter at Princeton University signed on to an open letter to the university president urging him to stand up for human rights, posted at The Princetonian.

David Highfield’s report on International Women’s Day activities in Pittsburgh for KDKA TV focused on DSA. YDS was among the groups organizing a International Women’s Day march and rally in DeKalb, Illinois, according to Aimee Barrows at the Daily Chronicle. The same event, with YDS mentioned, was covered by Sophia Philips at Northern Star. Times-Union mentioned DSA among the organizers of the Day’s rally in Albany, New York. Coverage at KTVU of the International Women’s Day march and rally in Oakland, California, quoted DSA member Jamie Gardner. Aaron Cynic’s coverage of the Day at Chicagoist included DSA’s blitz of Chicago Transit Authority stations in support of Amalgamated Transit Union’s ongoing negotiations with the CTA. (But we were at the Fight for 15 demo, too. There’s a photo of Tom Broderick, with DSA button, at the Chicago Sun-Times.) Rather like disguising a science fiction novel as a romance novell, Jenna Lemoncelli included DSA as part of her celebrity-journalism style coverage of the Day at Hollywood Life. Scott Heins at Gothamist interviewed Yvonne Martinez from DSA (“You’re here surrounded by Democratic Socialists”). Jackie Labrecque and Stephen Mayer at KATU mentioned DSA in their coverage of the Day. Michael Alison Chandler explored unpaid labor and the strike, quoting DSA’s Ariana Ascherl, at The Washington Post. This being The Washington Post, it got reposted some and excerpted more. Amber Randall smiled as she as she cut and pasted and mentioned DSA at The Daily Caller. Elizabeth Harrington at The Washington Free Beacon mentioned DSA while pointing out the International Women’s Day is rooted in Socialism (with a capital S). DSA got mentioned by Sophie Weiner mentioned DSA in an essay exploring color and politics at Racked.

How can Trump win the support of the Black Congressional Caucus? Richard Dimery thinks the prospect of being tarred and feathered with the likes of DSA and such should help, at Black Community News. Is DSA a Christmas goose? Marxist-Leninists whet their knives at Left Voice.

Kshama Sawant mentioned DSA in her response to Trump’s speech to Congress, as posted at Counter Punch. A discussion of electoral politics and the left by Daniel Moraff at In These Times mentioned DSA. Using the contest for DNC Chair and its outcome as tea leaves for the future, Cole Stangler at In These Times quoted DSA’s David Duhalde.

At the Daily Mail (U.K.), Chis Summers covers a police twerking scandal in Rochester, New York, and quotes a tweet from Rochester DSA.

Ben Jacobson at the Telegraph-Herald quoted DSA’s Derrick Clark about the Iowa legislature’s failure to support mental health treatment (caution: pay wall).

DSA was among the groups rallying for a $15 / hr minimum wage in New Jersey, according to Lindsey Kelleher at The Record. At the DesMoines Register, Kevin Hardy quoted DSA member Patrick Stall in opposition to proposed Iowa legislation preempting local minimum wages ordinances. O. Kay Henderson covered the same hearing, mentioning YDS, at Radio Iowa, as did Bob Fisher at KGLO.

Jenna Chandler listed DSA Los Angeles as being among the opponents of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative ballot measure at Curbed LA.

A progressive income tax for Seattle is under consideration and Daniel DeMay included quotes from DSA’s Stephen Gose at Seattle pi.

Veep Mike Pence visited Louisville, Kentucky, to discuss repealing Obamacare and was greeted by a rather large protest, DSA among the supporting organizations, according to Shelby Brown at The Louisville Cardinal.

Kashiki Harrison profiled DSA’s Joseph Schwartz at The Temple News. The late Michael Israel’s political journey, including DSA, was memorialized by Scott Thomas Anderson at Sacramento News & Review. Kelly Chen profiled YDS activist Hannah Zimmerman for Affinity Magazine.

Kim Jones, Jon Martinson and Brad McGarr explained the Twin Cities Chapter of DSA for Southside Pride. Huh-oh. Barbarians at the hedge row: Geoff Spillane noted an outreach meeting for a possible Cape Cod DSA chapter at Cape Cod Times. This Cape Cod item also got noted by Lauren Dezenski in her Politico column on Massachusetts politics. At Shepherd Express, Keith Schubert profiled the Milwaukee DSA chapter.

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.

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).

170-1 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.

Everyone Is Joining the Resistance

by Bob Roman

Everyone is joining the resistance to the Trump agenda, whatever that may be, for we all fear the worst and anything less than that is still pretty bad. Everyone is joining, including what passes for the Democratic Party in Chicago’s 48th Ward, where U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky held her “Anger to Action” community forum on Saturday, January 7. All the local politicians were on the program: 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, State Senator Heather Steans, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. Appropriately, 48th Ward Committeewoman Carol Ronen served as the master of ceremonies.

The event was held at the old Broadway Armory on Broadway near Thorndale. It drew somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 people (estimates vary). It was standing room only for a crowd that was largely older and white. The people of color in the audience were mostly not African-American.

Had this rally been held in a January prior to an election, it would not have been all that unusual and it would have had a fairly tight focus on mobilizing election volunteers to action and on getting money to flowing. But without an election, having Democratic politicians organize such an event is decidedly unusual. It was one of several rabble rousing events that Representative Schakowsky appeared at between the New Year and the Inauguration.

While the rally had some ordinary organizational aspects (list building, for example), the emphasis was very much on getting attendees active in non-electoral politics, of which the Women’s March on Washington was the headliner yet but one of several options presented. There was even an organization fair after the rally and a promise of follow-up emails with more activism opportunities. Senator Steans attempted to incite a Twitter bomb, though I’m inclined to think it fizzled, and there was a social media workshop after the rally as well.

The rally did not get much coverage in the media. Indeed, it did not seem to be designed as journalist bait. Among other things, the politicians actually gave speeches rather than providing the strings of sound bites that, in the worst cases, become one non sequitur after another. The speeches were largely what you would expect from a Democratic Party gathering: reproductive rights, LBGT rights, the Illinois budget impasse, education, Obamacare (most especially Obamacare), Social Security…. What is missing from this list? Labor. The labor movement was mentioned precisely three times. The first time was not by a politician but by an activist thanking SEIU for their assistance with the Women’s March on Chicago. The next two times were by Representative Jan Schakowsky who mentioned the need to defend labor rights and, later, the need for $15 / hour and a union.

The point is not to beat up on clueless liberal politicians (though if you wish to do so, dear reader, be my guest). The fact is, having a tin ear is not a survival trait for professional politicians, and this was not a largely union audience. Yet despite the audience, Schakowsky touted the labor movement. That labor was not an automatic inclusion for the others suggests that the labor movement is becoming, even in the minds of liberal Democratic politicians, what conservatives have always accused it of being: a special interest, supportive mentions optional. Friends like these do not have your back; labor has gone from having a seat at the table to being on the table.

Representative Schakowsky, at least, gets this. Even supportive mentions in passing are important. Liberal non-union audiences need to understand that the success of their agenda depends on the health of the labor movement, that there is a considerable overlap between the agendas, that the people who oppose labor’s agenda are largely the people who oppose theirs. All politicians who profess themselves to be friends of labor need to take part in this public education else they are not really friends.

The complete video of the forum is available via the Women’s March on Washington – Illinois Facebook page.

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.