What Is DSA Doing? 09/03/17–09/09/17

One of the favorite attacks that the Left in the United States likes to throw around at each other is that the other group is not doing anything. And as I have talked about before, while there are plenty of Left groups that are active in their communities, I joined the Democratic Socialists of America and have stuck with them because of just how engaged they are: regularly, throughout the country, and in the kind of accessible ways needed to build a mass socialist movement in our modern times. And I’m not the only one — I have watched several people, acquaintances and friends, gradually move from curiosity about DSA to joining because they saw overtime that DSA shows up and puts in the work. We may disagree on practically everything, but that enthusiasm for engagement is a wonderful thing we seem to hold in common.

Unfortunately through a combination of how social media algorithms work and that doing things like filling out DACA renewals are not exciting to watch, it can be difficult to show people outside of the work that we are doing it. Some people may say “That doesn’t matter, it just matters that we are doing the work.” But this isn’t service provision — it’s politics. Our actions and demands must be connected to our vision of adopting socialism in this country and modern social media gives us an impressive array of tools to do so. So while I encourage everyone to share more of the nitty-gritty work they’re doing (and please share more of the nitty-gritty work that other chapters are doing!), I’m going to start aggregating everything I see every week here, in a weekly segment called What Is DSA Doing? I hope this shows not only all the different examples of our work but just how much of an impact it is making when we add it all up.

What Is DSA Doing, September 3 to September 9, 2017

September 3: With rumors spreading that Trump was going to end the DACA program, DSA LA continued to put pressure on the mayor of Los Angeles to declare it a sanctuary city, which wound up recruiting them a new member in this very cute exchange. Also there is now a Comrades In Recovery working group.

September 4: DSA chapters across the country went out to support the Fight For 15 movement for their strike on Labor Day—like in Durham, the Twin Cities, and New Orleans.

September 5: DSA chapters across the country mobilized to support protests against ending the DACA program. NYC DSA did some jail support and DSA Portland pointed out the Democrats’ complicity.

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September 6: The newly official Heart of Iowa chapter helped to organize a call-in for a worker retaliated against for the Labor Day action.

September 7: North Texas DSA teamed up with North Texas Dream Team to fund and recruit volunteers for doing DACA renewals (and they could still use more donations if you can spare any!). Florida DSA chapters began preparing for relief work after Hurricane Irma.

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September 8: The best caucus in DSA raised $5,000+ for our comrades in Houston. Our Houston chapter has been doing excellent relief work in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

September 9: DSA Phoenix went and investigated new voting machines in person. Throughout the week our YDSA, our student section, has been carrying out a massive fall campus drive.

That’s just some of the work we’ve been doing and what really stood out to me with our work this week was mutual aid — comrades looking out for each other in the most dire of circumstances.

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Feminist socialist writer fighting for econ justice. Views do not represent my firm, DSA, or my cats, who are sadly both ultra leftists.

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