What is DSA Doing? 09/10–09/16/17

Hello friends and welcome to another weekly rundown of what the Democratic Socialists of America are doing to make this country a better place. I am doing this series because, in the words of Lenin: “The art of any propagandist and agitator consists in his ability to find the best means of influencing any given audience, by presenting a definite truth, in such a way as to make it most convincing, most easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.”

It is important for us to not only do work that directly engages with the material conditions of the working class but to then create representations that are “most easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.” That is one of the major reasons why DSA is quickly outpacing the rest of the US Left: like successful revolutionary movements before us, we understand the use of propaganda very well.

Image for post
Image for post
That’s right, it’s a GIF now. Shout out to comrade Nate Kling.

September 10: West Suburban IL DSA has been out on the picket lines for a month now in support of Automobile Mechanics’ Union Local 701 who are fighting for a 40 hour work week (no, you did not get teleported back to the 1800s, they’re really having to fight for a 40 hour work week). As all y’all union folks know strikes are expensive and require a lot of sacrifice: please help these workers maintain their struggle against the bosses. DSA Albany was out in Troy canvassing for the New York Health Act to bring Medicare For All to NY. All week Florida and Texas DSA chapters continued their relief effort work in the wake of the devastating Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Image for post
Image for post
DSA Houston gutting a house in Beaumont.

September 11: The Bronx/Uptown Manhattan (affectionately called BUM) DSA put out their proposal for a community working group drawing largely from the example of the Black Panther Party. Rochester DSA mobilized canvassing for the New York Health Act to bring Medicare For All to New York. Chattanooga DSA is putting together a brake light clinic like New Orleans DSA did.

September 12: The Michigan State University DSA had a teach-in on fascism. Austin DSA did some door-to-door canvassing to get name changes for Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis Streets. Metro Atlanta DSA was also out in force against the glorification of white supremacy in their communities. Burlington DSA joined Vermont teachers on the picket lines to fight the union busting tactics of the school board.

September 13: Quad Cities DSA wasn’t afraid to get their hands dirty last week cleaning up downtown Rock Island. North Jersey DSA did some door-to-door canvassing for singlepayer.

Banner drop by DSA Chattanooga at the Walnut Street Bridge

And New Orleans DSA put out their much-anticipated guide to running a brake light fixing event so that other chapters could adopt this awesome grassroots engagement in their own communities.

September 14: Philly DSA has been supporting the unionization campaign by workers at the Mazzoni Center and this week they won their vote 51–34! The Fresno High School Young Socialists put together a clothing drive. DSA Tulsa has been supporting weekly protests against deportation.

Image for post
Image for post
If the Lord has given you two hands you should be holding two protest signs tbh.

September 15: Actually from last week but the four great Iowa chapters of DSA (Iowa City, Central Iowa, Dubuque, and Heart of Iowa) made a big showing at their state fair to talk about Medicare For All and their Des Moines candidate Abshir Omar. In general it was a great week for press on DSA’s grassroot organizing, especially with the ongoing hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida. DSA LA is beginning to put together a brake light clinic like DSA NOLA. Buffalo DSA canvassed in their ongoing campaign to get white supremacist Sheriff Tim Howard out of office (they’ll be out again on the 28th).

September 16: DC DSA is out today providing support to the Juggalo March on DC. For those not familiar, Juggalos are a subculture made up of fans of the band Insane Clown Posse and they are marching because of the FBI designating them as a “hybrid gang.” It may seem silly but there’s plenty of precedent for socialists to tap into counterculture to agitate since they tend to be made up of marginalized working class people.

Image for post
Image for post

North Alabama DSA continues its struggle against the Confederate monument at the Madison County Courthouse today in a counter-protest against the far right. Cincy & North Kentucky DSA have been working all weekend to make sure their county commissioners do not sell parts of their library to private interests.

Carry hope and love in your hearts because we are out there, every single day, developing a working class politcal movement for socialism that will be unstoppable.

Written by

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store