Democratic Left

Uniting to Build a Socialist Feminist Movement

Statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America
May 1, 2017

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is committed to socialist feminist organizing, knowing that capitalism is built upon male supremacy and white supremacy. One of the most critical feminist issues is reproductive justice, including not just birth control and abortion but also childbearing and childrearing. DSA also understands that abortion access is an economic issue, that poor and working-class people and people of color in particular experience limited access to reproductive healthcare, from the very limited access to care for rural patients to mandatory waiting periods that force people to lose work and stay in a costly hotel, to the high cost of the care itself.

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May Day 2017 : Born in the U.S.A.

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By Michael Hirsch

For generations, May Day, the International Workers Day celebrated by working people in more than 200 countries, was ignored in the United States, the country of its origin. In fact, the annual holiday is as American as cherry pie, commemorating as it does the 1886 nationwide general strike in which U.S. trade unionists — largely foreign-born — walked off the job in support of an eight-hour workday.

This year’s observance marks the 128th anniversary of that campaign to humanize the workday — and of the tragedy at Chicago’s Haymarket Square that followed three days later.

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Support the May Day Strikes

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Cosecha and DSA

By Duane Campbell and Maria Svart, for the Immigrants’ Rights Committee of DSA

You don’t want to wake up on May 2 and read about nation- wide protests  by immigrants and then feel like you missed a historic opportunity.  Instead, please join  with DSA and the growing movement to strike on May 1 for what promises to be the biggest workers strike in over a decade!  Organizers from Moviemento Cosecha and major national unions have said that more than 400,000 workers have committed to strike.  We encourage DSA chapters to join in the massive strikes, boycotts, and other actions beginning on May 1. The movement will continue after May 1.  Information on the post-May 1 events is at www.lahuelga.com

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Defeating Right to Work in New Hampshire

By Patrick Bruce

“Right-to-Work” legislation has been introduced in the New Hampshire General Court over 30 times in the last 50 years, usually falling victim to partisan checks-and-balances. These abusive laws are not a problem unique to New Hampshire: to date they have bled their way into 28 states. Time and time again, New Hampshire’s labor community has waged quiet war against this reactionary menace and won.

New Hampshire’s historic rejection of Right-to-Work is more than a victory for the people of that state. Capitalist money pits like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and David and Charles Koch’s Americans for Prosperity (AFP) view New Hampshire as a gateway to the Northeast. Right-wing profiteers used the conversation in New Hampshire to increase organizing efforts in Maine, Rhode Island, and even the liberal bastion that is Massachusetts. As Donald Trump continues to assemble the most anti-worker administration in a generation, no state is safe from the union-busting specter of Right-to-Work.

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Raise Consciousness with "The Handmaid’s Tale"

By The Editor

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Hulu’s 10-episode adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale starts April 26. The showing, to millions of people, of a frighteningly plausible scenario involving religious fanatics and the control of women’s bodies offers enormous educational opportunities that extend beyond April. 

The premise of Atwood’s novel is that world war and environmental catastrophe have created an economy of scarcity for an embattled United States and made the majority of people infertile. A militaristic elite has used religion and brute force to turn women into walking incubators.

Because the series begins at the end of a month of Abortion Access Bowl-A-Thons, it’s an excellent opportunity to organize a community of socialist feminists to have weekly watch parties and combine chilling “entertainment” with political discussion and collective action. Here are some thoughts for your gatherings.

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Want to Elect Socialists? Run Them in Democratic Primaries

By Daniel Moraff

The Democratic Party is deeply flawed and repellent to left challenges—but it still offers the easiest path for socialists to win elections and build power now.

There are currently 7,383 state legislators in the United States. Nine of them are affiliated with the Vermont Progressive Party. One of them is an independent from Alaska who caucuses with the Democrats.

This is the grand sum of the left presence in American state legislatures outside the Democratic Party. There has been a single instance of federal-level victory in my lifetime—Bernie Sanders’s election as an independent to the U.S. House, then Senate, in Vermont. No one else has even come close. And Sanders, after 30 years as an Independent, elected to seek the presidency through the Democratic primary.

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WTF Is Neoliberalism?

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By Brandon Richard

Neoliberalism is inescapable. Yet as frequently as the term is used, there’s a remarkable amount of disagreement about its usefulness – and sometimes its very meaning. Some argue that the word should be abandoned as jargon, or a meaningless term of abuse. Others protest that it is politically confusing, since it describes Reaganomics and Thatcherism just as easily as Clintonism and Blairism. Nevertheless, the term is too important and too widely used to be jettisoned. So let’s nail it down: What actually is neoliberalism?

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Puerto Rico: Uncle Sam's Colony

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By Jose Cortes Sanchez

A century ago on March 2, 1917, President Wilson signed the Jones Act, granting citizenship to the 1.2 million residents of U.S.-occupied Puerto Rico, though almost 300 rejected the sainted Wilson’s offer. A month later, the U.S. entered WWI, and after some 18,000 Puerto Ricans fought on the metropole’s behalf, they came home to an island of second-class citizens ruled by sugar monopolies. We’ll see if today’s islanders will have the foresight and resolve of their forebears as they prepare to vote in a referendum this June on either statehood or independence. What is clear is that Puerto Rico’s status as an “unincorporated territory” has exacerbated the effects of a cruel imposed austerity requirement to pay back the island’s staggering $72 billion of publicly-held debt. The status quo is unsustainable. 

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