Democratic Left

DSA Condemns Texas Senate Bill 4

by the National Political Committee, Texas DSA chapters, and the National Anti-Racism Working Group - Immigration Committee

On May 7, 2017, the Texas Senate passed SB4, a bill that allows local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people in most instances, such as routine traffic stops. This "show me your papers" law will result in racial profiling throughout Texas communities. These illegal arrests will increase tensions between law enforcement and the communities they seek to protect and serve. SB4 will allow law enforcement to detain Texas residents lacking legal status until Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrives to take them to privatized detention centers for processing.

All Texans will be endangered when fear of law enforcement and their continuous collaboration with ICE outweighs the need for help from those same government agencies when the victim of a crime.

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Gender and Sexuality in Iranian Politics

Janet Afary Talks with Peg Strobel

Janet Afary is professor of Religious Studies and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her Sexual Politics in Modern Iran won the British Society for Middle East Studies Annual Book Prize. —PS

 Janet Afary
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For Municipally Guaranteed Jobs

 "Works Progress Administration Project 1937" sign on the City Hall in Stewartville, Minnesota.

By Jeremy Mele

The Great Depression was a horrible time during US history that saw poverty skyrocket and employment levels reach new lows. It was an unprecedented moment in American history that shook the country and created economic devastation that made the millions of unemployed struggle desperately to support their families.

Today, we are not living in an economic downturn of the magnitude of the Great Depression. But we nevertheless continue to struggle with poverty and joblessness: twin scourges that do much to contribute to and exacerbate other issues in our society, such as, as I shall argue, political disengagement. The current unemployment rate stands at 4.7%: a number which, though far from an all-time high, still signifies that millions of people lack the chance to earn a living. Worse, that number fails to account for persons who are under-employed (that is, individuals whose only source of income are part-time jobs and, therefore do not have the chance to earn a full living).

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Attica and its Aftermath


Heather Ann Thompson talks with Matthew Countryman

Last year, on the 45th anniversary of the largest prison rebellion in U.S. history, historian Heather Ann Thompson’s book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Rebellion of 1971 and its Legacy was published to critical acclaim. The uprising of nearly 1,300 men for better conditions ended in mass bloodshed, with 39 people killed by the state on the day of the retaking and 128 shot and wounded seriously. Using extensive interviews with survivors, relatives of hostages and prisoners, law enforcement, and legal defenders, as well as never-before-published material, Thompson tells the story of what happened in the tense four days of the uprising, the state-sponsored violence that followed, and the decades-long struggle for prisoners’ rights. Historian Matthew Countryman talks with Thompson about the rebellion and the “new Jim Crow.” The transcript below has been edited for length.—Ed.

MC: Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you talk first about the reaction to the book?

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Trump Care Must not Pass the Senate: Building a Movement for “Medicare for All”

Statement of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) National Political Committee
May 5, 2017

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that President Trump and the Republican House majority just rammed through Congress—without subjecting the bill to review of its likely consequences by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)—poses a grave threat to the well-being of all but the wealthy few.

The bill will deny insurance coverage to far more than the 24 million Americans the CBO estimated would have lost coverage under the initial “repeal and replace” bill that the House rejected in late March. The bill that just passed the House cuts health coverage for tens of millions in order to fund a tax cut of $346 billion over the next ten years to the top five percent of income tax payers.

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How Local Activism Points Toward a Low-Carbon Future

By Will Hughes 

If you are looking for it, there is no shortage of bad news on the climate front. President Trump and his appointees, aided and abetted by a Republican-controlled Congress, have begun the swift dismantling of great swaths of federal policy dedicated to fighting climate change. A recent executive order began the process to undo the Clean Power Plan, a centerpiece of the Obama administration's climate response, and regulations concerning fuel standards, methane leaks at oil wells, and climate adaptation are being unwound as well. All the while, temperature and ice cover records are being broken and then broken again. In this new reality, environmentalists are readying themselves to fight to preserve existing programs and policies against the new administration with the expectation of a turbulent four years.

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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.


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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