Democratic Left

DSA Chapters Raise Money for Abortion Funds

By Caroline Reid

Socialist feminists know that people deserve free abortion on demand, a full range of reproductive health care and family services, and an economic system allowing for full employment and compensation for caregiving of the elderly and young. "Reproductive justice" is a concept that moves beyond the notions of "choice" and "rights." It links the calls for reproductive choice (a person's right to control their own body) to the broader issues of economic justice and human rights (creating conditions that enable people to have children, not only to not have them). Access to abortion is one small, but critical, part of reproductive justice.

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Kitchen Table Socialism: Taxes

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By Steve Max

Do you find yourself having arguments about public policy with your loved ones or relatives you might see once a year? “Kitchen Table Socialism” is here to help. When you gather around the table, these talking points could be useful, especially at tax time. —Ed.

Many of us have seen the Disney film about Robin Hood and heard the villain, King John, rant, “Double the taxes. Triple the taxes.” With this message imprinted on young minds and old, it seems logical to read all of human history as one long tax revolt. Indeed, that is how the right would like us to think of it and how the history of our own country is often presented. Remember that tea dumped in Boston Harbor?

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Democratic Socialists of America Condemns the U.S. Bombing of Syria

A Statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America

April 8, 2017

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has consistently opposed U.S. military intervention in the civil war in Syria and condemns the Tomahawk cruise missile attack by the Trump administration. DSA has also supported from spring 2011 onwards the massive and democratic Syrian uprising against the brutal Assad regime, a regime that has shown no hesitation to use massive force, including chemical weapons, to suppress its people.

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The Implications of Legal Torture

By John L. Elwell

With Donald Trump’s repeated attempts at executive orders to halt the Refugee Resettlement Program and to halt immigration from certain majority Muslim nations, the focus of many (and rightly so) has been centered on that front. Daily news images of refugees, their families, and the protests which took place at what seems like every major airport have shown this new administration that the opposition is real and that it is strong. But with all the attention focused on those executive orders, a secondary piece of news has largely been able to pass by without much attention from the media; and that is our new president’s feelings about torture. President Trump’s views on the subject, in combination with the similar views held by Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch, should be of extraordinary concern to us all.

When I was a senior in college, my roommates and I had a fairly large cardboard sign that covered the entire front window of our apartment. On this sign, in giant black Sharpie block letters, were written the words “Torture Creates Terrorists.” It was a heady decision for a group of young, privileged, white males who considered themselves, if not yet radicals or even progressives, at the very least solid liberals. It was 2009, Barack Obama had just become president, and we patiently awaited the withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, and the passage of healthcare reform. After eight years of a second Bush presidency, some of us considered this the dawn of a new liberal U.S. and we, as naïve college students, wanted to brand ourselves as part of that new U.S.

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Changing the Conversation: Saving the Soul of America, 1967

By Maurice Isserman

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Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered an impassioned speech at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. In eloquence and power, it matched the one he gave at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Unlike that earlier (and better remembered) effort, his topic was not civil rights but the war in Vietnam, an ever-escalating conflict that had killed nearly 20,000 American servicemen since 1963, along with hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, North and South, military and civilian. 

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Equal Pay Day – 2017

By Bill Barclay

April 4, 2017, is the day when we’ll reach the point in 2017 at which time the typical woman (receiving median pay) in the United States will, when she adds the amount she was paid in 2016 to the amount she has been paid year-to-date, get the same amount of income that her male counterpart (receiving median pay) got in 2016. This is called “Equal Pay Day” and has been designated since 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity to call attention to the gender disparity in wages.

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East Bay DSA and the California Single-Payer Campaign

By Simon Brown, Sam Hughes, Mia Lehrer and Jamie Gardner

Immediately after the 2016 presidential election, the California Nurses Association (CNA) jump-started a campaign to win single-payer healthcare in California. This February, the East Bay chapter of Democratic Socialists of America decided to join the nurses and make the Healthy California campaign our organization’s central fight.

Within a month, our chapter held a preliminary canvassing event to train a dozen canvassing captains. Then we multiplied our capacity and held a second event three weeks later with more than 160 volunteers. These volunteers — mostly first-time canvassers — spread throughout the East Bay to educate the community about the single-payer system and mobilize supporters in favor of SB 562. Nearly 1,000 East Bay residents have already signed up to support single payer. After a few hours door-knocking, one volunteer reported, “I learned there are two kinds of people: people who aren’t home, and socialists.”

That’s why we’re holding a third canvass this Saturday, April 1st that we expect to be even bigger. Door-to-door advocacy for single payer gives DSA an opportunity to talk to the public about healthcare policy in a distinctly socialist way. Neighborhood-by-neighborhood we’re organizing a base that’s defined not by a one-off single issue, but by a vision of overturning the ruling class in the long term.

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Growing the Grassroots

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Moumita Ahmed talks with Jessie Mannisto

Moumita Ahmed, cofounder of People for Bernie and its successor, Millennials for Revolution, is one of the thousands who have joined DSA since the end of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. We caught up with Ahmed to see what the rest of us can learn from her experiences—as an immigrant, as a working-class woman of color, and as a leader of a grassroots movement.—JM

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