Democratic Left

Living, or Reliving, the African American Experience

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Photo/ Bill Mosley   

 By Bill Mosley

A measure of the incredible popularity of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is that this article is appearing more than three months after its Sept. 24 opening.  After the excitement of the opening week had passed, I went online hoping to get a free timed pass – a requirement for admission; the museum was so crowded it was turning away walk-ups – for the next week or two.  I was shocked to find the earliest slot I could book in advance was Dec. 13.

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Safety Tips for Events

Adapted from Up in Arms: A Guide to Oregon’s Patriot Movement by the Rural Organizing Project and Political Research Associates.

Event Framing

Be clear in all publicity that your event is meant to be peaceful. 

Call local law enforcement and let them know about the action. If possible, communicate with any law enforcement that you have a previous or good relationship with. Ask for a direct number to call if there are any confrontations. Assign one person to be in charge of this phone number. That person is to call the number if: 
• protesters are obstructing your event or movement to or within the event
• protesters surround or block anyone at the event
• protesters verbally or physically threaten anyone

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Demanding a Peace Agenda

By Lawrence Wittner

The looming advent of the right-wing Trump administration in Washington threatens to worsen an already deeply troubling international situation. Bitter wars are raging, tens of millions of refugees have taken flight, relations among the great powers are deteriorating, and a new nuclear arms race is underway. Resources that could be used to fight poverty, racism, sexism, unemployment, and climate change are being lavished on the military might of nations around the world—$1.7 trillion in 2015 alone. 

The United States accounts for 36% of that global total. Military spending represents 54% of the federal government’s discretionary budget, and the military’s share will surely rise as the U.S. government implements its plan for spending $1 trillion over the next 30 years on “modernization” of the entire U.S. nuclear weapons complex. 

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Down-Ballot Victory for DSA Member in Austin, Texas

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DSA members Glenn Scott, Julie Nitsch, and Claudia Corum.

By Bridget Tobin, Richard Croxdale, Glenn Scott, and Dale Webb

    In a remarkable, unexpected down-ballot election victory in Austin, Texas, DSA member and Sanders campaign activist Julie Ann Nitsch won her runoff for Austin Community College (ACC) Board of Trustees on December 13th.

    Nitsch started her campaign at a clear disadvantage. It was her first electoral campaign and she lacked name recognition. Meanwhile, her strongest opponent had served as ACC Trustee for the previous 6 years, had a long resume of community activism, and received endorsements from most local Democratic elected officials and leaders.

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Turning the March Into a Movement

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 A crowd fills Independence Avenue during the Women's March on Washington, Saturday, January 21, 2017 in Washington.    AP Photo/ Alex Brandon  

By Peter Dreier and Donald Cohen

Saturday’s day of protest—against Donald Trump and for women’s equality—was successful in two significant ways.

First, it was the largest one-day protest in American history. Based on news reports from cities around the country, as many as 4.5 million people took to the streets. From 750,000 people in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles to 250,000 in Chicago, 60,000 in Atlanta, 26,000 in Des Moines, and 271 in Morris, Minnesota (with a population of 3,500 and only two stoplights), protesters took over America on Trump’s second day in office.

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Populists, the Elites, and Us

By Michael Hirsch

My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency
By Doug Henwood, OR Books, 2016

Trump Unveiled: Exposing the Bigoted Billionaire
By John K. Wilson, OR Books, 2016

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What an election! First, shock and bore throughout; then, fright night. During the course of the tortuous presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton and the feral Donald Trump both had large, tub-thumping support sections and ample rubbishers. With the outcome now history, is there any reason to reopen the trash bin? I think yes, because two books released during the campaign elaborate on far more than its detritus. They warn not only that the struggle against far-right nativism and neoliberal austerity continues but also that the political center is cracked.

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We Are Witnessing the Birth Pangs of a Third Reconstruction

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By Rev.William J. Barber

On election night I felt a great sadness for America — not a Democratic or Republican sadness, but a sadness for the heart and soul of the nation. It is impossible to react to the election of Donald Trump with anything less than moral outrage. Trump is, as David Remnick wrote for The New Yorker, “vulgarity unbounded [1],” and his election has not only struck fear in the hearts of the vulnerable but also given rise to hundreds of documented cases of harassment and intimidation

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Militias and the “New Normal”

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign brought the menace of the “Patriot” movement from the margins to the center of national politics, and there is no reason to think the militiarization of our politics will now fade into the background.

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