Have Fun and Bowl for Access to Abortion

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The Providence DSA "General Strike!" posing for a team photo at the Rhode Island Abortion Access Bowl-a-thon.

By Willie Thompson

The 2016 Abortion bowl-a-thon Campaign to raise funds for women who cannot afford abortions is coming up soon! This event is a great way for DSA chapters to get together, have some fun, network with community groups in your area and raise needed funds to support reproductive justice.

For the last two years, our local DSA chapter in Providence, RI, has put out the call to members and formed a team: Providence DSA General Strike! (pun intended). Spending three hours bowling together on a Saturday afternoon gave members and friends the opportunity to get to know one another a little better and also helped to integrate new members into the chapter. The bowl-a-thon is a great mix of social time and solidarity.

As we were bowling, one of the event organizers made a point to visit our lane to ask us how we heard about the event. She seemed at first to be a bit surprised that a socialist organization would be participating, but we explained that the DSA Feminist Working Group encouraged us to attend. “Intersectionality: love it!” she said, and told us how happy she was that we were there.

Providence DSA member Sean Monahan points to two reasons why it's been good for our chapter:

First, it raises money to help poor women access the same reproductive rights that better off women enjoy, and so it fits our class-conscious socialist feminist politics perfectly. And second, it helps our DSA local get some street cred in the local women's liberation scene (one of our members won the bowling tournament last year!) and, more importantly, focusing on reproductive justice helps bring in women to the local who might feel alienated by gender-blind class politics.

As a fairly new chapter in a small state, it is important that we show activists across the spectrum that DSA is present, active and supporting their struggles.  

Many of you may be familiar with similar "thons" to raise money for NGOs or other causes. You may think to yourself: socialists do not generally raise money for “charity” and instead work on structural reforms or changes so that voluntary measures such as fundraising would not be necessary. The reality is that for decades there have been many laws that prohibit state and federal funds from subsidizing the cost of abortions. These laws force women and their families to choose between paying for health services and putting food on the table.

The National Network of Abortion Funds works to get financial assistance to women and families right now, when the laws and politics are stacked against them and when solidarity is needed most. It is this intersection of class, feminism and health care that makes the abortion bowl-a-thon so novel in its approach and so worthy of DSA chapters’ support.

Take action now: click here to see if there is an abortion access bowl-a-thon near you. If there is, organize your chapter, come up with a team name and start raising those funds. If there’s not an event near you, no problem! You can still participate.

In joining, you will find that your chapter will be stronger and your connections to your community will be tighter. If your chapter hasn't yet had the opportunity to have a discussion about socialist feminism and reproductive justice, your participation in the bowl-a-thon is the perfect opportunity to start one up.

So, this spring, lace up your bowling shoes and hit the lanes to fund abortion now!

A member of Providence DSA, Willie Thompson is on DSA’s Social Media Committee.

 

Grassroots Fundraising: Paying for the Revolution (9pm Eastern)

June 23, 2017
· 47 rsvps

Are you new to socialist organizing? Or after many years do you still struggle, raising money from members when you need it but without a steady flow of income or budget to plan ahead? Are you afraid to tackle fundraising because it seems so daunting or you are uncomfortable asking people for money?

In this webinar, you will learn why fundraising is organizing, and how to do it – face to face, through fundraising events, and other ideas.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

Instructor:

  • Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

Training Details:

  1. Workshops are free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have preferably headphones or else speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt talt@igc.org.
  5. If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt schmittaj@gmail.com 608-355-6568.
  6. Participation requires that you register at least 21 hours in advance -- by midnight Thursday for Friday's webinar.

NOTE: This training is scheduled for 9:00pm Eastern Time (8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific, 5 pm Alaska, 3 pm Hawaii).

Data Security for DSA Members

June 27, 2017

Ack! I googled myself and didn't like what I found!

WHAT: A DSA Webinar about "Doxing"
WHEN: 9PM EST, 6PM PST

We're proud of our organizing, and chapter work is transparent for both political and practical reasons. However, there are basic precautions you can take in this time of rapid DSA growth to protect your privacy.

Key Wiki is a website that meticulously documents DSA activity and posts it for the world to see. If you're an active DSA member, likely your name is on their website. This is an example of "doxing".

As DSA becomes larger, more visible, and more powerful, we might expect that more websites like this will pop up, and more of our members' information might be posted publicly on the web.

Join a live webinar on Tuesday, June 27 with data security expert Alison Macrina, to learn:

  1. what is doxing? with examples and ways to prevent it
  2. how to keep your passwords strong and your data secure
  3. where to find your personal info on the internet and how to get it removed
  4. social media best practices for DSA organizers
  5. what to do if you've already been doxed

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/9173276528

Call-in Info: +1 408 638 0968
Meeting ID: 917 327 6528

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 11 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 8 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.