Statement in Support of the Hong Kong Democracy Movement

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) supports the goals of the Hong Kong movement for democracy (the “Umbrella Movement”).

When the British handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997, the Chinese government promised both in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the mini constitution of Hong Kong (the Basic Law) that a democratic system eventually would be implemented in Hong Kong.

However the current resolution passed by the Chinese National People’s Congress for implementing that promise by 2017 would sharply restrict candidates for political office to those preselected by an unrepresentative body representing mainly business interests.

The struggle to create a political system with more democratic self-determination is an essential step towards rectifying the growing economic inequality in Hong Kong.

As democrats and as socialists we support our sisters and brothers in Hong Kong who are fighting for the same goals we have in the USA.

High school students organized in Scholarism and university students organized in the Hong Kong Federation of Students have taken the lead in organizing massive peaceful occupations and assemblies to pursue these legitimate political ends.  They have been widely supported by the independent unions of the Hong Kong Confederation of Labor and by numerous civic and neighborhood associations, and by Occupy Central.

After many days of protests marked by an excessive police response, the Hong Kong government agreed to have a representative meet with the students.  However this promise for negotiations was obviated by a wave of violent attacks on peaceful protesters by thugs, often with police looking the other way or sometimes abetting the efforts of the vigilantes. The fighters for democracy have courageously resisted with nonviolent tactics.

We support the demands that repressive violence against the protesters cease, whether it comes from official government sources or from thugs acting in concert with the government.  The Hong Kong government should immediately negotiate with students and other representatives of the democracy movement to resolve the underlying issues, including the establishment of genuine universal suffrage and initial measures to restrict the growth of extreme economic and social inequality.

We applaud the initiative and courage of those participating in the Hong Kong Movement for Democracy.  We will support the struggle by making use of our own democratic rights in appropriate ways to publicize, petition and protest in solidarity with this crucial democratic movement.

Passed by the DSA National Political Committee October 5, 2014.

Click here for a list of actions you can take in solidarity with the Umbrella Movement.

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 45 rsvps
The Price We Pay blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance — the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, tax havens - and what we need to do to stop this.  DSA member Bill Barclay, who has a cameo role in the film, will facilitate the discussion. Watch the film prior to the discussion.

Full film available on Vimeo.

How to Plug in New Members

February 01, 2017
· 14 rsvps

Is your DSA chapter growing quickly and you're trying desperately to find ways to plug new members into your chapter's work? Never fear! On this conference call an experienced DSA organizer will go over the basics of new member outreach and developing a plan for plugging new members into your chapter's work. Most of the call will be devoted to troubleshooting specific issues you're facing, so please brainstorm some issues beforehand that you want to bring up on the call.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 7 PM PT.

Film Discussion: Salt of the Earth

February 05, 2017
· 9 rsvps

Join DSA members Shelby Murphy and Deborah Rosenfelt in discussing Salt of the Earth, a captivating film made in 1954 by blacklisted writers and actors about a strike at a New Mexico zinc mine. Well before the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s, these filmmakers were exploring gender inequality and solidarity. Available on Netflix.

Shelby Murphy is a Latina from Texas and former Young Democratic Socialists co-chair. Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Deborah Rosenfelt researched the making of the film and its aftermath for the reissued screenplay. Here is her blogpost about the film.

 

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 8 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion.