Why DSA? Your December Dispatch

Here’s your December Dispatch! This month, Green New Deal calls, political education on Palestine, workplace organizing trainings, and more. Read on to get involved.

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From Maria — Why DSA? 

Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement is perhaps less familiar to some members than Jane McAlevey’s later books like No Shortcuts. But it opens with the gripping story about how depending on business as usual and institutions stacked against us rather than street pressure and grassroots mobilization impacted the Bush vs Gore presidential election. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor cast the deciding vote in December 2020 to stop the Florida recount.

McAlevey describes herself asking, about the labor and progressive response at the time, “the American electoral process is breaking up like the Titanic and we don’t want to rock the boat?” I think of this as we face down authoritarianism at home and genocide abroad, and I’m so glad we have DSA.

Last week’s White House vigil brought together the three arenas of DSA work — electoral, labor and community organizing — with one message: let Gaza live. We are building real working class power in our workplaces, through elections, and in the streets. We are fighting on many issues but with one core analysis, that the boss class exploits the working class however it can. We can win if and only when we unite in solidarity and actually use our disruptive mass power.

This year I ask you to contribute to DSA’s financial stability by paying Solidarity Income Based Dues, particularly as we expand our member-led structure with newly elected National Co-chairs Megan and Ashik and Labor Co-chairs Sarah and Ryan. DSA members don’t sit lonely at home as we face climate change and fascism. We’re fighting, together, for democracy and socialism. We are independent of a few wealthy individuals or foundations because we fund ourselves, but we have a fundraising shortfall we can only fill if everyone chips in.

Maria Svart
DSA National Director

Saturday 12/9 — Understanding the Israeli–Palestinian Colonial Conflict

Join the DSA National Political Education Committee on Saturday 12/9 at 12:30pm ET/11:30am CT/10:30am MT/9:30am PT for a presentation on Understanding the Israeli–Palestinian Colonial Conflict.

In 1967, after the Six-Day War, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a hauntingly prescient ad signed by a dozen Israeli socialists. The ad stated in part, “Occupation entails foreign rule. Foreign rule entails resistance. Resistance entails repression. Repression entails terror and counter-terror. Victims of terror are mostly innocent people. Holding onto the occupied territories will make us into a nation of murderers and murder victims.”

How should we understand what is happening in Gaza and across occupied Palestine? How does history help us understand and interpret the present? What can we do now to shape the future? Moshé Machover and Sumaya Awad will help us answer these questions. 

Moshé Machover was born in 1936 in Tel Aviv and lives in London. As a student, he joined the Israeli Communist Party, from which he was expelled in 1962 with other party dissidents who challenged the ICP’s lack of internal democracy and subservience to the Soviet Union. That year, he founded the Socialist Organisation In Israel, better known by the name of its journal, Matzpen. He has written extensively on socialist theory, Israel, the Middle East, and the Israeli-Palestinian colonial conflict. A collection of his essays, Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Resolution, was published in 2012. Many of his more recent articles were published in Weekly Worker.

Sumaya Awad is a Palestinian activist and writer dedicated to advocating for the rights of all Palestinians, immigrants, and refugees. She has been published and interviewed in outlets including The Feminist Wire, Truthout, In These Times, The Middle East Solidarity Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Slate. She is co-editor of Palestine: A Socialist Introduction.

RSVP for Saturday 12/9 International Committee Okinawa to Palestine Call

Join our reportback on the recent DSA delegation to Okinawa with ZENKO! This event will be on Saturday 12/9 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT. On this call, you’ll hear from speakers in Okinawa on their struggles against military occupation and colonialism, and the parallels to Palestine today.

Sunday 12/10 — Empower DSA Kids Event: Building Understanding and Support for Palestine

Join the DSA National Political Education Committee for a special event to empower children of all ages with knowledge, compassion, and social-emotional skills to confidently support the Palestinian people during these challenging times! The call will be on Sunday 12/10 at 12:30pm ET/11:30am CT/10:30am MT/9:30am PT.

On this call, author Rifk Ebeid will present her heartwarming children’s book, “You Are The Color.” This engaging story inspires young minds and promotes unity and understanding. And be the first to see a video inspired by her story “Baba, what does my name mean?” The video provides context and support for children grappling with the ongoing tragedy in Palestine.

The call will also include a teacher’s insights on social-emotional learning strategies for these difficult times. Learn how to navigate emotions, express feelings, and foster empathy in the face of ongoing challenges. In the midst of the distressing events in Palestine, it’s crucial to provide a safe space for children to learn, express themselves, and stand in solidarity with the cause.

Join our Wednesday 12/13 Ceasefire Now for People and Planet Call

In the past months, DSA has mobilized to end the Israeli siege on Gaza and its illegal, US-funded occupation of Palestine. Join DSA’s Green New Deal Campaign Commission and the International Committee Wednesday 12/13 at 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PT for our Ceasefire Now for People and Planet call!

This panel brings together organizers and experts to discuss this resurgence of a left anti-war movement in the context of the climate crisis and explore how organizers can deepen internationalism and anti-militarism within domestic ecosocialist and abolitionist organizing. Panelists will discuss how Palestinian liberation is central to the climate justice movement — and why demilitarization is not only socially necessary, but a requirement for meeting climate and environmental goals.

Green New Dues Call Monday 12/18 — RSVP Today

Team up with the Green New Deal Campaign Commission to call our comrades about Green New Dues! We’ll focus on the exciting progress we’re making across the country on the Green New Deal — like winning the Building Public Renewables Campaign in New York earlier this year — when asking members to contribute 1% of their income to DSA as Solidarity Dues. The call will be held on Monday 12/18 at 7pm ET/6pm CT/5pm MT/4pm PT. Join us!

Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee Foundational Training — In Spanish Too! Starts 1/10/24

Trying to organize your workplace? Want to support others organizing their workplaces?

Join the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee’s Foundational Training to learn how to organize workers. This four-part series introduces workers and non-unionized shop organizers to the basics of organizing a workplace. 

This winter, on Wednesdays in January, we will be hosting our second BILINGUAL training series. Sign up today, or share with Spanish-speaking coworkers, friends, and family!

In four 90-minute weekly sessions, we will discuss how workers can unite to address issues at their workplace and how to begin the process of unionization. Participants will hear from experienced organizers and other workers organizing their own workplaces. They will practice connecting with coworkers and engaging in collective decision-making around common concerns. Participants will learn how to prepare themselves and their coworkers to take collective action. Finally, they will learn how to lay the groundwork for unionization.

The sessions will be held at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5 pm PT. Space is limited to 200 participants. Register Here!

¿Estás intentando organizar tu lugar de trabajo? ¿Quieres apoyar a los demás a organizar los suyos?

Participa en la Serie de Capacitación Fundamental del Comité para la Organización Laboral de Emergencia (EWOC) para aprender cómo organizar a los trabajadores. Será una serie de cuatro partes que presenta a los trabajadores y organizadores de lugares de trabajo no sindicalizados los aspectos básicos de la organización de un lugar de trabajo.

Este invierno, los miércoles de enero, presentaremos nuestra segunda serie de capacitación BILINGÜE. ¡Regístrese hoy o comparta con sus compañeros de trabajo, amigos y familiares de habla hispana!

En cuatro sesiones semanales de 90 minutos, enseñamos cómo los trabajadores pueden unirse para abordar los problemas en su lugar de trabajo y cómo comenzar el proceso de sindicalización. Los participantes escucharán a organizadores experimentados y otros trabajadores que están organizando sus propios lugares de trabajo. Practicarán conectarse con los compañeros de trabajo y cómo participar en la toma de decisiones colectivas en torno a asuntos comunes. Los participantes aprenderán a prepararse a sí mismos y a sus compañeros de trabajo para emprender acciones colectivas. Finalmente, aprenderán cómo sentar las bases para la sindicalización.

Las sesiones se llevarán a cabo a las 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT. El espacio está limitado a 200 participantes. ¡Registrate aquí!

New Socialist Forum Out Now

The Fall 2023 issue of Socialist Forum, DSA’s quarterly long-form publication of theory, strategy, and debate, is now live. This issue tackles a wide range of topics, including:

  • Democratic socialist electoral strategy and party building
  • How should DSA engage with the Latin American Left?
  • Lessons learned from recent strikes at the University of California
  • Reflections on the US democratic socialist tradition

As always, we welcome responses and feedback at [email protected].

National Budget Call Recording

DSA is a membership-led and membership-funded organization, with the vast majority of our funding coming from membership dues. This guarantees that our resources come from our source of power: organized people. Our funding and our power are inextricably linked. Dues allow our organization to be accountable to our members and our members alone. On 12/5, members of DSA’s Budget and Finance Committee and national staff reported on DSA’s 2023 budget and projected financial position at the end of the calendar year.

Understanding our financial health as the National Political Committee prepares to decide the 2024 budget will aid in building sustainable funding models that can support our collective work for the long haul. As DSA members, we have a responsibility to make strategic decisions about where, when, and how we use our resources. How we raise and spend our money has political consequences for our work. That work includes grassroots fundraising: it’s part of building solidarity and power. We can’t build an independent working-class organization without the financial support of working class people.

Welcome New Organizing Committees and Chapters!

A warm welcome to our latest Organizing Committees (OCs) and chapters!

New OCs:

  • Big Island, Hawaii
  • Palouse, Washington

New chapters:

  • Salina, Kansas
  • West Sound, Oregon