Enjoy your February Dispatch! This month, Amazon’s wage theft; labor, cultural, ecosocialist, and political education events; and opportunities to get involved with DSA organizing in your workplace and around the country. Read on for more!
- From Maria: Crisis Creates Opportunities to Win
- Tonight, Thursday 2/4 — On The Front Lines of the Philippine Labor Movement
- Friday 2/5 — Join Cancel ALL Student Debt/2021 YDSA Winter Conference Preview Call
- Sunday 2/7 DSA4USPS Call — The Postal Service and the Green New Deal
- RSVP for Sunday 2/7 Call on Domestic Worker Organizing in Times of Crisis
- Tuesday 2/16 — Religion and Socialism Working Group’s Black History Month Call on Paul Robeson
- Democratic Left call Tuesday 2/23 — Rediscovering the Earth: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson
- Stand Up for a Strong Labor Movement — Sign Up for our DSA PRO Act Campaign
- Win COVID-19 Protections at Work with the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee
- Starting Wednesday 3/3 — Six-Week Workplace Organizing Training
- Tuesday 3/9 — Socialist School of Economics with Hadas Thier
- Meet Your DSA Staff
FROM MARIA: CRISIS CREATES OPPORTUNITIES TO WIN
Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon this week. CNN’s story treated him as a visionary and barely mentioned the fact that the company is trying to bust workers organizing a union at their Alabama warehouse. The story completely omits any reference to the $61.7 million in tips that Amazon stole from delivery drivers over the past two and a half years.
We understand why Amazon is deflecting attention from their wage theft. We understand why the capitalist owned media goes along with this propaganda push, using soft language like Amazon “didn’t pass on tips” and “used customer tips to subsidize wages.” It’s the same reason that when police murder someone the media reports it as an “officer involved shooting.” History is written by the victors.
In a world ravaged by COVID, where Democratic politicians are forcing open workplaces and Republican ones are accountable to a fascist base, it can feel like we are indeed losing.
Yet we have our own victories.
Striking Black and brown essential workers in the Bronx, New York just won a significant raise in the coldest time of the year. They did so with the solidarity of organized socialists and of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, herself one of an expanded group of DSA members in Congress. Democrats in Washington, DC are likely to capitulate to Republicans on COVID relief, yet we’re also likely to win changes that would have felt impossible before movement pressure from DSA and others shifted the power dynamic over the last few years.
We are living through a political crisis, yet it is tied up with a crisis in the capitalist system itself. If nothing else, this creates opportunities, and we have a tool to fight back: working class organization! Now is the time to get actively involved in your DSA chapter. Many are doing significant online organizing as well as safe in-person outdoor activities like mutual aid, socially distanced protests and picket lines. Find your local chapter and upcoming events here!
And keep fighting!
DSA National Director
TONIGHT, THURSDAY 2/4 — ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE PHILIPPINE LABOR MOVEMENT
On Saturday 2/4, the Commemoration Day of the Philippine-American War, join our DSA International Committee for “On The Front Lines of the Philippine Labor Movement: Workers’ Struggles Amidst the Pandemic and Political Repression.” The call will be at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT.
The DSA International Committee is partnering with Bayan USA for a webinar with “Kilusang Mayo Uno” trade union leaders on today’s fights between the Filipino working classes and corporate power; the ravages caused by COVID; and the government’s abuse of the quarantine to crack down on dissidents. Join us to hear what the connection to US imperial power is, and what we can do about it.
FRIDAY 2/5 — JOIN CANCEL ALL STUDENT DEBT/2021 YDSA WINTER CONFERENCE PREVIEW CALL
Biden has the power to cancel ALL student debt with a stroke of his pen, but he won’t do it without a movement to force his hand. Join us on Friday, February 5 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT for a panel on how YDSA and other organizations are building that movement on campuses and in communities across the country. This is a preview event for the 2021 YDSA Winter Conference — A Better World is Possible.
Panelists include Astra Taylor, Emmaline Bennett, Luke Herrine, and Melezia Figueroa.
SUNDAY 2/7 DSA4USPS CALL — THE POSTAL SERVICE AND THE GREEN NEW DEAL
This Sunday, 2/7 at 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PT, DSA4USPS will explore the postal service’s potential within the Green New Deal. With its fleet of carriers who operate on foot, the US postal service is a very green federal agency. And plenty of people are organizing to make it, and its international counterparts, even more so.
Join Stephen Quirke, rank-and-file member of the National Association of Letter Carriers and DSA; Julee Sanderson, First National Vice-President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers; David Yao, Vice President of the Seattle area Postal Workers’ Union; and Gustavo G. from the DSA Green New Deal Campaign committee as they discuss the importance of greening infrastructure writ large, and how postal services specifically can join and forward the cause. This webinar will be moderated by Claire R., a member of New Orleans DSA. Find out more and register here!
RSVP FOR SUNDAY 2/7 CALL ON DOMESTIC WORKER ORGANIZING IN TIMES OF CRISIS
This Sunday, 2/7 at 2pm ET/1pm CT/12pm MT/11am PT, join our Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC) Domestic Worker Organizing in Times of Crisis: Perspectives from the US and Latin America! This webinar will feature leaders from the US and Brazilian domestic worker movements, who will talk about their experiences of organizing and empowering some of the most underrepresented and undervalued women workers to stand up and fight for their lives and livelihoods in a moment of unprecedented crisis.
The featured speakers are Luiza Batista Pereira, President of the National Federation of Domestic Workers of Brazil (FENATRAD), and Gilda Blanco, US National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Domestic Workers (IDWF). The commentator for the panel will be Professor Tithi Bhattacharya, Director of Global Studies at Purdue University and author of Social Reproduction Theory: Remapping Class, Recentering Oppression.
TUESDAY 2/16 — RELIGION AND SOCIALISM WORKING GROUP’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH CALL ON PAUL ROBESON
Paul Robeson was the preeminent Black, left-wing figure of U.S. popular culture during the 1930s-40s. Concert singer, film actor, and public personality, his “Ballad for Americans” was heard by millions of radio listeners. Idolized across large parts of Europe, Paul Robeson’s records were heard widely in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In the United States, he was struck down by McCarthyism. His legend and his lessons remain.
Tuesday, 2/16 at 7:30 pm ET/6:30 pm CT/5:30 pm MT/4:30 pm PT, join Lawrence Ware, co-editor of the first-ever graphic novel biography of Robeson, and Charles Howard, University Chaplain and Vice President for Social Equity and Community at The University of Pennsylvania, for a discussion of Robeson’s relevance today. Can’t make that time? Don’t worry — everyone who RSVPs will receive a recording of the event.
If you’re interested in the Paul Robeson graphic novel, you can find more information here. A 30% discount and free shipping are available with code DSARUP. The code is good sitewide. This call is sponsored by DSA’s Religion and Socialism Working Group. To get involved, you can sign up here.
DEMOCRATIC LEFT CALL TUESDAY 2/23 — REDISCOVERING THE EARTH: A CONVERSATION WITH KIM STANLEY ROBINSON
Kim Stanley Robinson has been called “one of the greatest living science-fiction writers” in the world. In this live webinar, Robinson and Anders Dunker, editor of the new book Rediscovering Earth: Ten Dialogues on the Future of Nature, will talk about nature, socialism, and the future. The call will be moderated by Michael Carter. Join us Tuesday, 2/23 at 7:30pm ET/6:30pm CT/5:30pm MT/4:30pm PT for a fascinating discussion!
This call is co-sponsored by our member magazine, Democratic Left, and the Democratic Socialists of America Fund. Following the discussion, members of DSA’s Green New Deal Committee and Ecosocialism Working Group will discuss DSA’s campaigns.
STAND UP FOR A STRONG LABOR MOVEMENT — SIGN UP FOR OUR DSA PRO ACT CAMPAIGN
The new Biden administration is making big commitments around the climate crisis, but the working class needs much more than restoring the Obama-era status quo and massive handouts for corporations to “green” capitalism. We need a Green New Deal that massively expands the public sector and guarantees good green jobs for all workers.
But to win on our terms, we need a much stronger labor movement. That’s why the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission and DSA’s Green New Deal Campaign are launching a push for the First 100 Days of the new administration to pass the PRO Act (Protect the Right to Organize), which would strengthen unions and the power of the working class to organize on the job, helping to build labor power as strong as it needs to be in the months and years ahead to win a just transition to a green economy for all communities. The original New Deal was won through militant labor organizing. Rebuilding this capacity is crucial to DSA’s work for a radical Green New Deal.
WIN COVID-19 PROTECTIONS AT WORK WITH THE EMERGENCY WORKPLACE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Do you and your co-workers deserve better protections from COVID-19? Better pay? Fairer treatment and respect? The Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) provides workers with information and support to win safety, better pay, and a voice on the job in the time of the pandemic. Sign up for immediate support to organize your workplace!
STARTING WEDNESDAY 3/3 — SIX-WEEK WORKPLACE ORGANIZING TRAINING
Want to learn more about union organizing? Sign up for EWOC’s six-week organizer training series! Sessions begin Wednesday, 3/3. You can choose between Wednesday or Sunday trainings.
The Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC) is a joint project of DSA’s Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC) and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers (UE).
TUESDAY 3/9 — SOCIALIST SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS WITH HADAS THIER
Since the Great Recession, more and more working people have realized that the capitalist economy doesn’t work for them, but mainstream economics makes it hard for most of us to understand exactly why. This call will cover the basics of Marx’s analysis of the economy — including the labor theory of value, the profit motive, and competition. Why do mainstream politicians tell us we can’t raise the minimum wage? And how do socialists know that workers can and should earn more — and run society? RSVP for this call for a new understanding of how to interpret the chaotic capitalist world around you.
MEET YOUR DSA STAFF
Welcome to our four new staff members who joined us in January!
Christina, Finance Coordinator
I’m Christina (Chris) and I work in the Finance department as the new Finance Coordinator. I’m coming to DSA after working for the past 5 years at a small non-profit in the South Bronx supporting Latinx families, and am excited to be here! I’m based in NYC, and love biking around the city as much as possible.
Emma, Development Director
My name is Emma, and I’m thrilled to join DSA’s staff to continue growing DSA’s membership and movement-building work. I spent the past 6 years at the War Resisters League as the Development and Membership Coordinator, working to grow resistance to militarism and redistribute “defense” budgets to life-affirming resources like housing, healthcare, and education. Besides promoting antimilitarism, I previously worked in movements for environmental justice, land reform, and farmworkers’ rights. I believe in the power of grassroots fundraising to resource movements for collective liberation and look forward to working with DSA members far and wide to resource their work. When I’m not making an “ask,” I like talking and reading about geography and making noise on my bucket drum.
Kaleb, YDSA Organizer
Hi everyone! I’m Kaleb, the second YDSA organizer on staff. I began organizing while in school at Texas Southern University in Houston, and having the opportunity to work with students who are fighting to bring about a better world is a dream come true. Having organized and participated in various campaigns on police accountability, put fire to the feet of conservative university administrators, and done the hard day to day work to start and sustain student organizations, I have a wealth of experience that will be useful to YDSA students.
It’s impossible to bring about a mass movement to transform this country without having a strong youth voice. And our working class movement must mirror the working class of this country, which is why I am geared up to recruit students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), community colleges, trade schools, and high schools to move us closer to that reality. To quote the legendary freedom fighter, Assata Shakur, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Tom, Revenue Bookkeeper
I’m Tom and I’m a new member of the Finance department. I’m coming from over a decade of work for independent venues in the New York music industry and thrilled to be involved in DSA, where I’ve been a card-carrying member for over a year. I live in Brooklyn and I love metal and cats.