The resistant radical's toolkit for anti-Trump activity, plus just some enjoyable reading as Winter makes way for Spring...
Welcome to the April 2017 issue of the Washington Socialist, monthly email newsletter of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America.
April 1 has always been a potential stumble for this newsletter, which has tried to walk the line between acknowledging the existence of All Fool’s Day and insisting that we won’t be frivolous about our socialism on that account and that if there are any fools out there we are not among them.
Well, good luck. We are living in this world, after all, even as we struggle for the one we want.
Tempting to say that Trumpland offers special instances of the All Fools definition, but we need to qualify that. All Fools Day is one of the traditional festivals when oppressed peoples could slyly overturn the standard hierarchy and be ruled by disruptive underlings for a day, under the very noses of the elites who are in charge the other 364 days (unless folks can invent more festivals). The Silly Season ruled, one of the "weapons of the weak.".
And where are we today? Trump the Lord of Misrule is inverting the inversion and providing a clownish but always-moving target for media scrutiny – creating a thick fog over the substantive and very damaging practices of his administration. Give him credit: he's no sort of governance talent but a hell of a showrunner.
As March in Trumpland staggered to a close, the House and White House together collaborated on a gigantic, in-front-of-everybody fail and, as Paul Ryan ruefully acknowledged, “The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.” Incompetence was on display for all to see. Democrats more or less successfully shelved their gloat mode and got to work; Bernie Sanders on the Senate’s first day back at work filed a “Medicare for All” bill that presumably will be an apt counterpart to Rep. John Conyers’s HR676 “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,” already boasting 72 sponsors before the Trump/Ryan train wreck (now up to 80).Here is National DSA’s pre-debacle statement on the path ahead which is suddenly looking more promising. But...
But who’s looking? As long as Trump and his enablers can pull Deven Nunes’s strings and dance around the Russia inquiry – serious as it is -- the significant cracks in the GOP’s aura of three-branch invincibility will be hard to see and harder to exploit. The Showrunner-in-chief will continue to dodge the penalties he should be paying for the biggest conservative sin of all – being bad, inept, at wielding conservative power.
It's a fight against distraction. So education, even paddling upstream as we must, has to be part of our task. And that brings us to this issue of the newsletter, which has that purpose. Again, welcome.
DSA MEETINGS AND EVENTS IN APRIL
Check our Meetup page for updates and changes. Coming soon: an emailed update between issues.
Saturday, April 1 4:30-6 p.m. The Racial Justice and Anti-Bigotry Committee meets TODAY at the IPS office, 1301 Connecticut Ave.
Sunday Apr 2 DCDSA Electoral Committee meets, 3 p.m. at IPS, 1301 Connecticut Ave. NW. Email email@example.com if you are coming. Agenda is here.
Sunday Apr 2 Intro to DSA: Socialism 101 6:30 PM RSVP Arlington Central Library Auditorium 1015 North Quincy Street, Arlington, VA (map) Are you new to our group and wondering just what the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is all about?
Tuesday, April 4, Economic Justice Committee 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 1616 P Street NW, Suite 150, updates from working groups on AT&T Solidarity, Fight for $15/One Fair Wage, Defending Federal Workers and Contractors, Housing Justice, and Healthcare for All. Plus: What must be done to "de-dude" socialism and economic justice.
Saturday, April 8 Town Hall: Connecting Race and the Socialist Resistance noon to 5 p.m. at CWA, 501 3rd St. NW.
Sunday, April 9 3:30 p.m. Metro DC DSA Membership Meeting at Friends Meeting, 2111 Florida Ave. NW
Thursday, April 20 Socialist Salon at 6:30 p.m., location tbd – topic is Public Banking and Transformational Economics.
Wednesday, Apr 26 DSA Happy Hour 6:30 p. m. at The Big Hunt, 1345 Connecticut Ave. Join us as we relax and enjoy some brews with our brothers and sisters of DC DSA. No agenda, no schedule, no topic, just some good conversation and beer. Learn more
Friday, April 28, Building the Green Economy: Panel 7 p.m. at Friends Meeting of Washington
2111 Florida Ave. NW Washington, DC Metro DC DSA presents a panel discussion on the intersections of economic and environmental justice. Is a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions possible under capitalism?
Saturday, April 29 People's Climate March 11 a.m. Both national DSA and our local Metro DC chapter have endorsed the People's Climate March (PCM) scheduled to take place here in DC -- and at many other locations around the country.
Sunday, April 30 Socialist Book Group Discussion 3 p.m. National Portrait Gallery Kogod Courtyard 8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC (map) Join us for a discussion of Evicted: Poverty and Property in the American City by Matthew Desmond.
Saturday, April 8 National Day of Actions on Improved Medicare for All National DSA has endorsed this action; the link includes more info plus local actions around the country.
Sunday, April 23 – Tuesday, April 25, 2017 People’s Action Founding Convention Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street NW Registration opens at 1 pm and program begins at 6 pm on Sunday, April 23rd; last activity ends at 5 pm on Tuesday April 25th on Capitol Hill. Progressive Maryland's national affiliate.
IN THIS ISSUE:
<>Doing Our Socialism
Organizational Observations – Eric Sommers likens a recent DSA membership meeting to a more familiar sort of get-together and finds it a good model.
Gareth Sparks recounts the March Socialist-Feminist Salon and the intersectional context.
Glen Pine suggests we take a close look at how our Working Groups and committees are designed to make sure they don’t pull us away from central socialist analysis.
<>The Struggle Now
Universal Basic Income, a frequent topic in this newsletter recently, gets a different take from Lucy Duff.
Information and capitalism are oil and water, and governments go to some length to keep public information from the public, as Woody Woodruff describes.
Austin Kendall suggests having an actual capitalist as president may wake people up to the way government serves the needs of capital in Trump: A Capitalist Unmasks the Capitalist Bias of US Governance
<>In Our Backyard
As RFK Stadium ages out of use and becomes a classic tear-down, DC, MD Opponents of Public Stadium Financing Play Offense in Bill Mosley’s narrative.
Our comrade Carl Goldman’s award as Trade Unionist of the Year from the Metropolitan Council AFL-CIO celebrates a life of fighting the good fight.
As our committees continue to be the leading edge of our local’s activism, Sam Knight keeps us updated with committee reports.
The shadow of the 2018 election hangs over Maryland Politics as the Assembly battles the governor while the legislative session winds down. Woody Woodruff reports.
Our Climate Change and Environmental Justice committee is ramping up for the April 29 People’s Climate March ; Lucy Duff provides details.
Microgrids detached from the main public power grid are showing promise as alternatives to traditional energy use, Dan Adkins reports.
<>Books, Culture, etc.
Kurt Stand recounts the recent presentation We Were There: chronicling women of radical courage.
Timothy Snyder’s book On Tyranny provides a Handbook for the Anti-Trump Resistance. Bill Mosley reviews it.
Another book full of advice for radicals, Smucker’s Hegemony How-to, is reviewed by Lynne Williamson.
Cecilio Morales surveys two very different books on the Perils of Automation and the remedies for an increasingly jobless future.
Good Reads for Socialists rounds up online articles you might have missed.
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About The Washington Socialist
.The Washington Socialist is Metro DC DSA's monthly e-newsletter. Focusing on our local's events, socialist analyses of current events and book reviews, among other topics, The Washington Socialist is a great way to stay on top of the progressive goings-on in DC, Maryland and northern Virginia. We also encourage our readers to submit their own articles! Contact Editor Woody Woodruff for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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