Bernstorming and Beyond: What's Different About Bernie's Campaign?

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Metro Atlanta DSA’s Daniel Hanley has helped coordinate MADSA’s efforts to support Bernie Sanders’ candidacy through the independent group Georgia for Bernie, and national DSA supports the related People for Bernie movement (see dsausa.org). As individuals, Daniel and other members also volunteer for the Bernie campaign. – Editor


As field offices open throughout the state, the Sanders campaign in Georgia rapidly announced multiple Bernstorm events (previously “barnstorms”) to launch the coordinated campaign effort, augmented by a foundation of community support built over the previous year by an authentic grassroots, independent coalition. On January 29, nearly 200 people packed the Communications Workers of America union hall to meet with national and local staff.

Some highlights:

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Anthony Hill, Black Lives Matter, and DSA, by Adam Cardo

Anthony Hill was a 27-year-old African-American Air Force veteran whose bipolar disorder was exasperated by his deployment overseas.  During a psychotic episode, a naked Hill was shot and killed outside his apartment by DeKalb County Police officer Robert Olson in March of 2015.  Local activist groups who led marches and rallies demanding an indictment of the accused officer included Rise Up Georgia and #It'sBiggerThanYou, as well as myself and several fellow Atlanta DSA members. We also collected funds for the cause at our Socialist Dialogue. The struggle culminated in a three-day campout outside the DeKalb County courthouse during the week of January 17th. The officer was successfully indicted on all six counts against him. (Photo: Lorraine Fontana. Adam is to the left of the man with a blue scarf.)

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King Day March

We anticipated a large, energetic group in the democratic socialist contingent in this year's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March, but the crowd we saw blew us away! Despite the cold weather, 50-100 people felt the Bern and participated regardless. Multiple local DSA members active in the Bernie campaign helped to build this contingent, which marched alongside our union sisters and brothers in the labor movement. We announced the event through Facebook; passed out hundreds of flyers at the Fox; announced it at multiple watch parties; and amplified the event announcement through contacts we've made with some of the Bernie activists. – Daniel Hanley

Photos by Reid Jenkins.


Democratic Socialist Dialogue: Race, class and gender

A record 56 people showed up to engage in a dialogue about the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability oppression under capitalism. Emory and U.Ga. women’s studies Professor Patricia Del Rey, Racial Justice Center Co-director Xochitl Bervera, MADSA Recording Secretary Barbara Joye and facilitator Lorraine Fontana presented perspectives on the history of the connections between these issues and the implications for progressive social activism. Many of those attending shared their experiences and concerns, ending with an illuminating personal testimony on disability issues by Ninah Davis. MADSA Chair Milt Tambor summed up “intersectionality” as “solidarity,” and we ended by singing "Solidarity Forever." Many new friends attended, including members of Georgia Rise Up, Solutions not Punishments, Grandmothers for Peace, Atlanta Women for Equality and Georgia for Bernie, and students from Emory U. We hope to see them all again. Photo by Reid Jenkins: Brandon Payton-Carrillo led the gathering in the opening song: "Union Maid."


Solidarity: Charleston, Jan. 17

Fight for $15 folks from Atlanta took a bus to Charleston to join with organizations across the South for a mass mobilization and demonstration at the Democratic Presidential Debate. MADSA members Adam Cardo (pictured), Daniel Hanley, and Megan Harrison were among them. The group called on all candidates to focus on living wages, racial justice, and healthcare for our families. After protesting and marching outside the debate, a silent march was held outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the site of the murder of the Charleston 9 by Dylan Roof. A nice surprise occurred when Senator Bernie Sanders came out and addressed the marchers.

 

 

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MADSA welcomes refugees Dec. 12, 2015

About 20 MADSA members joined a diverse crowd of 125 at a "Welcome Refugees" rally in front of the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain. The event had been quickly called by the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition (MADSA is a member) and refugee community and faith groups to show solidarity with refugees and immigrants, following incendiary statements by Donald Trump and others. Photos: Reid Freeman Jenkins

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Georgia Gulag awareness event well attended

MADSA member Dougie “the Abolitionist” Hanson brought together a standing-room-only crowd of activists and concerned individuals in the Little Five Points Community Center Dec. 5 for an afternoon of dialogue with many excellent speakers on ending "the Georgia Gulag” – mass incarceration, the “war on drugs,” the school-to-prison pipeline, oppressive conditions in our prisons, and related matters. MADSA was among several organizations offering their literature and signing up interested participants. We honor Dougie for his tireless efforts to raise awareness and inspire action on these issues.


We visit Atlanta LGBT history exhibit

Dave Hayward, author of "Forward Together: A Look at Atlanta's LGBT History Since Stonewall" at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, guided a group of fellow MADSA members and friends through the exhibit on Dec. 6.Member Lorraine Fontana is among the pioneer activists featured. Hayward directs Touching Up Our Roots, an oral history project documenting Atlanta's LGBT community. Forward Together will be on display on the ground floor of the Center only until the end of 2015.

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Atlanta Demands Climate Justice at DSA-Sponsored March

Metro Atlanta DSA joined numerous other community and environmental justice organizations -- totalling over 500 Atlanta activists -- in clamoring for bold action by the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, coinciding with many grassroots mobilizations around the globe. DSA contributed to the Atlanta Climate March in terms of finances, people power, and radical analysis, demonstrating its deep concern and outrage toward ongoing and escalating environmental devastation, wrought by economic systems that assume limitless production, consumption, and investment in carbon based energy sources. The Emory Graduate Sustainability Sustainability Group coordinated the march, which drew participation from a wide range of organizations and individuals, including the Sierra Club, Georgia for Bernie, Citizens' Climate Lobby, and other prominent friends of DSA such as Senator Vincent Fort and Daniel Blackman.

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2015 Douglass-Debs Dinner Brings Us Together Again

On Nov. 18, a diverse crowd of over 120 community activists and supporters enjoyed MADSA's ninth annual Douglass-Debs Dinner. After an inspiring speech by Bob King, former president of the United Automobile Workers - and a guest appearance by Bernie/Daniel Hanley - we honored Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of School of the Americas Watch; former State Rep. Tyrone Brooks; and our own Minnie Ruffin. The dinner is our main fund raiser, which supports our expenses and allows us to donate to our coalition partners and other good causes. For more photos and MADSA chair Milt Tambor's report on our year's activities, click on "Read more." 

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