On Inauguration Day, march from Woodruff/Troy Davis Park to Atlanta City Hall and rally for the liberation and safety of our communities with the Georgia J20 Coalition, a solidarity-building partnership of local grassroots organizations and networks, faith-based organizations, and labor unions, led by impacted communities. Demand that the city of Atlanta uphold its obligation and commitment to being a welcoming city to its diversity of residents, visitors and businesses and respect the human rights of all. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/369467400086579/ or call 770-457-5232. (MADSA is a coalition member.)
Dani Atlanta, Daniel Hanley and many others convened by Democracy Spring appealed to the Georgia electors' consciences Dec. 19 as they cast their votes for our president at the state capitol. Just the start of our resistance to the Trump reich. . .
Stay tuned. (Photos: Steve Eberhardt)
Some 75 DSA members, prospective members and friends enjoyed refreshments and fellowship at our "Holiday Party and Post-Election Connection" Dec. 16 in the First Existentialist Congregation sanctuary. MADSA Chair Milt Tambor reviewed our recent membership growth and introduced contact people for our working groups, inspiring many to sign up to participate. See photo at right: (l to r) Labor - Adam Cardo and - not shown - Eric Robertson; Action - Daniel Hanley; LGBTQ Issues - Travis Reid and - not shown - Barbara Segal; Social Media - Barbara Joye; and Political Education - Ray Miklethun. A new group on women's issues is also in formation. (For more info on working groups, come to our Jan. 15 Socialist Dialogue - see Calendar.)
We heard from Neil Sardana of Atlanta Jobs with Justice about that important coalition. Dougie "the Abolitionist" Hanson (see photo, left) gave a rousing call for resistance (and to tune in to his Saturday radio program, "Voices of Dissent," on WIGO). Adam Cardo promoted the Jacobin Reading Group. Milt announced a Jan. 7 fundraiser for Sen. Vincent Fort's mayoral race (Sen. Fort later joined the party). We especially enjoyed getting to know new members and friends, building the community that we will surely need in the coming months and years. (Photos: Reid Freeman Jenkins)
Dozens of friends and comrades of Eduard Loring and Murphy Davis filled the fellowship hall at Wheat St. Baptist Church Dec. 13 for a “profound thank-you” luncheon to give the founders of the Open Door Community a send-off as they prepare to close the ODC and move to Baltimore in January.
They provided MADSA with a home and meeting place for five years (Ed is a MADSA member), and distinguished themselves at the forefront of services and advocacy for Atlanta’s poor and homeless and with their prison ministry that included accompanying death row inmates and opposing the death penalty. They fought for decades for affordable housing, healthcare for all, and many other human rights issues. See Raising Our Voices, Breaking the Chain by Terry Easton, about the occupation of the Imperial Hotel. Ed and Murphy will be sorely missed. (Photos: Reid Freeman Jenkins)
In coordination with "National Day of Disruption" actions throughout the country, Atlantans demonstrated on Nov. 29 for a living wage of $15/hr and a union for low-income workers employed in jobs such as fast food, home care, and airport services. The day started with a 6 a.m. "strike line and pray-in" by clergy that State Sen. Vincent Fort (who attended all the Atlanta actions) called "very successful." A spirited group of about 50 led by Atlanta Raise Up, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Teamster Local 728 and others demonstrated at the Atlanta airport at mid-day but were aggressively dispersed by police after only eight minutes. Some 100 regrouped on Ponce DeLeon Ave. that evening, energized by drummers from the Carver High School band. Marchers who had assembled at the Open Door Community and the "Murder Kroger" parking lot converged and proceeded down the avenue to a nearby McDonalds, where 15 people were arrested for sitting down at the entrance, including a legal observer and one man carrying an IWW flag who said he had been obeying police orders to stay on the sidewalk. MADSA members Eduard Loring of the Open Door and food service worker Dani Atlanta were among those arrested. Reuters reported "scores" arrested at similar actions in other cities. Atlanta Raise up posted: "We occupied space and let Atlanta and the world know that #PovertyWagesDontFly #FightFor15
A few MADSA members made our annual November pilgrimage to Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA to protest the School of the Americas, aka School of the Assassins (officially renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), which has trained Latin American army personnel for decades, including a significant number of death squad leaders, assassins of progressive priests and nuns - including Archbishop Romero of El Salvador - and perpetrators of massacres of civilians. Fr. Roy Bourgeois (honored by MADSA at last year's Douglass-Debs dinner), who organized the first action at the gates of the base in 1990, showed up in an ironic Uncle Sam suit (photo: Reid Jenkins). We joined other SOA Watch veterans and members of a caravan from Cleveland's Interreligious Task Force for Justice who also protested the cruel imprisonment of undocumented immigrants at the nearby Stewart Detention Center. We were a token group of a few dozen, because the main SOAWatch convergence had been moved to the border between Nogales TX and Nogales MX earlier this fall (attended by MADSA member Adrian Bernal, who will be reporting in our newsletter). Member Barbara Joye was quoted in the Columbus paper.
Supporters of the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline marched from CNN Center to the headquarters of Suntrust Bank, one of many large banks that fund the pipeline - Atlanta's contribution to a nationwide day of protest. Led by a group of Native Americans and activists from the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human rights (at left, Eva Morales), the crowd of about 175 placed flowers and other offerings on a symbolic altar (at right, MADSA member Lorraine Fontana offers an apple), spoke out, and sang. When a bank spokesperson finally appeared, they handed him a letter asking the banks CEO William Rogers for a meeting. Other sponsoring organizations included the National Domestic Workers' Alliance (NDWA); We Dream in Black (NDWA Atlanta Chapter); Racial Justice Action Center; Solutions Not Punishment Coalition; The Ruckus Society; Trans(forming); and Women on the Rise. Photos: Reid Freeman Jenkins
During the past few days, protesters have filled the streets of many U.S. cities to tell the world that we will not give the new administration a honeymoon but will fight back from day one against extreme rightwing racist, anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ and anti-worker policies and actions that are sure to come. Atlantans were also in the streets. (Photos: Steve Eberhardt)
Calls to action on a variety of issues, including support for the Standing Rock anti-pipeline water protectors, are coming in fast. See the MADSA Facebook page for announcements.
Also be sure to follow national DSA news at dsausa.org. We gained 1000 new members in the two days following the election! DSA Director Maria Svart sent a message to inspire us, posted on the blog (home page, center column) and a statement by the NPC is in the works.
Several MADSA and YDS members joined a spirited crowd of about 125 (mostly young) Atlantans who marched through downtown Nov. 4 from 4pm to midnight in solidarity with the Standing Rock protesters against the Dakota Access pipeline that threatens tribal sacred land and access to water, the Missouri River, and water supply to a large area. YDS members from Emory, U.GA and GA State turned out. Above: The man holding the sign wore a MADSA button from our Pride booth. Next to him: members Mitsy Novitch and Barbara Joye. Photo by Steve Eberhardt.
The ATLisREADY community organizing body is issuing a call for all Atlantans to join us on Monday November 7, 2016 at Atlanta City Hall for our 24 Hour Tent City for Equity sleepout event. This will be a day of action, awareness and solidarity that centers on Atlanta’s homelessness and equity crises and the factors that cause them to persist on the eve of "election" day.
Because the day will center on Atlanta's equity crisis as it applies to people living without homes and those at risk of the same fate we are calling for an all hands on deck resource drive effort to gather donations including: non-perishable food items, clothing (especially winter wear), first aid supplies, hygeine kits, hand warmers and any other items that may fit the needs of individuals living without stable homes.
We also invite any organizations or individuals who are organizing resource drives separate of this event to take this opportunity to distribute your items on-site and connect with others doing similar work to help further these efforts.
This tent city sleepout will also coincide with the ATLisREADY Pack City Hall Event which will begin at 1pm.
ATLisREADY would like to invite all artists, entertainers, photographers and any other creatives interested in filling the space with your work to come out as well and keep us in positive, revolutionary spirits througout the day.
This will be a full 24 hour sleepout event and we encourage you to bring:
Tents, blankets, heaters, hand warmers, warm bevarages, bottled water, hygeine kits and other supplies in preparation
SEE: ATLisReady on Facebook and look for updates.