A Socialist Discussion with Bhaskar Sunkara

 

On March the 6th, Bhaskar Sunkara was in the metro Atlanta area to discuss socialism and the Jacobin Magazine. The conversation was moderated by myself, Brandon Payton-Carrillo and covered modern socialist thought and the importance of the Sanders campaign. Once the main thrust of our conversation was finished, an enthusiastic audience engaged in a thoughtful question and answer segment. If you were not in attendance, you really missed out on an amazing event. (NOTE: Members of MADSA have begun a reading group under the auspices of Jacobin magazine. See the calendar on this site for meeting info, or contact Norm at 404-378-4026.)


Atlanta marches for Bernie

Thousands of Bernie supporters marched on Feb. 27 along the Beltline to Piedmont Park, where they dispersed to canvass in the surrounding neighborhoods. MADSA members participated as individuals, helping to make buttons, give out signs, serve as marshals, and of course carry Daniel's awesome DSA posters. (Photo by Steve Eberhardt)


Feb. Membership Meeting: Lots to Talk About

On Feb. 20 over 40 people crowded into the meeting space at the Open Door Community to exchange information about a wide range of current issues and struggles. To name a few: attorney Chaka Washington's fight against the death penalty for Kenny Fults; Adam Cardo on the Young Democratic Socialists' winter conference; Becky Rafter's report on Ga. WAND's fight against radioactive pollution and other dangers from the Savannah River Plant and Plant Vogtle (with the low-income, mostly African American community of Shell Bluff on the front lines); Daniel Hanley on the Bernie campaign; and guest speaker Larry Pellegrini's wry and insightful report on the Georgia legislative session, complicated this year by the members' re-election campaigns. . . .

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Bernie, Killer Mike and Me at Morehouse

(Photo by Rebekah Joy)

I had heard that Killer Mike was going to meet with Bernie Sander supporters at the Atlanta campaign office on the morning of the rally at Morehouse College. Killer Mike had electrified  the crowd at the Fox Theater the last time Bernie was in town. So, I was looking forward to seeing him up close and even meeting him. When I arrived at the campaign office located at 236 Auburn Avenue,  the meeting was already in progress.  Approximately 75 people had gathered together and were listening to two young African-American men from Chicago attached to the campaign who were explaining why they were supporting Bernie for president. . .

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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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