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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MADSA and friends at School of the Americas Watch Nov. 22

(L to R) Carl Davidson, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Jim Skillman, MADSA and CCDS; Sarah Gollwitzer, Cleveland DSA; MADSA members Steve Gill, Megan Harrison, Daniel Hanley and Travis Reid, at the Nov. 22 vigil at the gates of Ft. Benning remembering victims of School of the Americas/WHINSEC graduates and demanding the school be shut down. Also in the crowd: Adrian Bernal, Barbara Joye, Reid Jenkins, Ed Loring, Minnie Ruffin.  

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MADSA at National DSA Convention

Nine MADSA members joined over 100 DSA members from across the country to help set the organization’s course for the coming years, share skills and insights in workshops and join in song during a three-day convention Nov. 13-15 at a retreat center in rural Pennsylvania.  Participants agreed that the “Bernie moment,” which has enabled DSA’s accelerated growth in recent months – reflected in increased attendance compared to previous conventions – justifies optimism about the future of democratic socialism in the U.S. and of DSA in particular.

MADSA members helped lead workshops on writing, recruiting new members, sharing experiences across generations, strengthening local chapters, and working on the Bernie Sanders campaign, as well as caucus sessions for identity groups and their allies. Brandon Payton-Carrillo and Reid Jenkins contributed their talents as singer-song writers. MADSA attendees were Hope Adair, Adam Cardo, Steve Gill, Daniel Hanley, Reid Jenkins, Barbara Joye, Brandon Payton-Carrillo, Travis Reid, and Milt Tambor.

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Clinton rallies in ATL? Shut It Down! Deploy the Berniesignal!

Clinton faced grassroots resistance from multiple organizations, including Metro Atlanta DSA, during her visit to Atlanta this past Friday. Earlier in the day, her appearance at Clark Atlanta University, intended to launch "African Americans for Hillary," was interrupted as Black Lives Matter protesters with the #AUCShutItDown collective raised their voices, chanted, and started singing. This new generation of black liberation activists, in sharp contrast to the defensive Democratic Party elites and old guard civil rights leaders in attendance, sought to hold Clinton accountable for her dismal record on racist state violence and economic exploitation of people of color.

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DSA and YDS Mobilize Workers for Fight for $15 Day of Action

Metro Atlanta DSA strongly endorses the upcoming Fight for $15 national day of action, which falls on Tuesday, November 10. At 5:00pm on 11/10, outraged and abused fast food workers, home care workers, and other low-wage workers will confront Atlanta City Hall, demanding that the Atlanta City Council and Mayor Reed do everything in their power to achieve a $15 minimum wage in our city. This is the latest in a series of growing actions to demand that exploitative employers pay their workers a living wage and respect the right to democratic representation in the workplace.

Beyond participation in the November 10 mobilization, our DSA local has expressed a deeper commitment toward organizing and mobilizing low-wage workers and allies.

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Celebrating Gay Pride

October 10th and 11th, 2015: Atlanta's Gay Pride Festival and Parade enlivened downtown and Piedmont Park for two days. From its brave, but inauspicious beginnings over 20 years ago, the festival has grown to one of the largest, and certainly the most colorful, happenings in Atlanta.

MADSA, together with Georgia for Bernie and Latinos for Bernie contingents, marched proudly in the Atlanta Pride parade, to the frequent applause of huge crowds of spectators, whose energy matched that of the paraders. The weather was great, and the parade marched along for the better part of three hours.



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September Membership Meeting Hears History of Black Panthers

On Sept. 26, at the Open Door Community, MADSA held its general membership meeting. Over 40 people attended, including many first-timers who met us at Georgia for Bernie events.

The program featured Gary Washington, originator of WRFG's Labor Forum program and former member of the  Black Panthers. MADSA's own Minnie Ruffin added her recollections of the Panthers' community nutrition programs, in which she participated while a graduate student at UC-Berkeley.

Washington distributed copies of the Panthers' "Ten-Point Program," a document that seems a pertinent, socialist manifesto even today.

Many expressed great admiration for the personal risks Gary Washington had endured, asking how he mustered the courage that so many lack. He humbly replied that everyone is able to contribute to the movement for justice to some degree, observing that there is only a single degree of difference between a tub of water and a force capable of driving a steam engine. Will you be the 212th degree?



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