We joined a MADSA-endorsed "Nothing Great About Hate" rally and march Sept. 10 to demand that the DeKalb County Commission remove a monument to the "Lost Cause" that currently defaces Courthouse Square in downtown Decatur. A spirited crowd of some 500, led by Hate Free Decatur and the DeKalb NAACP, heard speakers from many faith and community organizations, circled the downtown area behind a contingent of community youth and ended with a second rally in front of the monument. Most speakers called for the monument to be moved to a museum or cemetery. One sign read: "We don't want to erase history, we want to get on the right side of history!" The DSA's Southern Caucus has endorsed a "Tear it Down!" campaign, while recognizing that the monument issue is a symbol of the larger struggle against institutionalized white supremacy. Photos: Reid Freeman JenkinsRead more
National DSA's Immigrants' Rights Committee has published a strong statement denouncing Trump's decision to end DACA, signed by representatives of many DSA groups including MADSA (and more have signed on since this was posted).
The statement begins:
"President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, under pressure from a nine-state coalition led by the Texas Attorney General, represents another racist attack by his administration on immigrants, in this case on young people who were brought into the United States as children. The undersigned members of the Democratic Socialists of America denounce the repeal of DACA and maintain solidarity with the nearly one million DACA recipients who will become targets for harassment and deportation by ICE. . . "
Read the complete statement in English and Spanish here.
Yesterday, hundreds rallied at the detention center in downtown Atlanta in anticipation of the decision. Photo: Kevin Moran
Erin Parks (L), Barbara Joye (R), Reid Jenkins, Milt Tambor and Linda Lieberman tabled for MADSA at the AFL-CIO's annual Labor Day cookout at UAW Local 882's recreation center in Hapeville. Many friends dropped by the table, and several new people signed up for our email. Photo: Howard Romaine
And member Steve Gill sent this report from another Labor Day event:
"As chance would have it, I got back to Columbus last night and was able to head up to Atlanta in the morning for the Reclaim Labor Day: Thank a Worker event held by ATL Jobs with Justice and ATL Raise Up. So jazzed that my daughter and I had the opportunity to do this! Only wish I took more photos!
If you get a chance today, thank a worker who is working on Labor Day and tell others to do the same. We need all hands on deck to ensure a living wage and union representation for all. So, spread the love, get out the word to vote, and help tackle social and economic injustice!"
Photo: Steve Gill
By W.B. Reeves
Thousands turned out in downtown Atlanta Aug. 20 to oppose white supremacy and to honor the memory of Heather Heyer, the young woman murdered by a Nazi/white supremacist in Charlottesville, VA a week earlier. Gathering at Centennial Olympic Park adjacent to CNN Center, the swelling crowd heard speeches from representatives of various groups making up the sponsoring Georgia Resists coalition, which includes the American Friends Service Committee, Black Lives Matter Atlanta, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, Georgia Moral Monday, Georgia NAACP, NAACP Atlanta, NAACP Beacon Hill, SisterCARE Alliance,SOS-Save OurSelves and the Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America. The park was the site of the 1996 Olympics bombing by right wing terrorist Eric Rudolph, which killed one and injured 111.
Former state legislator and mayoral candidate Vincent Fort called for a moment of silence to honor Heather Heyer before stirring the crowd with a call-and-response chant of “Fired up!, ready to go!”
The crowd moved out down Marietta Street with chants of “The people, united, will never be defeated!”, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Tell me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” On the way it passed the sculpture of Henry Grady where white racist mobs had thrown the bodies of murdered black men at the foot of the statue during the 1906 race riot. They continued through the central business district, their voices echoing and re-echoing off the high rise buildings that surrounded them. Along the way they were applauded and cheered on by pedestrians.
The march concluded at the M.L. King Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change where Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King rest side by side in a common crypt. Local news outlets gave the rally and march extensive coverage.
W.B. Reeves is a member of Metro Atlanta DSA.
This article originally appeared in Daily Kos.
Photo at left by Steve Eberhardt
Intense white supremacist beliefs and fragile white backlash on display today in response to the protest to tear down a racist Confederate statue in Gainesville. The cops spontaneously rolled in to intimidate and greatly escalated the tone of the event.
Great job to all the organizers and activists involved, holding their ground against an angry white crowd. Erin Parks was extremely courageous and chill as she confronted dozens of them. Thanks to Brad Lathem from NorthEast GA DSA as well for taking initiative on this.
"Cops and the Klan, hand in hand," I remarked. One old white guy was eager to get my attention to respond: "no, that's not true! They pushed me first."
-- Daniel Hanley, photos by Reid Freeman Jenkins
Editor's note: As Brad points out in the Gainesville Times article linked below, no violence took place; about 150-200 folks of all persuasions attended, and DSA members from Atlanta and Athens joined our Gainesville comrades.
See also this report in the Gainesville Times.
Saturday and Sunday (8/12-13) many of our members joined protest marches and vigils responding to the lethal attack on antiracist counter-demonstrators by white supremacists opposing removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Va. Here is Adam Cardo (on phone) in Sunday's march. (Photo:Steve Eberhardt.)
Erin Parks spoke at the rally in Woodruff Park, and Stephen Friedrich and Scott Douglas made the front page of the Atlanta Constitution, which showed them honoring Heather Heyer. More to come.
On Monday 8/14, Senator Isakson (R-GA) FINALLY held a town hall meeting to address his outraged constituents.However, he refused entry to many, despite ample space; he failed to answer many questions on matters of life and death; the event ended one hour early; and he ejected MADSA member Brad for being disruptive, including his calls for single-payer healthcare. So, immediately after the town hall, we decided to bring our demands directly to Johnny Isakson's office building. (Report and photo: Daniel Hanley)
Statement of the DSA National Political Committee Interim Steering Committee, August 13, 2017
The final number remains unknown. However, latest reports suggest that at least one person has lost their life and at least 19 injured. Two DSA members were hospitalized and have since been discharged. There are reports that an ISO comrade was also injured. A comrade reportedly from the Industrial Workers of the World lost their life on the front line of the battle against fascism. (Photo: Heather Heyer)
In the face of growing racist, anti-Semitic, white supremacist violence, comrades from across the left came together in an incredible display of left unity. They came from many different organizations but spoke with one voice, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and other pro-solidarity slogans. Undaunted, they held the line and showed the fascists that they shall not pass. The day ended with the streets of Charlottesville free of Nazi scum.
We call on the left to build a strong united front against this emboldened right wing. We need to be clear and recognize that white supremacist terrorism will not simply go away if it's ignored. This violent and dangerous movement should never be allowed to have a platform. It should always be fought against by the strength of our united front.
It is important to acknowledge the differing responses of the police to white supremacist marches and terrorism and their reactions to Black Lives Matter protests and marches. Black Lives Matter protests are always met with the worst police brutality and suppression while white supremacist marches are allowed to freely attack counter-protesters on many occasions.
In this way, we plainly see whose side the police are on. From the days of the creation of the modern day police in the 1800s, they were used as a violent force for the physical suppression of a resistant working class, of Black slaves, and indigenous people. Today, their role of social control and oppression remains largely the same.
Trump delivered a meandering and at times incoherent statement earlier this afternoon. During the statement, where at one point he even talked about totally unrelated "record employment", he predictably blamed "all sides" for the violence, as if the left has a centuries-long history of state, systemic, and societal violence against oppressed groups. This is a tired line that the right wing uses to justify its terror. Trump also spoke of the need for "law and order", but we know that this is a signal for more police and vigilante terrorism against Black and Brown communities and the left.
We believe that the terror unleashed on our comrades can be defeated. We also believe that the wider system of racist oppression can be defeated, but only with the ending of the capitalist system which birthed it.
We encourage you to donate to help with the medical costs of comrades injured in the attack. As we mourn for the dead, we must also fight like hell for the living. DSA members across the country are turning out for solidarity actions in their communities. Get in touch with your local chapter to find ways to participate.
Together, we will fight fascism and build the better world we know is possible. Solidarity forever.
At our membership meeting Aug. 12, our delegates to the national DSA conference (Chicago, Aug. 3-6) reported on this historic event, "with lots of important and hopeful info...especially how the national AND local org have grown in past year," said Lorraine Fontana. (L to R: Barbara Joye, Brad Lathem, Adam Cardo, Daniel Hanley, Jeb Boone, Anat Fintzi, Scott Douglas. Eric Robertson, Maxwell Ruppersburg, Matt Wolfsen, Tom Ladendorf and Reid Jenkins were also delegates. Photo: Lorraine Fontana)
The convention, which was attended by some 1,000 delegates, observers, staff and media, reflected DSA's growth; previous conventions had drawn just 150-200. The national blog (dsausa.org) lists some of the extensive media coverage and reports from our members, including a moving report by MADSA's Jeb Boone.
The convention passed a priorities resolution to guide DSA's staff in deploying national resources until the next convention is held in 2019. The priorities are: campaigning for Medicare for All (single payer health insurance); electing democratic socialists to office; and helping to build the labor movement. It will also be posted on the national website and blog. Chapters are urged to take action on the national priorities, but may pursue other issues as local conditions warrant.
(Left, above: Adam Cardo, Anat Fintzi, Scott Douglas (standing), Barbara Joye, Jeb Boone, Brad Lathem, Daniel Hanley, Matt Wolfsen. Right, above: Plenary session. Photos: Reid Freeman Jenkins)Read more
Here's a sampling of recent activities by MADSA members (please send your info and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can consider featuring them here):
(Left) On Friday July 28, several members including Jeb Boone, Dani Washburn, and Adam Cardo stood with community allies in front of the Israeli consulate in solidarity with Palestine and the Al Aqsa mosque.
(Right) Saturday was a time for defending the rights of trans people to serve in the military, and the human rights of LGBTQ people in general, against recent actions against those communities by Trump and his administration. (L to R): Barbara Joye, Dani Washburn and Reid Jenkins, with (not shown) Travis Reid, Gifford Bery and Dave Hayward joined the spirited crowd that assembled in Midtown before marching to Tech Square for a second rally. Photos: Steve Eberhardt
Finally, MADSA canvassers for Sen. Vincent Fort were joined this Saturday by Geoffrey Meldahl, who came all the way from Chattanooga DSA to join us. Y'allidarity forever!
MADSA members were among a diverse crowd celebrating the launching of State Sen. Vincent Fort's mayoral campaign headquarters on Sat. July 22, at 2797 Campbellton Road. MADSA member Eric Robertson of Teamster Local 728 was one of the speakers from the labor movement and other sectors who expressed their support (24 local unions have endorsed Fort). After the speeches, some of us helped canvass homes in the neighborhood. Photo: Reid Freeman Jenkins