Tag Archives: activism

FIGHTING FOR OUR FUTURE: STRUGGLES FOR DEMOCRACY & HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL

SUNDAY, NOV. 20, 4-6 p.m.
MIT ROOM 35-225
127 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., CAMBRIDGE, MA

As the inspiring fight around Question 2 in Massachusetts, the Chicago teachers strike of 2012 and the recent wave of adjunct and graduate student organizing around the country have shown, education is an increasingly important site of struggle against privatization and corporatization, and for democracy and equality. Teachers, students and the communities that support them are ramping up efforts to create an educational system that serves the needs of all rather than those of corporate education “reformers” and the business elite they represent.

In this panel, we will discuss the current state of organizing to put the brakes on capitalism run amok in our education system, as well as visions of what an alternative, genuinely democratic system of education would look like. Panelists will talk about struggles in Massachusetts, across the country and abroad in Mexico.

PANELISTS:

Barbara Madeloni is president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Megan Erickson is an editor at Jacobin and is the author of Class War: The Privatization of Childhood.

Ellen David Friedman is an organizer with the United Caucuses of Rank and File Educators.

Dan La Botz teaches labor history at the City University of New York and has written extensively on teachers’ struggles in Mexico.

Open a PDF flyer at THIS LINK.

Report from the “People’s Summit” and upcoming meeting with Sanders’ Democratic Convention delegates!

By Rand Wilson

The People’s Summit

About 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters met in Chicago from June 17 to 19 searching for the way forward to continue the Political Revolution and fight against the takeover of government by the “billionaire class.” Despite Hillary Clinton’s apparent victory in the primaries and likely nomination, the mood at the People’s Summit was very upbeat. Most of the people at the conference clearly felt that through the Sanders Campaign we have achieved something very important.

The main conference organizers — National Nurses United and National People’s Action — had a highly structured agenda which somewhat limited discussion and participation. The conference reflected the Sanders’ movement, but it didn’t provide a direction for the future.  It was about vision, not organization or strategy.

Many of the speakers implied their support for Clinton — but did not state it outright. More explicit was the need to keep building the movement for “down ballot” candidates who embrace the Sanders’ platform.  There were no resolutions. It was not the founding convention of anything, but rather an opportunity to share perspectives and ideas for the future. 

The conference showed how all of the social movements could come together to create a larger political movement with a comprehensive program for social change.  The thorny question of whether and how to do that, within or outside of the Democratic Party remained the key unanswered question.  DSA leaders and members were highly visible throughout the weekend. For more on the conference from a DSA member click here.  

Rand Wilson & Comrades at the People's Summit

Rand Wilson & Comrades at the People’s Summit

June 28 meeting with Sanders’ Democratic Convention delegates

In April and May of this year, 45 Congressional District and At-Large pledged delegates were elected to support Bernie Sanders at the 2016 National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28.

The state Democratic Party has provided us with something usually lacking on the left: Instead of self-appointed leaders, we now have a diverse, statewide group of 45 elected representatives committed to the Sanders’ platform. It would be a very exciting prospect if after the election these delegates could serve as leaders of a network in Massachusetts dedicated to continuing the “political revolution” with the support of the Sanders campaign and access to its large list of donors.

All Bernie Sanders’ supporters are urged to attend a meeting on June 28 at the Ironworkers Local 7 with the many of these elected convention delegates. This meeting will also be an opportunity to strategize about plans for activities both inside and outside the national convention as well as deepen our collective discussion about the future.

Rand Wilson is an elected delegate from the 7th Congressional District.  He works for SEIU Local 888 and has volunteered with the Labor for Bernie network.  

Download a PDF flyer for the June 28 meeting HERE.

CALL FOR THE PEOPLE’S SUMMIT: BUILDING THE POLITICAL REVOLUTION

People's Summit Banner

Fri June 17 – June 19
10:00 am Fri special  DSA program; conf. ends shortly after lunch Sunday

McCormick Place, 2301 S Martin Luther King Dr, Chicago, Illinois 60616

Register:  http://www.dsausa.org/peoplessummit  or http://www.thepeoplessummit.org/
Note: If you are a DSA person, it is better to register through DSA. Thanks.

In a time of turmoil and opportunity, we invite you to participate in a historic convening of organizations and individuals committed to social, racial and economic justice.  On June 17-19, in Chicago, after the party primary season and before the party conventions, we seek to bring together activists committed to a different kind of agenda: a People’s Agenda that can enhance and expand issue campaigns and hold all elected officials accountable to popular demands for justice, equality and freedom.

The Summit will further deepen the relationship between participating organizations, develop  community leaders, and begin strategic organizing to build power.  It will include plenary and workshop sessions devoted to key issues such as the Fight for 15, mass incarceration and criminal justice reform, voting rights and expanding democratic participation, a tax on Wall Street speculation to fund human needs and jobs, climate justice toward a sustainable economy, improved Medicare for All, the fight for free and debt-free higher education, secure retirement through expanding social security, ending HIV/AIDS, achieving Constitutional pay equity for women, and ending deportations and support for DREAMers, among others.

We will take action in Chicago against the big money system of politics that expands the power of the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the people. We will also celebrate with music and a “festival of joyous rebellion.” And we will plan how to move our People’s Agenda nationally and locally to help build the broad movement for people and the planet.

We hope to see you in Chicago, June 17-19, at McCormick Place.

Partner organizations include:

National Nurses United; Reclaim Chicago; National People’s Action; The People For Bernie Sanders 2016; Progressive Democrats of America;  People Demanding Action;  United Students Against Sweatshops; Food & Water Watch;  Democratic Socialists of America

If you are from New England, going to the Summit, and interested in doing some networking before hand, email webmaster@dsaboston.org

Re-Organizing Boston DSA

WHEN:   Saturday, January 23, 2016
PLACE: 111 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain, Apt. #200, 20th Floor*
TIME: 1-3 pm

Thanks to the Sanders campaign, thousands of Americans are becoming interested in Democratic Socialism—and Greater Boston is no exception. Throughout the country, DSA members old and new have been taking advantage of this upsurge to build new DSA locals, and rejuvenate old ones.

Would you like to see a more active and effective Boston local of Democratic Socialists of America? Most importantly, ARE YOU WILLING TO HELP?

Join us to help figure out What Is To Be Done… and how we can do it.

All DSA members or potential members are welcome.

*111 Perkins Street is also known as the Jamaicaway Tower apartment building, located near the intersection of Perkins St. and Jamaica Way. Park in the Tower parking lot or adjacent streets; mass transit access not far away (S. Huntington)

Join DSA at the 12-12 Climate Rally!

When:   between 12:30 and 12:45, Saturday 12/12/15
Where: on the Public Garden side of Tremont St across from Avery St (between Park and Boylston Green Line Stations)

Climate Rally

Climate Rally

From November 29 to December 12, world leaders will meet in Paris to negotiate a new global climate treaty.  On December 12, people will come together from every corner of New England to call for bold climate solutions that create secure union jobs, strengthen community power and help build a more resilient future. 

Meet up with other DSAers before the rally so we can get to know one another, and attend as a group.

For more information on the rally, see:
http://www.jobsjusticeclimate.org/

DSA will meet between 12:30 and 12:45 on the Public Garden side of Tremont St across from Avery St (between Park and Boylston Green Line Stations).  The rally begins at the Bandstand at 1:00 pm and is scheduled to run to 3:00.

6/8/14 Honoring Jake Schlitt and Cecily McMIllan

Boston DSA Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards Reception

Date: Sunday, June 8
Time: Social 3 PM; Program 4 PM
Place: Workmen’s Circle, 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline
More Information: 617-982-3033

Join us at Boston DSA’s annual awards reception, this year honoring two activists separated by six decades but united in the cause of social justice — Jacob Schlitt and Cecily McMillan

Jacob Schlitt

Jacob Schlitt

JACOB SCHLITT has been a labor, civil rights, Jewish community and democratic socialist activist since the 1940s.  He has been an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, a staffer for the Jewish Labor Committee, and a volunteer with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters for the historic 1963 March on Washington.  In 1973 Jake participated in the founding convention of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, which later evolved into DSA.

Cecily McMillan

Cecily McMillan

CECILY McMILLAN also began her activism early on, mobilizing her Atlanta high school classmates against the Iraq war. In 2011, Cecily participated in the uprising against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union policies, and joined DSA. After moving to NYC she was one of the initiators of Occupy Wall Street.  Cecily has recently been convicted of an alleged assault on policeman during a 2012 NYC Occupy rally; if she’s unable to attend the reception, heraward will be accepted by her defense committee (http://www.justiceforcecily.com).

For Democratic Socialists of America’s statement on the conviction of Cecily McMillan, go to http://www.dsausa.org/justice_denied_for_cecily_mcmillan.

Admission to the reception is $35 ($15 for low income, or whatever you can afford), which includes hors d’oeurves and an open bar.

Download a PDF FLYER with more details, including information on program book greetings and sponsorships HERE.

Honorary Chairs for DSA Awards Reception

FORMER CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK; REP. RUTH BALSER; SEN. PATRICIA JEHLEN; DICK BAUER—Co-Chair, New England Jewish Labor Committee; ARTHUR BERNSTEIN—former YPSL, brother of Julius; JULES BERNSTEIN—labor attorney; SHEILA DECTER—Director, Jewish Alliance for Social Action; ELLEN FEINGOLD—former Director, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly; MICHAEL FELSEN—past president, Workmen’s Circle;SHELAGH FOREMAN—Director, Massachusetts Peace Action; DAVID HARRIS—Managing Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School; GEORGIA HOLLISTER ISMAN—Director, Mass Alliance; JOHN McDONOUGH—Director, Center for Public Health Leadership, Harvard School of Public Health; RABBI BARBARA PENZER—Co-Chair, New England Jewish Labor Committee; STEVEN TOLMAN, President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO; RAND WILSON—Communications and Policy Director, SEIU Local 888

 *affiliation given for identification purposes only

Congressman Joe Moakley and El Salvador at 4/10 Boston DSA meeting

photo of book cover

Joe Moakley’s Journey

Rescheduled from our 2/13 meeting, which was cancelled because of a winter storm.

DSA member Mark Schneider will discuss his latest book, Joe Moakley’s Journey: From South Boston to El Salvador,  the first biography of South Boston’s popular, long serving congressman, Joe Moakley. 

The book focuses on the personal and political awakening Moakley experienced when he was tasked with investigating the brutal murders of six Jesuit priests and their housekeepers in 1989 in El Salvador – a massacre the Bush administration was eager to blame on the leftist rebels.   Moakley discovered otherwise, and from that day on the people of El Salvador never had a better friend in the U.S. than the South Boston Congressman.   Issues of Central American justice, peace, and economic development became Joe Moakley’s cause from that day until his death in 2001.

“Mark Robert Schneider’s new book, Joe Moakley’s Journey, is a fine account of Congressman John Joseph Moakley’s personal and political journey progression from “meat and potatoes” neighborhood politician to human rights crusader. It is basically a political story, and the strength of Schneider’s account comes in its skillful balancing of Moakley’s local loyalties with his international interests.”—the Boston Globe

You can find more information on the book at the publisher’s web site: http://www.upne.com/1555538071.html

We will also hear a report from Carol Pryor on behalf of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).

The talk is cosponsored by the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) and Massachusetts Peace Action.

2nd Thursday of (almost) every month.
7:00 to 7:30 pm Business meeting (Exec. Brd mtg – members welcome)
7:30 to 9:00 pm Activist meeting & Book Talk

at Encuentro 5/TecsChange
9B Hamilton Place, Ste 2A, Boston MA 02108 (MAP)
Park St T Stop – Hamilton place is the alley with the Orpheum Theatre at the end of it – one block toward Govt. Ctr beyond Winter St.
2nd buzzer from the bottom

The Hub Public Bank – An Alternative Democratic Economic Vision (March 13 Activist Mtg)

Grinning Piggy Bank

Why Bank With Pigs?

The City of Boston has $1.2 billion on deposit with the nefarious Bank of America, US Trust (a subsidiary of  Bank of America) and Citizens Bank, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.  Why should  “too big to fail banks”  who brought about the economic collapse of 2008  continue to be depositories for our public money?  There is an alternative  –  depositing our public money in a public bank owned by the people of Boston. 



The Speaker
  DSA member Nancy Goldner will introduce the concept of a public bank as a transformative pathway toward a more democratic, accountable  and community oriented use of our public money. She is also a member of the Pubic Bank Working Group whose mission it is to establish the Hub Public Bank.

Meeting times (March 13, 2014):
7:00 to 8:00 pm Business meeting (Exec. Brd mtg – members welcome)
8:00 to 9:00 pm Activist meeting (with presentation – open to the public)

Location:
Encuentro 5/TecsChange
9B Hamilton Place, Ste 2A, Boston MA 02108 (MAP)
Park St T Stop – Hamilton place is the alley with the Orpheum Theatre at the end of it – one block toward Govt. Ctr beyond Winter St.
2nd buzzer from the bottom

Congressman Joe Moakley and El Salvador at 2/13 Boston DSA meeting – POSTPONED

photo of book cover

Joe Moakley’s Journey

DSA member Mark Schneider will discuss his latest book, Joe Moakley’s Journey: From South Boston to El Salvador,  the first biography of South Boston’s popular, long serving congressman, Joe Moakley. 

The book focuses on the personal and political awakening Moakley experienced when he was tasked with investigating the brutal murders of six Jesuit priests and their housekeepers in 1989 in El Salvador – a massacre the Bush administration was eager to blame on the leftist rebels.   Moakley discovered otherwise, and from that day on the people of El Salvador never had a better friend in the U.S. than the South Boston Congressman.   Issues of Central American justice, peace, and economic development became Joe Moakley’s cause from that day until his death in 2001.

“Mark Robert Schneider’s new book, Joe Moakley’s Journey, is a fine account of Congressman John Joseph Moakley’s personal and political journey progression from “meat and potatoes” neighborhood politician to human rights crusader. It is basically a political story, and the strength of Schneider’s account comes in its skillful balancing of Moakley’s local loyalties with his international interests.”—the Boston Globe

You can find more information on the book at the publisher’s web site: http://www.upne.com/1555538071.html

We will also hear a report from Carol Pryor on behalf of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).

The talk is cosponsored by the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) and Massachusetts Peace Action.

2nd Thursday of (almost) every month.
7:00 to 7:30 pm Business meeting (Exec. Brd mtg – members welcome)
7:30 to 9:00 pm Activist meeting & Book Talk

at Encuentro 5/TecsChange
9B Hamilton Place, Ste 2A, Boston MA 02108 (MAP)
Park St T Stop – Hamilton place is the alley with the Orpheum Theatre at the end of it – one block toward Govt. Ctr beyond Winter St.
2nd buzzer from the bottom