From MoCo DSA <[email protected]>
Subject Worker Co-ops in Maryland, Prison & Police Abolition Night School, and more
Date July 30, 2019 7:03 PM
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This week in MoCo DSA
Hello comrades, and Happy Tuesday!

Worker Co-ops - This past week, MoCo DSA members had some great opportunities to learn and share about worker-owned co-operatives ([link removed]) , which are businesses where the workers are the owners and have democratic say in how the business is run. Worker co-ops are a clear socialist alternative ([link removed]) to exploitative capitalist business models. On July 23, DSA members and representatives of four co-ops participated in a forum at Impact Silver Spring ([link removed]) with Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, County Councilmember Sidney Katz (D-3) and Maryland State Delegate Lorig Charkoudian (D-20).
MoCo DSA member Vijay Y. delivered a presentation on policies that support co-ops in 12 different cities, and County Executive Elrich was intrigued enough to ask for a more in-depth report! Delegate Charkoudian expressed interest in developing legislation to better assist co-op formation at the state level.

And on July 27, a group of DSA comrades visited Red Emma's ([link removed]) , a worker-owned co-operative bookstore in Baltimore! Our members got to hear about the challenges in setting up and running a firm with a business model that does not have the usual support structures.
In the coming weeks, we will be arranging a discussion panel with as many food co-ops in the region as possible. Stay tuned for more details!

Silver Spring Justice Coalition Letter - Last week, Montgomery County DSA joined our allies in the Silver Spring Justice Coalition in signing a letter to the County Council expressing disappointment and disapproval of Acting County Police Chief Marcus Jones's statement about the White Oak policing incident. You can read the letter criticizing Jones's comments here ([link removed]) .

Raising Your Gas Bill - This flew under the radar, but Bethesda Beat reports ([link removed]) that the Maryland Public Service Commission, which regulates public utilities, held a public hearing last night in Rockville on a proposed fee hike for customers of Washington Gas. If approved, the hike would increase the average customer's bill by 5.5%.

Solidarity Request - Our chapter is raising funds to help comrades attend the DSA National Convention in Atlanta this weekend. We're sending 41 delegates - including several from MoCo! Our low-income comrades need a hand, so please chip in if you can ([link removed]) !

Upcoming DSA events:
Wednesday, August 14 at 7:00 PM: Socialist Night School - Prison and Police Abolition
Join Montgomery County DSA and MDC DSA's Socialist Night School for a discussion on the politics of police and prison abolition, situated in the context of our community and the larger region. At Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. Details here ([link removed]) .

Thursday, August 15 at 6:30 PM: Migrant Justice Action - Stand Up to Deportation Profiteers
From the organizers: As ICE detains and deports immigrants, they are helped by for-profit companies. These profiteers allow ICE to function by operating detention centers, making electronic ankle bracelets, building lists of undocumented immigrants, and more. Join MDC DSA as we expose another profiteer on August 15th! We will be providing the location and time as we get closer to the date of the action. Further details here ([link removed]) .

Wednesday, August 21 at 6:30 PM: Queer Caucus Happy Hour at Silver Branch Brewing Company
Our chapter's Queer Caucus will have its August happy hour at the Silver Branch Brewing Company in downtown Silver Spring. All LGBTQIA+ comrades, allies & accomplices are welcome! Details here. ([link removed])

Don't forget to check out the Metro DC DSA Meetup Events page ([link removed]) to find many DSA events throughout the Washington Metro region!

Upcoming community events:
Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC) Lecture Series
This set of lectures and discussions on August 3, 4 and 8 will be held at the "Plans to Prosper You" exhibit ([link removed]) at the American University Katzen Arts Center Museum. BAAC is fighting to stop the desecration of the Moses African Cemetery. Check out the following lecture dates:
* Saturday, August 3, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM. Interfaith Dialogue: Will God Fight for the Oppressed?
* Sunday, August 4, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM. Topic: "Plans to Prosper You" panel
* Thursday, August 8, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM. Finale and music

Also, check out this great article ([link removed]) about the exhibit and the history it explores from the Washington Post.

September 20-27: Global Climate Strikes
From the organizers: This September, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone. Details here. ([link removed])

Good Reads:
From the Washington Post: "You know who was into Karl Marx? No, not AOC. Abraham Lincoln." ([link removed]) by Gillian Brockell. "Lincoln never took up the mantle of socialism. He believed in the system of wage labor even as he proposed reforms to it; Marx rejected it as another form of slavery. But Lincoln certainly viewed socialists as allies, and [John] Nichols writes, 'It is indisputable that the Republican Party had at its founding a red [socialist] streak.'"

From Truthdig: "Puerto Ricans Demonstrate How to Oust a Corrupt Leader" ([link removed]) by Sonali Kolhatkar. "What’s happened in Puerto Rico provides important lessons for all Americans fed up with our deeply corrupt, racist, misogynist and hateful commander in chief. A sustained mass movement that is committed to changing the system can bring about a revolution, if the circumstances are right. In Puerto Rico, massive grassroots pressure pushed the Legislature to threaten impeachment and force Rosselló’s hand. The same can—and should—happen here, at the federal level."

From Jacobin: "Why They Hate Bernie" ([link removed]) by Branko Marcetic. "Remember the frenzied, paranoid style of right-wing anti-Clintonism? The lies, the conspiracy theories, the deeply personal disgust? Well, it’s back — only this time it’s migrated to the Democratic Party and its unhinged attacks on Bernie Sanders."

From Slate: "Top CBP Officer Testifies He’s Unsure if 3-Year-Old Is 'a Criminal or a National Security Threat'" ([link removed]) by Jeremy Stahl. Yes, you read the headline correctly. This actually happened.

From the Baltimore Sun: "Food as a Weapon Against the Poor" ([link removed]) by the Editorial Board. "In a country as wealthy as America, a basic necessity, food, has become the latest weapon to demonize the poor.
Just look at the response from officials in one Pennsylvania school district to parents who didn’t give their children lunch money. They sent letters threatening to send the kids to the foster system for neglect. The children and youth services division had to intervene and remind the system that poverty is not an indication of bad parenting.

"Now our president wants to kick 3 million people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, or food stamps. A proposal by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would change the criteria for who qualifies for food aid could also mean that 265,000 kids would no longer qualify for free school lunches either.... Aren’t there better ways to balance the budget than treating people so inhumanely? How about getting rid of the lucrative tax breaks that the Trump administration happily put in place to line the pockets of the country’s wealthy. Or maybe abandoning that idea of a new border wall to keep out certain undocumented immigrants. Instead, our executive branch would rather take from those who need it most."

In solidarity,
Frank, David, Elissa, John, Lily and Zach
MoCo DSA Steering Committee

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{MoCo DSA is a branch of the Metro DC chapter of DSA}

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