Please Help ZNet
What to do, what to do? Probably every reader of this article, and for that matter of anything else percolating out to the population by way of one or another alternative media operation is, at a very minimum, incredibly angry, frustrated, fed up with, and rejectionist regarding contemporary norms, laws, roles, and institutions. And while one focus may predominant in each individual’s daily thinking or doing—climate collapse, immigration, police violence, sexism, economic inequality, or well, many other concerns—I would bet nearly everyone who will see this has progressive, radical, or revolutionary aspirations not about just one focus, but about many—even all.
So, what to do, what to do? Some answers are well known but of limited help. Educate yourself further. Well, you aren’t reading alternative media to make yourself ignorant so that suggestion is already live and therefore moot. Become better able to talk with others, write for others, or publicly speak to others, and do it. That’s constructive, but it doesn’t include the how, with whom, and with what tools.
And then there is: organize. Yes, of course, organize. But again, how, with whom, into what, and so on. There is demonstrate. Also good, and this one is straightforward. If there is a call, and it speaks to you, join. Demonstrate, march, civilly disobey, or whatever it may be. Simple enough. But then what?
We want better outcomes, a better world. Don’t we know that the thing to do most of the time, is to join with others and work together, whether educating self, advancing skills, reaching out, organizing, or demonstating? We need to work collectively on winning immediate change. We need to simultaneously prepare means and commitment to win more. Fair enough. But most people may also feel, wait a minute. Get collective, sure. “But what should I join? Most of my options just don’t look to me to have a future. They look to me to be dead in the water, albeit intermittently spinning about and splashing a lot. And that’s before I even assess what they say and stand for, assuming I can even find such information.”
Okay. This is a strange article. I live outside Boston, Massachusetts. It could be many other large metropolitan areas, I think, or, with less on offer, but therefore with more to gain from taking a plunge, it could be a smaller and more disparate place. In any event, I want to point to one possible answer to what to do. It is: join DSA.
Why? Because DSA isn’t dead in the water. I’m certainly not saying everything else is, but DSA certainly isn’t. And it is in fact growing, diversifying, and taking very seriously developing skills, talents, knowledge, trust, and connections sufficient for its members to organize and demonstrate effectively in local communities as well as in larger scale endeavors across the country. You might reply, “anyone can claim that for any favored organization.” And you might add, “I don’t believe it. Show me.”
Well, that’s not so easy. I am in DSA but I have to admit that with everything else I am up to, going to DSA meetings and participating in DSA projects is pretty much outside my range. But, I can try to convey here that which makes me believe DSA is a sensible place to bring one’s talents and energy.
And my reason isn’t just the it has 100,000 plus members. No, my reason goes like this. I just got an email from DSA’s Boston Chapter. Boston DSA is, I would guess, one of the more active chapters. But, again, if where you are a chapter is less active, okay, with your help it can catch up. If there is no chapter, okay, with your initiative there can be one. It can have a level of focus, activity, internal development, and outreach like that of, say, the Boston Chapter, and then go further. And if it is already more active, so much the better. So, if Boston DSA’s activities are impressive enough to induce interest, then interest in DSA is warranted wherever you might be. And so I here offer, in abbreviated form, the content of the update I just got which reported upcoming local DSA events and actions to relate to. It was for two weeks in July. I removed links, locales, etc.
Tenant Organizer Training: Tues., July 6, 7-9 p.m.
This session will be a hands-on workshop on having 1-1 conversations.
Mental Health Working Group, Tues., July 6, 8-9:30 p.m.
The MHWG aims to investigate, discuss, and confront the deleterious effects of capitalism on mental health.
Cambridge DSA Neighborhood Branch, Wed., July 7, 5-6:30 p.m.
Monthly neighborhood meeting of Cambridge DSA.
Socialist Feminist Working Group, Wed., July 7, 6-8 p.m.
SocFem integrates socialist feminist theory and praxis into the chapter’s work and advances socialist feminist causes in the greater Boston area. In addition to one-time events and socialist feminist political education, we are developing a project to expose fake abortion clinics in Boston.
Labor Working Group, Wed., July 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
New, old, and potential DSA members are all welcome! Come for a discussion on local labor updates and a wide variety of projects, including new worker organizing, labor solidarity campaigns, events and panels, as well as our blog
Working Mass., Thurs., July 8, 6-7:30 p.m.
Do you love socialism and posting? Do you have skills in email-writing, newsletter-laying-out, social media, and other stuff from your job that you’d like to use to smash capitalism instead? CommsComm needs your skills!
Electoral Working Group, Thurs., July 8, 7-9 p.m.
Monthly meeting of the Electoral Working Group. To be added to the mailing list or for a copy of the agenda, please email…
North Shore Group, Thurs., July 8, 7 p.m.
The North Shore branch of the Boston DSA meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00PM. We will cover ongoing efforts to build our socialist movement north of the city.
Lessons from Infiltrating the Far Right: A Conversation with Talia Lavin, Thurs., July 8, 7-8:30 p.m.
Join Boston DSA and the Lucy Parsons Center for a webinar with Talia Lavin, author of the best-selling Culture Warlords: My Journey into the Dark Web of White Supremacy. In her engaging, accessible book, Lavin discusses her work as an antifascist researcher and infiltrator.
Canvass and Chill with Becca Miller! July 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Come knock doors for Becca Miller and then get some lunch with comrades! No experience needed. Please bring a mask and download the app “minivan” beforehand.
Canvass with the BTU for Joel Richards, Sat., July 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Let’s build inroads with organized labor by joining Boston Teachers Union for a canvass for BTU and DSA endorsed Joel Richards! No experience needed, just a charged smart phone and a belief that labor is entitled to all that it creates.
Kickoff Canvass for Zac Bears!, Sat., July 10, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join us to kick off our campaign for Boston DSA member and Medford City Councilor Zac Bears! No experience necessary! Please bring a mask and download the app “minivan” ahead of time.
New Member Orientation, Sat., July 10, 2-4 p.m.
New to Boston DSA? Not sure how to get started? Not a member yet, but looking to dip your toe in? Or maybe you’re a not-so-new member, but haven’t been active in a while? Join us for a New Member Orientation! Comrades from our Membership Committee will walk you through the chapter’s structure, answer questions, and facilitate discussion about socialist organizing in Boston.
Canvass for Eve, Willie, and Charlotte, Sunday, July 11, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sign up for a shift 10am/1pm/4pm to knock doors for our amazing At-Large Candidates!
No experience necessary. Please bring a mask and download the app “minivan” ahead of time.
Canvass for Kendra Hicks! Sun., July 11, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Green St T stop on the Orange Line, Jamaica Plain
Come knock doors for BDSA member and Boston City Council candidate Kendra Hicks!
No experience necessary. Please download the app “minivan” ahead of time and bring a mask.
Immigration Working Group, Monday, July 12, 7-9 p.m.
The Immigration Working Group works in solidarity with (im)migrant-led groups in Boston to help build a broad cultural and legislative campaign in the name of dignity, respect, and political protection for the (im)migrant working class.
Peer Support Session, Tuesday, July 13, 8-9:30 p.m.
Living under capitalism is hard. We want a better world, but for the mean time, those of us with burdens are really struggling. This is a safe space to decompress, and share struggles and successes so we keep going. Self-care is important, and sometimes it works better together.
Coordinating Committee, Wed., July 14, 7-9 p.m.
All CC meetings are open to the general membership, but not to the general public. On specific occasions where the CC is handling sensitive information, it may go into executive session.
Accessibility Committee, Wed., 14, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Join us for the monthly meeting of our Accessibility Committee.
This committee has been formed as an expansion on DSA Boston’s work on accessibility for Comrades with disabilities. The committee will be focusing on how to infuse disability justice practices into Boston DSA’s work.
Internationalism Working Group, Thurs. July 15, 8-8:30 p.m.
The Internationalism Working Group aims to build global solidarity for global liberation. We oppose globalized capitalism, imperialism, militarism, settler colonialism, and all forms of oppression wherever they occur. Capitalism is global — to defeat it, we must be too.
Canvass for Kendra Hicks!, Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Come knock doors for Kendra Hicks in JP!
Please bring a mask and download the app “minivan” ahead of time.
Canvass and Chill with Tessa!, Saturday, July 17, 1-6 p.m.
Join us to knock doors for Tessa Bridge! We’ll be gathering afterwards for food and drinks, so stick around to socialize!
No experience necessary. Please bring a mask and download the app “minivan” ahead of time.
DSA’s Labor Strategy: An Open Forum on Resolution 5 , Saturday, July 17, 6-7:30 p.m.
What is the “rank-and-file strategy,” and how should DSA implement it? How should socialists organize unorganized workers? How much energy should we put into campaigns for labor law reform, especially the recent push for the PRO Act?
Join the Labor Working Group and Political Education Working Group to discuss these questions and Resolution #5 with DSA members and labor activists, educate yourself on a crucial issue for the upcoming convention, and learn how you can help build a powerful labor movement right here in Boston.
Canvass for Charlotte, Eve, and Willie!, Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Come knock doors for our Somerville at-large candidates! We’ll have shifts going out at 10am/1pm/5pm. Please bring a mask and download the app “minivan” ahead of time.
Canvass and Chill with Joel Richards!, Sunday, July 18, 1-6 p.m.
Canvass for Joel and then join your comrades for food and drinks after! No experience necessary. Please bring a mask and download the app “minivan” beforehand.
July General Meeting, Sunday, July 18, 3-5 p.m
The July General Meeting will prepare you for the upcoming DSA convention, and include important information from our Transformative Justice Committee. Join us for this important work to help decide the direction of DSA and strengthen our ability to work in community together!
Housing Working Group, Monday, July 19, 7-9 p.m.
Join the Housing Working Group for our monthly meetings! Meetings include updates on our tenant union organizing efforts, the Greater Boston Tenants Union, and political education.
Membership Committee, Tues, July 20, 7-9 p.m.
We meet via Zoom on the third Tuesday of every month. MemCom handles member data and membership issues, hosts New Member Orientations, and runs trainings for chapter members on organizing skills. It is also charged with implementing our Member Engagement and Inclusion priority for 2021.
Tenant Organizer Training: Session 3, Tuesday, July 20, 7-9 p.m.
Session 3 in Boston DSA’s Tenant Organizer Training series! This session will be an introduction to the concept of basebuilding.