We are continuing our ongoing virtual night school during social distancing with a special short lecture and discussion this week on Ricardo Flores Magón, a Mexican Revolutionary in St. Louis.
"Forward, comrades! Soon you will hear the first shots; soon the shout of rebellion will thunder from the throats of the oppressed ...Land and Liberty!"
These were the words of Mexican revolutionary Ricardo Flores Magón printed in Regeneración, the bilingual anarchist newspaper published by the Magón brothers and their compañeros (commonly known as magonistas), on November 19th,1910, just one day before the Mexican Revolution began to radically transform world history. Magón, one of the political precursors to the Mexican Revolution, made this declaration not in Mexico, but in the U.S., where he had been living with other magonistas, in exile due to their radical activities. They originally fled to the Southwest U.S. and in 1904 propelled the group further away from the border, to St. Louis, Missouri.
While in St. Louis, the Magón brothers founded the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM, Mexican Liberal Party), which despite its name was a radical political organization rather than a party. Magón and his compañeros continued their agitation against the Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz and projected their anarchist vision of a world without bosses or borders.
Their organizing and bonds created during their time in St. Louis would lay the foundation for long-term relationships among the radical left in both Mexico and the United States.
Join us tomorrow, June 23rd, for Socialist Night School Week 5! RSVP and access the reading here!
If you have been at an action, public event, shopping center, or even staying at home, you may have been approached recently by somebody asking for your signature. The pitch you heard may have varied—reparations for oppressed communities, reinvestment in the North Side or other neglected areas, or just “cleaning up” the government in St. Louis. While all these messages may seem aligned with our socialist values, the ugly truth is that the reason for this petition is a continued push to privatize Lambert Airport, and St. Louis DSA is committed to continuing the fight to stop it.
If you are approached by a signature gatherer, decline to sign and tell anyone you see talking to the gatherer to do the same. Often just being present and countering the message of the gatherer is enough to dissuade anyone from stopping by to sign.
If you see gatherers at the protests to defund the police, tell everyone around that this petition guarantees $300 million of the proceeds from the deal to the police.
Looking to hear more about our anti-privatization campaign, as well as other chapter priorities (including our endorsed electoral campaigns), and an update on the local fight for housing justice? Our next chapter meeting is this Sunday, June 21st. The business portion will be short and followed by a fun, social (and socially distanced!) event especially geared towards newer members, to key them in to organizing opportunities and help them meet other comrades in the chapter. Hope to see you there!
As we enter the third week of an uprising sparked by the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we need to be clear on our own stake in the rising people’s demands. Every working class person, even white people, will benefit from the abolition of police departments and the investment of that money into programs that benefit us all. Abolition of police institutions advances every short and long term goal of this organization. We must live and organize by the mantra “an injury to one is an injury to all” in order to combat a capitalist system that requires racism to separate and divide the working class. Wanting to go out to an action, but feeling uncertain/have no one to go with/have concerns/ something else? You’re not alone! Fill out this form if you wanna be included on our action signal chat we use to keep track of each other at actions!
We are also excited to share that our ongoing political education series Socialist Night School continues this week, with a reading excerpted from the just-published book, Capitalism on Edge. The book argues that present-day capitalism is systemically shifting the risks of economic activity onto the most vulnerable populations while simultaneously redirecting the rewards of that activity to politically favored economic actors. The result is widespread economic and social precarity. But this situation may present an opportunity. For the source of this precarity is the competitive production of profit, the very heart of the capitalist system. So if we can persuade people to fight against precarity, we’ll have persuaded them to fight against capitalism itself.
Contrary to the judgment of NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and our own Board of Health Chair Dr. Will Ross, the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County are opening back up today, Monday, May 18th. As of May 17th, the city has over 1680 confirmed cases and exactly 100 deaths, and the number of cases and deaths continues to rise. This is not what “flattening the curve” looks like, and we know it. The decision to open non-essential businesses is clearly based on economic, rather than scientific, considerations. Mayor Krewson and County Executive Page are putting everyone’s lives at risk by reopening prematurely. It should come as no surprise that working class people and people of color in particular are the hardest hit by this crisis in economic terms, as well as by morbidity and mortality. We urge you to maintain the practices of quarantine, social distancing, and mask-wearing whenever possible, and to know the risks.
Check out this list of demands for local governments to make in response to COVID-19 from DSA elected officials across the country—including STL DSA’s own Megan Green.
After a hard-fought primary, this past week saw Bernie Sanders officially suspend his campaign, effectively ending his run for the 2020 presidential nomination. While this is undoubtedly a major disappointment and setback, we should also be absolutely clear about the huge advances Bernie’s campaign made for democratic socialism. Millions of voters across the country made it known that continuing down a path of neoliberalism, means-tested social programs, and a system where the most vulnerable are continuously left behind is unacceptable.
We also know that the end of a campaign can not be the end of our movement’s momentum. We must continue to fight with those millions—as well as the millions more now being affected by a global pandemic and its economic effects; and the billions more that will be devastated by climate disaster if capitalism continues on its destructive trajectory.
To win this fight though, we need a truly mass movement of the entire working class. We need to fight for material improvements in the lives of working and oppressed people now, while maintaining a transformative strategy that seeks to fundamentally reorganize society. The Democratic Socialists of America have seen explosive growth thanks to the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and other elected leaders, not to mention the work being done by chapters across the country, and we are now by far the largest socialist organization in the United States. If you haven’t, please join us (or renew!), and—if you’re already a member—get involved! We have a world to win.
Many of you probably heard that Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order effective last Friday evening. However, this order barely pays lip-service to public safety and is no different than the social distancing order issued on March 21. It is full of loopholes for non-essential businesses and allows for the override of stay-at-home orders made by local governments. Any system that allows bosses to make potentially life or death decisions about the health of workers is unacceptable for socialists! You can take action against this order though Missouri Health Care for All’s action alert calling on Parson to issue a real state-wide stay at home order here.
While we fight for workers rights and prioritize the health and safety of our chapter and our community, STL-DSA also acknowledges that bonding with comrades in these dark times extends beyond formal political action. Simple socializing can be just as essential as contacting your legislators when it comes to keeping up morale and camaraderie right now. STL-DSA, led by our community committee, will be hosting social hours and game nights over Zoom, so keep an eye out for more information to come!
Also, stay tuned for a big announcement later this week about COVID-19 mutual aid work and updates on STL-DSA fundraising for those projects from the EC.