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.