Happy New Year! Can we be real with you for a second? 2020 was HARD. Within our state, as well as nationally and globally, we faced new and challenging threats. A global pandemic cast its long shadow over us, highlighting the inequities of wealth and health that we have seen for so long. Alt-right groups were bolstered and fueled by our nation’s leadership, and posed dangers to those fighting for justice for Black lives in the wake of brutal and senseless acts against humanity by the state, as well as those fighting to ensure access to the electoral process. Here in San Francisco, these challenges were amplified, as our elected leaders denied moderate limits on policing and told us that pandemic housing for our unhoused was “expiring.”
And last, but certainly not least, many among us have been struggling with job loss, and for those who were lucky enough to obtain unemployment, that may now have expired — and now we have our single-payment $600 “stimulus” checks, which, for San Franciscans, might cover a fraction of rent for a single month, leaving no money for food, transportation, or other costs of living. It is not enough to survive.
And you, DSA SF, pulled together, pushed back, and said, what? That the people united can never be defeated. In 2020 we saw more of you more mobilized where our attention is needed the most. We figured out how to run smooth and consistent meetings — for our chapters and committees. Many cross-chapter meetings allowed voices across a multitude of disciplines and perspectives to be heard. New initiatives across housing, justice, elections, and many others came to the forefront throughout the year. Our Healthcare Committee was re-formed and is building strong statewide ties. And, there’s a lot more going on that we haven’t included here — the newsletter would be too long for inboxes! We feel tremendous gratitude for all that you do, each and every one of you. And your steering committee has faith that we, DSA SF, will carry this momentum into 2021.
Several cross-chapter projects are aiming to enhance our interconnectedness so that we can advance collectively, including the formation of labor circles (including an unemployment council) and neighborhood affiliate groups. These models have served leftists in other spaces (including, recently, other DSA chapters) well, and we hope they will enable you to be more deeply engaged with organizing work that applies more specifically to you.
We are organizing our first General Meeting in several years, so that members can be more directly involved in the structure, strategy, and direction-setting of the chapter, and to facilitate democracy. We are continuing to engage across statewide coalitions, to plan more coordinated activity with chapters across California.
The national Emergency Workplace Organizing project, which is a joint operation of DSLC and UE, has been operating on a shoestring budget and is looking for support. Please consider donating. Additional localization, to tailor outreach and support to the working people of the communities of current EWOC organizers, is a goal of this project in 2021.
Take some chances to grow your leadership skills in 2021 by taking on a project, stepping up in a small section or group, or taking a short course in one of several flavors of organizing this year. It takes a lot of hands to sustain our efforts!
It is up to us, individually and collectively, if we are to create the next socialist revival, and we can tell that many among our ranks are energized to take leadership as we move into this next chapter. Now, let’s get out there and kick some (metaphorical) butt!
Events & Actions
🐣 EBDSA Direct Action Training
Want another chance to learn how to plan and hold effective Direct Actions? Join our comrades at East Bay DSA Saturday, January 16 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 17 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for a two-day direct action training. EBDSA has already held direct action trainings in October, November, and December – if you didn’t end up making it to those trainings, EBDSA are holding another one, and would love to see you there. Maybe you did make it and want to tell your friends! These very exciting training sessions have been pretty popular, and you don’t want to miss it. The content is spread across two days, so try to come to both.
Click here to register. This event is open to all, so please invite your non-DSA friends from all over, including far-off lands like SF and the South Bay. If you have any questions, you can email Robb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bay Area Car Caravan for Yemen
Join us on Monday, January 25, at a location to be announced here, for a car caravan protest against the war on Yemen. The war is only possible because Western countries — and the United States and the United Kingdom in particular — continue to arm Saudi Arabia and provide military, political, and logistical support for the war. The disaster in Yemen is man-made. It is caused by the war and blockade. It can be ended.
Over 115 organizations from the US, UK, Yemen, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and across the world, are coming together to call for an end to the war in Yemen and solidarity with the people of Yemen.
We demand that right now our governments:
- Stop foreign aggression on Yemen
- Stop weapons and war support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
- Lift the blockade on Yemen and open all land and seaports
- Restore and expand humanitarian aid for the people of Yemen.
We call on people around the Bay Area to join our car caravan protest against the war on January 25, 2021, just days after the U.S. presidential inauguration and the day before Saudi Arabia’s “Davos in the Desert” Future Investment Initiative. The Day Of Action has been endorsed by the DSA International Committee and DSA SF. The Bay Area action is anchored by the Yemeni Alliance Committee, Yemeni Freedom Council, AROC, DSA SF, and the SF Bay Area Anti-War Network.
UCSF has plans to add another 1.5 million square feet to its Parnassus Heights campus, bringing nearly 1,000 units of housing, offices, and research facilities, and a new hospital expected to open in 2030 to increase patient capacity at the foot of Mount Sutro south of Golden Gate Park. As a state entity, UCSF only has to get approval from the UC Board of Regents to expand, and currently wants to push this plan through without any oversight or input from the SF Board of Supervisors. The city has negotiated an agreement, purportedly to secure benefits for the community, but the terms of which the community has yet to see. We need to make sure that this giveaway to big developers also gives to affordable housing community benefits and transit improvements in our city! While we don’t have the date of the hearing formally set yet, once it becomes available we’ll immediately share it with the chapter. Hope to see many of you there!
Hotels Not Hospitals Demands No More Evictions
Hotels not Hospitals held an action Sunday December 27th to protest for NO MORE EVICTIONS of human beings from any shelter. Together, we have demonstrated that the people of San Francisco demand that the City work for PEOPLE not PROFITS. Huge thank you to everyone who joined us for and a special shout out to our comrades at #DefundSFPDNow for their support and solidarity. If you missed it, check out the speeches and art install on our Instagram!
In order to put our demands into action, you can do the following to support Hotels not Hospitals:
- Follow Hotels not Hospitals on social media (Twitter | Instagram | Facebook).
- Donate (CashApp | GoFundMe).
- Share our work with your network (click-to-post templates).
- Join the movement by filling out our interest form. Sign up to organize with us, receive alerts for upcoming protest actions, or get general updates about what we’re doing!
- Donate directly to HnH member Rosibel, who spoke at our action. (CashApp | GoFundMe).
Our hearts are full and we are ready to fight for more. The movement continues!