“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” –Angela Davis
Racial Justice is one of the newest branches of Twin Cities DSA, with the explicit purpose of de-centering whiteness in socialist organizing and collaborating on projects that prioritize anti-racism. In the last year, we’ve chosen to make police abolition a focus for our branch.
The Racial Justice (RJ) branch has had a busy summer! From our Prison Abolition in the Park series to new connections with local police accountability organizations (and even a birthday party by the lake!), we can’t believe the summer is already half-over! But organizing isn’t seasonal, and we know there is still more work to do. We invite you to join us in any of our projects with whatever capacity you can give. Here’s an update of our work this summer:
- Our Prison Abolition in the Park series is a monthly conversation (Jun-Aug) on envisioning a world without prisons, hosted at Powderhorn Park on the last Sunday of each month. At our June conversation, we focused on the inclusion of police and corporations in Pride celebrations despite its radical roots and how a socialist future must include the voices of our queer community. As part of this work, we also connected folks to Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee’s (IWOC) phone zap in support of hormones for Shakopee inmate Joe Vanderford. The next conversation, co-hosted by Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) will be July 28 (Sunday) at 2 PM in Powderhorn Park and will focus on the role police play in upholding the carceral state. We will be meeting at the recreation center before finding a more comfortable location (underneath a tree, preferably).
- We have also been working with Communities United Against Policing (CUAPB) and Minneapolis Police Department 150 (MPD150) on analyzing the Minneapolis Police (MPD) union contract and pushing for public input in their contract renewal. CUAPB has discovered a number of inconsistencies, vague language, and virtually no accountability standards in MPD’s recent contract. Because almost all other public sector union contracts (i.e. teachers, firefighters, etc) include accountability to its constituents (that’s us), we are pushing to include community input in the contract language.
- Members of RJ have also been involved with organizing actions in response to increased ICE activity & immigrant detention. A small group attended the Stop Separating Families march hosted by Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and are coming together to strategize how we can fight ICE & family separation locally. Our group is currently reaching out to immigrant-led and Jewish-led organizations to see how TCDSA can best support them and get involved. We recently hosted a birthday party for our branch at Lake Nokomis! Our branch turned one year old in July and we thought it would be a good opportunity to pause and enjoy the community we’ve built with each other. We were joined by DSA members and new friends alike to swim, eat, lay in the grass and catch up with each other. We hope to continue hosting more gatherings like this in the future, so stay tuned!
– Amy T.