On July 31st, 8 comrades including myself led a Brake Light Clinic in the parking lot of the Black Hart of Saint Paul. This has been the first clinic hosted by the chapter in a little over 2 years, and after a little over a month of planning, we managed to assist over a dozen community members over a 4 hour period.
A Brake Light Clinic is an event where community members can drive in and have their brake lights replaced for free. Depending on the capabilities of those volunteering, other small services can and were provided, including the cleaning of several headlights and assisting one community member reattach their front bumper. This is not just an effort to save community members money but is also an effort toward reducing police brutality, as police disproportionately pull over community members of color for minor or merely perceived traffic violations putting these motorists at increased risk of harassment and police violence.
With Covid disrupting organizing and community solidarity for the past two years, a number of us felt that the DSA could be doing more to directly engage with and serve our local community members. This clinic was a successful effort to do that and will be just the start of a series of future mutual aid opportunities to strengthen and serve the community. We encourage all chapter comrades interested in Mutual Aid efforts to get involved and to connect on the #mutualaid channel on the chapter slack!
by Shane M.