Twin Cities DSA Little Red Letter #97: Winter in the Twin Cities and Kicking off 2023

Share:

Twin Cities
Democratic Socialists of America

Little Red Letter #97


Winter in the Twin Cities and Kicking off 2023

The first newsletter of 2023 has some catching up to do. Though we hope all comrades were able to find time to rest in the interim, late December was not a quiet time.


Quarry Encampment Eviction

The City of Minneapolis chose the final days of 2022 as the time to conduct another encampment eviction, scheduled initially for December 28th at the Quarry encampment. This attack against our unhoused neighbors was met by resistance as upwards of 100 community members gathered to protect the camp. The City called off its initial attempt at eviction, only to come back two days later. Around 50 police cars were involved in the eviction on December 30th of about a dozen residents of the encampment, another act of cruelty against unhoused individuals during freezing conditions.


Inaccessible Sidewalks

City resources are never in short supply to conduct evictions, but they have been denied to working class and renter neighborhoods who face an annual accessibility problem in Minnesota: uncleared sidewalks. Both Twin Cities DSA’s Street Corp (read more from Shane M. below) and other community groups have been out doing the work of snow removal that should be expected of a city government in this climate. As Minneapolis and St. Paul grapple with this problem, we see a renewed push in Minneapolis for municipal sidewalk clearance following over a foot of snow early in January, as well as activism by local group Our Streets Minneapolis. Municipal shoveling and alley plowing was also adopted as a policy goal by chapter membership and is a key component in ending neglect toward residents.


Trader Joes Labor Action

Workers with Trader Joe’s United in Minneapolis closed out 2022 with a show of working class power. As management continues to drag their feet in contract negotiations and retaliate by cutting hours of union supporters, workers staged a walkout in response. Nearly all staff joined the walkout to a crowd of community supporters in the largest grocery store action in the Twin Cities since the 90’s. Management responded by closing the store for the day. Solidarity with crew members at Trader Joe’s!



TCDSA committees and working groups need members to get involved in order to create the multi-racial, worker-powered socialist future we’re all aiming for. Below are some opportunities to be part of the exciting work going on in our chapter right now!


TCDSA Communications Committee 

Our Comms group needs writers to create social media content, graphic designers to create Instagram posts and event flyers, and seasoned social media users to help with posting and analytics (1 hour per week at most). Does this sound like you? If so, contact Cynthia S. at comms@twincitiesdsa.org and we will get you plugged in and making change right away! 

East Phillips Urban Farm 

TCDSA is joining forces with the East Phillips Urban Farm initiative (EPNI) to resist the City of Minneapolis’s plans to demolish the Roof Depot building. Not only would this release high levels of arsenic into the environment and further pollute the neighborhood with diesel fuel exhaust from the parking lot planned for the site, but it would also dash the community’s plan to develop this site as a neighborhood hub (with socialist solutions such as cooperatively owned businesses, solar energy, and jobs for residents of East Phillips). If this situation also spikes your ire, here is a list of ways to get involved with EPNI directly. And if you want to build power with other comrades opposed to environmental racism, reach out to Connor S. (epni@twincitiesdsa.org) to become part of TCDSA’s EPNI Working Group.

Twin Cities DSA Street Corps Working Group 

The Street Corps Working Group snow shoveling program assists neighbors and community organizations after major snow storms. Snow can be a major obstacle to community members with mobility struggles as well as to the operations of community organizations serving the community. Anyone interested in shoveling can sign up here!



  • Twin Cities DSA New Member HangoutBoneshaker BooksRSVP Here

    • Friday, 1/20, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

      For all members, new and old! Drop in for a casual hangout Boneshaker Books any time from 5:30-7:30.
  • East Phillips Community MeetingEast Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center

    • Sunday, 1/22, 1:00pm

      The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) is inviting its neighbors, allies and environmental justice advocates to a community meeting  where we will discuss legal updates, upcoming actions. There will also be a community vote, and we need your voice in how EPNI navigates this next chapter in the Roof Depot fight! the meeting will be held at 2307 17th Ave S in the Multi-Purpose Room. Food will be available and a honor song and prayer will take place at 1:10pm.
  • Twin Cities DSA 101RSVP Here

    • Tuesday, 1/24, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

      Join us for the revamped introduction to Twin Cities DSA! Designed mainly for new members but any member might benefit. This event will acquaint you with the ideas behind socialism, the structure, culture, and history of Twin Cities DSA, its position in the national and local “left ecosystem”, and help you discern where you might find the most rewarding opportunities to get involved.
  • “Class Struggle Unionism” Book DiscussionRSVP Here

    • Wednesday, 1/25, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

      Join Political Education and Labor Branches to discuss the content, themes, and topics surrounding “Class Struggle Unionism” by Joe Burns. The book is 180 pages, accessible, and hits deep at the center of where TCDSA, and many other socialists, are headed. About the book: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1767-class-struggle-unionism
  • TCDSA Inaugural Debate: Dirty Break With The DFLRSVP Here

    • Friday, 1/27, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

      Join us for TCDSA’s inaugural debate on our relationship with the DFL! It will be an evening of relaxed, participatory political debate, all are welcome!

Chapter Branch/Committee/Working Group Meetings and Events

  • Street Corps WG Security Committee Monthly Meeting – Tuesday, 1/17, 6:00pm-7:00pm – Zoom Registration

    • The goal of the Street Corps WG Security Committee is to increase overall security literacy for chapter members and build capacity to maintain security literacy within the chapter. Anyone interested in protest marshalling, antifascist action, self-defense, first aid, or infosec is welcome to attend no matter their experience level.
  • Labor Branch Meeting – Tuesday, 1/17, 7:00pm-8:30pm, Zoom Registration

    • The TCDSA Labor Branch meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. For information about this meeting, see the #labor channel on Slack. Not on Slack? Submit tcdsa.org/slack to verify you’re on the member list
  • Internal Organizing Phonebank – Wednesday, 1/18, 6:00pm-7:00pm 

    • Join the Internal Organizing Committee for our bimonthly phonebank to call new TCDSA members.

      We meet on Zoom to go over the script, mute ourselves and make phone calls to other DSA members, and then return to debrief how our calls went. A brief training is provided and no prior experience is required. These phonebanks are a chance to meet newer members to TCDSA, hear what they need from our chapter and what brings them to socialism. All are welcome to join, but new members should note that this is a group calling session where we will call you, not an event designed for new members.

      IO phonebanks are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. For more information about joining this meeting, see the #internal-organizing Slack channel.
  • Communications Committee Meeting – Thursday, 1/19, 6:00pm-7:30pm

    • The Communications Committee meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. 

      For information on joining this meeting, see the #communications channel on Slack. Not on Slack? Submit tcdsa.org/slack to verify you’re on the member list.
  • Steering Committee Meeting – Sunday, 1/22, 3:00pm-4:30pm 

    • Check #steeringcommittee for the zoom link and agenda. If you are a member and need access to slack, sign up at tcdsa.org/slack
  • Tech Ops: Red Desk Launch Meeting – Monday, 1/23, 6:30pm-7:30pm, Zoom Registration

    • We’re preparing to launch a help desk for Twin Cities DSA. This meeting will be an opportunity to figure out any remaining details related to doing so.
  • St. Paul Branch Meeting – Thursday, 1/26, 7:00pm-8:30pm 

    • The St. Paul Branch of TCDSA meets on the 4th Thursday of the month. Stay tuned for specific details on how to join this meeting.

Go to tcdsa.org/events to see everything!


From the Blog / In the News

Authors’ opinions may not reflect those of Twin Cities DSA.

Twin Cities DSA Joins East Phillips Urban Farm Fight – Following overwhelming support by Twin Cities DSA membership to include support in our chapter priorities and policy platform, Connor S. provides an update as the fight approaches a crucial juncture.

Democratic Snow-cialism: Report back from Snow Shoveling Program – Shane M. reports on the new Snow Shoveling Program coordinated by the chapter’s Street Corps Working Group, as chapter volunteers ensure accessibility to residents following large snowfall and arctic temperature drops across Minnesota.

18000 Amazon Layoffs: Two, Three, Many Amazon Unions Nationwide to Stop This Attack – As Amazon takes advantage of the slowdown of the economy as an excuse to fire 18,000 workers, Carlos B writes on the conditions and organizing experience at the company.

Red carnation on white background

Latest news from the Democratic Socialist Caucus – Having formed in 2019-2020 with the intention of becoming a Community Outreach Organization within the DFL only to be shot down at their first recognition attempt, Deb R. provides a report as the group holds it’s annual convention.

Cover of Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs

Lessons from Teamster Rebellion – “To the men and women who gave me unshakeable faith in the working class, the rank and file of General Drivers Local 574.” Farrell Dobbs. A timely review of the book Teamster Rebellion by Kip H.

Reflections on Cannon Valley DSA: Part Two – By Revmira B., reflecting on the history of Cannon Valley DSA, their local organizing and the challenges they and other small chapters across the country face, in light of the recent decision to seek merger with Twin Cities DSA.


In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

With so many great podcasts, articles, books and videos coming out, it’s easy to miss something. Here are a few things members have found and loved recently.

‘Like walking on missiles’: US airman recalls the horror of the Vietnam ‘Christmas bombings’ 50 years on
While I condemn Russian bombing of civilian targets in Ukraine, this article exposes US hypocrisy.
from Robbie O.

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Minneapolis schools’ layoff exemptions
Local breaking news! After the clause about exempting teachers of color from layoffs in order to build racial diversity in the teacher corps made it into the strike settlement and resulting contract amendments, a Minneapolis woman sued the school system (MPS) claiming her status as a “taxpayer” gave her standing to protest against the new rules. But fortunately, there is at least one rational judge in town and her case was dismissed – for lack of standing.
from Deb R.

The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes.
Interesting piece by Neal Meyer, a member of New York City DSA, discussing how socialist legislators can learn lessons from the far-right about wielding power against the Democratic establishment. “By fighting Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become the next Speaker of the House, the right wing of the Republican Party won significant concessions that will make it a powerful player in Congress. The Left should learn to replicate its tactics for egalitarian ends.”
From Cynthia M.

Study Ties Abortion Restrictions to ‘Significant’ Jump in Suicide Rates for Young Women
Portside leftist news aggregator shared a piece from Common Dreams about how fear and uncertainty about abortion rights appear to be driving a recent spike in suicides of young women.
from Deb R.

House lawmakers begin path toward MN marijuana legalization with first committee approval
Today I learned that apparently the MN House has a daily newsletter of sorts, and I think this was a good write up of the first committee hearing for formalizing marijuana legalization in the state.
from Tim H.

We Lost Barbara Ehrenreich in 2022, but We Can’t Lose Sight of Her Visionary American Socialism
The Nation had a good article on Barbara Ehrenreich, socialist author and former DSA CO-chair who died in 2022.  “Ehrenreich recognized the first duty of a socialist in the United States was to declare that it doesn’t have to be this way.”
from Robbie O.

We Should Demand Democratic Workplaces, But What Does That Mean?
“Organizing our workplaces isn’t just about wages, hours, working conditions, and obtaining rights non-unionized workers lack… It’s also about having a say during our workdays and in our working lives.”
from Shane M.

If you find something that should be shared, you can post it to the #linkroundup channel on Slack.


Members and newsletter subscribers should have received this in their email. If you did not and believe you should have, please check spam and promotion folders before contacting operations@twincitiesdsa.org.