Twin Cities DSA Little Red Letter #98: The Brutality of the System




Twin Cities
Democratic Socialists of America

Little Red Letter #98

The Brutality of the System

Events from the last couple weeks need to be addressed before anything else. Multiple examples, local and national, of the brutality of our current system. On January 18, Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, who went by the name Tortuguita, was murdered by Atlanta PF while in defense of forested land targeted for clearance to construct “Cop City”, a proposed $90 million police training complex (Read the piece by Debra K R in Member Submissions).

Just over a week later, the Minneapolis City Council voted 7-6 against the vision for the East Phillips Urban Farm (Read the pieces by Connor S and Ben R in the Roundup). By accepting the contract to demolish the Roof Depot, the course chosen furthers the injustice against the people of East Phillips as the City continues to break its promises and ignore its policies.

On Friday, following the termination of five of the officers involved, Memphis PD (CW: Police Brutality, Violent Assault) released the footage of Tyre Nichols’ murder, showing as he is beaten, pepper sprayed, and hit with a stun gun by police officers during a traffic stop on January 7. He died three days later. We stand with all communities grieving and fighting back against all lives taken by the police.

Organizing to “Stop Cop City” in Atlanta continues. Coalition work continues around the East Phillips Urban Farm as the community plans the next steps forward. And actions and organizing continues to ensure justice for Tyre Nichols and to stand against police brutality and the entire carceral system. We continue to fight.

East Phillips Community Meeting

Connor S. provides us a report on the community meeting on January 22. Approximately 70 people gathered in the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center for the meeting held by the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) to give an update on the East Phillips Urban Farm fight, including three separate and ongoing strategies: the litigation, the negotiations, and the civil disobedience. 

City Council Demolition Vote –
Against EPNI 7-6

On Tuesday, seven members of the Minneapolis City Council showed how hollow their platitudes regarding equity in the city and concerns about environmental racism were as they voted to approve the demolition of the Roof Depot Building in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis. Written by Ben R.

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 and we will get you plugged in and making change right away! 

  • East Phillips Urban Farm 

    TCDSA has endorsed the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s (EPNI) Urban Farm initiative to resist the City’s Hiawatha Campus Expansion plan. Not only would this release high levels of arsenic into the environment and further pollute the neighborhood with diesel fuel exhaust from city fleet services onsite, 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 East Phillips residents). Minneapolis plans to begin demolition in East Phillips as soon as February 27. Can you help defend East Phillips? If you want to build power with other comrades opposed to environmental racism, reach out to Connor S ( 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!

  • Labor Branch Movie Night: Teamster Rebellion – UNITE HERE! Local #17RSVP Here

    • Saturday, 2/4, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

      Join us for Teamster Rebellion at this month’s TCDSA Labor Movie Night to be held at UNITE HERE! Local 17 (312 Central Ave SE, #444, MPLS). With the UPS contract battle, Amazon, Starbucks, Delta and others unionizing, and with Twin Cities unions coordinating for 2024 contract fights, the 1934 Teamster strikes provide invaluable lessons for today’s working-class fighters.
  • Twin Cities DSA New Member Hangout

    • Saturday, 2/11 – Location and Time TBD

      Hangout with comrades at Twin Cities DSA! All members welcome, but this is an especially good time for new members and people considering joining TCDSA to get to know each other and ask questions. Check for updates.
  • Twin Cities DSA February General Member MeetingMinnesota Youth Collective

    • Saturday, 2/25, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

      Twin Cities DSA will host our next General membership meeting on February 25 at the Minnesota Youth Collective, 2161 University Ave W #100, St Paul, MN 55114. Our general meetings include updates on chapter work, discussion of any proposals, and a chance to talk with comrades about the chapter’s direction. Meeting logistic are being planned now, official materials and signup will be available soon. Keep an eye on the meeting event page for updates.

  • Electoral Committee Meeting – Wednesday, 2/1, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration

    • Join the TCDSA Electoral Committee for our February general meeting! We coordinate the chapters endorsement process, create plans for campaigning, and work to develop our relationships with elected officials. 
  • Internal Organizing Phonebank– Wednesday, 2/1, 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. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list.
  • Communications Committee Meeting – Thursday, 2/2, 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 to verify you’re on the member list.
  • Steering Committee Meeting – Sunday, 2/5, 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
  • Internal Organizing Committee– Wednesday, 2/8, 6:30pm-8:00pm – Zoom Registration

    • All are welcome to join our monthly meetings of the TCDSA Internal Organizing Committee (IOC). This committee works to create the spaces, structures, and resources to initiate and sustain members’ active and healthy participation in chapter work. Through internal organizing, we strive to grow our capacity by developing confident and skilled organizers and leaders who are empowered to turn their resources into collective power to make socialist change. Join the #internal-organizing channel on Slack for more info.
  • Political Education Committee – Thursday, 2/9, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration 

    • All members are welcome to join the Political Education committee or to attend any of our meetings to discuss the continuation of Socialism 101 and lifting up Pol Ed for new, curious, and established TCDSA members. This group meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month. For more information, check out the #politicaleducation Slack channel. Not on Slack? Submit to verify you’re on the member list.

Go to to see everything!

Far Away From Home: Amazon’s Pattern of Abusing the Vulnerable – Carlos B. writes about the strange experience working for a company that acts as if their “technical advances” and “logistics and robotics”  have given them the magic productive formula.

The Battle Against Cop City in Atlanta – For progressive activists, Atlanta’s PSTC represents something of a perfect storm: a single project that catalyzes fears of ecological degradation, state-sponsored violence, police militarization, environmental racism, opaque governance, and the long legacy of white supremacy. — David Peisner, “The Forest for the Trees,” The Bitter Southerner, Dec. 13, 2022.

Rebellion in Peru – In the midst of rebellion in Peru following the ousting of President Castillo and assumption of the presidency by Dina Boluarte, Carlos B. provides dispatches on the situation as he heads to the country to counteract any media blackout.

Marches and Vigils Across the US Respond to the Police Killing of Forest Defender Tort – UNICORN RIOT
Unicorn Riot covers the nationwide response to the murder of forest Defender Tortuguita (Manuel Teran) by Atlanta cops.
from Debra K R.

“They have the technology, they have the weapons, they have the money, they have everything. What do we have? We have solidarity!” Lessons from the Rojava Revolution – Lefteast
Here is an interesting interview about the aims of the Rojava (Kurdish area of Syria) Revolution. Their goal is Democratic Confederalism, ” based on three pillars: 1) radical democracy, i.e. non-state democracy based on people’s self organization through a federation of communes; 2) women’s liberation, considering that there cannot be a liberated society without the liberation of women and that it is a central part of the struggle for the freedom of society; and 3) social ecology, a holistic understanding of the relationship between human beings and the rest of nature.”
from Robbie O.

The New Fight Over an Old Forest in Atlanta
The plans for an enormous police-training center—dubbed Cop City by critics—have ignited interest in one of Atlanta’s largest remaining green spaces.
from Debra K R.

Buses, rail, biking, walking and, yes, even some driving: DFL transportation plans – Minnesota Reformer
One-time and possibly still Twin Cities DSA member H. Jiahong Pan is making quite an impact on local journalism. Their passion is transportation, and their recent MN Reformer piece is a deep dive into what we can expect from the DFL on that front in this first trifecta year.
from Debra K R.

“Noncompete Clauses” Should Be Outlawed — but Not in the Name of “More Competition”
The first job I worked at 16, Jimmy Johns, made me sign a contract that said for two years after I worked there, I couldn’t work anywhere that derived more than a certain percent of revenue from sandwiches. Interested perspective on the rule making, looking forward to these things being banned.
from Tim H.

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

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