Twin Cities DSA Little Red Letter #100: Developments in the East Phillips Fight, UMN Graduate Labor Union, and More!




Twin Cities
Democratic Socialists of America

Little Red Letter #100

Developments in the East Phillips Fight, UMN Graduate Labor Union, and More!

For Minneapolis, the last week has seen rapid changes in the fight around the Roof Depot demolition. For more context, see the update written by Connor S featured below.

  • Tuesday: Indigenous relatives and allies began the occupation of the Roof Depot. At 1:00 pm, the group gave a press conference and issued the occupation’s demands. That evening, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) sent dozens of cops to raid and evict the camp. They arrested eight during the eviction.
  • Wednesday: A press conference was held at the nearby Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center (MIWRC). Numerous Indigenous-led organizations were there in support of continued resistance to the Roof Depot demolition.
  • Thursday: The Minneapolis City Council voted 6–6 against a resolution brought by Councilmember Wonsley recognizing the First Amendment rights of environmental activists. Councilmember Chavez’s attempts to cancel the demolition and the Hiawatha Expansion Project also failed by 6–6 votes. Councilmembers Goodman, Jenkins, Koski, Palmisano, Rainville, and Vetaw voted against both. Councilmember Johnson was not present.
  • Friday: A Hennepin County Judge allowed a temporary injunction against the demolition of the Roof Depot while EPNI pursues their legal case in the court of appeals. This prevents demolition for a minimum of two weeks.

TCDSA members came together Saturday for our first general meeting of 2023 to discuss this and other priorities. Today, there are two events this afternoon to show support for Little Earth and East Phillips, both listed in our big events section.

This is the development of just one local story since the last newsletter. From community demanding justice for Jia Xiong after his killing by the Saint Paul Police Department, SEIU 284 food service workers with Hastings Public Schools on strike, graduate workers at the University of Minnesota going public with their union campaign, and driver’s licenses for all becoming law in Minnesota, the fight for a just world continues.

Rally at City Hall supporting Little Earth and No Demo. Photo by Kip H

East Phillips Update: No Demo!

The last week has seen rapid developments in the fight surrounding the Roof Depot site in East Phillips. Connor S. lays out the key moments of the week and the role TCDSA has played so far.

UMN Grad Students Rally Feb. 20 2023 Photo credit Ian R

UMN Grad Labor Union

The latest in a wave of graduate worker organizing across the country, on Monday UMN graduate workers at the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses announced their union campaign. Ian R. writes about the rally and provides a primer on the importance of graduate worker organizing.

2023 Election Endorsement Process: Building Worker Power in City Hall

On February 15th, TCDSA announced that applications were open for endorsement in 2023. Following reflection on two years of renewed electoral work, the 2023 process build of lesson learned and determination to build working class power in city halls. Written by Tim H.

TCDSA Street Corp Practices Democratic Snowcialism

Candid shots of members participating in our Street Corp snow shoveling program. We were able to clear several sections of sidewalk, crossings, and bus stops near a local encampment.

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!

  • Twin Cities DSA Communications Committee: Newsletter 

    The newsletter team is looking for volunteers to help create the Little Red Letter, our chapter’s bi-weekly newsletter. There’s a variety of ways to contribute–sample tasks include editing a fellow member’s submission, creating the Big Upcoming Events and Group Meeting and Events sections, writing a submission, or posting pieces to the web, to name a few!  If you’re interested in getting involved, please drop a line in the #newsletter channel on our Slack.

  • 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). 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 this effort can sign up here!

  • Health Justice Working Group

    The Health Justice working group is reforming and we want you to join us! Everyone interacts with the healthcare system at multiple points in their lives, and all of us are vulnerable to its extractive forces. Each of us has a valuable perspective when it comes to fighting for better personal and public health serviced by a system that is decoupled from the market.

    Come to the first meeting on Monday, March 6th, at 6:30pm to discuss health justice as an issue and meet with other comrades who are passionate about developing an active working group in the Twin Cities. Register here for the Zoom-only meeting.

  • Twin Cities DSA Socialists Playing Sports

    Want to get together with other comrades to play sports? We’re organizing groups of people to play in the Spring/Summer Minneapolis Parks and Recreation softball league (division tbd) and to play some pickup basketball.

    Join  #socialists-play-sports-softball and/or #socialists-play-sports-basketballif you’re interested. If you haven’t played or aren’t “good,” it doesn’t matter! The focus here is primarily on having fun, getting some physical activity, and getting to know each other better. Softball registration begins on February 21, so kindly join ASAP if you’re interested so we can figure out if we have enough people to form a team!

  • Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Educational Support Professionals Rally in Support of East Phillips –  MFT/ESP Headquarters

    • Sunday, 2/26, 12:00pm – 1:30pm

      Join the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Educational Support Professionals in standing with East Phillips residents against the City’s planned demolition of the Roof Depot building. Learn more about the speakers for the the event on its Facebook event page.
  • Defend the Depot Block Party/Mutual Aid Festival –  Cedar Avenue Field Park 

    • Sunday, 2/26, 1:00pm

      A block party will be hosted starting at 1pm at Cedar Avenue Field Park located at 2500 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis following the MFT Local 59 & ESP rally. Come join East Phillips residents in solidarity and celebration following court ordered injunction against the demolition of the roof depot.
  • Labor/Immigration History Walking Tour – East Side Freedom Library

    • Saturday, 3/4, 10:00am – 11:30am – Registration Link

      Join us for a guided tour with Peter Rachleff of the East Side Freedom Library. Examine the role of immigration in the making and remaking of St. Paul’s East Side over the last 150 years. Explore Swede Hollow and its role as a site of European immigrant settlement in the 1850s. Then onto Payne Avenue, a center of immigrant life from Swedish, Italian, and German immigrants of the 19th century, to the Hmong, Somali, Mexican, and Salvadoran immigrants of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

  • Socialist Feminist Branch Meeting  Tuesday, 2/28, 6:30pm-8:00pm 

    • Our monthly branch meetings are a space to talk about current organizing and how people can get involved! We also have discussion centered around political education on specific topics each month. All are welcome.

      Sign up for email notification including upcoming events and meeting materials by contacting us at

  • Electoral Committee Meeting – Wednesday, 3/1, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration

    • Join us to discuss the 2023 election cycle, ongoing collaboration with elected officials, and to learn how to get involved in our campaigning later this year. All are welcome!

  • Internal Organizing Phonebank– Wednesday, 3/1, 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, 3/2, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Zoom Registration

    • 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, 3/5, 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

  • Street Corps WG Security Committee Monthly Meeting – Monday, 3/6, 6:00pm-7:00pm – Registration Link

    • 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. Street Corps Security Committee meets on the 1st Monday and 3rd Tuesday of every month.

  • Health Justice Working Group– Monday, 3/6, 6:30pm-7:45pm – Registration Link

    • The Health Justice working group is restarting! Join us for our first meeting and get to know other comrades who are interested in this issue.

  • Minneapolis Rent Control Working Group– Monday, 3/6, 6:00pm-7:30pm – Registration Link

    • Join the TCDSA Minneapolis Rent Control Work Group! This will be a space to discuss the proposals from the city’s working group on rent control and the strategy and tactics that lay before us in positioning TCDSA to bring the fight for strong rent control in Minneapolis into the public spotlight.

  • Internal Organizing Committee – Wednesday, 3/8, 6:30pm-8:00pm

    • 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.

      Stay tuned for the Zoom link or visit the #internal-organizing Slack channel.

  • Political Education Committee Meeting – Thursday, 3/9, 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!

Ukraine, Solidarity, and the Age of Inter-Capitalist Destruction – A year into the conflict, the largest war in Europe since the defeat of Nazi Germany appears further than ever from a conclusion. Tracey B provides a perspective on where things stand, and where they go from here.

No wealth but life – pig style
Jem Bendell (of Deep Adaptation fame) arrives by a circuitous route at the idea that climate justice cannot not be anti-capitalist. The journey involves piggy banks, and  the collapse of tourism in Bali during the pandemic.
from Debra K R.

Chemical Desolation in Appalachia
From The American Prospect via, an early analysis of the situation in East Palestine OH and surrounding communities in OH, WV and western PA. 
from Debra K R.

How To Turn America Into Communist Russia: The Board Game
Frank Jacobs’ The Big Think (via Portside) covers the interesting story of the Depression Era board game produced by the Communist Party of America (CPUSA.)
from Debra K R.

Minneapolis cops bust up Roof Depot Occupation
Tuesday morning at 5 am, activists led by residents of Little Earth occupied the Roof Depot site. By Tuesday evening, police had blocked streets all around the site and began taking or destroying tents and supplies and arresting the occupiers.
from Debra K R.

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

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