Free Abortion, On Demand, Without Apology

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signaled his intention to sign the “fetal heartbeat bill” (SB 184, HB 133, HB 484) that would criminalize abortion after a heartbeat is detected, usually at 6 weeks. This bill is the result of decades of work by anti-choice zealots to shut down abortion access state by state.

This bill won’t protect life in Louisiana. It won’t do anything about the maternal mortality rate that is the 2nd worst in the country. It won’t stop the 45% of pregnancy-related deaths that are preventable. It won’t address the fact that childbirth is 4x more deadly for black people in Louisiana, and 3x more deadly for parents over 35. It won’t provide greater access to healthcare. It won’t help a single person living in this state.

It won’t help parents provide for their children’s food, shelter, education, or healthcare. It won’t create jobs and livelihoods to sustain families. It won’t stop violence. This bill is meant to punish and dominate. To steal autonomy and choice from pregnant people. This bill is designed — as most of Louisiana’s abortion laws are designed — to punish working class people and make our lives harder. Already, 95% of parishes don’t have an abortion clinic (75% of Louisianans live in a parish without a clinic). People seeking abortions already have to arrange transportation and travel, take multiple days off work, receive medically unnecessary ultrasounds and state-mandated counseling, and self-fund procedures that cost hundreds of dollars — starting around $500 in the first trimester and getting more expensive as time passes.

New Orleans Abortion Fund has been bridging the gap between the women of Louisiana and access to abortion health care. NOAF has helped over 1,200 people access abortion healthcare, has trained and organized hundreds of clinic escorts, and has fought the Louisiana legislature’s continued attacks on reproductive rights. NOAF is hosting 3 actions this week:
1. Tuesday, May 21st, 5-7 p.m.: Abortion Action Happy Hour at 12 Mile Limit
2. Wednesday, May 22nd, 12 p.m.: Join NOAF and Women With a Vision for Just Laws or Outlaws: Take to the Streets at 1 Shell Plaza
3. Thursday, May 23rd, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Abortion Action Happy Hour at Sidney’s Saloon

This fight for abortion access cannot be limited to protesting this single act of legislation. This bill is a result of decades of anti-choice cruelty disguised as morality, an encroachment made possible by the Democratic party leadership’s unwillingness to adhere to even the most basic of socially progressive ideals. The fight for abortion access should be understood as a necessary part in a broader movement for basic rights, freedoms, and justice for working people in Louisiana and beyond.

As our representatives in Baton Rouge fail to prioritize our city’s water, our streets, and our housing, they also systematically fail to protect our basic human needs for reproductive justice. This latest betrayal by Democrats stresses the truth that people of color, working-class people, and LGBTQIA+ folks have always known: Louisiana Democrats will hold our votes hostage with the threat of a MORE authoritarian right. They use our justifiable fear of Republican government to tether us to their weak positions while giving us the barest minimum in return. They want to keep us poor, in debt, pregnant, and clinging to survival so we will never have the energy to fight.

The right will continue to leverage exemptions for victims of sexual violence as compromise, and the Democrats will continue to cave and jeopardize the healthcare of people seeking abortions. We refuse this weak position. We demand free abortion, on demand, with no apologies. The capitalist system we live in consistently undervalues the labor of reproduction. It undervalues our children and our love. We see through this attempt to legislate our bodies that they justify as a commitment to human life. We know our value and our power. Our rage and fear are not useless or isolating, they are unifying and powerful. Together we will put our bodies in the streets and organize, not only against regressive attacks on abortion healthcare, but to build a better world with health justice for all.

JOIN OUR DEMAND FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL
We believe that we deserve health justice in Louisiana. We envision a future where children are raised by loving families with safe shelter, with food, with quality education and healthcare. A world where we fight back against climate violence. Where no one lives in a place nicknamed “Cancer Alley.” Where we aren’t in the top 5 states with the highest rates of death from gun violence. We want to replace violence with justice. It will take all of us working together to get there.

Our vision begins with expanded and improved Medicare for All: comprehensive health care that covers every single person in the country, for all medical, dental, vision, and mental health needs. For free, with no copays, premiums, or deductibles. Ever. Including free abortion, on demand, without apology.

JOIN US TO BUILD A SOCIALIST FEMINIST FUTURE
We believe that reproductive labor (the labor of rearing children, keeping a home, and caring for our elderly) has undeniable value. We believe in a future where decisions to have or not have children are never based on anything but the desires of the individuals involved. Where paid family leave, free universal childcare, living wages, equal pay, and good, reliable public education are standard.

Socialist feminism rejects the feminism that glorifies female billionaires who profit off the backs of working women or celebrates female military leaders while ignoring the women suffering under the bombs they drop. We reject a capitalist feminism that relies on the subjugation of women in the global south for the “freedom” of women in the global north.

We envision a Louisiana where all people have body autonomy, where legislators don’t mockingly toss dollar bills while voting to restrict adult’s access to work. Where all people, no matter their race, immigration status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, can seek reproductive healthcare free of harassment and state violence.

New Orleans DSA is here to fight with you for a better world. That includes defending abortion rights as well defending workers’ rights and the human right to clean air, land, and water. We can win if we build a movement together.

JOIN US
New Orleans DSA will host a free film screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry on Saturday, June 1st at The Dragonfly (3921 St Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117). Mary Dore’s powerful documentary features interviews with over 30 activists who were at the heart of the early women’s liberation movement (1966-1971), including women involved in the National Organization for Women, the Young Lords, and JANE, Chicago’s underground abortion service. Join us in learning from the work of activists before us and for discussions of how we can build on their legacy.
Doors at 6:30, screening at 7 p.m. Dinner provided (additional potluck contributions welcome!). Tea and soft drinks served. (BYOB if desired.) Children welcome. Please email hello@dsaneworleans.org about childcare, accessibility, or any other questions.

Learn more about how to donate, volunteer, and organize with New Orleans Abortion Fund here
Learn more about how to donate, volunteer, and organize with Women with a Vision here
Learn more about how to donate, volunteer, and organize with LIFT Louisiana here
Join the Democratic Socialists of America and fill out the ‘Get Involved’ form at the top of our page to connect with the New Orleans chapter.

Happy May Day! Film Screening, Caribbean Forum, Teachers’ Strikes

Upcoming Events

Happy May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. This Wednesday, May 1st, DSA New Orleans will be joining the annual march organized by New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. We’ll gather in Congo Square at 1:30 PM and we invite all of you to join us! Remember to wear red.

We have a ton of great events planned this month. In addition to our regular monthly Brake Light Clinic, we’re doing two Medicare-for-All canvasses. We’ve got a film screening about Anne Braden, a southern socialist organizer and civil rights activist. Our Socialists of Color Caucus is hosting a forum about liberation movements in the Caribbean. We’ve got a book event about the red state teachers’ strikes, and we’ll close out the month with a social.

Free film screening
Anne Braden:
Southern Patriot

Friday May 10th | 7:00pm
The DragonFly: Poetery &
Performance Ritual Space
3919 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans

*Upcoming June Convention*

Don’t forget we’ve got our chapter convention coming up in June. Our convention is one of our most important events of the year, where we elect new leadership and vote on important political resolutions. You can read a guide to the chapter convention here.
 


Upcoming DSA Events

Film Screening: Anne Braden, Southern Patriot
Friday, May 10th, 7 – 9pm
The Dragonfly: Poetry & Performance Ritual Space, 3921 St. Claude Ave

This riveting documentary tells the story of one of the South’s most important socialist organizers, with appearances by Cornel West and Angela Davis among others. Free screening, all are welcome. Dinner provided.

Gimme A Brake Light Clinic
Saturday, May 11th, 11am – 4pm
Kruttschnitt Place, 2437 Bayou Rd

Join us for our monthly brake light clinic, where we fix brake lights for free to prevent unnecessary traffic stops and speak out against police violence. Snacks and water provided, no experience necessary, family friendly. 

Comrades of the Caribbean
Friday, May 17th, 6 – 8pm
Community Book Center, 2523 Bayou Rd

Join DSA’s Socialists of Color Caucus for a forum on Caribbean liberation movements. From New Orleans to Cuba to Haiti, we believe that we must know and support each other’s struggles towards freedom. Food from CocoHut provided before hand and a brief Q&A with our panelists afterwards. Family friendly.
We’re raising funds to cover the cost of catering and hosting this event. Click here to donate. 

Medicare-for-All Canvass & Health Fair
Saturday, May 18th — Canvass from 10am – 12pm, Health Fair 12 – 4pm
A.L. Davis Park, 2600 La Salle St

Every month (or more!) we organize a canvass for Medicare-for-All, a policy to create free universal healthcare. Snacks, water provided. No experience or supplies necessary. 

We’ll follow up our canvass with a Health Fair + Medical Debt Clinic. We offer health resources, hot food, cool beverages, assistance with debt disputes, and talk to folks about Medicare for All. Email healthcare@dsaneworleans.org if you’d like to volunteer! 

Red State Revolt
Saturday, May 25th, 3 – 5pm
Musician Union’s Hall, 2555 Ursulines Ave

In 2018 a strike wave—the first in over four decades—rocked the United States. Inspired by the wildcat victory in West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and across the country walked off their jobs and shut down their schools to demand better pay for educators, more funding for students, and an end to years of austerity. We will be hosting former teacher, DSA organizer and author Eric Blanc for a discussion of his recently released book, Red State Revolt

New Member Social
Friday, May 31st, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Location TBD

Save the date, we’re having a new member social on the last Friday of May. This will be a great chance for new folks to meet New Orleans socialists and learn how to get involved in our work. Children welcome, dinner provided.

For the most complete, up-to-date information on all of our meetings and events, check out our calendar. 

Chapter Priorities Meeting Monday! Socialist Cookout Friday

We’ve got two big events coming up next week. On Monday we’ve got our April Chapter Program meeting. Friday we’re hosting a cookout on the bayou. More info below.

While you’re at it, check out this amazing op-ed our Healthcare-for-All Committee leader published in the Lens yesterday! She calls on Rep. Cedric Richmond to co-sponsor the Medicare for All Act. 

Local Dues have been re-established with a completely new system. We are an all-volunteer organization that is 100% member-funded, so local dues support our work and help keep us independent. You can sign up here.

Finally – don’t forget we’ve got our chapter convention coming up in June. Our convention is one of our most important events of the year, where we elect new leadership and vote on important political resolutions. You can read a guide to the convention here.

Upcoming Events

Chapter Program Meeting: Our Priorities
Monday, April 22nd, 6:30 – 8pm
2022 St. Bernard Ave

We’re working on our chapter program, which will help guide our work and focus our efforts as we organize for a better world. In February members identified four issues they want to focus more on: growing the chapter, labor organizing, healthcare justice and environmental issues.

We’re getting together to brainstorm and develop action plans for our chapter based on member feedback, and we want everyone to come! Dinner provided, children welcome. Wheelchair accessible building.

Socialist Cookout on the Bayou

Friday, April 26th, 6:30pm til late
On the Bayou between St. Ann & Dumaine

We’re having a cookout and everyone’s invited! Bring cold drinks or something to throw on the grill — or just bring yourself. Children welcome. Nearby bathroom available.

Wheelchair accessibility info: event will be held in a grassy area. The bathroom is, unfortunately, not wheelchair accessible.

There are plenty of ways to keep up to date with us as we try to build a better world:

We hope to see you soon!

Recap from our April General Meeting

Hello & thanks to everyone who attended our April general meeting. We had at least 80 attendees, making this our chapter’s biggest meeting yet!

We were lucky to welcome Miriam from Familias Unidas en Accion as a guest speaker. Hannah gave a recap from the Dallas DSA conference, where 10 delegates from our chapter met DSA leaders from all over Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Josh went over some guidelines for our upcoming chapter convention in June, and we heard updates from all of our committees and caucuses. 

Jordan gave a report back on our chapter program development and our work to develop political proposals and strategies around priorities of growing & diversifying the chapter, labor organizing, ecosocialism and healthcare justice. 

Finally, we voted to approve proposed financial reforms to our chapter bylaws, to establish a Media Policy Working Group, and to endorse the Ecosocialist Green New Deal Principles.

Read the minutes from Tuesday’s meeting here. 

 (rose sitting in the pages of an open book)
Socialist
Feminism
Reading Group
There are so many ways to get plugged in to our work. If you attended our General Meeting, you already know a little bit about all of our different committees and upcoming events. Here’s a list of events we’ve got coming up that are all great ways to get involved in our chapter.

Socialist Feminist Reading Group
Today! Thursday 4/4, 6:30 – 8:30PM, Faubourg Wines (2805 St. Claude Ave)
Roughly every other month the Socialist Feminist Caucus meets to discuss a book. This time we’re talking about adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy. We strive to keep book club discussion open to all, so feel free to come even if you haven’t read the book!

Brake Light Clinic
Saturday 4/6, 11AM – 4PM, 2437 Bayou Rd (Corner of Bayou Rd & N. Dorgenois), 
Join us for our monthly brake light clinic, where we fix brake lights for free to prevent unnecessary traffic stops and speak out against police violence.

Medicare-for-All Canvass
Tuesday, 4/9, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM, 2022 St. Bernard Ave
Join us on our next Medicare for All canvass! Every month (at least!), the DSA New Orleans Health Care Committee goes out door-to-door in different neighborhoods to talk to our neighbors about the fight for Medicare for All. No experience or supplies necessary. Everyone is welcome to join!

Workplace Organizing 101
Sunday, 4/14, 2 – 5PM, 2022 St. Bernard Ave
Join the Labor Committee for a Workplace Organizing 101 event. We’ll learn the basic steps of organinizing in our workplaces and how to come together to demand better conditions and dignity from our bosses. We invite workers from restaurants, factories, hospitals, schools and any other workplace to join us. Crawfish will be provided after the training. Accessibility info: the event will be held in a grassy area. No steps to get to bathroom.

Socialists of Color Potluck
Sunday, April 14th, 6:30 PM – 8 PM, WHIV Radio Station (2762 Orleans Ave)
A monthly potluck for black, brown and indigenous people on the left to meet one another, share experiences and build community. 


For the most up-to-date information on our events,
click the link below for our calendar.

Gimme a Brake! (Light): A DIY Guide

Version 2. February 2019.

The Work of Many

In the introduction to v2 of New Orleans DSA’s Gimme a Brake! (Light): A DIY Guide, we refer to the brake light clinic as “genius.” We should be clear the “genius” referred to herein is not ourselves, but the person who came up with the idea of these clinics, DSA organizer Kaitlin Marone. What a cool idea!

Many of us are writers, and we can tell you, a cool idea gets you pretty much nowhere. It doesn’t accomplish anything, on its own. What an idea can do is bring people together. And that’s what it did here in New Orleans. Marone took the idea to the newly-established DSA local. The brake light clinic’s success is not its idea: it is its execution, which is the work of many.

Only two people*  who worked on the original version of this guide had a hand in creating v2. That’s because in the past year and a half, the brake light clinics have gone from a cool idea to an ongoing project that has helped our chapter recruit members, develop new leadership, sharpen our political education, develop better organizing skills, and record our institutional knowledge. That is the work of many.

This guide was built by consensus. We started the process by gathering information about clinics around the country and soliciting feedback from people who had built on our work. Then we met around a table in New Orleans, each of us outfitted with a printout of the old guide, plus every piece of organizing material we had developed since. And then we went, page by page, talking about whether each piece of information was necessary, clear, and accurate. Then we rewrote and came back and did it again. And again.

It is revolutionary to be more proud of a group project – of true consensus – than an individual effort.

As we release this v2 guide, we are orienting ourselves for deeper questions. How can we transform this project into a more sustained demand? In Louisiana, there is no part of life untouched by the carceral state. Should we fight to end money bail? Can we agitate to change the fee schedule for traffic violations? How can we leverage our position and build power to influence the 2020 District Attorney race in Orleans Parish?

The work of many will continue. We are overjoyed that you’re on the journey with us.

In Solidarity,

Direct Service Committee

New Orleans DSA

*and not Kaitlin Marone!

New Member Dinner

We had a great crowd last night at our New Member Dinner. About thirty new faces! It was good to meet everybody and enjoy delicious food, wine and king cake. Stay posted for details on our next chapter dinner, which will be scheduled sometime in mid-late March after everyone recovers from Carnival season!

Solidarity with Los Angeles education workers!

 

DSA New Orleans stands in solidarity with striking Los Angeles teachers!
🌹🌹🌹🌹

Across the U.S., education workers are under attack. They’ve been pushed to the edge by charter schools and austerity.

Today more than 30,000 education workers in L.A. went on strike for the first time in 30 years. They’re demanding an end to school privatization, inflated class sizes, excessive testing and decreased funding.

As socialists and working people, we believe that support for labor struggles is a central priority of our movement. To demonstrate our solidarity, we’re donating $100 to a strike fund for Los Angeles education workers and sending them a statement of support from our chapter.

Solidarity forever!

Strike fund: https://act.dsausa.org/donate/utla_strike_fund/

 

 

 

January Update

Happy New Year! We hope you had a restful holiday. We’ve got a few great events planned for this month that you should know about. This Saturday we’ll host our first brake light clinic of 2019. Next week we have a Special Meeting where we’ll elect a new at-large council member for the chapter, discuss the 2019 DSA national convention, and continue to strategize around our goals for the coming year. Later in the month, we’re teaching folks how to canvas for Medicare for All, and holding a potluck dinner for new and old members. We hope you’ll join us!

As always, check our calendar for the most detailed and up to date information on all of our committee meetings and chapter events.

Candidate Statement: At-Large Council member

Here is a statement for our upcoming special election to select a new at-large council member for the chapter. Only one person, Jordan F., has been nominated for to run in this election. The election will be held Monday, January 7th, 2019.

Jordan F

Our chapter has grown incredibly in the past year! We’ve sharpened our skills, built up our committees, developed new leaders, and given new members a place to plug in. The space in this chapter for members to incubate different projects is one of our greatest strengths.  What we need to do next is synthesize all this work into a cohesive political vision and concrete demands. Let’s leverage these projects in a way that escalates campaigns and builds victories. I will focus on this through building a strong chapter program process and by building up the capacity of committees. I’m running for this position because I want to be part of a chapter everyone can be proud of and because I want everyone to feel like they own the work we collectively do. The only way we can build this future is if we build it together. 

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New Orleans DSA 2018 Voting Guide

Democratic Socialist Voting Guide

Municipal Action Committee

New Orleans Chapter – Democratic Socialists of America

New Orleans DSA organizes for the power and benefit of working class and poor people in Louisiana, and to take power and influence from the wealthy and corporations. In our first electoral guide for the 2018 Midterm elections, we specifically choose not to endorse any candidates. There are currently no candidates for office whose platform includes our core values of fairness, direct democracy, and human dignity. We present this guide to offer historical context, information on candidates, and a vision of how these offices could function differently in our democracy.

The scope of this guide is limited mainly to issues appearing on the Orleans Parish ballot. This is a reflection of the majority composition of our chapter’s membership.  It also includes comments on some of the Jefferson Parish School Board races.

There are more than 200 DSA members in New Orleans and more than 300 in Louisiana. If you have any questions or want to get involved, email hello@dsaneworleans.org

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