Atlanta Youth Demand Climate Action Now

by Gloria Tatum

Most politicians are doing nothing about the climate crisis, while others like President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are climate deniers.

So children are forced to lead the way because our institutions and governments have failed them. 

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg started school walkouts to raise awareness of the climate crisis.   Her actions inspired millions of school children around the world to walk out of school every Friday.   Children are protesting the climate crisis to force adults and politicians to listen to the scientists and take action to stop climate change. 

September 20th was the beginning of a Global Climate Strike that will run through September 27th. 

On Friday, September 20th, schoolchildren in over 150 countries walked out of school, and worldwide over four million children and adults participated in the climate strike. 

“The idea that this [climate strike] is kid-driven is unbelievable.  I love kids and I’m concerned about what is happening,” Jane Harsch, a 92-year old grandmother, told Streets of Atlanta. 

In Atlanta, over a thousand people came to the state capitol to rally and to demand Georgia representatives take action on the climate crisis. 

Many young people believe there is no reason to study when they don’t have a future.  Children held signs that read “You’ll Die of Old Age, We’ll Die of Climate Change.” “All My Friends Will Die,” “Our Planet is on Fire,” “There is No Planet B.” 

On the capitol steps, young people told their stories of fear and hope for the future.   

Zeena Abdulkarim, a co-director of Zero Hour Georgia, led the rally by demanding that Georgia representatives take climate action now.  “ I will be damned if I let world leaders, who have proven their lack of regard for my future and for my generation’s future…determine whether we live or die.  We will not let the government strip us of our right to live.”  

Two young women, with Atlanta for the Planet, worked with the Sierra Club to get Georgia Power to have more renewable energy resources, and they lobby their representatives to encourage change. 

“If we work together, we can change the future so we can have a future,” Tina with Atlanta for the Planet said.

The youth of American know that climate change is real because they believe the scientists, unlike Congress where many don’t understand the science behind climate change.  Mainly Republicans believe to support climate change will hurt their chance of reelection because their constituents don’t believe in climate change.

These young people have a lot of work to do to educate adults, but they are up to the job and already functioning on a professional level.

“We are experiencing food shortages and poor air quality because power is in the hands of the wrong people – corrupt politicians and greedy corporations.  But we are striking to remind us that the power is actually in our hands,” Kailen Kim, a co-director of Zero Hour Georgia, said and added the importance for everyone to vote. 

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Testa from Cumming, Georgia is a sustainability advocate, international speaker, eco-warrior and founder of Hannah4Change.org 

Testa talked about the manifestations of climate change that we are seeing and experiencing. These include record heat waves, floods, droughts, crop failure, more category five hurricanes, more destructive wildfires, areas going underwater that have never been underwater before, glaciers melting, and coral reefs decreasing.  

She predicted that if we continue on this path there will be worldwide famine, drinking water contamination, displacement of coastal communities, climate migration, destruction to entire ecosystems, and a rise in wars for food and water. 

 “This sounds like a nightmare from a Sci-fi film, but it’s all real and it’s happening now,” Testa said.

“We should not have to fight our own government to protect our planet.  The fate of our planet is in our hands, we are the last best hope for the Earth,” Testa said.

Another speaker Misty Novitch, a social and environmental organizer, encouraged everyone to read the Green New Deal and to creatively communicate it to everyone else.    She also encouraged everyone to read “Plan B” that describes how millions of people will be without food, water or shelter, and cities will be underwater like Miami and New York.

“We can’t rely on our leaders, we can only rely on ourselves.  I believe in the people.” Novitch said.   

Margaret Ashton, a senior at Berry College warned, “we can’t continue to consume animal products at the current rate….please transition to a plant-based diet,” Ashton said. 

Cows release methane when they burp or fart which is a greenhouse gas that traps heat.  

A single cow releases 70 to 120 kgs of methane per year.    Worldwide there are approximately 1.5 billion cows emitting methane.  Methane is 23 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. In the atmosphere methane gradually transforms into carbon dioxide, according to Scienceabc.com. 

“The authorities want to make a quick buck selling you cancer and pollution…they don’t care about you…so please don’t eat that hamburger,” Ashton said.

This year’s Global Climate Strike was the third in a worldwide series of climate rallies organized by school students. 

Atlanta’s next Climate Strike will be Friday, September 27.   Be at the Buckhead MARTA station at 10 am for an all-day non-violent strike in rebellion against the government for criminal inaction in the face of climate catastrophe and ecological collapse.  Get involved and be there. 

To watch Judy Conder’s video of the Atlanta Youth Climate Strike, go to Georgia Grassroots Video Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/artemisthedrummer) or click on the link below. https://youtu.be/1hqm25dmK4M


White Supremacists Rally For Trump in Dahlonega

by Gloria Tatum

Dahlonega, home of the 1829 gold rush, is a beautiful city nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains, with warm friendly people who welcome visitors with Southern hospitality. 

But underneath this idealistic surface, there lurks a toxic virus, dormant for years, that recently has been brought back to life by President Trump’s racist rhetoric.   

The latest outbreak of this virus was promoted as a patriotic pro-Trump rally organized by Chester Doles and Michael Carothers a/k/a Michale Weaver, both neo-Nazis, who have been imprisoned for brutal assaults on Black people.  

The September 14 rally was supported by an alliance of racists and fascists and promoted on a variety of neo-Nazi and white nationalists websites.     

Doles, a well-known Lumpkin County resident, who is a self-described fourth-generation Klansman, was once a leader of the Georgia chapter of the white supremacist group National Alliance.  

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists the National Alliance as a hate group.  It is genocidal in its ideology and calls for the eradication of Jews and people of color and the creation of an all-white homeland, according to SPLC.  

Republicans and city officials shunned the event, and locals hung yellow ribbons on the town square and on businesses to show silent solidarity against the rally. 

The Day of the Rally 

Over six hundred state and local law enforcement officers outnumbered the two or three hundred counter-demonstrators who outnumbered the thirty to fifty white supremacists, Nazis and Klan members.  

About 1:30 pm on Saturday, September 14, about thirty white supremacists led by Doles marched down the street to speak to people gathered on the sidewalk and to reporters whom he considers Antifa. 

Doles is obsessed with Antifa and labels almost everyone who does not share his white supremacist world view and support of Trump as Antifa, which he considers a domestic terrorist group. 

 Antifa is actually an acronym for anti-fascist.  Doles hates and fears them because they conduct research on Nazis and expose their identify to the public.   

 “Because of this college [University of North Georgia] and the Antifa professors in it that for thirty years  have been teaching Antifa propaganda to students. Now that army over there (several hundred counter-demonstrators) is Antifa,” Doles said.

Doles said he tweeted President Trump about Antifa, and that Trump is about to declare them [Antifa] an organization of terror.

Doles warned that Antifa might drop battery acid from a drone on his group when they sang the national anthem and pledged allegiance to the flag.   But his ridiculous paranoid delusion did not happen. 

Doles also raged against immigrants calling them criminals, murderers, and drug dealers and supported Trump in his building of the wall, ending chain migration, and ending the Dreamers program.  

The next speaker was Jovanni Valle, a/k/a Jovi Val, a Hitler fan and Holocaust denier, who wears a MAGA hat and a swastika necklace in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. 

In Dahlonega Valle raged against the police and government for taking their guns away for the rally.  “I believe in the Second Amendment, I believe in the right to bear arms, and our rights to bear arms was infringed today.”

“Today I wanted to see every American here to have their guns fully loaded because I did not travel all the way from New York City to see gun control.” 

Valle was upset at seeing approximately one hundred State Department of Correction Officers in full riot gear carrying guns, and most were Black men who stood guard around the town square.   

He continued to whine that he was not allowed to carry a gun or a Confederate flag in the rally area.  

Then he turned on the immigrants and said,  “Open all the borders…. give Americans back their guns, [and] no one will try to cross that border.   I want every gun the government has and more……our founding fathers were white and they wanted a white America.”  

Another speaker was, Charles Edward Lincoln, treasurer of the American Freedom Party, a political party that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule, according to SPLC.   

Two brave young people marched through the white supremacist rally shouting, “No Nazi, No KKK, No Fascist USA.”   Both were arrested and charged with inciting a riot, but there was no riot. Their bond was set at $4,700.

Calling this rally out in public as a racist and fascist event is what real American patriots look like.

What Do Locals Say About Doles

 “People outside of Dahlonega don’t realize he [Doles] has been threatening and terrorizing the community for years.  There is a long history of this,” a member of Socialist Coalition of North Georgia (SCNG) tells the Streets of Atlanta.  This individual wishes to remain anonymous, as do most people in town because they know Doles will come after them in some way.  

Doles’ has a violent history of assault and gun charges.  In 1993, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for a brutal attack on an interracial couple in Maryland.   Years later, he pleaded guilty to burglary and was given probation. In 2004, his home was raided that produced six charges of illegal weapons possession.   As a convicted felon Doles was prohibited from owning firearms, according to news reports. 

 He was suspected of being behind running a Jewish woman out of town that held an Interfaith Seder.  She received anti-Semitic notes telling her to “go back where you came from” and “Jews are not wanted here.”  She left the area shortly after that happened.  

Doles was thrilled over a large banner “Historic Ku Klux Klan Meeting Hall” that hung over a business in the town square but other citizens were embarrassed and enraged.  

This so-called pro-Trump rally was in response to Indivisible Lumpkin, a progressive group, that has held several anti-Trump rallies on the town square.   Doles is fixated on Indivisible and has harassed them and put National Alliance leaflets on their cars.   

“In general, he [Doles] is that guy you stay away from because he is rough and has a history of violence.  Everyone knows his white supremacist views so most decent townspeople know to stay away from him,” a resident who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from Doles or his friends, told the Streets of Atlanta.

“We don’t talk about unpleasant things like racism, income inequality or homelessness, and we don’t call it out when we see it, and we don’t talk about the root cause.  A prevailing philosophy up here is to ignore it, and it will go away or die out with the old South,” the anonymous resident said.

The Amazon is on Fire and the Planet is getting Hotter

by Gloria Tatum

The Amazon Rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest, is on fire and the whole world will suffer the climate consequences.   This has created concern and fear around the world because the Amazon Rainforest is known as the “lungs of the world.”

Unfortunately, Brazil is not the only country on fire. Africa, Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, and even the Arctic Circle are on fire. 

Africa has more wildfires burning than does the Amazon, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  However, Greenpeace Africa reports that the fires in Africa are small compared to the fires in the Amazon. 

 In Siberia 21,000 square miles of forest have gone up in flames, Greenland’s fire is causing more ice melt, the Arctic Circle is experiencing the worst wildfires on record, and Alaska wildfires have burned over one million acres in 2019.  

Mother Earth is getting hotter and her forests are burning that provide us with oxygen so we can breathe. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that this past July was the hottest July on record which is the latest sign of a climate crisis.   

Indigenous Earth Defenders, National Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) and Amazon Watch put out an urgent call for an international solidarity response to the fires in the Amazon. 

In Atlanta, about 50 environmental advocates and climate change activists from several organizations, including Extinction Rebellion (XR), answered the call to protest the Amazon fires at the Brazilian Consulate.  

Standing at Lenox Road and  Alliance Center Drive, they chant  “Burning forests for corporate gain, profiteering, and killing – Not in our name!”

Environmental advocates claim Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental rhetoric that promotes deforestation policies, slashing Brazil’s environmental budget, cutbacks in funding for enforcement, repeal of regulations that would protect the Amazon, and dismantling support for indigenous communities is to blame for the destruction and fires in the Amazon. 

Two students from Kennesaw State University tell why they are protesting the Amazonian fires.

“I’m here to protest against Brazil for the Amazon fires.  I want to stand in solidarity with the indigenous people in Brazil because I’m also indigenous from Central America,” Marisol Mendez, from Guatemala tells the Streets of Atlanta. 

Her friend, Melanie, from France said that “we have to think about future generations [because] nothing is more important than the planet we live on.   People say making money is the priority not the environment, but you can’t make money if we are all dead from disasters caused by climate change.”

But why is the Amazon Rainforest so important to the world?  

It produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (co2) which benefits the rest of the world.     The Rainforest stabilizes the climate and produces rainfall all around the world, and it is home to millions of plants and animals. 

“The Amazon absorbs greenhouse gases, and if we burn it down eventually there is a feedback loop or what people call a runaway cycle which exacerbates [ the planet getting hotter] and the Amazon will collapse.   If that happens we lose a major carbon sink [collector/storage of co2] which will make climate change worse,” David Hofmann, a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University, and a member of Science for the People and Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America, tells the Streets of Atlanta.  

Amazon Watch and the National Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) claim that governments and companies around the world are emboldening Bolsonaro’s toxic anti-environment policies when they enter trade agreements with his government or invest in agribusiness companies operating in the Amazon.

To find the root of the problem of deforestation and fires in the Amazon just follow the money. 

BlackRock corporation, across the street from the Brazilian consulate, is an institutional investor in all the agribusiness giants that are engaged in deforestation and the destruction of the Amazon.  They have six trillion in assets and are financing climate destruction from tar sands to the Amazon. 

The dirty dozen corporations and financial institutions complicit in destroying the Amazon and contributing to the climate crisis are listed below.

The Financiers with the big money driving deforestation are BlackRock, JP Morgan Chase, Santander, BNP, and HSBC 

The Traders or the middlemen trafficking deforestation are Cargill-soy, JBS- beef, and Marfrig-beef

The Retailers are Leclerc, Walmart, Stop and Shop and Costco

 “Bolsonaro has been encouraging corporations to grab the land and clear cut and burn it down and take it from the indigenous people,” Neil Sardana, Georgia Beyond Coal Organizer, Sierra Club said.   

Ambassador Carlos Abreau, Consul General of Brazil came out to talk with the climate change activists. 

“Brazil is fully committed to the protection and the sustainable development of the Amazon. These spots of fires, they are about the average number of the last 15 years, it happens every year   We have 45 thousand federal troops in the Amazon working with firefighters and local police to stop these spots of fires. Now, spots of fire went down 50% since May 15,” Abreau said.

Abreau said the climate activists information was wrong and encouraged everyone to read the Brazilian press for clarification. 

A young man with Extinction Rebellion (XR) reading from this cell phone countered, “the fires are 40% larger than they have ever been before,” according to Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research.

Sardana asks Abreau to take this message to President Bolsonaro from Atlanta, “We believe that independent monitoring of the Amazon shows that these fires have been allowed by the government and corporations have been taking these lands.  We call on Bolsonaro to stop the fires and stop land takeover by corporations and special interests.” 

Amazon Watch reports that in Brazil 11,500 square miles of forest have been consumed in August, quadrupling the area burned last year.   There are over 80,000 fires burning in Brazil, with more than half of them in the Amazon.

Climate activism is growing worldwide, especially among people under thirty because it is their future that is in danger of being destroyed by climate change.

“I’m part of XR  and we are having climate protest all over the world.  We are having one in Atlanta on the 27th, and in New York on the 20th and, more all over the world that week.   So we will continue to grow, especially as more climate catastrophes keep occurring and people wake up. No one is protected and everyone is involved,” Nathaniel Farrior predicts.  

Click on the Georgia Grassroots Video below to hear activists respond to the Brazilian ambassador’s state-driven propaganda.

Video by Judy Conder, Georgia Grassroots Video, https://youtu.be/5k4y32QEfHY

Women’s Reproductive Freedom Is Under Attack

written by Gloria Tatum

State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) and his Republican allies under the Gold Dome passed HB 481, an oppressive abortion ban that gives fertilized eggs personhood status with legal rights and takes reproductive rights away from women.  

http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20192020/187013.pdf

This gang of misogynous politicians wants to take women back to the good old days when abortions were illegal and women died getting illegal abortions. 

 It was a time when father was head of the house, and mother stayed at home with the kids, and extreme sexual stereotypes were considered the norm.  

 A time when women were forced to give birth against their will and now Rep. Setzler and his ilk plan to force women, once again, to have no choice about their reproductive rights. 

It will be very difficult to force women back into that world of no reproductive choices, especially young women between the ages of 18 to 29 who support pro-choice on abortion by 62 percent, according to a Gallop poll. 

Sixty percent of Americans think abortion should be legal the first three months of pregnancy, and 64 percent does not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v.Wade, and only 21 percent think abortions should be illegal, according to a 2018 Gallup survey.

Rep. Setzler believes and has said many times that a heartbeat can be heard between six to eight weeks gestation.  However, facts do matter and physicians who testified in Senate Committee Hearings said that is not true because at six weeks there is no heart to beat.  

Other physicians claim that even with a transvaginal ultrasound device you may not be able to hear a heartbeat at nine or ten weeks gestation.

Still, Setzler assured the Senate Committee that “HB 481 is anchored in solid science and law.”

But dozens of physicians testified against HB 481 and said the bill had scientific inaccuracies, was filled with falsehoods and misinformation, imposes moral and religious beliefs on women, seeks to redefine medical terminology and takes the decision making power away from women and doctors and puts it in the hands of the government.

In spite of overwhelming evidence that the bill was scientifically and legally unsound, the Republican majority in the General Assembly passed this oppressive and unconstitutional bill and Governor Brian Kemp signed it into law. 

The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and other groups have filed a federal lawsuit calling the law unconstitutional.

If the courts don’t strike it down, it will become law in Georgia on January 1, 2020.

Recently at a Town Hall Meeting in Marietta Rep. Setzler answered questions about his bill the”Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act” aka the “Heartbeat Bill.”

At that meeting, Setzler emphasized that he believes that life begins at conception and that is when he also believes legal protection should begin for a fertilized egg.  If he had his way, abortions would be illegal at the moment of conception. 

Not ever politician shares Setzler’s opinion of women that fertilized eggs should have more rights and protection than women. Kyle Rinaudo is running for Setzler seat in the State House in 2020 and he is pro-choice.


“HB 481 is about limiting women’s rights and moving our state backwards. As a millennial invested in the future of this state, I want the Georgia of the 21st Century to support women’s equality and create a more equitable, prosperous future for all of us. Limiting those rights with reproductive policy that belongs in the 1950s doesn’t do any good for anyone,” Kyle Rinaudo, tells Streets of Atlanta. 

A woman asks Setzler if it was unfair for men to make laws about women’s bodies and health.  

“This bill is about two people.  The basic right to life of a living distinct human being (in utero) is not just an issue of a women’s health this is an issue of human rights.  This is a human rights issue that deals with two people,” Setzler answered. 

Setzler has a right to his religious beliefs, as do all pro-life advocates, but they don’t have a right to force their beliefs on others and set up a legal system of crime and punishment that is controlled by personal religious beliefs. 

Today, there are over three hundred different religions and denominations in the United States but extreme far-right religious groups and politicians want the Supreme Court to give preferential treatment to their religious beliefs and overturn Roe v. Wade.

Our founding fathers knew that the best way to protect religious liberty (for all religions) was to keep the government out of the religion business.   So they created the First Amendment to guarantee the separation of church and state. 

The majority of religious institutions support legal abortions in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center.   They found Jewish support for abortion 83%, Buddhist 82%, Hindu 68%, Mainline Protestant 60%, Black Protestant 52%, Muslin 55%, Catholic 48%, and Evangelical Protestant 33%.

Setzler claims that his bill protects women from prosecution if they have an illegal abortion or a miscarriage.  

He explained that the Georgia criminal law related to abortion does not change. The LIFE Act simply moves the timeline from 22 weeks to 6 weeks gestation or when a doctor can hear a heartbeat. 

In Georgia, abortion on request is legal the first 12 weeks only.    Between 12 weeks to 22 weeks abortions are performed only on medical grounds under certain conditions established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs.  

“The abortion provider is subject to criminal responsibility (one to ten years in prison). The women are not subject to criminal responsibility, and that has been further substantiated in the courts,” Setzler said.

The question of whether a woman will be prosecuted for receiving an abortion or having a miscarriage will have to be answered in a court of law by a judge since it is unclear and confusing in the bill.  Lawyers are reluctant to weigh in on this because of pending lawsuits.

If a woman naturally miscarries, she will not be liable under the Act.   But the bill criminalizes abortions and a woman who miscarries could be prosecuted and would have to prove that she had a naturally occurring miscarriage,” Deborah Dinner, Associate Professor, Emory Law School said on 11 Alive. 

The LIFE Act also provided that “health records shall be available to the district attorney of the judicial circuit in which the hospital or health facility is located and the act of abortion occurs or the women upon whom an abortion is performed resides.”   

This is another area of the Act that a judge will need to decide if it is legal to turn a person’s confidential health records over to a district attorney. 

The most asinine and nonsensical part of the LIFE Act states that any women who receive an abortion “may recover in a civil action from the person who engaged in such violation all damages available to her under Georgia law for any torts.”   It begs for clarification.

This sentence makes me feel like I have fallen down a rabbit hole where up is down and down is up.  

But back to the town hall questions.

“Programs like Planned Parenthood helps with oral contraceptives, free condoms, preventative maintenance for individuals from low-income households who can not afford insurance that covers certain services.    Why should we defund sex education, birth control education, and take away resource to prevent pregnancies,” a woman asks Setzler.    

Setzler answers this question by first talking about abstinence education to prevent pregnancy.  

Abstinence-only education programs don’t succeed in reducing rates of teen pregnancies or STDs, according to public health findings.

Then Setzler had nothing but disdain for Planned Parenthood (PP) who he claimed made all their money from abortions. 

“When we think about which providers we are going to fund PP, who makes their money from abortion, they don’t make their money from counseling or giving out birth control pills.  They make money by tearing out children from their mothers,” Setzler said.   

Ed Setzler continues to try to stigmatize the subject of abortion and shame anyone who provides or receives abortion. We won’t take the bait. We are proud to provide Georgians with the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion, and the majority of Georgians agree that it should remain a safe, legal procedure. Representative Setzler ignored those constituents when he sponsored the six-week abortion ban and we look forward to holding him accountable in the next election,” Barbara Ann Luttrell, Vice President External Affairs, Planned Parenthood Southeast, tells Streets of Atlanta.

Another man countered, “Planned Parenthood received $246 million from grants and donations.”  He asked Setzler, “Where did you get your information that all of Planned Parenthood’s money come from abortion?” 

The facts show that PP receives $528 million in government funding which is over 40% of their total $1.3 billion in revenue for the year.   About 75% of federal funding to PP comes from Medicaid, a health care program for low-income people and Title X a federal family planning program, according to NPR.

In a press release, Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) Executive Director Tim Head said that “The Trump administration has delivered another pro-life promise by forcing Planned Parenthood to forgo federal Title X grants.”    

Title X provides free and low-cost birth control to over four million low-income women which prevent over one million unintended pregnancy each year and therefore reduces the need for an abortion.   

The LIFE Act will hurt poor women the most because rich women will always be able to afford birth control pills, birth control devices, and get an illegal abortion in a private setting, or a legal abortion in another state or country.  

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the United States will not be a good place for many women to live, especially poor women, young women, or women of color.

 The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would have banned discrimination based on sex and given women equal legal protections.  It passed Congress in 1972 but was not ratified by three-fourths of the states. Now women find themselves in a dangerous situation where fertilized eggs may have more legal protections than women.

“The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in 1992. 

Democratic Socialists of America Holds National Convention in Atlanta

by Gloria Tatum

On August 2 – 4, 2019, over one thousand Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) delegates from across the country came to Atlanta for their annual national convention.  

They established priorities for the next two years to include Ecosocialist Green New Deal, Medicare for All, National Electoral Strategy, Labor, Childcare, Housing, Decarceration, Housing Justice, Political Education, Grassroots Fundraising, and National Growth and Development.

 DSA has grown from a few thousand members to over 56,000 thousand today fighting for social, economic, and environmental justice.  

The delegates voted to endorse Bernie Sander and to only endorse class-struggle candidates running as open socialists. 

They are committed to forming an independent working-class party and eventually breaking away from the Democratic Party that is dependent on capitalist donors and corporate lobbyists.  

Councilman Khalid Kamau who was elected to the South Fulton City Council as a Democratic Socialist gave the opening and closing speech at the convention.   

One issue Kamau talked about was the electability complex and why it is a problem.  

“The electability complex isn’t just a system of delegates and superdelegates that allows illegitimate people to steal democratic primaries and then lose the election to people who stole the presidential election because Karma is real…  It isn’t just about the electoral college which allows someone to lose by two million votes and still become president of the United States,” Kamau said. 

Kamau explained that the electability complex is an antiquated two-party system that forces voters to choose either right or left when both parties are supported by capitalists and that is why nothing ever changes. 

Kamau believes instead of talking about right or left, we should be talking about up and down or the top one percent and the bottom 99 percent.

Income inequality in the U.S. continues to grow larger and now the richest one percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. 

Too many politicians in both parties care more about retaining power from their capitalist masters than the health and welfare of the American people or the environment.  

DSA has a better idea that working people should run both the economy and society democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. 

 “We are going to run candidates and we are going to win and dismantle the electability complex,” Kamau said.

Today, ninety-five DSA members have been elected across the country on every level of government with two DSA members in Congress Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortes.

DSA warns the Democratic Party to not disparage socialism and then to ask socialists for their votes for that is a recipe for failure.

Socialism does not carry the scary, negative stigma for younger generations that it does for older generations which mainly watch Fox cable news.

DSA made Medicare for All a political platform priority in 2017 that prioritized the health of working-class people over the profits of insurance companies and their billionaire executives.  

The delegates approved 35 resolutions and below are a few of those prioritized resolutions. 

R-5 Defense of Immigrants and Refugees.   DSA supports the abolition of ICE, an end to the persecution of immigrants, stop jailing refugees, stop the deportation of immigrants, make a path to citizenship, end the Muslin ban, aid to those fleeing violence, political and economic turmoil, and climate change refugees. 

R-9 Establish a national anti-fascist working group to disrupt fascist organizing and secure DSA meetings and events from fascist violence. 

R-25  DSA support universal childcare, preschool, and paid parental leave.  

R-28 End Cash Bail and pretrial incarceration to reduce incarceration.

R-34 Ecosocialist Green New Deal Priority 

This priority campaign will incorporate all of DSA’s national campaigns and priorities, organizing for a society that is democratically run by working people, ecologically sustainable, free of oppression based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual identity and rooted in internationalism and solidarity rather than imperialism and war. 

DSA is committed to building a radical Green New Deal (GND) to address the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Decarbonize all sectors of the U.S. economy by 2030.  Democratize control of major energy systems and resources through public ownership. Reinvent our communities to serve people and planet, not profit. Redistribute resources from the worst polluters with progressive taxes on the rich, big corporations, dirty industry and divert funds from policing, prisons, and the bloated military budget.

The Red Deal is a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land – an affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for humans and other life to live. 

R-35 Establish a national Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and Palestine Solidarity Working Group  

R-38 Fight for abortion access and oppose the criminalization of abortion. 

R-40 DSA supports housing as a human rights.  

R-41 Take the fossil fuel energy companies into democratic public owners.  Put the fossil fuel companies on trial for untold damages they have caused the planet and humanity.  Hold them accountable criminally and financially and reallocate their resources into clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal.       

R-53 DSA supports the decriminalization of sex work  

R-54 Criminal Justice and Decarceration.  DSA will create a Police and Prison Working Group and will also track anti-protest laws across the country.

R-56 Ecosocialism as a Guiding Principle.  DSA recognizes that ecology and climate change are intertwined and will impact the working-class, people of color and the poor more than the ruling class. 

DSA will defend the land use rights of indigenous people, support climate change refugees from Central America, bring under community control the energy infrastructure, address unsustainable and unjust food systems, and combat environmental racism.   

R-59 DSA calls on all presidential candidates support reparations for African-Americans.   

R-67 Organizing the unorganized is a crucial strategy to rebuild the labor movement. 

The United States is at the beginning of a generational shift from older voters who watch Fox cable and fear socialism to the internet-connected savvy younger generation that understands that socialism will help the working class.

Atlanta Says NO to Trump’s Racism

photo courtesy of Steve Eberhardt

Some pro-justice activists on the Left wonder with all the racism, injustice, cruelty and fascism coming out of the White House why more people are not in the street demanding change.

The country’s resistance to fear and hate often starts slow but as more people become aware of the Trump administration’s moral rot and racist policies it gains strength and on Sunday, August 18, the resistance to racism took another step. 

During one of the hottest days in Georgia with the temperature reaching 95 degrees, over 250 people marched from North Avenue MARTA station up and down steep hills to the Historic Fourth Ward Park.  

‘There is a movement rising up that says we are not going to take it anymore and we are not scared.  Let my people go,” Rev. Billy Honor, New Georgia Project and End Mass incarceration Movement, declared.

When Rev. Honor said “Let my people go” he is talking about the mass incarceration of mostly Black and Brown men which is at its core is racism.

Rev. Honor explains that racism has reinvented itself and found ways to criminalize people, to cage and punish people for petty violations in the name of being tough on crime.  “There are too many people in prisons who could have been put on a path of restorative justice,” Rev. Honor said. 

Too many people are in prison because they are poor or the wrong color, homeless, mentally ill or have an addiction problem.  These are people who need social services to give them a hand up, not locked up in a prison that kicks them down.

“Racism is putting in place a system of white supremacy that privileges some over and above others,” Rev. Honor said and urged people to rise up and “declare that it is an injustice to say that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave when in fact we are the incarceration capital of the world.”

Normando “Dre” Love, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Atlanta, told the crowd that he was almost one of those young Black men whose life was sacrificed to the mass incarceration industry.  

The police accused Dre of armed robbery but that was a lie.   If not for his mother and community members who knew he was innocent and raised money for a lawyer his life, like so many other Black lives, could have been destroyed by the for-profit mass incarceration industry that enslaves Black men like the Southern plantations of years ago.

“I took the plea deal of four years on probation because I know the justice system will fail me and I will be in prison for 15 years for something I did not do,” Dre said.

U.S. House of Representative, Hank Johnson, from Georgia’s 4th District in DeKalb County, called Trump a racist and explained that when Trump says to his base “Make America Great Again” that is code for make America hate again so we can throw out all the brown immigrants and make America white again.

Steven Miller, the architect of Trump’s racist and cruel immigration policies, created policies to hurt and scare poor brown immigrants from coming to the U.S.   The Trump administration has said that they want rich, white Europeans immigrants. Trump’s base fears too many black and brown people will disrupt their white majority and their power. 

Patty Garrett spoke for Moms of Black Boys (MOBB) United and MOBB United for Social Justice.   These two organizations are dedicated to ensuring that Black boys and men are perceived in a positive light and treated fairly and equitably by law enforcement. 

Their goal is to influence policy at all levels of government and on ending harassment and unwarranted use of deadly force by law enforcement when encountering Black boys and men.

Garrett named 33 Black boys and men who have been killed by police since 2016.  She said that “three out of five Blacks killed by police were shot in the back or were unarmed and one out of five had signs of mental illness.”

The most outrageous and under-reported case was Jamarion Robinson who was shot 59 times by a federal task force on August 5, 2016.  To date, District Attorney, Paul Howard, has yet to bring charges against these officers. 

Attorney, Gerald Griggs, Second Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Atlanta chapter added to the information and quoted Martin Luther King who once said, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

 “There are 44 open cases in Georgia and 20 in Atlanta for individuals who have been killed by law enforcement.  Atlanta has a police brutality problem. Gun violence is also a police violence problem, Griggs said.

“We have to end this in 2020.  We must elect people who will respond to the people and hold this white supremacist in the White House accountable and the white supremacist that lives on West Paces Ferry accountable too,” Gregg said.

This Anti-Racism March was supported by 37 organizations.

White Supremacist Kills 22 in El Paso Parroting Trump’s Racist Rants

By Gloria Tatum

The mass murder of 22 people in El Paso, Texas and 9 in Dayton, Ohio have left the nation shaken and afraid that Trump’s racist hate speech will continue to embolden white supremacists to kill more immigrants, people of color and anyone considered an enemy of Trump.

Patrick Crusius, 21, posted a white nationalist, racist, anti-immigrant document before he opened fire on shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso killing 22 and injuring over two dozen.  

Crusius’ language in his racist, xenophobic manifesto was eerily similar to Trump’s racist rhetoric that dehumanizes migrants as an invasion of dirty, tough, drug dealing criminals and vermin.   

Trump’s base wants to “Make America White Again” and deport all the immigrants “back to where they came from” because they fear a loss of political power if the United States becomes more diverse.

The Ohio shooter, Conner Betts, 24, opened fire on a group of people in a popular nightlife district in Dayton killing nine including his sister, Megan Betts.   Authorities don’t know his motivation except that he was obsessed with violence and had a hit list of boys he wanted to kill and girls he wanted to rape.

Six of the nine people Betts killed were African American and 27 other people were injured. 

Both angry white men used a military-type weapon of war capable of shooting hundreds of rounds in minutes on innocent civilians

Vigils to honor the victims and protests to demand bans on weapons of war and to oppose white supremacy violence have sprung up across the nation.

In Atlanta, The Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition (GP&JC) held their weekly Wednesday vigil in solidarity with the people of El Paso, immigrants, refugees and all those impacted by racist violence.  

“White supremacy has been a theme in this country since the beginning but Trump has ratcheted it up to a dangerous place.  Things seem to be coming to a crisis point in this country…. it’s like a civil war,” Bob Goodman, with GP&JC said

People have watched on television Trump’s racist rants at his political rallies where he fans the flames of fear, hate, and racism.  He calls immigrants criminals, rapist, and animals that’s invading the country. He dehumanizes immigrants as his base cheers him on.  So it’s not surprising that Trump’s anti-immigrant hate speech has emboldened some to kill people of color and immigrants because that is the “dog whistle” he keeps shouting out.    

“Trump is a demagogue.  He calls migrants vermin and is exploiting racism and anti-immigrant fever to get re-elected,” Jimmy Rayner, International Action Center/Atlanta, said.

Trump hires undocumented immigrants to work in his properties from New York to Florida while he orders Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to raid, arrest and deport undocumented immigrants and demonizes them to his base.

“I think Trump will ramp up his hate speech to the point where Americans can not tolerate it and will demand change.  The majority of American people are good people and it’s getting to the breaking point and the response will be undeniable,” Kevin Moran, GP&JC said.

The violence has gotten so great in the US until Amnesty International has issued a travel warning to people “to exercise extreme caution when traveling to the US due to rampant gun violence.” 

People who are woke don’t expect Congress to do anything because so many politicians love the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) money more than they love American lives.   Nor will the Republican Party condemn Trump’s racist hate speech because they love political power, for their party, more than they love the country or democracy. 

Vote all the racists, misogynists, liars and corrupt Congress People out of power.