On July 29, at the North Regional Hennepin County Library (1315 Lowry Ave North), Twin Cities DSA held a four-hour-long Special Endorsing Meeting, which was attended by about 70 members and a couple dozen press, observers and campaign workers. There were seven candidates asking for endorsement. Five of these were not endorsed: Noah Johnson, TC DSA member, running on the Grassroots Party ticket, opposing Keith Ellison in the race for MN attorney general; Brian Abrahamson, also a member, running for the MN House in District 22A, in southwest Minnesota; Jen Kader, another TC DSA recent member, for House District 62A; and Mohamud Noor and Haaris Pasha, both non-members, both running for Keith Ellison’s current congressional seat, CD5. Two candidates were endorsed, both TC DSA members.
Brad McGarr, who has been a TC DSA member since 2016 and was a delegate to the DSA Convention in Chicago in August 2017, is running for the City Council of Shakopee. This being a non-partisan race, he will not need to run in the primary but faces one opponent in the November general election. TC DSA is happy to endorse this close friend and tireless organizer, with the added bonus that it gives us a chance to exercise and develop organizing skills in a suburban but diverse community with a large but not very visible working class.
Jennifer Nguyen-Moore, a more recent member, is running for Ramsey County commissioner, District 3. Nguyen-Moore is the daughter of two immigrants, one of 12 children, and was brought up in a family in constant service to its community. They were also recipients of various county services themselves, and she is running because the Ramsey County Commission needs someone who knows the struggles of its working class citizens. TC DSA’s immediate electoral priority will be helping Nguyen-Moore win in the primary. (This article was submitted on primary day, so stay tuned next month to see if she won.)
On Monday, July 30, the “body-cam” video evidence in the police slaying of Thurman Blevins Jr. was released to the public. The community is devastated that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman considers this evidence as clear exoneration of officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt and no charges will be brought. Some of the comments from pro-police members of the public are truly sickening, focusing on Blevins intoxication, claiming to see “signs of advanced alcoholism” in his father, claiming to see him shooting a gun at officers, and giving a pass to officers who leapt from their cruiser, guns drawn, shouting obscenities. Blevins instantly ran from the police and could be heard pleading “Please don’t shoot me” seconds before he was shot in the back. We steeled ourself to watch the “enhanced and analyzed” combined video, and to me the most appalling sight in the scene was where one of the officers, when Blevins bleeding body ceases to move, went over and cautiously prodded it with his foot. An emergency rally in support of Blevins’ family and friends was held July 31 at the Hennepin County Government Center plaza.
In early August, a loose, but fierce and determined, affinity group of people opposing the Line 3 Pipeline filed an appeal against the Public Utilities Commission’s approval of the project. This fight is not over.
Aug. 12 marked the one-year anniversary of the white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Va., which saw the death of Heather Heyer and numerous injuries as a large crowd of counter-protestors were viciously attacked by the marchers. There were vigils and demonstrations around the country to remember the fight.
The Keith Ellison DV allegations from a former girlfriend broke just three days before the primary election. We are not going to say anything about that yet. Too soon. By the time you read this we will have the primary results and then, … we’ll see.
In anti-ICE protest news, we learned from the excellent online calendar resource resisttwincities.org that Elk River Union Congregational Church is holding daily protests outside the Sherburne County Jail (one of the state’s major detention centers for immigrants facing possible deportation) from Aug. 15 to Sept. 12.
The very first Annual International Workers of the World (IWW) General Defense Committee (GDC) Convention was held here in the Twin Cities Aug. 17 through 20.
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL, pronounced say-tool) is hosting “Let’s Talk About Wage Theft—CTUL Roundtable with Mayor Frey” on Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at their headquarters at 3715 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis 55407.
The Veterans for Peace 33rd Annual Convention will be Aug. 22-26 at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Saint Paul.
MPD150, an organization working to reduce police harm against communities of color and/or poverty in Minneapolis (and ultimately, abolition of the police) is having a benefit concert at Moon Palace Books on Aug. 26. The performers are Star Child, Denim Thieves, Intercourse, and Perfume.
Further anti-ICE protest news: Stand-Up Saint Paul, the Twin Cities IWW-GDC ICE Resistance Group, and Twin Cities DSA Anti-ICE Mobilization Working Group are having weekly banner drops on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. This happens on the pedestrian bridge over I-94 at St. Anthony Avenue and Aldine Street (north side of I-94, four blocks west of Snelling Avenue).
CTUL is holding its Annual Gala on Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. at their headquarters. This is a major fundraising event as well as a celebration of victories for the year. Visit this link: https://bit.ly/2Mnzilb to purchase tickets.
Multicultural Student Engagement— University of Minnesota is hosting Angela Davis at a talk called Power & Privilege Series: An Evening with Angela Davis on Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. at Northrop Auditorium.
The protestors who shut down the LRT outside the Whipple Federal Building in protest of ICE have got a name and hashtag – #ICEBreakers18. They are having their second arraignment hearing Sept. 27 at the Hennepin County Courthouse at 12:30 p.m., and MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC), whose members comprised a number of the #ICEBreakers18, invites you to help them pack the courtroom in solidarity.
SAVE THE DATE(S). The Twin Cities DSA’s big annual meeting will probably be Sept. 30, but there is a slight possibility it will be Sept. 29. TC DSA has had such phenomenal growth and interest in the past few months that as many as 250 attendees are expected, so it’s a scramble to find a venue and get this all planned in time. Three or four officers are up for election, including the non-cis-male co-chair position currently held by this writer (but I will not be running for re-election). This is such a pivotal and exciting time for TC DSA; maybe you want to be part of it? Keep an eye out on the TC DSA website/calendar or the Facebook page Twin Cities Democratic Socialists of America for the official announcement.