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SDS News Bulletin Working Group
Originally published on ZNet.
By Robin Markle (Drew SDS) and Becca Rast (Lancaster SDS).
On December first and second, over 150 youth converged on the campuses of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University for the new Students for a Democratic Society’s fourth Northeast Convention, hosted by Philly SDS. This convention was a landmark event for northeast SDS. Since SDS reformed as a national youth run and led organization in March of 2006, with over 50 chapters in the northeast alone, we have been engaged in a gradual process to come together under common goals, theory and practice. Additionally, many of our members are new to the concept of strategic activism and organizing. It is important to SDS that we organize for and with the people around us in our communities and campuses. The members of SDS are not just activists; they are change agents who realize that there must be a long term struggle for their beliefs. In order to reach this we must engage those around us. The members of SDS are going through a collective process of learning to organize together. Not only was this convention the region’s most well-attended to date; the planners also used the space to explore some daring new approaches to organizing and collective liberation strategy. Their efforts paid off in what was undoubtedly the northeast’s most successful convention yet. There were a multitude of workshops, times set aside for networking, a report-back from the summer’s national convention, voting plenaries for action proposals, and new approaches to liberatory work. Members who stayed through Monday also took part in a successful direct action at a recruitment center. Read the rest of this entry »
Today, as part of a solidarity action with folks struggling to save public housing in New Orleans, members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) helped to organize a civil disobedience as a part of a larger demonstration outside the D.C. office of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) organized by the Hip Hop Caucus and the Advancement Project. At the culmination of the rally where the crowd demanded the right of return for New Orleans residents, 6 members of SDS and a local high school student rushed into a nearby intersection and laid down, effectively blocking traffic at three intersections in northeast D.C. When it was clear that the cops were taking their time, the folks lying down, with the support of the rest of the protesters who were standing with them, picked up and moved further into the intersection, shutting down a total of six intersections around the HUD office. After an hour of disrupting busy D.C. streets, folks stretched out on the ground declared victory as the demonstration concluded with protesters marching through the lunchtime streets.
Residents of New Orleans public housing have called on folks from around the country to come down to Louisiana to support their efforts directly or to organize actions in their own cities. The recent Northeast Convention in Philly endorsed this call. This particular D.C. action, due to short notice, was only endorsed by the George Mason University (GMU) chapter of SDS, although members of most local chapters were in attendance. The fight is still going on down in Louisiana, so organize a demonstration in your city to support folks at this critical point in their struggle to return to their homes.
Check out the USA TODAY article for a picture of local SDSers and more details on the situation in New Orleans.
Here is the New Orleans Indymedia article on the D.C. action.
Article by Jasper Conner, GMU SDS
On December 3rd 2007, the Philadelphia chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) transformed the recruitment offices of 125 N. Broad St. into a functioning community center. Dozens of local students built an interactive art exhibit in front of the recruitment station, raising a banner over the recruitment office that read “Philadelphia People’s Community Center”. The students cheered “Replace this base with community space!” and passed out leaflets with career alternatives to military recruitment.
Recruitment, the students argue, drains valuable resources from the Philadelphia community. “Army recruitment offices are taking concerned Philadelphians away from Philadelphia,” said Alessandra Lobasso, member of Philly SDS. “The youth that actively want to make a difference are being lured away from their community by the false promises of military recruiters.” According to the New York Times, approximately one in five United States Army recruiters were under investigation in 2004 for threatening and coercing applicants. More pictures… Read the rest of this entry »
Philadelphia Students for a Democratic Society has just hosted the fourth Northeast Regional Convention at UPenn!
Over 150 SDSers from 40 chapters all over the northeast gathered together in Philadelphia to share victories and plan for the coming year.
We held workshops and learned new skills, we brainstormed new organizing opportunities, we started working together on joint actions and campaigns, we built student power at the root. Read the rest of this entry »
A little 20-min. video that gives a basic lesson in political economy for the average American consumer. Brilliant!