News

March meeting to be held online

As you may know, the governor has requested that New Mexicans avoid meetings and other public events in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. We are concerned about the health and safety of our members and the public, and so we will be changing how we organize as a chapter to limit in-person contact.

Our March meeting, which will be Saturday, March 21st at 2:00pm, will be held online and by telephone instead of in-person. In addition to protecting our members’ health, we’re optimistic that online meetings will make it easier for our members outside of Albuquerque to participate.

If you would like to participate in this meeting, click the following link to register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/vpUocuqhrDosYf9SCvwQgpLuEbZ1-Kh0sw

Once you have registered you will receive an email with instructions on how to join the meeting. It’s possible to join using a computer or mobile device. If you don’t have a device set up for audio, you can call in by phone.

We look forward to seeing (or at least hearing) you next Saturday. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at [email protected].

The Land of Internment

On March 11, the Albuquerque DSA will present a talk titled “Land of Internment: The Disappearance of Legal Asylum and Status of Detention in New Mexico.” This 6:00pm talk, held at the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, will feature Allegra Love of the Santa Fe Dreamer’s Project.

Asylum seekers are detained in prisons throughout the country, including at the Cibola County Correctional Center here in New Mexico. Cibola has been the subject of multiple lawsuits and legislative hearings on abuse and neglect of detainees within the prison.  Cibola became the subject of public outcry after the deaths of transgender detainees Roxsana Hernández and Johana Medina.  In response to public criticism, ICE recently relocated the trans detainees at Cibola to separate prisons in Colorado and Washington.

As a state on the border, New Mexico is closely involved in United States immigration policy. This talk is an opportunity to learn more about the struggle of asylum seekers in this state, and how New Mexicans can be involved in protecting the human rights and dignity of people seeking asylum in the United States.

Statement on the Coup in Bolivia

The Albuquerque Democratic Socialists of America condemn the right-wing military coup which has forced Evo Morales to resign as President of Bolivia and flee to Mexico for the sake of his safety.

Chalking this event up to disputed election results, as mainstream media coverage has done, is extremely disingenuous. While the Organization of American States has declared the legitimacy of Bolivia’s election results suspect, they’ve provided no evidence to support their conclusion. Further scrutiny has also failed to produce evidence for their claims, with a statistical analysis conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research finding no evidence of irregularities or fraud in the vote tallies. Furthermore, the fact that the United States is the largest financial contributor to the OAS and accounted for 44% of the organization’s funding in 2017 clearly indicates that the OAS cannot be impartial on this issue. This is a coup, and it is part of a historical pattern of imperialist violence being used to quash democratically-elected socialist governments and silence indigenous voices.

As a member of the Aymara people, Morales was the first indigenous president of Bolivia. His political legacy includes the expansion of rights for the indigenous majority, widespread reduction of poverty, and re-nationalization of Bolivia’s oil and gas resources. This coup is not just an attack on Evo Morales, but an attack on his indigeneity and socialist principles. Since his removal, right-wing forces have burned the homes of his cabinet members, destroyed the Wiphala flag, and committed acts of violence against indigenous protestors

We stand for truth, socialism, and indigenous rights. We stand with Evo Morales and Bolivia.

Statement on Sally-Alice Thompson’s Fasting Against Sanctions and Siege (FASS)

On June 16th, 2019, Sally-Alice Thompson, a long-time member of the Democratic Socialists of America, began a hunger strike to protest the economic sanctions that the United States has placed against countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba. She rightfully asserts that all economic sanctions affect the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in a country and also have seriously detrimental effects on babies and young children.

Sally-Alice Thompson clarified the exact parameters of her hunger strike. She explained that she is only cutting out one meal per day and abstaining from snacking due to her age and health. Sally-Alice also explained that this is an action in solidarity with the children around the world that are going hungry due to American imperialist sanctions. At our last conversation, she said that she is in good spirit and very optimistic about the future.            

At this time Sally-Alice Thompson is asking that we call our local congressional and senatorial representatives and demand that they end the harmful practice of placing sanctions against other countries. Albuquerque Democratic Socialists of America commends Sally-Alice Thompson on her radical solidarity and proudly endorses her action and also encourages people to contact their congressional representatives on this issue.

Queer Liberation is Class Struggle

On June 8th, the LGBTQI Working Group of the Albuquerque Democratic Socialists of America will march in the Albuquerque Pride Parade. We do so because we are fierce advocates of both the liberation of queer people and the liberation of the working class. The working class, as so often, is ejected from the message when the language of queer liberation is co-opted by the demands of capital.

Pride festivals commemorate and memorialize the events of the Stonewall uprising fifty years ago.

In 1969, queer people rose up against their pervasive and violent oppression by the state. The rigid enforcement of gender and sexual roles was then intricately connected to capitalism. The damaging hierarchy of classes imposed by capitalism serves the same purposes as the hierarchy of gender identities and sexual orientations. These forms of oppression are each mutually reinforcing, and each powerful forces in dividing the working class and blocking their path to justice. Capitalists did not share the interests of queer people; they wanted to exploit them.

In the years since Stonewall, the corporate outlook on queer people has slowly shifted. In 1992, Philip Morris specifically targeted queer people through advertising in a gay magazine, viewing the endangered minority as yet another opportunity to expand their profit by endangering our health. When they faced criticism of their apparent acceptance of queer people, they folded, responding “we have no plans to advertise… in any other supposedly homosexual publications.” Is this queer liberation?

Fifty years later, the relationship of capital to queer people continues to be one of exploitation. 2019’s Albuquerque Pride is presented by a slate of capitalist interests. Bud Light, a platinum sponsor, has developed an aggressive campaign surrounding this year’s pride month, including rainbow-colored beer bottles. Yet, LGBTQI individuals are significantly more likely to suffer from addiction to substances including alcohol, with binge drinking and problematic alcohol abuse among gay men is about two times more common than among straight men. Anheuser-Busch, then, is solidifying their position of benefiting from the challenges queer people face.

Clear Channel, a gold-level sponsor, is a part of national media giant iHeartMedia, which has faced repeated controversy over its profiting from offensive anti-gay rhetoric spread by its radio talent. Fellow gold-level sponsor HP holds significant contracts with the Egyptian government, which continues to prosecute men accused of homosexual activity. Gap, a brass sponsor, outsources their manufacturing labor overseas and has been credibly accused of employing children and others in sweatshop conditions.

This is not queer liberation. It is rainbow-colored capitalism.

Join the Albuquerque DSA in calling for justice and equality for both queer people and the working class as a whole.

Read DSA’s national statement on LGBTQI rights

Brake Light Clinic

The Albuquerque chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) will be holding a “brake-light clinic” to replace brake lights and repaint license plates for Albuquerque drivers, free of charge. This event aims to help local residents avoid unnecessary stops by police, which often lead to expensive tickets and fines, court appearances, or dangerous interactions. This free clinic will be held on Sunday, March 31st from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, in the International District at 8016 Zuni Road SE. No appointment is needed.

Tickets for broken brake-lights are a clear example of how New Mexico’s criminal justice system, like the rest of the nation’s, unfairly prosecute the marginalized. For working class and impoverished people, a ticket from the police can be economically devastating, forcing an untenable choice between rent and food or compliance with the law. Many cannot leave their workplace for a courthouse visit, which can lead to a vicious cycle of escalating fines or warrants. And of course, a police stop can be extremely dangerous for anyone – especially people of color and those who are undocumented. In 2016, police pulled Philando Castile over due to a nonfunctional brake light. He was shot and killed almost immediately, without provocation, in front of his partner and his four-year-old daughter. No traffic violation warrants an execution. The most dangerous thing about a broken brake light is not the hazard to other drivers, but the threat of violence by the state.

DSA chapters across the United States have held brake-light clinics over several years, based on a program piloted by the New Orleans DSA. Albuquerque DSA has replaced dozens of brake lights for local residents so far. This upcoming clinic will be the third organized by the Albuquerque chapter, with more expected on a quarterly basis. No appointment is required for drivers to attend the upcoming clinic.

Statement on the Killing of a Guatemalan Boy by the United States

The Albuquerque Democratic Socialists of America has resolved to condemn the killing of an eight-year-old Guatemalan boy at the hands of U.S. immigration officials today, December 25th, in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Our choice of words intentionally contradicts the mainstream narrative regarding the deaths of the currently unidentified boy and seven-year-old Guatemalan girl Jakelin Caal earlier this month. Their deaths are not unfortunate accidents but trial balloons for a white nationalist agenda long in process and rapidly accelerating before our eyes.

We must also mention and condemn the U.S. government’s long history of imperialism in Guatemala and Central America. American military and economic actions have been directly responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans and the displacement of well over a million more.
Immigrants and refugees are being denied their agency and freedom of movement, and more and more frequently being killed, by a government illegitimately established on stolen land. We reject this state of affairs and insist on the dismantling of CBP, ICE, and the white nationalist and imperialist structures plaguing the global community.

Endorsement of New Mexico Open Primaries

In the State of New Mexico, those voters who have chosen not to select a major political party (referred to as “decline-to-state” voters) are currently prohibited from voting in primary elections. In today’s political climate, many voters do not feel that any major party represents their interests. However, those voters who choose not to align with a major party are effectively disenfranchised, prevented from having their say in a critical step of the electoral process.

The New Mexico Open Primaries campaign is working to restore full representation of decline-to-state voters by allowing individuals not affiliated with a major party to vote in the primary election of the party of their choosing. This initiative, now filed in the New Mexico House of Representatives as HB 93, will lead to more competitive elections with better representation of New Mexico residents, instead of major party donors. Most importantly, it will reinforce democratic representation: voting at all stages of the electoral process should be a right of every citizen, not just those citizens who support a major party. No voter should be required to declare their membership in a major party in order to enjoy the full right to the ballot box.

By consent of the December 2018 general meeting, the Albuquerque DSA endorses New Mexico Open Primaries and HB 93. Direct action to support HB 93 are in planning now. If you are interested in joining us in supporting this important reform, join our mailing list for more information.

Statement on the Health Security Act

We, the Albuquerque Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, have chosen to endorse the New Mexico Health Security Act. Establishing single-payer healthcare will benefit all New Mexicans, including and especially those unserved or underserved by private insurers. The current healthcare system disenfranchises poor and working peoples for the sake of profit; a public option will provide an affordable alternative. We believe that healthcare is a right, and support the New Mexico Health Security Act as an important step towards ensuring all New Mexicans can access that right.

For more information on the New Mexico Health Security Act, visit nmhealthsecurity.org
For more information on Central New Mexico DSA, visit abqdsa.org
And for more information on the Democratic Socialists of America in general, go to dsausa.org

Endorsement of National Prison Strike 2018

We, the Albuquerque Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, have voted to endorse the 2018 Prison Strike and announce the organization of a solidarity action in support of the strike to take place on Saturday, September 1st at 6:30 pm. The action will be held outside the federal courthouse at 4th & Lomas in downtown Albuquerque.

The demands of the incarcerated individuals participating in the strike can be found here. Our support for the strike, be it in the form of work stoppage, refusal to eat, sit-ins, or boycotts, is driven by our principles as socialists. Our action is intended to express the following:

1.       The recognition and affirmation of the humanity and rights of all incarcerated individuals.

2.       A call that the national demands of incarcerated people protesting their conditions be met immediately and without repercussions.

3.       An iteration of our vision for a world without prisons.  The demands currently made are but breathing room to organize and make increasingly larger steps on the way to the abolition of the carceral state. There is nothing utopian in our aims; a world without prisons is a requisite for true freedom.

4.       Our intention to highlight the disturbing lack of media coverage given to the prison strike at both a local and national level. Particularly as modern-day prison slavery is an extension of chattel slavery, one of the greatest injustices the world has ever seen, it is appalling to see the public kept unaware of this struggle.

5.       The promotion of an understanding of the broader connections between the struggle of incarcerated individuals and those on the outside. Prisoners are workers, prisoners are disproportionately working-class and non-white, and the exploitation of prison labor is being used to prop up cheap prices of consumer goods for the sake of profit.

As socialists, these are our intentions, and we will fight on the outside for our comrades on the inside. For the abolition of prison slavery, for the abolition of the carceral state, and a truly free world.

In solidarity,

Albuquerque DSA