News

ABQ DSA Endorses Selinda Guerrero for CD-1

The Albuquerque chapter of the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) voted to endorse Congressional District 1 candidate Selinda Guerrero for the 2021 special election. At the close of the voting period, Albuquerque DSA members voted overwhelmingly to support Guerrero’s candidacy, with 94 percent of votes cast in favor of endorsement. The special election to fill the seat, vacated by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, is set for June 1st, 2021.

Selinda Guerrero is a Democratic Socialist, an organizer for Black Lives and a human rights activist. Guerrero’s family was evicted in the summer of 2020 due to economic impacts associated with the pandemic, and if elected she would bring the vital, and too often unheard, perspective of the working poor directly to the halls of Congress.

Guerrero has organized in CD-1 for over 20 years, and is explicitly running on a people-policy powered campaign. Albuquerque DSA explicitly supports Guerrero’s call for a universal healthcare that is truly universal, including Undocumented, Trans, and Mixed-Status communities, and which protects and expands reproductive justice. As democratic socialists gathered together on Tewa territory, we support Guerrero’s call for a Green New Deal that centers indigenous leadership, especially when it comes to long-term sustainability.

If elected, we believe Guerrero would continue the work done for our district be Sec. Haaland, and would work further in transitioning our nation, and our district, out of a permanent war economy and into a form that meets the needs of the many by taxing back the ill-gotten gains of the few. Plotting a course to a more just society out of the ruin of the pandemic demands a government that heeds the voices of those most directly impacted by the policy failures that led us here. We, as the Albuquerque chapter of the DSA, believe Guerrero is that candidate, and are proud to endorse her for CD-1.

Statement of Support for the United Graduate Workers of UNM

We, the Albuquerque Democratic Socialists of America, unequivocally endorse and support the United Graduate Workers of the University of New Mexico and their campaign for union recognition as members of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America.

To quote the preamble of the Industrial Workers of the World’s constitution: 

    “It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially, we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.”

We believe that the University of New Mexico is acting in bad faith by refusing to recognize this new union. In exploiting students and disrespecting their labor, the UNM Administration has provided a glaring example of the rot infesting our economy and our education system. We demand that the United Graduate Workers of the University of New Mexico be afforded the justice and dignity they deserve as soon as possible – substantial recognition which includes fair, good faith bargaining in all future proceedings. 

If you agree that they deserve better, please sign the United Graduate Worker’s petition demanding that the UNM Administration recognize their union. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/sign-the-petition-unm-should-recognize-graduate-workers-right-to-unionize

For more information about the United Graduate workers of UNM, please see their website here: https://unmgrads.ueunion.org/

For Immediate Release: Trigger Warning: Death, Grief

We, the Albuquerque Democratic Socialists of America, are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Hannah Colton, local reporter and news director at KUNM. We also want to pass on our deepest condolences to her friends, family, and colleagues.

Hannah was a friend of the chapter and wrote positively about our Brake Light Clinics and other work. https://www.kunm.org/post/abq-socialists-offer-brake-light-repairs-avoid-contact-police

Her passing is a loss for all of Albuquerque, she will be missed.

For more information about memorials, please follow KUNM for more updates. https://www.kunm.org/post/hannah-colton-kunm-news-director-and-reporter-dies-29

As stated in the KUNM’s article “Please keep your loved ones close. And please know that if you need to talk to someone you don’t know (because sometimes that really helps), there are places to do that, too.
There’s the state’s Warmline for non-crisis calls. 1-855-466-7100.
The Crisis and Access Line is 1-855-NM-CRISIS.”

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.