Austin Socialist News Bulletin

March 2024

by Sara G.. 

Austin Socialist News Bulletin – March 2024

March in Austin is dominated by the juggernaut of South by Southwest. Locals familiar with the hectic influx of visitors create elaborate plans to avoid downtown. Austin DSA dove straight into the fray, working with the Austin for Palestine coalition on two weeks of protests, organizing, and, of course, great live music. The motives of this successful campaign have been previously covered. Below are other highlights from this busy month.

In the past month…

  • Our chapter also passed an internal resolution to re-affirm our commitment to anti-zionism, and to holding elected officials accountable if they support apartheid in Israel through actions such as voting for military spending.
  • Austin Against Apartheid has successfully signed up more businesses to refuse to stock food products that contribute to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Customers can also commit to not shop at businesses complicit in apartheid by signing the pledge.
  • A group of us recently wrapped up a reading club for Class Struggle Unionism (Joe Burns, Haymarket Books) where we examined the vital role that class struggle plays in motivating real change in the workplace through productive union work. Burns, with his decades of labor activism and research, draws the line between capitalism’s need for bodies to produce goods and services, creating extreme concentrations of wealth for those at the ownership level – the “employment transaction” – and how class struggle-focused unionism can fight it. Drawing on lessons learned, and not learned, from the history of the US labor movement, Burns makes a case for union organizing driven by the belief that we must challenge the very societal power structure responsible for this inequality. He stresses the importance of confronting existing labor laws designed to undermine union progress and worker coalescence; disregarding, for instance, laws that make organized walkouts and picket lines illegal. Accomplishing this requires democratic radical efforts that connect the workers’ fight for basic needs, like fair compensation and humane regard, to a dismantling of a capitalist system dependent on worker exploitation. (credit: Vera S.)

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