It is clear: In order to defeat Trump, Biden must withdraw from the contest. As DSA’s National Political Committee recognized, “If Biden is the nominee in November, Trump will be president in January.” In addition, due to his failure to stem the flow of Palestinian bodies, he should resign. We are disappointed by nominal “socialists” who have attached themselves to this legacy.

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Last month, ROC DSA rolled out a new format for our General Meetings focused on discussing chapter business and debating resolutions. The June meeting was highly successful, with high att-endance and vigorous debate. We’re looking forward to continuing this format at upcoming meetings, and encourage all members to attend to guarantee quorum and ensure their voices are heard.

Our work in coalition spaces continues. In June, ROC DSA helped marshal a successful march with the Rochester Committee to End Apartheid in res-ponse to the bombing of Rafah. With the Rochester for Energy Democracy coalition, ROC DSA delivered a statement at Speak to Council (available in this issue) and attended the budget vote to encourage passage of a resolution to set aside funding for an implementation study for public power. We will continue organizing a mass movement to fight for a world free from genocide and predatory corporations!

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If you’ve spent any time in left organizing spaces over the past ten or twenty years, especially online, you’ve probably heard people say “we’re having a general strike! Everyone out!” And then predictably, nothing happens. It’s almost an inside-joke among left organizers that if you say “general strike,” they’re the magical words that will make everyone go out of work.

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Who says that government can’t give us nice things? Just this week, Monroe County approved $4.3 million in tax exemptions for the latest sports fad, Topgolf, to come to CityGate. While its proponents tout jobs, tourism, and reinvestment in the local economy, without a doubt there exist more beneficial means of achieving these goals. This is just the latest insult by a political class demonstrating who they work for—not the working class, but the idle rich.

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Our city has a transparency problem. While we have several amazing projects by movement journalists, broadly our news media avoids controversial topics, focusing on journalistic work which advertises this city as a good place to drive to. What that leads to is a shockingly petty and personalistic political space, where politics is often a matter of loyalty or disdain for particular political figures, rather than anything substantial. It also leads to the vast majority of the people in this city not understanding that the issues they face are political issues which they can change. The image we basically get is of a city where nothing happens, or at least nothing that any one person can affect.

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To disentangle your diet from the tentacles of the global chemical-industrial food system, you can practice what world peasants of La Via Campesina call food sovereignty. You can grow at least some of your own food and buy the rest from area farms or from stores that buy from them. Buying from a farm may be less convenient than shopping at a grocery, but we will not shift from corporate capitalism to a solidarity economy until we all help make it happen.

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Welcome to the inaugural issue of ROC DSA’s monthly newsletter, Rochester Red Star. I hope this project will help to accomplish goals I announced while running for Steering Committee: Expanding our capacity for political education to develop class consciousness; improving our organizing capabilities and community structures to establish foundations for the future; and building transparency and communication between Steering Committee and membership.

May this be one step along the path to carving out a left media sphere that will form the intellectual basis for a vibrant socialist politics in our region. I encourage you to get involved by submitting articles, photos, event write-ups, and feedback. Together, a better world is possible.

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Five days into our encampment, our reasonable demands to the University of Rochester Administration remain. We continue to call on UR Administration to: (1) join the City of Rochester and Universities across the country in Calling for a ceasefire, and (2) fully divest from all academic ties to the state of Israel. Until the demands are met, or we are forcibly removed, we will remain peacefully on the Eastman Quad, drawing attention to the University of Rochester’s support of apartheid and genocide. Additionally we are now calling upon the University to lift these unreasonable bans and allow us to continue our peaceful protest. 

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