In this episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution (The Socialist Podcast) Heather interviews Janaya from Philly Socialists. Although Philadelphia is slightly outside New Jersey’s borders, this group is packed with solid comrades and activists.
Philly Socialists is an anti-capitalist group located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. They are a multi-faceted political organization focused on building the people’s power within the community. There is a space for everyone in P.S. because they have numerous projects and initiatives going at any one moment. Membership ranges from anarchists to democrats willing to come together under the umbrella of socialism. Philly Socialists doesn’t focus on running candidates or electoral politics but on grass-roots movement building and direct action.
Occupy Ice is one of the most recent campaigns and success stories from Philly Socialists. Philly Socialists organized the initial march from city hall to the ICE headquarters. This march was the kickoff of the occupation of the space outside ICE headquarters. Numbers varied, but at times over 100 people were occupying the space. The initial goals were to end PARS and eventually shut down ice. PARS was the agreement the city of Philadelphia had with ICE to share information and data. Police were hostile to the encampment and came through with bicycles to clear out the camp. The victory came on August 31st when the city ended its agreement with ICE. They will not be sharing data moving forward.
Philly Tenants Union
Janaya is also an organizer for the Philly Tenants Union. This summer, they have been focusing on 2 buildings in West Philadelphia. The company that manages these building posted fake eviction notices at the beginning of the summer informing residents they had to immediately vacate the premises. Philly Tenants Union is working with the tenants to win their demands which include granting them time to find a new place to live, and a return of their security deposits. PTU found that the management did not have a renter’s license to rent the properties and had numerous licensing and inspection violations. Philly Tenants Union provides a voice and empowerment for citizens who would have little systemic power.
Provide Education and Community
Philly Socialists hosts numerous education opportunities for new organizers throughout the year. It isn’t all work at no play at Philly Socialists. They host a yearly Promunism Event, which is a communism themed prom. They also produce an independent publication “The Partisan” and celebrate its quarterly release. This helps build a community for socialists who might otherwise feel isolated by their beliefs.
You can join Philly Socialists by attending events or actions. They are a dues paying organization but events are not exclusive just to dues paying members. They might even allow in a few refugees from New Jersey. View their website at ( https://www.phillysocialists.org/ ) and their facebook page here ( https://www.facebook.com/PhillySocialists/ )
Listen to comrades inside New Jersey doing community organizing here