Students form Young Democratic Socialist of America

WMHS YDSA is working towards towards educating people on socialist policies.

Courtesy of Mauro Gonzalez

WMHS YDSA is working towards towards educating people on socialist policies.

Watkins Mill High School’s Young Democratic Socialists of America work towards educating people on and advocating for socialist policies. 

The YDSA is the student wing of the already existing Democratic Socialists of America, a non profit organization oriented on achieving greater economic and social democracy. Founder of WM’s YDSA Mauro Gonzalez said, “The DSA and YDSA are the first truly active and mass socialist organization in a very long time in this country.”

 “The YDSA is both an activist group, supporting local progressive and left-wing causes, but also an educational one,” Gonzalez said.

The group aims to communicate with the related association and stay up to date. “I want to make sure we have strong ties to the DC/MoCo DSA to keep people in the loop in the local activist scene, which I think many clubs of this variety seem to miss,” Gonzalez added.

The YDSA’s activities consist of political discussions, book readings, and guest speakers. Recent activities include a Black History Month town hall, and guest speaker Frank Fritz, former chair of MoCo’s DSA. 

The group also prioritizes exchanging views with others. “Whether you’re a socialist or not, I believe in the usefulness of seeing differing world views, I think it helps one build up their own thoughts at a much deeper level,” Gonzalez said. “I want this to be a space where there is no barrier to entry, besides willing to listen.”

“YDSA is really one of a kind. YDSA has a huge outreach and having one at our school reflects the beliefs of students and staff,” YDSA member and junior Hasham Khan added. “I want to be able to expand YDSA so others who are interested take the initiative to join.”

 Though COVID-19 has prevented large in-person meetings, the group has still found success holding meetings online. “Well we can’t meet in-person or plan in-person protests, but we’re managing online [extracurriculars] and [are] hoping for the best,” Khan added.

Upcoming meetings may include more guest speakers like Professor Nick Copeland. Gonzalez said Copeland is “an expert on Guatemala and the leftist movements there, along with the US-cause civil war that occurred there.”

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