Statement on Mediation with San Diego Tenants Union

It’s important to note the documents/social media in question are run by an independent group, some not even affiliated with our chapter. We have no authority to remove the Instagram or any other document not released on official DSA channels.
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In recent days, the leadership of the Democratic Socialists of America-San Diego (DSA-SD) has been informed of allegations of online harassment between members of our organization and members of the San Diego Tenants Union (SDTU). SDTU has attracted members from many external organizations in its pursuit to build tenant power, including a significant membership from DSA-SD. As we take all accusations of harassment seriously, an immediate internal inquiry into the matter was launched.

The processes in place allow us to investigate issues of harassment to hold our membership accountable for abuses and to protect members from bullying and intimidation when participating in coalition work. DSA-SD has consulted directly with our National Harassment and Grievance Officer (HGO) on this matter: on March 19th, 2021 an external complaint was sent to our National HGO from a member of the SDTU. A response was filed stating that National does not conduct regional investigations. In this instance, mediating members of SDTU reached out to DSA-SD directly to investigate and address these allegations on the 10th of May, 2021. DSA-SD has convened a special committee to review the background and veracity of the claims of harassment made both against our chapter members and against founding members of the SDTU. The National HGO has requested information as to the outcome of the investigation. After a thorough inquest, this body finds that there is disproportionate harm perpetrated by the members of the SDTU to members of DSA-SD. DSA-SD stands in solidarity with its membership that has been doxxed and harassed, while calling strongly for implicated members of SDTU to cease its campaign of harassment and intimidation against DSA-SD members.

Democratic Socialists of America-San Diego has worked in good-faith partnership with The San Diego Tenants Union over the past 18 months to join SDTU in building working class power. We have engaged in numerous struggles to prevent eviction, fight for better living conditions, and secure resettlement dollars for members being displaced alongside the SDTU.

On May 12, 2021, an SDTU Arbitration Committee consisting of four SDTU members (two of whom are also members of DSA-SD), released their findings.Reviewing both the arbitration and testimony, this conflict has two broad terms:

  • a. A group including members of DSA-SD released an Instagram statement asking for accountability in a matter of harassment from a person associated with members of SDTU. After the Instagram page was posted, it was presented to the Leadership Council (LC) of DSA-SD on March 4th, 2021 for acknowledgement. DSA-SD has no authority to coerce members of the IG page to remove its contents.
  • b. Subsequently, members associated with SDTU asked for the removal of this Instagram page and engaged in defamatory accusations and online harassment of multiple DSA-SD members on both social media and SDTU Slack workspaces, including the release of full names, addresses and partner names of DSA-SD members (doxxing) to SDTU workspaces and social media. This harassment includes the reposting of information from Keywiki, a right-wing website which maintains intimate lists of leftist organizers.

The SDTU arbiters have recommended four concrete actions to ease tensions within SDTU. The DSA-SD calls on its membership within SDTU to follow these terms while continuing their work within the community. The DSA-SD also calls on implicated members of SDTU to act as good-faith partners and to cease the harassment of DSA-SD members in both online and physical spaces. DSA-SD finds the treatment of our members by members of SDTU unacceptable and we stand in solidarity with our membership and their right to complete work in a healthy environment.

The DSA-SD is committed to creating a safe environment that empowers the important work of our membership and collaborating organizations. We appreciate all those who bring allegations of harassment to our attention so these serious matters can be investigated. It remains our highest priority to maintain a harassment-free space where members and comrades alike are able to devote their focus to building strength in unity. We have a world to win.