On Saturday, November 10th, DC JwJ joined with the DC Democratic Socialists of America (DC DSA) to offer a free training for JwJ coalition members called the GET UP (Grassroots Economics Training for Understanding and Power) Project.  Trainers Bill Barclay and Peg Strobel, long-time activists with JwJ and DSA, traveled from Chicago to teach participants how to understand and talk about the roots of the economic crisis, and alternative progressive economic policies, in common-sense terms.

In addition to DC JwJ and DC DSA, attendees represented the Restaurant Opportunities Center DC (ROC-DC), CWA Local 2336, AFSCME Council 26, LiUNA!, Jews United for Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, and Respect DC, among others.  About 35 people attended the training, which took place at Communication Workers of America (CWA) headquarters in Washington, DC.

Through skits and participatory education, the GET UP Project armed activists with the knowledge, tools and skills to articulate an alternative economics that works for the 99% instead of the elites that dominate our society and politics.  Interactive trainings were held on: the economics of the 1%, the origins of the current economic crisis, and the job crisis.

Dan Blumenthal, an AFSCME member who attended the training, said: “The training helped to understand how we got into this financial crisis. I will use the knowledge gained in this training to persuade my fellow union members to actively protest any attempts during the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations to cut and/or make any changes to cost of living adjustments to Social Security and Medicare.”

The training received generous support from the CWA and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.  DSA will continue to conduct more GET UP trainings nationwide.  Anyone interested in receiving a copy of the Powerpoint or scheduling a training for their community or organization should email Bill Barclay: chocolatehouse[at]sbcglobal.net.