Socialist Group To Host Free Tail Light Clinic

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Chattanooga chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America will host a free Tail Light Clinic on Sunday at the corner of 23rd street and Hickory by O'Reilly's. DSA volunteers will be replacing broken tail lights from 2–5 p.

m. completely free of charge, as well as providing food and water to Chattanoogans as they wait for repairs to complete.

The group said, "Broken tail lights often result in traffic stops which can be perilous for undocumented immigrants and people of color. Not to mention, expensive tickets can be devastating for those suffering from poverty. Chattanooga DSA is committed to solidarity with the working class and oppressed peoples everywhere, and this event is a small part of that effort." 

“I believe direct action and mutual aid are key to improving the lives of our fellow workers, and the best place to start is right in our own communities,” said James Baker, Chattanooga DSA Organizing Committee member and co-organizer of the event. “Criminal justice reform is important, but marginalized and oppressed groups need our help now. ”

Chattanooga DSA has already raised over $700 from donations to cover the cost of replacement lights. The Tail Light Clinic is the latest in a series of “Socialist Sunday” events hosted by Chattanooga DSA. The organization sponsors an event on the last Sunday of every month that includes direct action, mutual aid, and socializing amongst local activists and organizers. Past events have focused around feeding the homeless population in downtown Chattanooga. The Tail Light Clinic was inspired by a similar event hosted by New Orleans DSA, that saw over 50 tail lights replaced.

“When you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you see those blue lights in your rear-view mirror, your heart just sinks because you know you’ll be choosing between paying a ticket or paying rent or some other bill," Mr. Baker said. “I can’t even imagine what it’s like for folks who also have to worry if they’ll make it out of that interaction with law enforcement alive. These are the people we’re trying to help.”

Anyone in need of a new tail light should contact Chattanooga DSA at with the make and model of their vehicle, though no appointment is necessary; volunteers will be present all day to help anyone who shows up. Those interested in donating can do so  Anyone interested in volunteering to help change lights should fill out this form

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