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Occupy London

OCCUPY THE SYSTEM: CONFRONTING GLOBAL CAPITALISM

Left Forum Conference: 

Pace University, March 16-18 2012

Occupy the System: Confronting Global Capitalism

Beginning with the celebrated Arab Spring and the explosive revolts in Greece and beyond uprisings against dictators, crony capitalism, corporate greed and neo-liberal state austerity regimes have spread across the globe.  Tactical innovation in the new movements from Tahrir Square to Madison, Wisconsin are breaking down old barriers in the fight for a better future for the world’s people and the planet.

Although it has been a long time coming, the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message is clear: one percent of people living in the wealthiest nation in the world have grabbed most of the country’s wealth and used it to corrupt politics, while unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, strangling student debt and rising poverty grip the rest of the population. The world is changing, the people are rising, and new possibilities for the Left are emerging. 

Against this inspiring background, the Left Forum will host its annual conference at Pace University on the weekend of March 16-18, 2012.  As it has done for many years, the conference will gather civil libertarians, environmentalists, anarchists, socialists, communists, trade unionists, black and Latino freedom fighters, feminists, anti-war activists, students and people struggling against unemployment, foreclosure, inadequate housing and deteriorating schools from among those active in the U.S. and many other countries, as well. We will again share our activities and perspectives with special attention to all that has changed in 2011 and what it means for the prospects of progressive change in 2012 and beyond.

Once a year, the Left Forum creates a space to analyze the great political questions of our times. Activists, intellectuals, trade unionists, movement-builders and others come together to identify new strategies for broadening the anti-corporate capitalist movement.  In the wake of a persistent crisis of the international economic and political system, a new left politics in the United States and around the world is taking shape. Will the mass movements in Egypt, Greece, Latin America, the United States and elsewhere further extend their participatory democratic, community-building, non-capitalist, and caring forms of struggle into the institutions of everyday life?  Will the movements confront and disrupt the complicity of neo-liberal state elites with corporate capital?  Are there alternatives to the increasingly brutal capitalist system on the horizon?  Join us in exploring such questions and moving forward left agendas for social change.

leftforum.org | leftforum@leftforum.org 

Early registration discounts are available for a limited time (e.g., students: $10)

For information on panel submissions go to “www.leftforum.org“, click “submit panels button.” 

To see panels from last year’s conference go to “www.leftforum.org“, click “past events” and choose a particular conference year

Please forward far and wide! 

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LEFT FORUM 2012

March 16-18

Pace University

**CALL FOR PANELS**

Left Forum is now calling for panel proposals for the 2012 conference. This year’s theme is “Occupy the System: Confronting Global Capitalism.”

Panel Submission Deadline: January 6, 2012; 

For inquiries, contact panels@leftforum.org.

Helpful links:

– To see instructions on how to submit a panel go to “www.leftforum.org“, click “submit panels button.” 

– To see panels from last year’s conference go to “www.leftforum.org“, click “past events” and choose a particular conference year

About Left Forum: Continuing a tradition begun in the 1960’s, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference in theUnited States of a broad spectrum of Left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to share ideas and offer critical perspectives on the world; to network and strengthen organizational ties; to better understand commonalities, differences, and alternatives to current predicaments; and to develop dialogues about social transformation and Left, progressive, radical, and social movement building. Featured speakers have included Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Arundhati Roy and Slavoj Zizek. Left Forum 2011 had 1,000, speakers, and involved 3,500 participants for more than 300 panels.

www.leftforum.org

212-817-2003

**Please forward widely**

 

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Raya Dunayevskaya

MARXIST-HUMANIST INITIATIVE AT THE LEFT FORUM

March 4, 2011

Dear Friends of MHI

It’s great to see revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East, and workers’ resistance to attacks on unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the U.S. and in Europe. We can’t think of a better time to invite you to our coming discussions in New York City. Those of you who can’t get here will be able to view videos on our website afterwards (http://marxist-humanist-initiative.org).

Sat. & Sun. March 19 & 20, we are sponsoring 3 panels at the Left Forum at Pace University in lower Manhattan (http://www.leftforum.org/conference/2011):

The Great Recession and its Aftermath: Saturday at 3:00 p.m., Room LHN
Andrew Kliman: “The Great Recession and the Persistent Frailty of Capitalist Production”
Alan Freeman: “Waking from the Dream: Europe in the Great Recession”

Fred Moseley
David McNally: “Global Slump, Age of Austerity, and the Growing Resistance”

Is Socialism Possible? Part 1: Saturday at 10:00 a.m., Room W623
Andrej Grubaèiæ:  “Anarchism, or Libertarian Socialism for the 21st Century”
Anne Jaclard: “Yes, If a New Mode of Production Lays the Ground”
Antti Ronkainen: “Socialization of the Banking System”
Alex Steinberg: “Socialism and the Role of Consciousness”

Is Socialism Possible? Part 2: Sunday at 3:00 p.m., Room W504
Michael Albert:”Yes, But Which Socialism?”
Andrew Kliman: “Marx’s Lower Phase of Communism: Not Another ‘Labor Money’ Scheme”
Cindy Milstein
We will also have a book table in the Exhibitors area (be sure not to confuse MHI’s table and panels with those of other groups calling themselves Marxist-Humanists).

Just after Left Forum, on Tuesday March 22 at 7:00 p.m., we are co-sponsoring (with The New SPACE, http://new-space-nyc.org) a talk by Antti Ronkainen, who is coming here from Finland. His topic will be Crisis, Austerity, and Resistance in the Euro Zone: A View from Finland.  A description appears at the end of this blog.

Next month, on Wednesday April 13 at 7:00 p.m., we are co-sponsoring Allan Armstrong, a Scottish thinker-activist, speaking on “Is an Emancipatory Communism Possible?” See below.

Both these talks will be held in mid-Manhattan, at TRS Inc., Professional Suites, 44 East 32nd Street, 11th floor (between Madison and Park Aves).  If you need directions to either Left Forum or TRS, or for any other information about our events, write or call us.

We look forward to seeing you!
In Solidarity,
Anne Jaclard for Marxist-Humanist Initiative
*        *        *

Crisis, Austerity, and Resistance in the Euro Zone: A View from Finland
A talk by Antti Ronkainen

Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:00 PM
TRS Inc, 44 East 32nd Street, 11th Floor
(between Madison & Park Avenues)

In the spring and summer of 2010, crisis gripped Europe, highlighting the continued instability of the capitalist system across the globe. Financial meltdown was averted only by means of a massive bailout package, totaling as much as ?750 billion, and the European Central Bank’s move to begin purchasing sovereign debt of the weaker Euro zone countries to prevent a breakup of the zone. Will the patch hold?

Antti Ronkainen will give special attention to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), established last summer to help safeguard financial stability in the Euro zone. He will argue that the EFSF is not designed to solve the Euro crisis, but rather allows the European Central Bank to engage in potentially risky lending and provides a mechanism for redistributing income from taxpayers to banks. Ronkainen will also discuss the European workers and students’ demonstrations and strikes against new austerity programs, especially the current situation in Finland. Will the resistance succeed in saving the unions and government benefits?

Antti Ronkainen is a student of social sciences in Finland. He is an editor of and writer for Megafoni, a Finnish autonomist web journal (http://megafoni.org).

*      *     *

Is an Emancipatory Communism Possible?
A talk by Allan Armstrong
Wednesday, April 13th at 7:00 PM
TRS, Inc, 44 East 32nd Street, 11th Floor
(between Madison & Park Avenues)

Mention of the word “Communism” today conjures up visions of tyrants. Young people, even when they clash violently with the representatives of global capitalism in Seattle or London, call their protests “anti-capitalist,” not communist.

However, anti-capitalism is not enough. Revolutions can lead to immediate feelings of intense liberation, but they are usually followed by much longer periods of defense, setbacks, and painful reconstruction. The 20th century was the “Century of Revolutions,” but it eventually produced so little for humanity at such a high cost, that it is not surprising that many are very cautious, despite growing barbarism.

Allan Armstrong will argue that it is vital that we outline a genuine new human emancipatory communism, which takes full stock of the failings of both “official” and “dissident Communism,” and which can persuasively show that human liberation can still be achieved. He will explore Marx’s vision, particularly as detailed in his “Critique of the Gotha Program,” which emphasizes the need to break with capitalist production relations rather than expecting a new society to come about through political changes.

Allan Armstrong, a republican, Scottish internationalist, and communist, is currently co-editor of Emancipation & Liberation, the journal of the Republican Communist Network. He is also involved with The Commune, a collective dedicated to outlining a new communism for the 21st century. Armstrong is the author of “Why We Need a New Emancipatory Communism” (http://thecommune.co.uk/2009/06/02/why-we-need-a-new-human-emancipatory-communism) and “The Communist Case for ‘Internationalism from Below'” (http://thecommune.co.uk/2010/06/06/the-communist-case-for-internationalism-from-below).

Presented by Marxist-Humanist Initiative (http://marxist-humanist-initiative.org) & The New SPACE (http://new-space-nyc.org)

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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Education Crisis

COALITION OF RESISTANCE NATIONAL ORGANISING CONFERENCE

10am-5pm, Saturday November 27

Camden Centre, Bidborough St, London WC1

Organisers say:

“The conference will hear speakers from struggles in Greece, Spain, France and from delegates from the anti-cuts and anti-privatisation groups springing up in this country. There will be workshops and the opportunity for all to have their voices heard”

Conference Information: http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/?p=317

Coalition of Resistance: http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/

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Socialism and Hope

FIGHTING BACK: REBUILDING OUR MOVEMENT, RENEWING THE LEFT CONFERENCE

Fighting Back: Rebuilding Our Movements, Renewing the Left
2010 Solidarity Northeast Educational Conference
Friday, Nov. 19 – Saturday, Nov. 20, New York University

Sponsored by Solidarity: A Revolutionary Socialist, Feminist and  Anti-Racist Organization and the Radical Film and Lecture Series (NYU)

Conference website (Schedule, Logistics, Speakers and Registration): http://nysolidarity.org/2010conference

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged so we can anticipate childcare, housing and catering needs. If you have any questions, send an email to nyc@solidarity-us.org.

Download a promo leaflet for the conference here: http://nysolidarity.org/drupal/sites/default/files/fightingbackleaflet.pdf.

Confirmed speakers include:

David McNally (New Socialist Group, Canada)
Gilbert Achcar (Fourth International; Author of Arabs and the Holocaust)
Paul Street (Author of Empire’s New Clothes)
Cinzia Arruzza (Solidarity, New School)
Adriana Mulero (Comité de Estudiantes en Defensa de la Educación Pública, CEDEP; Unión de Juventudes Socialistas-Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores, Puerto Rico)
Blanca Misse (Student Worker Action Team, University of California-Berkeley)
Bill Zoda (Philadelphia Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals)
Steve Downs (Transport Workers Union Local 100)
Wes Strong (Defend Public Education)
Adaner Usmani (Labour Party Pakistan)

*Organizational affiliations listed for identification purposes only

Solidarity and the Radical Film and Lecture Series bring you a weekend of discussion regarding the key issues that radical activists face today, as capitalism enters the third year of a profound crisis that has presented stark challenges to social movements and left organization.

Both the left and the ruling class struggle to find strategies that will see their side through the crisis, while workers and the oppressed continue to pay for the economic crisis and the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But even as the crisis has exacted enormous cost from the working class and its organizations, popular struggles have emerged that we can not only celebrate but also learn from—that’s what this weekend is about. Drawing lessons and inspiration from the strikes and struggles that have marked this period and charting our course in a difficult political terrain.

Join us for a weekend of debate and discussion about where movements have gone in the wake of the biggest crisis in seventy years, the role of the anti-capitalist left in rebuilding mass movements that can win—and the political renewal that is necessary for left politics to become relevant in a world marked by the resurgence of the right.

Conference Program

Main Sessions:

Two Years In: Socialist Activists and the Crisis
Obama’s America: Resistance at Home and Abroad
Rebuilding the Movements, Renewing the Left

The conference will also feature workshops on The Labor Movement • Defending Higher Education • Public Sector Fightback • The Rise of the Right and more

Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided by the conference organizers and are included in registration costs.

Free housing, childcare and meals provided.

Travel subsidies available for Solidarity members and friends in the Northeast region

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The Incident

TOWARD A POLITICS OF SOLIDARITY – LEFT FORUM 2011

PACE UNIVERSITY

MARCH 18-20 2011

NEW YORK CITY

We would like you to consider proposing a panel for the upcoming Left Forum conference at Pace University in New York City, March 18-20, 2011. The deadline for submission is January 15th. We ask that you submit your proposals as soon as you can.

This year’s theme is “Toward a Politics of Solidarity”.

This theme speaks to a rising concern among leftists, progressives, social movement organizers, and radicals: rather than energizing the forces of progressive change, the Obama administration has left many of us politically fragmented, if not deflated. The theme, and its appeal to forge greater bonds between us, encourages an active stance to overcome such conditions as the corporate control over a media that gives an abundance of coverage to the Right while giving the Left little to none.

And while it is a theme that can brace us for what might well come after the Obama era, it is also a call to consider what we must do to prepare for that eventuality today. The theme conveys a message about the importance of dialogue, conciliation (e.g., of recognizing and addressing differences), reaching out, alliance building, and overcoming tough times. 

All are needed now. 

As you know, developing your panel topic, getting commitments from speakers, and preparing an engaged diverse panel experience takes a lot of time. When panel proposals are submitted near or after the deadline (January 15th), our small office staff is overwhelmed, and we are hindered in helping you in all the ways that we can. Hundreds of panel organizers work together each year to make the conference possible. Please consider starting this process right away by proposing a panel as soon as possible. To do that go to our website ( www.leftforum.org) and follow the panel submission instructions, or click any of the links below. Note too that we have a new revamped website; more on that later.

how to submit a panel

Please feel free to call me or other conference organizers in the office if you have any questions.  I look forward to working with you and seeing you at the conference.

In Solidarity,

Seth Adler
Conference Coordinator
212 817-2003

P.S. Please forward this Call to colleagues, listserves, organizers and others you feel could propose and organize a panel.

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