Description/Abstract of your Event: 

From white nationalists to male tribalists, and from Christian theocrats to Patriot movement activists, the U.S. far right has made dangerous gains in recent years. These “insurgent supremacists” bolster established systems of oppression but also challenge the existing political order in real ways. Antifascist researcher Matthew N. Lyons will outline the major far right currents, their ideologies and goals, their interconnections and tensions with the Trump administration, and some key lessons for antifascist work.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Escalating fascist and racist violence grows out of the bipartisan capitalist offensive against immigrants: not only Trump’s border wall with Mexico and anti-Muslim ban, but Obama’s record deportations and Democrats’ policy of border militarization. Key to fighting anti-immigrant hysteria is mobilizing the power of the multiethnic working class. The Internationalist Group calls for workers action to stop deportations and crush the fascists. In the Pacific Northwest, Class Struggle Workers – Portland sparked union motions to mobilize against racist/fascist provocations, and initiated Portland Labor Against the Fascists that brought out some 300 unionists and supporters in 2017. It calls to form workers defense guards to defeat the fascist threat. In the 2016 elections Painters Local 10 called to break with all bosses’ parties, and for a class-struggle workers party. In Los Angeles, transit workers have marched with Teamsters defending Salvadoran immigrants. In New York, Trabajadores Internacionales Clasistas has joined in unionizing immigrant workers, demanding full citizenship rights for all immigrants.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Driving Divestment: Strategies, Challenges, and Successes
This panel will explore the strategy of divestment as an effective method for social and political change. It will present case studies of using divestment as a tool to pressure corporations to stop being complicit in the destruction of communities from here across America, to the US/Mexico border, to the Middle East.

Proposed speakers (tentative):
CODEPINK, Sarah Manasrah
-Divest from the War Machine campaign targeting the top 5 weapons manufacturers.

Freedom to Thrive, Meron Debeje
-Prison industry divestment campaign

Show Up America, Jan Weinberg
-Corporate divestment from the shareholder perspective

Make the Road NY, Mateo Guerrero-Tabare
-Successful #BackersofHate immigration detention and private prisons campaign

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Scores of political commentators have been recently suggesting, humorously but also earnestly, that we are currently living through a second "Gilded Age," an era in U.S. history when, as now, public concerns included rampant technological shifts, "massive wealth inequalities, hyperpartisanship, virulent anti-immigrant sentiment and growing concern about money in politics." (Edward T. O'Donnell, "Are We Living in the Gilded Age 2.0?" ) 

The pushback against the first Gilded Age, of course, included what we now sometimes call the Progressive Era. Taking this idea as a starting point, our Roundtable will ask: What can current grassroots activists learn from 20th century organizing experiences about building a viable Left Alliance?

Panelists will foment a broad-ranging discussion on subjects that may include the imbalance of wealth and power, migration and immigration law, environmental justice, reparations for slavery, interference in Latin American countries by U.S. moneyed elites, and current fights for gender and class equity of all kinds.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Poetry of Refuge, Flight and Immigration
As capital and imperialism generate cruelty, climate change and need, more people are leaving their homes than for generations past. Poetry reflect their struggles, travails, feelings and thoughts.
This session, organized for the Radical Poet's Collective, will highlight such poetry. It will primarily be based around relevant poems that members of the audience bring and read in the RPC's random-choice open mike approach.
The Radical Poets Collective is a group of poets who are also activists and dissidents across a diverse range of disciplines and issues, from immigration to Israel-Palestine, Syria, climate change, Marxism, the Black Lives movement and more. We will read our poems and also invite audience members to read their own poems, and engage in critical discussion of the works and their social contexts.
Organizers: José Rosa and Sam Friedman

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Censorship of writers is one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian regime. In the United States, we're seeing unprecedented attacks against journalists by this presidency. Writing in all its forms (nonfiction, fiction and poetry) are more important than ever. How can we continue to write during this time of crisis? Five writers, ranging from novelists to professionals in health and education, offer a variety of tools to resist and persevere, using words to clarify, heal, and amplify our voices and bring people together in solidarity for progressive change. This workshop will be dynamic with group exercises and resources that will give the audience a way forward in writing what matters to them and to our global community that is at risk.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Bring your poems of peace, social justice and resistance to our annual Left Forum open mic!

The Radical Poets Collective is a group of poets who are also activists and dissidents across a range of movements for social change, from immigration to Israel-Palestine, Syria, climate change, Marxism, the Black Lives movement and more.

Poetry, as an expression of the radical imagination, challenges society, empowers us in speaking truth to power, and inspires us to action, bringing hope to those who are hopeless and self-empowerment to those who have felt helpless.

Come to learn more about us and what we do, and then read your poems along with us as we read ours.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Today, many on the left salute Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others seeking to revitalize and rebrand U.S. imperialism’s Democratic Party. Against this, those seeking to end capitalism’s many-sided oppression must reject the blind alley of tailing capitalist politicians. Only by fighting for the political independence of the working class can we chart a way forward. This International Women’s Day, three groups came together in a fusion that represents a step forging a nationwide revolutionary Trotskyist youth group for the first time in three decades. The Spokane (Washington) Marxist Group and the leadership of the Marxist Student Union at Central Connecticut State University fused with the Revolutionary Internationalist Youth, youth section of the Internationalist Group/ League for the Fourth International. This panel will focus on the role of Trotskyist youth and students in the fight for a revolutionary workers party to lead socialist revolution here and around the world, and reflect our work building support for union organizing drives by immigrant workers, solidarity with Ayotzinapa and the Mexican teachers strike, struggles against racist repression and fascist provocations, opposing the militarization of the universities, and on many other fronts.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

A farmworker leader from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) will share the history of the organization, conditions faced by farmworkers in the U.S. agricultural industry — including abuses such as sexual harassment and forced labor — and the transformative changes now in effect in the U.S. tomato industry as a result of the award-winning Fair Food Program in setting new farm labor standards, implementing fair wages, and eliminating abuses through its groundbreaking model of Worker Driven Social Responsibility.

The workshop will also focus on the models through which the CIW has built power-- from the early days of general strikes and labor stoppages in the tomato fields of Southwest Florida, to the Campaign for Fair Food with successful boycotts of powerful multinational corporations, and then to the implementation of new worker directed standards in the agricultural industry.

The workshop will be facilitated in both Spanish and English. There will be a question and answer session in which attendees can engage with farmworker leaders on their experiences as farmworkers, the movement for Fair Food and how they can be involved in the movement for farmworker justice.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Throughout recorded history, sex workers have not only existed, but have fought for their rights - the right to pursue their livelihood without harassment, the right not to be stigmatized, and the right to be taken seriously as agents of progressive change. From the Paris Commune of 1871 - when anarchist Louise Michel organized armed brigades of sex workers to fight alongside their fellow Communards against the invading Prussian army - until today, organized sex workers have not avoided militancy. Speakers will address the ripe opportunites that have emerged recently to enact decriminalization and organization of sex work both in New York and elsewhere.