Panel Image: 
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

While the NRA has monopolized the discussion of gun rights and the Second Amendment in mainstream public discourse, leftist perspectives on these issues provide a richer context for understanding not only the use of guns against the victims of slavery and colonialism but also the possible uses of guns by Black, Brown, and Indigenous resistance movements. Drawing on the Black Radical Tradition, Puerto Rican movements, and Indigenous resistance, this panel offers a reinterpretation of the relationship between guns, settler colonialism, and leftist organizing. In addition to establishing the connections between the NRA, the Second Amendment, and white supremacy, this panel explores the possibilities of using what Scott Crow calls “liberatory community armed self-defense” as one plank of a broader leftist strategy. By cultivating a realistic perspective on the colonial and racist “gun culture” of America, the Left’s use of armed self-defense can be re-thought in a new light. In the next few years, the Left must acknowledge oppressive gun violence and reflect on the uses of liberatory self-defense.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

What forms of struggle are Africans using to fight the many-headed hydra of neocolonialism, and what forms of international solidarity are needed in response? This panel will examine the lawyer-led uprising Ambazonia, also known as the Southern Cameroons, which since fall 2016 has been garnering unprecedented participation and support. Panelists from Ambazonia, Cameroon, Nigeria and the US will discuss the roles of different sectors, the historical-political context of French neo-colonialism (la Francafrique), the Ambazonian refugee crisis and the role of Nigeria, and the organizing for political prisoner support including through House Resolution 718.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

We are a theatre/ performance/ creative arts collective based in the US, with many connections globally through friends, family, students, etc. We have an especially strong tie to India, and the struggle for human rights and freedom of expression there. We express ourselves both regionally and internationally, through the United Nations, social media, and the mainstream press. Our goal is to promote democracy and to oppose authoritarian regimes, both in India and in the US, using theatre and visual arts as a weapon.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In Burma/Myanmar, the mass displacement of the Rohingya minority in late 2017 along with the atrocities, mass graves, and mass rapes followed a protracted period of marginalization of this Muslim minority.

In the face of government intransigence and denial, diplomatic logjams and double standards regarding international human rights norms, how can activists build alliances that challenge the rise of authoritarianism both in Southeast Asia, and in the USA?

How can such movements scale up a response to the rise of Islamophobia around the globe?

The promotion of Islamophobia in Myanmar, using facebook as an effective tool for propaganda and mobilization, has served the Burmese military's preferred "Divide and Conquer" approach to ethnic diversity in Myanmar.

China and other international investors are now constructing massive oil and gas pipelines through the smoking ruins of the Rohingya homeland. Therefore the destabilizing effects of globalization, with its drive to exploit raw materials and new markets, mirror the destructive effects of the British Empire that imposed borders on Burma that have divided communities and help create communities and classes in conflict.

The Rohingya crisis affects the entire Southeast Asian region. To scale up both crisis response and our collective ability to promote long term solutions to statelessness and disenfranchisement, roundtable facilitators will engage attendees in strategic planning, including conversation of tools and technologies, stakeholders and models of mobilization. For the over one million displaced Rohingya, how will it be possible to empower the impacted community, and to build support within the Burmese diaspora itself?

Participants will include Rohingya, Bangladeshis, Muslims and Buddhists.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Change happens from the bottom up. But what do you know about bottom-up? What are its characteristics, and those of it's opposite, top-down. Many people talk about how change happens from the bottom up. But not much is said beyond that. This Panel will go into depth on what bottom-up is, how it is different from top-down, and why we are going through a bottom-up revolution that offers opportunities to make change happen that were not available before.

Bottom-up is egalitarian, cooperative, interdependent, local, systemic, culture is tolerant, transparent, inclusive, empathic, as compared to top-down culture which is narrow-minded, rigid, authoritarian, narcissism encouraging, hierarchical, and centralized, with inequality, domination and secrecy. Top down challenges and bottom-up solutions and improvements will be discussed, with solutions.

Election reform, optimization and integrity issues and solutions will be explored. How top-down media and powerful influencers use framing, wording and mind games to hold back change and discourage activism.