Race

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ecent years have witnessed new studies on the impact of capital’s drive to augment value and profit at the same time as figures in postcolonial studies, critical race theory, and intersectionality have explored the social, psychological, and cultural dimensions of anti-black racism. While both currents have made vital contributions, they have tended to assume different or even opposed trajectories, as reflected in some reverting to "class first" analyses while others focus on issues of identity abstracted from class relations and the logic of capital accumulation. This panel will explore the potential for anti-racist and anti-colonial struggles to posit an emancipatory alternative to capitalism, by re-examining what Fanon called the "new humanism" that is integral to anti-racist struggles.

Panelists: A. Shahid Stover, "Decolonization is a Humanism"; Marilyn Nissim-Sabat, "Wright, Fanon, and Marx on Humanism: What’s Decolonial About it?"; Peter Hudis, "Racism and the Logic of Capital"; Anna Stetsenko, "Political Imagination and Transformative Agency: Developing Revolutionary Praxis with a Radical Activist Agenda"

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TBD

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This panel discussion will discuss the labor and pay infractions/inequities in the fashion industry, centered mostly around fashion models. Fashion models are front and center when it comes introducing consumers to the new collections of major fashion houses, yet, we live in an era where fashion models, unless they have great agents or are supermodels, are being used as free labor, and in many cases being used as free labor for billion-dollar fashion brands.

How did this come to be? Don't fashion models live a luxury lifestyle? Perhaps, they once did, but that narrative has changed as fashion has become more of a global industry with a few fashion finance firms consolidating and controlling major fashion houses. Fashion models, once the darlings of the industry, are now being subjected to declining wages and are falling victim to the neo-liberal capitalist business models that are wrecking havoc on the working class.

During this panel discussion we will discuss the real narrative around what fashion models earn and how neo-liberal capitalism is quickly changing the fashion industry, putting livelihood of fashion industry professionals at great risk. There will also be frank discussion of evolving business models that can change pay inequity and fashion industry professionals, once silent, are organizing to claim what is rightly theirs.

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1960s, the world was set ablaze with protests and movements against racism, imperialism and institutionalized oppression. In a period when organizing against oppressive powers, this panel will cover the similarities between the Algerian Independence movement against French Colonialism and the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. From political organizing to guerilla warfare, revisiting two movements that helped shape the 60s revolution.

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Resistance to the carceral state has always been at the forefront of Leftist agendas. More specifically, the exercise of weaponized violence calls to question the role that the police play in constructing an “American” cultural identity. This panel raises key questions: what spaces and places do, and will, policing/law enforcement agencies occupy in an ongoing process of building a new global Left, as their material and cultural reach and ramifications continue to escalate and accelerate exponentially? Why/ do we need law enforcement? How do we begin to understand social imperatives of policing beyond the work of local enforcement agencies, but also an act culturally embedded into quotidian American life? How do oppositional communities connect across differently resourced and governed spaces to work with or within what some consider protracted, multifaceted genocide?

This discussion features dialogue between activist-scholars across disciplines engaging attendees around discourses of prison and policing reform, abolition, and restorative justice- and the obstacles and promises of inhabiting and contributing toward each. Drawing from works in digital humanities, communication, critical race/ethnic studies, and community activism, this panel seeks to critically examine the stakes of addressing policing in the New World, and what this may look like among different spaces that comprise the global Left.

Kim Clark, Art Culture Movement, FREE! Families Rally for Emancipation and Empowerment will share a ten-minute clip from a 2018 public access TV program entitled No Place for Police (produced collaboratively by Clark and Jones), which highlights challenges with policing and police violence in schools, and will engage more broadly in interrogating what the proper place of police is in our local communities, and how this points toward possibilities for radical transnational (or broader) solidarities.

Aundrey Jones, UC San Diego, Ethnic Studies, Pillars of the Community, All of Us or None: will cover a broad history of carceral resistance in Southern California. Looking at different collectives of Left organizing as it relates specifically to Black/Brown people in Los Angeles since WWII, and how these communities have constructed meanings of life and struggle while living under the precarious auspices of carceral Los Angeles.

Kathie Cheng, Stolen Lives Project, will discuss ways the Stolen Lives Project has been documenting those killed by U.S. law enforcement since 1996. How does this work counter normalized narratives which justify police/state violence by providing stories and data that challenge and reframe rarely adequately investigated or made known circumstances surrounding the deaths of their victims? Through these narratives, the SLP illustrates how police brutality is normalized and constructed as expected and acceptable through mainstream media’s tarnishing of victim reputations, despite being categorization as a negative phenomenon.

Kerry Keith will examine covert and overt policing and surveillance strategies operationalized after one is released from prison. Troubling the watch tactics imposed through parole, often a site for reformist action, is instead examined as a direct continuation of policed behavioral expectations designed to re-criminate rather than rehabilitate, revealing socio-cultural agnosia which endangers anti-incarceration movements. Keith draws on systems that counter parole’s watch, speculating on possibilities of a non-policed release from prison.

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NYC
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The call for "Education, Not Incarceration: Fight the Police State" was taken up in 2000 by the Southern Anti-Racism Network in collaboration with activists in the Black Radical Congress in North Carolina. Over more than 15 years, exclusionary discipline or out-of-school suspensions has mushroomed into mass juvenile incarceration. Presenters will tell of organizing efforts North and South to plug the school-to-prison pipeline, fight for education equity and an end to academic genocide in the public school system.

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Location: 
NYC
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Science for the People is a reinvigoration of the original organization, which arose out of the 1969 anti-war movement and lasted until 1989. We stand in the tradition of the original organization and have a radical analysis and non-hierarchical governing structure. Our members tackle the militarization of scientific research, the corporate control of research agendas, the political implications of sociobiology and other scientific theories, the environmental consequences of energy policy, inequalities in health care, and many other issues. We oppose racism, sexism, and classism in science and above all seek to mobilize people working in scientific fields to become active in agitating for science, technology, and medicine that would serve social needs rather than military and corporate interests.

We understand that there is a “dual nature” to science- what Richard Levins noted as scientism and antiscience. Science can be utilized to further corporate agendas and exercise private gain in the interest of profit, or it can be utilized in the name of the interests of the vast majority, in the name of the people. Regardless of which way science is used, we must make it clear that science is not neutral- the methodology and outcome of scientific inquiry is impacted by the interests and funding behind any given scientific project. This panel will attempt to draw out the dual nature of science, grappling with science as it is used to promote militarism, deny women the right to reproductive justice, and most recently as the underpinnings for renewed arguments about “biological determinism” that hearken back to debates throughout the 20th century about eugenics.

We will argue that scientists can and should be organizing politically. Science is not an abstraction removed from society. Science is produced by our labor. But the conditions of this production and the use of science are controlled by the wealthy and powerful. We must fight for a science that serves all people, organizing wherever science is produced or applied alongside all those fighting for justice.

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The fight against racism is a class issue. Attacks on Black people, Latinos and people of color are attacks on the entire working class. Meanwhile, attacks on workers’ rights and conditions embolden racists and the right wing.

This year’s Teachers’ Spring showed the potential for a new wave of class struggle at the same time that Black youth are rising up against racism and police murders. The struggle against bigotry which has heightened during the Trump administration is interlinked with police murders and attacks on worker conditions. The panelists — three rank-and-file workers — will discuss their experiences in overcoming racial divisions imposed by the bosses and linking workplace struggles to the struggles against police brutality, deportations, and other forms of racial oppression. How can labor activists and oppressed peoples unite? What has been the role of the police in class society and how can workers organize to fight police terror? How can we build a workers’ movement that not only seeks to improve immediate conditions but also can make political gains and overcome the racial, gender and other divisions that capitalism has created?

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It is now popular to speak about intersectional analyses of oppression and collaboration among social justice organizations. However, how many organizations or movements really walk the walk across ideological lines? We will walk across the timelines of movements and develop correlations between the past (Selma, Freedom Riders, and Palestine movements in the 40s – 80’s), the present, and the future. We will attempt to facilitate conversations that integrate the intersections of Liberation in Palestine, Black Justice and Liberation, Migrant and Immigration rights, Water and Land Liberation (such as Flint, Palestine and Fighting against the Dakota Pipelines), Islamophobia, political prisoners, and the ascendency of Trump’s regime. The interconnecting thread of these varied movements is the push for justice. It is hoped that by turning a critical lens to the intersections of varied movements for justice, specific and concrete steps towards an integrated plan that is realistic and implementable will be developed that will move those who are marginalized towards freedom. In short, do our lives really matter?

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Our task today is not to imagine pies in the sky for a future that can always be postponed, but to think and act on what Andre Gorz called "concrete utopias". The possibilities for change are not in the distance; they are all around us and available. It’s a matter of breaking the spell of the crisis and seeing and seizing these useful, world-changing tools.

For a long time it seemed as though the future would always look like the present, and imagining utopia was largely a theoretical exercise. Over the past 10 years, since the "Great Recession" of 2008, this situation has been changing, as the neoliberal global order that sustained the idealization of liberal parliamentarianism as "the endpoint of mankind's ideological evolution" entered into a prolonged and profound crisis. Today, homeless populations are exploding in major US cities, wages remain flat or are falling, and yet CEO bonuses have rebounded to pre-crash levels. But there is no legitimacy for this growing inequality. No one believes that a rising tide lifts all boats and the faith in capitalist realism (TINA) is losing ground. Today, more and more people are recovering the ability – and realizing the urgency -- of imagining life differently.

How do we use this moment of the crisis of neoliberalism, only persisting now in a zombielike state, to repudiate the equation of markets with democracy? How do we shatter the fallacy of this central premise of neoliberalism to actualize resolutely concrete but radically utopian futures?