Political and Social Movement

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Referred to during the election campaign as “the shame of our state,” the non-unanimous jury scheme will no longer be used in Louisiana courts, but it was not applied retroactively. So the approximately 2,000 people serving 10-2 sentences will die in prison unless the law can “get all the way right,” as these writers advocate. The state is not cooperating and is sealing all jury polling records to hide the truth of the Black lives unjustly taken and still incarcerated by the non-unanimous jury scheme. Until Louisiana’s state Constitution was amended in the November 2018 election, Louisiana was the only state in the union where a person could be condemned to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole by a non-unanimous jury vote of 10 out of 12 jurors voting to convict – also known as a 10-2 verdict. This practice not only undermines justice by violating the standard of proof of beyond reasonable doubt, which accounts for Louisiana being a leading state in exonerations, but its origin is a direct iolation of our guaranteed 14th Amendment right to equal protection of law under the United States Constitution. The purpose of the “non-unanimous jury scheme” was for white Louisianians to silence and render African Americans powerless in the judicial process. The basis of their ideology was that African Americans were an ignorant people who should be subservient to whites. nitially, the law allowed for two Blacks to sit on a jury, but to ensure their vote would not count, it required only nine of 12 jurors to convict. At the 1972 Constitutional Convention, to resolve some disagreements about the old law, a compromise was reached that 10 out of 12 jurors could still find guilt. Since slavery was abolished and only two African Americans were allowed on juries, the non-unanimous jury scheme would legally allow for the reintroduction of slavery by assuring convictions for Blacks, while guaranteeing no convictions for whites. Initially, the law allowed for two Blacks to sit on a jury, but to ensure their vote ...the “mission” had been to “establish the supremacy of the white race in this state.” Louisiana’s long standing practice of judicial racial discrimination is a statement that Black lives don’t matter in the State of Louisiana. When the issue of the non-unanimous jury scheme was brought before the legislative committee in early 2018, one of the white members of the District Attorney’s Association stated, “It is what it is!” That statement angered some Black representatives; however, in the same fashion, this is exactly what those representatives said to the many people still incarcerated by the non-unanimous jury scheme, when they rewrote the law. In other words, slavery is no longer legal in the state of Louisiana but you can still keep the slaves that you already have. So the new law won’t apply to those already incarcerated whose appeal processes have been finalized. The illusion of white supremacy is rooted so deep in the state of Louisiana that even today’s Black reformers – advocates and lawmakers – would rather tap dance around an issue before they can summon the courage to stand firm and uphold the truth about African American struggles. The 10-2 issue is about more than just the non-unanimous jury scheme. It also encompasses a wide range of racially discriminatory practices that target African Americans in the state. Rather than talk reparations, by changing the law, state officials are acting as if no harm was done. To further add insult to injury, the courts are now sealing all jury polling records to hide the truth of all the Black lives unjustly taken and still incarcerated by the non-unanimous jury scheme. Now, representing the lead case in a class action civil rights violation against the state of Louisiana is Rev. Errol Victor Sr. A recent press release by the “Burning Bush” editorial reads as follows: “One thousand African American prisoners of Louisiana State Penitentiary are expected to join together in the removal and habeas in the United States Eastern District Federal Court in New Orleans, Case No. 18-10537, Rev. Errol Victor Sr., L.S., v. State of Louisiana. Rev. Victor avers that these prisoners are African American descendants who have been denied rights that arise under federal law providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of racial equality. ...“This is the last stance and second civil rights movement,” declares Rev. Victor. “The criminal justice system and law enforcement – the prison system – is the last racial stronghold in America that African Americans and people of color have to break the yoke and overcome before truly abolishing slavery and finally accomplishing the goal of complete human dignity, independence and equality.” UPDATE: Another 230 African American Louisiana state prisoners have joined, bringing the bringing the total to date to 461 and counting.

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: 

This panel of diverse ages and backgrounds attempts to incite a conversation with the audience about Institutional racism, colorism and internal racism and its practices for social mobilization in America. We will share our knowledge by citing theories, authors, movements but more importantly by sharing our stories, the untold stories of our communities, and our ancestors. Our hope is to bring understanding and cultural sensitivity to issues in our communities that appear contradictory to “others”. Also, we hope that we can as a collective develop solutions that we can bring back from this necessary conversation to our communities of color.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

2018 is the 50th Anniversary of 1968–the most decisive revolutionary year in during the Great Revolution of the Two Decades of the Sixties—1955-1975. In that year the Vietnamese National Liberation Front carried out a decisive political victory in its war against the U.S., Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, urban rebellions rocked the U.S., president Lyndon Johnson refused to run for re-election under great national protests, students at Columbia University and the Paris student/worker rebellions shaped history. The Movement agreed the problem was “The System”, the Answer was “The Revolution” and the vehicle was “The Movement.”

Today, U.S. society is disintegrating morally, economically, politically, ecologically, and spiritually. Black Lives Matter, The Dreamers, the Bernie/Warren Democrats, the Labor/Community Strategy Center and many other organizations are doing important work to fight the system but there is a need for more discussion about what is our strategy. Eric Mann will discuss “A Black/Latino/Third World United Front against the U.S. Imperialist White Settler State” as the strategy the Strategy Center is trying to carry out in its work in South L.A., Los Angeles, and the U.S. to shape grassroots organizing and movement building.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

After the recent Gaza disaster, international unity for non-violent actions that transcend, race, ethic and national origins becomes even more urgent and . . . necessary.
Those events reflect a manifestation of the grim racist, ethnic cleansing ideologies advocated by a recent surge of demagogues that have gripped the world including the Holy Land, the epicentre of world conflict and potential world peace.

As such, it is essential to build coalitions with activists worldwide, linked to Holy Land activists to fight this trend, to enlighten the world by bringing it to a place of equality and justice and at the same time pushing the reactionary demagogues back into obsolescence.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Outdated Democracy: A 21st Century Civics Lesson is a documentary film project that examines and evaluates our 19th century electoral system, explains why our democracy is failing, and offers solutions for updating our antiquated electoral system so that it works for everyone. This presentation combines chapters from the film project with a lively audience discussion led by filmmaker, writer and former high school civics teacher Lisa Elaine Scott.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

The Social Democratic Party of Germany was founded 1863 and inspired by Karl Marx, August Bebel and Friedrich Engels. It survived the “Anti-Socialist Laws” and two world wars. It is still influencing the German and European policy. But what is left of the left in Germany and especially within the Social Democratic Party of Germany more than 150 years later. What are the modern visions and tasks of the political left in Germany and Europe? Is the biggest political opponent the political right-wing or is it our own movement who is weakening itself? The Young Socialist of the north-eastern district are discussing with you the situation of the German and European left, the role of young people in politics and why internationalism is important. The problems are global. The capital is global. Our movement has to become global as well!

Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Literally at the 11th hour, the largest alternative and progressive network in the United States was able to secure a loan and prevent the Empire State Realty Trust company from seizing our assets. This would have closed down the entire network and resulted in the sale of WBAI and another Pacifica station, WPFW. This has left the foundation with a multi million dollar debt that must be repaid within 18 to 34 months.

In moving forward to revolutionize Pacifica and WBAI in particular, we want to explore ideas as to how to make Pacifica a relevant and critically important progressive mass media success in the 21st century.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Black, lesbian, dancer-poet performance art duo Nia & Ness invite you to view excerpts of their evening-length piece, run., created in part during their BAX 2017 Summer Space Grant, run. is a story of the couple’s daily struggles and joys while living in NYC, with all original music by Garrett Miller. Following their performance, Nia & Ness will share their ideas about how their love and art are intrinsically intertwined with their activism.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

For at least five hundred years of global colonial occupation and imperial plunder, the devaluation, abuse, and exploitation of womxn has gone hand-in-hand with the depletion and degradation of the Earth. By the same token, however, Indigenous, peasant, racially marginalized, and other womxn targeted by cishteropatriarchy and anthropocentrism have been on the frontlines of mobilizations for broad-based autonomy, dignity, equity, justice, and sustainability, from the Chipko movement of India to the neo-Zapatista uprising of southwestern Mexico. As interlocking global crises intensify, the ecofeminist alternatives articulated by these womxn become more important than ever to the fight for another world. This panel will feature reportbacks on ecofeminist interventions from the Americas and South Asia. Its presenters will discuss how community gardens and urban farms, permaculture and agroecology projects, biodiversity farms, traditional medical practices, and counter-hegemonic learning initiatives across these parts of the world are recentering multiply marginalized womxn at the same time as they address pressing threats to land, food, and water sovereignty.