Political and Social Movement

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel/workshop movement building discussion, is based on various ways to build a community based but to City Wide and Mass Movement that will take on various local issues that connect cities to states to national actions.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

An all-Palestinian panel of activists, academics and artists speaking on their personal experiences of displacement and mapping out the path of return to Palestine.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Dave and Dick have done nonviolent civil disobedience dozens of times over decades, and Julio is active in New York with the Poor Peoples Campaign and About Face Veterans, formerly IVAW. Julio will address the NV of MLK. Other topics include moral jujitsu, principled versus strategic nonviolent resistance, various degrees of diversity of tactics, and ploughshares actions. Dave will present an approach to climate change resistance that has been quite suppressed by national climate change leadership. Opponents of nonviolent resistance are also welcome to participate in our dialog.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In the last year we have experienced a new wave of student activism on high school and college campuses. March for Our Lives mobilized millions of people last month. April 20th , the anniversary of the Columbine massacre, will see a national walkout from schools in protest of government leaders’ inability to pass laws that protect us from gun violence. 2018 marks the 50 year anniversary of student protests that led to a nation-wide anti-war movement in the United States, demonstrations for greater democracy in Mexico, and a May revolt in France where large sectors of the working class went on strike.
With the failure of the ruling parties to address issues of social and economic inequality in our country, can student action catalyze fundamental, ongoing political change and transform relationships of power in our institutions? What are the major issues that have mobilized young people? What are the goals? What actions are they taking to initiate change? This panel of high school and college students will present work that is currently being done in their schools and communities. What support do they need, and want, so that the new wave of student activism isn’t as short lived as Occupy Wall Street?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

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?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

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?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In the decades long tradition of award-winning investigative journalism by writers for CovertAction Quarterly, this panel will address the secretive and nefarious activities of the U.S. government in their efforts to destabilize democratic processes, both past and present. It is now ever more critical to expose such ongoing efforts: efforts that further U.S. geopolitical regional and global control while creating favorable investment climates for U.S. multinational corporations. While their goals are invariably masked in the name of “democracy and freedom,” their efforts invariably strive to exploit cheap labor and natural resources. Topics will include: American exceptionalism, ending torture, closing Guantanamo, opposing the appointment of Haspel as CIA Director given her roles in black sites and her destruction of the CIA torture videotapes, ongoing scrutiny of the National Endowment for Democracy's (NED) programs globally, ...and much more.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Faced with the numerous crises of our times, a small collective in Montreal decided to prepare a conference that aimed to bring together a thousand participants to discuss critiques of capitalism, strategies for overcoming it, and models of alternative economic organization in May 2018. We organized such a conference to think about the great transition out of capitalism, for a social and economic alternative that would be ecological, feminist, egalitarian and democratic.

This panel wishes to share the insights of this conference and its three main objectives: (1) to promote alternatives to capitalism; (2) to equip social movements and transformative initiatives with better theoretical tools by sharing experiences and knowledge; and (3) to strengthen ties between critical academic circles and militant organizations, as well as between Francophone and Anglophone communities in North America. This panel would both offer an appraisal of the conference and a larger strategic discussion on anticapitalist organizing today.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Sidney Hook and Max Eastman debate on dialectics in late 1920s to early 1930s; Raya Dunayevskaya, C.L.R. James correspondence on Hegel and Marx (1949 to 1950); Dunayevskaya, Marcuse dialogue on social movements, history, and necessity and freedom dialectic in Hegel and Marx (1954-1964); Marcuse, Critical Theory, "repressive tolerance" and today's social movements:

Kevin O'Brien:
The Dialectic Comes to America: Two Decades of the Hegel-Marx Relationship (1933-1953) in the U.S. Radical Milieu

This presentation will discuss two decades of American radical debate on the Marx-Hegel relationship (1933-1953), focusing on contention over the dialectic in the work of Sidney Hook, Max Eastman, James Burnham, and the Johnson-Forest Tendency (C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya, and Grace Lee). The early period of Marxism in the United States was not devoid of discussions of philosophy, but the brief Hegelian upsurge in Europe represented by the contributions of Lenin (1914), Lukacs (1922), and Korsch (1923) was delayed in its trans-Atlantic impact. This presentation will attempt to examine two decades of American discussions of the Marx-Hegel relationship in the radical milieu, focusing on Sidney Hook’s Toward the Understanding of Karl Marx (1933), Max Eastman’s criticism of Hook, and the collaborative work of the Johnson-Forest Tendency (C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya, and Grace Lee). This presentation will draw in part on the work of scholars Kevin Anderson, Paul Buhle, and Alan Wald.

Sarah Kleeb:
Looking Back to Move Forward: Violence, Tolerance, and Neutrality in the Critical Theory of Herbert Marcuse.

Herbert Marcuse's trenchant engagement with the notion of “tolerance”, and the ways in which the rhetoric of tolerance can be used to maintain an unjust status quo, takes on new life in the present moment. By examining the complicity in structural violence that can accompany calls to “tolerance” and “neutrality”, this presentation will explore the ways in which Marcuse’s work requires us to continuously evaluate the pervasive manipulation of ideals, conventions, and aspirations present in many dominant narratives, facilitating ruthless critique in the face of systemic injustices.

Russell Rockwell
Dunayevskaya-Marcuse Dialogue on Social Movements, History, and the Necessity and Freedom Dialectic in Hegel and Marx

In 1958, at the peak of a twenty-five year dialogue, Raya Dunayevskaya and Herbert Marcuse published works the relationship between which was key for defining Marxist-Humanism and Critical Theory in the U.S. Following an analysis in the text of Dunayevskaya’s Marxism and Freedom, Marcuse in a preface to that work, for the first time in the substantial body of his own work, analyzed Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. A close reading of the texts suggests that the two theorists’ interpretations of Marx’s important work significantly differed –especially in connection with historical and contemporary workers’ movements and automation. Equally significant, however, despite a several years long disagreement to date on the question of the contemporary social relevance of Hegel’s philosophy, Marcuse notes in his work Soviet Marxism, also published in 1958, that Hegel considered the transition from necessity to freedom to be the “hardest” of all dialectical transitions, and concedes that the relation between necessity and freedom is the key problem in the Hegelian as well as the Marxian dialectic, and also a key problem in the idea of socialism itself.