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Thursday, July 5
 

1:00pm

1:00pm

Lenin's State and Revolution
Vladimir Lenin was hiding from the police during the 1917 Russian Revolution while he finished State and Revolution. Lenin’s most widely read—and most misunderstood—book, it describes the role of the state under capitalism and its function in the monstrous oppression of working and oppressed people around the world. This talk will explore the historical context in which State and Revolution was written, the arguments Lenin makes and the debates he takes up, and what’s at stake in clarifying our understanding of the state: our ability to dismantle the current system and replace it with a democratic society by and for ourselves.

Speakers
avatar for Camila Quarta

Camila Quarta

Camila Quarta is a longtime activist and socialist in NYC. She has been very involved in the campus anti-sexual violence movement.


Thursday July 5, 2018 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Dusable A/B

1:00pm

1:00pm

Marxism and Law
Karl Marx wrote that "society is not founded upon the law; this is a legal fiction." Rather, law develops out of the class conflicts in our society. Our legal system grew out of the successful efforts of the bourgeoisie to establish itself as the ruling class. While bourgeois law often proclaims the rule of law and universality of rights, it allows mass exploitation, chattel slavery, the subjugation of women, and so on. However, the working class and the oppressed have also fought to expand democratic rights and even to take state power. This presentation will provide a Marxist overview of law, a tool of class struggle.

Speakers
avatar for Mukund Rathi

Mukund Rathi

Mukund Rathi is a law student at UC Berkeley, a member of the International Socialist Organization, and co-founder of Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine.


Thursday July 5, 2018 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Grant Park A/B

1:00pm

1:00pm

The Portuguese Revolution
On the 25h of April, 1974, a group of left-wing military officers conducted a successful coup against the Portuguese military dictatorship which had ruled Portugal with an iron-fist for over four decades and had waged a brutal colonial war against its African colonies in Mozambique, Angola, and Guine-Bissau for years. The coup opened up a revolutionary process which for 2 brief years put socialism and working-class rule on the immediate agenda.

Though largely forgotten, even in socialist circles, the experience of the Portuguese Revolution offers deep insights into the nature of socialist revolution, workers' power, and the struggle against imperialism. This talk will analyze the rise and fall of the revolutionary upsurge in Portugal in tandem with the struggle against imperialism in the Portuguese colonies. The study of these concurrent revolutionary processes demonstrates both the real potentials of working people to run society, and the complexities of the struggle for socialism in a national and international system bent on destroying any such challenge.

Speakers
avatar for Coco Smyth

Coco Smyth

Coco Smyth is a history student and socialist organizer at The Ohio State University.


Thursday July 5, 2018 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Field A/B

1:00pm

The Fallacies of "Scientific" Racism: From Thomas Jefferson to the Alt-Right
Attempts to use science to justify the oppression of Blacks and other groups have been around since the earliest days of the American republic. This talk will examine the history of "race science" and why new variants of these fallacious ideas continue to reappear.

Speakers
avatar for Phil Gasper

Phil Gasper

Phil Gasper is the editor of The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History's Most Important Political Document (Haymarket, 2005) and Imperialism and War:  Classic Writings by V.I. Lenin and Nikolai Bukharin (2017). He is the reviews editor and writes the Critical Thinking column... Read More →


Thursday July 5, 2018 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Hyde Park A/B

3:00pm

A Discussion of Film, Art, and Organizing with Boots Riley and James Schamus
Pioneering musician Boots Riley of the Coup will discuss the intersection of art and politics, and his new film Sorry to Bother You, which Rotten Tomatoes calls "fearlessly ambitious, scathingly funny, and thoroughly original," in conversation with award-winning writer and producer James Schamus.

Socialism 2018 is proud to present a special screening of Sorry to Bother You at an offsite location at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 5. Details TBA.

Speakers
avatar for Boots Riley

Boots Riley

Boots Riley is is a musician, producer, screenwriter, and film director. He is the lead vocalist ofthe Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club. He wrote and directed the feature film Sorry to Bother You, which is slated to be released in July.
avatar for James Schamus

James Schamus

James Schamus is an award-winning screenwriter (The Ice Storm), producer (Brokeback Mountain), and former CEO of Focus Features (Dallas Buyers Club, Lost in Translation, Milk, The Pianist). His feature directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth's Indignation, starring Logan... Read More →


Thursday July 5, 2018 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Grant Park A/B

3:00pm

All Fall Down: The Infrastructure Crisis in the United States
Infrastructure is crucial to our everyday lives, whether it’s getting to work, communicating with family and friends, pouring a glass of water, or turning on the stove. However, across the U.S. many of these systems are crumbling, putting the lives and health of countless people at risk. From the disastrous levee breach in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina to the Flint water crisis to this spring’s deadly bridge collapse in Miami, Florida, infrastructure failures can result in injury, illness, or even death, with communities of color facing higher proportions of these infrastructure-related consequences.

Yet, there’s another side to infrastructure. These systems also undergird the capitalist system’s drive for profit and imperial dominance. Capitalists aim to shape and reshape the built environment to serve their own desires, even if they are in direct contradiction to the needs of poor and working people. Marx was keen to the role that various infrastructure systems played within the dynamics of capitalism. This talk will discuss what Marx and others have had to say about infrastructure under capitalism, explain why infrastructure in the U.S. is in a state of crisis, and offer some ideas about how we can fight for a world with safe, well-maintained infrastructures that are designed for the masses and not the rich and powerful.

Speakers
avatar for Neil Loehlein

Neil Loehlein

Neil Loehlein is an activist in Portland, OR and a member of the Professional & Technical Employees Union (PTE) Local 17 and the International Socialist Organization.


Thursday July 5, 2018 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Clark A/B/C

3:00pm

Marxism and Intersectionality
This talk argues that the rise of intersectionality, the concept that different forms of identity-based oppression are often simultaneous and mutually constituted, creates an important contemporary opening for the Marxist, historical-materialist analysis of oppression. Intersectionality originated in the concrete struggles of black women to challenge existing institutions (like the law) and activist coalitions that had previously erased their particular experiences. While postmodernists have taken up intersectionality in ways that often obscure the historic origins of oppression, Marxism provides a framework for not only seeing how oppressions intersect, but how the history of capitalism has produced and changed these intersections throughout time.

Speakers
avatar for Haley Swenson

Haley Swenson

Haley is a long-time activist and organizer, working on reproductive rights, the struggle against sexual assault, and anti-racism. She has a PhD in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies and writes on gender, work, and inequality under capitalism.


Thursday July 5, 2018 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Grant Park C/D

3:00pm

3:00pm

Was Antonio Gramsci a Reformist?
Antonio Gramsci, a leader of the Italian Communist Party who died in 1937 after spending more than a decade in a fascist prison, is today one of the most cited, but least understood Marxists from the 20th century. Today, many use Gramscian concepts like “hegemony” and the “war of position” to justify a strategy of parliamentary socialism or reforming the state “from the inside”. This talk will consider whether this reading of Gramsci is really true to his ideas and practice.

Speakers
avatar for Lance Selfa

Lance Selfa

Lance Selfa is a member of the editorial board of theInternational Socialist Review, editor of U.S. Politics in an Age of Uncertainty (Haymarket Books, 2017) and author ofThe Democrats: A Critical History (Haymarket Books, 2012, second edition). 


Thursday July 5, 2018 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Field A/B

3:00pm

Empire and Resistance: Korea's Hidden History
Koreans have long faced foreign intervention, especially since the penetration of capitalist powers in the 19th century and the rise of imperial Japan. This talk will put the recent Korean crisis into historical context, highlighting the ways that Koreans have fought to determine their own fate — even as China, Japan, Russia, and the US have jockeyed for dominance over the peninsula.

Speakers
avatar for Diana Macasa

Diana Macasa

Diana Macasa is a member of the San Francisco Branch of the International Socialist Organization and Bay Area activist for the past 10 years. 
avatar for David Whitehouse

David Whitehouse

Oakland activist David Whitehouse has contributed to Socialist Worker and the International Socialist review on history and politics in Asia and Africa. He's currently working on a book about the origins of the police in the US and Britain. Some of his talks and articles are at the... Read More →


Thursday July 5, 2018 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Burnham A/B/C

3:00pm

3:00pm

Chile 1973 and the Parliamentary Road to Socialism
The experience of Salvador Allende's 1970-73 Popular Unity government in Chile is one of the most important and controversial in socialist history. Ruling class efforts to remove the Left from power were met by massive resistance and organization in workplaces across the country. While workers built councils and committees in their thousands, the Allende government recoiled from radicalizing the struggle, and the US-backed right prepared to impose a bloody dictatorship. This talk will attempt to track and explain the events of the Chilean struggle and take up the debates on the left about the causes of its tragic outcome. 

Speakers
avatar for Dorian B

Dorian B

Dorian B. is an activist and writer based in NYC.


Thursday July 5, 2018 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Dusable C

5:00pm

Opening Rally: Welcome to Socialism 2018!
Dave Zirin and Haley Pessin will welcome attendees to the Socialism 2018 conference and talk about some of the not-to-be-missed highlights of the weekend.

Speakers
avatar for Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin is the sports editor of the Nation Magazine and has written ten books on the politics of sports. He hosts the podcast Edge of Sports.


Thursday July 5, 2018 5:00pm - 5:30pm
Grand Ballroom

7:30pm

Organize Your Own? White People and the Fight Against Racism
Heading the call to "organize your own," white activists of the 1960s initiated a number of projects to organize other whites. Student radicals streamed into places like Appalachia and poor neighborhoods in Cleveland, Chicago, and elsewhere. The Southern Student Organizing Committee, the Young Patriot Organization, and other organizations grew out of this “racial division of labor” strategy. Recent formations like Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), The Chicago League of Abolitionist Whites (CLAW) and Redneck Revolt have revived the call to “organize your own.” But, this is a deeply flawed strategy for activists genuinely interested in combatting racism and capitalism. This session will examine the history and politics behind the “organize your own” strategy and make the case for revolutionary, interracial organization.

Speakers
avatar for Eric Kerl

Eric Kerl

Eric Kerl is a member of the International Socialist Review editorial board and is the author of White Bred: Anti-Racism and the Boundaries of White Racial Solidarity, forthcoming from Haymarket Books.


Thursday July 5, 2018 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Hyde Park A/B

7:30pm

Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment
Killing, looting burning villages and fields, raping, and terrorizing Indigenous communities were traditions in each of the colonies long before the Constitutional Convention. “Militias,” as in government-controlled units, were institutionalized by Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the U.S. Constitution, and were used to officially invade and occupy Native land. But the Second Amendment (like the other ten amendments) enshrined an individual right. The Second Amendment’s language specifically gave individuals and families the right to form volunteer militias to attack Indians and take their land. Later, as racial slavery was institutionalized in the late 17th century, slave patrols were drawn from these militias. Both expansion into Ohio Valley Indian territory and maintenance of chattel slavery were primary objectives of secession from Britain.

The purpose of the book, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendmentis to explore those questions. Instead of dismissing the Second Amendment as antiquated and irrelevant, or as not actually meaning what it says, the book argues that understanding the purpose of the Second Amendment is key to understanding the gun culture, police culture, and militarism of the United States, and possibly the key to a new consciousness about the lingering effects of settler-colonialism and white nationalism. It explore various ways in which a dangerous gun culture has accelerated in the United States since the 1970s. Loaded is a history of the Second Amendment’s connection to that culture, and a reflection on how the violence it has spawned has deeply influenced the character of the United States.

Speakers
avatar for Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma. As a veteran of the Sixties revolution, she has been involved in movements against the Vietnam War and imperialism, union organizing, and was one of the founders of the Women's Liberation Movement in the late 1960s. Since 1973, she has... Read More →


Thursday July 5, 2018 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Grant Park C/D

7:30pm

7:30pm

What Kind of Party Do We Need?
Speakers
avatar for Paul D'Amato

Paul D'Amato

Paul D'Amato is the editor of the International Socialist Review and author of The Meaning of Marxism.


Thursday July 5, 2018 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Clark A/B/C

7:30pm

Poverty, Pain, and Pill Mills: Social Crisis and America’s Opioid Epidemic (Socialist Worker-Sponsored Meeting)
The opioid epidemic is ravaging large swathes of America—from once-thriving Rust Belt communities to inner cities. So many lives have been lost to this crisis that annual opioid deaths in the U.S. now outnumber deaths due to breast cancer, and American life expectancy has fallen two years in a row. Even as the Trump administration pushes more policing as the solution, the drug manufacturers who deliberately misled the public about opioids continue to rake in millions in profit from human misery. This talk will look at the social roots of the opioid crisis and what a real plan to tackle the crisis might look like.

Speakers
avatar for Nicole Colson

Nicole Colson

Nicole Colson is a reporter for Socialist Worker newspaper writing on topics including the opioid crisis, civil liberties, and women's rights. Her work has appeared at Jacobin, Truthout, the International Socialist Review, and more.


Thursday July 5, 2018 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Dusable A/B

7:30pm

The Arc of Palestinian Resistance: From the First Intifada to Ahed Tamimi
On the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, popular resistance has once again swept across Palestine. The last year has seen popular resistance sweep across Palestine. Millions spoke up in solidarity with 17-year-old political prisoner Ahed Tamimi, jailed for slapping a soldier; hundreds of thousands demonstrated to defend Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem; and mass protest shook Gaza for weeks despite repeated Israeli massacres during the Great March of Return. At the same time, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) has exploded internationally with dozens of victories in the first half of 2018 alone. These developments are the latest chapter in more than a century of Palestinian organizing against colonization and apartheid. This talk will unpack the recent history of resistance in Palestine beginning with the mobilizations of the First Intifada (1987-1993) and following the trajectory of events to the present day, with the aim of clarifying the political questions facing the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

Speakers
avatar for Sumaya A.

Sumaya A.

Sumaya A. is a Palestinian organizer and writer based in New York, focused on the fight for Palestinian, Syrian, and refugee rights and the struggle against Islamophobia. A long time activist, she is one of the founders of the Against Canary Mission project defending the freedom of... Read More →


Thursday July 5, 2018 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Burnham A/B/C

8:00pm

Special Offsite Event: "Sorry to Bother You" Screening Featuring a Question-and Answer Session with Boots Riley
Legendary musician and activist Boots Riley will screen his film, Sorry to Bother You. Rotten Tomatoes calls the film, "Fearlessly ambitious, scathingly funny, and thoroughly original, Sorry to Bother You loudly heralds the arrival of a fresh filmmaking talent in writer-director Boots Riley."

Special tickets required. Details TBA.

Speakers
avatar for Boots Riley

Boots Riley

Boots Riley is is a musician, producer, screenwriter, and film director. He is the lead vocalist ofthe Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club. He wrote and directed the feature film Sorry to Bother You, which is slated to be released in July.


Thursday July 5, 2018 8:00pm - 10:00pm
TBA
 
Friday, July 6
 

9:30am

Prelude to Revolution: May '68 in France
An explosion of student struggle in France May 1968 led to 10 million workers joining the largest general strike and factory occupation in history till then. For the first time in decades, the working class in a modern industrial country showed it could be a revolutionary force. What began as an anti-Vietnam War protest escalated into violent police riots against tens of thousands of students and young workers who exposed the government’s weakness and inspired trade unionists to strike and demonstrate in solidarity. The sponteneity of those weeks of strikes and occupations was no match for the conservatism of the only mass force on the left, the Communist Party, which derailed the struggle and betrayed French workers and students. This talk will explore the cultural, political and historical lessons of the upheaval that transformed the French and global left.

Speakers
avatar for Sherry Wolf

Sherry Wolf

Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism, is a longtime member of the ISO. She has lived, protested and been teargassed in France.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Grant Park A/B

9:30am

No More “Stairs and Stares”: The Power of the Disability Rights Movement
The Disability Rights Movement started in the 1960’s in the United States; encouraged by the civil rights movement. Through nonviolent protests, sit-in’s and other protests, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) other acts were passed. The struggle encouraged people with disabilities to see themselves as actors in their own liberation, and adopted a social disability model that sees nothing inevitable or "natural" about the exclusion or marginalization of people with impairments from the productive, social and civic processes of human society. Decades later, rates of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and life expectancy, to name just a few categories, have barely moved, and in some cases have actually worsened, for people with disabilities—underscoring the importance of linking the ongoing struggle for disability rights with a fight against a capitalist system that marginalizes and stigmatizes those with impairments.

Speakers
avatar for Lorrie Beth Slonsky

Lorrie Beth Slonsky

Lorrie Beth Slonsky is a socialist, paramedic and  medical sign language interpreter. She has interviewed many activists who participated in a month long occupation of a government building demanding civil rights for people with disabilities.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Grant Park C/D

9:30am

Reform or Revolution: Can Technology Solve the Climate Crisis?
Humans, during their expansion across the planet, have burned countless tons of coal, oil, and gas, and destroyed billions of acres of forest. This industrialization of the world has led to increased levels of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere, causing climate catastrophe across the planet. Numerous “natural disasters” have swept the planet over the last year, leading to environmental crises in Puerto Rico, Houston, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Greensboro, to name a few. With these environmental disasters comes economic exploitation by the government through privatization, gentrification, and increased oppression of people of color and the working class. Although the consequences of climate change are bleak, the technology needed to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions does exist. In our capitalist society, will these technologies ever be put to use? What will it take for us to solve this crisis?

Speakers
avatar for Lindsay Caesar

Lindsay Caesar

Lindsay Caesar is currently a graduate student studying Medicinal Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been a member of the Greensboro branch of the ISO for about a year and is also an active member of Greensboro Operation Transparency, an anti-police... Read More →
avatar for Sasha Scott

Sasha Scott

Sasha is a member of the International Socialist Organization living in Boston.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Dusable A/B

9:30am

Black Lives Matter at School
Thousands of teachers around the country have taken the Black Lives Matter movement into the classroom in an effort to stop the school-to-prison-pipeline and combat institutional racism in education. From Seattle to Philadelphia and beyond, teachers declared the first week of February as Black Lives Matter at School week and built a truly powerful national action. This movement holds the potential to unite parents, students, educators, and their unions in an uprising that can win important victories in the short term—such as ethnic studies programs, restorative justice, and the hiring more Black teachers—while helping lay the basis for a larger movement for Black liberation.

Speakers
avatar for Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian is a high school history teacher, an editor for  Rethinking Schools magazine, the Seattle Education Fellow to The  Progressive magazine, and editor of the book, More Than a Score: The New  Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Ballroom A

9:30am

Against All Hope: Resistance During the Holocaust
Oppressed people will resist.  This is a common trend in history.  No matter how many times our history books try to tell us that slaves, peasants and workers suffered in silence, the real history reveals they all resisted their oppression.  But what if there was very little hope that your oppression can be ended?  What if the expected result would be death in any case?  The history of the Holocaust provides us answers to these questions.  In the streets of the ghettoes, in the concentration camps, even in the death camps like Auschwtiz, people resisted. They organized, they fought and they made use of the existing left organizations that survived all this misery.  Their resistance in extreme and seemingly hopeless times can shed light on our resistance today.

Speakers
avatar for Jon Van Camp

Jon Van Camp

Jon Van Camp is a long time activist and member of the International Socialist Organization.  He teaches high school social studies in Maryland and is active in his local union.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Clark A/B

9:30am

Housing Struggles and the Working Class
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the weeks that followed, over a hundred cities across the country erupted in rebellion -- not only in response to King's death, but to demand an end to the systemic racism that was strangling Black communities -- especially substandard, overpriced, and segregated housing.

Just a week later, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act, which had stalled for months, before mass rebellions forced it through. It was the first major federal legislation since the Reconstruction era to address the long history of racism and discrimination in the housing system, from the denial of mortgage credit to Black communities through "red lining," racist restrictive covenants, and much more.

Despite the stated goals of the Fair Housing Act to end discrimination and create fairness in the housing system, the inequality, instability, and oppression that drove working class and poor communities to fight for better housing 50 years ago remain features of everyday life for millions of working class people in the US and around the world. Evictions and foreclosures continue to devastate whole communities, as rents skyrocket and banks continue to issue subprime mortgage loans. 

Under capitalism, housing is simply a commodity to be bought and sold on the market for the highest profit, regardless of the human consequences. But people have always fought back against housing oppression. From small-scale acts of resistance, to the organizing of tenant unions and rent strikes, to urban rebellions -- history demonstrates that housing struggles have always been an important part of movements for justice. 

Join us to discuss the place of housing under capitalism, the history of struggles for decent housing, and what a genuinely fair housing could look like. 

Speakers
avatar for Tim Adams

Tim Adams

Tim is an activist and member of the ISO from Columbus, Ohio. He became an activist during the Occupy movement in 2011 and became active in a campaign to save Poindexter Village, a public housing development targeted for demolition and gentrification. While the campaign was unsuccessful... Read More →
avatar for Amelia Adams

Amelia Adams

Amelia Adams is a community planner and researcher working around the state of Texas on issues of fair housing, civil rights and disaster recovery. She works in low income communities dealing with the ongoing legacy of racialized segregation, from toxic industry and poor drainage... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Clark C

9:30am

"Right to Work": What It Is, Where It Came From and How to Defeat It
Organized in unions, we are able to shape our work places.  But work place safety, respect, and fair compensation are problematic for the bosses that see these as obstacles in their pursuit of profit.  “right to work” laws are one tool the bosses have to weaken our ability to organize on the job.  What exactly is “right to work”?  What does the supreme court case, Janus vs AFSCME, mean for our side?  And what can the teachers' rebellion, taking place in “right to work” states, teach us?  The American labor movement was born in conditions of illegality; we will have to look to the rank and file struggles, past and present, to chart a way forward for today.  

Speakers
avatar for Alex Buckingham

Alex Buckingham

Alex Buckingham is a socialist and union activist living in Madison, Wisconsin.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Burnham C

9:30am

Marxism, Exploitation, and Oppression
Oppression or economic inequality. Social justice or economic reform. Trump's tenure in the White House has thrown into sharp relief the scale of social and economic crises in US society. It has also engendered a sense of urgency in ordinary people to figure out the root causes of  widespread immiseration, social violence, and despair, and to try and plot a way forward. The 2018 midterm elections are certain to constrain this debate as one between left populism a la Bernie Sanders, and the identity politic platitudes of the rest of the Democratic party.  But there is yet another framework that originates from the genuine Marxist tradition: exploitation and oppression are part of a totality that ensures both capitalist production and the reproduction and maintenance of the capitalist system itself. The destruction of either exploitation or oppression depends on both the independent struggle of the oppressed and the united struggle of the working class to dismantle capitalism as a whole.

Speakers
avatar for Claire Douglas

Claire Douglas

Claire is a teacher and member of the International Socialist Organization.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Ballroom B

9:30am

Debating Marx’s Theory of Crisis
Over the past 150 years, capitalism has repeatedly fallen into deep crises, regularly  devastating the lives working class and poor people and prompting social and political upheavals. Writing in the nineteenth century, Marx explained why contradictions within capitalism left the global economy prone to cyclical busts and long-term weaknesses. But he did not offer a singular theory of crisis in any one place, instead, his writing on the topic is scattered in different writings and in notes. This has led to many debates among socialists about how to explain why capitalism falls into crises, and how to apply Marx's theories to assess the current economic situation.

Speakers
avatar for Hadas Thier

Hadas Thier

Hadas Thier has been a socialist activist for the past twenty years and has written extensively on both Marxist economics and Palestine for the International Socialist Review and Socialist Worker. She is currently completing A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Field C

9:30am

Socialism from Below
Many movements, parties, and people throughout history have called themselves socialist. Socialism has come to be identified in the popular imagination with oppositional movements, welfare states, and even the totalitarian regimes of the former Eastern bloc. Alternatives to bottom-up international socialism have often presented themselves as easier or more realistic solutions to the horrors of capitalism. But for those fighting for a better world, we cannot afford to reduce socialism to apologizing for some regime, or a justification for the imperatives of the economy. Social democracy, brutal dictatorships, and other forms of “socialism” from above may appear to offer shortcuts, but have always ended up replicating the features of capitalism. This talk will make the case for socialism from below, the self-mobilization of masses of ordinary working people – as a world worth fighting for and the best means of winning it.

Speakers
avatar for Sean Larson

Sean Larson

Sean Larson is a PhD student at New York University writing a dissertation on the German Revolution. His writing has appeared in Jacobin, Socialist Worker, and New Politics. He is a member of the International Socialist Organization.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Burnham A/B

9:30am

China: From Colonial Subject to World Power
Relations between the governments of China and the United States have become more tense this past year with an impending trade war and a nuclear armed North Korea. What has been the impact of China’s rise as a world power? President Xi has been moving to consolidate his own power towards establishing his “Chinese Dream” of a well off society by 2021 and a fully developed nation by 2049, on two significant centenaries. What are the prospects for an alternate future in China, not as determined by CCP officials and businessmen, but by ordinary people who led almost 2,700 strikes and protests in 2016?

Speakers
avatar for Dennis Kosuth

Dennis Kosuth

Dennis Kosuth has been a socialist for many years, and has written a few articles regarding China for Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Review.


Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Hyde Park A

9:30am

Iran's Unfinished Revolution
Iran’s revolution in 1979 not only toppled the Shah’s brutal dictatorship—it was a veritable “festival of the oppressed” that brought out workers, who played a central role in it—national minorities, women, and others into mass action. But the urban mobilizations, centered on Mosques—the only arena not fully policed by the Shah—also had a strong religious component. With the assent of Khomeini to power, the radical forces of the revolution—the left, the women’s movement, the national minorities—were one by one sidelined and repressed in the new Islamic Republic. This talk will discuss the changes that Iran has undergone since the revolution, the contradictions that have developed, and the potential for a renewal of struggle to continue what was halted in its tracks in the 1979 revolution.

Speakers

Friday July 6, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Hyde Park B

11:30am

How the '50s Became the '60s: The Making of a New Left
Just to say the names of these two decades is to bring opposite images to mind--conformity, conservatism and witch hunts in the 1950s, and radicalism, experimentation and freedom in the 1960s. How did one follow the other? What was happening beneath the surface of society in the '50s that set the stage for the '60s? This talk will especially look at how a new left was born out of struggles from both decades that is the closest ancestor to the socialist movement of today.

Speakers
avatar for Alan Maass

Alan Maass

Alan Maass is the editor of SocialistWorker.org, author of The Case for Socialism and a member of the International Socialist Organization.


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Clark A/B

11:30am

"It Can't Happen Here": Dystopian Fiction and Alternate Histories in the Trump Era
The aftermath of the 2016 elections has seen a marked increase in the popularity of dystopian fiction and alternate histories in print and on the screen  Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here, Octavia Butler's Parable of Sower and Orwell's 1984 have all seen renewed interest and higher sales. The Dystopian TV series based on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale  has captured the popular imagination along with Westworld. There has also been a resurgence of alternate histories in novels and television, fictionally reimagining the history of slavery, the Civil War and World War II. This talk explores the current popularity of these genres (and of particular novels and TV shows) in the Trump Era, as cultural expressions of the current political moment that comment on debates about the meaning of 45's election and the prospects for fighting back.

Speakers
avatar for Megan Behrent

Megan Behrent

Megan Behrent is a Brooklyn educator, activist and socialist. She is assistant professor of English at NYC College of Technology, CUNY, a contributor to Education and Capitalism (Haymarket Books, 2012), and a frequent contributor to the International Socialist Review.


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Grant Park C/D

11:30am

11:30am

The Rise of Red Power and the American Indian Movement
Red Power developed from the radicalization of Indigenous people in the 1960s and 1970s. The American Indian Movement was the most prominent Red Power organization. They were founded 50 years ago in 1968 and grew quickly as the militant wing of the fight for American Indian rights. They occupied the BIA in DC, Mount Rushmore, combated police abuse and most famously had a 73-day stand off with Federal marshals at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. This talk will discuss the rise of Red Power and AIM's legacy today.

Speakers
avatar for Brian Ward

Brian Ward

Brian is a long-time indigenous rights and climate justice activist. His writing has appeared in Socialist Worker, The Nation, Truth-Out and the International Socialist Review. He has lived and worked with the Oglala Lakota on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and attended and reported... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Hyde Park B

11:30am

The Theory of the Trade Union Bureaucracy and the Rank-and-File Strategy
Socialists have been deeply involved in the union movement from its very beginnings. There is an equally long history of debating exactly how socialists should be involved in the union movement.  Should socialists try to win elected office in unions? Should they join the paid staff of unions? Does the leadership of unions represent different social interests than rank-and-file workers?  While some of the answers to these questions depends on a number of different variables, including specific histories of particular countries and the balance of power between labor and capital, there are longer standing trends that we need to understand in order to be successful at organizing fights against the boss and winning unionized workers to the socialist movement.  We will also discuss how different socialist tendencies have approached these questions and to what ends.  

Speakers
avatar for Sean Petty

Sean Petty

Sean Petty is a Pediatric Emergency Room nurse at a public hospital in the Bronx, NY.  He has written for Jacobin, ISR, Socialist Worker, and the NY Nurse on healthcare/labor.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Nurses Association... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Burnham A/B

11:30am

Did Socialism Fail in Venezuela?
Speakers
avatar for Eva María

Eva María

Eva is a Venezuelan-born socialist organizing in Portland, OR. She is a Spanish professor at Portland State University and has a MA in Spanish Language and Literature. She has been writing about Venezuela and the governments of the Pink Tide for the last 5 years providing a critical... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Burnham C

11:30am

Puerto Rico in the American Century
Speakers
avatar for Rafael Bernabe

Rafael Bernabe

Rafael Bernabe is a Puerto Rican professor and politician who was the candidate for governor for the Working People's Party of Puerto Rico in 2012 and 2016... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Hyde Park C

11:30am

The Revolutionary Ideas of Leon Trotsky
Isaac Deutscher once characterized Trotsky's most distinctive contribution -- the theory of permanent revolution -- as reflecting a "quintessential" element in the classical perspectives of Marx. In this survey of his ideas, we will explore the continuity of Trotsky's perspectives with those of the broader revolutionary Marxist tradition. 

Speakers
avatar for Paul LeBlanc

Paul LeBlanc

Paul Le Blanc is Professor of History at La Roche College and active in struggles for social and economic justice since the 1960s. Author of such books as "Lenin and the Revolutionary Party" (1990), "From Marx to Gramsci" (1996), and "A Short History of the US Working Class" (1999... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Dusable A/B

11:30am

From Apathy to Rebellion: What Makes Workers Fight?
The teachers' rebellion that broke out in West Virginia this spring followed years of historically low strike levels. And rather than emerging in the places where unions are strongest and most organized, these strikes have rocked the so-called "red states" - places where Trump won handily and governed by Republican governors and legislatures.

These strikes have punctured some of the dominant mythologies about a reactionary working class. And we have seen seeming apathy turn to rebellion quite quickly. This talk will explore how socialists should understand the relationship between class consciousness, political organization and struggle. It will discuss how the breakdown in the legitimacy of traditional political formations (from unions to political parties like the Democrats) has increased the level of volatility - and what implications that holds for struggle.


Speakers
avatar for Jen Roesch

Jen Roesch

Jen Roesch is an organizer with the International Socialist Organization in NYC. She has contributed to Socialist Worker, International Socialist Review and Jacobin. She writes frequently on socialist analyses and perspectives on contemporary politics, women's liberation and Marxist... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Ballroom A

11:30am

11:30am

The Paris Commune: Reform or Revolution
In March 1871, Parisian workers rose up and drove the national state and its armed forces out of the city, seizing control of Paris. The Paris Commune was elected on March 26 and remained in power for only two months. But in those months ordinary workers were able to show their capacity for running society on a different footing. Fatefully, the Communards didn’t follow up their victory by defeating the army, nor did they attempt to spread the Commune to other cities. This gave France’s President Thiers the breathing space to reorganize at Versailles and eventually fight his way back into Paris to crush the Commune in an orgy of violence. Marx hailed the Paris Commune as “essentially a working class government, the product of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economical emancipation of labor.”

Speakers

Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Dusable C

11:30am

Neuroplasticity: Human Horizons and Capitalist Constraints
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. With advent of neuroimaging equipment, understanding of this process is emerging. What does brain plasticity mean for how we understand learning throughout the lifespan?  Human potential could be endless - except for biological constraints and, of course, because of capitalist constraints. This talk would focus on how socialists can understand possibilities of neuroplasticity for humans, and several ways capitalist health care and education limit them.

Speakers
avatar for Bridget Broderick

Bridget Broderick

Bridget Broderick is an ISO member active in Chicago. She has interest in researching studies of neuroplasticity because neurons are really cool.  Not only that - current research opens up so many possibilities for rehabilitation, resilience, human development, education and further... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Ballroom B

11:30am

The Fire Last Time at the Bedside: The Explosion of Struggles for Health Care Justice in the 1960s and 70s
Speakers
avatar for Lider Restrepo

Lider Restrepo

Socialist, writer, and activist born and raised in Chicago, currently living in Brooklyn. Equal parts punk rock and bleeding heart.


Friday July 6, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Field C

1:00pm

Digital Security for Activists 101
We live in an era of mass surveillance, tech monopolies, and growing police and state powers to disrupt social movements. Activists need to learn basic precautions to protect their own information, as well as the security of others, especially those more vulnerable than them to government harassment and repression. This workshop will offer some basics on how to start the process of securing your phones and computers and protecting your communication. We explore basics of operational security, encryption, searching anonymously, and avoiding theft of your personal data. You do not need to know programming or have technical skills to take part in this discussion.

Speakers
avatar for Anthony Arnove

Anthony Arnove

Anthony Arnove is on the editorial board of the of Haymarket Books and International Socialist Review. He is the co-editor, with Howard Zinn, of Voices of a People's History of the United States. 
avatar for Jason Zirin

Jason Zirin

Jason Zirin is a tech worker and activist living in the Chicagoland area.


Friday July 6, 2018 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Clark A/B

2:00pm

Cuba in 1968
Speakers

Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom B

2:00pm

Artists Against War
Capitalism is the cause of devastating wars for profit and power, wars that traumatize, displace, and kill millions of people every year around the glove. But powerful movements have also arisen time and again to confront war,  and there have always been anti war artists in the mix. From the First World War to the War on Terror, this talk is about artists whose work has provided us the indelible images for anti war opposition and helped  keep alive a spirit of internationalism and hope in the darkest times.

Speakers
avatar for Annie Zirin

Annie Zirin

Annie is an art teacher in Chicago.


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Grant Park A/B

2:00pm

Malcolm X and the Making of Black Revolutionaries
Speakers
KM

Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore is a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools and a member of the Chicago Teachers Union. He is a member of the ISO, and education justice and anti-racist activist, and has written for Socialist Worker. Kevin is also a proud citizen of Astros Nation.


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Hyde Park A

2:00pm

With Friends Like These: The Democrats and Social Movements
The election of Donald Trump has sparked an increase in activism and organizing, renewing the importance of an age-old question: How should social movements relate to the Democratic Party? The Democrats will no doubt express sympathies toward struggles around injustices such as mass incarceration, healthcare costs, and deportations and will offer their own solutions—which come at a price. With little institutional power, what are movements to do? How does real change happen? This talk will explore lessons from the labor upsurge of the 1930s through explosion of protest under Trump to provide a framework for what it will take today to build our movements and win.

Speakers
avatar for Amy Gaidis

Amy Gaidis

Amy is a member of the International Socialist Organization from Portland, Maine.
avatar for Dave Peters

Dave Peters

Dave is an activist and organizer living in NYC. He is interested in technology, economics, and urban design. He went on record in 2012 predicting that Bernie Sanders would run for president in the next election and that it would be a big deal.


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Clark A/B

2:00pm

Gender and Disability
Speakers

Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Hyde Park B

2:00pm

Lessons from Global Mass Struggles: Quebec, Brazil, Greece
Speakers
AD

Antonis Davanellos

Antonis Davanellos is a journalist, unionist, and member of Internationalist Workers Left (DEA).
avatar for Alain Savard

Alain Savard

Alain Savard is a PhD student in Political Science at York University, Toronto. He was active in the Quebec student movement and participated in the organization of many student strikes. During the 2012 student strike, he was an officer for the CLASSE, a radical provincial student... Read More →
avatar for Genilda Souza

Genilda Souza

Genilda Souza is an activist from Rio de Janeiro and a member of Resistencia, a component within the Party for Socialism and Freedom.


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Dusable C

2:00pm

A Nation under the Gun: Gun Violence and Gun Control (Socialist Worker-Sponsored Meeting)
For years each horrific mass shooting has followedby a loud but largely empty partisan debate: Republicans and Democrats pointfingers at each other while avoiding uncomfortable questions about why guns andgun violence are so prevalent in a country founded on stolen land and stolenbodies and maintained with the violence of mass incarceration and globalempire. But the protest movement started by Parkland students has the potentialto change this depressing pattern. This talk will look at how a socialistframework can help guide the many student protesters who are looking to connectgun violence to this country’s underlying oppressive structures.

Speakers
avatar for Danny Katch

Danny Katch

Danny Katch is on the editorial team of Socialist Worker and is the author of Socialism… Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation and Why Bad Governments Happen to Good People. He is also the co-host of the Better Off Red podcast.


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom A

2:00pm

Israel: Colonial-Settler State
A central myth of Zionism myth is that Israel was founded in a “land without people for a people without land.” But from the outset the project to colonize Palestine was predicated on the expulsion of its Arab inhabitants. It was a project that sought the support of imperialist powers and presented itself to them as “an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism,” as Zionist founder Theodor Herzl put it. Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department, outlined what became policy as early as 1940: “There is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries…not one village, not one tribe should be left.” In 1948, Zionist militias drove 750,000 Palestinians from their towns and villages and declared an exclusively Jewish state. Since then, every Israeli state policy has been designed to further this initial project of expulsion and exclusions.

Speakers

Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Grant Park C/D

2:00pm

Revolutionary Rehearsals of the 21st Century
Speakers
avatar for Colin Barker

Colin Barker

Colin Barker is a British sociologist and Marxist historian. He is a member of rs21 and the author of numerous atricles and works on Marxism and social movements, including editing the books "Marxism and Social Movements" and "Revolutionary Rehearsals".


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Burnham A/B

2:00pm

Germany 1918-21: Lessons from the Lost Revolution
The German Revolution, often eclipsed by the Russian October Revolution of 1917 or the French Revolution of 1789-1799, was one of the most pivotal developments in 20th-century history.  Starting with the disintegration of Imperial Germany at the end WWI, the German Revolution lasted from 1918 to 1923.  Alternatively referred to as a "Lost," "Betrayed," "Still-Born," or "Forgotten" Revolution, it was one major chapter in a sequence of revolutions that broke out in Europe during and after the First World War.  Its potential was not only to relieve the beleaguered Bolsheviks in Russia but to move the center of world revolution to a developed industrial society -- and thus access the material preconditions for sustainable socialist development. The ultimate defeat of the German Revolution closed off those possibilities and instead helped set into motion counter-revolutionary dynamics that ultimately led to the horrendous tyrannies of Hitler and Stalin.
----------
Revolutions that are defeated are soon forgotten. Yet of all the upheavals after the First World war, it was the events in Germany that prompted British Prime Minister Lloyd George to write, “The whole existing order…is questioned by the masses from one end of Europe to the other.” Here was a great revolutionary upheaval in an industrialized capitalist country—one that involved mass strikes, protests, and insurrections by hundreds of thousands of workers. Fascism in Germany had its origins in the counterrevolutionary troops that put down this almost revolution. The lessons of this lost revolution remain crucial for socialists and radicals today.



Speakers
avatar for Axel Fair-Schulz

Axel Fair-Schulz

Associate Professor at SUNY Potsdam in Modern European History.


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Clark C

2:00pm

Year One of the Russian Revolution
How did the working class come to power in Russia in 1917? What dynamics enabled the desperate and war-weary Russian workers and peasants--who waged revolution in large part to get the country out of World War I--to get back in the trenches and battle the united capitalist armies of the world in defense of what they had built?

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Terzakis

Elizabeth Terzakis

Elizabeth Terzakis is a long-time member of the ISO, author of "Marx and Nature" (International Socialist Review Issue #109), contributor to Education and Capitalism, published by Haymarket Press, and co-author, with Wyomia Tyus, of Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story, published by... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Dusable A/B

2:00pm

Whose Clinics? Our Clinics! Defending Abortion rights
Anti-choice activists continue to claim spaces in front of abortion clinics as their territory, even though a majority of young people in America supports abortion rights.  The anti-choice movement has gained ground just by showing up.  Whether it's with rosaries and prayers, or cameras and threats, they show up.  Planned Parenthood's strategy of demobilizing counter-protests and pouring millions of dollars into Democratic Party candidates is not working.  But thousands of abortion rights activists are learning another way to reclaim our clinics and resist the normalization of stigma.  Mass protest won the right to abortion, and mass protest points the way forward.  

Speakers
avatar for Hayley Archer

Hayley Archer

Hayley is a socialist and a student at the University of Wisconsin.
avatar for Michelle Farber

Michelle Farber

Michelle is a nurse midwife and staunch defender of abortion rights. She writes and speaks on the intersection of reproductive rights, health care, and feminism.


Friday July 6, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Burnham C

4:00pm

Jim Brown: Last Man Standing
Jim Brown has made the journey over fifty years from sports and politics legend to Donald Trump supporter. Working from his critically acclaimed new biography of Brown, Zirin explains the transformation. He will do so in conversation with the legendary co-founder of the Combahee River Collective, Barbara Smith.

Speakers
avatar for Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin is the sports editor of the Nation Magazine and has written ten books on the politics of sports. He hosts the podcast Edge of Sports.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Grant Park C/D

4:00pm

What Do Socialists Say About White Privilege?
The questions of understanding and fighting racism, and Black liberation, are central ones for socialists in the US.  At the moment, there is a set of conversations on the left about how socialists understand white privilege, and they are related to the question of where the fight against racism fits in the class struggle.  Khury and brian will engage with those conversations and offer a perspective on why and how the fight for Black liberation is central to the struggle for socialism.

Speakers
avatar for brian bean

brian bean

brian is a socialist activist and member of the International Socialist Organization in Chicago.  He is a regular contributor to Socialist Worker.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Grant Park A/B

4:00pm

Before the Next Hurricane Hits: Socialist Solutions to Capitalist Climate Disaster
Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of “super storms” like the ones that devastated Houston, Puerto Rico, and Bangladesh last summer. These and other extreme weather events serve as signs of more severe and far-reaching climate and ecological destabilization. While capitalism sets the conditions for the onset of natural disasters it also shapes the human-made disasters that follow in their aftermath – what Naomi Klein has called “disaster capitalism.” This session will explore a socialist response to ecological disaster that can be a part of the struggle for a revolutionary transformation of society.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Hannan

Mark Hannan

Mark Hannan is an activist in Chicago where he has organized around education justice and environmental issues with the ISO and System Change Not Climate Change.
avatar for Zach Zill

Zach Zill

Zach Zill is a socialist and activist with Science for the People in NYC. He did relief work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was part of Occupy Sandy in 2012.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom B

4:00pm

All Eleven Million: The Fight for Immigrant Rights
Speakers
avatar for Kristen Kelly

Kristen Kelly

Kristen is an International Socialist Organization member and activist whose background is in working with refugee communities internationally and fighting for refugee and immigrant rights. She currently works with low income families in Chicago who are facing issues around institutionalized... Read More →
avatar for Juan Miranda

Juan Miranda

Juan Miranda is a labor and community organizer based in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has been active in many sections of the movement from anti-war and international solidarity work, to national campaigns for immigrant rights and racial justice, to local efforts against gentrification... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Hyde Park A

4:00pm

Quebec, Scotland, and Catalonia: The Struggle for Self-Determination
The Great Recession and subsequent global slump have provoked a hegemonic crisis for the ruling classes in nation states throughout the world system. As states lose their legitimacy, nations within them and or oppressed by them have demanded the right to self-determination and independence. This panel will explore why and how the radical left should support these struggles in Québec, Catalonia, and Scotland.

Speakers
avatar for Eva María

Eva María

Eva is a Venezuelan-born socialist organizing in Portland, OR. She is a Spanish professor at Portland State University and has a MA in Spanish Language and Literature. She has been writing about Venezuela and the governments of the Pink Tide for the last 5 years providing a critical... Read More →
avatar for Benoit Renaud

Benoit Renaud

Benoit Renaud is a teacher living in Gatineau, Québec. He sits on the national coordinating committee of Québec solidaire and will be one of the party's candidates for the general election this fall. He has been involved in that new party of the left since it was formed in 2006... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Dusable C

4:00pm

How to Build an ISO Branch
Strong branches are the lifeblood of the ISO and any socialist organization.  Whether they be on college campuses, in big cities, or small towns, the branch is the primary way socialists engage in social movements, educate revolutionaries, and develop democratic practice.  Building a strong branch is hard work, and can look different depending on a number of key factors including routines, outreach, and education.  Join us to hear from activists who've helped to build strong branches across the country.

Speakers
avatar for Dayna Long

Dayna Long

Dayna is an organizer with Madison branch of the International Socialist Organization.
avatar for Alex Macmillan

Alex Macmillan

Alex is an educator and grad student in Greensboro, NC, and a member for the ISO's Greensboro branch.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Clark C

4:00pm

Ain't No Trick: U.S. Labor's Struggle to Survive (Jacobin-sponsored meeting)
As U.S. labor braces for the Janus Supreme Court decision, Joe Richard discusses rebuilding fighting unions from below; Sean Petty speaks on the growing divide in labor support for Medicare For All; and Alex Press discusses fighting sexual assault as organized workers.

Moderators
avatar for Julian Guerrero

Julian Guerrero

Julian Guerrero was born and raised in Queens, NYC by his Colombian immigrant parents. An active socialist and writer, Julian has been active in many social movements like the Immigrant’s Rights movement, the Black Lives Matter movement as well as student activism, and work place... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Sean Petty

Sean Petty

Sean Petty is a Pediatric Emergency Room nurse at a public hospital in the Bronx, NY.  He has written for Jacobin, ISR, Socialist Worker, and the NY Nurse on healthcare/labor.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Nurses Association... Read More →
avatar for Alex Press

Alex Press

Alex Press is an assistant editor at Jacobin and a freelance writer based in New York. She is a DSA and News Guild member.
avatar for Joe Richard

Joe Richard

Joe Richard is a socialist and union organizer, contributor for Jacobin, Socialist Worker, Labor Notes, and the International Socialist Review. He is also a member of CWA Local 1032.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Burnham A/B

4:00pm

Crisis and Resistance in Brazil
Two socialists from Brazil with the organization Resistência--a political current inside the Party for Socialism and Freedom (PSOL)--will speak on Lula’s imprisonment, the danger of neofascism, escalating state violence, and the prospects for social and class struggle in the run up to this fall’s presidential elections.

Speakers
avatar for Genilda Souza

Genilda Souza

Genilda Souza is an activist from Rio de Janeiro and a member of Resistencia, a component within the Party for Socialism and Freedom.
avatar for Glória Trogo

Glória Trogo

Glória Trogo is an activist from Rio de Janeiro and a member of Resistencia, a component within the Party for Socialism and Freedom.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Dusable A/B

4:00pm

Politics and Resistance After 2018: The Elections in Mexico
This session will discuss the current political period in Mexico and will feature socialist activists from Mexico. The discussion will asses Mexico's presidential elections, the state of social movements and discuss the way forward for the left.

Speakers
JC

Josie Chávez

Josie Chavez is an activist and a member of the Workers' Revolutionary Party (PRT) in Mexico. 
avatar for Luis Rangel

Luis Rangel

Luis Rangel is a member of the Revolutionary Workers' Party (PRT) in México City.
avatar for Héctor A. Rivera

Héctor A. Rivera

Héctor A. Rivera is a gay, Mexican-American activist-scholar who writes on Mexican politics. He lives in Los Angeles, California.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Burnham C

4:00pm

Democracy Now! Covering the Movements Changing America
The award-winning journalist and host of the long-running Democracy Now! discusses the urgent need for independent journalism in the era of Trump and her latest book, Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, which looks back over the past two decades of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world.



Speakers
avatar for Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide.She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named... Read More →


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom A

4:00pm

From TrumpCare to Medicare For All: The Growing Movement for Single-Payer Health Care (Democratic Socialists of America-Sponsored Meeting)
The defeat of Trumpcare in 2017 was an enormous victory for working people in the U.S. It also exposed the incredible weaknesses and frustration ordinary people have with the current health care system known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. For the first time since the passage of the ACA in 2012, the idea of Medicare-for-All has gained serious momentum from New York to California. The Medicare-for-All movement is engaged in a number of critical debates. Should it pursue a state-based legislative strategy or a national one? How much of collective resources should be devoted to political lobbying and electoral campaigns versus broader political organizing and building a mass grassroots movement? How do we organize the millions of health care victims? How critical are healthcare workers and unions to this fight? How do we build Medicare-for-All committees in communities and workplaces? Come hear what socialists have to say about the fight for Medicare-For-All and how to win health care as a human right.


Speakers
DG

Dustin Guastella

Dustin Guastella is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a graduate student in sociology at Rutgers University.
avatar for Elizabeth Lalasz

Elizabeth Lalasz

Elizabeth Lalasz is an ISO member and registered nurse in a public hospital in Chicago. She is also a steward and bargaining team member with National Nurses United (NNU), and part of the NNU's newly formed Medicare-for-All NOW Chicago chapter.


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Hyde Park B

4:00pm

Socialism and Women's Liberation
With a rapist in the White House, abortion and reproductive rights under attack, and women's poverty rates rising quickly, the need to win women's liberation is urgent. Yet the way forward is highly contested among feminists of various political and intellectual stripes. This talk explores what socialist theory and history can contribute to our understanding of the origins of women's oppression, the state of women today, and how we can win a world free of gender oppression for all people.

Speakers
avatar for Ellie Hamrick

Ellie Hamrick

Ellie is an anthropology student at the CUNY Graduate Center and an instructor at Lehman College. Her research focuses on incarcerated women in Appalachia. 


Friday July 6, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Clark A/B

8:00pm

Friday Night Plenary: Striking Back: Voices of the Teachers' Rebellion
In this featured plenary, teachers from the frontlines of today's struggles describe the stakes in their fight for dignity and respect on the job, and why the fight for their working conditions is the fight for their students' learning conditions.  

Moderators
avatar for Eric Blanc

Eric Blanc

Eric Blanc writes on labor movements past and present. Formerly a high school teacher in the Bay Area, he is a doctoral student in the sociology department at New York University.
avatar for Dana Blanchard

Dana Blanchard

Dana is a former public school teacher and union organizer who currently works at Haymarket Books in Chicago.

Speakers
avatar for Matt Casella

Matt Casella

Matt Casella is a North Carolina Public School teacher and activist in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a member of the International Socialist Organization and the North Carolina Association of Educators, and has written about the recent teacher action in North Carolina for Socialist... Read More →
avatar for Noah Karvellis

Noah Karvellis

Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Noah Karvelis studied education at the University of Illinois. Following his graduation, Noah relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, and has been teaching general music at Tres Rios Elementary School in Phoenix for the past two years. In addition to his... Read More →
avatar for Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez is the president of the Federacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico (FMPR). The FMPR is the educators' union in Puerto Rico and waged a successful strike in 2008 to prevent the privatization of the school system. The FMPR has led two one-day strikes in Puerto Rico since... Read More →
avatar for Nicole McCormick

Nicole McCormick

Nicole McCormick is an elementary and middle school music teacher in Mercer County, West Virginia and is the President-elect of the Mercer County Education Association.
avatar for Stephanie Price

Stephanie Price

Stephanie Price is a speech-language pathologist who has worked in public education since 2009. She is an active union member with the Oklahoma Education Association and participated in Oklahoma's statewide teacher strike in April 2018. She serves on the union's minority issues caucus... Read More →
avatar for Michelle Randolph

Michelle Randolph

Michelle Randolph is an educator in Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, one the most integrated districts in the country. She is on the PTA Executive Board at her daughter's school and was recently nominated for the Ed Trust Family Fellowship. She has been married... Read More →
avatar for Gillian Russom

Gillian Russom

Gillian Russom is a high school history teacher in Los Angeles.  She's a member of the Board of Directors of United Teachers Los Angeles and the International Socialist Organization.  She's a contributor to Education and Capitalism (Haymarket Books, 2012).
avatar for Jesse Sharkey

Jesse Sharkey

Jesse Sharkey is the vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union and a member of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE).


Friday July 6, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Grand Ballroom

10:15pm

Queens of the Resistance: A Revolutionary Drag Show
Hosted by Abhijeet. Starring Lucy Stoole, Bambi Banks, Cae Monae, and Petty Crocker.

Friday July 6, 2018 10:15pm - 11:15pm
Ballroom C/D/E

11:30pm

DJ Sarah Mamo
DJ Sarah Mamo spins multigenre, grime, hip-hop/rap, and noise.
                                       

Friday July 6, 2018 11:30pm - Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00am
Ballroom C/D/E
 
Saturday, July 7
 

9:30am

Athletes in Revolt: Black Lives Matter in Sports Today
All through the sports world, athletes are in revolt against not only their own mistreatment as players, but also the injustices in society at large. The NFL recently decided to fine teams whose players don’t stand for the national anthem. The move is a reaction by the league’s billionaire owners to predominantly Black NFL players who, in response to the rampant police brutality and murder brought to light by the Black Lives Matter movement, are taking a knee and refusing to stand. The owners are in fact only making the issue more incendiary every time they try to stomp their foot on the flames of anger. As Dawuane “D.J.” Smoot, a defensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars said, “You can’t change my opinion, and can’t stop my protest.” Demetrius Noble, an activist, scholar and nationally renowned spoken word artist will examine the meaning and wider implications of the athletes’ revolt.

Speakers

Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Burnham A/B

9:30am

Slavery and Capitalism
There is a lot at stake in the discussion of slavery and capitalism. If slavery was essential to the origins of capitalism, what does that tell us about capitalism? Slavery is much older than capitalism, but the form of slavery that coincided with the rise of capitalism had new features, including the systematic kidnapping of Africans and forcing them to work as slaves in the New World. What does the origin of capitalist slavery tell us about the nature of racism? It took revolutionary struggles to overthrow slavery, but why didn’t they overthrow capitalism as well? This talk will address these and other questions about the relationship of capitalism to slavery and slavery to capitalism.

Speakers
avatar for Brian Jones

Brian Jones

Brian Jones is an educator and activist in New York, and the Associate Director of Education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Brian is writing a book about the 1960s student movement in Tuskegee, Alabama.


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Ballroom B

9:30am

Anarchism, Marxism, and Authoritarianism
Debates between Marxists, anarchists, and other socialists have had a profound impact on both the strategy of the international left and its vision for what a radically transformed society should look like. In many cases, these different voices agree on the desperate need to fight oppression and exploitation; but the role and meaning of terms like authority, democracy, organization, and liberation are far from clear. This talk, based heavily in anarchist writings, will delve into some of those debates and analyze some of the key ways in which anarchism is theoretically and politically unique in the socialist movement. We will look both to some of anarchism’s most prominent theorists, as well as to anarchists’ real-world interventions in movements for justice, ultimately making an argument for what ideas and strategies will best guide us toward a freer, more just world.

Speakers
avatar for Amanda Achin

Amanda Achin

Amanda is a member of the International Socialist Organization in Boston.
avatar for Jonah ben Avraham

Jonah ben Avraham

Jonah is a community organizer and member of the International Socialist Organization in Baltimore, MD. He works predominantly in the Jewish community, organizing Jews in fights for social, racial and economic justice and educating Jews and non-Jews on the connections between antisemitism... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Dusable C

9:30am

Who's Afraid of Bernie Sanders? (Jacobin-Sponsored Meeting)
The Right fears him. The Center fears him. But should the Left? Meagan Day and Yoni Golijov on what socialists should do with the largest audience for American socialism in a century.

Moderators
avatar for Jason Farbman

Jason Farbman

Jason Farbman works for Jacobin and is a member of the International Socialist Organization.

Speakers
avatar for Meagan Day

Meagan Day

Meagan Day is a staff writer at Jacobin and a member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)
avatar for Yoni Golijov

Yoni Golijov

Yoni Golijov is a documentary film producer and the organizer of the Brooklyn branch of the International Socialist Organization.


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Ballroom A

9:30am

Capitalism vs. Agriculture
Social and ecological problems arise from the way that agriculture functions within capitalist economies. These include hunger in the midst of plenty, lack of nutrient cycling, poor crop rotations, inhumane raising of animals on factory farms, poor treatment of farm and slaughterhouse labor and environmental pollution with pesticides and fertilizers. When the overriding goal and motivating force is profit, decisions that makes sense from a narrow economic perspective are frequently ecologically and socially damaging.

Speakers

Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Grant Park C/D

9:30am

A Haint is Stalkin' the Mountains: West Virginia's Turbulent History of Class Struggle
The whole machinery of capitalism is rotten to the core. . . You will not be serfs, you will march, march, march on from milestone to milestone of human freedom, you will rise like men in the new day and wage slavery will get its death blow. It has got to die." These were the closing words of radical labor organizer Mother Jones in a 1912 speech to striking coal miners in West Virginia. Inspired by the 2018 teachers' strike, this talk will explore the rich tradition of working class struggle, radical politics and interracial organizing in West Virginia's history and draw out key lessons for the battles of today. From the Mine Wars to the Battle of Blair Mountain to the rise of the Socialist Party this talk will delve into the stories of courageous rebellion in a state that fought a longstanding, bloody war against American capitalism in the early 20th century.

Speakers
avatar for Dana Blanchard

Dana Blanchard

Dana is a former public school teacher and union organizer who currently works at Haymarket Books in Chicago.


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Hyde Park B

9:30am

9:30am

Dialectical Materialism for Activists
Marx and Engels once wrote that "philosophy and the study of the actual world have the same relation to one another as masturbation and sexual love." They wrote this, however, in what was itself a philosophy book, one in which they were critiquing the philosophers of their day who would ignore the actual world, or dictate theories to it from on high, or both.  They sought not so much to annihilate philosophy as to radically transform it: to build a general theoretical outlook and method that is rooted in, shaped by, and in turn meant to take sides in, the struggles going on *in* the actual world, instead of standing aloof from them or writing as if they weren't happening.  The method they pioneered has come to be called dialectical materialism.  The purpose of this talk will be to show that, far from being accessible only to elites or academics, dialectical materialism can - and should - be used by anyone interested in interpreting the world in order to be able to change it effectively.

Speakers
avatar for Colin Patrick

Colin Patrick

Colin Patrick is a member of the ISO and teaches philosophy in Portland, OR.  He has contributed to Socialist Worker.


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Field C

9:30am

U.S. Imperialism under Trump
China, Iran, North Korea- sanctions, tariffs,protectionism, economic warfare,-  Trump lunacy or are  there  more profound objective conditions creating these daily crisis , with their   threat of   new wars.  The  new  phase of  imperialim   which we wil discuss will  determine  the  political fate  of the  now emerging socialist movement, and  of this generation.

Speakers
avatar for Joel Geier

Joel Geier

Founder with Hal Draper of the Independent Socialist Club. National Chairman of the International Socialists in the 1970s. ISR author on economy, socialist history, and Marxist theory. Militant in the civil rights, anti-war, student and rank and file labor movements... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Hyde Park A

9:30am

Is Karl Marx Relevant to the Middle East?
Since the setback for the Arab spring, many questions have been open for debate--including the role of political Islam. This talk will address this and other points of debate.

Speakers
avatar for Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar is a professor at SOAS, University of London. His most recent books are Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism (2013), The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013), and Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (2016).


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Clark C

9:30am

James Connolly at 150: A Socialist Rebel for Today
James Connolly pioneered the building of the socialist movement in Ireland, was a leader of the 1913 Dublin Lockout and a key figure in the 1916 Irish Rebellion. He made an immense contribution to Irish politics and his influence continues to be important today.

Celebrate Connolly's 150th anniversary with Shaun Harkin, Editor of the newly published The James Connolly Reader. The Reader is a new collection of some of Connolly's most insightful writing.

Speakers
avatar for Shaun Harkin

Shaun Harkin

Shaun Harkin is an activist and writer presently based in Derry City, Ireland. He is a member of the Irish Socialist Workers Party and the People Before Profit Alliance. He is a regular contributor to Socialist Worker (US), the International Socialist Review, and Socialist Worker... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Dusable A/B
  • about Shaun Harkin is an activist and writer presently based in Derry City, Ireland. He is a member of the Irish Socialist Workers Party and the People Before Profit Alliance. He is a regular contributor to <em>Socialist Worker</em> (US), the <em>International Socialist Review</em>, and <em>Socialist Worker</em> (Ireland).

9:30am

In Our Genes? Human Nature and "Evolutionary Psychology"
The common narrative is that all the worst facets of humanity cannot be helped; they are "in our genes."  The famous biologist   E. O. Wilson once said of socialism, "great idea.  Wrong species".  This session will explore the nexus between human biology and social constructs like capitalist society.  

Speakers
avatar for Bekah Ward

Bekah Ward

Bekah is a biologist and activist from Atlanta GA.  


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Clark A/B

9:30am

From "#MeToo" to No More: How Can We End Sexual Harassment and Assault? (Socialist Worker-Sponsored Meeting)
The #MeToo movement brought the voices of tens of thousands of survivors of sexual assault and harassment into the national spotlight, as a campaign initiated largely by women in Hollywood brought down some high-profile sexual predators and opened the door for many more stories to be heard. In the process, #MeToo raised many debates, such as the question of due process and the role of the criminal justice system to how activists can take #MeToo forward into their workplaces and schools. It also begs the question, how do we create a world where women are free of the threat of sexual assault?

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Schulte

Elizabeth Schulte

Elizabeth Schulte is a reporter for Socialist Worker. She contributed a chapter, “The Misogynist-in-Chief,” to the collection U.S. Politics in the Age of Uncertainty and a recent article on “The year of #MeToo” for the International Socialist Review.


Saturday July 7, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Grant Park A/B

11:30am

Class Struggle and the Color Line
American socialists have been centrally concerned with the question of racial oppression since socialism first became a mass movement in the United States in the early 20th century.  This talk explores the history of early socialist debates over the race question, tracing that history through the Socialist Party, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the early Communist Party.

Speakers
avatar for Paul Heideman

Paul Heideman

Paul Heideman is a Ph D student in Sociology at New York University and the editor of "Class Struggle and the Color Line" (Haymarket Books, 2018). He is a member of the International Socialist Organization in New York.


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Hyde Park A

11:30am

King's Last Year
Speakers
RF

Ronnie Flores

Ronnie Flores is a public school teacher in NYC.


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Burnham C

11:30am

Capitalism Goes to College: A People's History of Higher Education in the U.S.
Higher education in the United States has been an ideological tool of the ruling classes since the first colonial settlements. This history has been masked by the liberal narrative of the ever-beneficent university stewarding public knowledge and providing skilled workers for the petty bourgeois of the future. This liberal narrative of higher education as a salve for the ills of society masks a rigid and repressive history, one marked by westward expansion, participation in the creation of the US war machine, and complicity with the establishment ideology. Importantly, higher education in the United States has also been marked by a series of social upheavals, beginning prior to the student uprisings of the 60s, but who’s tradition continues today. We see a turn toward campus yet again as a hotbed for political activity, and it’s time we trace the lineage of higher education in America to tell a real people’s history.


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Grant Park C/D

11:30am

Lessons of the Struggle in Greece
Speakers from Greece the path from the upsurge of struggle in Greece through the betrayals of the government--and discuss the prospects of fighting back against austerity today. 

Speakers
AD

Antonis Davanellos

Antonis Davanellos is a journalist, unionist, and member of Internationalist Workers Left (DEA).


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Hyde Park B

11:30am

Radicals in the Barrio: How Mexican Labor Radicalism Shaped U.S. History
This talk will be a historical summary and overview of the main points of the forthcoming Haymarket book "Radicals in the Barrio". It will touch on how Mexican and Mexican-American radicals helped organize workers within the barrios of the Southwest between 1900-1950. It will highlight how they organized  Mexican workers into unions, led militant strikes, and built radical and revolutionary parties in conjunction with the U.S.-based Left.

Speakers
avatar for Justin Akers Chacón

Justin Akers Chacón

Justin Akers Chacón is an educator, activist, and writer living in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. He is co-author of No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border (with Mike Davis), and author of the forthcoming Radicals in the Barrio: Magonistas... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Dusable A/B

11:30am

Teachers on the Move: Lessons from West Virginia and Beyond (Jacobin-Sponsored Meeting)
Working people and radicals across the United States have been inspired by the recent teachers' rebellions. Now it's critical to draw out their political and strategic lessons. Some of the questions that this panel will address include: What was the role of socialists in the strikes? How did the rank-and-file relate to the unions and their leaderships? What can activists learn from these experiences concerning how to organize under "right-to-work" laws? And what are the obstacles and opportunities for keeping up momentum in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona and spreading the resistance to "blue states"? 

Speakers
avatar for Eric Blanc

Eric Blanc

Eric Blanc writes on labor movements past and present. Formerly a high school teacher in the Bay Area, he is a doctoral student in the sociology department at New York University.
avatar for Emily Comer

Emily Comer

Emily Comer is a high school teacher and organizer in South Charleston, WV. She is a rank and file AFT member who was active during West Virginia’s teacher and school service personnel strike earlier this year.


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Ballroom A

11:30am

Against Prefiguration
Many people understandably believe that we must start living the future we want to see now if we are ever going to bring about a better world. We must “prefigure” our politics. Many of the ideas that go along with prefiguration, though, are elitist and anti-democratic. Much of the world’s population cannot live prefiguratively. For those who can, prefiguration often means a retreat from social movements, seeking refuge in alternative communities that cannot possibly confront, let alone replace, capitalism globally. For others, it means looking for change through consumerism and markets. These ideas are not new, but have a long lineage, going back to Marx and Engels’ critique of “utopian socialism.”

Speakers
avatar for Anthony Arnove

Anthony Arnove

Anthony Arnove is on the editorial board of the of Haymarket Books and International Socialist Review. He is the co-editor, with Howard Zinn, of Voices of a People's History of the United States. 


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Clark A/B

11:30am

Marxism and Ideology
Speakers
RR

Rachel Reiser

Rachel is an organizer with the International Socialist Organization currently living in Columbus, OH.


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Clark C

11:30am

State Capitalism in Russia: Two Analyses
How do we understand the Stalinist system (old USSR and similar formations) in historical-materialist terms? Was it a new kind of class society? Something halfway to socialism but ? A variety of fascism? Capitalist in everything but name? This session will include a brief overview of Marxist debates on "the Russian question," then focus on two analyses that took shape in the international Trotskyist movement in the 1940s. One was formulated by the Johnson-Forest Tendency in the US (named after the pseudonyms of its two most prominent theorists, C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya); the other, by Tony Cliff in Britain.

Each characterized the USSR as a system of state capitalism. While agreeing in some ways, they framed different interpretations of when and how the workers' state turned into its opposite, and of what economic dynamics shaped Stalinism's development. These debates are not just of historical interest; they concern problems bound to reappear in future struggles.

Speakers
avatar for Scott McLemee

Scott McLemee

Scott McLemee writes on politics and culture for a variety of publications and appears as a commentator in the documentary "Every Cook Can Govern: The Life, Impact and Works of C.L.R James."


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Field C

11:30am

11:30am

Extracting Profit: Imperialism, Neoliberalism, and the New Scramble for Africa
Rising global prices in oil and minerals have produced a scramble for Africa’s natural resources over the past two decades, led by investment from U.S., European and Chinese companies, and joined by emerging economies from around the globe. This period of “Africa rising” did not lead to the creation of jobs, but has instead fueled the extraction of natural resources, profits accruing to global capital, an increasingly wealthy African ruling class, and rising regional militarism. The speakers will explore how the roots of today’s conditions lie in the historical legacies of colonialism and the imposition of so-called “reforms” by global financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. The scramble for Africa’s resources has also heightened the pace of ecological devastation, and led to a frightening surge of militarization on the part of China and the U.S. Yet this “new scramble” has not gone unchallenged. From platinum workers’ struggles in South Africa to Nigerian labor organizing and pro-democracy upheavals in Uganda and Burkina Faso, the speakers will explore the unfolding grassroots organizing and protest taking place throughout the continent.

Speakers
avatar for Trevor Ngwane

Trevor Ngwane

Trevor Ngwane is a socialist organizer whose political activism spans the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa. He has participated at various levels of leadership in South African political, labour, community and youth organizations including COSATU, ANC, SANCO... Read More →
avatar for Lee Wengraf

Lee Wengraf

Lee Wengraf is a writer and activist in New York City. She is the author of  Extracting Profit: Imperialism, Neoliberalism and the New Scramble for Africa (Haymarket, 2018). Her articles have appeared in International Socailist Review, Socialist Worker, Review of African Political... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Burnham A/B

11:30am

1:00pm

How to Write for Socialist Worker (Socialist Worker-Sponsored Meeting)
Socialist Worker reporter Elizabeth Schulte will discuss how to write effectively for Socialist Worker.org.

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Schulte

Elizabeth Schulte

Elizabeth Schulte is a reporter for Socialist Worker. She contributed a chapter, “The Misogynist-in-Chief,” to the collection U.S. Politics in the Age of Uncertainty and a recent article on “The year of #MeToo” for the International Socialist Review.


Saturday July 7, 2018 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Burnham A/B

2:00pm

Students for a Democratic Society and the Student Revolt
The 1960s marked, for the first time since the 1930s, a period of mass radicalization in the United States, a key part of which involved the mass mobilization of students. From its small beginnings in 1960, to its dramatic collapse in 1969, SDS became an important focal point for radicalization students in the north, inspired by the Civil Rights movement and outraged by the War in Vietnam. It tried to tie together criticisms of racism, economic inequality, and foreign policy into a coherent critique of an entire system, even if it was unclear about what drove that system or what, if anything, should replace it. It was the beginning of an attempt—beginning with moral outrage and ending in systematic social critique—to move beyond single-issue struggles toward a more radical project of changing the whole society.

Speakers
avatar for Geoff Bailey

Geoff Bailey

Geoff is a socialist activist based in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of "Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War," "The Rise and Fall of SDS," "Accumulation by Dispossession: A Critical Assessment," and "Visualizing Revolution: Marxism and Film".


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Grant Park C/D

2:00pm

Decolonizing Socialism: Getting Racially Organized so We can Get Free
Through the lens of a Black radical feminist perspective, and using historical, cultural and material examples, the presenter offers cautionary tales, of brilliant failures and questionable successes, of progressive and radical organizations dedicated to a vision of radical economic equality. We will look at how the failure to address the full impact white supremacist hegemony has had and continues to affect the efforts at radical and progressive coalition-relationship building necessary for fundamental, substantive change in this country."
 
The opportunities the current moment present socialists and other progressives - to link the extremely daunting material circumstances created by systemically driven economic inequality, the impact on the quality of life across the demographic spectrum and the instability of the current regime in power, with the chance to develop new language and conceptual ideas, and the intellectual and communication skill- and strength-building activities necessary to learn to assess, analyze and evaluate strategic planning processes and execution. In this workshop we will explore the challenges to developing one tool - effective cross-cultural communication in service to successful coalition building - in order to recognize what we are actually up against, and to proffer ideas and approaches for consideration.

Speakers
avatar for Demita Frazier

Demita Frazier

Demita Frazier, JD, is an unrepentant life long Black feminist, social justice activist, thought leader, writer and teacher. A founding member of the Combahee River Collective, she has worked, in coalition with many, on the issues of reproductive rights, domestic violence, the care... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Grant Park A/B

2:00pm

Stamped from the Beginning: The Long and Enduring History of Racist Ideas in America
Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America - more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

Speakers
avatar for Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi is Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. His second book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, from Nation Books, won... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Hyde Park B

2:00pm

Capitalism and Disability: The Theoretical Contribution of Marta Russell
The late author and activist Marta Russell wrote a number of groundbreaking and insightful essays on the nature of disability and oppression under capitalism. From exploring the material basis of disability as being rooted in the very operation of the capitalist mode of production, to advancing a revolutionary critique of the liberal "rights-based" model of disability activism, this talk will elaborate the profound contributions made by Russell to a comprehensive Marxist understanding of modern disablement.

Speakers
avatar for Keith Rosenthal

Keith Rosenthal

Keith Rosenthal lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a frequent contributor to the International Socialist Review. http://isreview.org/person/keith-rosenthal


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Clark C

2:00pm

Make Them Pay: The Social Cost of the Extractive Industries
Extractive industries have played a central role in the origins and development of capitalism. From the "entombment in mines of the aboriginal population" of primitive accumulation to the struggles of today, people have frequently struggled against extractive industry's exploitation of workers and destruction of the natural environment. This talk will attempt to provide an analysis of extractive industry's place within the capitalist system and how its destructive power can be defeated. 

Speakers
avatar for Tyler Barton

Tyler Barton

Tyler is a graduate student at Ohio University studying chemistry. He is a member of the International Socialist Organization with a special interest in ecology and economics. 


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Dusable C

2:00pm

Marxism and Education
Speakers

Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom B

2:00pm

History and Politics of Trans Liberation
Speakers
avatar for Fainan Lakha

Fainan Lakha

Fainan Lakha is a transgender activist and student.


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Hyde Park A

2:00pm

Syria and the Left
Speakers
avatar for Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith is a member of the ISO and on the Editorial Board of the International Socialist Review.


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom A

2:00pm

Lenin, Bukharin, and Imperialism
Today's headlines around military conflict, economic rivalries, and climate destruction require a new generation of socialists to develop strategies and tactics to confront imperialism no matter what form it takes. How do Marxists analyze the world they live in and develop strategies for a way forward? In this session we will examine the original texts by Bukharin and Lenin, written over 100 years ago, as a framework for navigating as activists and socialists in the face of capitalism's worst horrors and empty promises.

Speakers
avatar for Ann Coleman

Ann Coleman

Ann is a socialist activist with organizing experience from the global justice movement, anti-war movement, and anti-racist LGBTQ liberation struggles. She currently lives and works in Oakland, California.


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Field C

2:00pm

2:00pm

Vanguard Party, Democratic Centralism and Workers Revolution
The Bolsheviks developed a theory and practice of political organization that is both coherent and recognizable, and it is absolutely relevant for today. This talk will explain terms and history for beginners, but also address the rise of a new socialist movement in the U.S. (signified by the growth of DSA and others) and the experiences of contemporary international revolutionary left forces in Latin America and Europe. 

Speakers
avatar for Todd Chretien

Todd Chretien

Todd Chretien is the editor of the annotated edition of Lenin's State and Revolution (Haymarket Books) and Eyewitnesses to the Russian Revolution. He is a long-time organizer for the International Socialist Organization and frequent contributor and translator for Socialist Worker... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Burnham A/B

2:00pm

South Africa: How Apartheid Was Defeated
The British and Dutch colonizers of South Africa built from the outset a society based upon the oppression and exploitation of the indigenous African population, where the latter were restricted from buying land outside of special “reserves,” given the worst jobs and legally considered “sojourners” in urban areas. In the late 1940s, the system of institutional Apartheid (separation) was created, where Blacks were forced onto fake “homelands,” required to carry passes, and subjected to a regime of extreme repression in order to sustain a system of racially-based labor exploitation. This talk will trace the rise of the resistance movement, from the ANC to the Black Consciousness Movement to the rise of a militant workers’ movement that was so central to apartheid’s demise. In the end, apartheid fell in a negotiated that established Black majority rule but stopped short at the kind of radical demands inherent in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Speakers
avatar for Trevor Ngwane

Trevor Ngwane

Trevor Ngwane is a socialist organizer whose political activism spans the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa. He has participated at various levels of leadership in South African political, labour, community and youth organizations including COSATU, ANC, SANCO... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Clark A/B

2:00pm

The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution 1925-27
Most people know about Mao’s rise to power in 1949, leading an army consisting predominantly of peasant recruits. Few are aware that in 1927 there was a mass revolutionary upheaval in China centered on peasant rebellions in the countryside and mass strikes in China’s new industrial cities. Stalin ordered the young Chinese Communist Party to enter the nationalist Guomindang and agree to submit to its discipline, even though its nationalist leader, Chiang Kai Shek, opposed workers’ and peasant demands. On March 21, 1927 six hundred thousand workers struck in Shanghai, effectively paralyzing the city. Chiang held back his advance some 25 miles outside the city while thugs under a local warlord assaulted the mass movement. When Chiang entered the city, he unleashed a reign of terror, crushing the workers’ movement, and forcing the CP out of China’s cities.

Speakers

Saturday July 7, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Burnham C

4:00pm

1968-2018: Sports and Resistance, Then and Now
Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Terzakis

Elizabeth Terzakis

Elizabeth Terzakis is a long-time member of the ISO, author of "Marx and Nature" (International Socialist Review Issue #109), contributor to Education and Capitalism, published by Haymarket Press, and co-author, with Wyomia Tyus, of Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story, published by... Read More →
avatar for Wyomia Tyus

Wyomia Tyus

Wyomia Tyus, a founding member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, is a four-time Olympic medalist and the first person ever to win a gold medal in the 100-meter dash in two consecutive Olympic games. In 1968, Tyus demonstrated her support for the Olympic Project for Human Rights... Read More →
avatar for Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin is the sports editor of the Nation Magazine and has written ten books on the politics of sports. He hosts the podcast Edge of Sports.


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom A

4:00pm

The Future of the Socialist Left (Jacobin-Sponsored Meeting)
For a left so small, we hardly know each other. Ella Mahony (Democratic Socialists of America) and Jen Roesch (International Socialist Organization) talk to each other about their organizations’ work, and the opportunities for socialists today.

Moderators
avatar for Jason Farbman

Jason Farbman

Jason Farbman works for Jacobin and is a member of the International Socialist Organization.

Speakers
avatar for Ella Mahony

Ella Mahony

Ella Mahony is an assistant editor at Jacobin magazine and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America’s National Political Committee.
avatar for Jen Roesch

Jen Roesch

Jen Roesch is an organizer with the International Socialist Organization in NYC. She has contributed to Socialist Worker, International Socialist Review and Jacobin. She writes frequently on socialist analyses and perspectives on contemporary politics, women's liberation and Marxist... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Grant Park C/D

4:00pm

Student Struggles Today
Speakers
avatar for Emmaline Bennett

Emmaline Bennett

Emmaline Bennett is an ISO member and a student at Columbia University studying history and literature.
avatar for Alex Schmaus

Alex Schmaus

Alex Schmaus is a socialist organizer from the San Francisco Bay Area.


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Hyde Park B

4:00pm

Trump's War on Immigrants
Trump has unleashed a war of terror on the undocumented population. His brazen racism and nativism are in-line with a hardening far-right that has grown internationally. However, while the features of these attacks are new, the criminalization of immigrants and the growth of the deportation machine goes back decades -  and found its peak under the Obama Administration.  Come to discuss what is new and the same about the attack on immigrants, what needs to be different about our response today, and the ways that people around the country are resisting.

Speakers
avatar for Lea Ramirez

Lea Ramirez

Lea Ramirez is a Tejana socialist, activist, and union member living in NYC. One of her hobbies includes dismantling capitalism.


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Hyde Park A

4:00pm

The Global Struggle Against the War on Women
From the #MeToo movement in the U.S. to the fight for abortion rights in Argentina and Ireland, women across the globe are taking to the streets to fight for their rights to bodily autonomy and an end to violence and sexism. Activists from the frontlines of these struggles will talk about what is prompting this new struggle for women's rights, and how women are moving into action. 

Speakers
JC

Josie Chávez

Josie Chavez is an activist and a member of the Workers' Revolutionary Party (PRT) in Mexico. 
avatar for Deepa Kumar

Deepa Kumar

Deepa Kumar is an award-winning scholar and activist. She teaches at Rutgers University where she is also the president of the faculty union, the Rutgers AAUP-AFT. She is the author of more than 80 journal articles, book chapters, and articles in independent and mainstream media... Read More →
avatar for Glória Trogo

Glória Trogo

Glória Trogo is an activist from Rio de Janeiro and a member of Resistencia, a component within the Party for Socialism and Freedom.


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Dusable A/B

4:00pm

The Origins of the International Socialist Organization (Socialist Worker-Sponsored Meeting)
In the 1970s, the International Socialists (IS) oriented on the restive US working class in industries like Auto and Teamsters in an effort to organize rank and file movements that, they hoped, would position them to build a “workers’ combat organization" in the US. In the Spring of 1977, a small group of about 75 revolutionaries constituted themselves as the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and launched a monthly newspaper, Socialist Worker.  They had been members of the “Left Faction” of the IS, but were expelled in 1977 after expressing disagreements with the IS’s industrialization and “mass work” perspectives, which, they believed, were leading it in the wrong direction. This talk will explore the origins of the ISO and the struggles and debates that shaped this period, drawing lessons for socialists today.

Speakers

Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom B

4:00pm

Organizing the Unorganized
Speakers
JE

Joe Evica

Joe Evica is a Ready Reserve employee with Delta Air Lines in Madison, WI. He is a rank and file leader of the Delta Ramp Worker Organizing Committee.
KH

Kip Hedges

Kip Hedges has been a leader of the $15/hr. Minimum wage movement at MSP airport, Minneapolis and St. Paul MN. A 30 year baggage handler for Delta Air Lines, he is a leader of the Delta Ramp Organizing Committee.
avatar for Karla Tobar

Karla Tobar

Karla is a teacher in Southern California. She worked as a teacher at a charter school in Los Angeles for three years. During that time, she organized alongside fellow teachers to form a union and bargain their first contract.
HZ

Helen Zhao

Helen Zhao is a PhD student at Columbia University and a first-year member of the ISO. In fall 2017, she helped to organize protests against white supremacist, Islamophobic speakers invited to campus. Currently, she is organizing for Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW 2110.


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Burnham C

4:00pm

The Sleeping Giant Awakens: How Workers can Transform Society
The nationwide wave of teachers' strikes this year has brought back class struggle, along with the strike weapon, to a whole new generation of workers. In this talk, we will discuss the context that these strikes arose out of, with a working class restructured to meet the changing demands of capital in the neoliberal era. Workers in caring professions such as teaching and nursing find themselves at the nexus of the interlocking sets of social crises being faced across the country, and it is no accident that strikes are kicking off among these workers first. The strike wave that kicked off in West Virginia has provided not only a path forward for militants in the labor movement but a glimpse into the potential power that workers have to reshape society at its roots and put capitalism in its grave.

Speakers
avatar for Will Russell

Will Russell

Will Russell is a high school teacher in NYC and member of the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) in the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).
avatar for Caitlin Sheehan

Caitlin Sheehan

Caitlin Sheehan is a socialist, a teacher in Chicago Public Schools, and a member of the Chicago Teachers Union.


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Dusable C

4:00pm

After the Storm: The Struggle Against Disaster Capitalism in Puerto Rico
The unnatural disaster of Hurricane Maria fundamentally changed the fabric of Puerto Rico for some time to come. Still to this day the electrical system is in tatters and thousands are without electricity. The health care system is in a state of emergency and people continue to die preventable deaths. Those in power have spoken openly about seizing the storm as an opportunity to further their plan to cash in on the illegal debt, privatize the public sector and continue to attack workers rights. But  the movements in Puerto Rico for self determination and workers rights have a long and rich history. Come to this meeting to learn more about the reality in Puerto Rico today, almost one year after the hurricanes and the movement for a different Puerto Rico, one organized for human need.

Speakers
MD

Monique Dols

Monique Dols is a socialist and early childhood educator in New York City. She went on a solidarity delegation to Puerto Rico in October 2017 and is a regular contributor  and translator for Socialist Worker newspaper.
avatar for Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez is the president of the Federacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico (FMPR). The FMPR is the educators' union in Puerto Rico and waged a successful strike in 2008 to prevent the privatization of the school system. The FMPR has led two one-day strikes in Puerto Rico since... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Grant Park A/B

4:00pm

Marx and the Future Socialist Society
Socialists are constantly asked " What would socialism be like?" . Marx refused to follow the Utopians in providing a complete blueprint of a socialist society. However , he did provide general outlines to differentiate socialism from modified capitalism. He also distinguished between the transition period and the higher stage of communism. Though we cannot provide a blueprint, discussing this issue will help to clarify our goals and diffrerntiate Marx's communism from reformism and help win people to the struggle for a socialist society.. Good background readings include Marx's "Critique of the Gotha Programme", " State and Revolution" by Lenin and the ISO pamphlet " The Future Socialist Society"


Speakers
avatar for Clare Fester

Clare Fester

Clare is an activist and organizer in the Los Angeles branch of the International Socialist Organization. She was an active member of Solidarity, Australia, before relocating to the United States to run radical Yiddish cultural programs.
avatar for Steve Leigh

Steve Leigh

Steve is a member of the Seattle branch of the International Socialist Organization, a member of the retiree section of Service Employees International Union, a founding member of the ISO and a frequent contributor to Socialist Worker,


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Clark C

4:00pm

Has the Arab Spring Lost its Spring?
Speakers
avatar for Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar is a professor at SOAS, University of London. His most recent books are Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism (2013), The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013), and Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (2016).


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Burnham A/B

4:00pm

Roundtable: The Bolsheviks in Power 1917-1928
This roundtable discussion will tackle the difficult path of the Bolsheviks in power following 1917.  Focusing on the economic and social policies of the new Soviet regime, authors LeBlanc (October Song), Farber (Before Stalinism) and Muldoon (Workers' Organization in the Russian Revolution) will discuss and debate the degeneration and bureaucratization of the first Communist state.

Speakers
avatar for Paul LeBlanc

Paul LeBlanc

Paul Le Blanc is Professor of History at La Roche College and active in struggles for social and economic justice since the 1960s. Author of such books as "Lenin and the Revolutionary Party" (1990), "From Marx to Gramsci" (1996), and "A Short History of the US Working Class" (1999... Read More →
avatar for Amy Muldoon

Amy Muldoon

Amy Muldoon is a socialist and shop steward in New York. Her two part review of Trostsky's History of Russian Revolution can be found in the International Socialist Review, and her writings on labor, art, and pop culture can be found at SocialistWorker.org.


Saturday July 7, 2018 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Clark A/B

8:00pm

Black Liberation and 1968
Speakers

Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Burnham C

8:00pm

Caped Crusaders, Masked Vigilantes, and Billion-Dollar Franchises: The Political Economy of Superheroes
Over the course of the past decade, Superheroes have leapt, in what seems like a single bound, from the margins of popular culture to their current position as the undisputed hegemons of the entertainment industry. So much so that to say they have become culturally ubiquitous is to offer the same sort of cliché as to argue that Batman is a fascist.

What is masked by the meteoric ascent of the spandex set to such levels of mass cultural appeal is the fact that Superheroes are one of American Capitalism's original and most enduring tropes. Why have they stuck around for so long? And what does it say about political consciousness that masked vigilantes are such popular figures? And, maybe most importantly for socialists, which of them champion causes worthy of our support (critical or otherwise)?

To find out all of this AND MORE, go down to your local Socialism 2018 app and add this talk to your pull list, True Believer!

Speakers
avatar for John McDonald

John McDonald

John McDonald works for Haymarket Books and is not ashamed to admit    that he has every issue (including tie-ins) of the Onslaught Saga.


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Hyde Park B

8:00pm

Prisoner Rebellions: From Attica to Today
Speakers
avatar for Heather Ann Thompson

Heather Ann Thompson

Heather Ann Thompson is an American historian, author, activist, college professor, and speaker from Detroit, Michigan. She won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in History for her work Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Ballroom B

8:00pm

Not for Profit? The Nonprofit Industrial Complex
Speakers
avatar for Emily Shaw

Emily Shaw

Emily is a member of the International Socialist Organization in Columbus, Ohio and a former nonprofit worker. Emily has performed in various nonprofit roles, including AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, Field Organizer for the Democratic Party, Canvasser, and as a Social Services Worker... Read More →
avatar for Erica West

Erica West

Erica West is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley and lives in Oakland. She is a social worker and a member of the ISO.


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Hyde Park A

8:00pm

Officer, Officer, Overseer: The Socialist Case Against the Police
In the struggle against anti-Black racism, organizing against the daily violence and repression carried out at the hands of the police has always been central.  The Black Lives Matter movement added a transformative energy to that fight.  Debates in that movement, on the socialist left, and in society about the social role of the police are thus more relevant and demand to be taken up.  Are the police an institution that can be reformed? No.  Are cops workers that can be won over through struggle? Nope.  Does the history of the police from its origins to the present reflect their social role being purely one of social control and violent, racist repression? Yep. This talk will take up these debates and more in presenting a socialist case for connecting the activism against police violence to the need to see the police as an institution that is thoroughly irredeemable and in need of abolition.  This analysis is important in shining light on what kind of reforms we fight for today and also the strategy and perspective needed to abolish them altogether.

Speakers
avatar for brian bean

brian bean

brian is a socialist activist and member of the International Socialist Organization in Chicago.  He is a regular contributor to Socialist Worker.


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Grant Park C/D

8:00pm

Rank-and-File Teachers Speak: How We Organized the Rebellion
Teachers on the frontlines of the rank-and-file red state teachers' revolts describe how they organized and fought. 

Moderators
avatar for Jesse Sharkey

Jesse Sharkey

Jesse Sharkey is the vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union and a member of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE).

Speakers
avatar for Larry Cagle

Larry Cagle

Larry Cagle is a high school English teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a founder of Oklahoma Teachers United.
avatar for Emily Comer

Emily Comer

Emily Comer is a high school teacher and organizer in South Charleston, WV. She is a rank and file AFT member who was active during West Virginia’s teacher and school service personnel strike earlier this year.
avatar for Carla H.

Carla H.

Carla H. is a public school teacher and activist in North Carolina. She is a member of the International Socialist Organization and the North Carolina Association of Educators.
avatar for James Miller

James Miller

James Miller is a Kentucky educator, rand-and-file union member, writer and dad. He is part of a teacher collective that helped organize sickouts, and he hosts From Classroom to Newsroom, a weekly radio show and podcast about journalism and education.
avatar for Dylan Wegela

Dylan Wegela

Dylan Wegela is a second-year seventh grade social studies teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. He is one of the leaders of Arizona Educators United, which led a six-day statewide educator walkout in Arizona. Since the walkout ended, he was elected president of his local in the Arizona Education... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Ballroom A

8:00pm

A War Resister in the Ranks
What does it mean to resist as an active duty soldier in the 21st century? Socialist revolutions share a vibrant historical legacy with disaffected soldiers who have laid down their arms and refused to serve the interests of the rich and powerful. From the National Guardsman of the Paris Commune, to Vietnam veterans who marched to end the war, to the disaffected veterans of the so-called Global War on Terrorism today, a spark is always present that can burn the war machine down. Dissident veterans and former Army Rangers Rory Fanning and Spenser Rapone discuss their paths to resistance, and what socialism means to them.

Speakers
avatar for Rory Fanning

Rory Fanning

Following two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion, Rory Fanning became one of the first US Army Rangers to resist the Iraq war and the Global War on Terror. In 2008–2009 he walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman foundation.   Rory is the author... Read More →
avatar for Spenser Rapone

Spenser Rapone

Spenser Rapone is a former Army Ranger and Infantry Officer recently separated from the military for speaking out against its imperialist violence. He enlisted as an infantryman out of high school in 2010, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. After returning from his combat tour... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Clark A/B

8:00pm

The Importance of Being Unruly
Speakers
avatar for Frances Fox Piven

Frances Fox Piven

Frances Fox Piven is an internationally renowned social scientist, scholar, and activist whose commitments to poor and working people, and to the democratic cause have never wavered.  Piven’s professional accomplishments in the world of academia place her among the ranks of the... Read More →


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Grant Park A/B

8:00pm

The Kurdish Question and the Syrian Revolution
The Kurds are a people of 28-35 million without a nation. Divided between Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, Kurds have been used by authoritarian regimes and imperialist actors to serve their interests before being sacrificed when these interests changed. The US has relied on Kurdish forces in Rojava in Northern Syria to combat ISIS, but looked the other way when Turkey’s Erdogan, who is threatened by the prospect of a successful Kurdish entity on its own border encouraging Turkey’s own Kurdish population, invaded the Kurdish stronghold Afrin in Syria last January. Collaboration by some Kurdish forces with imperialist forces can’t be used to justify the refusal of the right of self-determination of the Kurdish people. In Syria, as elsewhere, the destiny of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination is closely tied to the overall struggle against the Assad dictatorship, and both today are in under severe attack.

Speakers
avatar for Joseph Daher

Joseph Daher

Joseph Daher is a Swiss-Syrian socialist activist, academic, and founder of the blog Syria Freedom Forever. He is the author of Hezbollah: Political Economy of the Party of God (2016, Pluto Press).


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Dusable A/B

8:00pm

Capitalism and Women's Health
This talk will present an internationalist perspective on how global capitalism has shaped and continues to shape health disparities among women due to women’s role in social reproduction, the neoliberal destruction of welfare services and growing class inequality. On a national level, how do race, class, and gender interact to create stark health disparities among groups of women in the United States?  We will put forward ideas about how oppression gets into our bodies and how we must connect a struggle for health justice with a politics of socialist transformation of society.

Speakers
avatar for Jessica Hansen-Weaver

Jessica Hansen-Weaver

Jessica Hansen-Weaver is a member of the ISO in the Bay Area. She is a clinical social worker within San Francisco Community Behavioral Health Services.
avatar for Emma Wilde-Botta

Emma Wilde-Botta

Emma Wilde Botta is a socialist activist and writer based in the Bay Area. She holds a Masters in Global Health Sciences from the University of California San Francisco where she currently works as a research analyst.


Saturday July 7, 2018 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Burnham A/B

10:30pm

Black Girl Magic Poetry Showcase
Hosted by Britteney Black Rose Kapri, Xandria Phillips, Ciara Miller, Kemi Alabi, and Jamila Woods.

Saturday July 7, 2018 10:30pm - 11:30pm
Ballroom C/D/E

11:30pm

DJ Sarah Mamo
DJ Sarah Mamo spins multigenre, grime, hip-hop/rap, and noise.
                                   
    

Saturday July 7, 2018 11:30pm - Sunday July 8, 2018 2:00am
Ballroom C/D/E
 
Sunday, July 8
 

9:30am

Zetkin, Trotsky, and the United Front against Fascism
Speakers
avatar for Gillian Russom

Gillian Russom

Gillian Russom is a high school history teacher in Los Angeles.  She's a member of the Board of Directors of United Teachers Los Angeles and the International Socialist Organization.  She's a contributor to Education and Capitalism (Haymarket Books, 2012).


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Clark A/B

9:30am

Socialism and Queer Liberation
Speakers
avatar for Dana Cloud

Dana Cloud

Dana Cloud is a professor of communication at Syracuse University, author of the forthcoming book Reality Bites: Rhetoric and the Circulation of Truth Claims in US Political Culture from Ohio State. University Press. She is a longtime member of the ISO.


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Burnham A/B

9:30am

TUEL: Early Communist Union Strategy and Lessons for Labor Radicals Today
US radicals refined their methods to strengthen and influence unions over decades, culminating in the impressive but little known achievements of the Trade Union Educational League in the 1920s. Today's "rank and file strategy" dates from this period, whose lessons can inform those struggling today to renew a troubled labor movement.

Speakers
AW

Avery Wear

Avery is a long time socialist and union activist in San Diego.


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Field C

9:30am

Marxism, Colonialism, and Revolution
Colonialism, settler colonialism, and the African slave trade are all intertwined with the rise and development of capitalism.  But how exactly are they intertwined, and does this mean for Marxist  concepts of bourgeois revolution? This talk will offer a broad history, and get into questions around modes of production and combined and uneven development.  

Speakers
avatar for Pranav Jani

Pranav Jani

Pranav Jani is a longtime member of the ISO and active in racial justice, immigrant rights, and Palestine solidarity movements in Columbus, Ohio. Pranav is a professor at Ohio State in postcolonial and ethnic studies. He is author of "Decentering Rushdie" (2010) and articles on Marxism... Read More →


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Grant Park C/D

9:30am

Struggling for More Than Independence: Africa in 1968
The revolutionary upsurge that swept the world fifty years ago crossed every corner of the African continent. From Egypt to Senegal, Guinea-Bissau to Congo, the late 1960s and early 1970s were a period rife with student walkouts, urban uprisings, militant workers strikes, and guerilla warfare. In the decade preceding 1968, more than thirty new African countries emerged from European colonial rule. But formal independence had not broken the lingering influence of imperial powers—even in those countries where new governments most vocally embraced ideas of African Socialism, Arab Socialism, and Third World solidarity. This talk argues that the persistence of neo-colonial domination and the shutting down of democratic rights in new African countries provoked a major wave of popular uprisings in which Marxists often played major leadership roles. These rebellions in (or around) 1968 represented both a reassertion of radical demands from earlier anti-colonial movements as well as the first mass struggles over the fate of post-colonial Africa.

Speakers
avatar for Matt Swagler

Matt Swagler

Matt Swagler has been a socialist activist for nearly twenty years and is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of African History at Williams College. He has recently conducted research in Senegal and Congo on the history of radical organizations and social movements in the 196... Read More →


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Dusable A/B

9:30am

Socialist Organizing in the Post-Soviet Countries
On the American left, Soviet history is often relegated to being a battleground for sectarian role-play or dismissed altogether. However, there are approximately 300 million people living in the fifteen countries that once made up the USSR today, and they haven’t reached “the end of history” just yet. This talk will survey current historical discussions on the Eastern European/Central Asian left such as left opposition to Stalin and his successors and national and gender-based oppressions in the Soviet Union. It will also introduce ongoing social and labor struggles in the region, with an emphasis on Russia, and strategic questions for all socialists fighting neoliberalism with a patriotic face.


Speakers
avatar for Kate Seidel

Kate Seidel

Kate Seidel is a member of the International Socialist Organization currently studying at the School of Engaged Art in St. Petersburg, Russia. She has contributed articles and translations to Socialist Worker and openDemocracyRussia.


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Dusable C

9:30am

The New Deal and the Failure of the "Popular Front"
Speakers
avatar for Charlie Post

Charlie Post

Charlie Post is a long-time socialist activist and writer in NYC. He is the author of The American Road to Capitalism (Haymarket, 2012) and has published in Against the Current, International Socialist Review, New Politics, Jacobin, the Brooklyn Rail, New Left Review and the Journal... Read More →


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Hyde Park B

9:30am

CSI is Lying to You: Junk Science in Criminal Convictions
Even for those of us who are cynical about the criminal justice system, the scale at which evidence has been manufactured in criminal prosecutions is shocking. Exposés have revealed tremendous flaws in each successive wave of biological evidence used in criminal convictions -- fingerprinting; bite analysis; hair analysis; and even DNA -- at exactly the same time that TV procedurals have given vast credibility to forensics, and with it, to policing and prosecution as a whole. This talk will explain how forensic science is manipulated in criminal prosecutions. It will also argue that this science opens concrete questions about how the movement for justice for sexual assault survivors can ally itself with the movement for black lives and against the criminal justice system, rather than with police practices that have led to far too many false convictions, which victimize railroaded black men and survivors of sexual assault alike.

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth Wrigley-Field

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. She is a longtime socialist and social justice organizer who also writes about statistics and social research for popular audiences, in publications such as Edge.org... Read More →


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Hyde Park A

9:30am

The Politics of Pregnancy
Healthcare of any sort in the US is plagued by the healthcare industry's drive to profit and the pressures of neoliberalism, and when sexism is added to the mix, you get prenatal and postpartum care end experiences that come far from meeting parents' and babies' needs.  Pregnancy was once the domain of midwives who saw childbirth as a natural process, but today in the US almost 90% of deliveries are attended by obstetricians who are trained with a medical model of childbirth. Pregnant people are treated as patients, even when they're completely healthy, and on the flip side, sexism leads doctors and other healthcare providers to disregard women's experiences--worse even for Black expectant mothers who die in childbirth at three times the rate of white women.  Reproductive justice often focuses on the right to become pregnant, avoid pregnancy, or to access abortion, but this talk will focus on the politics of wanted pregnancies and childbirth.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Schwartz

Stephanie Schwartz

Stephanie Schwartz is a teacher, activist and new mom living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
avatar for Corrie Westing

Corrie Westing

Corrie Westing is an activist, mama, and midwife from Chicago.


Sunday July 8, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
Grant Park A/B

11:30am

"Run comrade, the old world is behind you." Lessons from 1968 (Jacobin-Sponsored Meeting)
Lessons from the 1968 student/worker uprising in France with Jonah Birch; and the rise and collapse of Students for a Democratic Society with Paul Heideman.

Moderators
avatar for Laura Bartkowiak

Laura Bartkowiak

Laura Bartkowiak is an activist based in Brooklyn, New York.

Speakers
avatar for Jonah Birch

Jonah Birch

Jonah Birch has a PhD in sociology from New York University. He is contributing editor at Jacobin, for whom he has written extensively on French and European politics.
avatar for Paul Heideman

Paul Heideman

Paul Heideman is a Ph D student in Sociology at New York University and the editor of "Class Struggle and the Color Line" (Haymarket Books, 2018). He is a member of the International Socialist Organization in New York.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Grant Park A/B

11:30am

From Slavery to the #MeToo Era: Black Women's Struggle Against Sexual Violence
From slavery to Jim Crow to the #MeToo era, sexual violence, particularly against Black women and girls, has historically been a tool of racial terrorism and control in the U.S. Drawing on Danielle McGuire's work, At the Dark End of the Street, and the work of Black socialists and feminists, including Angela Davis, Kimberle Crenshaw, and Dorothy Roberts, this talk will discuss the distinct experiences of sexual violence faced by black women historically, and today, and how these experiences are shaped by multiple interlocking oppressions that black women face with respect to race, class, gender, and sexuality. The talk will also discuss organizing efforts that have taken on sexual violence against black women, with emphasis on McGuire's book on anti-rape organizing by black women in the South during the 1940s and into the civil rights movement.

Speakers
avatar for Akua Ofori

Akua Ofori

Akua Ofori is a socialist activist and public health researcher. She has been organizing for years against police brutality, women's and LGBTQ oppression, deportations, and around other social justice issues.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Hyde Park B

11:30am

Nothing to Lose But Our Chains: The Abolitionist Movement
The 18th and 19th century movement to abolish slavery was one of the most profound causes in American history. Contrary to the official history of Abolitionism being limited to a small white, male, middle-class affair, the movement to abolish slavery encompassed slave uprisings, activism of free blacks and women, and the nascent worker's movement. This talk will make the case that socialists should study the history of slave resistance and abolition and bring these lessons into anti-racist struggle today.


Speakers
LM

Lauren Marie

Lauren is a member of the ISO who organizes around reproductive rights and sexual assault in Chicago.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Dusable C

11:30am

Marxists, Elections, and the State
The surprise primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over a high-ranking Democrat has given fresh energy to a longstanding debate about how the left should relate to elections and the Democratic Party. As the campaign of Bernie Sanders did during the 2016 presidential election, Ocasio-Cortez’s victory has excited many about the prospects for the left at a time when Trump and the right are winning on so many fronts. So how should socialists approach elections in the present period? What strategy and tactics will simultaneously advance the agenda of social movements, build the left, and strengthen a political alternative independent of the Democratic Party?

Speakers
avatar for Eric Ruder

Eric Ruder

Eric Ruder is a journalist for SocialistWorker.org.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Ballroom A

11:30am

What Will It Take to Defeat the Far Right?
The Trump administration has given neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and the so-called “alt-right” the green light to intimidate and silence all those who oppose their aim of creating an ethnically and religiously “pure” society. Along with their allies in racist police forces and ICE, the emboldened far right has escalated its attacks on Black and Brown communities, as evidenced by the nationwide spike in hate crimes and the fatal car attack in Charlottesville last August. What explains the global resurgence of far-right organizations, how canwe defeat them, and what alternative can we offer to their politics of hate andfear?

Speakers
avatar for Everett Pelzman

Everett Pelzman

Everett Pelzman is a student activist at the University of Chicago. He organizes with the International Socialist Organization and has helped build resistance to the University’s “free speech” doctrine, the criminalization of student protest, and the rise of the far right on... Read More →


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Clark A/B

11:30am

Marxism and Native Liberation
In 1983, after the rise of the Red Power movement, Ward Churchill published a collection of essays in a book titled Marxism and Native Americans, which aimed to take up the debate about what Marxism and socialism bring to the struggle for Native Liberation. This exchange unfortunately featured Maoists and Stalinists who argued downright reactionary ideas and distorted Marxist theory regarding national self-determination for Indigenous peoples. Come to this talk to discuss what Marxism and socialism from below have to offer to the movement for Native Liberation in regards to upholding land, treaty, and cultural rights rights, ecological justice, fighting capitalist and industrial development, and understanding the roots of Native oppression.

Speakers
avatar for Ragina Johnson

Ragina Johnson

Ragina Johnson is a Native American Marxist and activist in the Bay Area. She writes and speaks about Native American resistance and politics, particularly in relation to climate justice.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Grant Park C/D

11:30am

Introduction to the International Socialist Organization
Come get all your questions answered about the politics of the International Socialist Organization!

Speakers
avatar for Leia Petty

Leia Petty

Leia Petty is a socialist and activist living in Brooklyn, NY. She is a member of NYC for Abortion Rights, a new organization fighting for an unapologetic defense of abortion and full reproductive justice.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Hyde Park A

11:30am

Being a Socialist at Work
Speakers
avatar for Larry Bradshaw

Larry Bradshaw

Larry Bradshaw is a retired San Francisco Paramedic, union activist and long time ISO member. He is currently working as a Strategic Advisor to the Executive Board of SEIU Local 1021and serving as the Local's Ethics Liaison


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Burnham A/B

11:30am

Death Squad President: Duterte, Dictatorship, and Resistance
Thirty years years ago, the Philippine “people power” revolution brought down the hated Marcos regime. Today, President Rodrigo Duterte has raised concerns that dictatorship will return to the Philippines.  From his bloody "War on Drugs" that has killed over ten thousand people, to his declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, to his suspension of peace talks with Communist Rebels, Duterte has brought violent strongman rule back to Philippine politics. This talk will explore what gave rise to Duterte's ascension to power, what his rule means for the future of working-class Filipinos, and how the Left has resisted.

Speakers
avatar for Alessandro Tinonga

Alessandro Tinonga

Alessandro was born and raised in the Bay Area.  He has been involved in the anti-imperialist and socialist movement for 15 years.  As a frequent contributor to Socialist Worker he has written about struggles in the Bay Area and politics in the Philippines.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Burnham C

11:30am

Ida B. Wells and the Crusade Against Lynching
Ida B. Wells dedicated her life to organizing against the new forms of racist reaction that arose in the aftermath of the United States Civil War. She is best known for her journalism and activism which helped expose the terrorism of lynchings in the South, and forced a discussion about the ways that racism and sexism were used to justify violent repression. Wells' radical legacy remains urgent and relevant as a new generation again fights against the ongoing legacy of racism and racist murders in this country. 

Speakers
avatar for Natalia Tylim

Natalia Tylim

Natalia is a socialist in NYC.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Dusable A/B

11:30am

The Spanish Revolution and Civil War
This talk will explore the Spanish Revolution of the 1930's, one of the most dramatic revolutions of the 20th century. The main events discussed will include: the election of Second Spanish Republic, the Asturian insurrection, the election of the Popular Front government in 1936, the fascist uprising and the revolutionary response to it, and the civil war that lasted until the defeat of the Popular Front in 1939. The talk will pay particular attention to the political parties and organizations on the left and their political limitations in leading the revolution forward. In addition, it will argue that what the Spanish revolution needed to be successful was a revolutionary party of working class to lead the movement to take political power, a crucial step in the battle to liberate the European continent from fascism and world war.

Speakers
avatar for Nate Moore

Nate Moore

Nate Moore is a teacher in Connecticut, a member of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), the International Socialist Organization, and a co-founder of a group called "Save CT Public Schools," a group recently organized in his high school to address state cuts to funding.


Sunday July 8, 2018 11:30am - 1:00pm
Field C

2:00pm

Final Rally of Socialism 2018: Another World Is Necessary!
Close out the Socialism 2018 conference with a discussion of building the fight for a better world. Another world is necessary!


Sunday July 8, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Grand Ballroom