Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lesley Gill: Solidarity and Fragmentation


Anti-Corporate Activism and Transnational Labor Struggles in the United States and Colombia

A talk by Vanderbilt University Professor of Anthropology Lesley Gill
Binghamton University, March 3, 2009

Statement From the Organizers:

Solidarity is a frequently evoked, but rarely analyzed, concept that has been a fundamental component of workers’ movements since 1864, when the founding Congress of the 1st International adopted it as a central principle. The importance of solidarity arises from a need to fight the social fragmentation created by the development of capitalism through the establishment of relationships of trust and mutuality, and to support the struggles of other oppressed peoples, even if they are total strangers. But how do diverse groups build connections and a sense of common purpose, and how do they remain open to new adherents and project a broad appeal? Nowadays, there are numerous theme and site specific forms of solidarity, but no common political project connects them, and structural transformation, anti-imperialism, and revolution have, in many instances, been evacuated from the meaning of solidarity. What does solidarity mean in the current historical moment, especially given the pressures toward fragmentation brought about by neoliberalism? This talk address these questions through an exploration of the rise and decline of a cross-border, cross-class coalition that has waged a campaign against the Coca-Cola Company since 2001.

The union to which Ms. Gill makes repeated reference is Sinaltrainal.

This event is organized by the Binghamton University Graduate Student Organization.

Co-Sponsors: Anthropology Department, the Anthropology Graduate Student Organization, Broome County Peace Action, Binghamton Political Initiative, BU Parents Collective, Experimental Media Organization, Student Action Collective, the Biology Graduate Student Organization, the Chinese Student and Scholar Association, the IWW Binghamton, the Sociology Graduate Student Organization, LACAS, and the Walter Rodney Committee.