Saturday, March 19, 2011

Left Forum 2011 - The Tea Party and the Media


Left Forum 2011
Pace University, NYC
March 18-20, 2011

What is the "Tea Party," and how and why did this movement exercise so much leverage in the 2010 midterm elections? What role did the media play in the movement's rise and electoral success? And how can leftists and progressives use their own media to counteract the propaganda that has fueled right-wing mobilization for decades?

* Adele Stan - Washington Bureau Chief, Alternet
* Frances Fox Piven - CUNY Graduate Center
* Glen Ford - Black Agenda Report
* Laura Flanders - GritTV
* Richard Kim - The Nation

Left Forum 2011 - The Wisconsin Uprising & Beyond


Pace University, NYC
March 18-20, 2011

A discussion from Wisconsin natives and leaders as well as national progressives about the amazing uprising in Madison, WI and what it means for the progressive movement.

* Austin King - SEIU
* Ben Manski - Liberty Tree
* Elizabeth Wrigley - Field—Teaching Assistant Association, International Socialist Organization
* John Nichols - The Nation
* Monica Adams - Freedom Inc.
* Sarah Manski - Journalist, CEO of, Wisconsin Wave organizer

Left Forum 2011 - Rebellion & Self-Organization in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, & the Eastern Mediterranean


Left Forum 2011
Pace University, NYC
March 18-20, 2011

This panel sponsored by ZNet

* Chris Spannos - ZNet, Panel Moderator
* David Porter - SUNY/Empire State College
* Horace Campbell - Black Commentator; Syracuse University
* Nada Matta - New York University

Panel Abstract from the Left Forum 2011 Website:

Beneath recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa exists a rich history of regional radicalism, direct democracy, and self-organization. The panelists explore recent events in Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia within the context of today's struggles, possibilities for their self-emancipation and conditions specific to each of these countries.

Left Forum 2011 - Creating Leverage: Non-Electoral Strategies for Change in the Obama Era

Left Forum 2011
Pace University, NYC
March 18-20, 2011


* Kevin Young - SUNY Stony Brook
* Michael Schwartz - SUNY Stony Brook
* Michael Zweig - Center for Study of Working Class Life - SUNY Stony Brook
* Tod Ensign - Citizen Soldier
* Steve Early - Former Communications Workers of America organizer, Author, Embedded With Organized Labor

Panel Abstract from the Left Forum 2011 Website:

This panel suggests ways in which movements can create political leverage. Schwartz and Young advance three arguments of theoretical relevance: 1) that the primary targets of protest should be corporate and institutional power-holders rather than their representatives in the main branches of government; 2) that movements should focus less energy on lobbying and more on creating “structural leverage”; and 3) that the progressive values of the US working class mean that attempts to build structural leverage potentially have strong allies in workers, including white workers. Ensign analyzes the GI resistance movement in the United States, discussing the challenges and successes his organization has experienced in its effort to organize soldiers. Zweig and Early reflect on recent challenges and opportunities in the union movement, exploring the various fault lines that have divided US labor, efforts to democratize unions, and the pitfalls of subservience to the Democratic Party.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Left Forum 2011 - Opening Plenary: Toward a Politics of Solidarity


Pace University, NYC
March 18-20, 2011

A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The conference is held each spring in New York City.

Opening Plenary Moderator: Richard D. Wolff

Introductory remarks by Nira Herrmann

Former Air America Radio host LAURA FLANDERS is the host and founder of GRITtv with Laura Flanders. She is the author of the NYT best-seller,  BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species; her latest book is At The Tea Party.  She also writes for Nation and Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor to MSNBC. Flanders has appeared on shows from Real Time with Bill Maher to The O’Reilly Factor.

PAUL MASON is the economics editor of the BBC’s flagship current affairs program Newsnight and appears frequently on BBC World News America. He has covered globalization and social justice stories from locations around the world, including Latin America, Africa and China. His book, Live Working, Die Fighting, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, CORNEL WEST has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. West has written more than 20 books, and teaches in the Center for African American Studies and Department of Religion at Princeton University.

BARBARA EHRENREICH is a social critic and essayist, and an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. Her book, Nickel and Dimed, was a national bestseller in the United States. She is the the author of twenty books, and has written for the New York Times, Mother Jones, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms, The New Republic, Z Magazine, In These Times, Salon, Harpers, and the Progressive. Her latest book is Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America.

FRANCES FOX PIVEN is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at CUNY Graduate Center. Her books include Regulating the Poor, Poor Peoples’ Movements, Why Americans Don’t Vote, and The War at Home. Most recently, in Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, Piven examines the interplay of disruptive social movements and electoral politics in generating the political force for egalitarian reform in American history.