Saturday, May 21, 2016

Left Forum 2016 - Black Liberation & the Sanders Groundswell: Prospects for Left Unity


 
This is the Saturday Night Plenary from the 2016 Left Forum, held May 20 -22 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference theme was "Rage, Rebellion, Revolution: Organizing Our Power."

Moderators:

Bhaskar Sunkara and Glen Ford

Panelists:

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a writer, public speaker and activist living in Philadelphia. She writes on Black politics, housing inequality and issues of race and class in the United States. She is the author of the forthcoming From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation, published by Haymarket Books in Fall 2015. She is an Assistant Professor at the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.

Kshama Sawant is an activist who brings a passion for social justice to her work. As a member of the Seattle City Council, now in her second term, she has been a voice for workers, youth, and the oppressed. After earning her PhD in economics, Kshama moved to Seattle and began teaching at Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, and the University of Washington Tacoma. She joined Socialist Alternative in 2009, and since then has helped organize demonstrations for marriage equality, participated in the movement to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was a leading presence in the Occupy Movement. In November 2013, she defeated a 16-year incumbent Democrat to become the first socialist elected in a major US city in decades and the only Councilmember in Seattle outside the Democratic Party establishment. Kshama has consistently used her position to expose the ties between powerful corporate interests and a majority of the city's politicians - all Democrats. After being at the forefront of the movement that won a $15/hour minimum wage, Kshama helped win critical funding for homeless people in the City budget.

August H. Mintz is a professor of political science and African American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota, August H. Nimtz is the author of several books including Lenin’s Electoral Strategy (2014) and Marx, Tocqueville and Race in America (2003). His essays on Marxism, race and politics have appeared in leading journals and publications and have been translated into many languages.

Debbie Bookchin is an investigative journalist, author, and former press secretary to U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders. She has published in The Nation, Atlantic Monthly, HarperCollins' Best Science Writing and many other venues. She is coauthor of The Virus and the Vaccine (St. Martin’s Press, 2004) and recently coedited and introduced a new book of essays by her father, Murray Bookchin, called The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso Books, 2015).

Download the audio at the a-Infos Radio Project.