Sunday, June 4, 2017

Left Forum 2017 - Sunday Closing Plenary

Beyond Capitalism: Where to Go From Here

This is a panel from the 2017 Left Forum, held June 2 - 4 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference theme was "The Resistance."

From the Organizers:

Questions, challenges and oppositions confront the economic system today more than at any time in the last 70 years. Millions now see capitalism as a major cause of the problems/crises activating social movements. An alliance among capitalism’s victims, critics and those social movements is emerging. This plenary will explore the ways and means to develop that alliance into a major political force for change.


Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin.


Christian Parenti recently joined the Economics Program at John Jay College as an associate professor. His books include Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011); The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq, (2004); The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror (2002); and Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (2000/second edition 2008). He has reported extensively from Afghanistan, Iraq, and various parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America for The Nation, Fortune, The London Review Books, The New York Times, and other publications.

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In 1994, he was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Paris (France), I (Sorbonne). Wolff was also regular lecturer at the Brecht Forum in New York City.

Karina Garcia is a Chicana organizer and educator originally from southern California, and the daughter of working-class Mexican immigrants. She works as a reproductive justice trainer, traveling around the country to help Latina activists fight for reproductive health, rights and justice. As a student activist Karina led a campaign to confront and shut down the anti-immigrant fascist Minutemen Project on her campus and nationwide, founding the group Lucha. As a NYC high school math teacher, she organized students and coworkers to protest against budget cuts, the Iraq war, police brutality and anti-immigrant laws. She is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a founder of the Justice Center en el Barrio and a board member of Damayan Migrant Workers Association.

Paul Sliker is a media consultant and political and economic justice organizer who has advised several world-renowned economists, institutions, and non-fiction authors. He was on the operations team of Team Bernie NY, which became an umbrella organization for many volunteer-run groups throughout New York City. Paul is currently an editor and commentator at DemocracyAtWork.Info, the Chair of the Politics Committee and a member of the Coordinating Committee at Democracy at Work - New York (D@WNY). Democracy at Work 501(c)3 is a non-profit that advocates for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces as a key path to a stronger, democratic economic system.

Tascha Van Auken co-founded (in July 2015 )the grassroots group Team Bernie NY, which became an umbrella group for the many volunteer-run groups throughout New York City. Team Bernie NY focused specifically on field work, contacting voters and identifying supporters for the nine months prior to campaign staff arriving in NYC. Grassroots groups successfully identified over 49,000 Bernie supporters by the time the campaign landed in NY for the primary. Tascha is currently a part of The Electoral Working Group for the NYC chapter of DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), and is focused specifically on helping the field team build the structure necessary to scale and win local elections.

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