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My picks for Left Forum 2017

Left Forum starts this Friday June 2 at John Jay in NYC with a smokin hot opening plenary on “Challenging State Repression” at 7:15 PM. With Laura Flanders, Molly Crabapple, Glen Ford, Sekou Odinga, Linda Sarsour, and Jeremy Scahill. Plus a skyped in greeting from Oscar Lopez Rivera.

The Saturday plenary, “State of the Struggles,” features thinkers and organizers on the cutting edge of revolutionary direct action (Standing Rock and International Women Strike), and Sunday’s plenary with Rick Wolff, Bhaskar Sunkara, and others, addresses where we go from here.

Here are the panels I don’t want to miss, listed by the groups that organized them:

Situations: https://www.leftforum.org/programs?title=&field_host_sponsor_value=&field_abstract_value=&field_panel_track_value=&combine=pelias

Jacobin: https://www.leftforum.org/programs?title=&field_host_sponsor_value=jacobin&field_abstract_value=&field_panel_track_value=&combine=

Campaign for Peace and Democracy: https://www.leftforum.org/programs?title=&field_host_sponsor_value=&field_abstract_value=&field_panel_track_value=&combine=sheehan

Verso’s panel on anti-fascist organizing in the age of Trump: https://www.leftforum.org/sessions/anti-fascist-organizing-age-trump

Zero Books’ panel on the rise of the racist right and protofascism: https://www.leftforum.org/sessions/kill-all-normies-4chan-and-tumblr-trump-and-alt-right

AKNY Greece Solidarity: https://www.leftforum.org/programs?title=&field_host_sponsor_value=AKNY&field_abstract_value=&field_panel_track_value=&combine=

And the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College: https://www.leftforum.org/sessions/resisting-nypd-gang-policing

Plus powerful panels on labor organizing like this one: https://www.leftforum.org/sessions/forms-worker-militancy-contemporary-organizing

This is just some of the amazing stuff on offer this weekend — there are 370 panels in all. Powerful film screenings like Norman Lear’s America Divided and Clean InBlack Box Theater programming like Upsurge, and tons more. And don’t forget the Verso loft party on Friday night and Rebel Diaz’s #theUngovernables show on Saturday night at May Day space with Dead Prez and others.

You can download the whole program guide here:https://www.leftforum.org/sites/default/files/LEFTFORUM_2017_ProgramGuide.pdf

(I wrote the theme statement a couple months ago but I think it still holds up.)

I am proud to be one of the organizers of this year’s Left Forum and if you are on the left and in New York City, I’ll probably be seeing you this weekend! You can catch me moderating a panel on the Labor Party on Sunday at 3:40 and also at the table for my collective, the Institute for the Radical Imagination. Solidarity.

Stanley Aronowitz and the Labors of Theory

This Thursday and Friday at the CUNY Graduate Center in NYC! Mike Roberts and I will be on a panel discussing Stanley Aronowitz’s work on the labor movement and the labor question. Stanley was our mentor in grad school and remains our close friend and comrade. Everything I’ve done has been totally shaped by his influence and that is no exaggeration. The whole conference is going to be radical as shit. Can’t wait!!!

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Faculty Panel on Trump at CMSV

Very happy to have been part of the faculty panel discussion on Trump yesterday at College of Mount Saint Vincent. Each of us spoke briefly (mine starts around 15 minutes), then we had a Q and A moderated by the college president. I am proud to be a member of this community.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158205545990721&id=287839420720

Shanty Irish

Here’s the audio recording of the talk I was lucky enough to be able to give at the Ireland and the Wobbly World conference at the National University of Ireland – Galway in November 2016. I’m the first speaker on Panel 2. I’m proud of the paper I gave and I am grateful to the Irish Center for Histories of Labor and Class for organizing such a fantastic conference.

https://ichlc.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/ireland-and-the-wobbly-world-conference-recordings/

Economic Update with Rick Wolff

I had such a great time with Rick Wolff on his Economic Update program last week. Check it out — he interviews me starting at 28:30. I talk about surfing, Trump, fantasy, food stamps, and the future of the labor movement.

Nietzsche and Critical Social Theory

I am so excited to be speaking at this Nietzsche conference in San Diego with my brothers from another mother, Mike Roberts and Jonathan Cutler! The program looks amazing and doing a panel with the dudes I first pored over Nietzsche with in grad school is one of those really cool moments you get if you live long enough. Plus the Pacific Ocean and stuff…

http://nietzsche.sdsu.edu/program.html

late night in AC

An old memory from my college years came back to me today with a jolt. Late one night, a bunch of us decided to go to Atlantic City after a party down the shore. I didn’t want to go but it was the only thing doing so I figured, fuck it. I’ve never been to a casino.

Well, everyone knows that Atlantic City sucks and this was even before half the casinos closed. There were no windows and there was definitely no sophisticated James Bond type area. It was unbelievably depressing and no matter how many of the free vodka tonics I sucked down, I could not catch a buzz for the life of me. I felt like I was suffocating.

Then it hit me — the ocean! Salvation! I made my way out to the boardwalk, took a giant inhale of that sweet sea air, threw off my shoes, and jumped onto the sand. Then I saw it. Lights from the casino were arranged to make the word “TRUMP” on the water, taking up what seemed to be the whole horizon in both directions, ruining the beautiful night on the beach, bringing all the degraded shit from the inside of the building and polluting my beloved ocean with it. It felt like a kick in the stomach.

Today when I was listening to the radio talk about Trump’s name on buildings all over the world, I remembered that night in AC and it gave me a very dark feeling.

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