Build a movement to fight back! Struggle for socialism!
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Saturday and Sunday November 13-14 University of Southern California Davidson Conference Center 3415 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90089
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In the United States, the richest 400 people have as much wealth as 50 million households combined. The criminal occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have cost the lives of over a million innocent people, and thousands of U.S. troops, while costing trillions of dollars. The richest banks and corporations have been bailed out by the government to the tune of $14 trillion, all on the backs of working people. The epidemic of police brutality, checkpoints and immigrant bashing is intensifying as the capitalist state seeks to protect the class it serves.
This is the reality of capitalism. Is this the way it has to be? No. Socialism is an alternative to this irrational and increasingly barbaric system. It is a system that puts human needs over private profits.
Join us on Nov. 13 and 14 in Los Angeles for a National "Fight Back" Conference on Socialism hosted by the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Find out what socialism is, what we aim for, and why socialism is the only answer to the misery created by capitalism.
Saturday, November 13
The entire conference will take place in the Davidson Conference Center, USC campus, in South Los Angeles. Doors open at 8:00 am for registration and continental breakfast. Saturday's program will begin at 9:30 am and end at 11 pm.
Opening Plenary Building the struggle against capitalism across the United States 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Keynote Plenary Tasks and perspectives of the socialist movement 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Lunch Break (Plus screening of "The Sand Creek Equation") 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
During lunch, there will be a special screening of the new documentary, "The Sand Creek Equation" by award-winning filmmaker Travis Wilkerson ("An Injury to One"). The film takes the viewer on a lyrical journey from occupied Gaza to Sand Creek, Colorado, the site of a notorious massacre by U.S. troops of Native Americans. The filmmaker will introduce the film.
Major Panel Session #1 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
In each of the Major Panel Sessions, conference participants will have three panels to choose from. They are listed below.
(1) Resisting U.S. imperialism: Is it just bad policies or the system? This panel will discuss imperialism, what it is, and how it affects people across the world. It will examine the policies of the Bush regime and compare them to what’s now happening under Obama. An overall analysis of Lenin’s thesis on the subject also will be presented, along with discussion about Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, the Philippines and elsewhere.
(2) Fighting to win: How we can defeat immigrant bashing, anti-LGBT bigotry, Islamophobia and the ultra right The struggle for class unity is more important than ever. This panel will analyze how to build a united fight back by focusing on the movement to overturn racist, anti-immigrant laws and win equality, the battle for LGBT and women's rights, what's behind the sustained attacks on Arabs and Muslims, and what the rise of the Tea Party means for workers.
(3) Building a new workers' movement: Organized labor and the challenges ahead Organized labor is under attack by Wall Street, corporate giants and capitalist politicians. This panel will feature labor leaders and workers who resist and organize to stop these anti-worker policies. Topics include the dynamics of the labor movement today, organizing the unorganized and the prospects for a class-wide fight back.
Major Panel Session #2 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
(1) The class struggle in Africa and the fight against imperialism Class struggle exists everywhere in Africa, but it is rarely discussed or covered in the United States. This panel will feature experts on the workers’ struggle in Africa, discussing the conditions for working and poor people today. Featured topics include South Africa after apartheid, Sudan: united or divided, Zimbabwe and imperialism, and overcoming the legacy of colonialism and underdevelopment.
(2) Socialism and the Latin American revolution “Down with Yankee imperialism” is an increasingly popular slogan south of the U.S.-Mexico border. This panel will discuss the leftward shift in Latin America and the class dynamics at play. Topics include Cuba’s economic reforms and socialism, an appraisal of the Venezuelan revolution; what’s happening in Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Brazil and Colombia; Mexico’s revolutionary legacy, and the new role of China in Latin America.
(3) Fighting racism and the expanding police state What role do the police play in society? Why do they target and kill Black and Latino people more than anyone else? This panel includes lawyers and activists from across the country involved in the movement against racist police violence, terror and repression. Strategies will be discussed and victories will be shared, with the goal of building a more effective struggle against the expanding police state.
Dinner Break 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Special International Solidarity and Awards Session Fighters for justice, champions of freedom 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
This exciting session will feature former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Robert King Wilkerson of the Angola 3 and many other guest speakers and PSL members. The first ever PSL "Fighters for Justice, Champions of Freedom" awards will be presented in this session to political prisoners, radical lawyers and longtime leaders in the people’s struggle.
Reception 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sunday, November 14
Doors open at 8:00 am for registration and continental breakfast. Sunday's program will begin at 9 am and end at 3 pm.
Organizing Session #1: Practical experiences of building a revolutionary socialist movement 9:00 am – 10:30 am
This session will feature four different breakout groups that will discuss organizing work taking place around the country, from Los Angeles to Texas to New York and beyond. Organizers in all struggles are encouraged to attend, share experiences and figure out ways to push the working-class struggle forward.
Organizing Session #2: 10:45 am – 12:30 pm
There will be three sessions for conference participants to choose from.
(1) Revolutionary writers’ clinic Hone your skills as a revolutionary writer and learn new ones in the Revolutionary writers’ clinic. One of the PSL’s top editors will lead this session about how to write articles, frame slogans and draft flyers to forward the class struggle.
(2) Expanding the reach of socialist media As socialists, the goal is to reach more people with revolutionary ideas. How can we do this? What means to we use? Videos, websites, Liberation newspaper and more will be discussed in this session. Hear from people involved in creating the new wave of socialist media and learn how to get involved.
(3) Developing the PSL’s Spanish-language work Reaching out to and recruiting Spanish speaking people and immigrants is a central focus of the PSL today. In Los Angeles and across the country, members and friends have embarked on a new plan to better engage workers and students that speak Spanish. Discuss what is happening, what our ideas are, and how you can become part of this important work.
(4) Introduction to Socialism This class will answer basic questions about socialism and communism, including: Is Marxism relevant in the 21st century? How do socialists view the rise and fall of the Soviet Union? Why only socialism can solve the ills of capitalist society and bring about a different world.
Lunch Break (Plus screening of "The Sand Creek Equation") 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Closing Plenary Next steps for the socialist movement: Where we go from here 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm