Middle East

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Perhaps the most long-standing and intractable crisis in the world, Israel/Palestine, has now reached beyond catastrophic proportions. The panel will focus on the various ways the issue affects and infects American politics. We will discuss the origins of the present situation and the influence of Washington lobbies, and offer ideas and strategies for ways toward a just solution.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

An all-Palestinian panel of activists, academics and artists speaking on their personal experiences of displacement and mapping out the path of return to Palestine.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In 1979, the Iranian Revolution overturned a key pro-US power in the Middle East. Since then Washington has sought to overthrow the Iranian government, as it did before in 1953. The US has used crippling economic sanctions, internal subversion, and threats of war. Little known about the Islamic Republic of Iran are the progressive changes made in the country, such as programs to eliminate poverty, improving the rights of women. Dan Kovalik will discuss his new book now coming out on Iran. Sara Flounders will discuss the movement to stop a US war on Iran. Ben Norton will review the genocidal US-Saudi war on Yemen.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

It is now popular to speak about intersectional analyses of oppression and collaboration among social justice organizations. However, how many organizations or movements really walk the walk across ideological lines? We will walk across the timelines of movements and develop correlations between the past (Selma, Freedom Riders, and Palestine movements in the 40s – 80’s), the present, and the future. We will attempt to facilitate conversations that integrate the intersections of Liberation in Palestine, Black Justice and Liberation, Migrant and Immigration rights, Water and Land Liberation (such as Flint, Palestine and Fighting against the Dakota Pipelines), Islamophobia, political prisoners, and the ascendency of Trump’s regime. The interconnecting thread of these varied movements is the push for justice. It is hoped that by turning a critical lens to the intersections of varied movements for justice, specific and concrete steps towards an integrated plan that is realistic and implementable will be developed that will move those who are marginalized towards freedom. In short, do our lives really matter?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

BUILDING AN INTERNATIONAL & INTERNATIONALIST OPPOSITION TO IMPERIALISM, THE INTERACTION BETWEEN ORGANIZING FOR SOCIALISM AND ORGANIZING AGAINST WAR. THESIS FOR DISCUSSION: What direction(s) should internationalists take in the coming period of class struggle in the US? Should we focus on building a new internationalist socialist leadership? Should we focus on overcoming the crisis of leadership in US anti-war opposition? Can these tasks be combined? If so, how? What is the relationship between this crisis and the current mass organising context(s) against the Trump regime? What are the organizing priorities? What is to be done?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

THE RED-BROWN ALLIANCE, FAKE NEWS AND GENOCIDE DENIAL, MORAL AND POLITICAL COMPROMISES ON THE LEFT: "Anti imperialism" without any class content and without true internationalism (international working class solidarity) is the political basis for the red brown alliance, the political compromise of sections of the US left with reactionary, fascist forces.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

THE HISTORICAL AND THEORETICAL ISSUES: Two arguments are offered by leftists against support for the Syrian revolution: 1) that revolutionaries should only focus on their own imperialist masters; and 2) that the Assad regime, and other regimes (Venezuela, Iran... ) are "anti-imperialist". Are these arguments consistent with the tradition of revolutionary struggle against imperialism, and what are the implications of these arguments for efforts to build international working class solidarity in the US?"? What implications do different answers to these questions on the self-identified "Left" domestically and internationally, have for the standing of socialism in the world today?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel first examines pinkwashing in historical context, looking at efforts to link queer and Zionist organizing from the 1970s-1990s. Then it moves to the present, tracing Islamophobic funders' evolving investments in pinkwashing as a way to recruit queer youth and campus groups *away* from antiracist, anticolonial activism that challenges Israeli apartheid. It covers ways to expose these tactics and support student/youth and queer resistance.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Large, imposed, infrastructure projects are a driving force of climate change. They are also a necessary component of our response to rising sea levels and changing weather patterns. Physical infrastructure has very visible, material effects: it holds water, changes the landscape, moves oil, sprouts leaks and poisons water. But a mere analysis of infrastructure-as-object conceals more than it illuminates. A closer examination of pipelines in Canada and Lebanon, real estate driven flood infrastructure in coastal Florida, and the legal response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests reveals the economic, historical, political and racial relations that are embedded in and reproduced by these technologies for stopping floods and transporting fuel. Furthermore, the responses to the power structures articulated through infrastructure--occupations, sabotage--suggest a critique that exceeds the limits of environmentalism proper and strategies that would confront this political-economic behemoth at its point of production, whether that is the pipeline or the red line.

(Zack Culyer) Work, Staging, and Sabotage: Perceptibility and the Trans-Arabian Pipeline.
(Rosalind Donald) Combined and Uneven Real Estate Development: Miami' Segregation Driven Climate Change Response.
(R.H. Lossin) Critical Infrastructure Sabotage: Protecting Property and Suppressing Speech.
(Troy Vettese) Black Snake in the Grass: The Political Economy of Pipelines.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

There has arguably been a consistent left position on American foreign policy since the nineteen-sixties and seventies, when the current international legal and political order crystalized in a particular way. What Michael Walzer has described as the left's "default position," includes the following: a "commitment to neutrality in all international and civil wars," and a consistently critical position of U.S. foreign relations. The decidedly post-imperial positioning of the left is, arguably, an isolationist positioning that leaves open the question of what international solidarity can look like. However, recent events with the Arab Spring and the brutal slaughter in Syria have sparked some debate and a call to self-reflection about what internationalism for the Left can look like in the present global order. We are being asked to reconsider what has been dogma for the left regarding international law and global politics. Our increasingly interconnected world and the political and economic reconfiguration of states have placed the left's default positions in crisis. Specifically, there has been a split of the international left on the question of Syria and the interpretation of U.S. and Russian intervention. Left critique of liberalism has contributed to destabilizing its hegemonic power. However, it seems that liberalism is being replaced with illiberalism. The main problem is how the left should respond in this moment of rising illiberalism globally and the reconfiguration of geo-political spaces and ideologies. This panel proposes a discussion of the questions that are becoming increasingly urgent for the left to reflect upon, especially from inside American power.

Some of the questions the panelists will address include what "we" think an American foreign policy should look like. What space there is for dissent and disagreement in the left on its relationship to other peoples especially during times of conflict. And whether or not the left should reconsider humanitarian intervention?