Harmony Goldberg

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Harmony Goldberg


Harmony Goldberg is a New York City activist.

Early life/education

"I grew up in Buffalo, New York," Harmony Goldberg recounts[1]"My mom was once a Catholic nun; Dad was Jewish. Mom taught at Attica after the uprising. I was radicalized by my parents' political orientation."

"I got a full scholarship to UC Berkeley in 1993. Racism was on the offensive," she says. "When the regents started eliminating affirmative action, I felt personally responsible; here I was, a white woman on a full scholarship, while others were shut out. It felt like an historical moment; I decided to do social justice work."

Radicalization and SOUL

Goldberg and fellow student Rona Fernandez founded SOUL in 1996 to train young people of color in "get out the vote" work against Prop. 209.

"We had correct information, but it didn't matter," Goldberg remembers. "I became revolutionized through the course of my experience of trying to change things electorally, trying to change embedded racism. I concluded that to build power we needed to liberate our own people, instead of trying to convince people in power to do it.

"We studied the Third World movements of the 1960s and 1970s, here and abroad: South Africa, Cuba, China, Chile. We studied the [revolutionary] classics, the histories. We decided to commit to an organizing method, not just direct action or ideological organizing."

The women made SOUL a political education center, as distinct from a political party or an issue advocacy group... Goldberg distances herself from the traditional leftist labels of Marxist, Leninist, Maoist, and Trotskyist while acknowledging an affinity for socialism: "I am not an 'ist,' merely a revolutionary, with identity as a socialist."

Goldberg's politics are heavily influenced by Antonio Gramsci... she also admires Rosa Luxemburg, a communist martyred by German soldiers in 1919, who was highly critical of the Russian Communist Party's "dictatorship of the party, not the workers."

The Summer Of Unity and Liberation (SOUL)[2]grew out of the 1995 student movement at the University of California-Berkeley to support affirmative action. Modeled after the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), SOUL was founded by four Fernandez, Goldberg, Tho Vinh Banh and Amanda Enoch--who were also directly involved in the Berkeley campus organizing. They agreed there was a need to create a program that would address the challenges within multiracial coalitions that organize for social change as well as develop links between college campuses and community organizing.

Mumia Abu-Jamal activism

In 1998 the Center for Political Education in San Francisco held[3]a panel discussion "Where are White Activists in the Fight Against Racism?" Panellists were Harmony Goldberg, SOUL-on the Mumia Abu-Jamal Campaign, Jo Hirschman, Police Watch-on Police Brutality, Adam Gold, C-Beyond on organizing in the suburbs. It was facilitated by Ilana Berger, POWER.

Center for Political Education

In 1999, a panel discussion entitled "Where are White Activists in the Fight Against Racism?" was composed of speakers Harmony Goldberg, SOUL; who spoke on the Mumia Abu-Jamal Campaign; Jo Hirschman of Police Watch who spoke on Police Brutality; and Adam Gold, of C-Beyond who spoke on organizing in the suburbs. These talks were facilitated by Ilana Berger, of POWER who gave a talk entitled "The Early Marxist View on Housing: How Relevant is it Today?" at this meeting. The talks were sponsored by the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism linked organization, the Center for Political Education.[4]

In 2005 Harmony Goldberg and Raquel Lavina gave talks entitled: "Reclaiming Revolution: Evaluating the Experience of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM)", these talks reviewed lessons learned from the organization STORM, a revolutionary organization in the Bay Area in the 90s. The talks were held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education.[4]

Youth Empowerment Center leaders

In the early 2000s Lateefah Simon served on the Board of Directors[5]of the Oakland based Youth Empowerment Center.

Officers were Harmony Goldberg, President, Van Jones, Secretary Adam Gold, Treasurer Cindy Wiesner, Director, Lateefah Simon, Director

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For the 2003 financial year Youth Empowerment Center officers were Harmony Goldberg, Chair/Program Director, Cindy Wiesner, Secretary, Adam Gold, Treasurer Jason McBriarty, Director, Lateefah Simon, Director, Rona Fernandez, Executive Director.

Jews for a Free Palestine

August, 2002: as member of Jews for a Free Palestine visited Nablus, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Gaza.

Sacramento Marxist School

On Nov 18 2004 Harmony Goldberg lectured at the Sacramento Marxist School on Reclaiming Revolution.[6]

STORM

In 2005 San Francisco's Center for Political Education hosted a forum[7]"Reclaiming Revolution: Evaluating the Experience of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM)" with former STORM members Harmony Goldberg and Raquel Lavina.

A look at lessons learned from the organization STORM, a revolutionary organization in the Bay Area in the 90s.

Opposing the "War on Terror"

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 supporters[8]of STORM and the Bay Area Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism established Ad Hoc Committee 'On Poitical Strategy' to fight against Bush's war against terrorism.

The committee included Betita Martinez, Cindy Wiesner, Max Elbaum, Edget Betru, Harmony Goldberg, Clarissa Rojas, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, John Trinkl, Hany Khalil and Bob Wing.

The group issued an October 5, 2001 statement to other activists;

As we immersed ourselves in the fightback to Bush's war against terrorism, we felt the need to get our political bearings as leftists. So we organized a discussion attended by 27 diverse left activists in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sept. 30.
September 11, and the Bush administration's reaction to it, is a defining historical moment, ushering in a new and dangerous period in international politics. Washington's agenda is to entrench the national security state and a new level of international dominance on the basis of a permanent war on terrorism--bringing the "new world order" to fruition.
The defining political axis of this new period is Washington's international war on terrorism--and the fight against it...The political and ideological balance of forces, demands, and outcomes of all struggles will be affected by this central issue, to one degree or another.
Given this, the fight for peace should be the central demand for the people's movements...However, peace is not a centrist, liberal demand, but in fact is central to an anti-imperialist agenda. Its main content is that of staying the hand of imperialist war and fighting U.S. militarism in all its forms.

Brecht Forum event

3/27 2007, - Book party/forum: "The Cost of Privilege." With author Chip Smith (Freedom Road Socialist Organization, founder, Fayetteville Peace with Justice, Machinists Union past steward), Bill Fletcher, Jr., (TransAfrica Forum, past pres), Harmony Goldberg (Bay Area activist, Anthro at CUNY Grad Ctr). Chip Smith makes case for role of system of racial advantages in preventing united challenge by US working people to the rule of capital. At Brecht Forum, 451 West St. Sponsors: Brecht Forum, Nation Books. [9]

"The Van Jones Effect: Right Wing Frenzy, Inside/Out Strategies and Red Scare"

"The Van Jones Effect: Right Wing Frenzy, Inside/Out Strategies and Red Scare" Wednesday, 16 September 2009, 19:30 The Brecht Forum.

Jed Brandt, Rosa Clemente, Harmony Goldberg, Arun Gupta, Randy Jackson, Jee Kim, Terry Marshall, Lenina Nadal.

The anti-communist screed launched by Glenn Beck forced forced Van Jones to resign as advisor to President Obama. While Beck’s media maelstrom is reminiscent of the 1950s “Red Scare,” it also reveals the deep fissures in American society. The country is facing off in terms of race and class, with Obama playing the Janus head to both the progressive forces that put him in office and a reinvigorated right.
In the background is the very real possibly (and dare say, hope) of a rising radical force that can push Obama to the left and reshape domestic and foreign policy.

Tonight’s activist panel looks at the ways in which the Van Jones effect opens up crucial questions to radical left forces How do radical left forces interact and relate to this administration? How do we push on critical issues like health care? How did the right wing capture momentum? How does the left get its groove back?[10]

Organizing Upgrade

Initiated by Sushma Sheth, Harmony Goldberg and Joseph Phelan, Organizing Upgrade was founded in 2009.

Left Forum 2009

Left Strategy from the Grassroots:

Left Forum 2010

The US Social Forum and US Social Movements: The Road from Atlanta to Detroit 2010:

Left Forum 2010

Post-Identity Politcs:

New York activism

In 2009 Harmony Goldberg was "Resource Ally" of the Right to the City Alliance and a supporter of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Goldberg is also a PhD student in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, and she provides political education support for grassroots organizations around the country.[11]

99% Spring National Training team

Joshua Kahn Russell March 19, 2012 near Washington ·

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The 99% Spring National Training team! — with Moe Fitzsimons, Jenny Marienau, Gregory W. Fries, Amy Faulring, Linda Ewing, Lindsay McCluskey, Trishala Deb, Robbie Samuels, Terri Nilliasca, Randall Smith, Jodeen Olguin-Tayler, Nadine Bloch, Mark Provost, Jason Javier, Justin Haaheim, Harmony Goldberg, Deirdre Cybele Smith, Liz Butler, Heather Box, Myla Ablog, Samantha Corbin, Amara Possian, Samantha Miller, Rebecca Sobel, Wu Chang, Camilo Vive and Camilo Viveiros.

Ear to the Ground Project

Ear to the Ground Project;

We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:

Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Harmony Goldberg was among those on the list. [12]

Power and Protagonism

Steve Williams September 18, 2015:

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Who says 'protagonism' isn't a word? Marta Harnecker says, 'Sometimes we need new words to describe new actions.' Honored to be soaking up the wisdom of Marta Harnecker and Michael Lebowitz in a room full of hungry and skilled organizers and activists. — with Thomas Assefa, Ilana Berger, Ben Morse, Harmony Goldberg, Randy Jackson, Tony Romano, Jee Kim, Kitzia Esteva, Helena Wong, Matt Howard, Jodeen Olguin-Tayler and Kate Kanelstein at Verso Books.

Right to the City

Right to the City is associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. In 2015 Harmony Goldberg, CUNY Graduate Center, was listed as an "ally" on the organization's website.[13]

MEP Summer Intensive

At 388 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn Thursday 23 July J through Sunday, July 262015, Marxist Education Project organized a "Summer Intensive - ON WORKING CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS." Presenters included Mitch Abidor, Kazembe Balagun, Mike Bento, Ibrahim Diallo, Silvia Federici, Harmony Goldberg, Jane Gordon, Lewis Gordon, Dan Karan, Rakhee Kewada, Lisa Maya Knauer, Polina Kroik, Immanuel Ness, Marie-Claire Picher, Bhaskar Sunkara, Juliet Ucelli and more...

Those indicating attendance on the Wherevent website included Nadinne Canto Novoa, Kazembe Balagun, Teiji Maeda LocaMotive, Marc Rodrigues, Davon Blanks, Marcus Meute, Terrence Jelani Fraser, Brandon Bausher, David Williams, Wailly Compres Henriquez, Suro Pak, Brian Raven. [14]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those invited, on Facebook included Harmony Goldberg.[15]

Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward

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Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.

Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?

This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.

Those invited, on Facebook included Harmony Goldberg.[16]

The Left We Want to Build: Breaking Out of the Margins

In June 2017, Harmony Goldberg signed the letter The Left We Want to Build: Breaking Out of the Margins.

The People's Summit 2017

Tobita Chow June 12, 2017:

Thanks to Harmony Goldberg for organizing this great discussion at The People's Summit of the Long Term Agenda which People's Action inherited from NPA (and which we're redoing), The Movement for Black Lives platform, the Freedom Cities platform, and the LEAP Manifesto.

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Coming from what seem like very different starting points (economic justice, racial justice, environmentalism), we've ended up ... See More — with Harmony Goldberg, Anthony Rogers-Wright and Dante Barry.

Historical Materialism conference

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Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - New York Office, May 21 2018;

Our panelists at Historical Materialism in Montreal this weekend (from left), Claus Thomasberger (HTW Berlin), Michael Brie (RLS Berlin), Kari Polanyi Levitt (McGill University), Maria Starzmann (RLS–NYC), Malin Kuth (intern, RLS–NYC), Harmony Goldberg (Grassroots Policy Project), Ethan Young (Left Labor Project), and Lorenz Gosta Beutin (MP, Die Linke).

OU Editoral Collective

Organizing Upgrade Editoral Collective, 2018;[17]

Attacking Biden

Organizing Upgrade "Sanders and Warren: The need for a progressive front" September 25, 2019 by The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective.

We urge all left-progressive forces to take seriously what will be required to create a united progressive front capable of defeating Biden and going on to expand its influence even as we unite in an even broader coalition to defeat Trump. And to remember that we not only need cooperation on the electoral battlefront, but cooperation at scale in building mass direct action, revitalizing the trade union movement, and organizing large numbers on a host of urgent issues. After all, even if Sanders or Warren wins the presidency and the GOP loses control of both houses of Congress, it will take massive pressure from below to win a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, end mass incarceration, close the border concentration camps, change US foreign policy and begin the new cycle of progressive advance that is an existential imperative for the world’s most vulnerable and the entire human race.
We have to quickly establish sufficient political unity to uphold a progressive front, so that we may develop the technical capacities and infrastructure to allow this progressive front to work together (regardless of whether they have endorsed Sanders or Warren). Though preserving space for constructive debate over left electoral strategy and tactics will be critical, we urge doing so in a way that does not detract from the important task of reaching outward, engaging the unconvinced and unorganized social forces we will need to win.

To that end, Organizing Upgrade will be publishing a number of pieces in the coming week from left organizers of varied perspectives that discuss the WFP endorsement, the DSA’s “Bernie or Bust” resolution, and other developments related to the 2020 elections. Our goal is to continue engaging left organizers in strategic dialogue during a pivotal moment in history and we welcome you to join the conversation. The stakes could not be higher.

The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective.

Rishi Awatramani, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Julie Chinitz, Kim Diehl, Max Elbaum, Harmony Goldberg, Maria Poblet, Eric Robertson, Stina Rose Marie, Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, Claire Tran, and Bob Wing.

National Party Building Conference

National Party Building Conference Hosted by Communist Party USA and People's World.

Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 12 PM – 6 PM EST

Join Communist Party activists and members in a national conference. You can register here https://tinyurl.com/ycdouk3y

The conference will take place November 11th to 12th to plan our work in the fight against the Trump Administration and its white supremacist ruling class backers. Find information here about how to participate. http://www.cpusa.org/2017-national-party-building-conference-resist-organize-vote-grow/

The conference will be streamed from Chicago to regional meetings in New Haven, Los Angeles, and Orlando. Whether you’re on the East Coast, West Coast, in the MIdwest or the South, you’ll be able to participate.[18]

Those invited on Facebook included Harmony Goldberg.

References