National Conference on Socialism 2010 - PS&L
National Conference on Socialism 2010 - Party for Socialism and Liberation
From Nov. 13-14, 2010, the Party for Socialism and Liberation PSL sponsored/hosted the National Conference on Socialism 2010 - "Stand Up & Fight Back" in Los Angeles. Video clips of some of the speakers were shown on the Glenn Beck Show and featured the hardcore statements about communism and revolution. What Beck did not tell his listeners was that the sponsor, the PS&L is a West Coast faction/split-off of the Stalinist Workers World Party WWP, a once Trotskyite split-off faction from the older Socialist Workers Party SWP, who also held their national convention at the same time in New York City.
A visit to the PSL website (www.pslweb.org), the WWP site (www.workers.org), Home of the Revolutionary Left (www.revleft.com), the marxist internet blog spot, The Partisan, (www.partisan-news.blogspot) and Main Justice (www.mainjustice.com) provided a pretty good overview of what the conference was about and who was supposed to be there are organizers, staff, and speakers.
Keywiki will present as much relevant information from these combined sources as possible to provide the widest coverage of the event, while also trying to avoid duplication of names where possible.
From the PS&L website comes the most extensive information in the form an an announcement/agenda for the "National Conference on Socialism 2010.
"Build a movement to fight back! Struggle for socialism" Saturday and Sunday, November 13-14, University of Southern California, Davidson Conference Center, 3415 S. Figueroa Street, LA, CA 90089.
"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 the 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."
[KW: The following has been edited for space considerations but the full contents can be found at "www.pslweb.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Conference_home"]
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: Saturday, November 13
- Opening Plenary: "Building the struggle against capitalism across the United States"
- Keynote Plenary: "Tasks and perspectives of the socialism movement"
- Lunch Break (Plus screening of "The Sand Creek Equation"):
"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 Americas. The filmmaker will introduce the film."
- Major Panel Session #1:
- (1) Resisting U.S. imperialism: Is it just bad policies or the system?
- (2) Fighting to win: How we can defeat immigrant bashing, anti-LGBT bigotry, Islamophobia and the ultra right
- (3) Building a new workers' movement: Organized labor and the challenges ahead
- Major Panel Session #2:
- (1) The class struggle in Africa and the fight against imperialism
- (2) Socialism and the Latin American revolution
- (3) Fighting racism and the expanding police state
- Dinner Break
- Special International Solidarity and Awards Session: Fighters for justice, champions of freedom
"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."
- Sunday, November 14
- Organizing Session #1: Practical experiences of building a revolutionary socialist movement
(to feature four different "breakout groups" talking about organizing around the country
- Organizing Session #2:
- (1) Revolutionary writers' clinic
- (2) Expanding the reach of socialist media
- (3) Developing the PSL's Spanish-language work
- (4) Introduction to Socialism
- Lunch Break (Plus screening of "The Sand Creek Equation")
- Closing Plenary: Next steps for the socialist movement: Where we go from here
- Video from the 2008 Socialism Conference (Parts 1 & 2, Gloria La Riva 2008 Presidential Candidate of the PSL) and Brian Becker on "Building the Struggle in Economic Hard Times", plus a "Q&A" with them)
From The Partisan there is what is apparently the reproduction of the PSL "Call" or announcement brochure about the conference that is different from the announcement above and is worth reproducing here:
"National Conference on Socialism 2010--Stand Up & Fight Back" (details of when and where) (Slight editing out of duplicative information)
"The conference will feature speakers, panels, organizing strategy sessions, entertainment, and discussion on topics related to the fight against capitalist exploitation, war, racism, and imperialism. We'll discuss what comes next for the people's movement."
"Socialism: The Only Alternative to Capitalism"
(repetition of above announcement starting with "In the United States" thru "It is a system that puts human needs over private profits.)
- "Conference Topics and Workshops Include":
- Why socialism is needed in the United States
- The evils of capitalism: mass layoffs and foreclosures
- What's driving rising food prices?
- Rebuilding the organized workers' movement
- Why Cuba's revolution stands strong
- Black liberation and socialist struggle
- Seize BP!: capitalism vs. the people and the planet
- Making universal health care a reality
- What can stop the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq?
- Organizing veterans and active duty troops
- Students and youth fight back
- Why is the Pentagon targeting Iran?
- Civil rights and civil liberties under attack
- Stopping the military-industrial complex
- Can we win affordable housing for all?
- Immigrant rights: the case for legalization
- Stop racism: defeating Arizona's SB 1070
- Fight back against the Tea party and the ultra-right
- Renewing the women's rights struggle
- Real equality for the LGBT community
- Venezuela and Latin America's leftward shift
- Stop colonialism: Puerto Rico, Haiti, Philippines...
- Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire
- China and the global capitalist economy
- Why the U.S. is threatening North Korea
- Africa: Imperialism's hidden interests
- The prison and police brutality epidemic
- Building a revolutionary workers party
Another website, Independent Political Report also did a story on the PSL convention (www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/psl-to-host-national-conference-on-so...")dated October 26, 2010 by Doug Kaufmann. (IPR describes itself as "Covering America's third parties and independent candidates since May 2008).
Kaufmann's article contained the usual pre-conference information but also listed people interviewed by the PSL website, as well as speakers, awards recipients, etc. This information was missing from some other pre-convention articles. New or relevant information will appear below.
- Sabrina Carollo - a Chicago area community college student, on budget cuts and tuition hikes said "I'm coming to the PSL conference to fight for people's rights."
- Rob Sayers - IT worker in Austin, TX told PSL.web.org that "I'm going the the National Conference on Socialism because I feel it will be a great way to learn more about the role I can play in the working-class struggle. It will also be a chance to network with other revolutionary activists outside of my local area. Only with solidarity will we achieve change, so joining with others to exchange ideas and information will be a powerful tool in our fight for liberation and equality."
- Ramsey Clark - Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark is confirmed as a speaker. He will present the PSL's first-ever "Fighters for Justice, Champions of Freedom" awards to some of the recipients, which include political prisoners, radical lawyers and longtime grassroots leaders.
--Fighters for Justice--
- Mumia Abu-Jamal - Revolutionary journalist unjustly imprisoned since 1981. His writings and commentaries resonate with working-class and poor people across the world. (Left out was the fact that he is a convicted cop-killer).
- Leonard Peltier - Native American political prisoner and American Indian Movement AIM leader unjustly incarcerated since 1976. (Convicted of being at least an accessory to the execution-style murder of two wounded FBI agents near Wounded Knee).
- The Cuban Five - Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez. The Five are Cuban nationals incarcerated for infiltrating right-wing terrorist organizations in Miami. (These were Cuban Government agents, probably DGI, who not only infiltrated exile groups but may have had roles in targeting some of them for assassination).
- Lynne Stewart - Radical lawyer serving an outrageous 10-year federal prison sentence. Stewart is guilty of nothing more than ardently advocating for the most oppressed and championing freedom and liberation. (Stewart violated jail-house rules about bringing in or taking out contraband items from prisoners, in this case, the terrorist leader "Blind Sheik", who was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed 6 people and wounded/injured over 1,000).
--Champions of Freedom--
- The Champions of Freedom Award will be presented to radical lawyers and longtime leaders in the struggle for justice and equality and against imperialism. The 2010 award recipients are:
- Mara Verheyden-Hilliard - Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. Reportedly the wife of the next recipient, Carl Messineo.
- Carl Messineo - Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. Both are connected to the NLG and work with the WWP and its fronts IAC and ANSWER.
- Carol Sobel - National Lawyers Guild NLG
- Muntadhar al-Zaidi - Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at then-President George Bush in 2008. Al-Zaidi was imprisoned and tortured for his anti-imperialist actions. he continued to advocate for the Iraqi people and struggle against colonial occupation.
- Mary Harb - Palestinian American Women's Association PAWA
- Lucius Walker - There will also be a tribute to the late Lucius Walker, Executive Director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace. (Walker's record of supporting domestic and international communists, fronts, and causes goes back to the late 1960's).
--Additional Guest Speakers--
- Ramsey Clark - Former U.S. Attorney General
- Imam Mahdi Bray - Executive Director, Muslim American Society MAS Freedom? (typo)?. Bray had long been a supporter and activist in WWP fronts since the 1980's.
- Jollene Levid - National Chairperson, AF31RM or AF3IRM
- Ron Kovic - Vietnam veteran, author, "Born on the Fourth of July". (also has been a supporter of radical causes and fronts).
- Ken Lerch - Present, National Association of Letter Carriers NACL Branch 3825.
- Dr. Henry Clark - Executive Director, West County Toxics Coalition
- Jim Lafferty - Executive Director, NLG, Los Angeles. Probably the same person as the James Lafferty who was a NLG attorney in Detroit and member of NPAC and the NLG there.
- Youself Abudayyeh - National Coordinator, Free Palestine Alliance
- Arturo Garcia - Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (Since the only ones attacking the government in the Philippines are the marxists of the National Peoples' Army NPA, Abu-Sayeff - the Al-Qaeda arm of Bin Laden, and the Moslem Moro Liberation Front, Garcia must be supporting one or all of them.