May 20 Fri 3 pm-9pm May 21 Sat 9am-9.45pm May 22 Sun 9am-9pm John Jay School of Justice 524 W. 59St Left Forum 2016

Those who support a humane society will gather on May 20 Fri (3pm-9pm) May 21 Sat (9am-9.45pm) and May 22 Sun (9am-9pm) at the John Jay School of Justice 524 W. 59St for the 12th gigantic meet of the The Left Forum 2016, where it will be impossible for each of them to attend all the panel sessions and events they will be interested in, since there are 133 of these listed in the 88 page brochure which are squeezed into little more than two and a half days of programming.

Perhaps this represents the burgeoning interest in revising American politics to pursue a kinder and more enlightened democracy in which the old and poor and weaker members are not shoved to the side and trampled on by the rich elite who having read the witless philosophy of Ayn Rand are too busy skimming the cream of the economy and ever more of the milk to have time to protect them from their lack of concern for anyone else’s children, let alone save the Earth for all children including their own.

If so it is about time, as the extraordinary success of Bernie Sanders in the current election cycle seems to indicate, and perhaps that of Donald Trump too, both being indicators of the anger and contempt for the current system felt by the disadvantaged and indeed most of the advantaged.

Here is a short list of sessions we consider the plums in the Left Forum 2016 pie. Click the title links to raise the full page on each. L numbers mean lobby of the New Building, L2.– means upper Lobby, 1.– the first floor, 3.— 3rd Floor and 8.— the 8th Floor of the New Building, then within a block you have North Hall (9/10th Ave 445 West 59) with 2303 to 2507 on the 2nd Floor, and 3321 to 3326 on the 3rd Floor.

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Politics for the people a la Bernie Sanders instead of for the cream hogs – the future of civilization explored

Conference information

A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The conference is held each year in New York City.

A letter from Naomi Klein about the Forum 2016

Left Forum 2016 Full Conference Schedule
Left Forum organizers are proud to present the full conference schedule for Left Forum 2016. Not only will attendees have hundreds of panels and workshops to choose from, but musical performances, special lunch time events, a diverse and sprawling exhibition, and exciting evening plenaries, all promise to make this year’s conference an exciting event.

Check out the schedule below or view it on the website.

Left Forum 2016 Conference Schedule

HIGHLIGHTS (Click links for event full page)

FRIDAY

Friday May 20th, 2016
Registration: 3:00pm – 6:30pm
Exhibitions: 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Session A: 5:00pm – 6:45pm
Computerized Election Theft, the Rolling Right Wing Coup, and How to Stop It in L2.85 (We can protest all we want, but if voters can be stripped from the rolls and elections can be flipped behind closed doors, the Deep Corporate State will always maintain power.) Joel Simpson, Chair; Jonathan Simon Election Defense Alliance; Mark Crispin Miller New York University; Bob Fitrakis Columbus State Community College; Mimi Kennedy Progressive Democrats of America; Virginia Martin Columbia County (New York) Democratic Election Supervisor.
Privacy, Surveillance and Secure Internet Access: Planning the Fight in L.76 (The almost complete destruction of privacy as a human right, coupled with severe surveillance and data confiscation has now become a major issue for social justice and revolutionary movements)
The Rise of Independent Media, Perspectives From the Progressive Left in L2.81 (the current state of Independent media, how it has been affected by the rise of Bernie Sanders) David Pakman, Chair; The David Pakman Show; Benjamin Dixon The Benjamin Dixon Show; Sam Seder The Majority Report; Nomiki Konst The Accountability Project; Paul Jay The Real News Network.

Chris Hedges makes it very clear which side he is on

Opening Plenary: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Capitalism and Militarism – At Humanity’s Peril: Organizing Our Power – Tariq Ali, Medea Benjamin, and Chris Hedges (Laura Flanders, Moderator)

SATURDAY

Saturday May 21st, 2016
Registration: 8:00am – 7:45pm
Exhibitions: 9:00am – 7:30pm
Session 1: 10:00am – 11:50am
Film: To Begin the World Over Again — The Life of Thomas Paine NORTHHALLBUILDING 2450 (the visionary who saw democracy and independence more clearly than the other founders) The presentation is the last great work of legendary cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler (1922 – Dec. 2015) who made One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest and Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? National Educational Telecommunications Association Ian Ruskin The Life of Thomas Paine Productions: thelifeofthomaspaine.org; Victor Madeson . Thomas Paine Friends, thomas-paine-friends.org
Class Struggle in Popular Music 3.81 1.113 (how popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries–in different modes and genres–represents class and class struggle) Science & Society; Maria Damon, Chair Department of Humanities and Media Studies, Pratt Institute; Carter Mathes Department of English, Rutgers-New Brunswick;Rachel Rubin U of Mass, Boston, Department of American Studies; James Smethurst Department of Africana Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Situation in Ukraine on the 2 year anniversary of the fascist attack on demonstrators where 46 people were killed. 1.113 (A leader of the progressive movement from Odessa will join this panel)
Michael Moore’s”Where to Invade Next”: What can the Rest of the World Teach Us about Multiparty Democracy with Strong Left Parties? North Hall Building 2327 (This panel will include several experts on multiparty systems in nations featured in Michael Moore’s new movie plus Brazil.)
Zoned Out! Race, Displacement and City Planning in New York City 1.77 (New York City’s communities of color are facing massive gentrification and displacement resulting from unbridled real estate speculation and government land use policies that support it)

Session 2 12.00pm-1.50pm

What Next for the Movement Behind Bernie? L2.84 (How do we continue the fight against the billionaire class after the primaries?)
US-Cuba Relations Today: Fighting for Real, Full Normalization 1.103 (What has changed and what remains to be changed? The US economic, commercial, and financial embargo, while crumbling politically, remains entirely in place, as do travel sanctions. US companies continue to be sanctioned for relations with Cuba)
Trash Talk: Fighting Incineration & Achieving a Zero Waste Vision for Environmental Justice 1.117(New York City and Newark have both made commitments to Zero Waste recently. This panel will highlight the most recent industry attempts to reintroduce incineration to our region)
Overcoming Capitalism (Zero Books) 1.109 (how to transcend or overcome capitalism)
One Democratic State in Palestine/israel. In 2504 (to acknowledge the death of the “two state solution” and reality of the alternative, “one state solution,” whereby Israelis and Palestinians would live together as equal citizens before the law)
Occupy the Commons: Towards a Rational, Peaceful, Bloodless and Effective Revolution for Social Justice, Economic Equity and Human Liberation 1.73 (How does the current system further accelerate the vicious spinning circle of exploitation, widening the wealth-poverty gap, degrading the Environment and exploiting the Bio-commons?)
Climate Change and Capitalism 1.115 (why have efforts to mitigate climate change failed so far? What does this failure say about the nature of the system that is confronting climate change?)
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Featured Saturday Lunchtime Event 1: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Rage, Rebellion, Revolution and Song L.63 (Lecture Hall)
Featured Saturday Lunchtime Event 2: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Easter Rising – Songs of Freedom L.76 (Lecture Hall)
Black Box Theater Saturday Events
3.30-5.15pm Poetic Justice: An Afternoon of Emancipatory Lyrics Hosted by Shayla Cook
5.20-7.10 Comedy Show: Who Says The Left Has No Sense of Humor FEATURING: RANDY CREDICO, JOHN FUGELSANG AND RHONDA HANSOME
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Session 3 Saturday: 3:30pm – 5:15pm
Transcending Material Scarcity 1.82 (Distribution of income by labor is almost universal but outdated in an economy where the major and increasing source of production is capital which is nearly all owned by a minuscule (plutocratic) few)
Silencing Dissent: False Accusations of Anti-Semitism Against Palestine Solidarity 1.119 (defenders of Israel have launched powerful and coordinated counterattacks to silence the movement of Palestininian solidarity)
Sanders’ Politics and the Path to Socialism 1.71 (relationship between the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders and the budding mass movement)
Fukushima on the Hudson: The Risks Posed by Governmental Negligence at Indian Point 1.114 (Indian Point has one of the worst safety records of any nuclear plant in the country, a pattern of negligent safety enforcement, and presents multiple clear and present dangers to the region. Among them are ongoing plans to build a high gauge gas pipeline on site, which in the event of a pipeline explosion could trigger a nuclear incident.)
Criminal Justice Reform, or Justice Denied? 1.83 (This panel argues that reforms and decarceration mark instead the emergence of enhanced state control through greater coordination of criminal justice agencies and enhanced supervision and surveillance through private and non-governmental agencies)
Capitalism’s Right Turn: From Far Right Populism to Authoritarian Neoliberal State 1.100 (launching the 2016 Register on The Politics of the Right)
Bully Nation: How Militaristic Capitalism Creates a Bullying Society 1.63 (In order to assure domination, the militaristic capitalist elite must build a culture that reinforces and rewards bullying behaviors and values, both in the ruling institutions and in everyday interpersonal interactions. Book: Bully Nation by Charles Derber and Yale Magrass University Press of Kansas)
A Dialogue on Israel and Palestine With Tariq Ali and Norman Finkelstein L2 85 (No abstract)
Debate: The Left and the Sanders Campaign L2 82 (how socialists should relate to the Bernie Sanders campaign.)
Film Screening: All Day All Week: An Occupy Wall Street Story 3.79 (It is 2011. Three years into the global financial crisis, there is a growing sense that political and economic elites sold out the people. In response, a wave of revolutions spreads from North Africa to Europe, and even the United States. In New York City a small group of activists meet in the NY General Assembly to discuss the possibility of #OccupyWallStreet. On September 17th they go to the financial district and occupy Zuccotti Park. They rename it Liberty Square)

A Brief History Of The Future 1.107 (The activists soon find themselves in the center of a growing movement. They face many external challenges including the media, the unions, political parties, and police violence. However, it is the internal challenges that they cannot overcome.)
Session 4 Saturday: 5:20pm – 7:10pm
We Are Not Your Soldiers: Learn to Talk Students Out of Signing Up for War 1.123 (Veterans with World Can’t Wait’s We Are Not Your Soldiers project present what they do in a typical high school classroom where students are considering joining the U.S. military. Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans relate their experiences in occupying countries, boot camp and post-military service)
The TPP, TTIP and the Continuing Free Trade Onslaught, the View From Canada 1.73 (Unfortunately the onslaught of the neo-liberal regimes continues. Four Canadian experts will share their analyses and experiences fighting the latest round of mega-free trade agreements.)
The Donald Trump Presidential Campaign: How to Fight the Rise of Fascism in Our Time 1.125 (Some say Trump is a buffoon, but that was also said of Mussolini, and after the laughing stopped about a million died.)
Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated 1.82 (The harm done to the wrongfully incarcerated and their families is tremendous in all such cases. This panel will discuss action and strategies for dealing with wrongful incarceration.)
Turkey’s Denial of the Armenian Genocide and the Question of Reparations 1.119 (how Turkey rewrote history after the 1915 Armenian Genocide in which the Assyrians,and Pontic Greeks were killed, and the rest sent into exile. Anoush Ter Taulian will discuss the intergenerational trauma that led her to become a lifetime Armenian activist and Artsakh (the part of Armenian liberated from Azeri conquerors) veteran.)
Night Event: 7:30pm – 9:45pm
Saturday Plenary Black Liberation and the Sanders Groundswell: Prospects for Left Unity

SUNDAY

Sunday May 22nd, 2016
Registration: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Exhibitions: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Session 5 Sunday: 10:00am – 11:50am
The Imperative of Nuclear Disarmament in an Increasingly Dangerous World 2511 (countries are in the process of modernizing or further advancing their nuclear weapons programs in a world where elites envision and plan for continually escalating competition for increasingly scarce resources)
So the Next Bernie Can Run as an Indie: The Ballots, the Dollars and the Debates L 76 (Even Sanders’ most ardent campaign supporters acknowledge the perils of running in the obviously undemocratic DNC primary system)
Reducing Fossil Carbon Use. Wind, Water & Solar or Nuclear Fission – Which Has Better Promise? 3.79 (It is technically possible to greatly reduce mankind’s use of fossil carbon fuels)
It’s Time for Alexander Hamilton the Leftist: Hamilton’s American System of Political Economy Is the Key to Defeating Wall Street and Finally Organizing an Economic Recovery Starting With Infrastructure 1.75 (Hamilton’s American System of protectionism, mercantilism, and dirigism can help us put an end to the free trade sellouts, unemployment, and immiseration of our own time. We will attempt to convince the Left to adopt Hamilton as a champion of economic progress and as a figure whose ideas are worth pursuing in our time. A case in point is the rebuilding of the US rail system, financed by Hamiltonian methods.)
How Would Thomas Paine and Henry George Plan a Rebellion? L2.82 (Thomas Paine promoted “Rights of Man” (2 vols) and “Agrarian Justice”. Henry George extended these ideas on “Progress and Poverty” into the 20th Century.)
Capitalism and Loneliness L2.84
(But while capitalism freed people from rural manors, social bonds and attachments were ruptured. Alienated labor rent communities asunder. Between its political economy, its fragmented social and mediated exaltations of the individual, we now live lonely lives of quiet desperation.)
Session 6 Sunday: 12:00pm – 1:50pm
Discussion With Cubans About Life Under Blockade, the Cuban Economy, and Mass Organizations During the Changing Us-Cuban Relations 1 103 (US blockade, and the continuing damage this inflicts on Cuba)
Unifying Independent Media: Creating Networks for Bloggers, Freelance Journalists, and Livestreamers 1.92 (The coverage that is shown on TV is framed to discredit and demonize those participating in actions on both a local and national level)
The Transatlantic Slippery Slope – Suppression of Freedom of Expression from Israel to the US 1.121 (In 2015, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the “Anti-Boycott Law”, thereby legitimizing the suppression of dissent in Israel. Passed in 2011, the Anti-Boycott Law makes the call for the boycott of Israel (including of the illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory) a civil tort, and joins similar laws and policies designed to chill and curtail internal critique of Israel and Israeli policies. In the United States, dozens of anti-BDS laws have been proposed/enacted in both the US Congress and at the state level, mirroring the Anti-Boycott Law in Israel and with the aim of suppressing or punishing activism for Palestine.)
The History of Interracial Desire: From Slave Narratives to Obama 1.67 (In this panel we work against the backdrop of the scientific debunking of race as a genetic reality and move to read it as a culture of power….the narrative of romance is being re-invented in the cause of radical egalitarianism.)
Marxism and Religion: Cooperation and Contradiction 1.108 (The relationship between Marxism and religion has historically been sometimes antagonistic, sometimes cooperative)
Berning Down the House? Left Populism and Its Limits L.76 (A conversation on the promise and limits of the Bernie Sanders campaign.)
Bernie v. The Greens: What Can the Government Actually Do to Fix Our Economic Mess? L2.85 (UMASS Amherst Economics Professor Jerry Friedman made headlines with his breakdown of how we can actually accomplish Bernie Sanders most challenging goals, including job growth, single payer health care, free public university tuition and paid family leave. Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for US President with some ideas of her own about reorienting the economy toward environmental and social justice.)
Bernie, Capitalism’s Crisis and Democratic Socialism: What Next? L2.84 (examines the Bernie Sanders campaign in its relation to capitalism’s triple crises: economic decline accompanied by intense psychological stress and a crisis of hegemony with deep political challenges.)

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Lunch Session Sunday: 2:00pm – 3:40pm
Chasing Utopia: A Roundtable on Workers Co-ops and Socialist Strategy L.63
(a broad diversity of perspectives among the leading advocates and critics of the workers cooperatives in relation to socialist strategy, SAM GINDIN, GAR ALPEROVITZ, SHARRYN KASMIR, AND RICHARD D. WOLFF New School LEO PANITCH, MODERATOR/INTERLOCUTOR)
Black Box Theater Sunday Events
2pm-3.40pm Sing in Spanish (and English)- Chorus as Community – The Power of Singing Together FEATURING: BERNARDO PALOMBO, RUBEN GONZALEZ, MARIO CANCEL, HUDSON VALLEY SALLY, & LUPE RAMSEY (NARRATION)
4pm-6pm Waking Each Other Up! The People Have the Power Ist Act: Upsurge! 2nd Act Literary Warriors
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Session 7 Sunday: 3:40pm – 5:40pm
Cuba Speaks for Itself: a Panel With Cuba’s Ambassador to the United Nations L.76 (Ambassador Reyes is a veteran of Cuba’s military campaign in Angola and Southern Africa, which was the decisive factor in the military defeat of the South African apartheid state)
What is the role of Marxism Leninism in the US and the world today? Is it time for a new US Marxist Leninist party? 1.109 (Lacking a non-sectarian, revolutionary but realistic party, effective in mass struggles, the masses have been subject to right wing forces.)
US Militarism’s Expanse and the Need for a Movement to Cut Military Spending and Invest in Human Needs 1.123 (to call for an end to war, to protest drone attacks and nuclear weapons modernization, to wage campaigns to cut the military budget, to stand up in our communities to bring attention to the futility of war, and to demand a full focused effort on diplomacy and redirection of resources to meet human needs and protect mother earth)
The Endless “War on Terror”: US Drones & Targeted Killing 1.127 (he US military is now training more pilots of unmanned vehicles than of fighter/bombers)
Rethinking the 1950s: How Progressives Survived the Great Terror 8.61 (during the ‘50s, sex was as threatening to the nation’s moral order as communism)
Private Prisons as Profit Factories — How Banks & Wall St Control & Profit from the (In)Justice System 1.81 (the money machinations that lie behind private for-profit prisons)
CLOSING PLENARY WITH AMY GOODMAN
Sunday May 22 2016 Closing Plenary: 6:30pm – 9:15pm Rage, Rebellion, Organizing New Power: A Hegelian Triad
Gymnasium, 4th Floor, Haaren Hall.
SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK AMY GOODMAN, MODERATOR

The most dangerous philosopher in the West and the Elvis of cultural theory

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian-born philosopher and psychoanalyst. He is a professor of philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS, a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, and founder and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, Ljubljana. Aside from these appointments, Žižek tirelessly gives lectures around the globe and is often described as “the Elvis of cultural theory”. Although, more seriously, as British critical theorist Terry Eagleton confers, Žižek is the “most formidably brilliant” theorist to have emerged from Europe in decades. Many, in fact, now consider Žižek to be “the most dangerous philosopher in the West.”

Decency is her aura as she works to report on the hidden side of news

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,200 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press.Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone. The Independent of London called Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration.” PULSE named her one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.
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The Left Forum 2016 Schedule

Panels, Workshops and Events 1-66

Panels, Workshops and Events 67-131

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