Revolutionary University Fall 2018 (Oct 12-14)

Tools for Changing Society

Welcome to three days of presentations and discussions aimed at helping us understand our current conditions and the problems that are created by this system of capitalism. Our goal is to not only examine the challenges we face, but to go beyond that by discussing the kind of organizing that’s necessary for mobilizing our forces and creating the kind of society we need – a socialist society.

October 12-14

South Berkeley Senior Center
2939 Ellis St, Berkeley

Friday 10/12

6:30pm-9:00pm

Attica – a documentary film by Cinda Firestone

Documentary filmmaker Cinda Firestone’s rarely seen film Attica, captures the September 9, 1971 Attica State Prison uprising when inmates seized control of the prison for four days. In retaking the prison the state responded with brutal force killing 43 (inmates and guards).

Saturday 10/13

10:30am-12:30pm 

The Crisis of Civilization and How to Resolve It: An Introduction to Ecocentric Socialism

The world is in the midst of profound social and planetary crises, which threaten humanity and much of life on Earth: Catastrophic climate change, the Sixth Extinction, and nuclear holocaust. Why are they surfacing now? What are the root causes of these crises? How can humanity overcome them and thrive? Who can save the world?

Kamran Nayeri is the publisher and editor of Our Place in the World: A Journal of Ecosocialism. He was a leader of the Iranian Trotskyist movement and participant in the 1979 Iranian revolution. He was a researcher/professor at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn and University of California, Berkeley for three decades.

1:30pm-3:00pm 

The Middle East in the Era of Trump

The Middle East is in turmoil – the Syrian War rages, Israel continues its murder of Palestinians, Egypt’s military regime has tightened its grip and Saudi Arabia is starving and bombing the people of Yemen. U.S. imperial interests, in competition with Russia and China, are at the foundation of this bloody situation and conditions have only worsened with the Trump regime in power.

Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil is Professor of Political Science at Cal State Stanislaus and curator of the Angry Arab News Service (angryarab.blogspot.com), author of numerous books, including his most recent The Battle For Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power.

3:30pm-5:00pm 

The “Gig Economy”: A New Form of Servitude for the Working Class?

Uber, Lyft, UberEATS, TaskRabbit: These are said to create work opportunities with flexibility for our busy lives. Is this true? Where is this going and what could it mean for our future? Who is making the real money and how?

Keally McBride is a Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco. She teaches and publishes on a wide variety of topics, including punishment, law, decolonization, revolutions and political economy. Her books include Mr. Mothercountry: The Man Who Made the Rule of Law and Collective Dreams: Political Imagination and Community, Punishment and Political Order.

6:30pm-8:00pm 

France: “All Together! General strike!”

This was was one of the slogans last spring. The mobilizations against the French government’s attacks proved that the working class is still able to fight back against the capitalists’ offensive. But it also showed the obstacles that stand in the way of the workers’ movement. The challenge today is how to prepare the future movements against the government of Macron and the capitalists.

Gilles Kobry is an activist from the French New Anticapitalist Party/Fraction l’Étincelle. He is a student at the University Paris 1 (the Sorbonne) and was involved in the movements in France last spring.

Sunday 10/14

2:00pm-3:30pm 

Sports And Capitalism – How Sports are Used to Squeeze Public Money for Private Profit

How have major sports events such as the Olympics emerged as a way to squeeze public money for private profit? This is connected to the larger commodification of sports and athlete dissent that we see – like Nike’s recent ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick. Co-sponsored by the Anthropology and Social Change department at CIIS, San Francisco.

Jules Boykoff is a professor of political science at Pacific University in Oregon and the author of three books on the Olympic Games – most recently Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics. His writings have also focused on social movements, the suppression of dissent, and the role of the mass media in U.S. politics. Boykoff was a professional soccer player who represented the U.S. Olympic Team in international competition.

4:00pm-5:30pm 

The Challenges We Face Today – Short-Term Mobilizing or Organizing for Real Social Change

We can go beyond resistance to the forces of capitalism that have created a world of war, poverty, racism, sexism, exploitation and environmental destruction. It is possible for us to live in a world where humanity is freed to reach its full potential. To bring that society into being we can’t wait for others. We need to build an organization that is active every day and capable of responding to the challenges we face – an organization that is a tool of liberation for the majority.

A presentation by Speak Out Now (Revolutionary Workers Group) activists, followed by informal discussion – refreshments and snacks provided.

Download event posters:
PDF color: [11×17], [8.5×11]
PDF halfsheet: [8.5×11]
JPG color