You’re Invited!! To the 2015 Peace Forum planning meeting and World Peace Forum Society AGM.
Saturday Feb 28 from 4-6pm at Spartacus Books (3378 Findlay St) in Vancouver.
The WPFS organizing committee has reached a general consensus about what to focus on for the 2015 Teach In, which will take place in November 2015. In a phrase, we see the task of the World Peace Forum to, as British radical poet Linton Kwesi Johnson put it, ‘Fite Dem Back.’
There are many aspects to ‘fighting back’ against the offensive being waged against workers and radical thinkers and doers.
On the one hand, it means recognizing and describing the nature of the attack we are under. This will entail analysis of the undermining of basic democratic rights in many countries, including Canada, and the criminalization of ‘thinking bad thoughts’ – as the Catholic Church used to put it. The notion of ‘thought crime’ is one that is emerging at the centre of new “anti-terrorist” legislation, coupled with authorization of the state repressive authorities to intercept, interrupt and interfere with the activities of those who ‘might’ do something criminal, in the opinion of the state repressive authorities, but who haven’t. If this sends a chill down your spine that is because it should. In addition to examining new legislation, we also want to look at other attacks on democratic rights, including how the electoral landscape has been changed to make it harder for movements of resistance to act in the electoral framework, and changes in attitude to charitable and other not for profit organizations to prevent them from acting against government repression. There is a lot here, we want to discuss what to prioritize and how to do that.
On the other hand, the offensive is also characterized by more traditional elements of bosses on the offensive- reductions in salaries and benefits to workers, perhaps especially benefits from medical coverage to pensions. The term austerity has come to the fore of late but it is too kind a word to really describe the progressive immiseration of millions of people from Greece to Venezuela to Vancouver. We want to look at how that offensive is unfolding.
Analyzing the offensive also requires us to look at resistance strategies- fight backs- that have succeeded or failed. These fight backs encompass diverse struggles from the BC Teacher’s strike and lock out to First Nations resistance to pipelines and tankers to the election of Syriza to the defence of free speech in its various shapes and hues.
These things take place in an environment where capitalism is undergoing both growth and crisis. The signals are contradictory and need an attempt to put the pieces on the table if not make a coherent analysis. What does ‘cheap oil’ mean? What is the impact of global warming on the world economy? We will try and present as current a look at the global economic picture as we can, and look for alternatives and ideas for building a better future.
Placing the social, environmental and economic actors and their roles in a series of workshops and plenaries is our contribution to arming activists with tools that make their work more effective. We are a long way from having a clear program for next November but this is the framework in which we want to develop one. We encourage those who share this general approach to join us in coming up with a useful series of presentations and discussions.
A great big THANK YOU to HSA, CUPE BC, BCGEU, CUPE Metro, CUPE 23, ILWU 500, VDLC and PAGE BC!!
Your donations have allowed us to bring in great speakers, hold the event at a central and accessible location, and to have the event filmed for all the people who can’t attend in person!
The World Peace Forum Society Teach In 2014
Imperialism, Resistance & Alternatives
100 Years After the Start of WWI
October 25, 2014
8:00-9:00 Registration at the door
9:00-10:00 Déjà vu: How WWI gets used to justify imperialism today (Ingo Schmidt)
10:15-11:15 Imperialism: Reliable Allies? Four workshops to choose from:
- China: Left or Right? (Yuezhi Zhao)
- NATO Pushes East- What Does the Ukraine Represent? (Roger Annis)
- Latin America: Alternative or Partner? (Marta Harnecker)
- South Africa: Neoliberalism with a Human Face? (Lawrence Boxall)
11:30-12:30 Resistance. Four workshops to choose from:
- The Chinese Labour Movement Today (Xinying Hu and Cathy Walker)
- Euro-critics, Left AND Right: Unraveling Troika-Power? (Ingo Schmidt)
- Housing, Health, and Education: Defending the Right to Live (Tara Ehrcke and Chris Shelton)
- Arab Spring, Winter or Fall? (Mahdi Nazemroaya and Mostafa Saber)
12:30-1:30 LUNCH ON YOUR OWN
1:30-2:30 Two Big Boys: NATO – The Cops of the World; and CHINA – Number Two and Trying Harder (Mahdi Nazemroaya and Minqi Li)
2:45-3:45 Alternatives. Four workshops to choose from:
- The Rise of the Working Class in China (Minqi Li)
- Fundamentalists of All Countries Unite: The Reappearance of Everything Old (Gary Cristall)
- Bolivarian Revolution and ALBA at 10 Years (Representative of the Consulate General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)
- O Canada! Strategies for Change: A panel of activists from the electoral and extra-electoral movements for change (Nadia Santoro, Bill Hopwood, and Audrey Siegl)
4:00-5:00 Fortune Telling: Thoughts on the Coming Years (Minqi Li and Marta Harnecker and Mahdi Nazemroaya)
IMPERIALISM, RESISTANCE & ALTERNATIVES
The World Peace Forum Society’s 7th Annual Teach In
Saturday Oct. 25, 2014, at Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre- 515 West Hastings.
Registration will start at 8:30 am, the first plenary will begin at 9:00 am, the last will end at 6:00 pm. Over the course of the day there will be three plenary sessions and three sets of workshop sessions.
The plenary sessions are-
- Déjà vu- How WWI Is used to justify imperialism today- Ingo Schmidt
- Two Big Boys- NATO- The Cops of the World (Mahdi Nazemroaya), and China- Number Two and Trying Harder (Minqi Li)
- Fortune Telling- Thoughts on the Coming Years- Minqi Li, Marta Harnecker, Mahdi Nazemroaya
Workshops- Three series of four simultaneous workshops, arranged thematically-
- China: Left or Right?
- NATO Pushes East- What does the Ukraine Represent?
- Latin America- Alternative or Partner?
- South Africa- Neoliberalism with a Human Face?
- The Chinese Labour Movement Today- and a report back from BC Fed visit to China
- Euro- critics- Left AND Right
- Health, Housing and Education- Defending the Right to Live
- Arab Spring- What Season Are We In?
- The Rise of the Working Class in China
- Fundamentalists of All Countries Unite- The Reappearance of Everything Old
- Bolivarian Revolution and ALBA at 10 Years
- O Canada! Strategies for Change- A panel of activists from the electoral and extra-electoral movements for social change
The names of speakers and facilitators for each workshop will be available in early September at our web site- www.peaceforumteachin.org
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 11
The World Peace Forum presents a film showing:
All Quiet on the Western Front- 1930
A cinematic classic and powerful denunciation of war.
THE W.I.S.E. CLUB 1882 Adanac St. 1:00pm