WORLD PEACE FORUM TEACH IN, Saturday November 18, 2017


The powers that be are celebrating the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Confederation and the consolidation of the Canadian state with all its varied oppressions. They are also commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge. And the Centennial and Montreal World’s Fair of 1967.

We at the World Peace Forum don’t see anything to either celebrate or commemorate in these events.

1867 marks the first edition of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, a work that for the first time explained how the system we live under works, and how to get rid of it and replace it with something human. 1917 is the year which brought us the October Revolution and the creation of the first socialist government and workers’ state. It gave hope to millions around the world that what Marx had suggested in his book could be put into practice. 1967 is known as the ‘summer of love’ when the counterculture emerged, and with it a regenerated Socialism.

For its tenth Teach In the World Peace Forum Society will organize a series of presentations and discussions looking at the resonance of Marx’s book, the Russian Revolution and the Sixties. What is their relevance today? What can activists learn from them? We have identified a series of topics from an examination of the continuing relevance of the Cuban Revolution to the crisis of capitalist economics with the failure of neoliberalism to the ecological disaster becoming more and more evident.

Please join us as we learn, discuss and work towards the creation of a peaceful, just and sustainable world. SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W Hastings, Vancouver, BC. 9am to 5pm.

Tickets at the door. $25 for the whole day, no one turned away for lack of funds.


Welcome and introduction

9:30 From Baku to Bandung to Caracas: Anticolonial Revolutions and the Making of Today’s North-South Divisions

Gary Cristall and Nino Pagliccia

Unleashing Counterrevolution Against The Ghost of Revolution


Samir Gandesha

Cuba – A Case Apart



Chris Shelton

10:45 The Effects of the Russian Revolution And Marx’s Good Book on Today’s World

                                           Ingo Schmidt and Gary Cristall


    Lunch (on your own)  

12:30 Their Anniversaries and Ours – 1867,1917 and 1967

Sid Shniad and Jeannie Kamins

What’s Left? – New Social Movements

Samantha Ponting and Garth Mullins

What’s Next? – The Decay of Neoliberalism

Ingo Schmidt

1:45                                   United Colours of Canadian Colonialism

                                                       Sakej Ward

3:00 The Big Squeeze – workers are being squeezed, how are they fighting back?

Sarah Bjorknas, James Coccola and Jason Mann

The Ultimate Capitalist Crisis- The Anthropocene and Its Discontents

Lisa Barrett and Brandon Gabriel

Utopia versus Dystopia – Where Is the Inspiration to Reinvent Socialist Hope? Corbyn to Cuba

Peter Prontzos

4:15      David Rovics in concert: They Have Their Anniversaries, We Have Ours

THANK YOU TO: SFU Institute for the Humanities, BCGEU, PSAC, TSSU and the Pacific Socialist Education Association.

Bios in alphabetic order:

Lisa Barrett

Lisa Barrett may have been the first green anarchist mayor elected but after two terms she learned that local government is no place for an anarchist. She’s worked for social, economic and ecological justice for many years. Currently working with the Trade Justice Network to oppose trade agreements and always working in solidarity with indigenous people at home and around the world.

Sarah Bjorknas

Sarah Bjorknas is a library worker and CUPE member. She works in the Burnaby Public Library system. She’s a Vice President in her CUPE local and a Regional Vice President for CUPE BC. She’s co-founder of the Vancouver Catholic Worker and has been an organizer with the War Resisters Support Campaign.

James Coccola

James Coccola first became an activist and an organizer when he was a student leader at the University of Victoria in 2010. Since then he has worked on issues of environmental, social, and worker justice. He is currently an Executive Vice President for the BC Government and Services Employees’ Union. James will speak about the BCGEU’s push to organize the unorganized and on its efforts to improve workers standards of living beyond wages and job security.

Gary Cristall

Gary Cristall is a long time socialist activist and cultural worker. Raised in a Communist Party family and then joining the Trotskyist Fourth International, he has been reading and thinking about the fate and impact of the Russian Revolution for fifty years.

Brandon Gabriel

Brandon Gabriel is an internationally exhibited visual artist who graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He majored in visual arts and minored in First Nations Studies. He has worked in the fields of Archeaology, Cultural Anthropology, and as a professional visual artist and guest lecturer at multiple universities.

Samir Gandesha

Samir Gandesha is an Associate Professor in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. He specializes in modern European thought and culture, with a particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. He is co-editor with Lars Rensmann of Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations (Stanford, 2012), Reification and Spectacle: On the Timeliness of Western Marxism (Amsterdam University Press, 2017) with Johan Hartle, and Aesthetic Marx (Bloomsbury Press, 2017) also with Johan Hartle.

Jeannie Kamins

Visual artist, activist, self-exiled American, one time real estate agent, Jeannie Kamins has been a vital presence on Vancouver’s political and cultural scene since arriving in 1967.

Jason Mann

Jason Mann is a long time union activist presently working for the UFCW Local 1518. He has a history with the BCGEU and BC Fed.

Garth Mullins

Garth Mullins is an activist and artist. His band Legally Blind and his solo work carry on a tradition of politically committed art. He says that “much of the activism I am involved in is crisis management/harm reduction/triage.”

Nino Pagliccia

Nino Pagliccia is an activist for social justice. He is a retired researcher on Canada-Cuba collaborative projects on international health at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  He is a Venezuelan-Canadian who follows and writes about international relations with a focus on the Americas. He is a frequent contributor to the People’s Voice and Global Research. Nino is the editor of the book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations” (2014).

Samantha Ponting

Samantha Ponting is the coordinator for Next Up BC. Sam’s major introduction to social movements began on campus in Ottawa, where her disdain for militarism led her to join the Student Coalition Against War. As an anti-war and anti-apartheid organizer, Sam worked extensively with a variety of community partners to build up public pressure against harmful Canadian foreign policy. She spent several years working in the student movement, most recently as the Membership Coordinator of the Graduate Students’ Association at Carleton University, where she organized campaigns.

Peter Prontzos

Peter G. Prontzos is a Professor Emeritus at Langara College, where he taught Political Science, Philosophy, and Psychology; and he will lead a Continuing Studies tour to Greece in May. He is a Research Associate for the CCPA, and helped organize the first World Peace Forum. This year he will speak about the positive and negative aspects of hope in the 21st century.

David Rovics

David Rovics is one of the finest contemporary songwriters and activists around. Very much in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Utah Phillips he uses his music to fight for social justice. He has prepared a special presentation of songs and commentary for this event.

Ingo Schmidt

Ingo Schmidt is one of the organizers of the World Peace Forum teach-ins. He teaches labour studies at Athabasca University, and writes economics columns for a socialist monthly in Germany. He is editor of The Three Worlds of Social Democracy and, with Carlo Fanelli, Reading Capital Today.

Chris Shelton

Chris Shelton is a born in Vancouver social activist whose interests are human rights, peace and urbanization. With degrees in Economics and Accounting from SFU he works in a boutique law office in Vancouver as their accountant.

Sid Shniad

Among many other activities, Sid Shniad is a member of the national steering committee of Independent Jewish Voices – Canada. He is an inveterate editor and disseminator of useful information.

Sakej Ward

Sakej (James Ward) belongs to the wolf clan. He is Mi’kmaw (Mi’kmaq Nation) from the community of Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church First Nation, New Brunswick). He resides in Shxw’owhamel First Nation, B.C. with his wife Melody Andrews and their children. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations and a Master’s of Arts Degree in Indigenous Governance. Sakej has a long history of advocating and protecting First Nations inherent responsibilities and freedoms, having spent the last 24 years fighting the government and industry.


World Peace Forum Society

The World Peace Forum Society was formed in 2006 to bring together activists, academics and artists to work for a peaceful, just and sustainable world. We strive to make sense of the world we live and act in by looking at the roots of the present in the experiences of the past, and try to envision a direction for the future. Since 2008 we have organized an annual fall Teach-In and an alternative Remembrance Day cultural event.