Teach-In 2009




NOVEMBER 7, 8 & 11
1880 Triumph Street

The ‘Great’ Depression, the rise of fascism, the debates that shook the workers’ movement, the Spanish Civil War, the transformation from coal to oil, the rise of the American Empire, the origins of mass media, the birth of mass industrial unions, youth, anti-war and solidarity movements and much more—the ‘thirties’ were a decade that had a huge impact on the world we live in today and the tasks that face activists. Following the success of the 2008 World Peace Forum Teach-In, which looked at the impact of World War I, this gathering of academics, artists and activists will discuss and debate the decade between the great ‘crash’ of October 1929 and the official beginning of the Second World War in September of 1939.
With the goal of supporting peace, economic and social justice and ecological sustainability, the World Peace Forum is creating a program featuring speakers from across North America who will shed light on the roots of the present in the past. In plenary sessions and smaller workshops the lessons of history and the tasks of today will be discussed and debated. On Remembrance Day, November 11, there will be a special series of panels for young people—the generation who will decide what the future of humanity will look like and whether there will be one.


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Speakers` Bios

Ingo Schmidt is originally from Germany. He is an economist and Academic Coordinator of Labour Studies at Athabasca University

Gary Cristall works in the arts as a teacher and artists’ manager. In a previous life he lived in Chile and studied Latin American history.

Lorena Jara came to Canada as a refugee from Chile. She has long been active in Latin American solidarity activities.

Joel Kovel is both a scholar and an activist. Two of his recent books are The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or The End of the World and Overcoming Zionism-Creating A Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine.

Miguel Figueroa is the leader of the Communist Party of Canada. He was first elected leader in December 1992 at the 30th Party Convention.

Alison Ayers is a Professor at Simon Fraser University specializing in theories of global/international political economy, globalization, imperialism and development, amongst other things.

Mark Leier is a Canadian historian of working class and left-wing history. He is the director of the Centre for Labour Studies at Simon Fraser University, where he is also a Professor of Canadian History and the history of Marxism.

Fred Glass is the communications director of the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), and is currently teaching labor history at San Francisco City College.

Elspeth Gardiner has been involved in movements for political change and social justice since the late nineteen thirties.

Elsie Dean is a retired teacher and lifelong activist. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Peace Forum Society.

Thekla Lit is founder and Co-chair of the Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA) and President of its B.C. chapter.

Claude Shema Rutagengwa is a Rwandan doctor and peace activist now living in Norway.

Greg Albo is a community activist and professor of political economy at York University in Toronto. He is on the board of Canadian Dimension magazine and a member of Socialist Project.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is a Research Associate with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is currently studying Political Economy and History at Simon Fraser University. A recent paper is Global Power and Global Government:Evolution and Revolution in the Global Political Economy

Jim Sinclair is the President of the BC Federation of Labour, the umbrella organization that represents 54 unions and 450,000 private and public sector employees in the province. He was elected to that position in 1999 after serving more than 18 years in the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union – CAW.

Stephen McBride is Professor and Director of the Centre for Global Political Economy at Simon Fraser University. He specializes in political economy, comparative public policy, and Canadian politics.

Dan Labotz teaches history and Latin American studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of several books on labor in Mexico, Indonesia, and the United States.

Peter Prontzos is a social activist and teacher at Langara College where he is currently teaching: Politics of Developing Nations, Contemporary Ideologies, International Political Economy, and Democratic Socialism. He ran unsuccessfully for the provincial legislature in 2001.

Marjorie Cohn is president of the US National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, california, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law.

Gail Davidson is a member of the Law Society of BC. In 2001 she founded Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of Canadian lawyers that provides support internationally for human rights defenders. Gail also works with Lawyers Against the War (LAW).Lawyers against the War (LAW) a Canada-based committee of jurists and others with members in thirteen countries.

Regina Brennan is a full time worker for the Public Service Alliance of Canada when she is not singing. She is a labour educator and activist.

Beverly J. Silver is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Her most recent book—Forces of Labor: Workers’ Movements and Globalization since 1870— has won several awards.

Geoff Mann Teaches in the Geography Department of SFU where his interests include political economy, work/labour, money and monetary policy, inequality and unemployment, politics of race and gender, environment and natural resources. A recent article is Should political ecology be Marxist? A case for Gramsci’s historical materialism.

Kat Norris is an aboriginal activist living in Coast Salish Territory. She is a member of the Indigenous Action Movement.

Mable Elmore is a former member of the Board of Directors of the World Peace Forum, former co-chair of Stopwar.ca and a union activist in the Canadian Auto Workers when she was driving a bus. Today she is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver  for Vancouver–Kensington, the first Filipina elected to the legislature.

Saturday Evening Cabaret
The Diggers are Earle Peach, a musician, social activist and the conductor of the Solidarity Notes; Regina Brennan, a full time union representative for the Public Service Alliance of Canada; and Dan Keeton, who is a freelance journalist, and the host of The Union Made Show on Co-op Radio. The three met in the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir and from that experience, moved on to form their group. Fraser Union is Dan Kenning, Henk Piket, Roger Holdstock, and Barry Truter. They formed more than 20 years ago to sing ‘songs with a bite”. Elizabeth Fischer is a Vancouver singer and visual artist known for her work with Animal Slaves. She is also a rare interpreter of the songs of Berthold Brecht, which she will present in the Thirties Cabaret.


Teach-In 2009

Ingo Schmidt – Workers and Peace Activists Unite – part 1

Ingo Schmidt -Workers and Peace Activists Unite – part 2

Alison Ayers – Fascism – part 1

Alison Ayers – Fascism part 2

Ingo Schmidt – Marxism Vs. Keynesianism – part 1

Ingo Schmidt – Marxism Vs. Keynesianism – part 2

Miguel Figueroa – Popular Front United with Capitalists.

Dan Labotz – Socialism Independent from Capitalism

Miguel Figueroa and Dan Labotz rebuttle

Joel Kovel – Capitalism: the Enemy of Nature – Part 1

Joel Kovel -Capitalism: the Enemy of Nature – Part 2

Joel Kovel -Capitalism: the Enemy of Nature – Part 3

Opportunities and Contradictions of the Left – part 1

Opportunities and Contradictions of the Left – part 2

Opportunities and Contradictions of the Left – part 3

Mark Leier – Labour: a Partner to Capitalist Interests – part 1

Mark Leier – Labour: a Partner to Capitalist Interests – part 2

Jeoff Mann – the Arsenal of Democracy

Peter Prontzos – Military Expenditures – part 1

Peter Prontzos – Military Expenditures – part 2

Peter Prontzos – Military Expenditures – part 3

Greg Albo – Bail-outs to revive capitalism will lead to the next economic crisis

Beverly Silver – Capitalism, Profits, and Crisis.

Fairfax Culpepper – Military Funding Vs. Education Funding

Andrew Marshall – part 2

Andrew Marshall – part 1



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.