Teach-In 2016

Crisis and Resistance
World Peace Forum Teach In, Saturday November 19, 2016
SFU Harbour Centre, 9am to 5pm





Canon Song 1931 and 1989
Two versions of the Brecht/Weil matsrepiece from The Threepenny Opera. The chief of the gangsters and the chief of police reminisce about the good old days in the colonial army. The first is from the 1931 film while the second features Raul Julia and Bill Nighy in a 1989 production.

Ferdinand the Bull 1938
A Walt Disney adaptation of Munro Leaf’s wonderful story of the bull who said no! This came out at the height of the Spanish Civil War and the approach of WWII.

The House I Live In- Frank Sinatra 1945
Written by Albert Maltz, (he won an Academy Award for it!) one of the Hollywood Ten, and featuring a song by leading left wing composer Earl Robinson (I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night), and writer Lewis Allen (Strange Fruit) Sinatra takes a smoke break during a recording session and educates a group of boys in anti-racism.

“The Brotherhood of Man” 1946
United Auto Workers Animated Script by Ring Lardner Jr., another Hollywood Ten martyr. Directed by Robert Cannon. Based on a pamphlet by Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish. “A contribution to the American people from the UAW-CIO.” Another anti-racist classic from the American left just before McCarthy. Paul Julian was involved in this one too- see Hangman. Robert Cannon id the direction and animation as well. He was a leading animator with United Productions of America (UPA) the little studio that changed the course of modern animation. Cannon also invented Gerald Mc Boing Boing.

Neighbours- Norman McLaren 1952
Another Academy Award winner for best short documentary, this was written and directed by Canadian animation genius, McLaren with music composed by him too. Technically ambitious, it employed the principles normally used to put drawings or puppets into motion to animate live actors. Politically brave, it was made at the height of the Cold War.

The Hangman- 1964
A parable about the consequences of being a bystander to evil,
The poem was by Maurice Ogden. Narration was by Herschel Bernardi. Music by Serge Hovey. The design was by Paul Julian and animation by Margaret Julian. Produced by Paul Goldman. All of these folks were Hollywood heavy hitters. Ogden ‘s poem was the result of his being blacklisted during the McCarthy inquisition.

Capitalist Sharks- Prophets and Lessons-196?
A great 60’s Soviet propaganda film combining animation with fantastic use of old graphics and film.

American Imperialist Shooting Range- 196?
More Soviet attacks on free enterprise using more great animation with a great jazz score.

And maybe more….



The World Peace Forum Society was founded to organize the World Peace Forum in 2006. This Vancouver gathering drew five thousand activists to a myriad of discussions and events focusing on how to make the world a better place. The theme of the 2006 event was “Cities and Communities: Working together to end war and build a peaceful, just and sustainable world.”

In its final communiqué, The Vancouver Declaration, the Forum stated “In 2006 the world confronts the illegal war and occupation in Iraq, racism and the erosion of civil liberties, renewed nuclear threats, and global warming… The world faces massive poverty, homelessness, rising rates of disease and increasing economic inequality coupled with unprecedented military spending.” Sadly, all of these are still with us and getting worse.

In light of this, where do we go from here? Have we been decisively defeated or is there hope for the future? We believe that there are a number of signs that activists seeking to work in the spirit of The Vancouver Declaration can look at and even find limited reasons for optimism.

These include the election of a ‘man of the left’ as leader of the British Labour Party; the Sanders Campaign in the US which has spoken the ‘S word’ (socialism) in public for the first time in many years; an almost unanimous recognition that climate change is caused by human activity; the opposition of hundreds of thousands of activists to racist and xenophobic vitriol against immigrants and refugees seeking asylum in Europe; the election of the Liberal government in Canada, which, stealing much of the program of the Left, has filed off a number of the sharper edges of the Harper agenda; the fact that neo-liberalism was a passing phase in capitalist economic and social policy and is now in crisis with various neo-Keynesian policies being adopted.

While none of this goes far enough, and while attacks on civil and workers’ rights are still in full flood, fight backs are still a part of the political scene everywhere. New ideas, and in some cases good old ideas, are being proposed – ideas that are in the spirit of the World Peace Forum, the various Social Forums and other progressive and potentially anti-capitalist assemblies and movements. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the World Peace Forum we want to look at the current national and international situation and pay special attention to movements of resistance.

This year’s World Peace Forum Teach-In – “Crisis and Resistance?”- will take place at SFU Harbour Centre, in partnership with the SFU Institute for Humanities, on Saturday Nov 19.

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.