Volume , Number 0
There are no articles.Commentary
There are no articles.Culture
There are no articles.Features
A Global Left
An interview with Hanan Ashrawi
Eleanor J. Bader
There are no articles.
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
40,000 Gather for a People's Europe
W ell over 40,000 delegates with an average age of no more than 25, gathered to participate in the European movement’s coming of age: moving from destruction, opposition, and confrontation to sowing the seeds of a new society.
The European Social Forum (ESF) represents a cross-section of European society with a range of ideologies and political practices that would traditionally have been unable to share the same conference center. From large environmental and development NGOs, reformist economists, and mainstream trade unions to the anarchistic “Hub,” assorted far left parties, and liberation movements.
It is the very extremity and exclusivity of the “new world order”—in the words of activist and writer Susan George that “the bastards have gone too far”—that has created this diversity. One morning you could sit with formerly conservative and mainstream economics students attending lectures in which they called for the world’s business leaders to be locked up for channeling revenues through tax havens or destroying developing economies in their quest for speculative profit. Later in the day you could attend a workshop looking at alternatives to “late neo-liberal capitalism,” the eradication of sweatshops, the fight against privatization, and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
But beyond the ideological wonder was the scale and competence of the organization, almost all volunteer. Simultaneous translations into 5 languages was provided for 1,000 speakers at 30 conference sessions, 200 workshops, 150 seminars, 25 campaign meetings, and a huge range of cultural events and fringe meetings with subjects ranging from oppression and resistance in Africa and Asia to the creation of alternative economies.
But the best was still to come. Until you see what one million people looks like on the streets—and very few non-Italian delegates would be old enough to remember such demonstrations—it is impossible to imagine the scale, color, and sound. Those who thought the days of genuinely popular mass struggle faded with the ascendancy of neo-liberalism would have looked in disbelief as demonstrators marched through tower blocks with older men and women hanging off their balconies waving thousands of rainbow peace flags or just white tablecloths. Thousands of bystanders lining the streets showed their solidarity by singing the moving anti-fascist anthem “bella ciao.”
After starting the march two hours early because of the numbers of people, the first protesters reached the closing concert at sunset as trainloads of people still flooded the Florence train station. As night drew in, thousands poured through the streets chanting, dancing, waving banners of trade unions, political parties, anti-war and anti-capitalist slogans, and everywhere the Palestinian kefiyers.
Never before have so many enjoyed the pain of sleep deprivation than sitting in the closing “assembly of social movements” on Sunday morning with thunderous voices coming through their translation headphones and the belief engraved in their souls that “another world is possible.”
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.