Volume , Number 0
There are no articles.Commentary
There are no articles.Culture
There are no articles.Features
Ustan b. Reinart
Law & Order
John M. Laforge
Press The Press
Dru Oja jay
Lee Siu hin
Z Papers on Vision
An interview with Betsy Leondar-Wright
Gay & Lesbian Community Notes
Herbert P. Bix
European Union News
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.
Bush’s Science Policy
P rominent members of the scientific community have been at war with the White House for at least three years over allegations that it’s trying to impress an ideological agenda on the work of government scientists. So it should have been no surprise last year when 48 Nobel Prize laureates—who normally stay above such things—got behind John Kerry’s campaign for president. They came from the very top of the U.S. scientific establishment and included Harold Varmus, president of Memorial Sloan- Kettering Center Center in New York and former head of the National Institutes of Health, and Gilbert Omenn, president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
But the organization that’s done the most to expose and criticize Bush’s scientific policy, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), had published an open letter blasting Bush in February, signed by many of the same figures who were endorsing Kerry. For their criticism of Bush to be linked to another candidate was “unfortunate from our perspective,” says Lexi Shultz, UCS’s Washington representative.
The UCS positions itself as a watchdog against the politicization of science rather than endorsing any special point of view—even though its sensitivities tend to be on the liberal side. Stem cell research, global warming studies, and surveys of health in prostitutes, HIV-positive, and drug-addicted populations—all are good science, not ideological markers. “In the best of all worlds, science should be allowed to be science,” says Shultz, a stance that the practitioners she represents widely support.
The trouble is, not everyone agrees anymore, and not just along Pennsylvania Avenue or in the Beltway’s conservative think tanks. A good many critics on the progressive side—not so much scientists as public policy researchers who study scientific process and outcomes—argue that the U.S. scientific community is in denial since much, if not most, of its work is inherently political and pretending otherwise is only going to make it harder. Debates about genetically engineered food and the future uses of biotechnology and nanotechnology, not to mention the study of stem cell research and AIDS, have cracked open the protective shell that’s traditionally allowed scientists to operate in isolation from most political scrutiny.
Science is not just science anymore and if the work its practitioners cherish is going to go forward, they’ll have to embrace a more democratic model for framing, approving, and reviewing projects and allocating resources. Otherwise, critics warn, the right will use government’s control of the purse strings on most large-scale scientific research to mold a new agenda that decimates these fields and awards more and more of the kitty to projects with overtly military and commercial purposes. Moreover, the debate is not just about the utility of “pure” science and the social impact of sex research anymore. The rise of new fields like biomedecine and nanotechnology has shifted scientists’ focus to the basic building blocks of matter and human life, potentially enabling them to radically transform the natural world. If a way isn’t found to involve the larger community directly in the scientific decision-making process, “democracy” could be reduced to irrelevancy.
Based on an examination of documented actions by the Bush administration, reports from groups critical of its policies, and conversations with scientists affected by them, government-funded science is being subjected to tremendous, maybe unprecedented political pressure. Researchers—especially those studying anything related to abortion or sexual practices—feel intimidated and are afraid of losing their funding.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees most government-funded basic research, has applied political litmus tests to candidates for seats on advisory panels, sometimes including whether they voted for George W. Bush. (At an American Physical Society meeting in April, presidential science advisor John Marburger conceded that questioning candidates about their political leanings was improper and claimed the practice had stopped.) Along with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, HHS has been imposing more layers of review by non-scientists over research projects, resulting in what Shultz calls “paralysis by analysis.” HHS has been accused of secretly aiding far-right groups that want to shut down any research on sexual practices, birth control, and ways of dealing with drug abuse that don’t involve police action.
In other government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Fish & Wildlife Service, many scientists say they have been pressured to cook their findings to support pre-approved conclusions. Political appointees are being seeded deeper into these agencies as well as the National Institutes of Health where they can more closely monitor and restrict government and government-funded scientists’ work. HHS is also enforcing new policies intended to keep scientists who take its money from expressing independent opinions—for example, about birth control.
Meanwhile, Bush abruptly ended a series of post-9/11 budget increases for the NIH last year. Among the results at the NIH, say grant recipients, have been ugly, behind-the-scenes battles over funding between groups that ought to be allies—for instance, between researchers into HIV/AIDS in the white-male gay population and those studying the disease in the IV-drug using population, much of it people of color. One researcher who has been receiving grants from an NIH institute for over ten years says she may now have to look for funding in other countries. Others, too, fear that the Bush-era political pressures are precipitating a brain drain that will worsen as younger scientists decide that applying for government-funded grants is not worth the trouble.
Of course, much of this could reverse itself if a more liberal Administration takes the White House in 2008. But watchdogs like the UCS fear more is at stake. They are especially concerned about the NIH. Much of basic life sciences research conducted in the U.S. is concentrated in this huge complex of research centers, which for decades has enjoyed a remarkably arms’ length relationship with the government agencies that supervise it. Central to its reputation are its hundreds of advisory panels, which review and recommend projects and choose their members based on their standing in the scientific community.
The result is that the NIH has long been regarded as a kind of worldwide gold standard for scientific inquiry. By applying anything other than strictly professional criteria to who may serve on the advisory panels, some scientists say, the Bush administration is tampering with truth itself. The issue is not just who gets to punch the tickets of a collection of competing researchers, but who defines what is and is not scientific knowledge. The UCS last year responded with two detailed studies of “misuse of science” by the Bush administration. These counterattacks scored a good deal of press coverage and attracted support from prominent scientists and progressive lawmakers.
But there’s little evidence that the Bush White House has paid any price. When Kerry took up the issue in his campaign last year, it failed to make much of a stir. Afterwards, science advisor Marburger suggested that attacks by scientists during the campaign could hurt federal support for science funding. No NIH-connected scientist interviewed for this article indicated that the political pressure they felt under the first Bush II administration has eased up in the slightest during the second.
When the UCS, lawmakers, and assorted grant recipients decried the situation, the White House and its allies turned the criticism on its head. A report by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) in 2003 on manipulation of scientific reports and advisory panels was dismissed as itself a politicization of science. When Andrea Lafferty, head of the religious-right Traditional Values Coalition, complained to mainstream media outlets about NIH-funded studies she considered morally objectionable, she knew well enough to drop the fundamentalist rhetoric and frame herself as a crusader against “abuse of taxpayer dollars.”
Is she a prude with no respect for scientific truth or are NIH scientists using government money to promote, for example, a “sex-positive” attitude in underage teens that is just as political as her pro-abstinence stand? “There’s an arrogance in the scientific community that they know better than the average American,” Lafferty told the New York Times last year.
Some observers with no special sympathy for the Bush White House tend to agree with her. One of these is Daniel Sarewitz, co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University. Writing in Newsday about the Food and Drug Administration’s decision last year to forbid sale of the Plan B contraceptive pill, ignoring its own technical expert panel’s advice, Sarowitz noted, “The real problem is the illusion that these controversies should be resolved scientifically, and by scientists.” The stem cell controversy, for example, is not a technical, but an ethical issue, and “scientists have no special status or expertise when it comes to ethical decisions.”
If they want the U.S. to seriously address, for example, global warming, Sarewitz continued, Bush’s enemies have to stop “hid[ing] behind the sanctity of science.... The goals themselves can emerge only from a political process in which science should have no special privilege.”
What’s needed, these critics say, is that science be democratized. The advisory panels at institutions like the NIH, for example, arrive at decisions on the projects they review by “consensus,” which in this case means no votes are recorded showing what position each member took. So democratization means altering the decision-making process to be more transparent and accountable, says David Guston, Sarewitz’s co-director. But it also means creating new “border institutions” at the intersection of science and politics that make it more participatory. At present, he says, when scientific issues do bubble up into community consciousness, the key decisions have already been made. Guston suggests three steps to change this:
- Recreating the Office of Technology Assessment that advised Congress on scientific matters before it was abolished following the 1994 “Republican revolution”
- Making expert deliberations of scientific bodies more transparent, for instance by instituting recorded votes on advisory panels
- Creating more opportunities for the public to weigh in through the use of deliberative polling and citizens’ panels
The last point most directly addresses the issue of how to make science more democratic. It’s also attracted the most attention over the past few years.
Policy big-thinkers like Guston, lodged in a few university-funded programs and at the Loka Institute, a nonprofit research and advocacy group based in Washington, are looking to Europe—not exactly a favorite philosophical destination of cultural conservatives—for a model that the U.S. can adopt. In particular, they’re promoting Denmark’s “consensus conferences”: deliberative gatherings that have become a routine part of determining which scientific projects get public support and funding in that country over the past two decades.
Consensus conferences assemble panels of some 12 to 15 citizens—not scientists or advocates for one or another program—to study broad areas of scientific policy and social concern, listen to testimony, ask questions of experts, and then make recommendations to lawmakers. The Board of Technology, a Danish parliamentary agency, began convening consensus conferences in the 1980s and has since held 20 of them.
Typically, these panels stress social concerns over issues of how to divide up resources or balance different types of research that groups of scientists may advocate. One studied human genome research in the late 1980s. Its final report supported basic research in genetics, but also called for more research on the interplay between environmental factors and genetic inheritance and more research on the social consequences of science, notes Richard Sclove, founding director of Loka.
Loka held the first consensus conference in the U.S. in 1997, a study of telecommunications issues by a panel in Boston whose members ranged from “a homeless shelter resident” to a retired farmer to a “high-tech business manager,” according to Loka’s own account of the event. The panel spent two weekends discussing background readings and listening to briefings from scientists. Next, they heard ten hours of testimony from experts including computer specialists, government officials, business executives, educators, and interest group representatives, followed by a question-and-answer. Finally, they formulated a consensus statement recommending a comprehensive set of policy changes and presented it at a press conference at Tufts University.
Since then, the concept has spread. The National Science Foundation, before its budget was cut last fall by Congress, funded a series of consensus conferences set up by North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The first, in 2003, was on genetically modified foods, and recommended that the government tighten regulation of GM foods and require them to be labeled clearly. The NC State group then held two consensus conferences on nanotechnology—the new techniques of working with matter at the atomic and molecular level that’s being called the “next industrial revolution” and that could be used to reengineer familiar substances like gold and carbon into new materials.
Even though nanotech is a very new area that most people are still unaware of, the two panels “got it” and produced well informed and useful reports, says Patrick Hamlett, director of the Program on Science, Technology and Society at NC State and an organizer of the project. Hamlett and his colleagues also experimented with holding some sessions between the participants face to face and some “keyboard to keyboard” over the Internet. They found that the participants were able to work together about as well remotely as they did in person, raising the prospect that consensus conferences could be organized across great distances.
The model attracted enough interest that Loka and other groups successfully lobbied Congress to include a provision calling for public involvement in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act that Bush signed in December 2003. The measure, which provided $3.7 billion for nanotech research, also called for “public input and outreach to be integrated into the Program by the convening of regular and ongoing public discussions, through mechanisms such as citizens’ panels, consensus conferences, and educational events.”
Last fall, some of the new funds were used to organize a Loka-sponsored “community workshop” on getting the public involved in nanotech decision-making at Howard University in Washington, DC. It produced 13 recommendations, including providing public opportunities to influence the policies and decisions of the National Nanotechnology Coordinating Office before the office implements decisions.
No one yet knows how large-scale consensus conferences would work in a big, heterogeneous society like the U.S., as opposed to a small, relatively homogeneous one like Denmark. No one has yet proposed giving them a formal role in decision-making here. Supporters like Guston and Hamlett allow that industry and the military might devise ways to game the system and turn the citizens’ panels into just another way of manufacturing consent to policies that promote profits rather than the good of the community.
But process transparency and attention from the public could give panels a good chance of maintaining their integrity and effectively bringing community concerns to bear on the direction of science. If successful, the result could challenge a lot of myths about people’s ability to understand and think critically about many important but arcane subjects. “The success of consensus conferences definitely undercuts the belief that public opinion on science is hysterical, uninformed, and molded by advocacy groups,” says Hamlett.
This discussion about democratizing science isn’t coming along at a convenient time for groups who want to keep the scientific community’s anger focused on the enemy in the White House. “I’ve attracted some fire” from scientists concerned about putting up a united front against Bush, says Guston. “They’re much more interested in having science their way— which means opposing Bush, but not considering how their vision doesn’t match up with democratic politics.”
At the UCS, Shultz says the best way to combat Bush’s ideological agenda is to work on building support among prestigious science organizations that command public respect. She points to a report by the National Academies of Science and Engineering in November that said quizzing candidates for advisory panels on their political affiliations was inappropriate. Meanwhile, the open letter that the UCS released against Bush early last year, which started out with 62 signatories, now has over 6,500, she says. Shultz points to the state-level proposition to provide funding for stem cell research in California that passed last November as a strong indication that the public doesn’t agree with Bush’s definition of what’s acceptable science. Thus strengthened, the UCS is calling for Congress and the Administration to adopt five steps to restore integrity to government-subsidized science:
- Protection of scientists who turn whistleblower when they spot political abuses
- Ensuring that government advisory panels are truly independent—including an end to political litmus tests for nominees
- Better scientific advice to Congress—for example, by recreating something like the Office of Technology Assessment
- Better scientific advice to the president—including restoring the White House science advisor’s status as an assistant to the president
- Increasing public access to scientific information the government funds, by fully enforcing the Freedom of Information Act and eliminating layers of classification that effectively keep much of it locked away
Bills have been introduced in the House covering some of these points, but they have not yet moved to the hearings stage. Whatever the public may think about Bush’s scientific agenda matters little, critics point out, unless they consider it important enough to make him pay a political price for his actions. That hasn’t happened, and won’t, they contend, until the scientific community is ready to adopt a more democratic process of deliberation that lets the people in rather than tacitly excluding them.
“The UCS and other critics are still hoping for a solution from science—that science will provide an escape from politics,” says Mark B. Brown, assistant professor of government at California State University, Sacramento, who is now engaged in a National Science Foundation-funded study, “Toward a Political Theory of Bioethics.” “Pointing to the urgency of the problems at hand is always a way to avoid dealing with more democratic solutions.”
Those “solutions” could include some things that today’s scientific community may find difficult to swallow, Guston warns: “If the scientific community insists on the advisory panels operating on consensus rules, they won’t get there. The point is to accept that science is politicized, and create conditions where it can be more democratized, more transparent.”
Eric Laursen is an independent journalist based in New York City.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; email@example.com; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
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 scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated 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 on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.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 University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljusticecenter.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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
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 branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, 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.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.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 in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.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.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.