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The Personal is Political
This essay is from an edited collection titled They Should Have Served That Cup of Coffee: 7 Radicals Remember the 60s, edited by Dick Cluster (South End Press, 1979). The essays are all written by activists involved in the many historic and truly revolutionary movements of that time. The essay presented here descibes the early days of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Popkin was involved in the Bread and Roses collective in Boston and tells about their struggles and successes, particularly the revelation that “the personal is political.”
It is difficult to believe this today, but at the outset of the 1960s the idea of Women’s Liberation did not exist. The huge “second wave” of the feminist movement in the U.S. began to emerge only later. By 1968 or 1969, small groups of women were meeting together, excitedly, throughout the country. Much political life for women today is an attempt to work out many of the ideas we first formulated and tried to implement at that time.
It’s not that the Women’s Movement was my first satisfying political experience. I walked the picket lines with my mother when I was thirteen or fourteen. A year or two later I began picketing Woolworth’s in support of the sit-ins in the South.
Those of us who had participated in these movements came away with certain political skills. (Still, although many of us did good work, we could not help but notice that many of the “leaders” and public spokespeople were men.) In the Anti-War Movement, whatever our feelings of disaffection as women who could not directly resist the draft, we shared the fervor and excitement of staging demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people. Being part of “the movement” was not just a matter of political opposition, but of criticism and withdrawal from the dominant culture as well. Blue jeans, comfortable hair, little or no makeup, and increasingly open attitudes about sex, marriage, and “living together” already separated us somewhat from the accepted image of proper young women.
At first we thought all of us—women and men, blacks and whites—were together in the struggle as equals. A few women, realizing that the rhetoric of equality was not borne out in movement activity, began to forge critiques. In 1964 a group of women in SNCC met to talk about their role in that organization. In SDS women made several attempts to raise the issue of Women’s Liberation, with little success.
Meanwhile, certain social developments outside of New Left circles created fertile ground for a movement of women. More and more women were entering the paid economy. In 1961, in part to quell a rising concern with equal rights, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women was cre. In 1963 The Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidan called the malaise of housewives, “the problem that has no name.” The discontent of women in the professional middle class led to their creation in 1966 of the National Organization for Women (NOW). These women wanted economic and legal equality in professional life; however, they accepted traditional sex roles, including women’s primary responsibility for the home. They did not, at that time, address the oppression from women’s prescribed “private” roles as wives and mothers—or the conflict between women’s old role in the home and their growing role as paid workers outside of it. A more basic challenge to the sexual division of labor was needed.
Outside the economic sphere, other developments increased women’s self-awareness. To some young women, the advent of the birth control pill and the counter-culture brought expectations of more equality in social relationships. Women’s hopes were raised again by the emergence of a “hippie” counter-culture. But the counter-culture was riddled with sexual power trips of its own.
The first media-certified Women’s Liberation “event”
announcing the arrival of a national movement took place at the
Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City on September 7, 1968. Women
from New York, New Jersey, Washington, DC, and Florida joined together
to protest the “boob girlie show” in a highly publicized
guerilla theater action outside. They crowned a sheep as their contest
winner and set up a “freedom trash can” to receive (their
leaflet explained) “old bras, girdles, high-heeled shoes, women’s
magazines, curlers, and other instruments of torture to women.”
Headlines screamed of “bra burners”—a name of ridicule
that stuck in the media although, as far as anyone who was there
remembers, no bras were burned.
Even before this well-publicized action, radical women in many parts
of the country had started to meet together. In Chicago, Seattle,
Toronto, San Francisco, New York, Gainesville, and Boston, in all
major cities, women began to say “enough.”
The Personal Is Political
In Boston small groups of women in the New Left had begun meeting informally as early as 1967. Some were groups of friends; others were made up of female members of mixed political groups. Larger weekly meetings of about 50 to 75 women began after the return of five Boston women from the first National Women’s Liberation conference in Chicago. Participants in these small and large groups planned a local Liberation Conference for the spring of 1969; we expected a few hundred women at most. Instead, over 500 thronged to the conference, attending workshops on such topics as Women in Socialist Countries, Self-Defense for Women, Abortion, Women and Witchcraft, and Working Women.
In September seventy women created a formal organization. We called ourselves Bread and Roses, taking the name from the cry of the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile workers, many of whom were women, during their historic strike of 1912.
The small group was the basic unit of participation in Bread and Roses. These groups were called in many parts of the country rap groups, consciousness raising groups, or “bitch sessions.” In Bread and Roses we called them “collectives.” In these collectives of seven-to-fifteen women, we told each other our life stories, poured out our feelings as women in U.S. society, and especially as women in a left movement of which we had very high expectations. We wondered, “How come in my equal relationship with my boyfriend it’s always me who notices when we’ve run out of toilet paper?” “Doesn’t my boss know how to make a cup of coffee?” And, as recorded in New York Radical Women’s Notes from the First Year , “I can’t stand walking down the street by the construction workers on their lunch hour; they undress me with their eyes and I don’t know which way to look.” “If you don’t want to sleep with him, he assumes you’re hung up and then you have to stay up the whole night convincing him you’re not.”
Then we tried to analyze these experiences. We looked at the ways we were brought up to be good little girls—at all the agents of socialization that contributed to our feeling that we could do certain things, but we couldn’t do others. We took a new look at our families, our schools, our churches, and especially the media. Thus, intuitively, we started a process of analysis that has characterized the Women’s Liberation Movement since that time: starting from our own experiences, our own conditions of oppression, and from there generalizing to other women’s condition and the larger institutions of U.S. society and from there thinking of strategies for change.
In particular we talked about how invisible and taken for granted we had felt in the Left and in our relationships. And we began to explore our relationships with women—to trust and value women more. A theme that ran through many of our discussions was something we began to call psychological oppression. Deeply internalizing the norms of the society, many of us had come to think less of ourselves and other women than we did of men. Each woman reproduced the society’s power relationships and the values placed on the different sexes in her own psyche and in her own relationships.
Our understanding of this phenomenon enabled us to look at the social roots of many of our deep feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. It also led us to the position that damage to the psyche of each individual—to unconscious and conscious values, images, and aspirations— was as important to struggle against as was economic exploitation or physical domination. We were aided in our recognition of this cultural domination by the black movement’s pointing to the power of (white) man’s ideology in forming black self-perceptions.
The process of the small group also countered an aspect of women’s lives that we had come to see as one of the most basic and most heinous— “the privatization of personal life.” Women lived, by and large, alone with their day-to-day problems, separated not only by the walls of their individual kitchens, but by an ideology that affirmed that people’s problems were, after all, individual problems that required individual solutions.
Redstockings, a New York women’s group, wrote in its manifesto about this isolation and the need to counter it: “Because we have lived so intimately with our oppressors, in isolation from each other, we have been kept from seeing our personal suffering as a political condition. This creates the illusion that a woman’s relationship with her man is a matter of interplay between two unique personalities and can be worked out individually. In reality every such relationship is a class relationship and the conflicts between individual men and women are political conflicts that can only be solved collectively.”
Not everyone agreed with the description of women and men as “classes,” but the political nature of conflicts between men and women was undeniable. This concept became a watchword of Women’s Liberation: “The personal is political and the political is personal.”Examining the lives of the members was only one of the tasks of most small groups. Making larger analyses of women in the society, reaching out to bring more women into the movement, carrying out small public actions, such as guerrilla theater and “zap” actions —all were taken on. Consciousness raising in small groups was both a means to mobilize increasing numbers of women and a source for generating ideas and analysis about Women’s Liberation. It re-introduced to the Left the importance of small units, which mobilized people for larger movements. In other cities besides Boston, the creation of these groups went hand in hand with the creation of larger organizations. These organizations identified themselves as part of an autonomous Women’s Liberation Movement.
Autonomy and Analysis
By an “autonomous” movement we mean a movement by, for, and of women—one that would analyze women’s position in U.S. society and act to change women’s condition in the context of a broader struggle for revolutionary change in society.
Autonomy differed from separatism in that we saw our struggle as integrally tied to that of blacks, workers, and other oppressed groups fighting for radical change. But as long as a racist, sexist, capitalist society continued to oppress different groups differently, it would be necessary for each group to bring its own experience to bear, in its own way. We had learned from history that unless women are articulating their own demands, these demands are not taken up by progressive movements. The example cited most often occurred 100 years earlier when women abolitionists, who had worked hard to free the slaves, wanted to demand universal suffrage for women and men, rather than simply suffrage for black men. Male abolitionists told them, “This is the Negro’s hour. Don’t ruin it by adding your cause too.” The wait turned out to be a long one. We were determined not to be trapped into thinking that the issue of our liberation had to wait until “after the revolution.”
The goals of the autonomous women’s movement differed, too, from the notions of government commissions on the status of women. We thought of ourselves as revolutionaries; we did not just want equal rights for women in this society—we did not want a bigger piece of the existing pie—we wanted a different, socialist society. From our analysis we thought we could not win either equality or liberation for women without a total social transformation.
At first we had identified the problem merely as “male chauvinism”—the attitude of condescending to women and undervaluing women that men (and women) acquired as part of their upbringing. Two Bread and Roses members wrote, “Chauvinism is when we spoke in meetings only to find the next speaker responding to the speaker before us—as if we did not exist; it is when we found men repeating ideas that we had formulated earlier, as if they were original; it is why most of us never spoke at all in meetings.”
When “chauvinism” was the enemy, we still thought we could solve the problem by trying to reform individual men; an attitude was, after all, merely an attitude. However, as we attempted to explain our thoughts to comrades, friends, and lovers, we met more resistance than we anticipated.
One famous example that quickly entered early Women’s Liberation lore took place in 1969 in Washington, DC at a counter-demonstration to Nixon’s first inauguration, sponsored by a coalition of anti-war groups. Ellen Willis, a Redstockings member from New York, describes what took place: “Our moment comes, M. from the Washington group gets up to speak. This isn’t the protest against movement men, which is second on the agenda; just fairly innocuous radical rhetoric—except that it’s a good looking woman talking about women. The men go crazy. ‘Take it off, Take her off the stage and fuck her.’ They yell and guffaw at unwitting double entendres like ‘We must take to the streets.’”
There were some men who supported us. Others said it was our problem, not theirs. Others denied that this was an issue on the Left or for the Left. Often the response was liberal and paternalistic, patting us on our heads and approving of “doing our own thing,” while the men would go out to make the revolution.
We had underestimated the power of male supremacy on the Left and in society. By male supremacy we meant the institutional, all-encompassing power that men as a group have over women, the systematic exclusion of women from power in the society and the systematic devaluation of all roles and traits which the society has assigned to women. We came to realize that we had to confront and attack male supremacy as a whole system.
This understanding required new strategies for change. Thus we set
about creating out own organizations and our own movement, seeking
to build a presence so strong and so visible that other political
groups and society’s institutions would have to take heed of
our critique and demands.
What We Did
One of the ways we made the new movement visible was through street demonstrations. Most notable among the large demonstrations that Bread and Roses organized were the International Women’s Day marches, held annually on March 8. But the bulk of our political work went on less visibly—in collectives, in general meetings, in small actions known as “zaps,” and in project groups organized around specific goals.
From the first, structure had been an issue of contention in the new women’s organizations. Many of the founding members had gone through long debates within the New Left, and especially SDS, about structure; these debates had revolved around criticism of representative democracy and were moving toward “participatory democracy,” with the slogan “let the people decide.” Explicit in this political direction was a distrust of formal structure.
Many Women’s Liberation activists equated structure with hierarchy, with emphasizing status differences and stimulating passivity rather than active participation. Most women’s groups opted for minimal visible structure. A description of the typical Bread and Roses gives a sense of what this meant. “Mass meetings” (assemblies of the general membership) were held weekly. Often 75 to 100 women attended—most of us rarely if ever having been in a room with so many women.
It is 8:00 PM on a Friday night and the room is filled. Some women are laughing and joking in small groups. A few people are reading leaflets or notes they’ve written to themselves. Some are arguing over a recent article or political action. Between 8:00 and 8:15 several women start suggesting that the meeting begin; it takes a while for this sentiment to waft across the room. After the meeting has come to order, announcements echo from many parts of the room—calls for actions or study groups, a description of a new women’s journal, a report on a recent demonstration. Stragglers wander in, many of them quietly, recognizing their disruption; a few playing kazoos, openly challenging the idea of order and schedule. Most meetings have at least one substantive political topic to discuss. The discussion is carried on haphazardly, with emotional interjections of “This freaks me out” or “I’m uncomfortable” often superseding substantive debate.
The interjection of “This freaks me out” in a Bread and Roses meeting was the near equivalent of a “point of order.” Whatever was being discussed would be put aside to deal with a particular woman’s feelings. In part, this followed from a belief that women have similar feelings and experiences; if one person is uncomfortable with the direction or atmosphere of a meeting, so probably are many others. In part it was an attempt to remedy the past injustices of women not being heard. The style of emphasizing feelings over structure made strides in the direction of democracy and egalitarianism, but sometimes forfeited progress in planned discussions. In extreme form it tended to install a “tyranny of structurelessness”—without clear procedures or responsibility for conducting meetings, power could drift to those with the clearest preconceived goals or the most skill in public speaking.
The over-all loose and decentralized structure helped give rise to the popularity of “zap actions.” Zaps were often one-shot deals in which a group of women would go to some public place to expose the sexism of an institution or activity. Often theatrical, zaps usually featured costumes or skits as well as leaflets. The point was to reach new people, women and men, in new ways and to give a quick jiggle to spectators’ normal way of seeing things.
An example of a zap action is the Bread and Roses “Ogle-In” of July 1970 where men in a busy shopping area were given women’s traditional treatment of stares, whistles, catcalls, and pinches. “Don’t hide it all under a suit,” the women urged.
Another zap targeted a Boston counter-cultural radio station whose broadcast of an ad for a local drug program ended with “And if you’re a chick, they need typists.” In response thirty angry Bread and Roses women stormed the station protesting its sexism. They presented the station manager with eight baby chicks, pointing out that “women are not chicks.” The statement they presented explained: “The male supremacist assumption was that ‘chicks’ by their very nature type; we do fifteen words a minute at birth and work our way up.” Many phone calls later, they modified the ad to, ”If you’re a chick and can type, they need typists.” Could a radio station get away with an ad that ran, “And if you’re black, we need janitors?”
In the project groups Bread and Roses members pursued more specific objectives. Work and/or study groups generated ideas and actions around racism, imperialism, and class. But the most concrete issues involved control of our lives, our bodies, and our work.
Taking control of our bodies was basic. Redefining our sexuality was a starting point for many women. The idea that Papa Freud and various boyfriends and husbands had defined a women’s orgasm—occurring “from the friction of the penis in the vagina”—was mind-boggling. Reclaiming our sexuality became an important part of consciousness raising. Women realized that “our bodies have been kept from us,” and then we set about taking them back.
Seeking more knowledge about our bodies led us to a critique of sex education and the health-care system. In Boston a Bread and Roses project began trying to find non-sexist gynecologists to recommend to women—and compiling a warning list of doctors to avoid because of their demeaning attitudes and practices toward their women patients. This group went on to create a health course for women, which was taught at adult education centers, YWCAs, high schools, and colleges, first in Boston and then all over the country. Thousands of copies of a booklet from this course, “Women and Their Bodies,” were distributed by the New England Free Press. Women throughout the nation wrote to Bread and Roses asking for advice and information, telling their own particular horror stories about doctors. As Our Bodies, Our Selves, it has become a classic for women.
Two more specific demands for reclaiming our bodies were for safe birth control and legal abortions. The growing awareness of the dangers of the Pill and the number of unwanted pregnancies pointed to the inadequacy of present forms of birth control. We discovered later that sterilization was being foisted on many poor and Third World women without their choice and sometimes without their knowledge. We came to understand that the basic issue was choice: the right to choose when or whether to become a mother. The right to control our bodies became a basic cry.
Within this campaign perhaps the most sustained effort centered around abortion. Any woman on the street could be raped; any woman who engaged in sexual intercourse could accidentally become pregnant. Although many reform groups had sought to liberalize archaic abortion laws in the past, the Women’s Liberation Movement sought the repeal of all laws limiting abortion and the provision of free abortions on demand.
After many years of struggle, women’s efforts seemed to be successful with the 1973 Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion. (Recently, however, forces of reaction have zeroed in on publicly funded abortions and organized to end them.)
Another key issue was childcare. We didn’t need a political analysis to tell us that primary responsibility for children fell to women. In many cities, Women’s Liberation groups addressed the issue of childcare from the start, by creating their own alternatives. In Boston women organized playgroups that rotated child-care responsibilities among parents and other interested people. Another frequent tactic, there and elsewhere, was to make demands on institutions where women worked or went to school to set up childcare facilities there.
Work itself was a third important area of concern. Beyond equal pay for equal work, we sought to end sex segregation and sex-role stereotyping—to challenge the way work was set up.
Bread and Roses had an office workers’ group whose members met and talked together and tried to interest co-workers in Women’s Liberation. Secretaries in one downtown accounting firm began dividing up their work themselves, refusing to make their bosses’ coffee, and decorating walls with Women’s Liberation posters.
A fourth area of concern was making ourselves strong women. Many
of us studied karate and other forms of self-defense; subway stations
were stickered with signs proclaiming “Disarm rapists,”
with a picture of a woman administering a karate kick to a man.
Members of Bread and Roses taught women how to street fight, how
to stay together when attacked, whether in a political demonstration
or walking down the street.
A Women’s Community & Culture
As women turned to each other for affection and support that we had previously sought in men, many sensual feelings were liberated. Some of us made love with women we loved; some of us “came out.” For some women lesbianism was an extension of the desire to be completely self-sufficient. Or, many times, the women’s movement provided a safe enough place to open up new sexual feelings.
But also, at times, women who were already lesbians found it difficult to be “out” in the Women’s Movement. Tensions arose as both heterosexual and lesbian women felt guilty or forced up against the wall about their choice. Was lesbianism the logical extension of feminism? (As one woman put it, “Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice.”) Or was it just one natural outgrowth of our feelings and activities? Both straight and gay women could not help but internalize the heterosexual bias of the dominant culture and we had to identify it and fight it. However much tension there was, though, an important new option was opening for women, bringing the possibility of being in more egalitarian and respectful relationships.
There were other tensions besides that between gay and straight. Conflicts arose too between married women and single women. The whole process of changing our relationships with women and men was not easy; it was not always a barrel of fun. We spoke of “struggling” toward new types of relationships because it was indeed a draining task and painful, even as it was energizing.
The theoretical expression of this struggle toward a women’s community was the concept of “sisterhood.” In part this was a political name for the feelings of closeness, respect, and solidarity. In part it reflected our desire for the intensity, permanence, and reliability of a “family.” Also, the family metaphor was borrowed from the black movement, where people called each other “sister” and “brother” to indicate solidarity and the creation of a community separate from “the Man.” We felt, too, the potential power of great numbers of women banding together in “sisterhood.” And counting on other women as sisters challenged the idea that individuals had to make it on their own. We quite consciously provoked the surprise and dismay of straight liberal groups who would ask for one speaker on Women’s Liberation and get three; they would ask, “Who is the speaker?” and the Bread and Roses group would respond, “We are.”
Accompanying the creation of a women’s community was the creation of a new women’s culture, expressed in poetry, music, dance, song, spraypainting, and a host of other media. Individually and collectively, we rejected the old values and sought to express our new values in many different forms. Publications mushroomed…. We sang new songs, often written collectively, at demonstrations and sometimes at meetings…. Where before, to dance, you had to go to a mixed party and wait for a man to ask you to dance with him —now you could just dance.
Some women took up traditional “feminine” crafts. At the same time, many learned traditionally masculine skills. Sometimes these were called survival skills; they included self-defense, auto mechanics, carpentry, electrical wiring, and plumbing.
We also made serious attempt reach out to as-yetuninvolved women personally. We spoke in groups of two and three and four in as many places as we got invitations: churches, colleges, temples, YWCAs, women’s organizations—to high school women, older women, housewives, and suburban women. What we said touched women’s lives and they responded. Bread and Roses also held weekly orientation meetings for new women. Hundreds of women came to these weekly meetings wanting to become part of the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Television and newspapers, quick to recognize an important new option was opening for women, brought the Movement to far more people than we ever could have. Spreading the word was a help, but the words they used weren’t always helpful. In diffusing information, they generally defused the message. A sensational image emerged: ugly man-haters, “bra-burners.” Or “Women’s Lib,” a glib popularization that had none of the emotional meaning of “Liberation,” but suggested a fad, a craze.
Those media figures who tried to be sympathetic usually weakened the message to the need for women to have equal pay at work and maybe get some help with childcare. But others pandered to people’s fear of change and some women readers and viewers became afraid that Women’s Liberation meant they would be drafted into the army (though mostly we opposed both the draft and the army) or would have to become competitive career women interested only in success.
Still, our ideas about the need for basic change in sex roles, work, and the family touched many women. Those who could find us swelled the ranks of the decentralized Women’s Liberation organizations; their newly stimulated feminist rage brought us new insights.After a time, these first Women6;s Liberation organizations began to wane. This was in the context of a New Left that was, in the early 1970s, seeing most of its organizations factionalize and disintegrate. Our commitment to minimal structure and leaderlessness, while avoiding some of the tendencies toward factional rivalries, infighting, and leadership conflicts that plagued much of the Left, besieged us with problems of keeping an organizatioommunication and responsibility, and recognizing and holding accountable the leaders who did emerge.
Many of our insights, however, have continued to spread. What we called male supremacy—the idea that women are not equal to men in this society—is accepted as fact by many people and the idea that this inequality should be changed is accepted by a great number. Sexual politics—that any relationship, even a one-to-one encounter, between a woman and a man is mediated and shaped by the fact that men as a group have more power than women as a group—can no longer be denied. We were talking about power, not just discrimination. Recognizing the structured, institutionalized nature of that power pointed, for many women, to the need for collective rather than personal solutions.
The political is no longer conceived to be solely in the realm of government or even (in the traditional leftist sense) solely in the world of economic forces and economic exploitation. Issues that were once considered private—sexuality, the family, how you look and act— are now seen as political. Personal life does not merely reflect politics; it is politics. Even more important was our understanding that power relations are internalized by both men and women and that they are continually being reproduced in our daily lives.
Following from this was our insight that we must change ourselves in order to change society—we became the raw material of our own politics. The need for all people to try out more parts of their personalities and be less stereotyped into rigid sex roles is more and more commonly recognized. We successfully challenged the idea that men are doers and women are objects; that men are providers and women are nurturers; that men are presidents and women are secretaries.
Out of the ashes of the first organizations have risen numerous projects, such as community health-care centers, rape crisis centers, women’s schools, and daycare centers. When we in Bread and Roses and the Women’s Liberation Movement first said that the personal is political, we meant to point to the political nature of what too many people still feel are “private” personal issues difficult or impossible to change. We meant, too, that there could be no personal or individual solutions to the pains of everyday life, generated as they are not only by the structures of government and economics, but also by the structures of sexuality and gender.
The biography attached to her 1979 essay says, “Ann Popkin has worked in the Women’s School, the New England Marxist-Feminist Study group, the Boston Women’s Union, and a local socialist-feminist collective. She has made films and taught media & society, women & media, and community studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz.”
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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; email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; 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 throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com; 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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: email@example.com; 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com; 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/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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; email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com; 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.