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Left Forum this weekend

May 27, 2015

The annual Left Forum conference is this weekend, Friday to Sunday, at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, located on 59th at 10th. Formerly the Socialist Scholars Conference, the Left Forum brings together lefty scholars like Noam Chomsky and Cornel West as well as organizers and activists.

The theme for this year’s conference is “No Justice, No Peace: Confronting the Crises of Capitalism and Democracy.” There’s also an emphasis on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and understanding what happened in Ferguson, as well as stuff going on in Greece.

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I’ll be participating in two panels. First, a Saturday panel (3:15pm-5:00pm) called What is Occupy Up To?, to be held in room1.100, with the following description:

The occupation is over but groups with roots in Zuccotti Park are working actively in many ways. Representatives of some of these groups will discuss their current efforts and we will look for a participatory discussion of how the movement can be effective. Committed at this time: OccuEvolve – Sumumba Sobukwe, Occupy the SEC – Neil Taylor, OWS Alternative Banking – Cathy O’Neil, Debt Collective / Strike Debt — Luke Herrine Copies of the book Occupy Finance will be available free to attendees while supplies last.

Second, a regular Alt Banking meeting on Sunday from 10am-noon, to be held in room 1.119, which has the following description:

Occupy Alternative Banking proposes to run one of its typical weekly Sunday meetings as a Left Forum workshop, as it did the last two years. You can learn about us at http://altbanking.net/. But in brief, we grew out of Open University sessions at the Occupy protests, and have been meeting ever since. We are open to all comers, and meet every Sunday afternoon at Columbia University to discuss current events and theory related to the dysfunction of the financial system, develop strategies, and endeavor to implement them. Our meeting-structure involves listing some topics for possible discussion, allowing attendees to add others, and then voting on two or three to discuss (in assembly-style format) during the meeting. We believe our two previous appearances at the Left Forum were very successful, both in terms of how they were received, and in their bringing some wonderful new consistent members to our weekly meetings and community. We propose to run a similar workshop this year. Other presenters will include Natasha Blakely and Thessy Mehrain, both of Occupy Alternative Banking.

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