Talks: Social Movements / 2009-2011

Primary Source

Shaping San Francisco hosts Public Talks on a variety of topics on Wednesday nights, about 18 times a year. One recurrent theme has brought together activists and the interested to discuss contemporary Social Movements. Here are the Talks we held at CounterPULSE at 1310 Mission Street in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

November 16, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Alternatives to Mass Education

Mark Twain once quipped, "I never let school get in the way of my education!" This panel of educators will share how they live that idea working in school systems. Sean Burns moderates a panel of educators — Victor Diaz, charter school founder; Will Grant, high school teacher and founder of BLAST; and Lynn Murphy, program officer for the Hewlett Foundation's Global Development and Population Program — who have successfully co-created programs with their communities that are progressive, develop student leadership, and empower communities to address social justice issues. Their work ranges from recreating schools as centers for social research and action in Berkeley and New Mexico to shifting the dialog about education in Africa. We all know the problems – hear some solutions that are working.

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September 21, 2011

Dublin Community Activism Against Drug Addiction

The film Meeting Room by Jim Davis shines a powerful searchlight on a controversial moment in recent Dublin history. It tells the contested story of the Concerned Parents Against Drugs (CPAD) movement from its emergence in the early 1980s to its decline with the imprisonment of some of its leaders at the end of that decade. CPAD began in response to the explosion of drug addiction in Dublin in 1982 when a lack of action from the authorities meant that residents of the flats complexes where heroin was available were on their own. A mass movement was born in response and dealers were confronted with meetings, patrols, checkpoints and late night evictions. But CPAD’s direct action strained its relationship with the authorities and the media. Charges of vigilantism and republican infiltration dogged the movement and undermined it. Hostility in the press, prosecution in the courts, and a violent response from criminals was all balanced against successfully tackling the dealers as the movement rose and fell during the 1980's in Dublin. An audience Q&A follows the film.

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May 18, 2011

Mission Politics in the 1970s: Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78

Take a look at the politics and culture of the Mission District of 40 years ago including Sandinista organizing, the rise of Third Worldism, and the Mujeres Muralistas. With contributors to the new book Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78 Alejandro Murguia, Jason Ferreira, and Patricia Rodriguez.

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April 27, 2011

Overcoming Work and Sacrifice

Surprising numbers of people too often accept or encourage a “collapse of civilization” as a necessary precondition for radical change. Editor Bernard Marszalek and Chris Carlsson discuss the 19th century visionary Paul LaFargue’s re-issued book The Right to Be Lazy along with their visions of a post-capitalist life that imagines a life of abundance, generosity, and cooperation.

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April 20, 2011

Radical Approaches to Organizing Work

Listen to a conversation about network forms of work and their relationship to capitalism, business, and alternative ways of producing our world. Michael Whitson moderates a panel including Shereef Bishay, of Better Means, an open and democratic project management system; Chris Carlsson, author of Nowtopia; and Gordon Edgar, author of Life on the Wedge and member of Rainbow Grocery Workers' Cooperative.

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March 16, 2011

Movements and Political Generations

“The past is not dead, it is living in us, and will be alive in the future which we are now helping to make.” —William Morris

With the apparent end of one era and the dawning of a new — and unknown one — we turn our attention to the question of inheritance and new generations. We want to think about the way political generations form, and whether the experience of past generations can play a useful role in this. How do those who have been through previous generations of struggle prepare for the emergence of new movements? What role can past experiences play? Or will the expectations produced by past histories obscure what is new about the situation? And, since this problem cuts both ways, how do emerging generations relate to previous movements, without conceding ground and losing their singularity? How do we allow the past to “live in us,” while preventing it from weighing “like a nightmare upon the brains of the living”? We are joined by David Harvie and Keir Milburn, members of The Free Association (Leeds, England), authors of Moments of Excess: Movements, Protest and Everyday Life; David Solnit, global justice organizer and author of The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle; activists in the local student movement Aaron Benanav, Robert Hurly, and Caitlin Manning; and Gifford Hartmann. Co-presented by PM Press.

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March 9, 2011

The Struggles of the Balkans and Romani in Fact and Fiction

Not only have the Balkans been obliterated by NATO 'humanitarian intervention', eviscerated by imposed neoliberal economic restructuring, and their peoples — particularly the Roma gypsy flung to the corners of the earth — but they've suffered the indignities of centuries of lies, caricature, distortion, and misinformation. Here to discuss, disturb and offer a gentle corrective or two, is a panel of folks from the Balkans and its environs. With Andrej Grubacic, Yugoslav author, most recently, of Don't Mourn, Balkanize!; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, historian and author; Sani Rifati, of Voice of Roma; and Laura Fantone, activist and Visiting Scholar at San Francisco Art Institute. Co-presented by PM Press.

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December 15, 2010

Navigating the Criminal Courts: A Guide for Activists

Ben Rosenfeld, a San Francisco-based civil rights and criminal defense attorney who specializes in representing activists, provides an overview of the criminal trial process, and addresses issues which commonly arise in activist cases. These include: your rights in court, the importance of embracing the politics of the case, maintaining cohesion and solidarity among co-defendants and the wider activist community, and communicating securely in the Orwellian age of warrantless surveillance.

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December 8, 2010

Haiti: Gender and Continuity in the Midst of Disaster

What is the general situation in post-earthquake Haiti? How does disaster particularly affect women and girls, gender issues, and culture? What are the courses of action for victims of gender-based violence in temporary encampments for over a million people left homeless by the earthquake? With so many schools destroyed, how do students get access to education? With Nadege Clitandre, founder and director of Haiti Soleil, which focuses on youth development and empowerment through the creation of community-centered educational institutions in Haiti; Anne-Christine d'Adesky, international journalist working with Poto Fanm+Fi, a global solidarity initiative in partnership with the Haitian women's movement; LisaRuth Elliott, volunteer with GrassRoots United, an international support organization working in Port-au-Prince to address the gaps in relief operations; and Ivy Jeanne McClelland just returned from Haiti where she is connected to the student movement MESS (Mouvement des Etudiants du Sud'Est pur le Soutien) in Jacmel.

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September 29, 2010

Education Crisis/Radical Responses

From the crisis in the California universities to the steady destruction of public schools, we're in the epicenter of a storm that spans the globe as neoliberalist politicians and the interests they serve seem determined to make education a precious commodity that is no longer a bedrock of democratic society. Caitlin Manning, Andrej Grubacic, Gifford Hartman, Maya Gonzalez, and Aaron Benanav discuss radical responses to this crisis, leading to the big October 7 Day of Action.

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September 15, 2010

Imprisoned But Unbowed: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women

A panel of ex-cons discusses the myriad ways resistance continues and perseveres behind bars, and how such herstories are - or are not - recorded and celebrated. Featuring Ida McCray, former black conscious feminist prisoner, supporter of love and life for all, educator, and with a lifetime involvement to make a better world gang. Also with Rita B♀ Brown who has been a prison abolitionist for 40 years. An ex-political prisoner and former member of the George Jackson Brigade, she continues to work in the lesbian community and with the Prison Activist Resource Center. And Sin Soracco who found time between dancing, bookselling, and a stint inside, to pen the now legendary prison novel Low Bite, a tale of survival, dignity, friendship, and insubordination. Co-presented by PM Press.

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April 21, 2010

Ten Years That Shook the City -- Sneak Preview

Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott, co-directors of Shaping San Francisco, give a wide survey of the politics of 1968-78 by going through the forthcoming book "Ten Years That Shook the City: 1968-78," covering everything from Los Siete de la Raza to the housing and redevelopment politics of the era, the San Francisco State Strike to the lesser known strikes among rank-and-file activists in the local labor movement. Posters, lost murals, unknown ecological treasures, the Farm, and much more!

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April 14, 2010

U.S. Social Forum, Detroit

Moderator Kathy Wallerstein brings together Zhivka Valiavicharska of the Student Movement, David Zlutnick and Ian Paul of the Friendly Fire Collective, and Sharon Lhungo of the Ruckus Society in an information and strategies session on the subject of the U.S. Social Forum, to be held in Detroit in June 2010. Includes a brief history of the Social Forums and a discussion of the role and uses of the US Social Forum in particular by members of groups from the Bay Area planning to participate. California Student Movement politics are also in the mix.

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March 31, 2010

Songs To Enemies And Deserts, A Film Screening About Rebellion In Darfur

A screening of the film made by Shane Bauer and David Martinez in Sudan, called Songs To Enemies And Deserts. Followed by a discussion about the current situation in Darfur and all of Sudan, with the independence vote for South Sudan looming in 2011, and one Darfuri rebel group, the Justice And Equality Movement (JEM), having recently signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government. Special Benefit Program for Free the Hikers (Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal who have been in jail in Tehran for over seven months.)

February 10, 2010

Queer workers: Class, Gentrification and Struggle in San Francisco

Queer organizers from Pride at Work/HAVOQ and other community organizations discuss gentrification, how the economy affects queer workers, and approach a redefinition of the gay agenda. An interactive session digs into ongoing queer struggles for justice around issues that daily affect our lives and those in our communities. This recording was primarily of the Queer Agenda discussion, but also has the report-backs from the other groups at the end of the night.

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October 21, 2009

Bicycling in San Francisco

After 17 years of Critical Mass and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition reaching 10,000 members Janel Sterbentz, Steve Jones, Chris Carlsson, and Andy Thornley discuss what’s right, and what’s not with the way bicycling and bicycling politics is developing at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Hear a broad discussion of bicycle etiquette, transportation and urban design, equipment and safety (good engineering vs. "good shopping"), Stop-Roll, Bike Plan 2004 vs. Copenhagen 1980, and the SF Bicycle Coalition/Critical Mass.

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October 14, 2009

The Politics of ‘Third Space’ in Global Videos and Installations

Michelle Dizon, Filipino-American artist from Los Angeles, screens her installation video comparing the 1995 riots in France and the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, illuminating political issues of marginal citizenships, migration and exile, media and the erasure of memories of historical violence. Katherine Wallerstein moderates a discussion between Dalida Maria Benfield, filmmaker, art educator and scholar; Laura Fantone, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley; and Beatrice Bain, Interdisciplinary Research Group as they bring examples of experimental political installations and look for possibilities of reconfiguring political subjects and action.

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May 20, 2009

Anti-systemic Knowledge: Learning from the South

UC Berkeley’s Daphne V. Taylor-García, Roberto D. Hernández, George Cicarelio Maher, plus militant historian and author Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, and Andrej Grubacic of Global Commons Foundation investigate the coloniality of power/knowledge, transmodernity, border knowledge, indigenous socialism, socialization of power, and solidarity economy. Other contemporary practices, theories, and radical political alternatives emerging from the Global South are explored. Co-presented by Global Commons Foundation

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April 22, 2009

Global Commons/Global Enclosures

Iain Boal and Raj Patel critique the idea of a global commons, the history and context of the commons under feudalism, and demonstrate the boundary between 'commons' and 'commodity'. The work of Via Campesina is highlighted as they use the commons in "food sovereignty" politics showing how seed politics offers a model for international decommodification. Co-presented by Global Commons Foundation

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April 8, 2009

Anti-War Then and Now

David Solnit, Paul Cox, and Sarah Lazare take a look back at military resistance to the Vietnam War, including the mutiny of sailors on the USS Coral Sea, infantry refusal to follow orders on the battlefield, and other anti-war activities within military forces. Iraq vets also discuss the state of anti-war activities in the current conflict.

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March 11, 2009

Local Remanufacturing Our Way out of the Depression

Peter Berg, co-author of A Green City Program for SF Bay Area & Beyond; Kevin Drew, Zero Waste Program Coordinator for the San Francisco Department for the Environment; and Neil Seldman, of the Washington DC-based Institute For Local Self-Reliance, share why we need to make products from local recyclables to make meaningful work, close energy loops, and stimulate creativity. How do we find practical responses to the current depression that builds on our abundant resources, both physical and human? Antonio Roman-Alcalá, Alemany Farm organizer, facilitates the Q&A and discussion.

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January 14, 2009

Hearing the City: Radio in San Francisco

We trace the paths of media, technology, audience, and producers from 1960s underground FM radio to the present era of blogging, “social software,” indymedia, podcasting et al. including a quick look back at the early days of AM radio. AM's role as the first mass media shaped San Francisco and the Bay Area, through advertising and knitting together communities with shared “represented” experiences. With Joe Lerer of KFRC and KSAN, Monkey of PirateCat Radio, and George Epileptic, former underground DJ on KUSF.

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