CBK-DSA Night School: The CPUSA + The Great Depression
Join the Central Brooklyn Branch of the NYC Democratic Socialists of America for a three-part session on the history of the Communist Party in the United States during the Great Depression.
We will take a deep dive into the history of the Party, its milieu, and the broader upheavals of the 1930s so that we can learn lessons both negatively and positively from this moment of working-class upsurge and organization.
Each class will feature readings, a speaker, and group discussion with fellow comrades. You won’t need to attend each session to be able to engage with the next one, but of course we encourage you to attend all of them if you are able!
Session #2: The San Francisco General Strike of 1934
Thursday, July 30th 7-9 PM
Visit bit.ly/cbkdsanightschool for the readings, zoom link, and for a calendar of future sessions!
SBK Poli Ed Reading Group on Racism & Abolition
The South Brooklyn Branch is hosting a three part study group on racism and abolition in the United States. This is open to anyone who wants to discuss these topics in light of the Black uprising against police brutality and systemic racism. The history of slavery, Jim Crow, and the ‘war on drugs’ has shaped this country as much as slave rebellions, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and BLM. The history and dynamics are alive and well. Time to discuss and draw inspiration from the Black struggle, then and now, alongside the ongoing protests.
Final Session Friday, July 31st
SBK Fiction Book Club: Toni Morrison’s A Mercy
Join the SBK Fiction book club as we discuss Toni Morrison’s 2008 novel A Mercy. Set in the 1680s, the novel grapples with the racial, religious, gender and class tensions at play in early settler colonial North America.
The goal of the SBK Fiction series is to use fiction as a vehicle for political education. We will discuss both the literary/formal qualities of the work and its political implications with the goal of understanding how fiction can become a tool for socialist change.
Sunday, August 16th 3-5 PM
LowMan Poli Ed: The ABC’s of Capitalism
Lower Manhattan Political Education is hosting a series of reading groups on the logic of capitalism and what we can do to overcome it.
RSVP BELOW TO ACTION NETWORK FOR A ZOOM LINK:
How can it be that in a society with enormous resources and wealth a thin layer at the top owns nearly everything, while billions upon billions struggle to survive? What role does the government and the state play in maintaining this system? How should socialists organize to win rights and dignity for workers?
In The ABCs of Capitalism, sociologist Vivek Chibber walks us through the basic concepts and questions of Marxist political economics. In pamphlets A & B, Chibber draws on the Marxist intellectual tradition, as well as a variety of data, to illustrate the socialist analysis of the capitalist economy and the nature of the state and democracy under capitalism. In pamphlet C he lays out the role for labor in social struggle, what we would need to do to topple capitalism, and why that so often proves impossible.
These discussions will be reading groups led by a facilitator and the pamphlets are about 30 pages each. They are meant to be at an introductory level but are open to all. And, whether you’re new to Left and or still retain vivid memories of arguing with Michael Harrington, anyone who has mastered a subject will tell you that it’s always helpful to return to the basics.
Please email us with any questions or concerns at email@example.com.
Second session: Monday, August 3rd 7-9 PM
SOCIALIST FEMINIST WG
Weekly Soc Fem Teach-Ins
As we all chug through this interminable quarantine, the NYC-DSA SocFem Political Education Committee is committed to continuing political education in this time of crisis. To that end, we are planning weekly ongoing political education sessions using Zoom. You can find the calendar of all our upcoming events on our website.
Stone Butch Blues Book Club
Join the Socialist Feminist Working Group for a book club exploring Leslie Feinberg’s seminal 1993 novel, Stone Butch Blues. This two-week book club will run on July 21 (chapters 1-13) and July 28 (chapters 14-26) from 7-8:30 PM.
Stone Butch Blues is a book that, like both its author and main character, challenges and defies classification. It is a lesbian story, a transgender story, and a working class story. It is a revolutionary work, in all senses of the word, that explores sexuality, gender identity, queer love, solidarity, and how these exist in a society that attempts to limit and destroy them.
The book looks at the world of Buffalo and New York City in the latter half of the 20th century through the eyes of Jess Golberg, a masculine woman, as they make their way through blue collar jobs and gay bars, all the while struggling with their place in the world and their identity.
Feinberg’s last words were “Remember me as a revolutionary communist”. We hope to honor that memory here.
Stone Butch Blues contains explicit scenes of violence and sexual assault throughout the book. If you would like to know specific chapters or pages, please contact the facilitators.
Session 2: Monday, July 28th 7 PM
Down With Rainbow Capitalism – A Queer Socialist Reading Group
In the past decade, we’ve seen a stark increase in rainbow capitalism, with corporations and cops endorsing pride. A class of queers — mostly white, often cis men — has gained entrance into the U.S., and to some extent global, elite. At the same time, we’ve seen radical organizing against capitalist and imperialist appropriation of queer history and struggle.
We’ll contextualize these trends by first grounding ourselves in two weeks of queer Marxist theory. Then, we’ll trace the historical relationship between Marxism and queer people and movements: from the USSR to mid-century queer liberation, and to contemporary worker’s struggles. Finally, we’ll dig deeper into a few themes, including: queerness and sex work, trans history, AIDS activism, NGO-ization and marriage, imperialism, and incarceration.
Our aim is to emerge with a deeper understanding of queerness and leftism, and to be more empowered to organize for a socialism that includes the liberation of all people oppressed by our current gender and sexual system. If you can’t formally join the group but want to check out the texts we’ll be reviewing, take a look at our syllabus.
Every Monday + Tuesday 7 – 9 PM – through September 21st, 2020
Next: Week 3 Sessions, Monday July 28th and Tuesday July 29th
Beyond Survival Book Club
Join the NYC DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group in reading Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement, edited by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Ejeris Dixon. This anthology of essays dives into the tough, messy, and hopeful work of transformative justice.
Community accountability and transformative justice have become frequent buzzwords on the left, especially as we organize towards police and prison abolition. But what do these terms mean, and how do we relate them to an abolitionist horizon? How do we deal with harm within our movements that seek to dismantle the carceral state? How do we focus on survivor healing while also providing support and rehabilitation to those who have caused harm? How do we define and find our communities, when our communities are often fragmented and/or the very source of the harm that has occured?
Beyond Survival is not a theoretical work–it’s an organizing guide, a collection of experiences, and an incredible resource for anyone looking to do this work within their own communities, organizations, and families. Please join us on the following dates. Reading is recommended, but all are welcome regardless of whether or not you have read and you don’t need to attend every session. Come when and how you can!
Wednesday August 12th 7pm-8:30pm–Part 1: Making the Road by Dreaming
Wednesday August 19th 7pm-8:30pm — Part 2: We Got This
Wednesday August 26th 7pm-8:30pm — Part 3: We Didn’t Call it TJ, but Maybe it Worked Anyway?
Wednesday August 12th 7pm-8:30pm — Part 4: What Did We Dream Then, What Do We Know Now?
*YOU CAN GET THE EBOOK FOR $1.99 HERE!*: https://www.akpress.org/beyond-survival-e-book.html
CW: Beyond Survival deals heavily with sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and childhood sexual abuse in many of its chapters. If you would like specific trigger warnings by chapter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Police Militarization Reading Group
On Sunday, August 9th, we will be discussing the introduction and first chapter (to page 52) of Stuart Schrader’s book Badges Without Borders (How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing) from 5:30-7:00pm.
This will serve as political education and help make connections between our work and NYC-DSA’s campaign to defund NYPD.
RSVPers will be invited to our Slack, where we have more reading and discussion resources available.
Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
Sunday, August 9th 5:30 – 7:30 PM
DEBT & FINANCE WG
Fear City & the 70’s Fiscal Crisis
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the shadow of the 70s fiscal crisis has loomed large over NYC politics, curtailing ambitions and used as a constant foil to efforts to expand social programs. Now, with a $10B projected budget deficit and early, draconian cuts to city agencies — before the full magnitude of the economic crisis has hit — we face a similar turning point, one that may well determine the future of our city.
How did the fiscal crisis remake NYC politics and shape the city’s governance for the last four decades? What were the causes of the crisis, and how did elites (on one side) and labor/social movements (on the other) organize to respond? What lessons can we learn from this history for how we organize for a livable NYC today?
This reading group is open to people committed to the pursuit of justice in NYC from any number of issue- based campaigns. It is currently cohosted by Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal/Clean Transportation for All Campaigns and NYC-DSA’s Debt & Finance Working Group.
We will read Fear City (Kim Phillips-Fein); The Long Default (William K. Tabb); and excerpts from Class, Power and Austerity (Eric Lichten). Other helpful materials may be added. Exact chapter/page assignments to come!
Signing up here will add you to a Google Group where final logistics will be shared and we can coordinate together.
Questions? Want to cosponsor as an organization? Have suggestions? Need help acquiring the readings? Contact email@example.com.
Week 3: August 6th 7:30 PM
These are just the events coming up in the next few weeks. We’ll be sending this newsletter twice a month, so stay tuned for future updates!
If you did not see your poli ed event listed here or want to make sure you’re included in future newsletters, please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.