Moderators: Tithi Bhattacharya and Anthony Arnove
Speakers: Alex Lichtenstein, Jesse Hagopian, James Loewen, Susan Curtis, Anne Wright, Staughton Lynd, Tiffany Montoya and Fernando Tormos
In honor of historian Howard Zinn and all the ordinary people he celebrated in his work, on Tuesday November 5, scholars and activists from across the country took part in a Read-in of Zinn's work on the campus of Purdue University and on campuses across the nation. The day marks the birthday of another fighter for social justice -- Indiana-born labor activist, Eugene Debs. The idea for the event was sparked when the Associated Press reported that the current Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, in 2010 as Governor of Indiana, tried to censor and ban Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" from Indiana schools. When the news became a national scandal, many students, faculty, and citizens of Indiana had expressed deep concern over the news that the President of one of our great public universities would have attempted such censorship. 'The Zinn Read-in Committee' envisions the event to be a commemoration of academic freedom and a declaration of anti-censorship. The event also symbolized the ongoing fightback in the United States against the privatization of public education, attacks on teachers and teachers unions, and the need for real democracy in both schools and curriculum. Zinn's A People's History of the United States is an important text for understanding the history of underrepresented populations; the fight for the right to teach this history is never separate from the fight to improve the material lives of students, teachers, minorities and workers around the world. The Zinn Read-in Committee encourages support for this event by any means possible.]
Dialogic archive: Howard Zinn (Historian/Playwright/Political Science)
Ali, Mostafa and Hani Shukrallah. "What Happened to the Egyptian Revolution?" We Are Many (June 2013)
Crawshaw, Steve. "10 Everyday Acts of Resistance That Changed the World." Yes! (April 1, 2011)
Hermes, Kris and Omar el-Shafei. "White-washing Human Rights Abuses and Suppressing a Popular Revolution; Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Ousted Following Days of Massive Largest Anti-Government Protest." Law and Disorder (July 8, 2013)
Our schoolbooks would like us to believe that social change must always be gradual and peaceful. Sudden, abrupt changes are seen as disruptions of a “normal” functioning society. “Respectable” society looks upon mass protest, civil disobedience, strikes, disruption and revolution with horror. But fundamental social change rarely comes gradually. Industrial unions didn’t come to this country by the gradual addition, year after year, of a few new unions. On the contrary, mass industrial unionism came in an explosion of organizing and mass strikes over a period of about five years, from 1934 to 1938. The gains of the civil rights movement were achieved through heroic civil disobedience and mass protest in the face of systematic racist terror.
While governments caution the governed to act peacefully and to refrain from drastic action, they themselves reserve the right to use overwhelming force. There was nothing gradual about the invasion of Iraq.
Revolution is the ultimate social leap – a period when the gradual accumulation of mass bitterness and anger of the exploited and oppressed coalesces and bursts forth into a mass movement to overturn existing social relations and replace them with new ones. A few days of revolutionary upheaval bring more change than decades of “normal” development. Rulers and systems that seemed invincible and immovable are suddenly unceremoniously toppled. Revolution is not an aberration in an otherwise smoothly functioning society.
The last three centuries have been filled not only with wars, but also with revolutions and near-revolutions. A list of only some of these gives us an idea of the scope of revolutionary upheaval since the dawn of modern capitalism: the American Revolution (1776-87), the French Revolution (1789-94), the US Civil War (1861-65), the European revolutions of 1848, the Russian Revolutions (1905 and 1917), the German Revolution (1918-23), China (1925-27), the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the Hungarian Revolution (1956), Chile (1973), Portugal (1974-75), Iran (1979), Poland’s Solidarnosc uprising (1980-81). This partial list is enough to put to rest the notion that revolutions are rare or unusual occurrences.
Paul D’Amato, The Meaning of Marxism (Haymarket Books, 2006)
Newman, Zak. "What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?" Blog of Rights (March 24, 2014)
Kinzer, Stephen and William Murphy, Jr. "US Wars and Social Control (From Regime Change Abroad to the War on Drugs at Home)." Unwelcome Guests #304 (April 30, 2006) ["In our first hour, this week, Stephen Kinzer, whose book, Overthrow, details the US empire's long history of instigating regime change, both the public pretext and the real interests at play. In our second hour, William Murphy Jr speaks about the "War On Drugs"."]
Glenn Greenwald Speaks Out
Introduced by Jeremy Scahill and Sherry Wolf
Glenn Greenwald speaks via Skype to the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago regarding Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA's mass surveillance program. Introductions by Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater and the filmmaker behind Dirty Wars, and Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism. #Socialism2013 #Snowden #NSA
Dialogic archive: Glenn Greenwald: Constitutional and Civil Rights Lawyer/Journalist
Democracy Now headline:
Egyptian General Resigns to Clear Run for Presidency
The head of the Egyptian military has stepped down, paving the way for his candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led the coup that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, last July, and has overseen the ensuing crackdown that’s left hundreds dead and thousands behind bars. Sisi has a strong base of support and is expected to win. On Wednesday, one person was killed near Egypt’s Cairo University in ongoing protests against the sentencing of over 500 Muslim Brotherhood members to death. The protests come as over 900 additional Brotherhood members were ordered to stand trial on charges of terrorism and murder.