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Livestream: Dilma Rousseff: The Attack on Democracy & Human Rights in Brazil (4/14)

Friday, April 14th | 6:30pm
Murphy Institute
25 W. 43 Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY

Can’t make it in person? Watch the livestream here:

CUNY’s Murphy Institute is pleased to host a presentation by Dilma Rousseff, former President of Brazil, co-organized with the Committee Defend Democracy in Brazil/New York.

Brazil’s former president, Rousseff − impeached in August 2016 in what many have called a “soft coup” based on what analysts almost universally have described as minor and highly irregular charges − will discuss the attack on, and current efforts to defend, democracy, labor rights, and social and economic justice in Brazil.

Brazil, whose young democracy was re-established in 1985 after 21 years of violent military rule, has achieved huge growth in the recent years, lifting 45 million people out of extreme poverty. Under the democratic leadership of the Workers’ Party, led initially by President Lula da Silva and subsequently by President Rousseff, Brazil saw dramatic changes towards a more equal society. Advancements under the Workers Party have included an enormous expansion of the middle class, steady increases in life expectancy, and the country’s removal in 2014 from the UN Map of Hunger.  Rousseff is currently undertaking an international tour to discuss with concerned people throughout the world what is at stake: Brazilian democracy, and the historic gains in the rights of workers, women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, communities of color and of the poor.

This event will also feature a photo exhibition highlighting important moments of the struggle from activist groups around the world.

Please join us for this historic event!

Press registration/inquiries: defenddemocracyinbrazil@gmail.com

Prof. Elena Conte on Sheridan Expressway in NYTimes

As plans develop to tear down the Bronx’s Sheridan Expressway, many residents and local politicians look forward to the possibility of a safer roadway, lower pollution rates and more riverfront access. In an article this week in the NYTimes, Patrick McGeehan describes some of the issues with the existing expressway:

“The Sheridan Expressway was Robert Moses at his worst,” said Mitchell Moss, director of the New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management.

Large trucks still use the expressway to get to and from the produce market at Hunts Point. But those trucks exit the Sheridan and rumble through local streets to reach the market.

David R. Shuffler, a community activist, lives on one of those streets and said he feared for the safety of his 1-year-old son. “I hear trucks barreling through my street every single night and all day long,” said Mr. Shuffler, who is the executive director of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice.

But Murphy Institute Adjunct Professor Elena Conte cautions about too much excitement for the plan while details remain hazy:

“It’s an encouraging start, and a lot of very important details need to be worked out,” Ms. Conte said.

“To the extent that the proposal the governor is investing in seeks to address the legacy of Robert Moses’ top-down planning, it is a visionary step forward,” Ms. Conte said. ”If Governor Cuomo wants credit for undoing the legacy of Robert Moses in the South Bronx, he will do that not just by making physical changes but also by listening to a community that Moses pointedly ignored.”

For the full article, visit the NYTimes.

Photo by Doug Kerr via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Mar. 20th, 2017

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

In this issue, we’re looking at the explosion of what is being called ‘the resistance.’ The vast proliferation of organizing in the face of President Trump raises important questions Should partisans inside the Democratic Party wage a fight between its left and it’s center, or combine forces? Does the proliferation of new efforts represent genuinely innovative projects, or does it mask a great deal of overlap and wheel reinvention? Should the main target of organizing be Trump and the Republicans, or broader, systemic obstacles that include casino capitalism? Finally, what does it mean that the largest, most powerful progressive institutions  – such as organized labor – don’t seem to be at the forefront of this resistance?

Today’s issue includes a piece written for the newsletter by Tom Gallagher on the strategic options confronting the left within the Democratic Party; an article by Micah Uetricht  soon to appear in the May issue of New Labor Forum assessing the Sander’s inspired Our Revolution as well as various snapshots of what this resistance is looking like in the current moment, including the breaking news that a major local of the Service Employees International Union as well as a multitude of workers centers plan to participate in a May Day strike.

Table of Contents

  1. The Democratic Party Left After the Ellison DNC Campaign: Unite or Fight? By Thomas Gallagher
  2. The World Turned Upside Down: ‘Our Revolution,’ Trump Triumphant, and the Remaking of the Democratic Party by Micah Uetricht
  3. List of New Resistance Initiatives in 2017
  4. GroundGame listing of protests
  5. SEIU Local Joins May 1 General Strike by (BuzzFeed) Cora Lewis
  6. Indivisible Eldorado Hills Townhall meeting

Photo by Ted Eytan via flickr (CC-SA)

Livestream: The Resistance with Frances Fox Piven (3/23)

Thursday, March 23 | 6pm-8pm
Murphy Institute
25 W. 43 Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY

Can’t make it in person? Watch the livestream here:

Across the country, people are organizing in growing numbers. Who is participating? What kind of organizing is happening? Is this resistance different than what the world has seen before? What are the prospects of sustained resistance?

Join us for a discussion on the resistance with internationally renowned social scientist, scholar, and activist, Frances Fox Piven. She is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, CUNY Graduate School, and Distinguished Lecturer in Labor Studies at the Murphy Institute, author and co-author of more than 200 articles published in academic journals, books, popular publications and journals of opinion since 1965. Her most recent book is Who’s Afraid of Frances Fox Piven? The Essential Writings of the Professor Glenn Beck Loves to Hate. Read more.

Fall Graduate Class: Economic Democracy Against Economic Crisis

Taught by Evan Casper-Futterman
With Guest Lectures by Dario Azzellini

This class will be cross-listed in the Masters Programs of both Labor and Urban Studies. Speak to your adviser about registration.
Monday nights at the Murphy Institute

In the 1950s, labor unions claimed membership in 35% of the workforce. Today, density of labor unions outside of government employees is 6.7%. This precipitous decline in the economic and political power of working people begs the question: who will act as the countervailing economic and political forces to capital and inequality in the 21st century? This course will identify and examine multiple forms of workers’ self-management and cooperative enterprises and institutions throughout history, both as a reaction to economic crisis and as a coherent vision for a humane and just society. The course explicitly approaches cooperatives and self-management not as an “alternative business model,” but as part of labor history and labor struggles. This reconnects the idea of cooperatives to their origins and shows the potential of cooperatives in putting forward different values for a more just and participatory politics, economics, and society.

Faculty:

Evan Casper-Futterman is a 3rd generation New Yorker living in the Bronx. He earned a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans in 2011, was a White House Intern in the Spring of 2012 in the Domestic Policy Council’s Office of Urban Affairs and a Research Fellow for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Bloustein School of Urban Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, studying economic democracy and economic development. He is on the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC). His writing has been published in The Lens and The Huffington Post, as well as the peer-reviewed Berkeley Planning Journal. He contributed a chapter in the edited volume, The Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (2013).

Dario Azzellini, Murphy Institute visiting scholar, is a political scientist, lecturer at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, writer and filmmaker. He has published several books, essays and documentaries about social movements, privatization of military services, migration and racism, including An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy. His research and writing focuses on social and revolutionary militancy, migration and racism, people’s power and self-administration, workers control and extensive case studies in Latin America.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Mar. 6th, 2017

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

This year, International Women’s Day (March 8) is being celebrated in the U.S. at a higher pitch than usual. The election of Donald Trump has led to an upsurge in organizing and activism. In the last few months, we’ve witnessed  the massive Women’s Marches in cities all over the country and, indeed, the world; a February 16th Day Without Immigrants and a less successful call for another general strike on February 17th; and the current call for a global women’s strike on International Women’s Day.

This newsletter opens with an informative and lucid overview by Diane Elson of  the current global state of gender inequality, as well as  policy recommendations to remedy the crisis.  Elison’s article is provided here as a coming attraction to the May 2017 issue of New Labor Forum. The issues she raises form part of the animating spirit of the call for a  Women’s Strike on March 8., organized  by a coalition of  women working closely with the venerable Global Women’s Strike, an international organization that has existed since 1972. Here we also offer the link to the  promotional video for the strike.

General strikes, or days of action that are meant to resemble a strike, are gaining in currency. An example of recent experimentation with a general strike was the February 16th ‘Day Without Immigrants’, described here by Dan DiMaggio and Sonia Singh in Labor Notes.  NLF editorial board member Nelson Lichtenstein addresses the meaningful difference between ‘weekend protest’ vs. ‘weekday strike action’ and why it matters, in No More Saturday Marches, published this week in Jacobin. We also include Francine Prose’s essay in The Guardian, offering a full-throated argument for  the general strike as a tactic. And we close with Alexandria Neason’s meditation in the Village Voice – Is America Ready for a General Strike?

Table of Contents

  1. Recognize, Reduce, Redistribute Unpaid Care Work: How to Close the Gender Gap by Diane Elson
  2. Women of America: we’re going on strike.
  3. Video: International Women’s Strike US – Promotional Video
  4. Tens of Thousands Strike on Day without Immigrants by Dan DiMaggio, Sonia Singh
  5. No More Saturday Marches by NLF editorial board member Nelson Lichtenstein
  6. Forget protest. Trump’s actions warrant a general national strike by Francine Prose
  7. Is America Ready for a General Strike? by Alexandria Neason

Photo by Garry Knight via flickr (CC-BY)