Earlier this semester, a full house attended a special forum entitled “From Protest to Policy: Policing in Communities of Color,” kicking off the Fall 2014 Labor Breakfast Forum series at the Murphy Institute.
The event was moderated by CUNY Prof. John Mollenkopf and featured the Reverend Al Sharpton, who talked about the controversial policing tactics seen in present-day and past New York City, the effect these tactics have had on minority communities as well as the effect they have on the overall crime rate, and the quality of life for all New York City residents. The discussion also looked at arrest trends and potential public policy interventions.
Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, is an American Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and television/radio talk show host. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election. He hosts his own radio talk show, Keepin’ It Real, and he makes regular guest appearances on Fox News (such as on The O’Reilly Factor), CNN, and MSNBC. In 2011, he was named the host of MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, a nightly talk show.
On Friday, Oct 31st, the New Labor Forum hosted Bill McKibben, Jill Furillo, Chris Erikson, Estela Vazquez and Sean Sweeney to discuss labor and the climate justice movement. Check out some of the conversation here:
The next Labor and Policy Forum will be held on November 14th. Look forward to a discussion about the 2014 Midterm Elections, featuring Ed Ott, Sarah Jaffe, Juan Gonzalez Errol Louis and Michael Hirsch.
September 17, 2014, 6:00-7:30 pm Wisconsin Rising: Film Screening & Discussion
September 19, 2014, 9:30-11:15 am “From Protest to Policy: Policing in Communities of Color.”
Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president, National Action Network
Moderator: John Mollenkopf, Director, Urban Research Center, CUNY Graduate Center
October 31, 2014, 8:30 to 10:30 am “Temperature Rising: Labor and the Climate Justice Movement” Cosponsored with Cornell GLI/Worker Institute
Bill McKibben,Founding President, 350.org
Jill Furillo,Executive Director, New York State Nurses Association
Christopher Erikson,Business Manager, Local 3 IBEW
Estela Vazquez, Executive VP, 1199 SEIU
Moderator: Sean Sweeney, Cornell GLI/Worker Institute
November 4, 6:00-7:30 pm “The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class”
Guy Standing, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
November 14, 2014, 9:30-11:15 am “2014 Elections: Who Won, Who Lost?”
Juan Gonzalez, co-host, “Democracy Now”, The Daily Newscolumnist
Errol Louis, host, Inside City Hall, NY1 TV
Sarah Jaffe, independent journalist, columnist for New Labor Forum
Michael Hirsch, national editor, Politico Magazine
Moderator: Ed Ott, Distinguished Lecturer, The Murphy Institute
December 5, 2014, 8:30 am-3:30 pm “Civic Engagement & the Latino Community”
Cosponsored with BridgeRoots, Common Cause, Demos, Citizen Action, New American Leadership Project, NALEO, NYC LCLAA, New York Immigration Coalition, City and State Magazine
And in 2015:
January 23-24, 2015, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm “Invisible Lives, Targeted Bodies: Impacts of Economic Injustice on Vulnerable LGBTO Communities”
Co-sponsored with Queer Survival Economies Initiative, Barnard College
Panel 1: Whose Communities? LGBTO Perspectives on Surviving in Poor and Low Income Communities
Panel 2: Economic Injustice and Queer Low-Income & Precarious Workers
Panel 3: Queer Migrations
Panel 4: Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Justice
The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign is shaping up as one of these historical moments when everyone has to choose which side they are on. Trade unionists have good reason to know what this feels like. Labor history is punctuated with similar contests, when nuanced views on strategy have run their course and we are left with a stark moral choice. For too long, the debate about how best to oppose the occupation of Palestine has been clouded, often intentionally, by strenuous deliberations over tactics. As for those in official positions, the formidable sway of pro-Zionist lobbying has been disturbingly effective. Elected politicians have AIPAC watching their every move, and high officialdom within the AFL-CIO has the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) to placate. As Richard Trumka put it plainly at a JLC dinner gathering in 2009: “Tonight, let me tell you that, so long as I’m president, you will never have a stronger ally than the AFL-CIO. That’s why we’re proud to stand with the JLC to oppose boycotting Israel.”
Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its continued control of movement in Gaza is unjust and inhumane. It must be ended as quickly as possible. Israel and Palestine must exist as two states side by side. How can this be achieved? I don’t believe that boycotting
Israel, or the overall BDS prescription for change, is the correct response—not for the labor movement, nor for other movements or individuals.
The current Israeli government is a right-wing government with a smattering of centrist parties devolved from a very complex—and partly dysfunctional—parliamentary system. I don’t support it. But boycotting this government will only make it stronger. That’s because the tendency inside Israel—and especially on the right—is to hunker down in response to boycotts. Poll numbers rise for the right when there are visible attacks on Israel, and savvy politicians—especially Israel’s Prime Minister—make ample use of these opportunities to strengthen their own base at the expense of the left.
Eric Lotke, Senior Research Analyst, Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Heather Ann Thompson, Professor History, Temple University, Nicole Porter, Advocacy Director, The Sentencing Project, moderator, Ed Ott, Distinguished Lecturer, Murphy Institute on “The U.S. Prison Industrial Complex: Is it a Labor Issue?” (April 18 2013)
Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, David Coles, President, Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Canada, Bhairavi Desai, Executive director, New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Hector Figueroa, President, Local 32 BJ SEIU, Moderated by Sean Sweeney, Director Cornell Global Labor Institute on “Confronting the Climate Crisis: Can Labor Help Shape an Effective Strategy?” (January 17, 2013)
A conversation about workers, communities and social justice