Socialism Makes Sense: Ideas for Freedom 2018
21-24 June 2018
Birkbeck University, Malet St, London
Around the world, socialism is on the agenda.
In the UK, the Labour Party – now the biggest political party in Europe – is led by a self-proclaimed socialist.
In the USA, the movement around Bernie Sanders has made “socialism” the most-searched word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and inspired a generation of new leftwing activists.
But how can we make the leap from worldwide interest in an idea to making it a reality?
Can socialism work, and how can we get there?
A festival of socialist ideas and leftwing discussion, hosted by Workers' Liberty, Ideas for Freedom is an opportunity to explore, through talks, film showings, workshops and debates, ideas about how our world works, and how we can fight for a better one.
We will be holding a whole four days activities for you to get involved in. We kick off the event with a walking tour on the evening of Thursday 21 June to celebrate the history of the working-class suffragettes of East London. Friday night will be our big evening opening debate. Saturday and Sunday will be days of debate, discussion, film showings, workshops and exhibitions.
This year our Thursday evening walking tour with return with a Suffragette theme for the 100th anniversary of the vote being won for some women. Watch this space for more details.
Friday evening debate
Capitalism versus Socialism — Workers’ Liberty debates Dr. Kristian Niemetz of the Institute of Economic Affairs
Saturday and Sunday
Issues of a Labour government: The Corbyn road to socialism? A panel of the Labour left; Should Labour call for more cops?; The right to strike: Labour and the anti-union laws; Reimagining local government; Should Labour stop Brexit?; Nationalise the Banks!; The left in government: lessons from history (Mitterand; Syriza; Labour?); and more to be announced.
Socialism Makes Sense: Neurodiversity under capitalism and under socialism, with Dr Dinah Murray and Janine Booth author of Autism equality in the workplace; What will education look like under socialism?; Can socialism save the world? The fight against climate change; Why we published Socialism Makes Sense; The growth of socialism in the USA with activists from the Democratic Socialists of America
The ABCs of Socialism introductory stream: Is socialism incompatible with human nature?; Who'll clean the toilets under socialism?; How do revolutionary socialists organise?; Socialism and democracy; plus our well stocked bookshop and second hand bookstall will be running all weekend
Global Solidarity: The class struggle in China with Demaine Boocock; Iran: the anti-imperialist myth, with film maker Kaveh Abbassian; The global fight for women's rights, with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign and South Asia Solidarity Group; Libya 2011 and its aftermath with screen writer Clive Bradley
Sessions also include: Red Suffragettes: working-class socialist women and the fight for the vote; Solidarnosc 1981; Parties, sects, and cults; Invention of guns and gun culture with Catherine Fletcher; Animation behind the iron curtain; Germany 1918; The New New Unionism? with the Labour Days podcast; The legacy of Steven Hawking; Capitalism is Killing us!; Revolt in the degree factories with UCU and student activists; Left antisemitism: what it is and how to fight it; and more to be announced.
Agenda announcements for the weekend event will continue to be added here. Watch this space!
Venue, accommodation, creche
Free accommodation is provided with comrades who live in London. Please help us organise this by sending an email to email@example.com with the title "IFF accommodation" and telling us what nights you will need, how many people, and whether you have any specific requirements (i.e. no stairs, need a bed, fine with floor/sofa, no late nights etc.).
A free creche is provided during the weekend, and additional childcare can be arranged on Thursday and Friday nights if needed. Please book a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Workers' Liberty is committed to holding accessible events. The venue for Saturday and Sunday daytime is step-free and has accessible toilets. More details will be confirmed when we have them. Please get in touch if you have specific requirements that we could factor into our planning.