Socialism Makes Sense: Ideas for Freedom 2018

Submitted by AWL on 2 April, 2018 - 8:36
A ring of roses with the words "socialism makes sense" in the middle.

Socialism Makes Sense: Ideas for Freedom 2018
21-24 June 2018
Saturday-Sunday: Birkbeck University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Friday evening debate 7pm at Nunn Hall, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL
Thursday evening walking tour meet at 6.30pm, Bow Church DLR, look for the red flag.

image of agenda, see below for full agenda in text format

Facebook event

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.

Registration

Agenda

Thursday evening 6.30pm, meet at Bow Church DLR, look for the red flag.
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. Tread in the footsteps of east London's suffragettes. More details here.

Friday evening debate 7pm to about 9pm, Nunn Hall, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL

Capitalism versus Socialism — Workers’ Liberty debates Dr. Kristian Niemetz of the Institute of Economic Affairs. More details here.

Saturday and Sunday at Birkbeck University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX

Provisional agenda

Saturday 23 June

11:45-12:25 – Opening rally

12:30-14:00
What will education look like under socialism? with University and College union activist and education researcher Sol Gamsu, and teacher activists from the National Education Union
Neurodiversity under capitalism and under socialism with Janine Booth, author of Autism Equality in the Workplace, and Dr. Dinah Murray
The left in government: a panel discussing the experiences of Syriza in Greece, Lula’s Workers’ Party in Brazil, Mitterrand’s government in France, and the Wilson/Callaghan governments in Britain
Reimagining local government with speakers from the Labour left revolt against the “Haringey Development Vehicle”, Architects for Social Housing, and Namaa AL Mahdi, Hounslow Momentum

14:00-15:00 – Lunch

15:05-16:25
The case for Bolshevik organising
Challenges of a Labour government: “The Corbyn road to socialism? Next steps for Labour”
Featuring Simon Hannah, author of A Party With Socialists In It and co-editor of the Clarion magazine, David Osland, Labour left activist and journalist, Ruth Cashman (Lambeth Unison co-chair), and more tbc.
Revolt in the degree factories: building on the UCU strike with UCU activists Rhian Keyse and Jo Grady, and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts activist Monty Shield
Iran: the anti-imperialist myth with film-maker Kaveh Abbassian and Obi Saiq

16:25-16:45 – Break

16:50-18:05
The new New Unionism? a discussion on reviving the trade union movement hosted by the Labour Days podcast, featuring a striker from the East Dulwich Picturehouse cinema strike, and more
Can the labour movement stop Brexit? Should it? A debate between Workers’ Liberty and Aaron Bastani, Novara Media
Is Venezuela a model?
The legacy of Robert 'Bob' Fine (1945 - 2018)

18:40-19:50
Solidarnosc 1981: revolution against Stalinism
Capitalism is killing us! a discussion on capitalism and health with healthworker activists from the BMA and Unison
What should Labour do on crime and policing?
The 2011 uprising in Libya and its aftermath with Clive Bradley, co-writer of a forthcoming TV series on Muammar Qaddafi

Saturday night social

A social event following the day's workshop will feature a gaming session with Class War Games, a Situationist tabletop gaming experience about the subversion of spectacular capitalism. Check out their event "Class War Games Meets The Shachtmanites Uptown" here.

There will also be space in the venue for those who want to socialise without joining in with the game.

Sunday 24 June

10:30-12:00
Socialism and democracy
A crisis of care: socialist feminism and the welfare state under the next Labour government with Workers’ Liberty Lambeth’s socialist-feminist reading group
Contemporary Trotskyism with Professor John Kelly and Cathy Nugent, editor of Solidarity
Left antisemitism: what it is and how to fight it with Daniel Randall, Matt Bolton, and Hannah Weisfeld

12:00-13:00 – Lunch

13:05-14:25
The Sheffield Workers’ Committee: rank-and-file trade unionism during the First World War with Edd Mustill, co-editor of the Clarion magazine
Nationalise the banks! with Positive Money and Workers’ Liberty activists
The class struggle in China with Demaine Boocock
The invention of guns: socialists, militarism, and gun control with Dr. Catherine Fletcher

14:25-14:35 – Break

14:35-16:00
Who’ll clean the toilets under socialism?
Animation behind the Iron Curtain
How do revolutionary socialists organise?
The global fight for women’s rights with the South Asia Solidarity Group and Ana Oppenheim

16:05-16:30 – Closing rally

*Agenda subject to change. For updates to sessions or timings see www.workersliberty.org/ideas

Session streams

We organise sessions by streams so you can either follow one stream, or pick and mix between them.

Challenges of a Labour government: “The Corbyn road to socialism? Next steps for Labour"
Featuring Simon Hannah, author of A Party With Socialists In It and co-editor of the Clarion magazine, David Osland, Labour left activists and journalist, Ruth Cashman (Lambeth Unison co-chair), and more tbc.

Reimagining local government with speakers from the Labour left revolt against the "Haringey Development Vehicle", Architects for Social Housing, and Namaa AL Mahdi, Hounslow Momentum • Can Labour stop Brexit? with Michael Chessum, Another Europe Is Possible, and activists from the Labour Campaign for Free Movement • What should Labour do on crime and policing? • Nationalise the banks! • A crisis of care: socialist feminism and the welfare state under the next Labour government with the Workers’ Liberty’s Lambeth's socialist-feminist reading group • The left in government: a panel discussing the experiences of Syriza in Greece, Lula's Workers' Party in Brazil, Mitterand's government in France, and the Wilson/Callaghan governments in Britain.

Socialism Makes Sense: Neurodiversity under capitalism and under socialism with Janine Booth, author of Autism Equality in the Workplace, and Dr. Dinah Murray • What will education look like under socialism? with University and College union activist and education researcher Sol Gamsu, and teacher activists from the National Education Union • The case for Bolshevik organising • Is Venezuela a model? • Why we published Socialism Makes Sense • and more!

The ABCs of Socialism introductory stream: 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 global fight for women's rights with the South Asia Solidarity Group and more tbc • Iran: the anti-imperialist myth with film-maker Kaveh Abbassian and Obi Saiq • The 2011 uprising in Libya and its aftermath with Clive Bradley, co-writer of a forthcoming TV series on Muammar Qaddafi • The class struggle in China with Demaine Boocock.

Revolutionary history: Solidarnosc 1981: revolution against Stalinism • Working-class women and the fight for the vote with Jill Mountford • The Sheffield Workers' Committee: rank-and-file trade unionism during the First World War with Edd Mustill, co-editor of the Clarion magazine • The invention of guns: socialists, militarism, and gun control with Catherine Fletcher.

Sessions also include: Revolt in the degree factories: building on the UCU strike with UCU activists Rhian Keyse and Jo Grady, and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts activist Monty Shield • Left antisemitism: what it is and how to fight it with Daniel Randall, Matt Bolton, and Hannah Weisfeld • The new New Unionism? a discussion on reviving the trade union movement hosted by the Labour Days podcast, featuring a striker from the East Dulwich Picturehouse cinema strike, and more • Animation behind the Iron Curtain • Capitalism is killing us! a discussion on capitalism and health with healthworker activists from the BMA and Unison.

Venue, accommodation, creche

Free accommodation is provided with comrades who live in London. Please help us organise this by sending an email to office@workersliberty.org 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 office@workersliberty.org.

Workers' Liberty is committed to holding accessible events. The venue for Saturday and Sunday daytime is step-free and has accessible toilets. You can find a floor plan of the venue here and here. Please get in touch if you have specific requirements that we could factor into our planning.

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