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RLS–NYC AT THE LEFT FORUM 2019
June 28-30, 2019 - Long Island University, Brooklyn

Our office will be present at the Left Forum 2019, the largest annual leftist gathering in North America taking place from June 28-30 in Brooklyn, New York. This year’s LF comes at a particularly important political moment, as different forms of right-wing nationalism and white supremacy take hold across the world. In support of alternative political visions from across North America and Europe, we will be hosting the following panels:

Understanding Right Wing Internationalism
Saturday June 29, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Room H202

Steve Bannon counseled Bolsonaro’s campaign. Germany’s AfD cooperates with US climate change deniers. Italy’s Salvini and Hungary’s Orban are preparing a far right cooperation to be elected European Parliament. Obviously, there is a far Right international arising. What do we know about their cooperation and what can progressives do to confront them? This panel will bring perspectives from Germany, Europe, the US, and Brazil to understand right wing internationalism and their networks.

Chip Berlet, Research for Progress (US)
Talia Lavin, Freelance Writer (US)
Esther Solano Gallego, Federal University of São Paulo (Brazil)
Susanne Götze, Independent  Journalist (Germany)
Andreas Günther, RLS–NYC (Chair)

A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee, a conversation with Victor Grossman
Saturday June 29th, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Room 4th Floor Humanities Lounge

RLS–NYC’s Executive Director Andreas Günther welcomes Victor Grossman for a discussion of his new memoir A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee. The circumstances that impelled Victor Grossman, a US Army draftee stationed in Europe, to flee a military prison sentence were the icy pressures of the McCarthy Era. Grossman—a.k.a. Steve Wechsler, a committed leftist since his years at Harvard and, briefly, as a factory worker—left his barracks in Bavaria one August day in 1952, and, in a panic, swam across the Danube River from the Austrian U.S. Zone to the Soviet Zone. Fate—i.e., the Soviets—landed him in East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic. There he remained, observer and participant, husband and father, as he watched the rise and successes, the travails, and the eventual demise of the GDR socialist experiment. A Socialist Defector is the story, told in rare, personal detail, of an activist and writer who grew up in the U.S. free-market economy; spent thirty-eight years in the GDR’s nationally owned, centrally administered economy; and continues to survive, given whatever the market can bear in today’s united Germany. Having been a freelance journalist and traveling lecturer—and the only person in the world to hold diplomas from both Harvard and the Karl Marx University—Grossman is able to offer insightful, often ironic, reflections and reminiscences, comparing the good and bad sides of life in all three of the societies he has known. His account focuses especially on the socialism he saw and lived—the GDR’s goals and achievements, its repressive measures and stupidities—which, he argues, offers lessons now in our search for solutions to the grave problems facing our world. This is a fascinating and unique historical narrative; political analysis told with jokes, personal anecdotes, and without bombast.

Looking Back, Building Forward: Putting Reparations in Perspective
Saturday June 29th, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Room H302

Is reparations an idea whose time has come? Throughout the African diaspora, reparation frameworks are being raised as a means to challenge historical accounts, and make concrete justice claims from the ill effects of slavery, colonialism and racism. Through a comparative perspective, this panel will take a look at claims for reparations voiced by the descendants of formerly enslaved people in the US and formerly colonized peoples in what is today Namibia.

Jefta Nguherimo, US-based Namibian Activist
Obden Mondesir, Weeksville Heritage Center
Kazembe Balagun, RLS–NYC (Chair)

Left Perspectives on the European Elections
In the aftermath of the 2019 European Elections, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung will convene a panel of high-level politicians and researchers from the EU.
Saturday June 29th, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Room H203

Marga Ferré, Izquierda Unida (Spain)
Heinz Bierbaum, Die Linke (Germany)
Angelina Giannopoulou, transform! europe (Greece)
Andreas Günther, RLS–NYC (Chair)

Download our flyer here.

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NEWS / EVENTS

WE ARE THE PEOPLE

Talking About Democratic Socialism 30 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Fall 1989 was a moment of radical transformation for the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). Already many GDR citizens had migrated to West Germany to escape state repression. On November 4, almost half a million other GDR citizens gathered at Alexanderplatz in Berlin for a peaceful protest, calling for the democratization of the socialistic state. Organized by......
READ MORE

STAY UP TO DATE
Sign Up for our Newsletter

FOLLOW US
Socialism in Social Networks

FOLLOW US
Socialism in Social Networks

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