Next Left: Young Activists Developing Revolutionary Strategy

Agenda | Directions and Details | Suggested Readings

Our generation lives in troubled times. The occupation of Iraq, attacks on immigrants, the racist criminal justice system, declining standards for workers and defunding of public services show the system isn’t working. At the same time, young people are struggling for a better world: through military and veteran resistance, campus-based activism, and community and workplace organizing.

We’re making noise and fighting back. But in order to win, our movements not only need a larger political vision, but also a coherent grassroots orientation that unites individual struggles at their base. Radical analyses can help us identify the root causes of war, injustice, and poverty; shape a clear understanding of the mechanics of social change; and develop strategies that don’t sacrifice political principles for short-term victories. Working out effective real-world strategies won’t be easy–our tasks are overwhelming, the left is fractured and marginal, and our enemies are strong.

Solidarity invites all young activists and revolutionaries to come together and assess where we are — and discuss how to get where we need to be! Hang out and learn with student labor activists, young union members, military resisters, community organizers, and other dedicated revolutionary youth.

$40 Registration includes workshops Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, housing Friday and Saturday, and breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday. Low income registration cost is $25 for the whole weekend. For more information or to ask about help with travel costs, contact Isaac at nextleft@solidarity-us.org or 404-291-9686.

Schedule and Agenda

Friday, February 29

  • 5-7pm Do it from the Bottom Up!
    “How can revolutionaries organize and win reforms?” The weekend kicks off with a panel of activists from different social movements sharing recent successes and strategies not only to achieve short term victories, but also to develop working class leadership for for long-term change.

Saturday, March 1

  • 10am Our World Is Not for Sale! The Expansion of Neoliberal Capitalism & Popular Struggles: from France, to Latin America, to New Orleans

    Coming together in the Social Forums and on the streets, activists across the world have identified a common enemy: neoliberalism. We’re making the links between our campaigns against gentrification, the militarization of our communities, the dismantling of public services, free trade and attacks on trade unions, but our struggles nonetheless remain scattered. What is neoliberalism, and how is it historically and ideologically rooted in the
    capitalist system? We target the system as a whole in our rhetoric – but how can we collectively fight it in practice?
  • Lunch
  • 1:30pm Privilege and Power: Building Democratic Movements to Challenge Racism, Sexism & Heteronormativity
    We aim to not only combat the oppression that pervades society, but also challenge it in the daily life of our organizations. Building a truly democratic and united movement is impossible without these efforts. What are the differences between liberal and radical understandings of oppression? How do we avoid the pitfalls of tokenism, and build leadership and solidarity within our movements that reflects the society we want to live in? What do we have to learn from self-organized liberation movements to addess privilege and power?
  • Break
  • 3:30pm
    Empire Today: Crisis of US Power, Crisis of the Anti-War Movement

    What is imperialism, and why do we need to understand it? Economic troubles and military over-reach threaten
    the stability of US Empire. At the same time, many young activists are “burnt out” on the anti-war movement. What are the challenges to US power – at home and globally? What are the challenges of reinvigorating the anti-war movement – and how can we develop strategy to do so?
  • Break
  • 5:15pm Workers’ Power: Young Workers and a Militant, Grassroots Labor Movement
    Young radicals have become increasingly involved with the labor movement, and with good reason: unions are the largest and most potentially powerful mass organizations in the United States. However, union membership is declining, and the militant tactics that established organized labor are a distant memory to most US workers. How can a rank and file union orientation help build a labor movement that includes and fights in the interests of all working and oppressed people?

Sunday, March 2

  • 10am Beyond Resistance: Socialist Organization and Revolutionary Change
    Many youth working for social change are inspired by a revolutionary vision of human liberation. Belonging to a socialist organization connects individual activists to the lessons and experience of previous generations, theory and strategy to guide our work, and to friends and comrades for support and community. Join young Solidarity members to discuss the strengths and challenges of the socialist tradition – and how to create meaningful revolutionary organization that gives us something to fight for!
  • Break
    Interest Group Meetings in Anti-War, Labor, and Global Justice Movements
  • 1pm Wrap-up
  • Building Solidarity (optional for Solidarity members and interested non-members)
    Continuing the morning session, breakout groups will discuss how to bring this weekend’s ideas back home, build Solidarity chapters and study groups, strengthen local activism and develop links between movements.

Directions and other Details

Start Time: Friday, February 29, 2008 at 5:00pm
End Time: Sunday, March 2, 2008 at 3:00pm
Location:Next Left will be held on the 18th Floor of the Murphy Institute, located at 25 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.
(Link to Map)

Directions
The Murphy institute is on 43rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, one block north of Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan.

Subways:
B,D, F, V to Bryant Park/42 nd Street. Walk north on 6 th Avenue to 43rds Street. We are halfway down the block on the north side of the street.

R, N, Q, R, W, 1, 2, 3, 7 to Times Square/42 nd St. Walk east on any street until you reach 6 th Ave. Walk north on 6th Avenue to 43 rd Street. Go east on 43 rd Street. We are halfway down the block on the north side of the street.

4, 5, 6, 7 or Metro North to Grand Central/42 nd St. Walk west on 43 rd Street. Our offices are on 43 rd Street between 5 th and 6 th Avenues.

Remember: Manhattan, for the most part, is a nice, neat grid. The avenues run north/south. Most of the avenues (11 of them) are numbered, beginning in the east and getting higher as they go west. Streets run east/west and the numbers get higher as they go north. In order to figure out where to go using a map, you’ll need to know which way is north. If the street numbers are getting higher, you’re heading north. Also, on one-way, even-numbered streets, the traffic runs east and on odd-numbered streets, traffic runs west.

Suggested Readings

More Coming Soon!