Saturday, August 15, 2015

8/27 Panel debate about Bernie Sanders

A panel debate sponsored by the International Socialist Organization 

Thursday, 8/27, 7pm
First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain
633 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130

Bernie Sanders' entry into the Democratic Primary for the party's presidential nomination has triggered a debate on the left. Some have enthusiastically rallied to his candidacy as a chance to transform the Democratic Party. Others have criticized his entry into the Democratic Party as following the precedent of Dennis Kucinich to corral radicals back into a capitalist party. And still others are building independent formations in solidarity with his campaign as a way to consolidate a larger organized left. This panel will offer various viewpoint to discuss and debate how the left should approach the Sanders campaign.

Howie Hawkins has been an organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, and the environment since 1967. As the New York Green Party's candidate for Governor in 2010, he campaigned for progressive taxes and revenue sharing as the alternative to Andrew Cuomo's cuts to schools, cities, and public services. He received nearly 60,000 votes, which gave the Green Party a ballot line statewide for the next four years. Hawkins works at UPS unloading trucks, where he is a member of Teamsters Local 317 and active in Teamsters for a Democratic Union, US Labor Against the War, and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare. His articles have appeared in Against the Current, CounterPunch, Green Politics, International Socialist Review, Labor Notes, New Politics, Peace and Democracy News, Z Magazine, and other publications. He is the editor of Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate (Haymarket Books, 2006).

Ashley Smith is a member of the editorial board of the International Socialist Review, to which he is a frequent contributor. His writing has also appeared on ZNet, Dissident Voice, CounterPunch and Socialist Worker. He lives in Vermont and is a member of the National Writers Union.

Jason Lowenthal is a member of People for Bernie, the Boston Homeless Solidarity Committee, and the Green-Rainbow Party in Massachusetts.

Jake Altman serves on the executive board of the Boston local of the Democratic Socialists of America. Jake is also a member and former officer of UE Local 896-COGS, a local union affiliated with the proudly independent United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: What Do Socialists Say About the Socialist Candidate?

Contact: Chris Morale                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel. (339) 203-9157
Date: 8/11/2015

Boston Activists to Debate Bernie Sanders’ Candidacy

Boston, MA - On Thursday, August 27, the Boston branch of the International Socialist Organization will hold a panel debate on Bernie Sanders’ Democratic candidacy for president at the Montserrat Aspirer’s Community Center, 358 Washington Street, Dorchester. (*8/21/15 Update -- Note: The event has moved to the First Baptist Church of JP at 633 Centre St in Jamaica Plain*) The public forum will begin at 7:00 PM and conclude at 9:00 PM.

The public forum is called “Should Socialists Support Bernie Sanders?” The event will include leading left-wing and socialist activists from across the Northeast region.

Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders’ entry into the presidential race has sparked major debate among progressives and socialists of all stripes.

Bernie Sanders’ candidacy to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee has drawn thousands of progressives and liberals to hear him speak at campaign stops across the country. Many on the political Left are excited about Sanders’ call for a “political revolution” against the control of big business over the political process.

But not all progressives or leftists are following Bernie Sanders, whether into the Democratic Party or elsewhere. At a recent campaign stop in Seattle, Black Lives Matter protesters took the stage to protest Sanders’ “lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement,” as their press release reads.

Ashley Smith, a board member of the International Socialist Review journal and a speaker on the August 27th panel, is another voice opposed to the socialist Left campaigning for Sanders.

“Sanders refused to consider an independent presidential campaign not because he had little chance of winning, but because he didn't want to compete for votes with the Democrats' eventual nominee,” Smith wrote in a May 5th article for Socialist Worker.

Though sympathetic to the excitement drawn around his campaign and some of Sanders’ rhetoric, Smith opposes the Left’s support for him. “By steering liberal and left supporters into a Democratic Party whose policies and politics he claims to disagree with, Sanders—no matter how critical he might be of Hillary Clinton—is acting as the opposite of an ‘alternative.’”

Sanders adopts the socialist title, but whether grassroots socialists and leftists will support his candidacy is still a live issue. Thursday’s panel will seek to open up political space for Boston’s progressive and left-wing community to debate this issue out in the open.

About the Boston International Socialist Organization

The Boston International Socialist Organization is a branch of a nationwide socialist organization. Our members are involved across the country in helping to build struggles for economic and social justice today, while building a political alternative to a world of racism, war, and economic hardship. To learn more, visit, e-mail, or call 617-902-0476. Find us on Facebook at


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thurs 8/13 Black Power in the Workplace: Education Meeting

Black Power in the Workplace:
An education meeting on "Detroit I Do Mind Dying"

Thursday, August 13, 7pm
358 Washington Street
Dorchester, MA
(23 Bus from Ruggles,  or a short walk from the Fields Corner T stop on the Red Line)
For more info call 617.902.0476

In the 1960s, a layer of Black radicals in Detroit formed the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement. They sought to build a revolutionary organization that could lead Black workers at the point of production to shut down the economy and achieve “the complete and total social transformation of society”.

Book available via
DRUM led mass wildcat strikes in the auto factories of Detroit and took on racism in the workplace, in the United Auto Workers union, and in society as a whole.

“Shut it down” has been a popular slogan in the Black Lives Matter movement. Rightly so. The history of DRUM and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers gives an example of how that slogan can become a reality.

Join the Boston International Socialist Organization for a discussion of the book “Detroit I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution”, and learn about an important piece of Black Power history that we can bring into the struggles of today.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Greece, SYRIZA, and the future of the Left

Greece, SYRIZA, and the future of the Left

Thursday July 16th

358 Washington St, Dorchester MA
We continue to see new developments in Greece everyday, from the recent victorious referendum vote to the latest negotiations between the Greek government and European rulers, raising important questions and lessons for the left internationally. Let's discuss a socialist perspective on the recent developments and the lessons that we can draw from the experiences of the left.

Please read:
Will Europe accecpt Tsipras's surrender?

The EU mob seeks revenge in Greece

The Alternative to Austerity