Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Organizing Meeting Tomorrow

Yes, we want to recruit you! Whether you’ve been around the International Socialist Organization for two days or two years, you quickly realize we are obsessed about two things (well, we talk about and get involved in a whole lot more, but there are two things you hear again and again)…”the working class is key” and “we need more socialists.” There is a very simple reason for this. As socialists, we see ordinary people as being participants in an historical process--a process that is today defined by the contradictions between capital (the goods and services produced by society) and labor (the people who make everything and provide all the services). Everything in our lives is currently set up to maintain the free flow of profit into the hands and bank accounts of a tiny, tiny minority of people. The current economic crisis has exposed this contradiction and millions of people are questioning the priorities of decisions to bail out banks and corporations at the expense of funding things like education and healthcare. Ordinary people have the interest and resources to change the priorities of the world we live in. The only thing holding us back are the interests of that tiny, tiny minority of people who own everything and the collective action of ordinary people to act in the interests of everyone’s needs, hopes, and desires. We have a chance right now to keep the public debate focused on the interests of things like freedom, equality, and liberation for all. Combine that debate with grass-roots organizing and we can build the collective action necessary to change the world. We all have a role to play in that historical process. Join us for this week’s meeting of the ISO where we aim to set ourselves up to: 1) Plan a public forum to provide a socialist analysis of racism in the Obama era and connect with others interested in fighting racism. The elected leadership of the Boston branch of the ISO, also known as the Branch Committee, will put forward a proposal for our next public forum. From Obama’s critical words around the Gates arrest followed by his back tracking and mediation of the “beer summit” to today’s announcement that the Boston cop who used his work email to send racist comments about Henry Louis Gates is now suing the City of Boston for infringement of his civil rights, the question of race is front and center yet seemingly one sided. This meeting would take up the following questions: How is racism institutionalized in our society? What is the role of the cops in society? How does change take place? Is racism just the backward ideas of individual people? How does the current debate around racism illustrate the limits of liberalism? Share your thoughts on how to make this meeting successful. 2) Recruitment to the ISO. The ISO has a recruitment process that we have already developed and put into practice leading up to the Socialism Conference in June. We will take time to generalize the process and talk about how to maximize our recruitment efforts for the upcoming fall. If you’ve been thinking about joining the ISO or recently joined, you have a lot to share about how this process has worked and how we can do more of what works right. 3) Working Groups (also known as fractions) meet up – This is the best way to get involved immediately with the ISO. Our three working groups include: Marxist Education, LGBT Rights, and Palestinian Liberation/Anti-War. Upcoming Schedule of Activities. Let us know if you know of anything going on in the City. August 6th 5pm Meaning of Marxism Study Group August 9th Sexuality and Socialism Study Group Time TBA August 13th 7pm ISO Public Forum People’s Haymarket Fund August 15th The Nationwide Kiss-in for LGBT Rights 1:00pm - 3:00pm Boston Common August 20th ISO Education Meeting on the Russian Revolution Recommended Reading: 80 Years Since the Russian Revolution http://www.isreview.org/issues/03/russian_revolution.shtml Optional Readings: 10 Days that Shook the World Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution August 22nd 10am 10 Days That Shook the World Discussion Group August 27th ISO Organizing Meeting 7pm People’s Haymarket Fund August 30th Communists in Harlem Day School Time and location TBA