Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9/24, Branch Organizing Meeting Agenda

Proposed agenda for this weeks branch meeting:

1) Building the ISO in the Obama Era: Understanding Liberalism in Power (1 hour)
2) Building the "Socialism: What it is and Why we Need It" meetings (30 Min)
3) Fraction Meetings (30 Min)

1) Building the ISO in the Obama Era: Understanding Liberalism in Power (1 hour)

This is a reportback from the recent National Committe meeting in CHicago, and will be about clarifying the contours of the current political moment and what that means in terms of the tasks that the ISO needs to carry out (especially in terms of growth) and how we go about doing that.
In addition to staying abreast of socialistworker.org daily, the first several pages of the new ISR could be useful
reading, as they provide an "ANALYSIS IN BRIEF" section
  (including Why we shouldn’t wait
Ragina Johnson on marriage equality
…plus Helen Redmond on the great health care swindle, Adam Sanchez on educational apartheid in America, Michael Schwartz on liberalism’s colonial foreign policy)

At the end of this section there will be brief votes on two proposals that have been introduced in previous meetings:

1) Proposal to accept Jobs with Justice's invitation for the ISO to become formal members of JwJ.
2) Proposal to have the branch meeting on October 22 be an education forum with our own Bill Keach giving a talk about struggles in Italy in 1969.  It will be a way to explore and develop an understanding of what stuggle looks like, how it develops, how people radicalize and how to understand the dynamic process of how a society goes from not being in mass struggle to, well, being in struggle in a mass way.*

*as these proposals have been put forward previously in order to allow for informal thought and discussion, there will not be much time alloted for voting for proposals.

2) Building the "Socialism: What it is and Why we Need It" meetings (30 Min)

These meetings are coming right up (Thurs. Oct 1 at Umass and Fri. Oct 2 in JP) and we need to discuss what we envision them to be like, what role they will play in the recruitment process of a layer of people this semester (In conjuction with NEM, and with all roads leading to NESC) and how best to build the meetings with the different layers of our periphery and also how to achieve a level of broader projection of the meeting in order to bring new pockets of people and potential contacts around us. SOme things to consider: What, in our experience,
are some of the very common questions that people interested in socialism have about socialism right now? How do we structure and concieve of meetings that create ALOT of space for questions and discussion?  To what extent do we think that the talks should draw on and/or depart from the structure and content of the recent ISR cover article on "What is Socialism?" (http://www.isreview.org/issues/65/feat-socialism.shtml)? How do we meaningfully motivate/integrate the Northeast Socialist COnference in the meeting in a way that both sells tickets and leaves others with the conference seriously on their radar screen as a cannot-be-missed event for anyone seriously trying to figure out what socialism is and whether they are a socialist?

3) Fraction Meetings (30 Min)
Sub-committee working gruops of the branch, currently divided amongst UMass-Boston work, LGBT Rights work, and building for the Northeast Socialist Conference.