Category: Presentations

The Militarization of the Police – Steve Martinot – Sunday, Jan 29, 2023 10:30am Pacific Time

Our speaker, Steve Martinot, will describe how police militarization rests on the foundation of the militarist ethic by which the police operate. The government has seen fit to supply the police with military equipment, which has consequences both for the people subjected to the presence of such weaponry and for government intentions. The second half of the presentation will be on the relation of police militarization to the structures of racialization in the US.

Lifelong social justice activist Steve Martinot has worked as a machinist and organized a number of shops. Steve organized a trucking company in New York City, which led to a wildcat strike. He has been engaged in Latin American solidarity and once faced indictment from the federal government for that. In addition, Steve has done neighborhood organizing and edited two underground newspapers, one in NYC and one in the Akron area. A former political prisoner, Steve was incarcerated in 1970. After Steve started writing in the 1980s, he taught at Colorado University and UCSF. He has produced eight books, four on racialization and prison abolition and three as volumes from different conferences. He also translated a book on racism by Albert Memmi from French.

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Nuclear Weapons and the Ukraine Crisis – Mark Albertson – Sunday, Jan 22, 202310:30am Pacific Time

The Nuclear Option: The nuclear option was exercised twice: At Hiroshima, August 6, 1945, followed three days later at Nagasaki, August 9. Both by the United States against the same targeted nation, Japan. Japan, as well. was working on the Bomb, with the Army and Navy each having programs. Yet it was Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman who split the atom in 1938, providing Germany with the inside track towards the Bomb. The advent of the Bomb will effect foreign relations, war, societies, and cultures. Indeed, the Bomb will hasten the use of the helicopter among armies as a way to circumvent a nuclear battlefield with a doctrine known as Airmobility in the United States Army and the Vertical Assault Concept in the United States Marine Corps. And while the Bomb is seen as Man’s Doomsday Weapon, it has not prevented him from deciding his options on the battlefield. And so, just how has the Bomb altered Man’s approach to war and what is the future?

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine in Monroe, Connecticut; and, is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America.

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8 Years Before Donbas Documentary Filmmaker – Don Courter – January 15, 2023 – 10:30 AM Pacific Time

8 Years Before is an independently-funded documentary film directed by international journalist Donald Courter and produced collaboratively with international heavyweight fighting champion Jeff Monson.

The film portrays in stark detail the long saga of suffering that the Donbass people endured at the hands of the Ukrainian military, following the 2014 Euromaidan coup d’etat. Through primary source accounts and interviews with ordinary citizens of Donbass, human stories with a perspective never before seen in the mainstream media are brought to light.

Speaker: Jeff Monson Moscow-based filmmaker, international heavyweight fighting champion, and activist. He is the co-producer of 8 Years Before

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The Volatility of US Hegemony in Latin America – Roger Harris – Sunday Dec 18, 2022 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Latin America and the Caribbean have taken on a becoming pink complexion, all the more so
with historic left victories this year in Colombia and Brazil. These electoral rejections of the
rightwing followed left victories last year in Peru, Honduras, and Chile. And those, in turn, came
after similar routs in Bolivia in 2020, Argentina in 2019, and Mexico in 2018.
This surging “Pink Tide” protests the neoliberal model imposed by the US and its collaborators.
Neoliberalism has failed to meet the needs of the peoples of the region and is losing its
legitimacy as a prototype for development. However, the countries of the region must of
necessity engage in a world financial order dominated by the US, which circumscribes the
possibilities for developing their economies successfully.
The limitations of the social democratic politics, the emerging role of China in the hemisphere,
and the future of explicitly socialist Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela will be addressed.

Our speaker, Roger Harris, taught political science at a Historically Black College in
Mississippi in the late 1960s and did community organizing in East Harlem. Roger is currently
on the state central committee of the Peace and Freedom Party and on the board of the human
rights organization, Task Force on the Americas. He is on the program committee of the Niebyl-
Proctor Marxist Library and the executive committee of the US Peace Council. He is active in
the #FreeAlexSaab and the SanctionsKill campaigns. His political writings may be found at
Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Mint Press News, Popular Resistance, and the Orinoco Tribune.
For further reading, see: https://popularresistance.org/the-volatility-of-us-hegemony-in-latin-
america-part-iii/.

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Iran’s Role in the Anti-imperialist Struggle – Bahman Azad – Sunday, Dec 11, 2022 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Our program will address current events in Iran and the international reaction to them. US-led forces are exploiting events in Iran to push for violent regime change. Unilateral and illegal economic sanctions imposed by the US are killing Iranians. These sanctions are responsible for much of the Iranian people’s suffering and anger. They have served as a background for the outburst of different protests and are intentionally aimed at destabilizing the Iranian society through instigating a “velvet revolution.” Iran is targeted by the imperialists because of its key role in an emerging multipolar world through strategic alliances with countries and movements such as Syria, Russia, China, and Venezuela, and Hezbollah.

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Racism, Anti-Communsim and the CPUSA’s Struggle Against Both in U.S. History – Norman Markowitz – Sunday, December 4, 2022 10:30 AM Pacific Time

“Every Liberal is a Socialist. Every Socialist is a Communist. Every Communist is Moscow’s Spy.” So went a poster used in an anti-May Day “Loyalty Day” march in the high cold war period after WWII.

But anti-Communism went far beyond traditional conservative and reactionary groups and became the foundation of a “cold war consensus” for U.S. domestic and foreign policy in the post WWII period. In my presentation I will examine the relationship between color racism as the model for anti-radicalism at home and in U.S. imperialism abroad, and the role of the Communist Party USA in its struggle against both.

Norman Markowitz was born in 1943 and grew up in the South Bronx. He attended the then free tuition City College of New York (1962-1966) and the University of Michigan on a “National Defense Act” Fellowship and received his PhD in 1970. He taught history at Northern Illinois University (1969-1971) and at Rutgers University/New Brunswick (1971-present).
He has written numerous articles for various print and internet publications, scholarly journals, encyclopedia, and Marxist and Communist publications and websites on topics which include the history of the Communist movement in the U.S. and its activists, and the role of anti-Communism in U.S. history.
He served on the editorial board of Political Affairs, the theoretical journal of the CPUSA for many years and is currently a member of the International Department of the CPUSA.

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The Biggest Academic Workers Strike in California History! – Dave Welsh – Sunday, November 27, 2022 10:30 AM Pacific Time

A huge, unprecedented strike of academic workers started on November 14th, hitting all ten University of California campuses like a ton of bricks. The 48,000 striking workers perform the majority of the teaching and research at UC, yet the pay and benefits for these workers, members of the United Auto Workers union, is way too low especially for high-cost-of-living areas like Berkeley, California.

The UC Regents, who run the university and represent the most powerful business interests in the state, have so far refused to bargain over wages.

Come to a special session of Sunday Morning at the Marxist Library to hear the latest about this historic academic workers strike.

Speaker: Dave Welsh is a writer, musician, retired letter carrier, Labor Council delegate, and lifelong fighter for people’s power. Whether it was the civil rights movement in Mississippi, support for the Black Panther Party, solidarity with the grassroots movement in Haiti, or breaking the blockade of Cuba at the border with the Pastors for Peace caravans, or holding down Oscar Grant Plaza with Occupy Oakland or the ongoing fight to jail killer cops – he’s been a part of it.

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The Comprehensive Crisis in the U.S. and the Revolutionary Way Forward – Carlos Garrido – Sunday, Nov 20, 2022 – 10:30 AM Pacific Time

In line with the tradition of Marxism-Leninism, this presentation argues that the elements constitutive of objectively revolutionary conditions are all present in the U.S.; what is missing for a successful revolutionary movement is the subjective factor. The presenter will argue that the purity fetish which predominates the outlook of modern American communism has presented a fundamental fetter for the development of the subjective factor in the American working masses; the development of a consistent dialectical materialist worldview, it will be argued, is the precondition for the advancement of the subjective conditions.

Speaker Bio:

Carlos L. Garrido is a Cuban American PhD student and instructor in philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (with an M.A. in philosophy from the same institution). His research focuses include Marxism, Hegel, early 19th century American socialism, and socialism with Chinese characteristics. He is an editor in Midwestern Marx Institute for Marxist Theory and Political Analysis and in the Journal of American Socialist Studies. His popular writings have appeared in dozens of socialist magazines in various languages. As a political analyst with a focus on Latin America (esp. Cuba), he has appeared in dozens of radio and video interviews around the world. He also edited and introduced Marxism and the Dialectical Materialist Worldview: An Anthology of Classical Marxist Texts on Dialectical Materialism (Midwestern Marx Publishing Press, 2022).

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The Challenge of Aleksandr Dugin: The Fourth Political Theory – Sunday, November 13, 2022 10:30 AM Pacific Time

 Professor Aleksandr Dugin of Russia has a wide sweep in scholarship, from Philosophy, Sociology to Geopolitics. He is 60 years of age. He has written 60 books. His book ‘The Fourth Political Theory’ has been translated into English by Michael Millerman, a Canadian, with a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Dugin is an idealist conservative philosopher. Liberalism, according to Dugin, is the theory of Capitalism, which has defeated its two challengers in the 20th century: Communism on the Left and Fascism on the Right. These cannot now pose an effective challenge to it. Further, that Liberalism has turned into “Postliberalism” after 1991, and it is totalitarian. So, a fourth political theory is needed to save humanity.  

 Raj Sahai will summarize Dugin’s theory and offer an analysis and offer a Marxist critique. Raj is a Marxist and a long time activist against capitalism and its wars. He is a member of the planning committee of ICSS.

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The Crisis in Haiti and the Popular Movement – Pierre Labossiere – Sunday, November 6, 2022, 10:30 AM Pacific Time

 Pleading with arsonists to put out the fire they’ve ignited is what it is like to turn to the UN
Security Council, OAS, and United States government to “stabilize” the crisis in Haiti.
Haiti has been under US/ UN occupation for more than 18 years, ever since the US-backed coup
d’état in 2004 against the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. This
occupation has perpetrated gross human rights abuses including rape and other forms of sexual
abuse. The occupation has brought cholera to Haiti and has systematically destroyed Haiti’s
institutions while increasing hunger and misery.
Courageously facing police and paramilitary attacks, the population of Haiti has taken to the
streets in ever-growing numbers, demanding their basic human rights and democracy, along with
an end to corruption and to the plunder of public resources. They demand an end to US/UN
occupation and an end to the right-wing Haitian Tét Kale Party (PHTK) regime headed by Ariel
Henry.
They are demanding a transitional government of public safety (Sali Piblik) to create a
foundation for free and fair elections and a return to democratic rule. They are demanding an end
to IMF-imposed austerity, soaring prices of basic necessities, and declining real wages. They are
demanding that their tax money be invested in education, healthcare, sanitation, clean drinking
water, and support for Haiti’s peasant farmers who have been the backbone of local food
production.
Our speaker is Pierre Labossiere, a longtime activist and a leading member of the Haiti Action
Committee ( action.haiti@gmail.com; website www.haitisolidarity.net) and a supporter of Haiti’s
popular movement and the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.

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The London Revolution 1640-1643 – Michael Sturza – Sunday, Oct 30, 2022 – 10:30 AM Pacific Time

The London Revolution 1640-1643 refutes the attacks of revisionist historians who would write the concept of revolution out of history. A defense and restatement of the Marxist view of the English Revolution and Civil War. Chronicles England’s history through the revolution in 1641 – 1642, which toppled the feudal political system, and its aftermath. It explores how London’s growing capitalist economy fundamentally conflicted with its decaying feudal society, causing tensions and dislocations that affected all classes in the early modern period. In contrast with most other works, this book posits that the fundamental driving force of the revolution was the militant Puritan movement supported by the class of petty-bourgeois artisan craftworkers instead of the moderate gentry in the House of Commons.

Our speaker, Michael Sturza, is a life-long socialist political activist. A native New Yorker who grew up in Brooklyn, he learned about radical politics from his father who had been active in the labor movement of the 1930s. In 1966, at the age of 14, he attended his first mass anti-Vietnam War rally with other students from his high school. In college, while actively involved in working class struggles, he studied Marxism, and, in 1974, graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

In the following decades, while continuing to study Marxism and the history of labor and liberation movements, he remained a labor activist with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Sturza continues to live, study, and write in New York City. Since his retirement in 2014, he has traveled a good deal, including a nine-week trip to London, York, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Among the places he enjoyed visiting were the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon, and the National Civil War Centre in Newark. The trip reinforced his belief in the social nature of the English Revolution. It was revisionist historians’ attempts to excise the class basis of the English Revolution and Civil War that led him to the studies detailed in his work.

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