The Ecosocialist Conference
Saturday, April 20th 2013 @ Barnard College (118th & Bway), New York City
Suggested donation: $5-20, no one turned away for lack of funds. Free childcare provided upon request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve or for more info.
Registration opens at 9:30am. Opening plenary at 10am followed by three workshop sessions and a closing plenary from 6-7:30pm. Post-conference dinner and drinks (unfortunately not included) immediately afterward.
Conference Schedule and Speakers
9:30 – 10am: REGISTRATION
10 – 11:30am: OPENING PLENARY
Why Capitalism Is Killing the Planet
Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party presidential candidate
Richard Smith, author and independent socialist
11:30am – 1pm: WORKSHOP SESSION 1
1) Agriculture and food: sustainable or profitable?
- Fred Magdoff, Monthly Review, author and activist
- Brian Tokar, Institute for Social Ecology, author and activist
- Nancy Romer, Coordinator, Brooklyn Food Coalition
- David Barkan, Profesor Distinguido
Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Mexico
2) Fossil Fuel Divestment: Student Power in the Climate Justice Movement
- Joe Shortsleeve, Barnard Columbia Divest
- Hannah Forrester, ISO Columbia, Barnard Columbia Divest
- Belinda Rodriguez, NYU Divest, 350.org
3) Free of Tar Sands and Fracking
- Cecile Lawrence, Green Party of New York State, social justice activist, author
- John Riddell, author, Canadian anti-tar-sands activist
1 – 2:30pm: LUNCH
2:30 – 4pm: WORKSHOP SESSION 2
1) The Fight for Indigenous Rights
- Firewolf Bizahaloni-Wong, co-founder of Native Resistance Network
- Brian Ward, ISO DC
2) Race, Gender and Environment Justice
- Amity Paye, journalist who covered the Rockaways during Super-storm Sandy
- Heather Kangas, ISO Baltimore
- Abbie Bakan, author and activist
3) Lessons from Super-storm Sandy
- Peter Rugh, journalist, environmental activist
- Nastaran Mohit, immigrant rights activist and Occupy Sandy Health Outreach coordinator
- Josmar Trujillo, Occupy Sandy activist from Far Rockaway
4:15 – 5:45pm: WORKSHOP SESSION 3
1) Natural Allies: The Labor & Climate Justice Movements
- Jeremy Brecher environmental labor activist
- Sean Sweeney, labor activist
- Marty Goodman, Socialist Action, member of TWU Local 100
- Bruce Hamilton, member of ATU
2) Carbon Taxes and Market Approaches: Can Capitalism Be Sustainable?
- Daniel Piper, Socialist Action
- Howie Hawkins, Solidarity, the Socialist Party, the Green Party of New York State
3) Both Red and Green: A History of the Green Left
- Richard Greeman, ecosocialist author, teacher and activist
- Josh Headley, Deep Green Resistance NYC
6 – 7:30pm: CLOSING PLENARY
What is EcoSocialism and How Do We Get There?
- Chris Williams, ISO NYC, author of Ecology and Socialism
- Gloria Mattera, the Green Party of New York State
- Joel Kovel, Ecosocialist Horizons, author and activist
7:45 – 11pm: Dinner and Drinks
Haakon’s Hall on Amsterdam Ave between 118th St & 119th St
There will be a limited menu of burgers, veggie burgers, chicken fingers and the like
Please check back soon for updates.
To endorse and participate in conference planning, contact email@example.com
- Artists for Equality
- Centre for Social Justice (Toronto)
- Chicago Socialist Party
- Climate and Capitalism
- CUNY Divest
- Democratic Socialists of America
- Ecosocialist Horizons
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization
- Freedom Socialist Party
- International Socialists (Canada)
- Monthly Review
- New Politics
- NY News & Letters Committees
- Our Place in the World: a Journal of Ecosocialism
- Red Wedge Magazine
- Shut Down Indian Point Now!
- Socialist Action
- Socialist Party of Central New York
- Socialist Project (Canada)
- Socialist Worker
- The Bronx Green Party
- The Manhattan Green Party
- The West Queens Green Party
- The Green Party of the State of New York
- The International Socialist Organization
- The National Lawyers Guild
- The Young Democratic Socialists
The extreme weather of 2012 and recent news that climate change is worse than previously thought have made it a front-page issue again. The Obama campaign’s silence on the issue and worldwide government paralysis have added to activists’ frustration and fueled participation in 350.org’s historic February 17th demonstration and campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns. This has also opened the door to a more radical analysis of global warming and environmental destruction.
For a radicalizing and substantial fringe of people touched by the ideas of Occupy, an ongoing economic crisis and growing ecological crisis, they recognize that it’s not enough to limit your analysis to only fossil fuel corporations (though that’s a good start) or absolve politicians based on the lobbying power of those particular companies. And if that’s the case, then we need far bigger goals than just limiting their investment opportunities with college endowments (though again, it’s a good place to start). Ecosocialists must quickly offer a more holistic explanation that centers round the operation of capitalism and therefore helps to explain why Obama isn’t our ally and why we need an entirely different society.
Everything about the world is driving people toward a socialist critique of the ecological crisis and the need to form alliances with workers to take on the system, rather than Democrats and billionaires.
To that end, the Ecosocialist Contingent is hosting the Ecosocialist Conference on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in New York City. We are looking for groups who agree with the Ecosocialist Statement to endorse, build and participate. The conference, like the February 17th action, represents a move to a more collaborationist left. We hope this conference and this network of left groups and publications grow into something visible enough to attract thousands of new activists towards socialism and powerful enough to push the climate justice movement toward revolutionary conclusions.