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Hundreds go to Socialist Summer School

June 22, 2001 | Page 3

ALMOST 700 people came from across the U.S. and around the world to participate in Socialist Summer School 2001 in Chicago in mid-June.

More than 100 talks at the summer school took up a wide variety of topics--from what's next for the antiglobalization movement to the origins of women's oppression to the novels of John Steinbeck.

"I'm totally impressed because I've been to a lot of these things, and it's clear to me how much work went into it and how well planned it was," said Kevin Danaher, a leading antiglobalization activist and cofounder of Global Exchange.

"The high level of energy is not just credit to the ISO, but it's also reflective of something that's going on generally in the movement. So I think you're on a surfboard on the crest of a wave."

The highlights of the weekend were the evening panels.

One on the struggle against racism in Bush's America brought together activists fighting police brutality in Cincinnati, racist violence at Penn State University and anti-Arab racism.

The next night, activists from around the world discussed the fight against corporate power--from Bolivia and Brazil, to Zimbabwe and Greece.

Oscar Olivera, a leader of the fight against water privatization in Bolivia, summed up the mood of the panel, declaring, "We believe a different world is possible."

Those who came to the summer school went home inspired by the struggles they heard about--and with new ideas about how to organize.

"I've been coming to summer school for three or four years now," said Lawrence Hayes, a former death row prisoner from New York City.

"You leave with so much knowledge, so much to think about. It offers a lot of answers to questions that come up at some point during your struggle."

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