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Socialism for the 21st century

By Nicole Colson | June 22, 2007 | Page 8

AROUND 1,000 activists from across the U.S. and beyond turned out in Chicago June 14-17 for Socialism 2007, organized around the slogan "Socialism for the 21st Century."

The conference, sponsored by the Center for Economic Research and Social Change, publisher of Haymarket Books and the International Socialist Review, and the International Socialist Organization, publisher of Socialist Worker, brought together some of the most important voices on the left for three full days of debate and discussion about the way forward for building the left in the U.S.

This year's participants included people on the front lines of some of today's most important struggles--from members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Gold Star Families for Peace, to activists for immigrant rights and those fighting the death penalty,

Left-wing journalists and authors John Pilger, Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Jeffrey St. Clair, Ron Jacobs and Josh Frank were on hand to represent the voices that are rarely heard in mainstream media--and debate and discuss the fight to rebuild the left.

IVAW members Camilo Mejía, Kelly Dougherty, Garett Reppenhagen, Martin Smith and Chanan Suárez Diaz spoke about fight to build the antiwar movement among soldiers and veterans.

What else to read

Haymarket Books is distributing audio CDs of all of the nearly 100 meetings at Socialism 2007. For a full list of meeting topics, see the schedule at the Socialism 2007 Web site. To order CDs of any of the talks, or for more information, call Haymarket at 773-583-7884 or e-mail [email protected].

You can also watch several presentations from Socialism 2007 by:

John Pilger

Jeremy Scahill

 

In a meeting on the fight for social justice among athletes, radical sportswriter Dave Zirin stood alongside former NFL player Anthony Prior and Dr. John Carlos, who raised the Black power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

"It's been such a great weekend," said Chicago activist Mario Garcia. "I think it's great when you get people from all over the country--to hear the debates and what the fight is like where they are."

Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, who has family living in Iraq, speaks out about the impact of war and occupation on the lives of ordinary Iraqis. "This is my first socialism conference, and I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to come," she said.

"I wish my family could know what's going on here, because they're at the point now where my cousins have known nothing but war and occupation their whole lives. This is the worst it has ever been for them, and I hear them starting to lose hope.

"And even though this weekend doesn't bring them more electricity, and it doesn't bring them more water, I just wish they could know the compassion that I've received here for them and will send back to them."

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