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A Ukrainian tablecloth, a pair of boots, a faded newspaper

Stories of Ukraine from my grandmother and her grandmother

Opens October 8, 2014, Ongoing Exhibition What is the historical context of the current crisis?  How do political and economic interests affect the keyplayers involved? What roles do culture and language play in the conflict? How would potential resolutions affect the people of (what's left of) Ukraine? And most importantly, what would my Ukrainian grandmother have thought about all this?

In the main hall of encuentro5, an exhibit is unfolding of familial and cultural artifacts, photographs, videos, books, maps, and stories. Visitors are invited to explore some of the historical pivots and present-day nuances of this multifaceted crisis through a varied display of articles that were passed down from my grandmother or collected from journeys across Ukraine over the past decade.

The exhibit's collection will gradually expand and culminate into a multi-media presentation that will span the life-story of my Ukrainian grandmother, Natasha (whose name means hope), and consider some of the more controversial topics underpinning recent events in Ukraine. Presentation will be followed by discussion (date TBD).

Imperiled Life with Javier Sethness-Castro

Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Join writer Javier Sethness-Castro in a discussion of his book, Imperiled Life: Revolution against Climate Catastrophe. Imperiled Life theorizes an exit from the potentially terminal consequences of capital-induced climate change. It is a collection of reflections on the phenomenon of catastrophe—climatological, political, social—as well as on the possibilities of overcoming disaster.

Javier Sethness-Castro presents the grim news from contemporary climatologists while providing a reconstructive vision inspired by anarchist intellectual traditions and promoting critical thought as a means of changing our historical trajectory. For a recent overview of Javier's argument, see his essay at CounterPunch.org marking our planet's crossing of the 400 ppm atmospheric carbon concentration levels.

Books, light refreshments available on site. Use Facebook to iInvite your friends to this event.

Jobs for All - featuring Marguerite Rosenthal

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 8:00 p.m. The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, December 10, 1948 states, in part that “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment…, to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself [sic] and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.”

The struggle in the U.S. for a full employment economy has been a long one, hampered by policy “trade-offs” that accept high unemployment as an antidote to inflation, and that privilege the profits of the few over the well-being of the many. One of the current battlefields in the struggle center around US Representative John Conyers' office in relation to his bill, HR 1000, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act. (So far, Jim McGovern is the only member of the Mass. delegation to endorse the bill.)

Andrew Kliman on the Failure of Capitalist Production

Friday, March 15th, 2013, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Economist Andrew Kliman will make a rare Boston appearance to discuss his book "The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession" (Pluto 2012). Many analyses of the Great Recession have been put forward from theories of unregulated finance, to Neoliberalism, to rising inequality. Kliman's book is the first to put forward, based on in-depth empirical analysis of US data, that Marx's theory of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall can explain these events. This talk will also present some of Kliman's most recent work on the contentious issues of wages and inequality.

Kliman's conclusions have immediate political implications. Short of a socialist transformation the only way to escape the 'new normal' of stagnation is to restore profitability through full-scale destruction of the value of existing capital assets, something not seen since the Depression of the 1930's.

Forty Years in the Labor Movement

Lessons from Organizer and Strategist Peter Van Delft

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 7:00 p.m. At no previous point in its history has the situation of the labor movement been more dire. At the same time, new waves of immigrant and community organizing and the rise of middle-class activism may signal renewal for the movement that brought dignity to millions of workers. This event helps as look forward by first looking back on Peter's 4 decades of service to the labor movement.

About Peter: A longtime activist and a third-generation socialist, Peter Van Delft has spent more than forty years in the labor movement. Following World War II he attended the University of California at Berkeley where he earned an M.A. in Anthropology and where he was involved in activities leading to increased admissions and support for low income and students of color.

Until his retirement Peter was a Vice President of New York based, 30,000 member, District 65. Earlier, he had been a member of the National Maritime Union and of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Campaign Kickoff: Budget for All Referendum

Calling All Peace & Social Justice Activists!

Sunday, May 6, 2012, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Now is the time to join together with 24 labor, peace, housing and community groups across the state to put our message before the public this election year. Place the “Budget for All” referendum question on the ballot in Massachusetts this November: “Troops home from Afghanistan now; Reduce the Military Budget; No cuts to Social Security, Housing assistance, Medicaid; Invest in Jobs and Renewable energy; tax large corporations”

We need you to help collect signatures to place the referendum on the ballot in your state representative district. Here’s something we can all do together.

For Information call Paul Shannon at AFSC: 617-661-6130 ext. 123

 

Derber: Marx's Ghost - Midnight Conversations on Changing the World

Thursday, February 9, 2012, 7:00 p.m. Author, activist and BC sociologist Charlie Derber speaks to his most recent book, Marx's Chost: Midnight Conversations on Changing the World. He will be joined by Alexandra Pineros Shields, Brian Kwoba and Genevieve Butler. From the publisher: An American sociologist (Derber) travels to London's Highgate cemetery, where Karl Marx is buried. A surprise encounter with Marx's ghost, which reveals insights into the great revolutionary’s personality and biography, leads to a night-long conversation between Derber and the ghost on important issues of the day: the economic crisis, globalization; climate change, war, racism, left- and right-wing politics, the future of capitalism, new economic models emerging in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia, and revolutionary activism by citizens in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya—even Wisconsin. The ghost reconsiders his theories as he speaks eloquently about American labor, environmental, peace, social justice, civil rights, immigrant, and gender and anti-racist struggles. Their engrossing, funny, and provocative conversation, interrupted by appearances from ghosts such as John Maynard Keynes, offers a new vision of the stunning relevance and tragic flaws of the historical Marx, who now reveals a surprising Great Transition to a transformed future. Watch this space for a review coming soon!

Bernard & Ness: From Occupy to Workers Control

Friday, January 20, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Join Immanuel Ness and Elaine Bernard for a panel discussion on From Occupy to Workers Control sponsored by the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series and hosted by encuentro 5.

The Occupy Movement is taking new and exciting steps as it continues to reshape political possibilities (such as reclaiming foreclosed homes).

The discussion of how to organize a society that represents the interests and aspirations of the 99% is a debate that is being held across Occupy sites. What would it mean to really take the Occupy Movement into the workplace? Into the heart of the economic system itself? And how to do it?

All of those invited to speak at this event contributed to a recent Haymarket Book "Ours to Master and to Own."

Rosen, et al: Principles for a New Economy

PRINCIPLES FOR A NEW ECONOMY

Preamble
 
The purpose of an economic system is to help organize human activities in ways that create healthy and resilient human communities and ecosystems for both present and future generations.
 
To achieve these purposes, deep system-wide change is urgently needed to reverse conditions typical of contemporary global, regional, national and local economies that exhibit one or more of the following serious flaws. They are:
 
·      Unsustainable: They over-consume and degrade the resources upon which their long-term prosperity depends.
·      Unfair: They multiply financial advantages to those already advantaged at the expense of those most in need. 
·      Unstable: They lack resilience in a time of growing volatility and rapid social, political and technological change.
·      Undemocratic: They operate with inadequate democratic control and accountability on the part of their most powerful economic organizations - corporations, financial institutions and governments.
 
At the root of these conditions is an implicit, dominant theory of economic purpose: namely to achieve continuous economic growth, as measured principally by GDP, by relying on “free markets”, without regard to the impact on overall human and ecological well-being. At the core of a New Economy is the need to decouple the achievement of well-being from limitless economic growth, by structuring economies that:
·      Fully realize individual potential through the advancement of human rights, including the right to thriving livelihoods, freedom from unjust persecution, quality education, effective social safety nets, affordable nutritious food, clean water, secure health care, and adequate shelter. 
 
·      Protect and nurture the richness of the natural world in ways that confront and rectify intensifying threats to humans and other species, including those associated with climate change, biodiversity loss, eco-system degradation, and polluted air and water
 
 The following Principles are designed to guide the actions of all economic actors and organizations whose decisions and actions affect, or are affected by, the pursuit of a New Economy.
 
Principles
1. Measuring progress - Economic progress shall be measured in terms of the well-being of all living species and ecosystems.  
2. Respecting natural limits - The economy shall draw from, and inject into, ecosystems only what is compatible with maintaining a sustainable healthy and resilient natural world. 
3. Democratizing the economy – All institutions that manage, regulate and execute economic activity, including private corporations, shall be democratically controlled in order to serve long-term societal goals.
4. Ensuring economic progress - Governments shall work to ensure prosperous and resilient economic outcomes by making adequate investments in research, education, physical infrastructure, and technology, whenever markets fail to do so. .
5. Localizing control - Economic policy shall favor subsidiarity, i.e., the localization of economic decision-making and control to the greatest extent possible consistent with democracy, equity, and efficiency.
6. Taming finance - All monetary systems and financial institutions shall be regulated as essential public utilities for the benefit of society as a whole.
7. Reducing inequality - Increasing economic inequality shall be understood to be inherently and profoundly antithetical to achieving human and ecological well-being, and shall be rapidly reversed.
8. Providing adequate livelihoods - Individuals shall be ensured of opportunities for decent paid work, employee ownership and the right to organize, and accorded recognition for work performed outside the formal wage economy that is fundamental to enriching  community and family well-being.
9. Re-defining globalization - International economic relations that impinge upon human and ecological well-being shall rest upon the same principles as those applicable to economic activities within nations so that economic justice becomes enshrined in such relations.
10. Fostering new values - Economic values shall be diverted, by all fair and reasonable means, away from the materialism fostered by promoters of a consumer society, and shifted toward values that prioritize flourishing communities, individual happiness, and a healthy and resilient natural world.
The editors of the Principles for a New Economy are Neva Goodwin, Richard Rosen, and Allen White. Principles for a New Economy was co-authored by the Core Principles Working Group, with the support of the New Economy Network. The members of the Working Group are: Gar Alperovitz, David Brodwin, Peter Brown, John Cavanagh, John Fullerton, Neva Godwin, Richard Heinberg, David Korten, Asher Miller, Noel Ortega, Richard Rosen, Gus Speth, Sarah Stranahan, Stewart Wallis, Allen White, and Susan Witt.
For questions and comments please contact: neva.goodwin@tufts.edu; rrosen@tellus.org or awhite@tellus.org

Alperovitz: America Beyond Capitalism

When they say, "there's no alternative..."

Saturday, December 3, 2011, 6:00 p.m.  As discontent with the economic and political status quo mounts in the wake of the “great recession”, America Beyond Capitalism is a book whose time has come. Gar Alperovitz’s expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging “new economy” strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States.

Securing Justice for Waste/Recycling Workers

Thursday, September 22, 2011, 6:00 p.m. The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and the Boston Recycling Coalition (BRC- an emerging campaign between community, environmental and worker groups in Boston to dramatically improve the recycling system in Boston) co-host a gathering of inspiring grassroots waste/recycling movement leaders from around the world. Following a panel, there will be a wide-ranging discussion between local recycling workers, international guests and members of the Boston community interested in improving dismal conditions in Boston's waste/recycling sector. Come join us! This event is organized by the Boston Recycling Coalition.

Linda Fischer: Global Crisis! Global Resistance!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 7:00 p.m. A wave of revolt is sweeping the world. In North Africa, uprisings topple dictators; in China, mass strikes defy repression; in Wisconsin, workers occupy the capitol building for weeks; and as European capitalism plunges deeper into crisis, workers and youth are responding with general strikes, mass occupations, and powerful protests. Meanwhile, the super-rich demand even more tax cuts, budget cuts, and layoffs. But a growing majority in Europe are declaring “We won’t pay for your crisis!"

Crosby & McClain - New Lynn, MA: Safe, Decent & Just

Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 7:00 p.m. Join organizers Jeff Crosby and Carly McClain in a conversation about the Workers Center for Economic Justice organized by the North Shore Labor Council and the New Lynn Coalition. The coalition’s mission is to organize all sectors of working class people in the region into a unified permanent, political and economic force that is union and non-union and transcends racial, linguistic, ethnic, citizenship and gender boundaries. Together the organizations within the New Lynn Coalition are identifying goals for regional development which revolve around social and ecological needs and concerns and where there is a renewed sense of the public role in social welfare.

Social Adapting & Sustainability

Round Table Discussion on Portland's 5 Ecodistrict Pilots

Location: Institute for Human Centered Design
200 Portland Street

Wednesday, September 21st, 7:00pm Join us for an engaging talk about the challenges of adapting to climate change. Systems Science student, Garry Sotnik, visiting from the hub of environmental innovation, Portland, Oregon will present his paper on Portland's five Ecodistrict Pilots (Read More below), an initiative launched in 2009 in the City of Portland to catalyze the city’s transition process towards sustainable development. What does it mean to adapt? What is required for adaptation? And what can be done to assist human systems (e.g. households, communities, regions, etc.) in our process of adaptation? An open discussion will explore the role of community organizing within the environmental movement, the ideas of connectedness and resiliency in the face of climate change, what could movements in Boston learn from the large-scale and well-subsidized efforts in Portland, similarly, what can the Ecodistricts Initiative learn from grassroots and multi-focus social change organizing in Boston?

New Lynn, MA: Safe, Decent & Just

Tuesday, July 20th, 2011, 7:00 p.m.  Rescheduled due to another event. New date to be announced soon: Join organizers Jeff Crosby and Carly McClain in a conversation about the Workers Center for Economic Justice organized by the North Shore Labor Council and the New Lynn Coalition. The coalition’s mission is to organize all sectors of working class people in the region into a unified permanent, political and economic force that is union and non-union and transcends racial, linguistic, ethnic, citizenship and gender boundaries. Together the organizations within the New Lynn Coalition are identifying goals for regional development which revolve around social and ecological needs and concerns and where there is a renewed sense of the public role in social welfare.