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The Hub Public Bank – An Alternative Democratic Economic Vision

Thursday, March 13, 2014, 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. The City of Boston has $1.2 billion on deposit with the nefarious Bank of America, US Trust (a subsidiary of Bank of America) and Citizens Bank, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Why should “too big to fail banks” who brought about the economic collapse of 2008 continue to be depositories for our public money? There is an alternative – depositing our public money in a public bank owned by the people of Boston.

The Speaker DSA member Nancy Goldner will introduce the concept of a public bank as a transformative pathway toward a more democratic, accountable and community oriented use of our public money. She is also a member of the Pubic Bank Working Group whose mission it is to establish the Hub Public Bank.

 

BBLS: Equal Exchange Chocolate Tasting (and more)

Brown Bag Lunch Series presents
Molly Zeff, Equal Exchange

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014, 1-2pm

Molly Zeff is a Community Sales Rep and Co-Owner at Equal Exchange, the largest Fair Trade co-operative in the United States. Molly will be speaking about how Fair Trade benefits low-income farmers and their communities across the globe, how Fair Trade coffee is better for the environment than conventionally grown coffee, and how congregations, schools, cafes, store, and individuals have spread the Fair Trade movement through Equal Exchange's programs. She will provide Fair Trade chocolate and dried fruit - some of the best you've ever tasted - as samples throughout the presentation, and will lead a professional chocolate tasting as well.

Discussion and Q&A to follow. Lunch snacks, coffee and tea will be provided.

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.

Social Movements & Electoral Politics

A ROUNDTABLE CONNECTING #OCCUPY, GLOBAL MOVEMENTS, THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM & ELECTIONS

Saturday, June 30, 2012, 6:00 p.m. A conversation made urgent by the defeated recall in Wisconsin: The Arab Spring signaled a global wave of social movements challenging inequality, repression, austerity, war, & corporate power. Whatever their strengths, these movements have all had to give serious consideration to how they relate to electoral politics. This timely conversation brings together a diverse group of thoughtful activists and engaged scholars who have connections to the #Occupy movement, the World Social Forum, solidarity movements and grassroots organizing. 

Featuring: Sarah Francis, Jeff Juris, Suren Moodliar, Thomas Ponniah, Monica Poole, and Heike Schotten (panel chair). (read more for bios and suggested readings)

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!

Jarrar: Getting Things Straight on Iraq

Sunday, January 14, 2012, 1:00 p.m. Raed Jarrar is an Iraqi-Palestinian architect, blogger and political analyst who was in Iraq during the U.S. invasion in 2003 and has recentlyreturned from another trip. He is a former AFSC and Peace Action staff person who provided constant briefings to peace activists throughout the war as well as working with Congressman Delahunt's office to develop opposition to the war in Congress.  He collected his and his family's blog posts into The Iraq War Blog, An Iraqi Family's Inside View of the First Year of the Occupation, published as a book in 2008.

This event is organized by OCCUPY BOSTON - FREE SCHOOL UNIVERSITY

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

Health: Agricultural Workers in Nicaragua

Saturday, October 8, 2011, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Join filmmaker Jason Glaser for a conversation about agricultural workers and Chronic Kidney Disease in Nicaragua. For more information, see the website of the La Isla Foundation.

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!"

Peña Rebelde: Gabrilla Ballard-Thakore

Saturday, September 10th, 2011, 7:00 p.m. Come share your energies at the 5th monthly Peña Rebelde, a gathering of souls in verse and rebellion. Gabrilla Ballard, a recent transplant to Boston from New Orleans, will share her singer-songwriter creations.

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.

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.

Vijay Prashad: Arab Spring - Libyan Winter

Thursday, July 7th, 2011, 7:00 p.m.  As millions of people across the Middle East and North Africa fight for freedom against tyrannical regimes, US warplanes bomb Libya with the stated aim of protecting civilians. But what are the real aims of our government's intervention? How do they relate to its wars and other policies in the Middle East? And what can those of us inspired by the democratic uprisings do to help?