Zaps – January 2010


Events
 
SOCIAL FORUMS – 2010 is the 10-year anniversary of the first World Social Forum, which promotes alternatives to capitalism and corporate hierarchy under the banner "Another World Is Possible." Regional forums are scheduled across the globe this year, including the second United States Social Forum June 22-26 in Detroit.
 
 
MLK DAY – The Martin Luther King Day holiday falls on Monday, January 18 this year. Community groups across the country honor King by organizing a Day of Service, and peace groups have used the holiday in recent years by highlighting MLK’s oft-overlooked anti-imperialist, antiwar activism.
 
 
PROGRESSIVE PR – The True Spin Conference in Denver on January 21-22 offers panels, workshops, and networking on effective public relations for progressive political groups and campaigns.
 
 
DIVERSITY - The American Conference on Diversity is holding it’s 2010 Educators’ Institute, "Reaching and Teaching Immigrant Students," in cooperation with the Peter Sammartino School of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, with two full-day sessions on February 5 & 12.
 
 
EVOLUTION - February 12-14 will be the fifth annual celebration of Evolution Weekend, intended to demonstrate that religious people from many faiths and locations understand that evolution is sound science and poses no problems for their faith, affiliated with the Clergy Letter Project repudiating anti-science fundamentalism.
 
 
TEACH-IN – The 9th Annual Local to Global Justice Teach-in comes to Arizona State University in Tempe on February 27-28, providing space for sharing experiences and knowledge between scholars and activists working on a wide range of social justice, human rights and sustainability issues.
 
 
WOMEN’S STRIKE – International Women’s Day, March 8, has also been a day of protest, education, and direct action to redress the ongoing oppression of women who do two-thirds of all the world’s work—most of it without pay or formal benefits and often in slave conditions.
 
 
LEFT FORUM – The 2010 Left Forum is scheduled for March 19-21 at Pace University in New York City. This year’s theme is "The Center Cannot Hold: Rekindling the Radical Imagination" and will feature hundreds of panel discussions, art and film shows, and exhibitors.
 
 
JOBS - April 8 is the 75th anniversary of congressional passage of legislation to create the largest public works program in history, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which created 8.5 million jobs during the Great Depression. As unemployment rises today, the Bail Out the People Movement has issued a national call to help organize a mass demonstration on Saturday, April 10 in Washington, DC calling for a real jobs program.
 
Contact: Bail Out the People Movement, Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th St. #5C, New York, NY 10011; 212-633-6646; www.BailOutPeople.org. 
 

 
Campaigns
 
TRIALSLynne Stewart is a 70-year-old civil rights attorney long targeted by the U.S. government for her work with Black Panthers and other anti-imperialist groups. Now in failing health, she and numerous supporters are appealing her initial 28-month sentence for "aiding and abetting terrorism" for her work as a defense lawyer; various hearings are scheduled throughout early 2010.
 
 
RNC 8 – The activists charged "conspiracy to riot" from their organizing during the 2008 Republican National Convention won a victory in December when the judge ruled that they would be tried together instead of separately. A trial date has still not been set, but some observers are expecting a March timeframe. Fundraising, demonstrations, and support activities around the country for the RNC 8 are being coordinated through their website.
 
 
SAHARAWI – Nobel Peace Prize nominee Aminatou Haidar went on a hunger strike in Lanzarote airport after being deported there from her home in Western Sahara on November 14, after she refused to acknowledge Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. As of early December, she was suffering from severe physical ailments and distress due to the hunger strike. Solidarity actions and protests are ongoing.
 
 

 
Resources
 
PEACE - The Peace Justice and Environment Project (PJEP) has a new online calendar of activist events and protests, including listings of diverse actions across the U.S. against the "troop surge" in Afghanistan.
 
Contact: Peace Justice and Environment Project, 1213 Maple Ave., Evanston, IL 60202; www.pjep.org.
 
DVDA Sea Change: Imagine A World Without Fish is a documentary detailing ocean acidification which threatens over one million species with extinction, and with them, our entire way of life.
 
 
HISTORY - The People Speak is a documentary film inspired by Howard Zinn’s books A People’s History of the United States and Voices of a People’s History, co-edited with Anthony Arnove. It features actors reading from historic documents and describing historic events, with music and historic footage and re-creations.
 
Contact: www.thepeoplespeak.com. 
 

 
Books
 
ACORN - The People Shall Rule: ACORN, Community Organizing, and the Struggle for Economic Justice edited by Robert Fisher goes inside the beleaguered organization to showcase its effective progressive organizing campaigns.
 
 
FARC - Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The Origin and Direction of the FARC-EP by James J. Brittain, foreword by James Petras, presents an insider’s account of Colombia’s civil war and evaluates the guerilla movement there with regard to revolutionary theory and practice.
 
Contact: Pluto Press, 345 Archway Road, London, N6 5AA, UK; www.plutobooks.com.