Thursday, January 22, 2009

Renewing the New Years Promise

Saturday Feb. 7th - 6PMDetroit

International Institute – 111 E. Kirby St. – Room 3(downstairs)

Renewing the New Years


Building radical grassroots social movements in the new era

January 20th, 1991, Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd U.S. president. The Democrats victory came with much hope and enthusiasm after 12 years of Republican government. After years of government attacks on working and poor people, the 1991 Democratic win left many feeling that change was coming.

The new Clinton/Democratic administration instead continued agendas of aggression – invasions; sanctions and air strikes against Iraq; creation of a mass prison system; cuts in social aid programs; and the expansion of a global economic system that benefited corporations and private interests at the expense of poor and working peoples across the globe.

On New Years Day 1994 an uprising shook the boss class and inspired new social movements against the emerging capitalist globalization. Throughout the southern region of Mexico a new movement declaring itself the EZLN, or Zapatistas, overran the military/police and occupied many cities. The Zapatista movement represented a new voice against the impoverishment of capitalism and the state.

Fourteen years later we are once again emerging from years of Republican rule. We are faced with a far reaching crisis: a collapsing economy; millions facing foreclosure and homelessness; wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; imprisonment of millions of citizens; and schools on the brink of failure. The Democratic Party offers us the words of Change & Hope that so many of our peoples desperately want to hear. However, the Democratic Party only offers these words through our acceptance of their capitalist program. Change & Hope have become concepts only realizable if we accept the rule of the State.

With this New Year we must search out and renew the actual promise for change and hope – that of broad based, independent social movements that fight with militancy and determination. Movements of individuals united on collective, anti-authoritarian, and anti-capitalist visions.

Solidarity & Defense is hosting an evening event of presentations and discussions. The event will feature Detroit and regional organizers speaking about their organization’s visions of social change and how these visions contribute to movement building.

Speakers will include organizers from: Centro Obrero – Southwest Detroit; Y.O.U.T.H (Youth Organizing to Uplift Tomorrow’s Humanity) Northwest Detroit; Solidarity and Defense from Michigan; Members of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World); Chicago’s Four Star Anarchist Organization.

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