Sun, May 12
Turkey at the cross roads of imperialism
Turkey is struggling to find a new and better position in the world while fascism erodes the economy, human rights, freedom of press and all opposition. New “elections” on March 31 is only a sham as mounting evidence of corruption piles. Turkey has lost on Syria, a quagmire it planned on winning big with the bog guys. As Turkey oscillates between European Union, the USA and Russia, it finds itself more and more irrelevant. Contrary to the big plans of becoming a leader in the Middle East, Turkey has been relegated to a position where it is only trying to find who to follow. Such is the position of those who accept imperialism instead of standing up to it. ICSS member Mehmet Bayram will present and lead our discussion. TENTATIVE
Sun, May 19
Mexican President Díaz (1876-1880 and 1884-1911) famously commented: “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”
Diaz got it at least half right. Mexico has suffered in the shadow of the Colossus of the North, but Mexico is not poor. Mexico is rich in many ways, yet it also has been impoverished. And Mexico has been greatly underappreciated by North Americans. This presentation will emphasize the many poorly known accomplishments of Mexico, while uncovering the role of US imperialism.
Mexico is bucking an international right-wing tide, shifting its government from right to left-of-center with the presidential inauguration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on December 1. Speaking for international capital, The Economist is worried. The other 99% of humanity is hopeful.
Roger Harris will present a PowerPoint-illustrated cautionary history of this trice conquered land. A longtime activist with the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, Roger is on the board of the Task Force on the Americas (http://taskforceamericas.org/), a 33-year-old human rights organization, and is active with the Campaign to End US-Canadian Sanctions Against Venezuela (https://tinyurl.com/yd4ptxkx). He last visited Mexico in March.
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Sun, May 26, 2019: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Report from Venezuela Delegation
Venezuela is in the cross hairs of imperialism. It has the largest oil reserves in the world, but more than that, Venezuela is determined to use its resources for the benefit of its own people instead of handing them over to transnational corporations or imperialist rulers. In the age of imperialism, these trends are enough to make any country the target of imperialist plunderers. We are under a media barrage of lies, misinformation, and open US propaganda about Venezuela. With this intense muddying of waters it becomes very hard to know and understand the events happening around this Latin American, Bolivarian, country.
In order to observe what is really going on there, recently Bay Area residents Mehmet Bayram, ICSS member and journalist, and Laura Wells, Green Party Congressional Candidate, visited Venezuela with the “End Venezuela Sanctions” delegation. They will present their experience and lead the discussion afterwards.
Sun, June 9, 2019: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee
After 24 years in the USA, 38 years in the (East) German Democratic Republic as a McCarthy-era exile, then nearly 30 years in unified Germany, Victor Grossman, the ex-pat journalist and author examines the rise and fall of a socialist experiment as he observed and participated in it. He tries to clear through a fog of misinformation and distortion regarding it, describing its achievements, its successes as well as its blunders and negative aspects. Its position regarding Nazis and fascism is compared with that in West Germany. Its school system, women’s rights, both models in many ways, cultural questions and other matters are examined from a personal, anecdotal and sometimes humorous perspective.
The book then turns to a broader examination of possible lessons to be learned when searching for solutions to present-day problems: the growing gap between rich and poor, alarmingly malevolent dangers for a crippled environment, the menace of racism and new fascist movements, the almost ignored danger of atomic annihilation – and who is to blame for them. But the book also looks at newly invigorated hopes for a better, a socialist future despite the many barriers to its realization – seen through the prism of a veteran of the “old Left” in the USA, Communist rule and the Cold War in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, and expresses his views on current fears and hopes on both sides of the Atlantic – and the Pacific.
(Copies of Victor’s book will be available for purchase, cash or checks only, NO CREDIT CARDS.
Sun, Jun 16, 2019: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Constitutional Referendum and grassroots political processes.
Cuba is always described as a “dictatorship” by the mainstream media and the U.S. government, thus providing a pretext for the economic blockade and talk about regime change. But Sharat G. Lin found a remarkable democratic process in the recent Constitutional Referendum in Cuba and months of nationwide discussions involving millions of voters. (Awaiting confirmation)