February 14 to 16, 2015 (Oakland, CA)

download a copy of the brochure (.pdf)

Speak Out  Now!  Revolutionary  University  2015: Tools  for  Changing  Society  

We  all  know  that  we  face  huge  problems  in  our  personal  lives,  on  the  job  and  in  the  world  around  us.  These  problems  are  bigger  than  any  one  of  us.  But  together  we  can  and  must  find  solutions.    Join  us  for  three  days  of  presentations  and  discussion  of  some  of  the  challenges  we  face  today.  Come  to  all  of  the  sessions  or  choose  the  ones  that  interest  you.


Saturday,  February  14

The  State  of  America’s  Unions  –  Marriage,  Family  and Relationships
Today  the  effects  of  the  economy  and  politics  on  our  lives.    Dr.  Harriet  Fraad  is  a mental health  counselor  and  therapist  in  NYC   2:30-­5pm From  France  to  Greece  – Who  will  decide  the  Future  of  Europe?  -­‐  Raphaël  Preston  –  activist  in  the  French Revolutionary  Group  “L’Etincelle”  (The  Spark) 6:30-­9pm The  Basic  Economics  of Capitalism  as  a  System   –  Richard  Wolff,  economist,  author  of  “Capitalism  Hits  the Fan”  and  other  writings.

From  France  to  Greece  –  Who  will  decide  the  Future  of  Europe?
Raphaël  Preston  –  activist  in  the  French  Revolutionary  Group  “L’Etincelle”  (The  Spark)

The  Basic  Economics  of  Capitalism  as  a  System  
Richard  Wolff,  economist,  author  of  “Capitalism  Hits  the  Fan”  and  other  writings.

Sunday,  February  15

Imagining  the  Alternatives  –  Science  Fiction,  Socialism  and  the  Future
Science  fiction  writers  Terry  Bisson,  Nick  Mamatas  and  Lisa  Goldstein

Taking  to  the  Streets  in  Hong  Kong  –  Behind  the  “Umbrella  Revolution ”
Skype  with  Au  Loong  Yu,  revolutionary  activist  and  editor  of  China  Labor  Net

 Mexico – Disappeared  Students  and  the  Current  Political  Situation
Anabel  Hernández  and  Steve  Fisher  Investigative  journalists,  currently  fellows at  the  Investigative  Reporting  Program  UC  Berkeley

Monday,  February  16

Racial  Oppression  and  Class  Exploitation   –  What  Strategies  for  Liberation  Today?
Gerald  Smith  –  longtime  activist  in  the  black  and  working  class  movements.

Our  Role  In  Transforming  The  World
Speak  Out  Now,  followed  by  time  to  talk  and  socialize  –  Drinks  and  snacks provided.

February 15 to 16, 2014 (Oakland, CA)

download a copy of the brochure (.pdf)

Speak Out Now! Winter Revolutionary University 2014: Tools for Changing Society


Saturday February 15, 2014

Changing the World! Can We Do It?
Sasha Lilley & Eddie Yuen, authors of the recent book “Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth”, discuss that in order to transform society, we need to look at the situation we confront – whether it is climate change, war, or the financial collapse – as challenges to be dealt with, not catastrophes that are out of our control. Then we can engage in effective organizing.

2:30 – 5pm
Forced Migration and Exploitation
Investigative reporter David Bacon’s new book: “The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration” exposes the way globalization and U.S. policy fuel the forces that drive Mexican migrants across the border. He will be discussing the situation of people who are pushed to come to the United States, where they face criminalization and are exploited by bosses who pay them poverty wages – if they even pay them at all.

Human Nature Is Not Our Obstacle
Richard Borshay Lee, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of
Toronto disagrees with the view that the competitive and aggressive nature of capitalist society is a reflection of our human nature. For 90 percent of our history as humans, we lived as hunter-gatherers. Sharing and cooperation, not aggression, have been the key to our success as a species. Lee is known for his studies of hunting and gathering societies, starting in the 1960s, in Southern Africa. He will share his insights from his decades of research and experiences.

Sunday February 16

Global Warming – A Product of Capitalism
Joel Kovel, a well-known ecological activist and author on many topics, including the social and political causes of the current environmental crisis. He will be skyping with us from the East Coast, sharing his insights into the process of human created climate change. Kovel says we don’t need to work to regulate the destruction of the environment. We need a different system – we need socialism.

Sunday, February 16:  2:30-5:00pm
The Corporate Domination of the Media
Mickey Huff
, director of Project Censored and professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College (DVC), will be discussing the corporate control of the media and presenting the Award winning Film, “Project Censored The Movie,”which takes an in-depth look at what is wrong with the news media in the U.S. today and highlights the work of the research group, Project Censored.

Sunday, February 16: 6:30-9:00 pm
Science in Service of the Corporations
Dr. Ignacio Chapela, Associate Professor of Microbial Ecology at UC Berkeley, has been studying the impact of genetically modified plants and the misuse of science and its impact on our planet for years. His research and activism has challenged the dominance of agribusiness and genetic engineering in dominating our foods. He will discuss the role of corporate funding of scientific research in universities and how that distorts science and affects the universities and our lives.

Monday, February 17: Noon–2:30 pm
Video – “You’ve Got To Move”
The story and current activities of the Highlander Center – a school for training activists in the South who were instrumental in organizing integrated unions in the ‘30s and in the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s. Still going strong today, this movie shows some of the current fight backs against toxic waste dumping and mountain top removal.

Monday, February 17: 3:00–5:30pm
Our Role in Transforming the World
Jacques Morand, a revolutionary activist in France for decades, will discuss the situation confronting us today and prospects for change in the future. Across the world we have seen people stand up against the forces of oppression only to find themselves trapped under regimes that don’t represent their interests. The challenge today is for the working class to organize its forces beyond the national boundaries imposed on us and spread its struggles internationally.

What can we do here in the U.S. and in the Bay Area? SpeakOut Now – How can we organize and play an active role in the struggles around us and build the kind of organization that can play a role in truly transforming society?

January 19 to 21, 2013 (Oakland, CA)

download a copy of the brochure (.pdf)

Speak Out Now! The Early Winter Revolutionary University: Tools for Changing Society


Saturday, January 19

Why the Future is Socialism
Capitalism only promises a future of increasing exploitation for ourselves and the planet, but what do we replace it with? This morning we will look at the problems of capitalism, and how socialism – a society run by the workers – is not only a goal worth fighting for but a necessity for the survival of the human race.

Stateless Societies
What is human nature? It is too easy to look around our society and imagine that human beings have always lived like we do today. But in fact for 95 percent of human history, human beings lived in egalitarian, communal societies with no government, no army, no police, no courts, no taxes, and no jails. Working Class Struggles of the 1930s.

Film – With Babies and Banners
In the 1930s in the U.S., the working class launched one of the biggest strike waves in history. Workers across the United States sat down at their factories and occupied them. This evening we will see Babies and Banners, a film about the 1936 strike at General Motors in Flint, Michigan. More than any other strike of the 1930s, this struggle showed the power of the working class, and the role of working class militants and

Sunday, January 20

The Origins of the Working Class And the beginning of Marxist Philosophy
Marx said “Philosophers have interpreted the world, but the point is to change it!” This morning we will look at the origins of the working class, and the beginning of the struggle of the workers against capitalism. And we will see how philosophy can be used to understand society – how it can be changed, and the role of individuals in making that happen.

Marxist Economics
Capitalism is a system based on exploitation. But, every bit of wealth created under capitalism is created by the working class. This gives the working class the power to transform society. This afternoon we will look at how the economy of capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class.

Struggles of the 1960s: the Black Movement
In the 1960s, one of the deepest and most powerful social movements in U.S. history took place. The black population, mostly working class, did more in a decade to tear down racism than people had done in generations. We will look at this incredible social movement to see how people transform society, and transform themselves in the process. We will see how just a few people can change the course of history by organizing with others. But we will also look at the limits of that struggle if the fundamental structures of society are not changed as well.

Monday, January 21:

The Paris Commune
In the Paris Commune of 1871 the working class created a government unlike any other – a government by the working class, for the working class. In doing so, they showed for a brief time what a workers revolution will look like – struggling for a just, humane, and equal society run by the workers themselves.

The Russian Revolution
In 1917, the working class of Russia made a much deeper revolution, which like the Paris Commune, put the working class in control of the society. But unlike the Paris Commune, the Russian Revolution took one step further, and began the struggle to spread the socialist revolution to the rest of the world.

Struggles of the 1960s: The International Youth Revolt
In 1968 young people all over the world, both workers and students struggled against every government and every form of oppression. This evening we will look at the international dimensions of the 1960s and how social movements are able to spread world-wide.