Speak Out Now Revolutionary University 2014 (February 15 to 16, 2014 – Oakland, CA)

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.

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.

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? Speak Out 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?