Left Forum 2010: The Center Cannot Hold – Rekindling the Radical Imagination

The ongoing capitalist crisis generated high hopes that the parties and social movements of the Left, both in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, would be re-energized. So far this has not happened. The Left remains fractured and confused, drifting away from its labor base, while the Right seems to have emerged as the stronger or at least the more strident force. The result is that unemployment remains high, wages low, and insecurity grows. In the U.S., the Obama administration negotiates from the center, and concedes more and more to business interests and political conservatives. Can this be turned around? Can the hardships and opportunities generated by the capitalist crisis yet become the trigger for the revival of a transformative Left?


Saturday, 12-14 Uhr

Can Obama Be Moved? Movement Strategies to Pressure Party Politics (RLS)

Margit Mayer (Chair) – Free University, Berlin

Jenny Brown – Co-chair, Alachua County Labor Party, National Women’s Liberation

Pete Sikora – Working Families Party, Communication Workers of America

Ethan Young – Portside, Brecht Forum

Eric Mann – Labor/Community Strategy Center, Los Angeles

Saturday 15-17 Uhr

Roundtable on Left Strategies in the Core Capitalist Countries (Transform!)

Walter Baier (Chair) – Coordinator, Transform Network

Ruurik Holm – Left Forum, Finland

Sam Gindin – Socialist Project, Toronto

João Romão – Bloco de Esquerda and Cultra, Portugal

Greg Albo – Socialist Register

Richard Wolff – Economics, UMass (Emeritus); International Affairs, New School University; Rethinking Marxism

Cornelia Hildebrandt – Die LINKE; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

Saturday 17-19 Uhr

Union Strategies, Poor People’s Movements and Crisis (RLS)

Jan Rehmann (Chair) – Union Theological Seminary

Willie Baptist – Poverty Initiative

Janice Fine, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University

Saladin Muhammad, Black Workers for Justice, Electrical Workers

Lian Hurst Mann – National School for Strategic Organizing

Christina Kaindl – “We-Won’t-Pay-for-Your-Crisis” Coalition, Germany

Sunday 15-17 Uhr

Understanding and Responding to the Crisis: The Left in Europe and the U.S. (Transform!)

Walter Baier (Chair) – Coordinator, Transform! network

William K. Tabb – Economics, Queens College

Jeremy Brecher – Global Labor Strategies

Rainer Rilling – Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

João Romão – Bloco de Esquerda and Cultra, Portugal


Venue: Pace University, One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038