5/28 Pack the UW Board of Regents Meeting!

1:00PM KANE HALL, room 110

OPEN TOWN HALL with Board of Regents

11:30 AM - Meet at Red Square for a pre-rally march to support the janitors. March to Northlake to the office of Gene Woodard their boss to demand that he stop layoffs, speed ups, and arbitrary shift changes. Then march back to Red Square to join other students and workers.

12:30 PM - Rally Against Budget Cuts, Tuition Hikes and Layoffs at Red Square in front of Kane Hall

1:00 - Pack the Board of Regents Meeting and help us make sure it is an open Town Hall Meeting. Come talk about how cuts are affecting you and discuss alternatives to the administration's plan.

Check out www.nobudgetcutsuw.blogspot.com for more info on the ABC coalition, the UW budget and proposed cuts to University services.


5/26: Prop 8 Day of Decision is here!

Prop 8 Day of Decision is here!

The California Supreme Court will announce its ruling on Prop 8 this coming Tuesday, May 26, at 10am.

Rally at 5:30pm at Westlake Plaza, celebrate if we win, protest if we lose.

Bring signs, banners, and bodies to Westlake Center to demand full marriage equality in Washington!

No "Jim Crow" domestic partnerships, no compromises, no excuses, no apologies!


5/20 What is Socialism?

Seattle Branch Meeting
Wednesday, May 20, 7pm
University of Washington School of Social Work Room 026 (4101 15th Avenue NE)

Political discussion: What is Socialism? (45min)
As Eric Ruder and Phil Gasper note in their respective articles in the latest International Socialist Review socialist ideas—however confused and distorted—have found their way into mainstream discussion in a way that would have been hard to imagine before the right wing started accusing Obama last summer of being a follower of Karl Marx. Ruder and Gasper begin by analyzing the distorted definitions of socialism, and finish by reviving the much more attractive vision of socialism as fought for by workers’ movements of the past and given theoretical expression by its most famous proponents, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Join us for a discussion of these articles and what the resurgence of socialist ideas means for activists today. If you haven't picked up a copy of the magazine, you can check out Eric Ruder's article “What is socialism” online.

Socialism 2009 Conference updates (15min)
The west coast meeting of our annual Socialism 2009 conference is a little over a month away! We'll have a brief update on registration, reading plans to get ready for the conference, publicity and logistics.

Anti-Budget Cuts Coalition at UW (30min)
Several of our members on campus are involved in the newly formed Anti-Budget Cuts (ABC) coalition to fight cutbacks at the University of Washington. Hear about how the organizing is going so far and plans for the coming weeks.

Announcements (5min)


5/13: Marx is Back! How Socialist Ideas Can Change the World

Join the ISO and
guest speaker
for a discussion and debate about the relevance of Marxism in today’s world as well as how activists and militants can best organize to actually win the socialist society that we so badly need.

10am-noon * Seattle Central Community College * Broadway Performance Hall

7-9pm * Univ. of Washington * Gowen Hall , room 201

They said that Marx was dead--that capitalism had triumphed. Then came the realities of globalization and neo-liberalism, the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The recession-headed-for-depression has vindicated Karl Marx's critique of capitalism, and the endemic crises, which is produces. Even mainstream journalists and economists have started to admit that Marx was onto something on this score. But they want nothing to do with the alternative he put forward: democratic workers' control of production, distribution and exchange.

The time has come to revive genuine socialism--not simply as a critique of the system, but as an organized force that can link the new generation of struggles that are just beginning to arise to the future struggle to uproot the exploitative system that created crazed financial speculation, enormous inequality, a gravely damaged environment and endless imperial wars.

The ISO is committed to, participating in the struggles for justice and liberation today as well as laying the foundations for a revolutionary socialist party. Join us for a discussion and debate about the relevance of Marxism in today’s world as well as how activists and militants can best organize to actually win the socialist society that we so badly need. As Marx himself said, "Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point is to change it!"

Guest Speaker: Todd Chretien
Todd is a longtime activist and socialist in the International Socialist Organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a regular contributor to Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Review, and is the editor of the forthcoming Debating the State: Marx, Bakunin, Lenin and Kautsky (Haymarket Books). Todd was an organizer in the national presidential campaigns of Ralph Nader in 2000 and of Nader and Peter Camejo in 2004. He was the Green Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate from California in 2006.

Todd Chretien, 2008 Post-Election Perspectives, Dec 14, 2008

Suggested reading to further discussion:

Socialism's Comeback a Socialist Worker Editorial


5/6 Why we need to build a Revolutionary Party

Proposed agenda for Wed 5/6 Meeting
UW School for Social Work room 026

1. Discussion -- Why we need to build a Revolutionary Party now (1hour)
We will be discussing these two articles:
Socialists and Movements By Joel Geier ISR #47
Lenin's Theory of the Party by Todd Chretien ISR #56

In this hour we can dig into the politics of why we need to build a revolutionary socialist party along side our work in broader social movements  (Joel's article) and why it is we argue for a vanguard party (Todd's article) a concept which has been historically misconstrued by both the left and the right.

This discussion will be a great lead in to next wednesday's meeting with Todd Chretien, who is coming up from california to discuss the relevance of Marxism in today’s world as well as how radicals can best organize to actually win the socialist society that we so badly need (see next post for a longer description).

2. Socialism 2009 Update and Talks Discussion 25 mins
Updates from the Conference organizing conference call and then time for people to share what talks they are personally interested in going to. In the past we have decided to attend certain talk(s) as a whole branch to further our political development as a group. Look over the talks and come with ideas and suggestions so we can discuss and hopefully decide on our priority talks.

3. Political Announcements 5 mins


5/1 Socialism '09 Launch Party featuring Son of Nun

After the May Day March, help the ISO launch our
Socialism 2009 Conference:
Building a New Left for a New Era

with Revolutionary Hip-Hop Artist Son of Nun

Dance, discuss activism, learn about the most exciting Left-wing political event in the US and help raise money for Seattle activists to travel to Socialism 2009, July 2-5 in San Fransisco.

Son of Nun
Friday, May 1, 2009 at 8:00pm
Hidmo, 2000 S. Jackson St

$5 Suggested Donation

Opening for S.O.N:

Red Eye Flight

Son of Nun is far more than a political hip hop artist and an activist. He's also a former Baltimore City high school teacher. He's survived cancer and battled sickle cell anemia. Public Enemy's Chuck D once described him as "[Leaving] a mean look on somebody's face" for being "More than relevant!" S.O.N. doesn't just entertain his crowds, through uncompromising lyrics and his deeds, he empowers them.

S.O.N. has shared the stage with everyone from artists like Dead Prez, Immortal Technique to activists like Rosa Clemente, Howard Zinn and Cindy Sheehan. Educating and entertaining, he's kicked it with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine as well as Liam Madden from Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Check out the Facebook event, S.O.N's Website, and Myspace

More about the
Socialism 2009 Conference: July 2-5 in San Fransisco

Building a New Left for a New Era

The world economic crisis has shattered the free-market consensus that has dominated politics for the last generation. Meanwhile, the end of the conservative era and the election of the first African American president have raised expectations among working people that long overdue change is at hand. With capitalism in crisis, even some in the mainstream media are admitting that Karl Marx was right.

There has never been a better time for those who want to see fundamental change to get together to debate, discuss and organize for a new society—a society based on the needs of the many instead of the whims of a few. We need to organize a new left to meet the challenge of this new era.

That’s the purpose that Socialism 2009—expanded to two sites this year—has set for itself. Gather with activists from around the world to take part in dozens of discussions about changing the world: How can we end racism? What kind of organization do we need? What would a future socialist society look like?

Yes we can organize for socialism in the 21st century! ¡Sí se puede!