8/26 - How the Democrats Sold Out Health Care Reform -- &-- Union Update: SEA

Join us for a 2-part meeting on the Healthcare Reform Debate and The Seattle Teachers upcoming contract negotiations

Wed 8/26 7-8:30pm
University of Washington School of Social Work Room 032 4101 15th Avenue NE

1. How the Democrats Sold out Health Care Reform - 55 minutes

THE HEALTH care industry is determined to strangle any proposal in Washington for real reform--and the Democrats are acting as accomplices, having given up without a fight on a single-payer system that could actually solve the health care crisis--they're allowing the measures they do claim to support to be gutted of anything that might make a difference.

Support for a radical overhaul of the health care system, with a leading role for government-run programs, has never been greater. But with health care legislation expected to take shape over the coming weeks, it seems like Democrats are giving away the store before it even opens--in the name of bipartisanship and political "realism."

Come discuss the current debates and what a real left-wing alternative would really look like.

Check out the recent news on the healthcare debates:

Socialist Worker - Surrendering to the Status QuoProfit and Healthcare Don't MixHow the Democrats Sold Out HealthcareA Prescription That Makes the Patient SickerKeeping Real Reform off the Table Making Excuses for Healthcare Non-ReformRight Wing Thugs and Corporate "Reforms"The Story of Medicare

2. Union Update: What's In Store for Seattle Teachers? 55 minutes
The current Seattle Education Association's contract negotiations come as Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and the Seattle Pubic Schools have turned the screws on teachers and education in Seattle -- eliminating SPS’s office of Race and Equity, closing over a dozen schools in primarily minority neighborhoods, and recently laying off 200 teachers and assistants during teacher appreciation week. Join us for a discussion of the struggle in the union for a fair contract and the fight in the city for quality education for all Seattle students


8/19 Book Discussion: Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation.

Join us for a discussion of the new book by Sherry Wolf, Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation.

Sexuality and Socialism is a remarkably accessible analysis of many of the most challenging questions for those concerned with full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

Inside are essays on the roots of LGBT oppression, the construction of sexual and gender identities, the history of the gay movement, and how to unite the oppressed and exploited to win sexual liberation for all. Sherry Wolf analyzes different theories about oppression—including those of Marxism, postmodernism, identity politics, and queer theory—and challenges myths about genes, gender, and sexuality.

Pick up the book at any ISO tabling event or buy it online from Haymarket Books


8/12 IRAN BOILS OVER From the 1979 Revolution to Rebellion in the Streets Today

Part of the Monthly Forum Series
From the 1979 Revolution to Rebellion in the Streets Today

Wednesday, August 12, 7pm
UW School of Social Work Room 032
located on the corner of 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St in Seattle's University District (map).

Iranian society is experiencing its greatest upheaval since the 1979 Revolution.

What began as anger over election fraud exploded into protests of millions of people in the streets of Iran's cities, animated by social and economic grievances and raising the possibility of revolutionary change. Two months after a disputed election provoked mass demonstrations in the streets of Iran the mainstream media has largely moved on. Nonetheless, the struggle continues as the brutal government crackdown inspires new waves of resistance. Come to an open discussion on the history of Iran’s last revolution, the roots of the current crisis, the massive social upheaval -- and where the situation might be heading.

Check out some recent articles about developments in Iran and join us this Wednesday for a discussion of the background to the current crisis and what lessons activists from the US can learn from Iran.

Iranian Print Workers Speak Out


Iranian Dissident Journalist Akbar Ganji Blasts Mass Trial in Iran, Torture of Prisoners

Suggested Reading on the Iranian Revolution and Iranian history:

Revolutionary Rehearsals ed. Colin Barker - Chapter on Iran
Revolution and Counter Revolution in Iran by Phil Marshall
Why Washington hates Iran by Barry Sheppard (download pamphlet here: http://links.org.au/node/619)


8/5 ISR Discussion: U.S. labor in the crisis: Resistance or retreat?

Join us for a discussion of the new issue of the International Socialist Review

Wed 8/5 7-8:30pm
University of Washington School of Social Work

THE ELECTION of Barack Obama last November seemed to promise a new era for organized labor. With Obama in the White House and a solid Democratic majority in Congress, it appeared that unions would finally be able to get action on their main legislative agenda—passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a measure that would make it easier for workers to join a union. And a victorious factory occupation at the Republic Windows and Doors plant captured the imagination of the country, and even got some encouraging words from Obama himself. Soon afterwards, workers at the huge Smithfield pork processing plant in North Carolina voted to unionize after more than a decade of vicious anti-union actions by the company. Hopes were high that unions were set to go on the offensive.

A few months later, the picture is quite different. What followed wasn’t similar victories, but one of the most catastrophic setbacks in the history of the U.S. labor movement. Private employers were demanding, and obtaining, concessions from unions in industries ranging from newspapers to trucking companies. Even as expectations of Obama mounted in advance of Inauguration Day, Chrysler and General Motors were slashing jobs and gutting union contracts as they drifted toward bankruptcy amid the worst economic slump since the Great Depression

We will be reading the following ISR articles, and discussing economic crisis, the state of the US labor Movement and
how to revive social movement and class-struggle unionism.

In the Second part of the meeting we will brainstorm ideas for our Northwest Socialist Conference in November 2009.

Joel Geier
The free fall is over, but the crisis continues

Lee Sustar U.S. labor in the crisis: Resistance or retreat?

And Check out these great videos -- A
panel discussion with Brian Cruz (SIEU 1021) Adrienne Johnstone (UESF) Sal Rosselli (NUHW) and Michael Yates (Monthly Review Magazine) on Social Unionism and Joel Gier's Talk The Economic Crisis: How Bad Will it Get? both at Socialism 2009 in San Francisco.

Social Unionism: Putting the Movement back in the Labor Movement - Socialism 2009 in San Francisco from RedReel on Vimeo.

Marxist Economist Joel Geier on "The Economic Crisis: How Bad Will It Get" 2009 SF from Silver Persinger on Vimeo