6/1 City Branch meeting

Wed 6/1 7pm
SCCC room 4115

1) Recent developments in the Middle East (40)

Join us to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing revolt and repression across the region with blogger extraordinaire JustJennifer! She has been following these events closely and helping get the word out from activists on the ground through the Eyes on Egypt and the Region group on DailyKos.

Read more analysis at Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Review:
Reigning in the Revolution
Turning point in the struggle?
Egypt's unfinished revolution
Libya's revolution, U.S. intervention, and the left
Hypocrisy, ideology, and imperialism

2) Socialism Conference (30)

Socialism 2011 will be the biggest gathering of the revolutionary left in this country and it's only about a month away! There is a huge opening to revolutionary politics right now, with people eager to discuss politics and get active! We'll discuss how our group is doing in ptrparing for the conference -- who we're talking to and how we're going to get them to the best political event of the year!  Check out the great article by Sherry Wolf on the conference just below this post -- and here's the promo video:

Socialism 2011 - Revolution in the Air from International Socialist on Vimeo.

3) Fundraising (30)

Following off the last point, it will take money to ensure that everyone who wants to go to the conference can. We will distribute fundraising letters, vote on a proposal to make bumper stickers, and split up to discuss plans for our upcoming garage sale and trivia night!

4) Announcements (10)


A Political Orgy for the Left

By Sherry Wolf, reposted from Sherry Talks Back

Where can radicals sit and have a beer with Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald, get advice from the man behind the 1968 Olympics Black Power fist, John Carlos, and share breakfast with criminal justice writer/activist Liliana Segura or Anand Gopal, whose unembedded reporting from Afghanistan is supreme?
Where do you go to discuss the meaning of revolutions in process and revolutions deferred with the participants in those struggles from Egypt and around the Middle East?
Socialism 2011: Revolution in the Air will highlight these folks and others, but more than 1,200 workers and students will be attending this largest gathering of the far left in the United States, taking place in Chicago, July 1–4, 2011.
Some of the participants and speakers giving the 100 talks will be familiar to progressives. Dave Zirin, the hilarious and insightful Nation sports columnist who snags regular appearances on Rachel Maddow, Morning Joe and ESPN will be there, as always.
Most are lesser-known figures. But once you hear Nicole Colson give one of her smashing culture talks—this year’s is called “A riot of my own: The Clash”—you’ll be a convert to this annual orgy of left politics, debate and entertainment.
This is no snoozy, academic affair, though academics will be well represented. They shed whatever pedantic leanings are preferred in academe in order to lead interactive discussions on everything from the history of Black Reconstruction to Marxism and morality.
Whether you’re looking to delve into questions about historical figures like Rosa Luxemburg, Crazy Horse and Malcolm X or sort through what it actually means to be a Trotskyist, this is the place to be.
If you’re tearing your hair out about economic questions—and really, who isn’t?—Joel Geier will crack you up as he takes you down a labyrinthian path to grasping the mutating crisis of global capitalism. Joel evokes a sort of Woody Allen meets Alan Greenspan persona, reborn as a flaming Bronx-raised Marxist. Trust me, you’ve never  laughed so hard while learning economics.
Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions leader Omar Barghouti will be speaking on that rising movement and yours truly will be taking on the myths of Zionism—AIPAC, watch out!
We’ll hear from the new generation of Latino, Black, women and LGBT leaders speaking on raunch culture, the legacy of colonialism, transgender struggles and capitalism and sexuality.
Veterans from labor struggles past like Dan Lane and new labor militants like Brian Jones and Megan Behrent fighting to revive Madison-like tactics—including many of that struggle’s leaders—will be there participating in discussions and giving talks themselves.
Sal Rosselli, head of the National Union of Health Care Workers and Steve Early, whose new book Civil Wars in U.S. Labor is out, will be among the hundreds of workers there trying to carve out a new direction for labor today. With Socialistworker.org‘s labor columnist, Lee Sustar, whose encyclopedic knowledge of labor history is truly stunning—you will get years’ worth of learning in one weekend.
I’ll be blunt, most Americans have never heard powerful public oratory from the mouths of ordinary activists and are blown away by the the insight and wit of Socialism speakers. Pull up a chair and listen to Sharon Smith, who was a child sweatshop worker from Rhode Island and is now a socialist activist and author. Or check out talks by Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor, Ahmed Shawki, Alan Maass or Paul D’Amato and you’ll ask yourself why the hell you’re stuck listening to uninspiring blowhards on TV when these folks can tear it up so effectively. (We do know the answer, of course, but all the same, they deserve their own shows.)
I cannot say or write enough magnificent things about this annual event because for me it has truly been life-affirming and transforming.
And lest you think that reds are a bunch of teetotaling chatterboxes—though sober yammerers are more than welcome and embraced—the parties are frankly a blast and often go on till morning with music, dancing, drinks and 3 am debates about modern art and dialectics.
I watched Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman practically sink to her knees in prayer when she first laid eyes on Haymarket Books’ thousands of titles and display of red lit. It is a sight our Barnes & Nobleized nation rarely ever glimpses.
There’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to public speakers and the range of talks at Socialism 2011. Do not miss this once-a-year opportunity to hang out, meet, learn and feel thoroughly human and accepted with a crowd of socialists.
Besides, there are revolutions taking place, where better to be than with a bunch of revolutionaries? It’s our time, revolution’s in the air!
Here’s a promo video, enjoy!

Socialism 2011 - Revolution in the Air from International Socialist on Vimeo.

The Seattle ISO is organizing a group of activists to attend the conference together -- if your interested in coming with us please email info@seattleiso.org or call 206-309-7274


5/23 & 24: Revolution in the Air: Build the Socialist Movement

Two events in May:

Monday, May 23, 7pm 
University of Washington Seattle Campus, Smith Hall 105 
RSVP on facebook

Tuesday, May 24, 7pm
Seattle Central Community College, Room 4115
RSVP on Facebook

Epic revolutions are spreading throughout North Africa and the Middle East and have shown that masses of ordinary people can take control of their own lives. The heroic struggle of theworkers of Wisconsin to defend their unions has inspired people across the country to fight back.

We need an alternative to the current system of austerity, war and profiteering - an alternative based on the needs of working people not Wall Street. Come to this forum and get involved inthe socialist movement!


Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a doctoral candidate in the department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. Her research looks at the struggles and campaigns of African Americans against housing discrimination and redlining in the late 1960s in Chicago. She wrote an award winning paper based on her initial research on Blacks and housing discrimination called, "The Race Tax: Black Chicago's Fight for Homeownership." 

She is active in local housing struggles in Chicago and is an organizer with the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign. Taylor has had several articles published on racism in the United States for publications like CounterPunch, The Black Commentator, Black Agenda Report, Gaper's Block, New Politics and the International Socialist Review among others. She is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review.

Below is a fabulous video of Keeanga speaking last year on "The Black Power Revolt of the 1960's"

Black Power Revolt of the 1960's - Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor from RedReel on Vimeo.

5/26: Panel: From WI to WA: How Can We Stop the War on Workers?

A Panel of Labor Activists Speak Out

7pm Thurs May 26th
Seattle Labor Temple
(2800 1st Ave, Seattle 98121)

The corporate elite and politicians have decided that workers, students, and the poor will pay for the economic crisis. Instead of taxing the rich and corporations, they’re using huge deficits as an excuse to attack workers’ rights and living standards.

But the massive uprising of workers in Wisconsin showed the potential to reverse this vicious assault. A mass sick-out–a strike–of teachers led to a weeks-long occupation of the capitol building and the largest labor rallies that this country has seen in decades.

Here in Washington, the state legislature is about to decide on $5 billion in cuts–most to be paid by teachers, students, public sector unions, the poor and the old. Yet several of the richest people in the world live in this state.

How can workers organize and fight? What struggles is labor currently waging?

Rodolfo Franco: President, Washington Federation of State Employees Local 304
Lee Newgent: Executive Secretary, Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council
Terri Mast: Secretary-Treasurer, Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific representing state ferry workers
Steve Garey: President, United Steel Workers Local 12-591
Dan Troccoli: Seattle Education Association and Seattle Equality Educators, eyewitness to Wisconsin revolt

Sponsored by Social Equality Educators


5/18: City Branch Organizing meeting

Wed 5/18
7pm SCCC room 4115

 1) Social Equality Educators  (40 mins)
Our members have been doing really important work in the Seattle teacher's union for the last several years and it is really starting to pay off. This coming week they're holding a forum on racial equity in education as well as a protest to school Chase bank. Hear about how this work is going, how we can help, and next steps. 

2) Socialism 2011 Conference  (30 min)
Chris will report back from the national conference call and next steps here in Seattle to build for Socialism 2011! Bring your ideas and think big for how we can win our closest contacts and allies to attending, publicize this far and wide, and fundraise to make sure everyone can make it.

3) Website changes - (30 min)
This will be the chance for the branch to weigh in a new design for the Seattle ISO website-- how do we want to promote and project ourselves online and any ideas and feedback.

4) Announcements (10 min)


5/19: Achievement Gap or Opportunity Gap? Fighting Racism in the Public Schools

Check out this great panel organized bySocial Equality Educators

Thursday, May, 19th, 2011—7:00 pm
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
1634 19th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122

James Bible, president of the King Co. NAACP*
Wayne Au, editor of Rethinking Schools
Olga Addae, President of the Seattle Education Association
Jesse Hagopian, teacher in SPS
Gabriella Gutierrez Y Muhs, SU Professor, Latin American & Women Studies
Rickie Malone, Former Principal, African American Academy and current teacher, SPS

Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently referred to the opening of the film Waiting for "Superman”-- which advocates charter schools and demonizes teachers’ unions--as a "Rosa Parks moment." And yet America’s oldest civil rights organization--including the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition--have published a harsh critique of Duncan's "Race to the Top" Initiative, specifically, its emphasis on promoting charter schools. Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walton family (of Wal-Mart infamy) suggest that more drill-and-kill standardized testing represents a civil-rights movement for education reform. What billionaire corporate education reformers don’t want to admit is that these tests narrow the curriculum--often to culturally biased norms--and that to truly improve education it will take fully funding the school system. In fact, without the proper resources, manageable class sizes, and anti-racist curriculum, what is commonly referred to as the “achievement gap” is better understood as the “opportunity gap.” With over $95 million in budget cuts looming for Washington State's public schools, it's time we build a real civil rights movement--led by parents, students and teachers--that can put education at the very front of our city's, state's, and nation's priorities.

This panel is guaranteed not to go beyond just talk about the problems in the public schools—instead providing concrete proposals for dismantling institutional racism in education that parents, students, teachers, and community members will soon begin acting on in the Seattle schools.

Please join us for this lively community forum featuring some of Seattle’s most important social justice education advocates! And bring your ideas for action!

Wayne Au
Professor of Education at the University of Washington, Bothell, editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, and author of Unequal by Design: The Standardization of Inequality and Rethinking Multicultural Education

James Bible
Civil rights attorney and the president of the King County chapter of the NAACP*

Jesse Hagopian
Teacher at Garfield High School, contributing author to the forthcoming Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation, and founding member of the Social Equality Educators (SEE), a rank-and-file committee of union teachers

Olga Addae
President of the Seattle Education Association

Gabriella Gutierrez Y Muhs
Seattle University Professor, Latin American & Women Studies

Rickie Malone
Former Principal, African American Academy and current teacher, Seattle Public Schools

*for identity purposes only.

Sponsored By: Social Equality Educators (SEE) and Parents Across America (Seattle Chapter)
Endorsed by: International Socialist Organization, Puget Sound Rethinking Schools
For more information: www.seattlesee.org, email: jessedhagopian@gmail.com, or call 206-962-1685


5/11 City Branch meeting

Wed 5/11 7pm
SCCC room 4115

1. The Impact of Osama Bin Laden's Assasination on National and International Politics 
40 mins

This week we'll have a discussion on the impact that Bin Laden's assassination has had on International and National politics. Check out the below Socialist Worker articles:

Cheering for war and empire
Assassination nation
Learning to love torture
The Exploitation of Nine Eleven

Re-legitimizing U.S. militarism

2. Organizing - 50 mins
In two weeks we will be hosting a stop on the national ISO speaking tour "Revolution in the Air Build the Socialist Movmeent" featuring Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. Keeanga is a frequent contributor to Socialist Worker, the International Socialist Review, and a fantastic speaker. We need to plan out our  game plan and publicity/prmotion for the event. We'll discuss as a group what we hope to get out of the meeting and then we'll break up into smaller working groups and discuss a game plan, nuts and bolts, of promoting the meeting.  Join us to help make this meeting a success


The list of workshops has been posted on the Socialism Conference Website -- Check it out! Some that I'm looking forward to are Out on the street: The housing crisis and the movement against foreclosures; Crime, cops, and capitalism; Nuclear madness: Why nuclear power is not a “clean” option; They fought back: Jewish resistance to the Nazis; and United front vs. popular front: Marxist strategy and tactics - But there are so many to choose from - check out the list and be sure to register if you haven't yet!


5/4: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Socialism but Were Afraid to Ask!

Are You Fed Up With Corporate Greed?
Budget Cuts? Endless War?
Racism? Islamophobia?
Homophobia? Sexism?
Environmental Destruction?

Then you may be a Socialist
Come ask your questions at this open forum!

5/4 @7pm
Room 4115, Seattle Central Community College, 1707 Broadway

RSVP on Facebook

We’ll discuss socialism—a society where people come before profit—what it is, what it means to be
a socialist today, how we can organize to put an end to the backwards priorities of capitalism, and how
you can get involved.


4/30 May Day Banner and Sign Making Party!

Join the ISO for a May Day Banner and Sign Making Party! 

Sat 4/30 6:30pm onwards
6810 40th ave NE, Seattle WA, 98115

We'll be painting a new banner and making pickets signs for Sunday's May Day March. Join us at Dan's house, We'll have sign-making supplies, bring snacks and drinks!

May Day March and Rally for IMMIGRANT AND WORKER RIGHTS!

Join us for the 2011 annual May Day March and Rally for Immigrant and Workers Rights!

12pm Sunday 5/1

Judkins Park
Wear a Red Shirt!

20th st and Weller st off of Jackson (St Mary's Cathedral)

Meet at 12 at Judkins Park and march to March  to a rally at Memorial Stadium, Sattle Center

1) An immediate legalization of status for everyone;

2) Respect our immigrant communities -- Stop the repression;

3) An immediate cease to the 287 (G), E-verify programs and secure communities program;

4) An immediate end of programs that break families apart, end to the dragnet raids and deportations en masse.

5) An immediate end to subsidies for detention centers

6) The right to educational access to all students

7) Stop the repression of trade unions; we demand freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

March with the ISO in the Anti-capitalist contingent:
This year we have seen the true nature of Capitalism:

  • massive cuts to education and social services
  • attacks on women’s rights
  • The continuation of imperialist wars
  • deportations and harassment of immigrants
  • layoffs and school closings in working class neighborhoods
May Day is our holiday and the commemoration of our struggle. Justice for all people! If you are fed up, march with us!

More info on facebook 

Anti-Capitalist contingent by: Black Orchid Collective, Seattle Solidarity Network, Autonomia Social Center, Red Spark Collective, Seattle ISO