Left Forum 2013, New York City

Each spring Left Forum convenes one of the largest gatherings in North America of the U.S. and international Left. Continuing a tradition begun in the 1960s, the event brings together scholars and activists to share perspectives, strategies, experience and vision. 

Dr. Jill Stein will keynote this year’s Left Forum, and will be joined by dozens of other members of the Green Shadow Cabinet in panels, workshops, and a special reception. We urge you to register early and to look for updates regarding Green-specific events at the Forum.

For those who are new to the conference, we hope you can attend all three days of the conference. Participants who purchase the full three day registration ticket will be able to attend both opening and closing plenary sessions as well as alll of the panel, auditorium, workshop, and event sessions throughout the weekend. Single day tickets can be purchased online during the second half of the online registration process (beginning April 16th). 

Please note that all conference participants, panelists included, should register and pay the applicable fees. If you have any questions regarding your registration please email us at register@leftforum.org or contact the Left Forum Office at (212) 817 – 2002/2003.



June 07, 2013 at 3pm - June 10, 2013
Pace University
1 Pace Plz
New York City, NY 10038
United States
Google map and directions
Steve Welzer · · Forum Office at (212) 817 - 2002/2003
$65.00 USD · Purchase tickets

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  • Steve Welzer: It’s a coup for the Greens that Jill Stein will be a keynote speaker at this year’s Left Forum in NYC. I think it shows a “coming of age” for our movement as a leading force on the left in this country. A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. The conference is held each year in New York City.

    Left Forum 2012 involved 4,500 attendees, 1,300 speakers and over 400 panels. This year Noam Chomsky will be giving a special presentation on Saturday (2:00pm). In addition to Jill Stein’s keynote address Friday night, she and other prominent Greens will be featured on a variety of panels. If you go to the Search box of the Conference Schedule at the event’s web site and you type in “Green Party” you’ll see a listing of over 20 panels that have Green sponsorship or participation. Below is just a sampling:

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - Opening Plenary with Christian Parenti, Jill Stein and Immanuel Wallerstein Friday, June 7th, 7:00 pm

    Pace University’s Schimmel Auditorium
    1 Pace Plaza, New York City, NY

    “Fusion Breeds Confusion: Countering Cuomo’s Conservative Class Agenda”

    Session 1 W602 Sat 10:00am – 11:50am

    Led by Governor Cuomo, New York Democrats, well-funded by high-rolling financiers and corporate bosses, are using social liberalism on gays, guns, and abortion as cover for a conservative class agenda that is attacking public unions, workers and services, forcing municipal governments and school districts on to the road to insolvency and state-imposed financial control boards, and utterly failing to address the climate and ecological crises. On the liberal left, the Working Families Party and other liberal advocacy groups provide “critical support” to the Democratic coalition but fail to leverage progressive economic and environmental policies. On the right, the Republicans are only too happy to join in the Democrats’ conservative economic and environmental agenda while differentiating themselves by defending a conservative social agenda. How can New Yorkers build a powerful progressive political alternative based on class independence from the corporate rulers?

    Sponsored by: Green Party of New York State
    Chair: Ursula Rozum
    Speakers: Howie Hawkins, Gloria Mattera, Mark Dunlea, David Doonan, Cecile Lawrence

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    “A Cultural Renewal Through Democracy”

    Session 3 W503 Sat 03:40pm – 05:20pm

    As people are time and time again let down by their government, corporate America defining our society, and ignored by the community leaders. The people will increasingly unify together to solve their problems locally or independently. Rather than seeing a massive shift in electoral practices and systems, we will see more people and communities move “off the grid” and attempt to be more self sufficient. The time is right for third parties and independent candidates to make a move in the electoral arena. Many of the most oppressed communities are given presumed representation by elected officials, whether that be democrats claiming to represent the interests of poor minority and urban communities or the republicans claiming to represent the rural poor. For third parties to find success in this prime climate, they will need to actually engage these communities on local issues as opposed to the political norm of showing your face every 4 years and then forgetting.Technology will play a huge part in this, both opening new doors for self-sufficiency as the necessary tools and systems become priced more and more within the range of local communities and individuals. Technology could help communities come together, organize, and create a sense of self. Technology could help diversify power relations as traditional power roles are undermined. Technology could be the essential tool for political alternatives to efficiently organize communities to achieve electoral victory.

    Chair: A.J. Segneri (Green Party)
    Speakers: Chris Blankenhorn, Jason Jenkins, Asher Platts (Green Party)

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    “Labor: Stumbling Block or Ally in the Transition to Building an Ecologically Sustainable Economy?”

    Session 3 E308 Sat 03:40pm – 05:20pm

    The panel will discuss the important role of labor’s role in building the transition to an ecologically sustainable economy and some of the problems we face in a society where jobs are scarce. Panelists will include union activists and labor educators.

    Sponsored by: Against the Current
    Speakers: Howie Hawkins, Sam Gindin, Steve Downs

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    “The Political Economy of a Green New Deal”

    Session 3 E303 Sat 03:40pm – 05:20pm

    The “Green New Deal” slogan has been put forward in recent years from a range of political perspectives to deal with the economic and climate crises through public policies, investments, and employment to realize a clean energy transition and basic economic rights. The United Nations Environmental Program, the European Green Party, and Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream project have advanced reforms within capitalism under the Green New Deal slogan. More radical Green Party and ecological socialist currents have formulated the Green New Deal as an anti-capitalist transitional program. Growing out of the Jill Stein’s Green Party presidential campaign in 2012, a Green Shadow Cabinet has been formed to serve as a third voice in U.S. politics. Members of the Green Shadow Cabinet will outline such Green New Deal policy proposals as full employment, worker co-ops, fair trade, public banking, labor law reform, a guaranteed minimum income, and progressive fiscal and monetary policies. They will discuss the politics of winning such reforms to transition from corporate plutocracy to
    economic democracy.

    Sponsored by: Green Shadow Cabinet
    Chair: Margaret Flowers
    Speakers: Philip Harvey, Stephen Zarlenga, Richard McIntyre, Kalilah Collins

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    “The Road to the Third United States Social Forum — Towards a Social Forum of a New Type”

    Session 4 E321 Sat 05:30pm – 07:10pm

    Responding to the urgency of this moment of economic, social and ecological crisis, organizers of the US Social Forum have announced plans to convene the third US Social Forum. Following deep reflection and discussion of both the economic constraints and struggles of people and communities around the country and the capacities of social movements, planners are working to conceptualize and build a US Social Forum of a new type. The third USSF may be another large-scale convergence in a single city, a decentralized forum held simultaneously in multiple cities, or some other form that responds to movement needs and capacities. To develop the strategic vision and capacities of a national movement, the USSF process will support peoples movement assemblies (PMAs) and other types of local, thematic and/or regional assemblies to build towards and follow-up a national USSF convergence no later than 2015. This panel presents the strategic thinking and planning in the USSF process and discusses how different organizations, networks, and individuals can be part of the road to the next USSF.

    Chair: David Cobb
    Speakers: Cheri Honkala, Jerome Scott

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    “Socialize the Energy Sector!”

    Session 5 W613 Sun 10:00am – 11:50am

    Bill McKibben’s “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” shows that to keep global warming below the tipping point for climate catastrophe of a 2 degree Celsius rise, 80 percent of proven global fossil fuels reserves must remain in the ground and unburned. Those fossil fuel reserves are worth $27 trillion at today’s prices. It is inconceivable that 80 percent of fossil fuel reserves will remain unburned as long as they are controlled by profit-seeking corporations, whether privately or state owned. It is therefore time for the climate justice movement and the Left to raise the demand to socialize and democratize the energy sector. This panel will discuss the history, politics, and economics of energy democracy, including the public ownership model developed by US progressives in response to the 1973 energy crisis, the problems of autocratic state-owned oil companies that seek to maximize earnings rather than public and environmental good, and the role a national carbon tax and dividend system that includes carbon border taxes on the carbon content of imports can play in internationalizing energy democracy.

    Sponsored by: Green Shadow Cabinet
    Chair: Howie Hawkins
    Speakers: Jill Stein, Sean Sweeney, Charles Komanoff, Leonard Rodberg

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    “Green Shadow Cabinet: Another Government is Possible”

    Session 6 E326 Sun 12:00pm – 01:50pm

    Around the world, shadow cabinets are formed by opposition parties and coalitions to show that another government, with another set of policies and ideologies, is possible. Now, for the first time, the United States has a real shadow cabinet of its own, presenting the agenda of the majority that is unrepresented in Washington D.C. and responding to the actions of the capitalist parties in government. Can this new project – inspired by the Stein/Honkala presidential ticket – succeed as a multi-partisan, multi-tendency campaign to give voice and visibility to the real opposition in this country? Join us at this session to meet cabinet members (dozens of whom are panelists at this year’s Left Forum) and learn more.

    Sponsored by: Green Shadow Cabinet
    Chair: Ben Manski
    Speakers: Cheri Honkala, Jill Stein

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    “5 Years Longer, 5 Years Stronger: What Will it Take to Move from Resistance to Revolution?”

    Session 7 E326 Sun 03:00pm – 04:50pm

    Five years of post-2008 structural adjustment has produced a new U.S. political economy and resulted in the most significant anti-capitalist and anti-corporate protests in a century. Yet the Wisconsin uprising and the Occupy movement failed to substantially alter the existing social order. As working people regroup and our realities set in it is time to ask what the next 5 years of austerity and struggle will bring. Join Jill Stein, David Cobb, Cheri Honkala, moderator Ben Manski, and others in this roundtable discussion that looks forward to moving from resistance to revolutionary change.

    Sponsored by: Green Shadow Cabinet
    Chair: Ben Manski
    Participants: Jill Stein, David Cobb, Cheri Honkala
  • Please RSVP: Left Forum 2013, New York City