Jim Lafferty • Abby Martin • Shakeel Syed • Ed Rampell • Gloria de la Riva
Saturday, 12 October, 3:45 p.m.
A discussion of the need for socialists and other progressives to form a modern day “united front” if we are to win such goals as: ending capitalism and the economic injustice it creates; save planet Earth from the horrific consequences of climate change; prevent nuclear weapon destruction; and, end all forms of discrimination and xenophobia. No one socialist or progressive group or organization, fighting alone, can expect to prevail against the powerful United States Empire. While all social, political and economic movements have their own goals to fight for, until and unless they find a way to create a sufficient measure of unity to form a “united front” against their common oppressor, which is capitalist America, they will realize little or no success. This does not, of course, mean there must be only one grand coalition in America that embodies all socialist and progressive causes. But it does mean that all major socialist and progressive causes must at least develop networks and mechanisms through which they can far better coordinate their efforts; support one another and act in harmony more than is presently the case. This panel will explore various viable and practical ways to do this.
Jim Lafferty is the Executive Director Emeritus of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles; for the past 30-years the host of the weekly public affairs radio show, The Lawyers Guild Show, airing on Pacifica Radio; an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California; an elected Fellow of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California; Chair of the Board of the Office of the Americas; and, for the past 50+ years, a nationally recognized leader in various anti-war, anti-racism, anti-sexism and civil rights and liberties movements.
Abby Martin is an investigative journalist who, in 2015 launched the investigative documentary and interview series, “The empire Files”, sponsored primarily by the government of Venezuela. She was the host of “Breaking the Set” for RT, and hosts the podcast “Media Roots”. Ms. Martin is on the Board of Directors for the Media Freedom Foundation, which manages Project Censored. Among her many film credits is “99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film”, which she co-directed.
Shakeel Syed is the Executive Director of the Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (“”OCCORD””); the former Executive Director of the Shura Council of Islamic Mosques of Southern California; the former Chair of the Board of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice; and a current member of the Governing Boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and of Death Penalty Focus of California.
Gloria de la Riva was, in 2016, the candidate for President of the United States of the Party for Socialism and Liberation; and in 2018 was the candidate of the Peace and Freedom Party for Governor of California. La Riva was the Director of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, and is now the First Vice President, of Pacific Media Workers Guild, CWA 39521 h. She has produced a number of documentary films, including “”NATO Targets””, “”Workers’ Democracy in Cuba””, and “”Genocide by Sanctions: The Case of Iraq””.
Ed Rampell is a freelance journalist and author of books. As a journalist he has reported for ABC News, Reuters, AP, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand, and NewsWeek, among others. He has contributed work to The Nation, The Guardian, the Washington Post, In These Times and AlterNet. His books include “”Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States””, and he co-authored “”Conversations with W.S. Merwin”” and the film histories: “”Made in Paradise, Hollywood’s Films of Hawaii and the South Seas””, and “”Pearl Harbor in the Movies.