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The Next Two Years and Beyond: A Movement Building Conference
November 17, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thank you for attending “The Next Two Years and Beyond”. Watch the talks on video!
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 9am-5pm • Simmons University, 300 the Fenway, Boston, MA 02115
The return of the Democratic Party to control of the House of Representatives opens new possibilities for holding the Trump administration accountable and to block its attacks on labor and working people, tax cuts for the rich, sharply increased military spending, anti-immigrant and xenophobic policies, and escalated racism, sexism, and attacks on LGBTQ people. But the election also served to consolidate the Republican Party as a powerful white supremacist Christian nationalist force. The reactionary forces that have been unleashed and organized by Trumpism are determined to continue their offensive in the years to come. The far right still controls the Senate, the Supreme Court, and most state governments, and less than 24 hours after the polls closed, President Trump declared “war” on those who dare to hold his administration accountable.
Thus the struggle for decent living standards, social justice, democracy, the environment and peace moves into a period of still greater intensity. This is a time to redouble our commitments, organizing and advocacy.
A wave of progressive candidates were among the Democrats who won election to Congress and other offices. They represent the best of the movement that is resisting Trumpism, exemplified by Black Lives Matter, the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, Poor People’s Campaign, Women’s Marches, Fight for $15, March for Our Lives, and the responses to Charlottesville and to the separation of migrant families.
The resistance to the reactionaries is divided between the progressives, who seek fundamental changes in the economy and social structure to the benefit of working and oppressed people, and the neoliberals or centrists, who seek the stabilization of the corporate order and accept austerity and militarism. Although we need to join with the centrists to fend off the reactionary assault, we also seek to build an independent, powerful, coherent and energetic progressive movement that seeks fundamental solutions and that will contend for national power in 2020 and in the years to come.
A major weakness of the progressive wing is a tendency to avoid confronting U.S. militarism, particularly the dangers of nuclear war and of war with Iran, Korea, and Russia.
The goal of this conference is to take stock of the political landscape after the midterm election, chart the path towards a unified progressive movement over the coming years, and educate and motivate our supporters towards more effective and more unified efforts.
See the Conference Schedule
Simmons University Main College Building
Breakouts: (See Detailed Descriptions)
Morning Session (11:15am)
State Legislature Initiatives Current and Coming
Climate Justice Emergency
Palestine in Crisis
The Future of the Judiciary
Women of Color: Race, Politics, and Mobilization
Building the Movement for Healthcare Justice
Black Lives Matter: A radical imaginary for democracy in the 21st Century
Agenda of the Far Right Wing
Higher Education and Student Debt
Poor People’s Campaign: Meet the Participants
Afternoon Session (3:50pm)
Two Minutes to Midnight: Campaigning to Reverse the Growing Nuclear Dangers
From Explosions to Solutions in Merrimack Valley
Immigrant Resistance: the fight for our families and nation
Middle East Wars: New Dangers, New Opportunities
Anti-Racism for activists
Housing, Displacement and Homelessness
Labor Militancy and Economic Justice
Building a Movement for Educational Justice – from funding equity to testing sanity
Faith and the progressive movement
Registration: General admission $35 in advance, $40 at the door; Member of a cosoponsoring organization $25 in advance, $30 at the door; student or low income, $10. Includes morning coffee, lunch, and post-conference reception. Register online at next-two-years.brownpapertickets.com, or mail check to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138 and write “Next Two Years” on the memo line.
Transportation and parking: See details in grey box at right.
Childcare: Childcare will be provided for those who preregister by Nov. 14 and request it. Please indicate number of children during the registration process.
ASL Interpretation: ASL interpretation will be provided if requested before Nov. 14. Please indicate during registration process.
Endorsers: Organizations are invited to endorse the conference. Endorsers can set up a literature table, will be acknowledged at the conference, and are encouraged to publicize the event to their members. A sliding scale contribution between $25-100 is requested to help offset our expenses. Endorsers can sign up at next2yrs-endorse.bpt.me/. If your tabler wishes to attend sessions, they should also register.
Sponsors: Massachusetts Peace Action, American Friends Service Committee, Black Lives Matter Boston, Progressive Democrats of America, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament, and Common Security, Progressive Massachusetts, and Our Revolution Massachusetts.
Endorsers: Institute for People’s Engagement; Greater Boston Trade Justice; United for Justice with Peace; Boston Democratic Socialists of America (DSA); Wolf-PAC MA; Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment; Voter Choice Massachusetts; Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility; North Shore Coalition for Peace & Justice; House of Peace; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
Questions: Cole Harrison, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-354-2169, or any of the sponsors, with questions or to participate in this effort.