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Solidarity Conference Set to Meet before FTAA

On April 6-8, Activist will gather at Penn State University for the second Annual Solidarity Conference. The conference seeks to bring together different progressive activist to learn about topics and share tactics. Keynote speakers include Howard Zinn, Jello Biafra, Laura Whitehorn, Seth Tobocman and Michael Albert.
Until activist start to get their shit together and get a better understanding of other people’s positions in the bigger picture lasting social change will not happen. That is the premise behind the Solidarity Conference at Penn State University on April 6-9.

The conference will feature two and a half days of workshops, speakers and culture. During that time activist will be learning about the diverse voices that make up the social movement that is vaguely labeled as “progressive.”

The hope is that a space can be created to allow activist to communicate freely with each other. One of the topics that will likely be at the front of discussion will be upcoming anti-FTAA mass protest in Quebec and beyond.

Workshop themes cover topics from political perspectives to creating a sustainable lifestyle. Discussions on protester’s rights will be timely for FTAA. Informative workshops on radical democracy will present a different vision of society other than capitalism; something that has not been thought about enough.

Confronting sexism, racism and heterosexism in the movement are all topics on the board. The need to recognize and correct acts that re-enforce old structures of domination are vital to allow for the interaction of diverse people for social change. One workshop is about creating cross-cultural alliances, doing away with the one-size-fits-all approach to social change.

Saturday afternoon will give people the chance to listen to Howard Zinn. Zinn, a historian who sees that history is also written by those who are the losers, will likely entertain and inform the crowd with the stories of past struggles for social justice. Zinn’s most well known work has been A People’s History of the United States.

Throughout the conference there will be an effort to tie many of the world’s unsocial problems into the larger push for neo-liberal globalization or the corporate free trade model. That push has helped to increase the damage to the environment, uprooted culture and threatens the ideal of democratic institutions.

Jello Biafra will be speaking on Sunday, giving his wry brand of humor and social observations.

After the two and a half days of workshops, the activist will go back home. Hopefully with a little more knowledge in their skulls for the long fight ahead.

The web site for the Solidarity Conference is: www.geocities.com/solidarityconference
 
 

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