Sunday, April 30, 2006

May 1st in Durham and TMF update

May Day events in Durham:
El Centro Hispano is planning an open house/community
forum - 201 W Main Street in Durham - 3:00 to 5pm (?).

For more information call them at 919.687.4635.

ReImagining May Day: International Worker's Day
Community Forum

May 1st.

Listen. Share. Empower. Act. (a Durham People's
Alliance committee) and the May Day Committee Bring
you this wonderful Community Forum.  What is May Day?
A short article:
provides a great overview and history of the workers'
holiday.  We will highlight the history of May Day as
a workers' day, learn more about current worker issues
from a diverse panel and discuss what they mean to us
locally. Finally, we will regroup together to share
any activism or insights that came out of the break
out groups.

The Five panelists will speak on:  health care,
immigration, unions, fair trade and family matters.
Representatives from The Forest Foundation, NC
Committee to Defend Health Care, El Pueblo and others
will be on the panel.

We will meet at Durham at the Friends' Meeting House
on May 1st, 2006 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.  The address
is 404 Alexander Ave in Durham.  For more info call
641-5474 or 544-7397.  If you are interested in
helping facilitate the small groups, please let us

The May Day Agenda:

Understanding May Day and its HISTORY  (We will hold a
moment of silence to honor those workers who fought
hard for a reasonable work day, a weekend and other
worker rights.)  15 minutes
Current ISSUES and a 5 person PANEL discussing for 5
minutes each, followed by q&a.  - 45 minutes
GROUPS break-out around issue with facilitator (from 5
or more issues) for a plan of action, building deeper
awareness or getting involved in current activism….30
Groups can share their discussion with others if
desired, especially if action items or activism comes
out of it to invite others to be involved in. 30

When: May 1st, 2006 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: Friends Meeting House located at 404 Alexander
Ave in Durham.  For directions and a map visit:
Triangle Marxist Forum update:
Currently the next meeting is scheduled for Saturday,
June 3rd 1:30-3:30 at the Chapel Hill Public Library
again.  Does this work for everyone who wants to participate?

This was another small meeting, in part because some
people were out of town or busy.  I think the lack of
an ad in the Indpendent contributed, along with the
late publicity.  We talked about several different
things, but also referred to the readings.  Some
subjects were the origins of materialism and
dialectics, how is Marxism scientific?, the crisis in
modern academic anthropology, and why the US isn't
more revolutionary after all that has happened to American workers and the people in general.

I haven't decided about the next readings yet, but
they will be about how capitalism works and might
include part II of the Communist Manifesto, the next
section of the Teachings of Karl Marx, something from
Marx's Wages, Prices and Profit, Capital, or some
other text, and a modern case study.  Let me know if
you have suggestions.  I'm not sure if more of Zinn's
book would fit for the next topic.


Another Freeing the Mind program, Predatory
Class War, is coming up on The People's Channel in Orange

See above for the May Day events.  There was also a forum at the Hayti Heritage Center this afternoon that sounds like it was very similar to the event tomorrow evening.  It was not publicized much (at least where I might hear of it), so there was duplicated effort. 

Friday, April 28, 2006

Reportback about the town meeting on impeachment Thursday

The town meeting went pretty well and I've heard that
it could have been the best one yet in terms of
discussion and interest. There might have been around
60 people, up from 55 at the Hillsborough event, but
less than the Auditorium's capacity. Did anyone make
an exact count? I thought there were around 30 when I
got there, but later there were more people and I
might have underestimated. The crowd was somewhat
diverse, but mostly white and there were few people
under 30. GRIM, the Durham and Orange Co. BORDC's,
Kent Kanoy, and Stan Goff tabled.

Thanks to Joan, also representing the Durham Bill of
Rights Defense Committee, and John for moderating
(Joan moderated during the first half and John did so
for the second half). The meeting started with three
songs by the Raging Grannies, including one on
impeachment and the one saying "I'm going to let it
shine." Stan spoke first, linking the case for
impeachment to the Iraq War and from there to social
issues such as the huge and predominantly black US
prison population. He also pointed out Democratic
Party cooperation with Bush and the need to exert
pressure on both parties. Al McSurely spoke next and
talked about strategy and GRIM's list of impeachment
objections and answers, from the objection that
getting rid of Bush gives us Cheney to the argument
that working for impeachment detracts fron other
causes. Rev. Curtis Gatewood spoke about the
hypocrisy of "Bush Christians" (unfortunately none
came) and also linked impeachment to working class
issues and poverty.

There was time for several questions and comments.
There was some back and forth discussion, especially
about whether Iran will be attacked overtly and how
this could be sold to the public. We could have
talked for a while, but the Library was close to
closing. Kanoy was invited to speak briefly. Bowser,
a former Durham official and candidate for sheriff
this year, attended. I plan to write more here on
what was said later.

I'll write about the process of organizing this later,
since it could be useful for future events. I don't
think any of the media we contacted attended this time
and we don't have a recording. It could have been
better organized, since some decisions were made at
the start of the meeting and it started late, and the
publicity was good but could be better. There also
might have been conflicting election related events.
At the earliest we could have a second Durham event in
June without being in too much of a rush. In the
future it would be good to have women speakers
represented, but we were not able to find anyone this

What are other people's impressions of or comments
about the meeting (see also, the unofficial
campaign blog)?

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Durham town meeting on impeaching Bush and Cheney Thursday

Come discuss the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney,
the process, and what citizens can do, Thursday, April
27th, 7-9pm in the Auditorium (to the right at the
entrance) of the Durham Main Library (300 North
Roxboro St.). Featured are NC NAACP 2nd Vice Pres.
Rev. Curtis Gatewood, civil rights lawyer Al McSurely,
Raleigh activist and author Stan Goff, and the Raging

This meeting was organized by the non-partisan Grass
Roots Impeachment Movement and follows the format of
the previous Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough
town meetings. The next GRIM meeting might be around
May 19th. A formal organizing meeting was last Friday
in Chapel Hill, though the group has been around since
the beginning of the year under that name. Pittsboro
and Raleigh town meetings are being planned (and we
could use help). You can contact me by commenting here
or emailing me at and
are also useful local sites and GRIM's new listserve
is The petition to Price
is still available online at and on
paper in various places. There is also a campaign to
have people wear orange for impeachment on Fridays

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Triangle Marxist Forum meeting April 29th

The last meeting, March 25th, went well, though it was not as well organized as it should have been and we are still on the same topic this month. The next meeting will be in the afternoon on Saturday, April 29th, 1:30-3:30 at the Chapel Hill Public Library in the conference room downstairs from the lobby. I announced this earlier by email, but I've been late in posting it here.

I procrastinated and am still busy, so I'm suggesting readings for the meeting only now. The readings are: the Communist Manifesto, Sections I and II; The Teachings of Karl Marx, also called Karl Marx - A Brief Biographical Sketch With an Exposition of Marxism (by Lenin) , in Section I, Marx's Teachings to the section Marx's Economic Doctrine, and Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, chapter 5, especially towards the end where Zinn writes about the US Constitution. I might suggest short articles about the revolutionary politics in Venezuela and Nepal also, so we have three concrete examples, along with theoretical works to look at.

Chapter 4 Section II of A Short History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik) goes into more detail, but is basically like the Lenin text. I'll postpone beginning argument about Stalin, if that is necessary, till later. I think we should discuss Stalin, pro and con. I argue that Stalin was a Marxist who has been villified because the Soviet Union under his leadership was so succesful in building and defending an alternative to capitalism.