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Social Movements / Public Talks Archive

January 29, 2020

Money for AIDS, Not For War

The "Money for AIDS, Not for War" ritual/protest was held 35 years ago by Enola Gay, a self proclaimed faggot affinity group, on September 23, 1984, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 50 miles east of San Francisco. It was the first recorded use of direct-action civil disobedience anywhere in the world in response to the AIDS crisis. (ACT UP/New York was founded three years later.) Veterans of that moment return to discuss direct action in the depths of the Reagan counter-revolution, the connections between war spending and social crises, the long resistance from below to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the vibrant queer left tradition of resistance still alive in San Francisco, with Jack Davis, Robert Glück, and Richard Bell.

Video here.

December 4, 2019

Seattle/WTO Shutdown: 20th Anniversary

On November 30, 1999 the World Trade Organization was prevented from meeting in Seattle by unprecedented phalanxes of self-organized protesters who filled the streets, tied up key intersections, blockaded the convention center, and used video and the internet in ways they’d never been used before. Bay Area activists were in the middle of it all, and veterans of that experience will revisit that moment to help us rethink this moment. With Anuradha Mittal, David Solnit, Eddie Yuen, Steve Stallone, and Starhawk.

Video here.

October 15, 2019

For the Record: Eyewitness Testimonies of the police murder of Luis Góngora Pat

Luis Góngora Pat was a Mayan indigenous man, murdered by San Francisco police officers on April 7, 2016 on Shotwell Street near 19th Street in the Mission. His killing came in the wake of other homicides by police of Black and Brown communities members. His family pursued every legal avenue available, including a civil case which was settled in January 2019. Three and a half years later, the story of this brutal murder is at risk of being buried because key eyewitnesses never got their day in court. But their story must be told. Two primary eyewitnesses--Christine Pepin and S Smith Patrick--will present their testimony in an open setting, getting the facts onto a public record. Adante Pointer,the family civil rights lawyers, will attend to support the narrative with facts on the record. In connection with the San Francisco Public Library "One City One Book" program. Co-sponsored also by Justice 4 Luis Góngora Pat and Shaping San Francisco.

Video here.

October 9, 2019

Expanding San Francisco’s Common Wealth

Rejecting the paradigms of capitalist San Francisco, let’s look at a radically expanded Common Wealth, starting here, but with implications for our entire society: A public bank, free broadband internet, a low-cost public electricity system, dense community gardens and public orchards, widespread high-quality social housing, expanded land trusts, bicycles and free public transit, free innovative childcare (actually a whole new approach to integrating play into everyday life!), a renovated public school system to match a new urban economy, and and and... Della Duncan, Julie Levak-Madding, Julia Glanville

Video here.

May 8, 2019

The Women of Los Siete de la Raza

50 years after the arrest of seven young men from the Mission District galvanized a movement, women gather who were active in creating the multi-faceted community response that grew out of the Los Siete Defense Committee. From Basta Ya!—the newspaper—to Centro de Salud and La Raza Information Center and a free breakfast program, explore a lasting legacy in this plática including Donna James Amador, Yolanda M. Lopez, Judy Drummond, and author Marjorie Heins (Strictly Ghetto Property). Eva Martínez moderates.

Co-hosted by California Historical Society

Part of a series of events commemorating 50 years since the formation of the Los Siete Defense Committee

Video here.

March 13, 2019

Dockworker Power in the Bay Area and South Africa

Peter Cole’s new book Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area uniquely compares and contrasts the radical activism of dockworkers on opposite sides of the planet. The San Francisco-based ILWU took direct action to block apartheid-era cargoes, while their counterparts in Durban, South Africa were on the front lines confronting the racist South African government. ILWU Local 10 (ret.) Jack Heyman introduces the evening.

Co-hosted by Freedom Archives

Video here.

December 5, 2018

Movements of Movements

Editor Jai Sen of Movements of Movements joins Shaping San Francisco and YOU for an open discussion. Breaking with our usual format, this entire evening is a discussion open to all participants. Co-hosted by PM Press.

No audio recording. Video here.
October 24, 2018

Rethinking 1968: What Happened, How Has It Shaped Us?

Rarely has the entire globe seen such a far-reaching revolt as the revolutionary upheavals of the 1968-70 era, whose effects continue to reverberate for better and worse through to our time. Join critical analysts and participants Judy Gumbo, George Katsiaficas, Mat Callahan, and Carlos Muñoz for a provocative historical inquiry. Co-hosted by PM Press.

Video here.

October 3, 2018

Women, Power, and the Vote:
1911 Suffrage to the 2018 Midterms

Given the predictable buzz developing about the 2018 midterm elections and the predictions of a blue wave/a female wave, we want to convene a discussion rooted in history that can critically take on this frame of mind, especially in light of the recent election of London Breed and the likely re-election of Dianne Feinstein. It's not like we haven't had decades of powerful female politicians and leaders who have by and large done things that reinforced the world they inherited rather than pursuing agendas that may have helped unravel it. What have we learned about women and power? Working-class San Francisco women were key to the campaign for the Vote in 1911. Does representative democracy still represent anyone? Will women getting elected make a difference? Will the approaching midterms produce a turn to the left and if so, what role will women play? We’ve had decades of powerful female politicians who have mostly reinforced the world they inherited rather than helping unravel it. What’s next? With Maya Chupkov, Zoe Samudzi, Sue Englander

Video here.

December 13, 2017

San Francisco's Freeway Revolt

Today’s San Francisco and our village-like neighborhoods, charming architecture, and quality of life is indebted to the Freeway Revolt that shocked the nation between 1956 and 1965. Most histories have focused on the politicians and city leaders who argued and voted in those years, overlooking the vital role of the emergent middle-class women who spearheaded the Revolt, and kept it going against overwhelming odds. Decades later, a second Freeway Revolt helped reclaim the Embarcadero and Hayes Valley from the blight of freeways, leaving us in the current configuration we have today. With Jason Henderson, Evelyn Rose, Chris Carlsson

Video here.

October 18, 2017

50th Anniversary of the Stop the Draft Week Protests

Join the California Historical Society, Shaping San Francisco, and the Oakland Public Library, Main Branch, for a panel discussion that explores the intentions, planning, and outcomes of the historic October 1967 protests against the United States draft and the Vietnam War in general. Hear from organizers, including members of the “Oakland Seven,” who were tried for conspiracy and found not guilty by an Oakland jury, and from historians and others who will share context and stories of that era. With Frank Bardacke, Karen Jo Koonan, and Charles Wollenberg, and Chris Carlsson moderating. Event at the Oakland Public Library Main Branch, 125 14th Street, Oakland, CA  94612

No audio for this event. Video here

May 31, 2017

Summer of Love or Vietnam Summer?

Music, Art, & Politics of 1967: Was it all peace and love or did the anti-war movement really define the era? A conversational antidote to the narrow interpretation of a memorable summer in the City. With Calvin Welch (author, activist, and USF Faculty), original Digger Judy Goldhaft (Planet Drum Foundation), Mat Callahan (The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in SF, 1965-75), and Pam Brennan (Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tours).

March 22, 2017

We've Done This Before: 1980s Movements

The fight against the Reagan administration’s war build-up, emergency response against Central American wars, birth of the Peace Navy, stopping the USS Missouri, creating sanctuary cities, AIDS and Anti-Nuclear activism. We bring it up to climate justice & no nukes today. With activists and archivists Marcy Darnovsky, Steve Stallone, Lincoln Cushing, and Roberto Lovato.

October 26, 2016

Death of Money: Diggers 50 Years Later

From free food to free stores, free money, and free communication, the Diggers defined a politics a half century ago that continues to exert a powerful influence on radicals today. Original participants in the Digger movement, Judy Goldhaft, Jane Lapiner, and David Simpson, describe the interventions, confrontations, and celebrations that ushered in the Death of Money, and later the Death of the Hippie. Eric Noble, Digger archivist, will show how archiving itself is a form of making history, and brings history across time while shaping contemporary sensibilities.

October 12, 2016

Compton's Cafeteria 50th Anniversary—The Transformation of Trans Politics and Identity

Felicia Elizondo recounts her experiences in the Tenderloin when trans women erupted on a late August night in 1966 and rebuked police harassment with an epic mini-riot at Compton’s Cafeteria at Turk and Taylor. The audience joins the conversation to help illuminate the long path over the decades to today’s high profile trans activism, still beset by obstacles and conflict within the gay community as well as the larger surrounding culture.

September 14, 2016

Hunter's Point Riot, 50 Years Later

The 1966 Hunter’s Point riot has disappeared into the fog of San Francisco’s lost memories. Erupting after police shot a young African-American man running away from a stolen car, it led to martial law and military patrols in both Hunter’s Point and the Fillmore. Join us as we hear from Darrell Rogers who lived through the riot, trace San Francisco’s black community history up to the present, and examine the stark similarities between then and now with Adriana Camarena, active with several coalitions seeking radical reform of local policing practices after multiple police murders in the past few years.

The first 40 minutes of the program consists of video clips, which are mostly embedded on pages, with one on the San Francisco Bay Area Television archive at San Francisco State University. The links are here in the order they appear (in most cases you'll have to scroll down the page to find the playable videos)

1. "Take This Hammer" on (first 8.5 minutes)

2. Darrell Rogers on his experiences with the Congress on Racial Equality fighting widespread segregation in San Francisco 1962-64

3. "Point of Pride: The People's View of Bayview/Hunter's Point" (minutes 5:32 to 9:06) on

4. Thomas Fleming on HP Riot on

5. John Ross on blockading the Armory on

6. Willie Brown at BV Community Center, and young man interviewed here:

7. "Race Riot of 1966" by Dante Higgins here:

October 14, 2015

Housing is a Human Right!

Enrique Reynoso of Mexico City’s Organización Popular Francisco Villa de Izquierda Independiente (OPFVII), also known as “los Panchos,” reports how tens of thousands of people occupy land and build thriving, autonomous communities in the heart of one of the world’s grittiest cities. Outside of political parties they promote urban self-government, community safety, and autonomous education, culture, and health. Bárbara Suárez Galeano joins him.

Co-presented by The Mexico Solidarity Network

September 23, 2015

Prisoners and Politics: from the San Quentin Six to Pelican Bay

California holds more prisoners than any other state while the U.S. incarcerates far more people than anywhere else on earth. During the 1960s and 1970s a political movement erupted among the imprisoned—Dan Berger’s new book Captive Nation takes us through that political history. We welcome Luis “Bato” Talamantez and David Johnson — both original members of the San Quentin Six, and Caitlin Kelly Henry — a local attorney who coordinates the National Lawyer’s Guild “Support from Outside the Walls” prisoner support series.

Co-sponsored by Freedom Archives.

April 29, 2015

Union Demise and New Workers’ Movements

Bureaucratic labor unions, long besieged, seem incapable of defending, let alone advancing, workers’ interests. In Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, workers are rejecting leaders and forming authentic class-struggle unions rooted in sabotage, direct action, and striking to achieve concrete gains. Manny Ness, editor of New Forms Of Worker Organization, and Steve Early, contributor to Continental Crucible: Big Business, Workers and Unions in the Transformation of North America and author of Save Our Unions, co-hosted by PM Press.

April 1, 2015

Vietnam War, Dissent, and the U.S. Military

A half-century after the Vietnam War officially began, we’ll look back at military mutinies, the rise of the volunteer army in response to the “Vietnam Syndrome,” and situate the Vietnam War in the long history of U.S. military aggression, even pre-dating the founding of the United States. Paul Cox, Deni Leonard, Michael Blecker.

January 14, 2015

Home on the Grange

“Grange Future” celebrates the history and contemporary expression of ‘the grange idea.’ From the 19th century populist movement that backed the early campaign for an “information commons” in the form of Rural Free Mail delivery, to public banking and Farmers co-op banks, this vital movement is re-emerging to confront information and agricultural monopolists of our own era. Severine von Tscharner Fleming leads a panel discussion with the Internet Archive's Brewster Kahle and Matt Senate from the Omni Commons and Sudo Room Hackerspace.

December 10, 2014

Latin American Social Movements

Clif Ross and Marcy Rein, editors of Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements present a broad overview of the social movements that have pressured one regime after another in Latin America, changing the political calculations for everyone from right to left, from Venezuela to Argentina, Mexico to Chile and more.

Co-hosted by PM Press

October 29, 2014

San Francisco’s Housing Wars 2014

Decades of displacement and eviction have reached another crescendo during 2013-14. Key activists from the 1990s to the present will share tactics and strategies as the war enters its latest stages.

With James Tracy with his new book Dispatches Against Displacement, Erin McElroy of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and Maria Zamudio of Causa Justa.

October 1, 2014

A History of LGBTQ Spaces . . .

Where you Least Expect Them

At the outset of the LGBTQ History Month of October, a group of distinguished historians come together to orient us to queer historic sites and events in the city. They reflect on those that have been torn down and what it means that these centers of community are missing, and present a sampling of the many still extant social, cultural, and sexual spaces, and why these places are critical components of LGBTQ history. The presentation also showcases the work going into the Citywide Historic Context Statement for LGBTQ History, a planning document that will serve as a guide in the documentation and commemoration of LGBTQ places in San Francisco.

With Glenne McElhinney, Gerard Koskovich, Shayne Watson, Donna Graves, and Felicia Elizondo

December 4, 2013

Remembering Los Siete

The seven young men who became iconic heroes of San Francisco's left and Latino political ferment in the 1970s were eventually acquitted of murder. While the campaign to defend them led to an explosion of social organizing, we know little about how these men's lives developed in the years that followed, losing track of real people in the mists of political legitimacy and hero-worship. Vero Majano takes a documentary look at what happened to Los Siete in the decades since the famous trial, and gives us a chance to ponder the relationship between "historic characters" and real lives, heroism and compromise, triumph and regret. Majano takes us on a subjective journey that illuminates the real history of the neighborhood in a way that most accounts gloss over, a conversation joined by Ray Balberan and Francisco Flores.

November 6, 2013

Confronting Cultural Genocide

Doesn't European and American history in San Francisco begin with genocide? What does this mean in practice? Today, we have the chance to talk with people who descend from some of those who lived here before 1775, when Europeans arrived. We can't change what happened, but history is ongoing, including assumptions we hold today. What can we learn about San Francisco, the US, Europe, the Ohlone and Native America from this dialogue? Can "we" change who "we" are? The Ohlone Profiles Project wants to engage the city in a long term conversation and Shaping San Francisco is helping initiate their effort.

October 2, 2013

The Red Army Faction—
Dancing With Imperialism

Co-editor J. Smith of the three-volume documentary history of the emblematic urban guerrillas will be in town to discuss his work, the life, times and enduring relevance of the RAF.

"A fascinating history of the German revolutionary left in the 1970s and 1980s. It powerfully situates the RAF within a broader orbit of revolutionary politics and world events. It gives us the inside story of how militants did and might engage with police, prisons, informants, media and one another in the context of struggle. It is an exciting story, a global story, and very much a story for today's movements." —Dan Berger, editor of The Hidden 1970s

co-sponsored by PM Press and Freedom Archives

May 20, 2013

"We are not machines!"
The Situation and Struggles of the iSlaves in China

Foxconn, the world's biggest contract manufacturer, employs more than one million people in China alone, working for Apple and many other brands. Foxconn's workers, the iSlaves, face horrendous working conditions while producing iPhones and iPads. In 2010 a series of worker suicides at Chinese Foxconn factories drew world-wide attention. The situation has not changed much since: instead of improving conditions, Foxconn accelerated the relocation of factories to the Chinese hinterland, and still relies on its militaristic management regime. However, Foxconn-workers are far from being quiet victims. They have used every-day forms of resistance against the assembly line and have held strikes in various Foxconn factories around China. The talk is based on's collective research, by a member of the collective gongchao.

March 13, 2013

Asia's Unknown Uprisings

The 2nd volume of George Katsiaficas's monumental study of Asian Revolutions, this provides a unique perspective on uprisings in nine places in East Asia over the past five decades. While the 2011 Arab Spring is well known, the wave of uprisings that swept East Asia in the 1980s became hardly visible. Katsiaficas relates Asian uprisings to predecessors in 1968 and shows their subsequent influence on the wave of uprisings that swept Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s. By empirically reconstructing the specific history of uprisings in the Philippines, Burma, Tibet, China, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand and Indonesia, significant insight into major constituencies of change and the trajectories of these societies becomes visible. Co-sponsored by PM Press.

February 20, 2013

The Revolution of Everyday Life

With translator Donald Nicholson-Smith. There is a grain of truth in the stereotypical view that Guy Debord and Raoul Vaneigem, as two leading lights of the Situationist International, stood for two opposite poles of the movement: the objective Debord versus the subjective Vaneigem: Marxism versus anarchism: icy cerebrality versus sensualism: and, of course, The Society of the Spectacle versus The Revolution of Everyday Life --the two major programmatic books of the Situationist International, written by the two men without consultation, both published in 1967, each serving in its own way to kindle and color the May 1968 uprisings in France. Born in Manchester, England, Donald Nicholson-Smith is a longtime resident of New York City. As a young man he was a member of the Situationist International (1965-67), and his translations include Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle (Zone) and Henri Lefebvre's The Production of Space (Blackwell), as well as works by Jean-Patrick Manchette, Thierry Jonquet, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II. At present he is at work on Apollinaire's Letters to Madeleine, as sent by the poet from the trenches of Champagne in 1915.Co-sponsored by PM Press.

October 17, 2012

Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle

Longtime radical feminst Silvia Federici talks about the international restructuring of reproductive work and its effects on the sexual division of labor, the globalization of care work and sex work, the crisis of elder care, and the development of affective labor.

October 10, 2012

Ohlone Profiles Project

The largest living Ohlone tribe began a migration from San Francisco's Mission Dolores in 1834 and now lives in Pomona, CA. From June 2012 to November 2013 the Ohlone Profiles Project is bringing this peninsula's original inhabitants back to this land where they will be holding community meetings, healing ceremonies, and other gatherings to begin a Truth and Reconciliation process between the City and the Tribe. Fresh from a Big Time Gathering on Indigenous Peoples' Day (October 6) at the Presidio Parade Grounds, and the annual sunrise ceremony honoring the 1969 Occupation of Alcatraz (October 8), Ohlone Profiles Project directors Mary Jean Robertson and Neil MacLean and members of the Tribe will discuss the Ohlone Tribe's return.

September 12, 2012

Mexico Today: Dinosaurs, Popular Refusal, and Hashtags!

Mexicans are experiencing unprecedented levels of violence but are responding with unprecedented levels of mobilization at the base of society. From the No Más Sangre movement to the #yosoy132, Mexican people are contesting established powers and “prehistoric” institutions. How do we reconcile the return of the PRI with an insurgent population determined to rewrite their own history? Join the conversation with locals and visitors alike…

April 11, 2012

West of Eden: Communes and Utopia in Northern California

In the shadow of the Vietnam War, a significant part of an entire generation refused their assigned roles in the American century. Some took their revolutionary politics to the streets, others decided simply to turn away, seeking to build another world together, outside the state and the market. West of Eden charts the remarkable flowering of communalism in the '60s and '70s, fueled by a radical rejection of the Cold War corporate deal, utopian visions of a peaceful green planet, the new technologies of sound and light, and the ancient arts of ecstatic release. The book focuses on the San Francisco Bay Area and its hinterlands, which have long been creative spaces for social experiment. Haight-Ashbury's gift economy—its free clinic, concerts, and street theatre—and Berkeley's liberated zones—Sproul Plaza, Telegraph Avenue, and People's Park— were embedded in a wider network of producer and consumer co-ops, food conspiracies, and collective schemes. With editor Iain Boal, contributor Lee Worden, and Project One veteran Kathy Setian. Co-hosted by PM Press

March 28, 2012

Selma James and George Katsiaficas

Selma James speaks on her new book "Sex, Race and Class--The Perspective of Winning; A Selection of Writings 1952-2011." James discusses the class divide in feminism, the anti-capitalism of the social wage, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Haiti: Black Jacobins then and now and much more! With her was George Katsiaficas, author of the just-released "Asia's Unknown Uprisings: South Korean Social Movements in the 20th Century," and he gave an account of the largely unknown 1980 Guangju uprising, which rivals (and exceeds) the 1871 Paris Commune in its remarkable radicalism, direct democracy, success in repelling a much better armed military, and more. Co-hosted by PM Press

March 14, 2012

Rebooting the Rainbow

In the 1960s the Black Panther Party for Self Defense joined with the Puerto Rican Young Lords and the poor White Young Patriots Organization in the Original Rainbow Coalition (pre-Jessie Jackson). The model of "organize your own but fight together" was an attempt to build broad unity in dispossessed communities while dealing with the realities of racialized capitalism head-on. Come join a discussion of this history and what its going to take to keep the 99% together for the long-haul. Panel discussion will include a slideshow of the art of the Rainbow Coalitions. On the panel: Pam Tau Lee (member of I Wor Kuen), Joe Navarro (Los Siete De La Raza Defense Committee), Killu Nyasha (Black Panther Party) and Amy Sonnie and James Tracy (co-authors of "Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times")

February 22, 2012

Policing San Francisco: 1930s-1960s

Hank Chapot will present his work on the 1937 Atherton Report: "In 1935 San Franciscans were shocked, shocked, to hear reports of ordinary police officers with extraordinary wealth. Mayor Angelo Rossi and the Board of Supervisors put up $75,000 dollars to fund an independent investigation of the SFPD and it's crooked cops, hiring the private investigation firm Atherton & Dunn. The investigation and grand jury testimony pointed directly at bail bondsman Pete McDonough, San Francisco's greatest boss. The Atherton Report, released in March 1937, rocked the city and the police establishment and initiated the inexorable fall of the House of McDonough." Chris Agee will present his work on the 1960s: "During the 1960s San Franciscans grappled over the appropriate role of the police in an urban democracy. By examining the Police-Community Relations Unit, the Police Officers' Association, and the administrations of Mayors George Christopher and Joseph Alioto, this talk will explore how rank-and-file police officers maintained their street-level discretion during the period in which San Francisco's city hall embraced an increasingly inclusive political arrangement."

February 15, 2012

Corporate Personhood?!?

“Corporate Personhood” is being widely discussed after a couple of decades of slowly growing awareness of the creeping expansion of corporate legal rights since the late 19th century. After the Civil War in the 1860s corporations took on new forms, new legal rights, and new power. David Cobb, Phillip Pierce, Susan Harmon, and Chris Carlsson will talk about the origins and and describe the evolution over time.

January 25, 2012

Occupy Everything! An Open Discussion

The Occupy movement that started in September in the U.S. and has spread across the country, with dramatic events in Oakland, San Francisco, and other locales serves as the starting point for an open community discussion. What are the politics of this moment? How shall we understand our own activity, how does it fit into a longer historical perspective? Is this really so new? If so, what next?

November 16, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Alternatives to Mass Education

Mark Twain once quipped, "I never let school get in the way of my education!" This panel of educators will share how they live that idea working in school systems. Sean Burns moderates a panel of educators — Victor Diaz, charter school founder; Will Grant, high school teacher and founder of BLAST; and Lynn Murphy, program officer for the Hewlett Foundation's Global Development and Population Program — who have successfully co-created programs with their communities that are progressive, develop student leadership, and empower communities to address social justice issues. Their work ranges from recreating schools as centers for social research and action in Berkeley and New Mexico to shifting the dialog about education in Africa. We all know the problems – hear some solutions that are working.

September 21, 2011

Dublin Community Activism Against Drug Addiction

The film Meeting Room by Jim Davis shines a powerful searchlight on a controversial moment in recent Dublin history. It tells the contested story of the Concerned Parents Against Drugs (CPAD) movement from its emergence in the early 1980s to its decline with the imprisonment of some of its leaders at the end of that decade. CPAD began in response to the explosion of drug addiction in Dublin in 1982 when a lack of action from the authorities meant that residents of the flats complexes where heroin was available were on their own. A mass movement was born in response and dealers were confronted with meetings, patrols, checkpoints and late night evictions. But CPAD’s direct action strained its relationship with the authorities and the media. Charges of vigilantism and republican infiltration dogged the movement and undermined it. Hostility in the press, prosecution in the courts, and a violent response from criminals was all balanced against successfully tackling the dealers as the movement rose and fell during the 1980's in Dublin. An audience Q&A follows the film.

May 18, 2011

Mission Politics in the 1970s: Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78

Take a look at the politics and culture of the Mission District of 40 years ago including Sandinista organizing, the rise of Third Worldism, and the Mujeres Muralistas. With contributors to the new book Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-78 Alejandro Murguia, Jason Ferreira, and Patricia Rodriguez.

April 27, 2011

Overcoming Work and Sacrifice

Surprising numbers of people too often accept or encourage a “collapse of civilization” as a necessary precondition for radical change. Editor Bernard Marszalek and Chris Carlsson discuss the 19th century visionary Paul LaFargue’s re-issued book The Right to Be Lazy along with their visions of a post-capitalist life that imagines a life of abundance, generosity, and cooperation.

April 20, 2011

Radical Approaches to Organizing Work

Listen to a conversation about network forms of work and their relationship to capitalism, business, and alternative ways of producing our world. Michael Whitson moderates a panel including Shereef Bishay, of Better Means, an open and democratic project management system; Chris Carlsson, author of Nowtopia; and Gordon Edgar, author of Life on the Wedge and member of Rainbow Grocery Workers' Cooperative.

March 16, 2011

Movements and Political Generations

“The past is not dead, it is living in us, and will be alive in the future which we are now helping to make.” —William Morris

With the apparent end of one era and the dawning of a new — and unknown one — we turn our attention to the question of inheritance and new generations. We want to think about the way political generations form, and whether the experience of past generations can play a useful role in this. How do those who have been through previous generations of struggle prepare for the emergence of new movements? What role can past experiences play? Or will the expectations produced by past histories obscure what is new about the situation? And, since this problem cuts both ways, how do emerging generations relate to previous movements, without conceding ground and losing their singularity? How do we allow the past to “live in us,” while preventing it from weighing “like a nightmare upon the brains of the living”? We are joined by David Harvie and Keir Milburn, members of The Free Association (Leeds, England), authors of Moments of Excess: Movements, Protest and Everyday Life; David Solnit, global justice organizer and author of The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle; activists in the local student movement Aaron Benanav, Robert Hurly, and Caitlin Manning; and Gifford Hartmann.

Co-presented by PM Press.

March 9, 2011

The Struggles of the Balkans and Romani in Fact and Fiction

Not only have the Balkans been obliterated by NATO 'humanitarian intervention', eviscerated by imposed neoliberal economic restructuring, and their peoples — particularly the Roma gypsy flung to the corners of the earth — but they've suffered the indignities of centuries of lies, caricature, distortion, and misinformation. Here to discuss, disturb and offer a gentle corrective or two, is a panel of folks from the Balkans and its environs. With Andrej Grubacic, Yugoslav author, most recently, of Don't Mourn, Balkanize!; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, historian and author; Sani Rifati, of Voice of Roma; and Laura Fantone, activist and Visiting Scholar at San Francisco Art Institute. Co-presented by PM Press.

December 15, 2010

Navigating the Criminal Courts: A Guide for Activists

Ben Rosenfeld, a San Francisco-based civil rights and criminal defense attorney who specializes in representing activists, provides an overview of the criminal trial process, and addresses issues which commonly arise in activist cases. These include: your rights in court, the importance of embracing the politics of the case, maintaining cohesion and solidarity among co-defendants and the wider activist community, and communicating securely in the Orwellian age of warrantless surveillance.

December 8, 2010

Haiti: Gender and Continuity in the Midst of Disaster

What is the general situation in post-earthquake Haiti? How does disaster particularly affect women and girls, gender issues, and culture? What are the courses of action for victims of gender-based violence in temporary encampments for over a million people left homeless by the earthquake? With so many schools destroyed, how do students get access to education? With Nadege Clitandre, founder and director of Haiti Soleil, which focuses on youth development and empowerment through the creation of community-centered educational institutions in Haiti; Anne-Christine d'Adesky, international journalist working with Poto Fanm+Fi, a global solidarity initiative in partnership with the Haitian women's movement; LisaRuth Elliott, volunteer with GrassRoots United, an international support organization working in Port-au-Prince to address the gaps in relief operations; and Ivy Jeanne McClelland just returned from Haiti where she is connected to the student movement MESS (Mouvement des Etudiants du Sud'Est pur le Soutien) in Jacmel.

September 29, 2010

Education Crisis/Radical Responses

From the crisis in the California universities to the steady destruction of public schools, we're in the epicenter of a storm that spans the globe as neoliberalist politicians and the interests they serve seem determined to make education a precious commodity that is no longer a bedrock of democratic society. Caitlin Manning, Andrej Grubacic, Gifford Hartman, Maya Gonzalez, and Aaron Benanav discuss radical responses to this crisis, leading to the big October 7 Day of Action.

September 15, 2010

Imprisoned But Unbowed: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women

A panel of ex-cons discusses the myriad ways resistance continues and perseveres behind bars, and how such herstories are - or are not - recorded and celebrated. Featuring Ida McCray, former black conscious feminist prisoner, supporter of love and life for all, educator, and with a lifetime involvement to make a better world gang. Also with Rita B♀ Brown who has been a prison abolitionist for 40 years. An ex-political prisoner and former member of the George Jackson Brigade, she continues to work in the lesbian community and with the Prison Activist Resource Center. And Sin Soracco who found time between dancing, bookselling, and a stint inside, to pen the now legendary prison novel Low Bite, a tale of survival, dignity, friendship, and insubordination. Co-presented by PM Press.

April 21, 2010

Ten Years That Shook the City -- Sneak Preview

Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott, co-directors of Shaping San Francisco, give a wide survey of the politics of 1968-78 by going through the forthcoming book "Ten Years That Shook the City: 1968-78," covering everything from Los Siete de la Raza to the housing and redevelopment politics of the era, the San Francisco State Strike to the lesser known strikes among rank-and-file activists in the local labor movement. Posters, lost murals, unknown ecological treasures, the Farm, and much more!

April 14, 2010

U.S. Social Forum, Detroit

Moderator Kathy Wallerstein brings together Zhivka Valiavicharska of the Student Movement, David Zlutnick and Ian Paul of the Friendly Fire Collective, and Sharon Lhungo of the Ruckus Society in an information and strategies session on the subject of the U.S. Social Forum, to be held in Detroit in June 2010. Includes a brief history of the Social Forums and a discussion of the role and uses of the US Social Forum in particular by members of groups from the Bay Area planning to participate. California Student Movement politics are also in the mix.

March 31, 2010

Songs To Enemies And Deserts, A Film Screening About Rebellion In Darfur

A screening of the film made by Shane Bauer and David Martinez in Sudan, called Songs To Enemies And Deserts. Followed by a discussion about the current situation in Darfur and all of Sudan, with the independence vote for South Sudan looming in 2011, and one Darfuri rebel group, the Justice And Equality Movement (JEM), having recently signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government. Special Benefit Program for Free the Hikers (Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal who have been in jail in Tehran for over seven months.)

February 10, 2010

Queer workers: Class, Gentrification and Struggle in San Francisco

Queer organizers from Pride at Work/HAVOQ and other community organizations discuss gentrification, how the economy affects queer workers, and approach a redefinition of the gay agenda. An interactive session digs into ongoing queer struggles for justice around issues that daily affect our lives and those in our communities. This recording was primarily of the Queer Agenda discussion, but also has the report-backs from the other groups at the end of the night.

October 21, 2009

Bicycling in San Francisco

After 17 years of Critical Mass and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition reaching 10,000 members Janel Sterbentz, Steve Jones, Chris Carlsson, and Andy Thornley discuss what’s right, and what’s not with the way bicycling and bicycling politics is developing at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Hear a broad discussion of bicycle etiquette, transportation and urban design, equipment and safety (good engineering vs. "good shopping"), Stop-Roll, Bike Plan 2004 vs. Copenhagen 1980, and the SF Bicycle Coalition/Critical Mass.

October 14, 2009

The Politics of ‘Third Space’ in Global Videos and Installations

Michelle Dizon, Filipino-American artist from Los Angeles, screens her installation video comparing the 1995 riots in France and the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, illuminating political issues of marginal citizenships, migration and exile, media and the erasure of memories of historical violence. Katherine Wallerstein moderates a discussion between Dalida Maria Benfield, filmmaker, art educator and scholar; Laura Fantone, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley; and Beatrice Bain, Interdisciplinary Research Group as they bring examples of experimental political installations and look for possibilities of reconfiguring political subjects and action.

May 20, 2009

Anti-systemic Knowledge: Learning from the South

UC Berkeley’s Daphne V. Taylor-García, Roberto D. Hernández, George Cicarelio Maher, plus militant historian and author Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, and Andrej Grubacic of Global Commons Foundation investigate the coloniality of power/knowledge, transmodernity, border knowledge, indigenous socialism, socialization of power, and solidarity economy. Other contemporary practices, theories, and radical political alternatives emerging from the Global South are explored. Co-presented by Global Commons Foundation

April 22, 2009

Global Commons/Global Enclosures

Iain Boal and Raj Patel critique the idea of a global commons, the history and context of the commons under feudalism, and demonstrate the boundary between 'commons' and 'commodity'. The work of Via Campesina is highlighted as they use the commons in "food sovereignty" politics showing how seed politics offers a model for international decommodification. Co-presented by Global Commons Foundation

April 8, 2009

Anti-War Then and Now

David Solnit, Paul Cox, and Sarah Lazare take a look back at military resistance to the Vietnam War, including the mutiny of sailors on the USS Coral Sea, infantry refusal to follow orders on the battlefield, and other anti-war activities within military forces. Iraq vets also discuss the state of anti-war activities in the current conflict.

March 11, 2009

Local Remanufacturing Our Way out of the Depression

Peter Berg, co-author of A Green City Program for SF Bay Area & Beyond; Kevin Drew, Zero Waste Program Coordinator for the San Francisco Department for the Environment; and Neil Seldman, of the Washington DC-based Institute For Local Self-Reliance, share why we need to make products from local recyclables to make meaningful work, close energy loops, and stimulate creativity. How do we find practical responses to the current depression that builds on our abundant resources, both physical and human? Antonio Roman-Alcalá, Alemany Farm organizer, facilitates the Q&A and discussion.

January 14, 2009

Hearing the City: Radio in San Francisco

We trace the paths of media, technology, audience, and producers from 1960s underground FM radio to the present era of blogging, “social software,” indymedia, podcasting et al. including a quick look back at the early days of AM radio. AM's role as the first mass media shaped San Francisco and the Bay Area, through advertising and knitting together communities with shared “represented” experiences. With Joe Lerer of KFRC and KSAN, Monkey of PirateCat Radio, and George Epileptic, former underground DJ on KUSF.

December 10, 2008

Neighborhood Newspapers: Community Journalism in San Francisco

Steven Moss with the Potrero View, Juan Gonzalez of El Tecolote, and Thomas Reynolds with the New Fillmore - the monthly neighborhood newspaper for Pacific Heights, the Fillmore, and Japantown, discuss how neighborhood newspapers have grown in San Francisco to fill niches abandoned by the daily press. They also address the changing role of newspapers and publishing in an ever-more-concentrated and ideologically uniform mass media world, vis-à-vis the infinitely diverse and broad on-line world of individual writing, reporting, pontificating and broadcasting.

December 17, 2008

Lessons and Advice on How to Survive an Economic Meltdown

Working class historian Gifford Hartman revisits how people set up self-organized cooperative housing, food production and distribution and other projects to provide for basic needs and community self-defense during the great depression and the SF and Oakland general strikes. K. Ruby of the Oakland Institute for Urban Homesteading gives practical information and advice on doing-it-yourself when it comes to self-sustaining alternatives to dependency on the corporate world. Caitlin Fitzpatrick of San Francisco Food Not Bombs discusses how the organization feeds communities around the globe vegetarian and vegan food through nonviolent direct action. College of Marin instructor Robert Ovetz guides a brainstorming session to apply this history to how we can respond to and survive the coming storm and build projects from the bottom up that already envision the "future in the present."

October 22, 2008

Worker Cooperative Alternatives to Precariousness

Members from various Bay Area worker cooperatives: Gordon Edgar of Rainbow Grocery; Yochai Gal of TechCollective; Dan Thomases of Box Dog Bikes; Poonam Whabi of Design Action; and Kasper of NoBAWC share their thoughts on the history and practice of democratic organization and decision making, equitable employment, and the effects that these participatory organizations have had on the local economy.

September 24, 2008

Global Africa: Liberation, Decolonialization, and Diaspora

Immanuel Wallerstein, Walter Turner, and Will Grant discuss African liberation movements and decolonialization from 1945 to present, tackling political problems of the post-independence period such as coups, civil wars, struggles against oppressive regimes, economic problems of post-independence, cultural renaissance, and links to movements in diaspora. Co-presented by Global Commons Foundation

March 12, 2008

Arab San Francisco

Peoples from the Arab World have been migrating to San Francisco for over a hundred years. The earliest were mostly from the Levant: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine; most recent immigrants coming from Yemen and Iraq. San Francisco, being a liberal progressive oasis, attracts many gay and lesbian Arabs as a home away from home. We also examine the gay and lesbian struggle in the context of conservatism in the Arab World, showing how Arab conservatism was created, encouraged and spread as a result of western interference. Monadel Herzallah (Arab American Union Members Council), Renda Dabit (Palestinian American artist, activist, and business woman), and Maher Sabry (Egyptian human rights activist and filmmaker) discuss why they have come here, how they have affected San Francisco life, what their ongoing connections to “homelands” across the world are, and how war and US interests in the Arab world have affected these communities.

February 13, 2008

Community Art Spaces Survive Urban Pressures

Community-based public art spaces are stuck between business-like survival and serving their communities. Hear veterans of San Francisco’s Space Wars Jonathan Youtt (Cellspace), Robin Balliger (Komotion), and Michael Med-o Whitson (848 and CounterPULSE) discuss how they’ve navigated the repressive dynamics of real estate, money, and power to hold open spaces for diverse communities to meet, talk, make art, and shape life.

January 9, 2008

Class and Power in Queer San Francisco

What does ‘class’ or ‘community’ mean? How does the newbie Midwesterner serving burgers at a Castro street diner relate to the landlord and shop owner ‘Gay Community’ spokesmen? How do the schisms between different classes of women, whether lesbian or bi or undefined, show up in daily life and local politics (or not)? How does fear of gender bending impact trans and intersexed people when it comes to paying the rent? With Meliza Bañales, Solidad de Costa, Keith Hennessy, and Michelle Tea.

December 12, 2007

News and the Future of Journalism

Newsrooms are hamstrung by the business practices of Wall Street and Big Media, even as newspaper circulation declines and TV news continues the race to the bottom. Both the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News recently laid off large portions of their newsroom staff. The Internet is vulnerable to the same marketplace compromises. Explore alternative business models to ensure journalism remains a lively piece of our civic life. With Barry Parr, of and founder of the Mercury Center; Michael Stoll, of Grade the News, SJSU, and the SF Public Press; Rose Aguilar of Your Call radio on KALW-FM; Josh Wilson, of Arts; and Carl Hall of Northern California Media Workers.

November 14, 2007

Public Commons vs. Corporate Privatization

With Mayor Newsom trying to give away the City’s wi-fi space to a corporate consortium, efforts by Bechtel and other private contractors to take over our public water system, the ongoing scandal of PG&E selling us our own “public” power and their current efforts to take over alternative power, incessant pressure to privatize the public schools, and a national culture that blindly accepts corporate interests as preferable to public interests, our guests talk about how the San Francisco Bay Area can begin a concerted push back. With Ted Nace, author of The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy, David Cobb, Shannon Tracy, Raymond Nat Turner, Jessica Bell, and Matt Leonard.

October 10, 2007

Voting Perspectives

Does voting matter? Do you urge everyone around you to vote? What kinds of power do we gain or lose by participating in elections? What else can we do? Our diverse panel includes folks who believe in representative democracy, those who propose reforms, and those who reject it outright. Michael Med-o Whitson, Natasha Marsh of the California League of Independent Voters, and James Rucker from discuss the trouble with voting.

March 7, 2007

Learnin’ + Teachin’: The Future of Education (4 podcasts)

In decaying and resource-starved public schools, teachers and staffers with incredible vision and energy are trying to make education work. But what do we want from education now? Should it be organized around children spending mandatory time in classrooms or should we take a hint from the burgeoning homeschooling movement and look toward other models? Lisa Schiff, Will Grant, Karen Allen, Ken Tray challenge our assumptions in this open-ended discussion.

Part 1 features Lisa Schiff and Karen Allen. Part 2 features Will Grant, co-founder of statewide network in New Mexico of local leadership groups to transform education from K-12. He is followed by Ken Tray, high school teacher at Lowell High in San Francisco, and director of political education for United Educators of SF, the teachers' union. Parts 3 & 4 feature audience-led dialogue.

January 17, 2007

The Public Health Epidemic in a Therapy Society (3 podcasts)

In the relatively wealthy Bay Area, state-of-the-art hi-tech medicine sits side by side with an ever-growing phalanx of alternative treatments and philosophies. Meanwhile a growing proportion of the population is denied access to any kind of health care. What should be the response of medical professionals, alternative practitioners, and community organizers? What role, if any, do we want the state and business to have in health care provision?

Part 1 features Adrienne Pine with the California Nurses Association who gives a blistering critique of Governor Schwarzenegger's medical proposals. Part 2 features Bill Mosca of the California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA) and Jason Blantz of SF General Mental Health serving the disabled, indigent and poor on Medi-Cal. Part 3: Q&A among the panel and the audience with Chris Carlsson, Bill Mosca, Adrienne Pine, and Jason Blantz.

December 13, 2006

Tactical Evolution: Protest Culture, Dissent, and Radical Change

Do the political forms received from past decades still work? If not, where are we going? What are our goals? How does protest and dissent fuel creative and innovative alternatives to the status quo? Have tactics backfired and reinforced the politics we oppose? David Solnit and Kate Raphael explore protest movements in the Bay Area from Vietnam through the Central American wars of the 1980s, the anti-nuke and nuke freeze movements, up through the WTO/Seattle protests, through the March 2003 shutdown of San Francisco when the Iraq War started.

October 11, 2006

Bolivar, Zapata and Sandino Ghosts and Revolution in South America

Bay Area revolutionary thinkers and actors John Ross, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Aileen “Chockie” Cottier open the discussion for the potential reshaping of our own politics in the Bay Area through the lens of left-leaning and re-emerging indigenous political movements which are altering politics in and changing our thinking of lands south of the U.S. border. Mobilized indigenous cultures are forming new social movements in the Andes, deposing governments and shifting the left toward a more profound anti-state and anti-imperialist politics from he state-sponsored programs in Venezuela called“Bolivarianism” to the bottom-up, grassroots Other Campaign of the Zapatistas in Mexico.

March 8, 2006

Infrastructure Wars: Sustainable Movements (3 podcasts)

Chris Carlsson, Kyle Pedersen, and Calvin Welch, housing activist, bring an historical look at how San Franciscans have fought for a human-centered city. The corporate agenda has been thwarted again and again in the saving of Telegraph Hill, stopping freeways, and resisting redevelopment. This public talk takes a look at the historic Burnham Plan and some other ideas for reshaping the City, as well as explores new movements which are again contesting the direction of the City, from a sustainable perspective.

Parts 2 and 3 follow on this play bar