SALT  OF  THE  EARTH  LABOR  COLLEGE

SPRING 2018 SCHEDULE

 

The Koch Brothers Invade the US Educational System

 

Presentation and Discussion with David Gibbs, University of Arizona History Professor

 

Saturday, January 20th 2:00 pm

 

Professor Gibbs will discuss the specific issue of the UA's Koch funded Freedom Center and the new academic department it helped to establish most recently; its influence on academia at the campus; and their efforts to establish a far rightwing economics text into the state high school system. Gibbs will place these developments in the larger context of efforts by the super-wealthy to engage in what some writers term "deep lobbying," whereby they lobby not just politicians but also academia, religion, journalism, and through this the overall climate of opinion, shifting it to the right. He will further discuss the significance of deep lobbying on the creeping influence of neo-liberal ideas and policies and the concentration of wealth in the US and worldwide. Discussion will include building opposition to this encroachment on our public education system.

 

Truth to Power: Writers Respond to the Rhetoric of Hate and Fear

 

Saturday, February 3rd 2:00 pm

 

Writers from Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts’ special “Truth To Power issue" will read from the journal, & discuss the project, as well as the important political issues going on today. Readers will include project editors Pamela Uschuk, William Pitt Root, & Bill Wetzel, among others. Cutthroat, a Journal of the Arts, is an internationally recognized literary magazine devoted to bringing diverse literature with an edge to the public. The special Truth To Power issue came about after the 2016 election as a reaction to the upsurge of sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, human rights & environmental abuses that coincided with the campaign & election of Donald Trump.

 

 

The Struggle for a Socialist USA

 

Workshop with John Bachtell, National Chair, Communist Party USA

 

Saturday, February 17th 2:00 pm

 

Bernie Sander's campaign has helped make socialism a respectable alternative for many Americans. Membership in socialist parties and movements has exploded in the last two years. But exactly what is socialism? Is it merely a welfare state with more social programs and safety nets, or will socialism require a systemic change? Most importantly - How will our mass work in the labor, peace, anti-discrimination, environmental and other peoples' movements help build a socialist consciousness and the organizational that will be needed to abolish capitalism?

 

 

Salt of the Earth: Initiator of a Chicano Working-Class Film Tradition

 

Presentation and Discussion with Manuel Hernandez, ASU Professor of Chican@ Studies and Mexican Literature

 

Saturday, March 3rd 2:00 pm

 

In Chicano Studies scholarship, the film Salt of the Earth (1954) by Herbert J Biberman has been called the first work in contemporary Chicano film tradition. Its scenes and images certainly speak to an ingrained working class tradition in the Mexican American Southwest, a tradition linked to other working class cinemas around the world. Parting from the film Salt of the Earth, this presentation brings to the discussion other recent Chican@ working-class films like Los Mineros (1991) by Héctor Galán, Bread and Roses (2000) by Ken Loach, Made in LA (2007) by Almudena Carracedo, and AbUSed: The Postville Raid (2011) by Luis Argueta. All these films are briefly compared to works from other working class cinemas in the US and worldwide. The Chican@ working-class film tradition has its latest example in the documentary Dolores (2017) by Peter Bratt.

 

 

The Hidden Economy: How it Operates and Why it Matters

 

Presentation and Discussion with Spike Peterson, UA Professor of International Relations

 

Saturday, March 10th 2:00 pm

 

In honor of International Women's Day, Professor Peterson will speak about her work on the global effects of the underground/shadow/informal economy which continues to grow worldwide. This includes work and exchanges, too often inhabited by women and girls, that are unregulated, unrecorded, untaxed, sometimes criminal - from babysitting, barter, under the table, street market, sex work, semi-legal unrecorded exchanges etc. - to the big business of international crime, and illegal traffic in weapons, humans, and strategic items like oil, minerals and nuclear materials.

 

 

News from the Rain Shadow Country

 

Book Signing with Tim Wheeler, lifetime activist and former editor of Peoples' World

 

Saturday, March 24th 2:00 pm

 

After some sixty years as activist, reporter and editor, Brother Wheeler has lots to say about the class struggle in America. His book includes stories and memoir from the days growing up on a Washington farm; to decades as reporter, and editor for the "Worker", the "Daily World" and the "Peoples World", and up to his still ongoing active resistance to Trump and the Ultra-right Congress. Tim rejoices in the good life he, and his wife Joyce, made for themselves in the fight for union rights, racial and gender equality, world peace and environmental Justice.

 

 

Ludlow: Greek Americans in the Colorado Coal War

 

Film and Discussion

 

Saturday, April 7th 2:00 pm

 

This 2016 documentary film, directed by Leonidas vardaros, tells the story of Greek immigrant miners who revolted against inhuman working and living conditions in the Colorado coal fields. Together with immigrants from 22 other countries they confronted Rockefeller' police and thugs and organized a guerilla army to avenge the massacre of union leaders, their wives and children. This confrontation, known as the "Colorado Coal Wars of 1913-1914", has been described as "the bloodiest page of American Labor History".

 

 

Medicare-for-All: Saves Lives, Saves Money, So Simple

 

Presentation and Discussion with Andrea Witte, Nationally appreciated creator of "Connect the Dots USA"

 

Saturday, April 21st 2:00 pm

 

Imagine the relief of not having to choose between paying for your health insurance or your rent; between buying medicine or food; and of not having to worry about going bankrupt from a hospital stay or a surprise bill from an out-of-network provider. And wouldn't you love to say goodbye to the maze of predatory, for-profit insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and medical bills? When your family needs healthcare you could go to any hospital in the country. That's what Medicare-for-All is all about. The U.S. should join the rest of the civilized world by guaranteeing healthcare as a basic human right. Witte will showcase two proposals to expand and enhance Medicare; answer naysayers favorite question — "How to pay for it?"; and show how 95% of Americans would see BIG SAVINGS under Medicare-for-All — not to mention the reduced stress.