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Marxist School of Sacramento

Point of View Speaker Series:

Challenging Perspectives on Current Issues
Winter 2015

Our lectures are held generally on the third Thursday of the month (see exceptions below) at the Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street, ROOM 12, Sacramento, CA (between Castro Way and 4th Ave.) Room 12 is back at the south end of the building, opposite end from the restrooms. We apologize for that inconvenience.

Photo of Diana BlockThursday, September 17
 Diana Block - Clandestine Occupations. Diana will present her novel, a thinly based autobiography based on the lives of various women dealing with, life ‘underground.’ The author herself spent 10 years (in the 80s) living underground with her partner and kids, involved in anti-imperialist armed struggle. Her partner, Claude Marks, eventually cut a deal with the Feds (which involved not giving up any information), where they came back up ground, and he served some time in prison. It’s a novel based on real experience, on living clandestinely—with a family—while dealing with the various above and below ground anti-imperialist groupings, the Black Liberation Army, FBI, informants, etc. Diana now lives in San Francisco.

Thursday, October 22
Joseph MatthewsJoseph Matthews - Everyone Has Their Reasons. This is another novel, written by a radical Bay Area lawyer (involved back in the day as the defense lawyer for the SF 6, George Jackson etc), based on the true story and life of the Polish-German Jewish teenager, Herschel Grynspan, living without papers in Paris, who, on hearing of the round-up of his family in Germany, walked into the German Consulate in Paris in 1938 and shot dead a consular official - the ‘act’ that supposedly was the cause of the ’spontaneous’ Krystalnacht pogrom two days later. Not only is it all based on fact (and the ensuing attempted show-trial by the Nazis of Herschel, and how he manages to completely derail this), but it’s a wonderful literary exploration of class, identity, nationalism, Zionism, migration, and all those all too pertinent topics today.

Kris HermesThursday, November 12
Kris Hermes - Crashing The Party: Legacies And Lessons From The RNC 2000’. Kris, a longtime activist, radical legal worker, and currently the NLG mass defense coordinator, got involved in the Republican Convention of 2000 in Philadelphia, co-founding the defendant-led R2K Legal Collective. He has written a fantastic book about the birth of the surveillance/repressive modern state and resistance to it, centered on his (and the collective) experience around that time.

Rebecca Gordon-NesbittThursday, November 19
 Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt – To Defend The Revolution Is To Defend Culture: The Cultural Policy Of The Cuban RevolutionBased on a four-year research project, which included five months in Havana, this book documents the approaches to culture that evolved out of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. The picture that emerges is of a struggle for cultural dominance between Soviet derived approaches and a uniquely Cuban response to culture under socialism, based on the principles of Marxist humanism. Departing from popular top-down conceptions of Cuban policy-formation, this book establishes the close involvement of the Cuban people in cultural processes and the contribution of Cuba’s artists and writers to the policy and praxis of the Revolution.


December:  no speaker


In January 2016 we will present a double feature of Marxist Trade Unionist Singer-songwriters.

Robb JohnsonThursday, January 14
Robb Johnson will be coming from the UK, where he has worked with Leon Rosselson on the Anti-Capitalist Roadshow, The Liberty Tree: A Celebration of the Life and Writings of Thomas Paine and the No Gods No Masters tour which included the duo’s “greatest hits” plus new releases. Smart and witty, Robb is widely recognized in the UK as one of their finest (and most radical) singer-songwriters; we in the US should get acquainted with him—especially as he celebrates one of our patriots! CDs and DVDs will be available.  And books, of course. 

Cover of James Connolly songbookThursday, January 21
Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore regaled us at the Marxist School on January 16, 2014 and they will be back in town two years later, for the 2016 anniversary of the Easter Uprising and to celebrate the life of James Connolly.  A San Francisco native who now lives in Bern, Switzerland, Callahan, with Yvonne Moore tirelessly promotes the songs and memory of the famed Irish revolutionary Marxist, James Connolly, martyred by the British government for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916.  If you neglected to pick up a copy of Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songbook when Mat and Yvonne were here before, this is your chance to make that right. And if you missed their appearance then, don’t let it happen again!


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