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economic rights


Jobs for All - featuring Marguerite Rosenthal

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 8:00 p.m. The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, December 10, 1948 states, in part that “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment…, to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself [sic] and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.”

The struggle in the U.S. for a full employment economy has been a long one, hampered by policy “trade-offs” that accept high unemployment as an antidote to inflation, and that privilege the profits of the few over the well-being of the many. One of the current battlefields in the struggle center around US Representative John Conyers' office in relation to his bill, HR 1000, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act. (So far, Jim McGovern is the only member of the Mass. delegation to endorse the bill.)

Bernard & Ness: From Occupy to Workers Control

Friday, January 20, 2012, 6:00 p.m. Join Immanuel Ness and Elaine Bernard for a panel discussion on From Occupy to Workers Control sponsored by the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series and hosted by encuentro 5.

The Occupy Movement is taking new and exciting steps as it continues to reshape political possibilities (such as reclaiming foreclosed homes).

The discussion of how to organize a society that represents the interests and aspirations of the 99% is a debate that is being held across Occupy sites. What would it mean to really take the Occupy Movement into the workplace? Into the heart of the economic system itself? And how to do it?

All of those invited to speak at this event contributed to a recent Haymarket Book "Ours to Master and to Own."

Rosen, et al: Principles for a New Economy

PRINCIPLES FOR A NEW ECONOMY

Preamble
 
The purpose of an economic system is to help organize human activities in ways that create healthy and resilient human communities and ecosystems for both present and future generations.
 
To achieve these purposes, deep system-wide change is urgently needed to reverse conditions typical of contemporary global, regional, national and local economies that exhibit one or more of the following serious flaws. They are:
 
·      Unsustainable: They over-consume and degrade the resources upon which their long-term prosperity depends.
·      Unfair: They multiply financial advantages to those already advantaged at the expense of those most in need. 
·      Unstable: They lack resilience in a time of growing volatility and rapid social, political and technological change.
·      Undemocratic: They operate with inadequate democratic control and accountability on the part of their most powerful economic organizations - corporations, financial institutions and governments.
 
At the root of these conditions is an implicit, dominant theory of economic purpose: namely to achieve continuous economic growth, as measured principally by GDP, by relying on “free markets”, without regard to the impact on overall human and ecological well-being. At the core of a New Economy is the need to decouple the achievement of well-being from limitless economic growth, by structuring economies that:
·      Fully realize individual potential through the advancement of human rights, including the right to thriving livelihoods, freedom from unjust persecution, quality education, effective social safety nets, affordable nutritious food, clean water, secure health care, and adequate shelter. 
 
·      Protect and nurture the richness of the natural world in ways that confront and rectify intensifying threats to humans and other species, including those associated with climate change, biodiversity loss, eco-system degradation, and polluted air and water
 
 The following Principles are designed to guide the actions of all economic actors and organizations whose decisions and actions affect, or are affected by, the pursuit of a New Economy.
 
Principles
1. Measuring progress - Economic progress shall be measured in terms of the well-being of all living species and ecosystems.  
2. Respecting natural limits - The economy shall draw from, and inject into, ecosystems only what is compatible with maintaining a sustainable healthy and resilient natural world. 
3. Democratizing the economy – All institutions that manage, regulate and execute economic activity, including private corporations, shall be democratically controlled in order to serve long-term societal goals.
4. Ensuring economic progress - Governments shall work to ensure prosperous and resilient economic outcomes by making adequate investments in research, education, physical infrastructure, and technology, whenever markets fail to do so. .
5. Localizing control - Economic policy shall favor subsidiarity, i.e., the localization of economic decision-making and control to the greatest extent possible consistent with democracy, equity, and efficiency.
6. Taming finance - All monetary systems and financial institutions shall be regulated as essential public utilities for the benefit of society as a whole.
7. Reducing inequality - Increasing economic inequality shall be understood to be inherently and profoundly antithetical to achieving human and ecological well-being, and shall be rapidly reversed.
8. Providing adequate livelihoods - Individuals shall be ensured of opportunities for decent paid work, employee ownership and the right to organize, and accorded recognition for work performed outside the formal wage economy that is fundamental to enriching  community and family well-being.
9. Re-defining globalization - International economic relations that impinge upon human and ecological well-being shall rest upon the same principles as those applicable to economic activities within nations so that economic justice becomes enshrined in such relations.
10. Fostering new values - Economic values shall be diverted, by all fair and reasonable means, away from the materialism fostered by promoters of a consumer society, and shifted toward values that prioritize flourishing communities, individual happiness, and a healthy and resilient natural world.
The editors of the Principles for a New Economy are Neva Goodwin, Richard Rosen, and Allen White. Principles for a New Economy was co-authored by the Core Principles Working Group, with the support of the New Economy Network. The members of the Working Group are: Gar Alperovitz, David Brodwin, Peter Brown, John Cavanagh, John Fullerton, Neva Godwin, Richard Heinberg, David Korten, Asher Miller, Noel Ortega, Richard Rosen, Gus Speth, Sarah Stranahan, Stewart Wallis, Allen White, and Susan Witt.
For questions and comments please contact: neva.goodwin@tufts.edu; rrosen@tellus.org or awhite@tellus.org

Alperovitz: America Beyond Capitalism

When they say, "there's no alternative..."

Saturday, December 3, 2011, 6:00 p.m.  As discontent with the economic and political status quo mounts in the wake of the “great recession”, America Beyond Capitalism is a book whose time has come. Gar Alperovitz’s expert diagnosis of the long-term structural crisis of the American economic and political system is accompanied by detailed, practical answers to the problems we face as a society. Unlike many books that reserve a few pages of a concluding chapter to offer generalized, tentative solutions, Alperovitz marshals years of research into emerging “new economy” strategies to present a comprehensive picture of practical bottom-up efforts currently underway in thousands of communities across the United States.

Securing Justice for Waste/Recycling Workers

Thursday, September 22, 2011, 6:00 p.m. The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and the Boston Recycling Coalition (BRC- an emerging campaign between community, environmental and worker groups in Boston to dramatically improve the recycling system in Boston) co-host a gathering of inspiring grassroots waste/recycling movement leaders from around the world. Following a panel, there will be a wide-ranging discussion between local recycling workers, international guests and members of the Boston community interested in improving dismal conditions in Boston's waste/recycling sector. Come join us! This event is organized by the Boston Recycling Coalition.

Crosby & McClain - New Lynn, MA: Safe, Decent & Just

Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 7:00 p.m. Join organizers Jeff Crosby and Carly McClain in a conversation about the Workers Center for Economic Justice organized by the North Shore Labor Council and the New Lynn Coalition. The coalition’s mission is to organize all sectors of working class people in the region into a unified permanent, political and economic force that is union and non-union and transcends racial, linguistic, ethnic, citizenship and gender boundaries. Together the organizations within the New Lynn Coalition are identifying goals for regional development which revolve around social and ecological needs and concerns and where there is a renewed sense of the public role in social welfare.

New Lynn, MA: Safe, Decent & Just

Tuesday, July 20th, 2011, 7:00 p.m.  Rescheduled due to another event. New date to be announced soon: Join organizers Jeff Crosby and Carly McClain in a conversation about the Workers Center for Economic Justice organized by the North Shore Labor Council and the New Lynn Coalition. The coalition’s mission is to organize all sectors of working class people in the region into a unified permanent, political and economic force that is union and non-union and transcends racial, linguistic, ethnic, citizenship and gender boundaries. Together the organizations within the New Lynn Coalition are identifying goals for regional development which revolve around social and ecological needs and concerns and where there is a renewed sense of the public role in social welfare.

Racial Justice Battles of the Forties & Fifties

Friday, June 24, 2011, 6:30 p.m. Join activist historian Mark Solomon for reflection on the racial justice battles of the 1940s and 50s - that great in-between period that provided the connective tissue between the great upsurges of the 1930s and powerful peace and justice movements of the 1960s. Going beyond mere generational analysis, this personal account integrates race, class and gender dimensions with a global perspective in an era when such transformative figures as Paul Robeson and W.E.B du Bois were still widely recognized and respected. In a period largely defined by the Cold War, other exciting processes ranging from epic national liberation struggles in the Global South to block-by-block tenant organizing in the US. Mark takes us back to that period and our discussion will help draw lessons for today's challenges. The event will be followed by a wine-and-cheese-style reception. 

Main St. $marts w/Grace Ross

New Event Date to be Announced Soon Thursday, December 9, 2010, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Join organizer and writer Grace Ross for a conversation about her recently released book, Main St. $marts. Here's bold and democratic declaration that informs the book:

We the regular people who make up Main St. are absolutely smart enough to understand what’s going on.

In addition, we are smart enough to carry out our birthright: to be the deciders, to be the government by and for us.

Raúl Zibechi: Dispersing Power

Monday, November 8, 2010, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Join Uruguayan activist-intellectual and journalist, Raúl Zibechi, for a wide-ranging conversation about social movements and social change. The point of departure is his latest work, Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces. It considers the largely indigenous social movements organizing in El Alto, Bolivia that both brought Evo Morales to state power and continue their challenges to the state. This event is co-sponsored with Boston Bolivarianos, the Global Economic Alternatives Network and the journal Socialism and Democracy.

Sergio Reyes & Omar Sierra on Latin America's New Constitutions

Saturday, September 11, 2010, 7:00 p.m. Join Sergio Reyes (Boston May Day Committee and Latin@s for Social Change) and Omar Sierra (sociologist and Consul General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) for a survey of the radical changes and advances in Latin American constitutional development. Using his firsthand impressions of the process in Bolivia and a textual analysis of the new constitution of the Plurinational Republic of Bolivia, Reyes will provide his assessment and lead the conversation. Additional speakers and experiences will be announced shortly. Sponsored by the Boston May Day Committee.

One Nation - Peace Sector Organizing Meeting

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 7:00 p.m. The NAACP, SEIU 1199, La Raza and Green Jobs for All have called upon the peace and justice movement to join a mass mobilization in Washington DC, October 2. This is a large national protest demonstration for jobs, justice and progressive change, and to counter the right wing. It will be the largest progressive mobilization in years.

MayDay Movie Festival Week

April 25th to April 30th, 2010 (At encuentro 5, Lucy Parson's Center, & Haley House) Leading up to the MayDay 2010 rallies and marches, join us across the city for six days of movies and discussion on the topics of workers' struggle, immigration, history, political analysis, and alternatives. Featuring an exhibit of Justice Artwork at encuentro 5 from local worker-run cooperative Red Sun Press!

Festival Schedule (read more):

Concert: Labor Notes or Bust!

Saturday, April 3, 2010, 6:30 p.m. Labor organizers, musicians and friends come together for a night of music and activism to support a local youth contingent to the 2010 Labor Notes Conference.

6:30-7:30: Labor Notes Co-Director, Mark Brenner about the conference and this year’s themes: Defending Jobs and the Public Sector, Holding the Line, Organizing and Building our Unions, Examining Labor’s Political Agenda, the Next Generation, Making Sense of Our Movements, and Connecting Our Fights

Music 7:30-11pmPat Keaney, Jake & The Infernal Machine, and Labor Power

Let us know you're coming on Facebook and invite your friends...

Recent Experiences in Gaza: Discussion over Dinner

Saturday, March 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. Join us for a talk and photo presentation with economist, Garry (ommiting last name for security purposes), who has just returned from Gaza. Dinner catered by MESA sin fronteras.*

What is the current political and socio-economic situation in the Gaza Strip? What were the transformative points in the conflict's history? And what is the role of international aid agencies? Garry will be sharing his thoughts and experiences with a photo presentation in an informal Q&A setting open to discussion.

For the past three years, Garry has been working as an economist on poverty-, vulnerability-, and labor-market- related issues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in various organizations. Recently he completed his first assignment in the Gaza Strip for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. More generally, as a social scientist, Garry studies dynamic complexity and change in social systems.