Dublin: Dayschool on Capitalist Crisis and the Left Alternative


Dayschool on Capitalist Crisis and the Left Alternative

Saturday November 7th, 10am – 4pm

Central Hotel, Exchequer St, DublinSessions:

10am – 10.30am – introduction

10.30am – 12pm – Latin America’s New Left

Speaker: Jose Antonio Gutierrez (Chilean left activist)

Many on the international Left have looked to Latin America with hope in the last few years. Powerful social movements have challenged the dominance of neo-liberalism in many parts of the continent, while governments have been elected with promises of radical reform and talk of going “beyond capitalism” in countries like Venezuela and Bolivia. Yet the recent coup in Honduras, and the plans to establish new US bases in Colombia, should remind us that conservative forces are determined to stop the so-called “pink tide” from challenging the unjust social order in Latin America.

Chilean activist Jose Antonio Gutierrez will open up a discussion on the strengths and failings of Latin America’s new left.

12pm – 1.30pm – The financial crisis and the Left

Speakers: Andy Storey (Afri), Chekov Feeney (WSM), Tommy McKearney (Independent Workers’ Union)

Over the last year capitalism has experienced a crisis greater than anything since the Depression of the 1930s – and despite the hype about “green shoots of recovery”, it’s a long way from being over. The Irish government has forked out billions of Euro of public money to the banks and has just passed legislation establishing NAMA, the biggest transfer of wealth from Irish workers to the super-rich in the history of the State. Working-class people have been told to expect years of high unemployment, wage freezes and savage cuts in public services, while the bankers and property developers responsible for the crisis are being protected from its effects.

What can the Left be proposing as an alternative way out of the crisis? If we say “no to NAMA”, what should be we demanding in its place? Academic Andy Storey of Afri, Tommy McKearney of the Independent Workers’ Union, and Chekov Feeney of the Workers’ Solidarity Movement will give their views.

1.30pm – 2.30pm – lunch

2.30pm – 4pm – Building a 21st Century Left

Chair: Mick O’Reilly

Speaker: Murray Smith (New Anti-Capitalist Party, France)

In Ireland, there has been a recent surge in support for Labour as people look for an alternative to the failed neo-liberal agenda of Fianna Fail. Yet many on the Left are rightly sceptical about the Labour Party as they see its leaders refuse to support action taken by workers in opposition to cutbacks. Elsewhere in Europe, social-democratic parties have lost support from workers as they implement the same neo-liberal policies that are to blame for the current recession.

All over the continent, activists from trade unions and other social movements have been asking themselves the same question: how can we fill the gap left by the old left-wing parties as they move to the right or slide into irrelevance? Some promising examples of new political movements have emerged in continental Europe, among them the New Anti-Capitalist Party in France. Murray Smith, who has been active on the French radical Left over the past decade, will give an outline of the French experience, with Mick O’Reilly chairing the debate.

For more information email dublindayschool@yahoo.ie