Barnard-Columbia International Socialist Organization

September 29, 2009

Thurs 10/1: Sexuality & Socialism!

Filed under: ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 9:38 pm
Meet-up with the Barnard/Columbia branch of the ISO at the gates (116th and Broadway) at 6pm this Thursday to talk politics and travel together to Sherry Wolf’s National Speaking Tour: Sexuality and Socialism!

Haymarket Books Presents

A National Speaking Tour with Author & Activist

Sherry Wolf

Sexuality and Socialism: The Struggle for LGBT Liberation

Thursday, Oct. 1  7:00 PM
LGBT Community Center
208 W. 13th St.
Take the A,C,E,1,2,3,F or V train to 14th Street


Come to a Public Forum to discuss the history, politics and theory of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender oppression and how we can fight to end it.
And find out how you can get involved in mobilizing for the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. on October 11, 2009

Get the facts! Read the book! Go to the march!

For march details, go to

Sherry Wolf is author of Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics & Theory of LGBT Liberation. Wolf is associate editor of the International Socialist Review, and member of the National Equality March Steering Committee. She has written for publications includingMRZineCounterPunchDissidentVoice, and New Politics, and speaks across the country on the struggle for LGBT liberation.



Praise for Sexuality and Socialism:
“No other work that comes to my mind explains the history of sexuality and sexual repression in the United States as comprehensively and compellingly.”

—Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch
“‘What humans have constructed they can tear down.’ This is the powerful insight of this rare book that is at once politically important, theoretically and historically sophisticated, and clearly written. Sexuality and Socialism is enlivened in its engagement with a number of controversies, including those over the alleged biological determination of homosexuality, the myth of Black homophobia, and the consequences of postmodernist theories for the politics of gay liberation. Above all else, Wolf puts forward a cogent defense of the Marxist tradition—long and wrongly reviled as homophobic in itself—as a way to explain how LGBT oppression arose and what we can do to put it to bed.”

—Dana Cloud, University of Texas at Austin
Sherry Wolf is also available for interviews. To request an interview or review copy of the book, please contact Sarah Macaraeg, 773-583-7884 (office), or 312-315-8476 (cell).
About Sexuality and Socialism:

The movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights has greatly expanded sexual freedom, but many challenges confront the struggle for equality. Sexuality and Socialism offers an accessible analysis of many of the most challenging questions for those concerned with full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Inside are essays on the roots of LGBT oppression, the construction of sexual and gender identities, the history of the gay movement, and how to unite the oppressed and exploited to win sexual liberation for all. Sherry Wolf analyzes different theories about oppression—including those of Marxism, postmodernism, identity politics, and queer theory—and challenges myths about genes, gender, and sexuality.

What would sexual liberation mean? We can, perhaps, agree on what must disappear—institutional and legal discrimination against LGBT people, fixed gender roles and sexual identities, legal constraints on consensual sex, and social repression of sexual experimentation, etc. While many of us dream of a world in which we are free to do as we choose with our bodies and sex lives, living under capitalism, where sex is bought and sold, bodies objectified, and relationships constrained by material forces out of our control, it seems that even our fantasies must be limited somewhat by the world in which we live.

from Sexuality and Socialism


Tues 9/29: Why We Refuse

Filed under: Solidarity — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 2:35 pm

Why We Refuse: Israelis say No to the Occupation of Palestine

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Room 405, IAB
4:30 – 6:00pm


The Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK, and the Arab Student Association
at SIPA invite you to a conversation with two Refuseniks, Maya and
Netta, who refuse to serve in the Israeli army and participate in the
occupation of Palestine.  Maya and Netta illuminate the realities of
growing up in Israel and becoming conscientious objectors, and present
viable ways Americans can become more informed and proactive against
the occupation.

“At first, like many other Israeli citizens, I too could not bring
myself to confront or criticize the Israeli military’s immoral
actions. I realize that this difficulty originated from my sense of
identification with soldiers my own age, to whom I could relate. Today
it is precisely this realization that leads me to refuse to serve. I
cannot recognize the humanity of Israelis but not that of
Palestinians. It is because of my deep sense of commitment and
responsibility to the community in which I grew up that I am refusing
to contribute to this cycle of bloodshed.” ~ Maya Wind

The two speakers are part of a group called the Shministim, Israeli
high-school seniors –and prospective conscripts into the mandatory
Israeli military- who have been imprisoned for their principled
refusal to serve the Occupation of Palestinian territories.  What
these young conscientious objectors have to say about the occupation
and their personal accounts of militarization in Israeli society is of
critical importance for US audiences.

The new movement of Refuseniks is gaining worldwide attention and is
one way Israelis are objecting the policies of their government and
standing up for the rights of Palestinians.  Maya and Netta have
signed the current 2008 Shministim letter which articulates their
reasons for refusal.  Because of their principled refusal to serve in
an occupying army, youth who sign the letter face jail terms in
Israeli military prisons.

In the 2008 letter that the Shministim sent to the Israeli government,
they wrote: “…we object to Israeli ‘defense’ methods: checkpoints,
‘targeted’ killing, roads for Jews only, sieges and more, which serve
the land seizing policy, annex more occupied territories into Israel
and trample on Palestinian human rights.  These actions are perhaps a
temporary fix, but it is clear that in the long run only exacerbate
the conflict…it is impossible to harm and imprison in the name of
freedom, and thus it is impossible to be moral and serve the

This national tour is organized by:

CODEPINK: CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social
justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop
new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green
jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign
policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for
policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to
international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women
and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of
peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP): Jewish Voice for Peace is a diverse and
democratic community of activists inspired by Jewish tradition to work
together for peace, social justice, and human rights. We support the
aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for security and
self-determination. Jewish Voice for Peace has worked with the
Shministim in the past by organizing thousands of activists to demand
their release from prison.

This event is co-sponsored by: Progressive Jewish Alliance, TURATH,
Common Ground, Columbia Coalition against the War (CCAW), Students for
a Democratic Society (SDS), International Socialist Organization
(ISO), the Columbia Palestine Forum.

September 25, 2009


Filed under: ISO Events, Solidarity — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 3:53 pm



The Barnard/Columbia branch of the ISO is mobilizing to join the New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense (NYCACD) at Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center to support women’s rights!

We are asking students and allies to meetup Saturday, September 26th at the gates (116th and Broadway), 7am. (We can take the bus and train together)

Dr. Emily’s clinic in the South Bronx has been the target of anti-abortion protesters. These protesters offer free sonograms (administered by unqualified people outside the medical field) and anti-abortion pamphlets and display plastic fetuses in order to try to convince women seeking abortions to change their minds. Worse, the protesters have started a 40-day vigil (see Since June the NYCACD, in collaboration with the staff of the clinic, has launched a weekly clinic defense, effectively preventing these anti-choice protesters from intimidating and harassing people seeking services there.

“40 days for life” has launched a massive 40-day “prayer and fasting” vigil outside the clinic starting SEPTEMBER 23. Two years ago, with a similar campaign, they thronged the sidewalk and were able to physically block staff and clients from entering the clinic. This year, our goal is to OUT-NUMBER THEM; to provide safe escort for staff and patients into the clinic, and to let the anti-choice bigots know THEY CANNOT GET AWAY WITH THIS. If they had their way, not only would abortion be illegal, so would homosexuality and non-procreative sex.

We are inviting pro-choice and pro-abortion individuals and organizations to join in. The Clinic Defense Coalition is asking people to RSVP via:


Saturday, Sept 26th (and Every Saturday thru October 31)
8 am to Noon
Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center
560 Southern Blvd
Bronx, New York

September 22, 2009

Thursday, Noon: Cleve Jones at Columbia for the National Equality March

Filed under: ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 5:33 pm



Come hear Cleve speak about the National Equality March and the struggle for LGBTQ Equality!


Thursday, September 24

12:00-1:30 pm

Ancel Plaza

(Next to the SIPA Building)


Directions: Ancel Plaza, in front of East Campus (EC) and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Enter the gates on the north side of W. 116th St. between Amsterdam Ave. and Morningside Drive. Past the dorm on the right, there is a staircase leading up to Ancel Plaza.


CLEVE JONES, co-founder of the AIDS Quilt, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and collaborator of Harvey Milk, is a veteran labor, HIV/AIDS, and LGBT rights activist. He has been central in organizing the October 11th National Equality March which demands equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states for all LGBT people.

“We will continue this fight in every state, in every county, every city and every town, but we are now determined to take this fight to the federal government, to our President Barack Obama, to the Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States.”

-Cleve Jones, May 31, 2009, Fresno, California

Join the Columbia University contingent in the first national march for LGBT rights since 1993! We have organized buses from NYC to DC. To get on the bus or for more information, please log onto: You will also be able to sign up at the event!



**Sponsoring Organizations so far include: Columbia Queer Alliance, International Socialist Organization, Everyone Allied Against Homophobia, and Queer Health Task Force.

September 11, 2009

All Upcoming Barnard-Columbia ISO events!

Filed under: ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 2:30 pm


Organize for the National LGBT Equality March

* 9/13, Sunday, 4:30pm, Stephen Donaldson Lounge (LGBTQ Lounge) in Furnald:

First campus meeting to plan for the National LGBT Equality March taking place in Washington, DC on October 11th. Want to go to the march? Want to help get other Barnard and Columbia students to the march? Come to this organizing meeting! For more information on the march, click here.


* 9/17, Thursday, 7:30pm, Hamilton Hall, Room TBA:

“Socialism: What it is and Why We Need it” – A great introduction to socialist politics and the ISO. Facebook RSVP here.

Defend Abortion Rights

* 9/19, Saturday, 8am-Noon, Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center, South Bronx:

Be a part of our regular Saturday clinic defense and escort. If you’re interested in coming with, we can all travel together to Dr. Emily’s, email us at

BIG RALLY to Defend Abortion Rights!

* 9/26, Saturday, 8am-Noon, Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center, South Bronx:

Starting this week, and going for 40 days, hundreds of right-wing anti-choice protesters are set to descend upon Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center in the Bronx, to harass and prevent women from obtaining the care they need. We’ll be out there, with activists from the around the city, to make sure Dr. Emily’s stays open and women feel safe going in.

Sherry Wolf Book Tour

* 10/1, Thursday, Time TBA, at the LGBT Center downtown:

Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism and a steering committee organizer for the National LGBT Equality March will be speaking.


* 10/11, Sunday, all day, Washington, DC:

National Equality March, the first grassroots national march for full LGBT equality in nearly 20 years. If you’re interested in going down to DC, please contact us at


* 10/23-25: Friday thru Sunday, Columbia University:

Join hundreds of other activists, socialists and radicals from all over the northeast for a huge conference with dozens of talks on everything from “Occupation Rebranded: US Imperialism in the Obama Era” to “Revolt in Iran” to ” Radical Pedagogy vs. Charter and Testing: The Fight for Public Education.” For a list of initial presentations and speakers, click here.

September 5, 2009

SOCIALISM: What it is and Why we need it

Filed under: ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 9:06 am


The word “socialism” has returned to the mainstream of American political debate. But there are widespread misconceptions about what socialism is – and what it isn’t. Republicans fret that the U.S. is fast becoming a Socialist Country – with government spending on bank bailouts and Barack Obama’s proposed health care reform. But the genuine tradition of “socialism from below” means something more than state intervention in the economy.

Socialism is really about the struggle to oppose discrimination in all its forms and to put the needs of working people before corporate profits. Come to this meeting to discuss the idea of socialism – and socialist strategies for changing the world.

Thursday, September 17th, 7:30pm
Columbia University, Hamilton Hall

Facebook RSVP here

For more info regarding this meeting, contact:


1. Sunday, 9/6, NSOP “Meet and Greet” in the West Ramp Lounge in Lerner Hall. The ISO will have a table set up along with other campus political groups from 4:30-5:30pm.

2. Thursday, 9/10, Columbia Activities Day. We’ll have a table set up on Low Plaza from Noon-4pm.

3. Thursday, 9/10, Socialist ‘Happy Hour’. Join us for some food, drink and discussion at Amir’s Falafel, 2911 Broadway (btwn 113th and 114th). This will be a great chance to meet and talk informally about what the ISO is all about.

Protesting the Corporate Bailouts

September 2, 2009

Northeast Socialist Conference at Columbia

Filed under: ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 1:28 am


Save the date!

Every year hundreds of activists and socialists gather at the Northeast Socialist Conference to debate and discuss the struggles before us as well as an analysis of the urgent problems we face and a vision for a different future. With the free-market consensus in tatters and an open debate beginning about how best to organize our society, these discussions are more vital than ever. Plan now to join us the weekend of October 23-25.


Talks and discussions will include:

* The New Movement for LGBT Equality * The Revolt in Iran * The Politics of Food * Roots of the Economic Crisis * Guantanamo at Home * Gaza: Eyewitness to Destruction * Poor People’s Movements * The Fight for Single-Payer Healthcare * The Future Socialist Society * Social Unionism and the Future of the Labor Movement * Hubert Harrison and Black Radicalism * The Myth of a Post-Racial America * Occupation Rebranded: US Imperialism in the Obama Era * Reform and Revolution * The Radical History of the American Working-Class * What a Sustainable Society Could Look Like * Racism, Sentencing and the Prison System * The Assault on Abortion Rights * Radical Pedagogy vs Charter and Testing: The Fight for Public Education * The Russian Revolution * Sports and Politics * Lenin: Myth and Reality * Student Struggle and the Fight for Socialism * The Communist Women’s Movement in the Comintern Era * and dozens more!

Confirmed speakers include:

Anthony Arnove, Michele Bollinger, Sam Farber, Laura Flanders, Arun Gupta, Brian Jones, Fred Magdoff, Mahmood Mamdani, Manning Marable, Scott McLemee, Paul LeBlanc, Jeffrey Perry, Frances Fox Piven, John Riddell, Jennifer Roesch, Heather Rogers, Jeremy Scahill, Helen Scott, Liliana Segura, Ashley Smith, Members of the Viva Palestina Convoy to Gaza, Dave Zirin… and more! (Speakers list in formation)

Website, flyer, brochures and registration details as well as a full list of topics and speakers will be available shortly.
For more information, contact or 585.350.8862

Wed, 9/2: The Truth About Charter Schools

Filed under: Solidarity — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 1:23 am

The Truth About Charter Schools: Are They Really the Solution to the Crisis in Public Education?

• Do Charter Schools actually represent a genuine movement to establish parent choice and equitable education for ALL students?
• Do charter schools provide adequate channels for the democratic input of staff and parents?
• At this forum, we invite parents, students teachers and community members to consider the role that charter schools play in the larger national agenda to privatize education in the United States.
• Charter schools are opening while public schools are closing or being placed in smaller spaces that hinder their growth. Charter schools also have stricter admission policies. With all these “at-risk” or “failing schools” closing, where are their students going to go? Who will accept them?
Join a discussion on these important topics and more!

Wednesday, September 2
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building
Art Gallery- 2nd floor
125th Street & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.

— ID needed to enter the building, and children are welcome —

Contact: (212) 744-1538 or email

Sponsored by the Office of Senator Bill Perkins, the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), the Coalition for Public Education (CPE), the Center for Immigrant Families (CIF), Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence (BNYEE), and parents and teachers from NYC schools, including P.S. 123, 30, 197, 241, and 368 (list in formation)

Saturday: Abortion Clinic Defense at Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center

Filed under: ISO Events, Solidarity — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 1:22 am

Clinic Defense at Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center!

Please join New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense (NYCACD) at Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center to support Women’s rights!

Dr. Emily’s clinic has been the target of anti-abortion protesters. These protesters offer free sonograms, (administered by unqualified people outside the medical field) anti-abortion pamphlets and display plastic fetuses in order to try to convince women seeking abortions to change their minds. Worse, the protesters plan to begin a 40-day vigil in late September, see This is the time to defend a woman’s right to choose abortions, and right now that means defending women’s physical access to the clinic. Join us to escort women into the clinic safely and protest those who try to coerce them away.
We have had a summer of successful defenses, but we need to keep building up the number of people involved so that we are ready for September. We would like to invite pro-choice and pro-abortion organizations to join our cause, and if possible to sponsor a shift.

Whether you are coming as an individual or as part of an organization, please RSVP. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask them with your RSVP.

Saturday, September 5
1st Shift: 8:00 AM to 10:00AM
2nd Shift: 10:00AM to 12:00PM

Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center
560 Southern Boulevard

Bronx, NY

Take the 6 train to 149th St.


It is time we stand in solidarity with those women wanting to exercise their right to choose and to control their body!

Blog at