Barnard-Columbia International Socialist Organization

November 19, 2010

Tomorrow, Sat 11/20: The Rise of the Right and What We Can Do to Stop it

Filed under: Articles, ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 2:06 pm

Hello from the Barnard-Columbia International Socialist Organization:

A reminder that we’re meeting up at 6:10pm at the 116th & Broadway gates tomorrow (Saturday) to take the train down to the LGBT center for a NYC-wide meeting on challenging the rise of the right wing in US politics. Don’t miss it:


What We Can Do to Stop It

Protests have been rising in the face of austerity measures on working-class livelihoods, environmental degradation, right-wing bigotry and hate crimes. Yet the so-called “party of the people”, the Democrats, continues to align its principles with corporate dollars and backs down when Glenn Beck and the right speak up to bash immigrants, LGBT, and Muslim people.

What gave rise to the Right was a demoralization amongst people with the Democratic party and electoral politics. Working people are looking for an actual vehicle for change alongside those in struggle ghting in solidarity for justice, equality, and democracy. What we need is a working-class alternative with its own set of demands. is meeting is about figuring out just how to do that.

Featuring Sherry Wolf!! Sherry was a national organizer of the National Equality March in 2009. She is the author of the highly acclaimed book “Sexuality and Socialism”, and currently blogs at SHERRYTALKSBACK.

Saturday, November 20, 7pm
LGBT Center, Room 101
West 13th off of 7th Ave
West Village, Manhattan

Be sure to confirm on our facebook page and invite your friends!

***For more information:; or call: 646-452-8662***

November 15, 2010

Calendar of all upcoming Barnard-Columbia ISO events!

Filed under: Articles, ISO Events, Solidarity — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 9:00 pm

Greetings from the Barnard-Columbia International Socialist Organization:

First off thanks to everyone who came and helped us hand out fliers on Friday when the university launched its slick new attempt to sell the Manhattanville expansion. We see this land grab by the university as an outright profit-making scheme that will result in the displacement of the residents who live in the neighborhood. By the university’s own estimates, up to 3,300 residents will be affected. For more information please see the following website.

We’re also happy to see that the campus media has taken interest in what we’re doing! Check out this article in this week’s edition of the EyeHard Workers: bringing marx from the lecture hall to the streets, By Devin Briski

Most importantly, here is a tentative calendar of our upcoming events for the rest of the semester. For this week we’d like to draw your attention to a big NYC-wide meeting that the ISO is organizing on SATURDAY at the LGBT center. The topic will be how we can fight the rise of the right wing in the US. Don’t miss it…all the info below.




* 11/16, Tuesday: SJP Film and Panel on Palestinians’ Right to Education
The ISO is co-sponsoring, “Right to Education” week, being organized by Students for Justice in Palestine. The week of events aims to reveal the various ways that Israel restricts the ability of Palestinians to receive an education, from bombing elementary schools to restricting students ability to travel to get to their university. This event will include film screening of Shooting Muhammad followed by a panel students from Palestine. The event begins at 8pm, meet us at 7:45pm outside of Math 312.


* 11/18, Thursday: No branch meeting, protest downtown against local companies failing to pay immigrant workers in NYC. Workers from Mario Batali’s Del Posto Restaurant and Flaum Appetizing Corporation March to Stop Wage Theft! The action starts at 6 PM at Westside Market – 77 7th Avenue NYC (at 15th Street). Prayer Vigil for workers and just wages at Westside Market from 6 – 6:30 PM. Then we will be marching loud and proud along 14th Street to Del Posto Restaurant – 85 10th Avenue (at 16th Street)

Join Interfaith Worker Justice, the Labor and Religion Coalition of Greater New York, The Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, and Brandworkers International. We’ll be meeting at 5:30pm at the Broadway & 116th st gates to take the train down to 14th st together.


* 11/20, Saturday: NYC-wide ISO meeting on Fighting the Right. The midterm elections brought gains for the Republicans and the Tea Party. With even more politicians from both parties now spouting homophobic, anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric, while pushing for further cuts to social services and jobs, its clear that we have little choice but to organize resistance. Come hear writer Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism (and the speaker at our first meeting of the semester) present on the possibilities of confronting the crazy bigot-party that is US politics right now. This meeting is downtown at the LGBT Center, West 13th St off of 7th Ave, Room 101, 7pm-10pm. Meet at the Broadway and 116th st gates at 6:10pm sharp to take the train together.


* 11/23, Monday: Tabling at the Jeffrey Sachs meeting on the economic crisis
Jeffrey Sachs, who runs the Columbia Earth Institute is giving a presentation to students on “America’s Economic Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?” and the ISO has been invited to table outside the meeting. Sachs isn’t a socialist, but he is critical of the world we live in now, and many people will come to the speech looking for alternatives to the current state of capitalism. Tabling will be a good chance for us to raise socialist ideas as just such an alternative. Time and location, TBA.


* 11/25, Thursday: No ISO branch meeting, cuz it’s Thanksgiving break. For the real story of Thanksgiving, check this:


* 11/30, Tuesday: Students for Justice in Palestine event on Home Demolitions in Palestine, and the need to boycott companies that aid Israel in these home demolitions. Details TBA.


* 12/2, Thursday: ISO branch meeting, 7:30pm, Hamilton Hall 602.


* 12/4, Saturday: ISO day school at Columbia on Black liberation.
This all-day educational discussion is primarily for members and those considering joining the ISO, and includes required readings. One of the main texts, is Black Liberation and Socialism by Ahmed Shawki. Please contact us at if you are interested in participating.


* 12/7, Tuesday, 7:30pm: ISO meeting at Columbia on “The Black Power Revolt of the 1960s” w/ Keeanga Yahmatta-Taylor, historian and commentator on the African-American struggle and other movements against racism, you can read her regular columns for Socialist Worker.  You do *not* want to miss this! Click here to watch Yahmatta-Taylor speak on this subject this past summer. Room TBA


* 12/16: Study break ISO meeting – last of the semester! Details TBA.

November 9, 2010

Wed 11/10, 7pm: Living As a Muslim in the United States

Filed under: Solidarity — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 12:59 pm

Living As a Muslim in the United States

Wednesday, November 10 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm
West End Theater 263 West 86th Street New York, NY
NYC Coalition To Stop Islamophobia
Living As a Muslim in the United States: 2010 & Beyond
A Forum and Discussion
Wednesday, November 10th
7 pm – 9 pm
West End Theater
…in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew
263 West 86th Street (off West End Ave.)

Join the NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia on Wednesday, November 10th for an eye-opening panel presentation and open discussion about living as a Muslim in the US. Hear speakers who will present different perspectives, from educator to activist.

Nima Shirazi is a political commentator from New York City. He is a contributing columnist for Foreign Policy Journal and Palestine Think Tank. His analysis of United States policy and Middle East issues, particularly with reference to current events in Iran, Israel, and Palestine, can also be found in numerous other online and print publications, as well as his website,

Muntasir Sattar worked with Dr. Louis Cristillo for four years at Teachers College, Columbia University, on the major “Muslims in New York City” study, funded by the Ford Foundation (publications forthcoming). He also is a coordinator for South Asian Youth Action. He will introduce the book “This is Where I Need to Be: Oral Histories of Muslim Youth in NYC”–two dozen real-life stories–and accompanying curriculum units with full lesson plans suitable for grades 6-12.

Faisal Alam is a gay Pakistani American who founded the Al-Fatiha (“The Opening”) Foundation, an international advocacy group for gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims. The youngest member of the National Religious Leaders Roundtable convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, he also was honored as one of 40 Heroes Under 40 for his human-rights and HIV/AIDS-prevention work.

Thurs 11/11, 7:30pm: Lessons from the revolt in France

Filed under: Articles, ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 11:22 am


This week we’ll be talking about the recent wave of general strikes by French students and workers, which ground the country to a halt. In some cases literally, as when dock workers refused to unload ships, and oil refinery workers joined the strike causing gas stations to close and planes to remain stuck at the airport. The protests are a response to President Nicholas Sarkozy’s attempts to ‘reform’ the retirement and pensions laws in France. In essence, Sarkozy’s plan pushes the retirement age back by two years as well as the age that French workers can get retirement benefits. The strikes have been accompanied by student walkouts across France. Sarkozy’s ‘reforms’ are not an isolated incident, but just one of many cuts to social programs that the French government has declared necessary to survive the economic crisis. These sorts of cuts are a model for politicians in the US who are more and more looking toward austerity measures in order to restore profits in the US economy. Are the strikes in France relevant to us here in the US? What kind of lessons can we draw from them? Join us for a discussion on Thursday at 7:30pm in Hamilton, room 603.

Here are two articles from that we’ll be discussing:

French lessons: The lessons of the struggle against Sarkozy’s pension “reform” apply beyond France.
October 27, 2010

The revolt shaking France: An interview with Charles-André Udry
October 22, 2010

See you there!

November 2, 2010

Thurs 11/4: Making sense of the 2010 elections

Filed under: Articles, ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 10:27 pm

Weekly ISO meeting at Columbia: Thursday, 11/4, 7:30pm in Hamilton Hall, room 602.

We’ll be having a discussion about the 2010 elections.
Come hear the socialist take on what the heck happened.

The election season that ends today has been far from encouraging for progressives and radicals. In some states, right-wing Tea Party leaders are in the running with disturbingly high poll numbers. In others, the Democrats have even abandoned their own candidates in order to support former Republicans instead. And lately, President Obama has taken to arrogantly castigating his own supporters for daring to be frustrated with the abysmal track records of the Democratic super-majority in congress over the past two years. After letting down their electoral base on almost every issue, and responding to the ongoing economic collapse only with bank bailouts and budget cuts, the Democrats are surely in for some losses today.

What does this election mean for US politics? Has the country lurched hopelessly toward the right? Did people shift to voting for the Republicans, or did they just decide to stay home rather than cast a vote for uninspiring candidates? If the Democrats have squarely committed to maintaining the status quo over the past two years, what can we do to get the kind of changes many hoped for under Obama? Most mainstream coverage of the election tonight will likely portray any Republican gains as clear sign of support for the right-wing among the US population. But as socialists, we think that this is far too simplistic an understanding of the very turbulent changes in US politics taking place right now. Come hear our take on the elections, raise questions (or debate us), and help us figure out what we’re doing to push politics to the left after the election.

Here are some recent articles from Socialist Worker to consider for the discussion on Thursday:

Not much of a choice
Every Election Day, voters in the U.S. face an incredibly narrow choice, limited to the two mainstream parties. Elizabeth Schulte argues that it’s time for an alternative.
November 2, 2010

The myths they’ll spin about Election 2010
Comment: Lance Selfa and Alan Maass
November 1, 2010

The change we didn’t get
Lee Sustar analyzes Barack Obama’s record after nearly two years in office–and explains why he failed to meet the expectations of his supporters.
October 4, 2010

See you Thursday!

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