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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

Right to the City/Right to Landscape

From an Elitist to a More Just Urban Landscape in California's East Bay Area

Toronto — 9 July 2015.

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Moderated by Laam Hae. Presentation by Don Mitchell, Professor of Geography, Syracuse University.

Both political ecology, especially as it has sought to come to terms with the politics of environmental racism, and critical landscape studies have shown that any landscape is situated within structures operating at other scales. Sometimes the key determinant of a process, outcome, or landscape morphology localist in one locale takes place somewhere far removed from where its effects are felt. Yet movements for both the right to the city and the right to landscape tend to adopt an overly localist approach to the production of space. In this paper, I will draw on an unlikely example – the evolution of the Town of Moraga, a nearly all-white, upper class “bedroom community” in the San Francisco East Bay Area – to examine how highly exclusionary landscape development and politics can be reformulated through a critique of the uneven possibilities for social and racial justice in other political parts of the region, particularly the historically black city of Oakland. Since Moraga’s elite landscape relies on the possibility of ghettoization in cities like Oakland, I will argue that a truly political ecology – and economy – would be one that understands the struggle for the right to landscape always to be conjoined with the struggle for a right to the city.

Hosted by the Department of Political Science, the Department of Geography and the Department of Environmental Studies at York University, and Co-sponsored by the Department of Geography and Program in Planning at the University of Toronto.



Capitalism vs. Ecology:

We Need to Change Everything! Resistance and Alternatives

Toronto — 21 June 2015.


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It is no longer plausible to propose incremental solutions to the ecological crises of our time. The numbers are clear: to avoid a trillion metric tons of cumulative carbon emissions by 2039, and an increase in global average temperatures of 2°C, it is necessary to stabilize immediately Greenhouse Gas emissions. The ecological scars of desertification, coastline loss, species extinction, destruction of habitat, and much else is evident for all to see.

The main culprit of runaway climate change and environmental degradation, as Naomi Klein points out in her new book, is the economic system itself: capitalism. This is a class system that requires endless growth and is incompatible with sustainability and meaningful climate action. Market solutions from the last decades of neoliberalism have miserably failed. The tactics of even "Big Green" environmental groups have too often pursued immediate reforms that fail to address the real sources of the crisis in the unequal relations at work, the need for endless consumption, and the hollowness of democracy today.

But what might serve as an alternative political program for an ecological transition? Where might new radical political movements emerge to carry forward such an ecological revolution? Is "Blockadia" enough? Or is there even more needed to, as Klein suggests, "build the world that will keep us all safe"?

Moderated by Lana Goldberg. Presentations by:

The forum was sponsored by: Centre for Social Justice and Socialist Project.



Nuclear Precipice:

Ukraine, Russia, and patterns of U.S. Hegemony

Toronto — 12 June 2015.


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What is the background of the ethnic conflict in Ukraine? Can the Ukraine situation lead to a Russia/U.S. confrontation involving nuclear weapons? According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the world is again at a precipice with threats of nuclear war.

Moderated and introduction by Greg Albo. Presentations by:

The forum was sponsored by: Centre for Social Justice and Socialist Project.


LS #DateTitle 
274. 26 July 2015 Right to the City/Right to Landscape
From an Elitist to a More Just Urban Landscape in California's East Bay Area. Presentation by Don Mitchell, Professor of Geography, Syracuse University. Recorded in Toronto, 9 July 2015.
273. 12 July 2015 Capitalism vs. Ecology
It is no longer plausible to propose incremental solutions to the ecological crises of our time. The numbers are clear: to avoid a trillion metric tons of cumulative carbon emissions by 2039, it is necessary to stabilize immediately Greenhouse Gas emissions. Presentations by Niloofar Golkar, Greg Albo and Jodi Dean.
272. 28 June 2015 Nuclear Precipice: Ukraine, Russia, and patterns of U.S. Hegemony
What is the background of the ethnic conflict in Ukraine? Can the Ukraine situation lead to a Russia/U.S. confrontation involving nuclear weapons? According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the world is again at a precipice with threats of nuclear war. Recorded in Toronto, 12 June 2015.
271. 14 June 2015 The Scottish Left after the Referendum and The UK Elections Boyd, Cat
The eyes of the world were on Scotland last September when it held a referendum on independence. This month, the whole political establishment in the UK has been shaken up by the election of 56 MPs from the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Westminster Parliament. Recorded in Ottawa, 3 June 2015.
270. 7 June 2015 Syriza, Podemos, Left Bloc, and the Left: ​A European Revolutionary Politics? Panitch, Leo
The 2105 Left Forum opening plenary focused on anti-austerity politics, alliances, and national and international political potentials and challenges emerging in Europe and impacting the world; revolutionary dimensions of these developments - in the context of a mass-based political, economic, cultural, ecological, race, gender, and class struggle-illuminating politics - of electoral, left, and social movement organizing. Recorded in New York, 29 May 2015.
269. 31 May 2015 Carbon Markets and Neoliberal Capitalism
What is wrong with Ontario's new climate change policy? Why should we oppose it? Presentations by Greg Albo, Paul Kellogg and Romain Felli. Recorded in Toronto, 24 May 2015.
268. 17 May 2015 Workers' Struggles Against the Corporate Offensive
A Panel discussion of Continental Crucible with Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, Jim Sinclair and Richard Roman. Recorded in Vancouver, 28 April 2015.
267. 10 May 2015 Class Struggle in North America
A Discussion with Ben Isitt, Bill Carroll, Carlos Flores and co-author of Continental Crucible, Richard Roman. Recorded in Victoria, 13 April 2015.
266. 9 May 2015 400ppm
A very blue music-video about global warming and climate crisis, carboniferous capitalism, and possibilities for an alternative future.
265. 3 May 2015 From Minimum Wage to a Fair Wage
This round table brings together some of the leading North American activists and scholars concerned with the situation of minimum/low wage work. Moderated by Bryan Evans. Presentations by: Sheila Block, Don Wells, and Stephanie Luce. Recorded in Toronto, 27 March 2015.
264. 2 May 2015 What is Political Party for the Left?
A panel discussion about the role of political parties within the Left and what it means today for the Left to take political action. Moderated by Andony Melathopoulos. Presentations by: Leo Panitch, Jackie Barkley, Antoni Wysoci and Carlos Pessoa. Recorded in Halifax, 21 January 2015.
263. 26 April 2015 Green Cities Against Neoliberal Urbanism
This forum, part of the 'Capitalism vs. Ecology' series, looks at the track record of neoliberal urbanism and its deregulation of greenbelts, expansion of capital developments, resulting housing inequalities, and green-washing of planning and urban design. Recorded in Toronto, 12 April 2015.
262. 25 April 2015 The Greek Crisis: Syriza vs Europe
A panel discussion on Greece and the fight against austerity, moderated by Michal Rozworski. Presentations by Ingo Schmidt, Peter Prontzos and Natassa Romanou. Recorded in Vancouver, 10 April 2015.
261. 19 April 2015 Economic Restructuring and the Politics of Low-Paid and Unwaged Work
Video presentations from the Alternate Routes conference "Labour Pains, Capital Gains: The Paradox of Low-Wage, No-Wage Work." Recorded in Toronto, 27 March 2015.
260. 12 April 2015 The Historic Feminist Victories of the 1980s
This forum commemorates two of the greatest achievements of the modern Canadian feminist movement, when thirty years ago, working closely together with the labour movement, the historic legislative and judicial victories on pay and workplace equity and women's reproductive rights were both won.
259. 11 April 2015 Neoliberal Violence and the Mexican state
Emerging community and class struggles. Presentations by: Hepzibah Munoz Martinez, Maria de la Luz Arriaga Lemus, Richard Roman and Columba Gonzalez. Recorded in Toronto, 20 March 2015.
258. 5 April 2015 Lifting Up Low-Wage Work: Global Perspectives Luce, Stephanie
Stephanie Luce gives the 2015 Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture. Luce is a Professor of Labor Studies at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education, CUNY School for Professional Studies and Professor of Sociology in the CUNY Graduate Centre. Recorded in Toronto, 26 March 2015.
257. 4 April 2015 Solidarity rally with striking YorkU and UofT workers
Solidarity rally with striking YorkU (CUPE3903) and UofT (CUPE3902) workers held in Toronto, 21 March 2015.
256. 29 March 2015 Education and Mobilization in Contested Mexico
This panel of experts on contemporary Mexico explores the context surrounding these events including the rise of drug violence, long standing popular movements among teachers and students, meaningful democracy, and the links between powerful interests in licit and illicit industries. Recorded in Toronto, 18 March 2015.
255. 22 March 2015 Climate and Capitalism
Climate change is already catastrophic for countless people around the world, especially in parts of the Global South. Some residents of low-lying Island States in the Pacific Ocean are already having to move to other countries as a result of rising sea levels. Water is also rising in Bangladesh, swallowing up coastal areas and contaminating fertile land. In East Africa changing sea surface temperatures have disrupted seasonal rains and lead to severe droughts. Recorded in Toronto, 15 March 2015.
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