Hispaniola in Revolt

Critical Perspectives on Haiti and Santo Domingo

with Mitch Abidor, Virgilio Oscar Aràn, France Francois, Lionel Legros and Amaury Rodriguez


Come to participate with presentations and discussion on the revolutionary legacies of Hispaniola, the island shared by both Haiti and Santo Domingo.


MITCH ABIDOR has translated many of the key documents and accounts of the Haitian Revolution. His latest book is Down With the Law, an anthology of French individualist anarchist writings. He will discuss the contradictions of the Haitian revolution.

VIRGILIO OSCAR ARÁN is the National Field Home Care Organizer with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Arán has participated in different forums to talk about the inhumane conditions Haitian immigrants suffer under in his native country, the Dominican Republic. He will discuss race and class in the Dominican Republic.

FRANCE FRANCOIS is the Founder and CEO of In Cultured Company, an organization that works on conflict resolution and reconciliation between Haitians and Dominicans. She is a multi-passionate writer, activist, and change agent transforming communities of color around the globe by redefining the way their stories are told and how we impact their lives. France will also reconsider the Haitian revolts of 1946 and 1986.

LIONEL LEGROS is a longtime NYC-based activist and educator originally from Haiti. He fought the Duvalier dictatorship and founded L’Heure Haitienne Radio in New York City in the 1960s. He will discuss the current Haitian revolt.

Moderator: AMAURY RODRIGUEZ is a Dominican-born translator and independent researcher. He is a frequent contributor to the Marxists Internet Archives (MIA) and co-author, with Raj Chetty, of Dominican Black Studies, a special issue of The Black Scholar journal.

All tickets are sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

The People’s Uprising in Chile

Fighting Austerity, Demanding Democracy
with J. Patrice McSherry and David Duhalde

Taking to the streets by the millions and withstanding brutal police assaults, the working people of Chile have beaten back austerity measures and forced the right-wing Piñera regime to accede to a new constitution to replace the restrictive one imposed by the Pinochet dictatorship. The struggle continues to assure that the new charter be drafted by a democratic process and contain safeguards to civil liberties and social welfare provisions. Join us to hear direct reports from Santiago.

J. Patrice McSherry, professor of political science emerita at Long Island University and currently resident in Santiago as a researcher collaborating with the Instituto de Estudios Avanzados (IDEA). She is the author of Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America, and her most recent book is Chilean New Song: The Political Power of Music, 1960s-1973.

David Duhalde is a NYC-based activist involved with the international work of Democratic Socialists of America. He previously held roles at Our Revolution, the Bernie Sanders-inspired grassroots organization, and as DSA’s deputy director. David’s father came to the United States as a political exile following the 1973 overthrow of Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government, and his American mother toured the country telling of her experiences in living through the coup.

No one turned away for inability to pay admittance.
There is a one drink minimum from The Commons Cafe.

Nicaragua in Crisis

A Forum with Father Octavio Altamirano • Jorge Blass •
Dan La Botz • Lisa Maya Knauer • Nicaraguan Students

co-sponsored with Haymarket Books, NACLA, New Politics and Democratic Socialists of America, NYC Chapter
Since late April the Nicaraguan Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega has been challenged first by a popular uprising in which dozens were killed by the government and then by mass demonstrations demanding peace and justice. Now the Catholic Church is attempting to mediate between the Ortega government and the movement, but so far without success. What is the source of Nicaragua’s crisis today? And what are the roots of the problem in the experience of the last forty years? How does it affect Nicaraguan immigrants to the United States? What stand should progressive Americans take on the Nicaraguan crisis?


The German Revolution 1918-1924

The German Revolution 1918-1924: False Hope or Missed Chance?
Revolutions Study Group at The MEP
12-week session
Mondays, October 3-December 19, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

At the end of 1918, the workers of Germany rose up and overthrew the Kaiser. The Bolsheviks thought that the success of the Russian Revolution hinged upon the rapid unfolding of the a world revolution, and placed their hopes for its beginning on Germany more than any other country. For the next five years, fractious German revolutionaries agitated for and launched a series of uprisings aimed at the creation of a workers╒ state: the Sparticist uprising in 1919, in which Luxemburg and Liebknecht were killed; the March Action in 1921; the “German October” in 1923. They fought, but they lost. In the process, the working class was divided and demoralized, the capitalist class went looking for a savior, and the foundations of Nazism were laid.
In it’s beginnings, the revolution in Germany appears very similar to the events in Russia the year before. Why was the outcome so different? We will try to answer many questions in the course of this reading group, but that is the essential question.
Primary reading: Pierre Broue, The German Revolution. Other readings include selected original documents and selections from Haffner, Failure of a Revolution, and Angress, The Stillborn Revolution.
The Revolutions Study Group (originally at the Brecht Forum) has been meeting since 2009. Individual participants have come and gone, however the group has held together, studying in depth a wide range of history including the French Revolution, the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Mau-Mau Revolt in Kenya, the Haitian Revolution, the European Revolutions of 1848, the May movement in France of 1968 and the Hot Autumn of Italy the following year, the Spanish Civil War, the Mexican Revolution, the Socialist (2nd) International, and Russian Social Democracy prior to World War I.

Day 1, Session 3: May 1968 in France: Learning from the Participants

A presentation by and discussion with Mitch Abidor

In preparation for an oral history of the events of May 1968 in France, Mitch Abidor interviewed over thirty participants in the events from all political tendencies and from all over the country. He’ll discuss what he learned of the experiences of those who were there and what can be learned from them.

Mitchell Abidor’s translation work and studies include anthologies of Victor Serge, the Paris Commune, the left of the French Revolution, as well as the novella A Raskolnikoff by Emmanuel Bove. He lives in Brooklyn.