transform! europe and the Rosa Luxemburg-Foundation took part
From 16-18 March, the Left Forum – which brings together representatives of the academic, trade unionist and activist Left – took place at the Pace University in New York, its motto being “Occupy the System: Confronting Gobal Capitalism”.
With 2,600 participants the organizers could this year break a record. In over 400 seminars and workshops and three big plenary sessions, a wide range of topics relevant in current political theory was dealt with. The focus of the debates was on the tensions which arise on the one hand from the development of the “Occupy”-movement as a political approach from outside the institutions, on the other from the upcoming presidential elections. As regards the latter and due to a lacking political alternative, the Left is again confronted with the question if and to which extent it is to support Obama, also considering the offensive of the fundamentalist and demagogic Right which is – as the Tea-Party movement – gathering on the right fringe of the Republican Party.
The confrontation with the Right was also the topic of one of two events transform! europe had organised at the conference and which was well-attended: “The Crisis and Right-Wing Populism: Europe and the US” with Teppo Eskilenen (Finland), William K. Tabb (USA), Abby Scher (USA), Jan Kavan (Czechia) and Walter Baier (transform! europe) as speakers.
The second event co-organised by transform! and the Rosa Luxemburg-Foundation was entitled “European Resistance to Austrity Policies – Left Alternative Strategies”, speakers were Walter Baier (transform! europe), George Stathakis (Greece), José Soeiro (Portugal) and Teppo Eskilenen (Finland).