Recording of panel at Howard Zinn Conference, December 6, 2019, San Francisco
The U.S. is no longer an unrivaled empire dominating the world system. It has suffered a relative decline as a result of its disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the rise of China as a global superpower. Furthermore, the 2008 global economic crisis weakened America’s hegemony over the world economy. Considering a growing inter-imperial rivalry, revolutions and counter revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, the threat of a U.S. or Israeli or Saudi Arabian war with Iran, a catastrophic migrant crisis, and a new surge of global revolt against authoritarianism and austerity alongside a resurgence of the far right, this panel will address the following questions: What distinguishes imperialism in the 21st century? What is new about anti-imperialist struggles? How do we express our solidarity with the Sudanese and Algerian uprisings, the popular protests in Chile, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, the Kurds under assault by the Turkish invasion of northern Syria, all Syrian revolutionaries fighting the Assad regime and Jihadists, the indigenous struggles in the Americas including opposition to the recent coup in Bolivia, as well as labor struggles in China and mass democracy protests in Hong Kong? What is needed for shaping an emancipatory socialist alternative that opposes all imperialist powers?
- Ashley Smith is a socialist writer and activist in Burlington, Vermont. He has written in numerous publications including Truthout, The International Socialist Review, Socialist Worker, ZNet, Jacobin, New Politics and many other online and print publications. He is currently working on a book for Haymarket Books entitled Socialism and Anti-Imperialism.
- Linda Quiquivix (“Kiki”) is daughter of the undocumented migrant community in California and granddaughter of the Mam (Maya) people of Guatemala and Mexico. She places her university training as a geographer at the service of under-resourced communities in Palestine, Mexico, and the US who seek clean water, land, and tools to build autonomy. In her hometown of Oxnard, California, she is part of a collective of seed savers and farmers who intervene against food insecurity, rebuild respectful ecological relationships to Mother Earth, and collectively organize toward climate resilience. She’s also a writer and researcher, currently working on a book manuscript entitled Palestine 1492, which places the Palestinian struggle into conversation with the genocide of the Americas and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
- Frieda Afary is a librarian, translator, producer of Iranian Progressives in Translation (www.iranianprogressives.org) and member of The Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists. She has published articles in English and Persian on the Middle East, Marxist Feminism, and Marxist critiques of state capitalism.
- Emma Wilde Botta is a socialist activist and writer based in the Bay Area. She has written extensively on Syria, the Gulf states, Iran, and US imperialism. Her writing has appeared in Truthout, the International Socialist Review, Socialist Worker, and the Review of African Political Economy.