The U.S. and other powerful countries continually involve working people in brutal wars over resources and spheres of influence. As Marxists see it, war is not just "bad policy" but something that is endemic to capitalism regardless of who is in power
Get to know who we are, what we do, and where we stand! If you are new to the ISO, meet us Thursdays at 5:30 pm to discuss the fight for a socialist future.
From the Muslim ban to the relentless ICE raids that have been terrorizing communities, it's vital that we come together and discuss how we stop these attacks and build a bigger movement to defend Immigrant rights overall. Join us for an evening of panelists on this important issue!
Panelists will include presenters from:
- Carpenter's Local 1503,
- Voz Workers' Rights Education Project
- International Socialist Organization
Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 294
Syrians Need Solidarity, Not Bombs. Let the Refugees In. Say no to war on Syria. No to Trump's bombs, No to Russian Bombs, No to Assad's Brutal repression. Neither Washington Nor Moscow but International Solidarity from Below!
It’s time for an alternative for the exploited and oppressed. It’s time to fight back against those who pit us against each other and would destroy our planet for profit. It’s time to stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder, because that’s the only way we’ll win. Join us for a presentation and discussion on the tools we need to fight back and how we’ll build them.
We do not yet know our history.
We do not yet know what it took to win these rights.
We must learn that history.
This is not a new fight.
There is a new generation in this fight.
We have been disarmed.
We must arm ourselves with our history, with our solidarity, with politics.
author of Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation
Join Portland State ISO to review and discuss this history in preparation for the fight to defend reproductive justice rights for all.
Thursday, March 9th at 7pm
Portland State University
Smith Memorial Student Union
Facebook event page:
Talk of revolution is everywhere. People are becoming aware that capitalism doesn’t work and is, in fact, responsible for much of the suffering in the world. The few are profiting off the many and the many are fed up. Revolution seems like a possibility now more than ever. But history has taught us that without organization, revolutions cannot be sustained and society will fall back into patterns of exploitation.This talk and discussion will examine why a revolutionary party is necessary, how the ISO understands such a party as based on the Marxist tradition, and what steps we can start taking today to bring about a better world.
This is a public meeting. All are welcome!
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/238658299877193/
An open misogynist is the 45th President of the United States. Trump pledges to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade, sign a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, and to turn the clock back on women’s rights and empower misogyny in other ways.
But with increased oppression comes increased resistance. The Women's March on January 21st smashed expectations, with people taking to the streets in record numbers to resist Trump and his oppressive agendas. The resistance must not stop there. In order to be most effective in combatting women’s oppression, we need to understand where it comes from, the relationship of reproductive rights to the state and its economic structure, and what types of movements are most effective for defending women’s rights and ending women’s oppression altogether. This means mobilizing working class women of all races and rejecting corporate-friendly “power feminism” campaigns like Hillary Clinton’s. We are stronger when we fight together -- immigrant, Muslim, Black, white, LGBTQ, men, and women -- linking struggles that affect us all, so we can stand up to whatever the Republicans and Democrats throw our way.
Jessica Hansen-Weaver, a long-time ISO member from San Francisco will be presenting. There will be a discussion after the talk. All are welcome.
PSU, Smith Memorial Student Union Room 026
PLEASE NOTE: Childcare will be provided for this event in the Smith building by PSU's Little Vikings. Spots must be reserved in advance. Please contact Nikki at email@example.com by January 26th to reserve a spot!
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/634380810091856/
Location: Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 338
The electoral "victory" of Donald Trump has come as a shock to many. And his incoming cabinet of hard-line, right-wing troglodytes should dispel any myths that Trump's overtures to the vilest of racists, corporate hacks, and warmongers were mere campaign posturing. In fact, Trump and the Right are poised to wage attacks on immigrants, Muslims, women, union workers, and others in the coming year, all the while lavishing big business with tax breaks and cutting essential services for the poor and working class. But the crisis in neoliberalism that created the conditions for the rise of Trump and his repulsive bigotry has also opened up large swaths of people to the ideas of socialism, especially around the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. A socialist world based on human need and is certainly more desirable than the nightmare of scapegoating and jingoism that Trump would like us to live in. And the best way to fight Trump and the Right is to join the socialist movement and be a part of building a strong, independent Left. Come to discuss the prospects of fighting against Trump and the Right, while pointing to a socialist world free of the war, oppression, and destitution of capitalism.
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1701341973529031/
PSU: Smith Student Union Building Room 327
PSU - Smith Student Union Building, Room 329
7:00 - 10:00 PM
FACEBOOK RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/215753388864016/
With Trump's election and the attacks against Muslims, immigrants, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock and refugees are sure to rise. We know that together in solidarity our struggles are better and the week following Trump's election shows that many are disgusted by this turn in American politics and are ready to resist. This panel will bring various speakers involved in these struggles to discuss the threat Trump poses and how we can build a united fight back against Trump and for liberation.
Hanna Estephan Eid is a students at Portland State University, a member of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER), active in the PSU Inauguration Day Action Committee, and a member of the International Socialist Organization. He will be introducing the event and our panelists.
Gregory Robert McKelvey is a law student and leader with Don't Shoot Portland and Portland Resistance who was recently arrested by Portland Police while participating in an anti-Trump protest.
Kunu Dittmer is a multimedia artist and storyteller. Kunu is Northern Cheyenne and an enrolled Ho-Chunk nation tribal member. He was recently at Standing Rock and participated in the #NoDapl resistance. To see some of his visual expression please visit this site vimeo.com/129983905
Romeo Sosa is an indigenous Mayan organizer born in Guatemala and the executive director of the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition - PIRC. He has worked as a rural researcher and indigenous rights organizer, developing Popular Education materials in Guatemala’s rural communities. He also worked as an advocate for displaced survivors of war at la Organizacion de Servicios de Solidaridad in Mexico. Romeo will speak on the attacks facing immigrants today.
Fatmah Worfeley is an 18 years old Palestinian and Libyan student at Portland state. Currently working at Momentum Alliance, she is a member of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights and ASPSU and has been involved with BLM PDX and Dont Shoot PDX protests. Fatmah will be speak about the attacks on refugees and immigrants.
Jose A. Padin is a Professor of Sociology at Portland State University. He is president of the PSU American Association of University Professors-AAUP. Professor Padin will be speaking on the attacks on labor and the economic policies of Trump.
Maxine Fookson from Jewish Voice for Peace will be reading a statement about the anti-semitic politics which have forcefully resurfaced during this election and are a central feature of the racist so called "alt-right" movement and the appointment of Bannon, an open anti-semite, as chief strategist in the white house as well as the Zionist right's celebration of Trump's election.
Eva María is a Venezuelan-born socialist, an adjunct professor of Spanish at PSU and a political activist of the International Socialist Organization. She has been involved in building movements as well as the left ever since she became a student at PSU in 2011. She will be talking about the need for solidarity, unity, and resistance in the face of the attacks by Trump and an emboldened far-right as well as the need for building a left-wing political alternative not just to Trump, but to the mainstream politicians whose policies laid the basis for Trump’s rise.
Thursday at 7:00 pm
Smith Student Union Room 327
This weeks ISO meeting will be an organizational meeting to assess the NW Marxism Day School and adjust ourselves to the changes in the world.
All are welcome!
Tuesday November 15th is a national day of action against the Dakota Access Pipeline. There are a couple of events being organized in the city. The PortlandState University Branch of the International Socialist Organization will be gathering at PSU at 3pm in the SW park blocks next to Smith Student Union to show Portland State stands with the Standing Rock water defenders. There will be a brief rally and then we will march over to the Portland District office of the Army Corps of Engineers at 333 SW 1st ave. to join From PDX to Standing Rock: #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally organized by African + Indigenous Solidarity PDX at 4pm.
PSU Solidarity with Standing Rock #NoDAPL at 3pm
From PDX to Standing Rock: #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally at 4pm
There are 400 billionaires in this country. They are the reason why there are 47 million poor people. You cannot have untold, obscene wealth unless you have untold, obscene poverty. That is the law of capitalism. The alternative—socialism—was put at the center of U.S. politics by the campaign of Bernie Sanders, confirming again what people who protest for a living wage or stand up against police racism have been saying for years: The capitalist system isn't working, and we need an alternative. Whether or not the bigot Trump or the warmonger Clinton win the presidential election we are going to have to fight for a better world.
Join the International Socialist Organization at our Northwest Marxism day school hosted at Portland State University to discuss and debate how we
can win that world.
Why the working class can change the world
Reform or Revolution: Can capitalism evolve towards Socialism?
What next for the Left after the election?
Portland State University
Smith Student Union Building
PSU Smith Student Union Room 327
As the results of last nights election roll in, the horror, shock, and disdain can been felt across the country. How can a racist, sexist, islamaphobic, xenophobic, imperialist become the elected President of the United States? What gives rise to this? How can we fight back? How can we build a real political alternative that can FIGHT the rise of the right and all it brings with it? The PSU Branch of the International Socialist Organization would like to extend an invitation to anyone wrestling with these questions to join our branch meeting this evening, to discuss how we move foward in building a left alternative to the two party system and the rise of the Trump/Trumpism.
PSU Smith Student Union Building
Speaker: Phil Gasper is a philosophy professor in Madison, Wisconsin and the editor of The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History’s Most Important Political Document
The capitalist system has from its beginning driven nation states to war for profit and empire. Today capitalist powers and their states compete with each other to divide the world into spheres of influence. This inter-imperial rivalry is the root cause of the wars that have wracked the system from the First World War to Bush’s Iraq War and Obama’s drone war to the horror being visited on the Syria people today by international powers and the Syrian State.
Marxists believe that international solidarity against war and national oppression is the duty of all genuine revolutionaries. It is part of the struggle to unite the global working class against our common exploiters and oppressors.
Portland State University
Smith Student Union Building, Room 294
Syria’s revolution and counter-revolution is now at the center of a growing inter-imperial antagonism between the US and Russia. Meanwhile, the embattled revolution is trapped between two forces of counter-revolution—on the one hand, Assad and his international and regional backers, and on the other Al-qaeda and ISIS. There has been much confusion on the left on this issue with some some supporting Assad and Putin against what they see as a fake revolution created by the US to enact regime change in Syria. Meanwhile liberals like Phyllis Bennis look to the UN and a diplomatic solution to bring peace. On the other hand, out of despair, Syrian solidarity activists are increasingly calling for the US to impose a No Fly Zone, a demand that is not only unlikely to be met, but could trigger an inter-imperial conflict between the US and Russia.
Our goal will be to clarify the history of what has happened in Syria against the distortion that this was a fake revolution orchestrated by the US. We will also argue that the task for the left is to oppose intervention by any of the imperialist and regional powers, reject the tyranny of the Assad regime itself, demand the opening of the borders to those fleeing the violence and chaos, collaborate with Syrian revolutionaries--and win people away from campism to the politics of international solidarity from below.
We will also be discussing the upcoming NW Marxism Day School on November 12th. Last we will split into our routine working groups.
All are welcome.
Anti-Imperialism and the Syrian Revolution readings:
Socialism is at the center of U.S. politics after the campaign of Bernie Sanders. Capitalism has brought our world to the brink with inequality, racism, war and environmental devastation. It is clear to a new generation of people that the current system isn't working, and we need an alternative. Come to this forum about what the fight for a socialist future might look like and how you can get involved. Organized by the International Socialist Organization.
Portland State University
Smith Student Union Building
From Baton Rouge to Portland, people around the nation have taken to the streets in protest of yet more racist police murders like those of#AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile.
Meanwhile there is a campaign underway to use the killing of police in Dallas to vilify the #BlackLivesMatter movement and rehabilitate the image of the police.
Yet racist murders by police are set to surpass last year's numbers despite the spotlight that the #BLM movement has cast on police brutality. This has raised questions about the nature and role of the police: Who do they Serve? What is their role in society? Can they be reformed so as to genuinely serve and protect the communities they patrol, instead of treating them like occupied territory? What will it take to end racist police violence?
Join the Portland ISO for a discussion about the origins of the police and their relationship to racism, class struggle, and capitalism.
The popularity of Bernie Sanders’ campaign shows that many people are seeking out an alternative to capitalism and are for the first time embracing socialism. Socialism 2016 is a four-day conference held on July 1-4 in Chicago which brings together over a thousand people from around the country to learn about the real Marxist tradition of “socialism from below,” the fight for women’s liberation, the history and politics of Black liberation, the relationship between capitalism and climate change, and discuss and debate strategy for organizing today.
Members of the Portland International Socialist Organization, allies, and friends in Portland will be attending the conference this year. If you are interested in learning more about the conference please visit https://www.socialismconference.org/ and message the event planners for more information!
We hope you can join us!
Socialism 2016 will feature over 140 meetings on topics such as…
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black liberation • Sexuality and socialism: The theory and politics of LGBTQ liberation • Can America go socialist? • The hidden history of multiracial workers’ struggles in the United States • How Marx became a Marxist • Israel: Apartheid state • Land grabs and Big Oil: The looting of Africa • Eugene Debs and the US socialist tradition • Trump and the rise of right-wing populism • Introduction to social reproduction theory • China on strike: Narratives of workers’ resistance • A people’s art history of the US • Missouri, football, race, and revolt • and many more!
Some of our Speakers at Socialism 2016:
Adam and Jeralynn Blueford • Gilbert Achcar • Mike Davis • Barbara Ransby • Sharon Smith • Anthony Arnove • Ian Angus • Sam Farber • Eli Friedman • Justin Akers Chacón • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor • Paul D’Amato • Khury Petersen-Smith • Amy Goodman • Neil Davidson • Lester Spence • Jesse Hagopian • Tithi Bhattacharya • Brian Jones • Alan Maass • Nicole Colson • Scott McLemee • Donna Murch • Bill Mullen • Danny Katch • Jennifer Roesch • Jon Soske • Ahmed Shawki • Charlotte Bence • John Riddell • Bhaskar Sunkara • Sherry Wolf • Dave Zirin • Dan Georgakas • Marvin Surkin
One Day Conference of Socialist Politics, Debate, and Education
At Portland State University Parkway North in Smith Student Union Building
Join the Portland International Socialist Organization to discuss the results of the Super Tuesday Primary Elections and what they mean for socialists, the Sanders campaign and the 2016 elections.
1) Intros (5 min)
2) Super Doomsday?- Tuesday primary results (45 min)
3) Assess Women and Socialism event (35 min)
4) Announcements (5 min)
5) Routines (30 min)
Hope we see you there!
More than forty years after the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s, women remain without equal rights. If anything, each decade that has passed without a fighting women’s movement has seen a rise in blatant sexism and the further erosion of the gains that were won in the 1960s and 1970s.
Join a discussion with Sharon Smith that takes up issues of women’s oppression from a Marxist perspective — focusing on the centrality of race and class — amid the stirrings of a new movement today.
This event will also celebrate the release of Women and Socialism: Class Race and Capital [Haymarket Books 2015].
Copies of the book will be available for purchase to be signed.
“Sharon Smith’s work, spanning decades of events affecting women, provides a valuable and uncommon perspective on the oppression and liberation of women." —Dana Cloud, Associate Professor, University of Texas, Austin
This event is sponsored by the International Socialist Organization (PSU Branch).
* * *
Sharon Smith is the author of Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States, also published by Haymarket books, as well as many articles on women's liberation and the U.S. working class. Her writings appear regularly in Socialist Worker newspaper and the International Socialist Review.
Join us at this weeks meeting for a discussion about Feminism and Radicalism in the Age of Neoliberalism, chapter 8 from Sharon Smith's book- Women and Socialism. The help us prep for her upcoming book tour stop here at Portland State University.
room-238 Smith Student Union Building
Proposed agenda for this week's meeting:
1) intros (5 min)
2) Feminism and Radicalism in the Age of Neoliberalism-Nico (40 min)
Reading is pdf of Chapter 8 in Women and Socialism found below agenda
3) Political Prep for Sharon's event (30 min)
4) Announcements (5 min)
5) Routines (30 min)
Pdf of Ch.8 of Women and Socialism
Feminism and Radicalism in the Age of Neoliberalism
This week's ISO meeting will be focused on discussing what the Iowa Election results tell us about the deep dissatisfaction with the political status qou and what they mean for the possibilities of building a socialist movement in this country independent of the two corporate parties.
These will be the primary readings for this section:
Additionally we will be discussing what are goals are, who are audience is and how we should build for Sharon Smith's upcoming book tour for Women and Socialism.
Join the ISO for a discussion on Domestic Labor and Social Reproduction and how they pertain to capitalism, the exploitation of the working class, and the oppression of women.
PSU, Smith Student Union, Room 323
Women and Socialism by Sharon Smith,
Capitalism and Social Reproduction Theory by Haley Swenson,
Beyond the Politics of Fear and Lesser Evils: Organizing a generation of socialist fighters for today
We're told that socialism is a dream, that we're naive to aspire to a more collectively organized and democratic society. We're told capitalism and our broken political system are the best we can hope for. But an end to sexism, racism, economic exploitation, imperialist war, and police violence are not unthinkable goals, and in the current political climate a lot of people are looking for serious alternatives. While the capitalist economic system is destroying the earth, both sides of the mainstream political establishment uphold the status quo; they pit us against each other and play on people's fears in order to garner support for the ruling class's agenda. We can aspire to and achieve something better. We can do more than just vote for the lesser evil, hoping that much-needed reforms be handed down from politicians on high. We can stand beside each other and fight collectively for a better world. Together, we can end oppression and liberate ourselves and the world around us. To do this we'll need to come together around a vision and a plan, so please join the Portland International Socialist Organization for our winter term kickoff, in a discussion on the theory, strategy, and tactics we'll need in order to realize a new world.
Thursday, Jan. 7th, 6:30 PM
PSU, Smith Student Union Room 333
ISIS, Imperialism, and the Anti-Refugee Backlash: How the "War on Terror" Made the World More Dangerous
Wael Elasady - Palestinian-Syrian activist and member of the International Socialist Organization.
In the days following the horrific attacks in Paris, our rulers have responded with a narrative and actions that have become all too familiar. French President Hollande immediately vowed to wage "merciless war" against ISIS and launched an intensive bombing campaign in Syria. He has implemented a "state of emergency" that grants exceptional powers to the state. Meanwhile, politicians jin the US and the media are already ramping up a scapegoating campaign against Syrian refugees and Muslims.
If all of this feels too familiar, it is because this is precisely what happened after the attacks in the US on 9/11. And yet, the US-led wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and the accompanying attack on civil liberties and racist backlash against Arabs and Muslims, has done nothing to make our world safer. Instead, it has left a trail of devastation and created greater instability and danger. In fact, it is the "war on terror" that has created the conditions in which ISIS could develop.
The state terrorism of the US, France and their allies and the terror of ISIS share a logic - that this is a clash of civilizations and that there is no alternative between imperialism and reaction. The Paris attacks - directed not at the state but at young, multi-racial and progressive gathering spots - only highlight this point. They were designed to invite repression and push back the possibility of solidarity between Muslims and non-Muslims, refugees and French-born.
It is the urgent responsibility of the Left to reject this narrative and to build an alternative based on solidarity and opposition to all forms of racism,imperialism and reaction. This was the hope we saw in the wave of actions in support of refugees in recent months. It again showed its face when French mourners drove fascists away from a vigil in the wake of the attacks.
Come to this meeting of the Portland International Socialist Organization to talk about the background to the recent attacks, how we can resist the tide of war and racism, and what we can do here to contribute to the building of a genuinely internationalist alternative.
PSU Smith Building Room 333 at 6:45pm
“It is only in its era of monopoly that the capitalist mode of production takes over the totality of individual, family, and social needs and, in subordinating them to the market, also reshapes them to serve the needs of capital. . . . How capitalism transformed all of society into a gigantic marketplace is a process that has been little investigated, although it is one of the keys to all recent social history.”
—Harry Braverman, Labor and Monopoly Capital
Join us for a discussion on the Neo-Liberal University, its affects on students, faculty, and the working class, and how the attack on higher education relates to the capitalist offensive as a whole.
PSU, Smith Student Union Hall, Room 333
The Israeli state was built on the foundations of war and murder and maintains its supremacy on the same foundations, and the ongoing terror committed against the Palestinian population is a predictable outcome of these truths.
No one should sugar-coat the grim conditions and negative balance of power that has given rise to the latest round of violence and protests--but only through solidarity--particularly the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign--can opposition mobilize to confront Israeli terror.
PSU, Smith Student Union Building, Room 333, 6:45PM
1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201