The CME has been educating revolutionists since 1975 by hosting events that are free and open to the public. Through the generosity of volunteers, we provide lectures, films, book talks, strategy meetigs and discussion groups from global, national, and local socialists for anyone who believes that capitalism isn't working, and wants to find a better way.
Sunday, July 8 | 8:00 – 9:30 PM
Learning from the Worst Defeats in Working Class History - Please register here.
Wadi'h Halabi, CPUSA and CME
Almost 75 years after the greatest step forward in human history, the Soviet Union collapsed as if termites had silently eaten its foundations. Twelve states in all fell to counter-revolution in the 1980s and early 1990s, from Albania to Yugoslavia, Poland to Mongolia. How could this happen? This two-part series tries to place the defeats in a global class and historical context, and to draw lessons so the international working class movement can emerge stronger, as it did from the lessons of the defeat of the Paris Commune. These presentations draw from efforts over the past 18 years in China to identify and address the weaknesses that made these defeats possible.
Part I - [Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 8 PM eastern] Placing the collapse of the Soviet Union in a global class and historical context.
The fall of the Soviet Union did not occur in isolation. It was stressed by a mighty "typhoon" emerging from world capitalism's deepening contradictions and failures. This presentation places the Soviet collapse in a world and historical context, a world where two social systems have been interacting and conflicting since the creation of the Soviet state in 1917. The collapse of the Socialist International in 1914 provides a useful analogy. Three diagrams are used to help provide context.
Part II - [Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 8 PM eastern] What allowed little Cuba to survive the typhoon that brought down the mighty Soviet Union?
When a typhoon hits a region, afterwards we find that some buildings have collapsed, while others remained standing. Why did any building collapse? A typhoon hit it! But what allowed some buildings to survive? We first look at the building's foundations, but we also know a weak roof can compromise the building, and that we cannot ignore seemingly-tertiary factors, such as flood control measures many miles away. This approach can help develop comprehensive insights into a seemingly-baffling catastrophe, and the many challenges in establishing a new social system founded to end exploitation. Two diagrams -- and a question -- are used in this part.
Suggested (but not required to participate) Reading: Lenin's State and Revolution
Saturday, July 14 | 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Stars Over Latin America
Presented by the Author, M. Earl Smith
What happens when two young men allow the world to change them?
“Stars Over Latin America” shares the story of Che Guevara and Alberto Granado’s journey across South America. When two young men begin a journey across Latin America on a broken-down motorcycle, they have no idea how much the voyage will change their lives. The story of Che Guevara and Alberto Granado and their voyage across South America has been hailed for decades as a pivotal moment in the Marxist movement in Latin America. Guevara’s diaries from the trip were first published in 2003, followed by a film adaptation in 2005. But until now, the tale was mostly ignored by the children’s book industry.
Stars Over Latin America, published March 9, 2018, by Michelkin Publishing, will finally share this important and inspirational account with young readers worldwide. Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, the story, written by M. Earl Smith, is accompanied by vivid illustrations by the talented Gustavo Ferrés.
Author M. Earl Smith is a historian, professor, and author from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He teaches English at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, while pursuing a master of fine arts degree in creative writing at Pine Manor College. He has previously written books for both children and adults as well as having numerous short stories and poems published in anthologies. Illustrator Gustavo Ferrés is a student of design at the University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil.
Michelkin Publishing publishes both print and digital books and distributes titles via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iBooks, and many other digital book retailers. For more information about the company, pleas visit http://books.michelkin.com.
Tuesday, July 24 | 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Sandra Bland & Police Violence Against Black People: History, Art, & Action
Phillip Luke Sinitiere and a poetry performance by Boston-based artist Simone John
Three years ago in July 2015, Chicago native Sandra Bland died in Waller County Jail.
White Texas state trooper Brian Encinia pulled over the 28-year-old black woman for failure to signal a lane change. He escalated the traffic stop by threatening Bland and screaming “I will light you up!” after which he arrested her. Three days later she died in Waller County Jail. Bland’s death—which a medical examiner ruled a suicide but which her family contested by filing a wrongful death lawsuit—along with the dashcam footage of her arrest propelled activists and artists to demand justice. Bolstered by circulating the “Sandy Speaks” vlogs Bland created on Facebook in early 2015 and using hashtags like #SayHerName and #WhathappenedtoSandraBland activists harnessed social media to bring attention to her case. They also conducted direct action protests and marches in Houston and across the country. While a Texas grand jury indicted Encinia with perjury (after which the Texas Department of Public Safety fired him), in early 2016 they returned no indictments of Waller County Jail officials in her death. During the summer of 2017, a judge dismissed the charges against Encinia. He also surrendered his law enforcement license, which means he will never again work as a police officer. Later that year Bland’s family settled their lawsuit with Waller County and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Despite the closure of Bland’s case, the grotesque brutality of the traffic stop, the contested claim that she took her own life, and the miscarriage of justice, we still don’t know what happened inside of her cell in Waller County Jail. Yet Sandra Bland lives on—digitally resurrected in her “Sandy Speaks” videos and as the subject of art and culture—as both a reminder of state violence against black women and as an inspiration for continued resistance to the imperiled status of black people in the United States and across the world.
On Tuesday, July 24, the CME will host a lecture on the history of the Sandra Bland protest
movement by scholar Phillip Luke Sinitiere and a poetry performance by Boston-based artist Simone John. Moderated by Edward Carson, CPUSA-Boston.
Saturday, July 29 | 6:00 PM
Finally Got the News
Richard Pendleton, CME Steering Committee
FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with the members of the movement, footage shot in the auto plants, and footage of leafleting and picketing actions, the film documents their efforts to build an independent black labor organization that, unlike the UAW, will respond to worker's problems, such as the assembly line speed-up and inadequate wages faced by both black and white workers in the industry.
Beginning with a historical montage, from the early days of slavery through the subsequent growth and organization of the working class, FINALLY GOT THE NEWS focuses on the crucial role played by the black worker in the American economy. Also explored is the educational 'tracking' system for both white and black youth, the role of African American women in the labor force, and relations between white and black workers. (Watch the trailer.)
Center for Marxist Education
550 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor Cambridge, MA, 02139
Metered parking is available in the area as well as several pay lots (free on Sundays).
MBTA station on the Red Line and the Number 1 bus.
Past Event Schedules