The Big Scary “S” Word and Climate Change

A Virtual Discussion with the filmmaker and activists on socialism, climate change and the fight for a Green New Deal 

Wednesday, June 9 at 8 ET / 7pm CT / 6pm MT / 5pm PT  

After you sign up, look for an email with information for joining the call on June 9.

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Join the Democratic Socialists of America Fund, Dissent magazine, DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group and Green New Deal Campaign Committee, Sunrise Movement, Verso, Haymarket, Lux magazine, and In These Times for the second installment in a series of virtual events inspired by the film The Big Scary “S” Word. This month’s discussion will focus on climate change and the fight for a Green New Deal.

The Big Scary “S” Word, a new documentary feature from director Yael Bridges examining the past, present, and future of socialism in the United States, connects the dots between many of our social and economic crises and focuses on American socialists’ responses.  

On June 9, the filmmaker will join us to show a clip from the film and answer questions about the movie. The panelists will discuss and respond to your questions about how we get where we need to go now to combat climate change and fight for a Green New Deal.

Yael Bridge is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. She produced Left on Purpose, winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC. She was also the director of productions at Inequality Media, making viral videos that tackled complex political issues and gained over 100 million views in 2016. She holds an MFA in documentary film and video from Stanford University and an MA in media studies from the New School. She resides in Oakland, where she works as a filmmaker and film educator.

Marquita Bradshaw is a single mom who grew up in South Memphis. She is an alumna of the University of Memphis. After graduating, she worked in grassroots organizing around a military landfill. While doing that work, she learned from her parents, Doris and Ken, the relational organizing model that secured her Senate nomination. Marquita’s career and service have spanned labor, environment, education reform, tax reform, trade policy, and social justice work. After making history in the state of Tennessee as the first black woman nominated for a statewide position, Marquita formed Sowing Justice, a non-profit dedicated to increasing civic engagement in communities experiencing environmental racism and injustice.

Rep. Ruth Buffalo is a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. She is originally from Mandaree. Ruth has served in various capacities focused on building healthy and safe communities. Ruth was elected into the North Dakota House of Representatives in 2018 and proudly serves the people of District 27 in south Fargo. 

Rep. Jeanné Kapela serves in the Hawai’i State House of Representatives, where she is the Vice Chair for the Committee on Education. Before holding elected office, Jeanné served her community as a board of directors member for the Kona Coffee Farmers Association and Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. She has also worked as a service provider for survivors of sexual exploitation. She is the first woman and Native Hawaiian to represent her district. Jeanné is committed to strengthening racial, gender, and economic justice throughout Hawai’i and pursuing Green New Deal policies that uplift people and our planet.

 Javier Miranda is a Venezuelan-American and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He lives in a small apartment in St. Paul with a broke-ass car. He installs solar panels for a living, and hopes to see a world free of borders.

Thea Riofrancos is an associate professor of political science at Providence College, an Andrew Carnegie Fellow (2020-2022), and a Radcliffe Institute Fellow (2020-2021). Her research focuses on resource extraction, renewable energy, climate change, green technology, social movements, and the left in Latin America. These themes are explored in her book, Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador (Duke University Press, 2020) and her co-authored book, A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso Books, 2019). She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and serves on the organization’s Green New Deal Campaign Committee.

 Ashik Siddique is an organizer with Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, and serves on DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group steering committee.

This event could go as late as 9:30pm Eastern.

[Register Here]


More opportunities for working with and supporting sponsors of this event:

Learn more about and donate to The Democratic Socialists of America Fund.

Subscribe to Dissent. 

See the trailer and learn more about upcoming film screenings of The Big Scary “S” Word.

Get involved with DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group and Green New Deal Campaign.

Join the Sunrise Movement.

Read Verso books and attend their events.

Read Haymarket books and attend their events.

Subscribe to Lux.

Subscribe to In These Times.

Is It Possible to Smother a Political Idea to Death? (+1 more)

By Shane Ryan  |  April 13, 2021

Photo courtesy of Getty

Is It Possible to Smother a Political Idea to Death?

Let’s start by considering the following opinion, as expressed by some hypothetical U.S. citizen:

As a country, America should be most concerned with protecting itself. We live in a dangerous world, even a deteriorating world, and as it becomes worse, we need to ensure that we value our own safety above all else. Opening our nation to uncontrolled immigration is a recipe for disaster, and while terrible things might be happening to those people outside our borders—and I truly feel bad for them—trying to fix it ourselves will result in a dangerous flood that ends up ruining our country too. It may be true that America achieved its current status in ways that are unfair, but that’s the reality we live in and we can’t change the past. What’s most important now is to ensure that we keep the good life we have for our people, no matter what happens anywhere else. We can’t help them, but we can help ourselves.

For many of us, that idea would be abhorrent, even though the theoretical speaker is taking pains to sound reasonable. We might think there’s an implied racism in the words, even though the speaker doesn’t mention race and, if pressed, would insist he’s not racist and that he supports controlled, i.e. “good,” immigration. We would make other assumptions, too; this person is a Trump supporter, a Republican, and his or her stated values of “protecting Americans” probably fall short when it comes to the poor, minorities, etc., and the display of empathy (“I truly feel bad for them”) is likely bullshit.

[Keep Reading]


American Insurrection Attempts to Shine a Light on Hate Groups Operating In Broad Daylight

By Jacob Oller  |  April 13, 2021  

Another day in America, another racist killing. A Black man, Daunte Wright, shot dead for a dangling air freshener. Another documentary laying bare the vicious and institutionalized hate in our country, another example of journalists, filmmakers and social media activists seeking justice by telling the same story. A collaboration between PBS’s Frontline, ProPublica and UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program, writer/director Rick Rowley’s documentary American Insurrection follows journalist A.C. Thompson as he loosely tracks the increasingly violent, open and fearless alt-right over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, from Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally to the insurrection at the capitol. With interviews that’ll make your skin crawl, American Insurrection can still feel as powerless and lost as the rest of us who watched a mob attack Congress on January 6.

The doc retreads some ground from Rowley and Thompson’s Documenting Hate: Charlottesville, further exploring the ingrained connection between the alt-right and the military while expanding its thesis to include the latest and greatest from America’s neverending supply of creative hate. It’s our cottage industry, after all.

Covering both large-scale group events (Charlottesville, the Portland right-wing rallies, the Richmond gun rights protest) and more specific criminal acts (those of Steven Carrillo, the planned kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer), we watch Thompson and other investigative reporters put boots on the ground—but their reporting can only be so confrontational considering how violent these people are. Thompson already wears a bulletproof vest. And that’s mostly ok, seeing as the point of the doc is more about shedding light on the movement’s facets than exposing individuals.

[Keep Reading]