Lessons of the 1930s for the 2020s

November 8, 2020

Join the East Bay DSA Labor Committee for a 7-part study series on labor organizing in the 1930s, open to all and designed for anyone engaged or interested in workplace or non-workplace based movement work.

The Left has always played an essential role in building movements for social justice. The current pandemic and the deepening economic crisis presents us with urgent challenges. Especially since ours is a new socialist movement without tons of experience in labor and other working-class movements, we need to learn as much as we can about how socialists conducted themselves in the past. The 1930s was the last great period of labor organizing in the US. Like today, the 1930s began with widespread economic desperation, racist repression, and a weak labor movement. Yet, by the end of the ‘30s, millions of workers had created and joined unions after tumultuous struggles, with Left parties playing key roles.

What were the key lessons of the ‘30s that can inform our work today? How did workers organize themselves and their communities? To what extent was the fight against racism integrated into those struggles? What was the role of the union officials and the state? And in all of this, what were the strengths and weaknesses that Left organizations brought to the movement?

Groups will start the week of November 8th, consist of 10 - 12 people, and will meet every other week for a total of 7 sessions, factoring in a break for the holidays. Readings will be shared digitally at no cost, will average 50 pages every two weeks, and will include primary and secondary sources, fiction, and poetry.

For questions, comments, etc, please email labor@eastbaydsa.org

For a list of the readings, click here


When: November 8, 2020, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Where: Zoom
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