Lincoln hosts second annual socialist conference

by Erika B.

A deeper shade of red is sweeping over the middle part of the United States as working-class folks in the Midwest and Great Plains are continually let down by the Republican nominees currently in power. An urgency to organize for working class power has been demonstrated by some of the most radical movements in the U.S. today taking place in right-to-work, “Republican red” states throughout places that get overlooked in media coverage because they are not seen as “progressive”.

However, it only takes a single spark to start a prairie fire, and in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Red State label is being reclaimed as, for the second time, hundreds of leftist gather to talk politics, learn organizing tactics, and build relationships to grow the socialist movement in the heart of this capitalist country.

On August 24, 2019, folks from all over the country are making sure to fly in (not over) to Nebraska for this year’s Red State Conference to attend panel discussions of local and national leaders, join breakout sessions hosted by local activists, and meet other leftists from the region. The goal of the conference is to provide a space for radical politics in a part of the country that may feel isolated from other socialist movements due to a combination of geographic and ideological separation.

With this goal in mind, the first annual Red State Conference in August 2018 was successful in not only providing a platform for local activists to share their organizing experience in Nebraska and the Great Plains, but also introduced folks new to radical left politics to new ways of organizing for working class power. People who had never even been to a public discussion about socialist politics before are now plugged into local organizing for tenant’s rights, mutual aid disaster relief, and political education.

The 2019 Red State Conference aims to situate the regional organizing efforts within the national or international movements that are on the upsurge. The reach of conference attendees last year, from North Dakota to Oklahoma, among others, was inspiring. It made the conference discussions richer with a wealth of unique and shared experiences.

Of the many breakout sessions between the panel discussions throughout the day, some topics being discussed this year are “Tools in the Toolbox: Strategy and Tactics in the socialist movement”, “Zinesters of the World, Unite!: How Zines Can Strengthen the Movement”, “Community Organized Defense”, and “We Took On the Biggest Slumlord in our City and Won – You Can Too!”.

The Red State Conference is a highlight and celebration of the work people are doing in the region to build working class power and spread radical left politics that demand a better world. So come see what’s happening in the Midwest and Great Plains!

More information about registration and being a supporter is available on the conference webpage, redstateconference.org.

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