Salty Dog Blues Update

Greetings: We have an exciting line up of activities this weekend at the Left Forum held at Pace University. We invite you all to come and support our efforts

On Saturday, April 18th. at Pace Univerity from 10am-12pm in room w626, we  are presenting a panel titled "Salty Dog Blues:Documenting The Demise of the National Maritime Union". The panel includes labor activists Brenda Stokely and Chris Silvera; filmmakers JT Takagi and Rico Speight; retired merchant marine, Bob Bloom, and is co-chaired by Denise Belén Santiago and Al Santana.

We are also showing a 16 minute excerpt of our film "Salty Dog Blues", which is a work-in-progress. The film tells a story of merchant marines of color; their journey from provincial to global citizens, and how they were caught in a union merger that left many of them without health benefits. It represents a piece of maritime history not previously told. Please see The Defenders Online for an in-depth review. Look forward to seeing you there.



Retired mariner Julio Santiago, at Puerto Nuevo Shipyard, Puerto Rico, 2004. Photo by Mel Wright.

FYI below is more information from the Left Forum organizers.

Dear Friends,

Left Forum is just a few days away! With over two hundred events, including panels, performances, bookfair exhibitions, and parties, this conference is the largest and most diverse that Left Forum has organized to date.

Our opening plenary on Friday April 17th will kickoff the event at 6:30pm:

THE CURRENT CRISIS: ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND CULTURAL DIMENSIONS Walden Bello - Focus on the Global South (Philippines) Katja Kipping - Die Linke (The Left Party, Germany) Adolph Reed Jr. - Political Science, University of Pennsylvania Richard D. Wolff - Economics, The New School Arlie Hochschild – Sociology, University of California, Berkeley Julia Wrigley (Moderator) – Sociology, The Graduate Center, CUNY

The opening plenary will be followed by performance vignettes of “The Cradle Will Rock,” “Yo Miss: Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide,” and others.

Registration opens at 5pm on Friday night. Please arrive on time to avoid lines! Feel free to join us at a small cocktail party before the opening plenary (tickets sold at registration desk). For a map of the area and directions to Pace University, see below.

On Saturday, April 18th, registration opens at 8:30am. If you have already registered, please pick up your conference badge at our registration desk. The first panels and the Left bookfair begin at 10am. You can view our program online here:

Our Saturday evening plenary at 7:30 pm will close out the night:

THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN AND PRESIDENCY: LESSONS FOR THE LEFT Bill Fletcher, Jr. (Moderator) - Center for Labor Renewal, Black Commentator Stanley Aronowitz – Sociology, The Graduate Center, CUNY Frances Fox Piven - Political Science, The Graduate Center, CUNY Barbara Epstein - History of Consciousness, University of California,Santa Cruz Gihan Perera- Miami Workers Center, Right to the City Alliance Barbara Ransby – Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Our closing plenary on Sunday evening, which addresses possibilities for social movements to make radical change today, will take place at 5pm:

TURNING POINTS Nancy Holmstrom (Moderator) - Philosophy, Rutgers Medea Benjamin - Co-founder, Code Pink and Global Exchange Johanna Brenner - Sociology, Portland State University Kate Bronfenbrenner, Director of Labor Education and Research, New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University Bhairavi Desai - Executive Director, New York Taxi Workers Alliance

Thank you so much for your support of this event. We look forward to seeing you on Friday night!

In Solidarity, Left Forum

Map and Directions: Left Forum 2009 will take place at One Pace Plaza, in New York City. For directions, see our website:

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