Monday, September 26, 2016 - 7:00pm

The Brooklyn Commons invites you to come watch the first of several train wrecks and commiserate with likeminded progressives.

Drown your sorrows in our local draft beer and organic wine.
Or eat the pain away with our delicious snacks and sandwiches.
We're here for you.

And if you feel the need to vent, come early and share your thoughts about this election at our Presidential Debate Open Mic.  3 minutes each.

Open Mic at 7p.  Debate at 9p.

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 7:30pm

13-Week Session

At the end of 1918, the workers of Germany rose up and overthrew the Kaiser. The Bolsheviks thought that the success of the Russian Revolution hinged upon the rapid unfolding of the a world revolution, and placed their hopes for its beginning on Germany more than any other country. For the next five years, fractious German revolutionaries agitated for and launched a series of uprisings aimed at the creation of a workers’ state: the Sparticist uprising in 1919, in which Luxemburg and Liebknecht were killed; the March Action in 1921; the “German October” in 1923. They fought, but they lost. In the process, the working...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 5:30pm

This Fall we plan to read three novels by the Franco-Russian writer and revolutionary Victor Serge. The period covered (1933-1941) begins with Serge’s arrest by the GPU and deportation to the Urals (the setting of the novel Midnight in the Century), continues through the Moscow Trials and the Civil War in Spain (the background to Serge’s fictional Case of Comrade Tulayev), and ends with the Fall of France  (experienced by Serge and fictionalized in The Long Dusk). The group is open to all, and no prerequisite familiarity with Serge is expected.

Richard Greeman is best known for his...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - 7:00pm

Two favorites: one established and the other rising. Nora Jemisin has been with us any number of times, but never as Hugo Award-winning N. K. Jemisin. To say this is a thrill is an understatement. Our other reader, Kai Ashante Wilson, is a rising star in the world of fantastic literature, and it is a pleasure to expand the pantheon of writers we have had the pleasure to host this past quarter-century.
Kai Ashante Wilson’s stories, "Super Bass" and "The...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 6:30pm

Benefit for Ramsey Orta

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN MOVED TO VERSO’S LOFT AT 20 JAY STREET, 10th FLOOR. Thanks to all at Verso for their comradely sharing of their space.

To “bear witness” is to speak truth in the face of power. For many, the Black Lives Matter movement and moment have been defined by everyday folks who have used the tools of social media to document police brutality. These actions have sparked protests and demands of police accountability, while developing a visual record of violence faced by communities of color.

In See Something, Say Something we take the advice of the MTA in asking how ordinary New Yorkers are...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 7:00pm

Young Jibwe is making the long haul from South Dakota and will perform his own style of hip hop and genre crossing music with special guest Fast Cloud. These two Native artists will make their NYC debut as John Kane's guests.

Young Jibwe - Native Pride (Put Em Up!)

Young Jibwe - Hello (Can You Hear Me?)

Young Jibwe on Facebook:

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 5:30pm

10 session class

An accessible intro to the most important sourcebook on Marx’s method for analyzing the economy, politics and struggles. We’ll cover many of the key concepts and sections of Capital, Volume I, including:

• Use value, value and surplus value and how they relate to prices;
• Why capitalism drives innovation, overwork and unemployment and leads to ecological destruction;
• The dynamics of workers’ struggles, reforms and the capitalist state;
• Why capitalism has needed conquest, enslavement and white supremacy.

Participant reports and life experiences are welcome!


Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 7:30pm

10 sessions

3rd Year of this Group at the Marxist Education Project begins

Join the Indigenous Studies Literature and History Group for a 10-week study of several award-winning contemporary Native American novelists. We will begin with Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony followed by Louise Erdrich’s Plague of Doves and Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer.

We will give attention to uniquely Native themes, such as ceremony and ritual, land loss and relocation, rural and urban indigenous differences, tribal and gender politics, and what Alexie calls “reservation blues”— rage and survival...

Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 10:00am

10 Session Reading and Discussion Group

“But the basic reason for the amplitude and duration of these polemics lies in the fact that Volume 3 aims to answer the question: Whither capitalism? It seeks to show that the system is intrinsically (╘immanently╒) crisis-ridden: that neither the efforts of individual capitalists nor those of public authorities can prevent crises from breaking out. It seeks to show that inherent mechanisms, which cannot be overcome without abolishing private property, competition, profit and commodity production (the market economy), must lead to a final collapse.”
—From an introduction to Capital, Volume 3,...

Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 10:00am

Transform your life and the city you live in to be healthier and more connected to nature.

Andrew Faust, NYC’s renowned Permaculture scholar, will share his life experience of applying ecological design thinking to the city of New York and beyond! You will gain a wealth of information about redesigning your home, your lifestyle and your neighborhood with permaculture in mind.

Some topics we will discuss:

Rooftop gardening
Home water systems
Composting methods and techniques
Closing the loop of urban metabolisms
Diet and healthy food sources
Looking for land with permaculture...

Sunday, October 2, 2016 - 2:00pm

Special Celebration

Complete with a Serge Book Fair and other participation of Serge’s American publishers, Haymarket Books, New York Review Books and PM Press

“Victor Serge died in exile and obscurity, apparently no more than a splinter of a splinter in the Marxist movement. But with the passage of the years, he looms up as one of the great moral figures of our time, an artist of such integrity and a revolutionary of such purity as to overshadow those who achieved fame and power. His failure was his success. I know of no participant in Russia’s revolution and Spain’s agonies who more deserves...

Monday, October 3, 2016 - 7:00pm

8 Week Class

Few topics on the political left arouse more passion and trigger more discord than free speech. One tradition, tracing back to the 1930s, says, “No free speech for fascists.” Today, it would also silence racists, anti-Semites and Islamophobes, misogynists, lookists, and homophobes. A second tradition traces back to Karl Marx’s credo, De omnibus dubitandum (To doubt everything). It opposes any silencing of opinion on the grounds that, on the one hand, you can never be certain that you possess truth and, on the other hand, the only way to reach truth is by a “standing invitation to the world” to prove you wrong. The last...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 7:30pm

8-session class

In this series we will be placing the dialectics of Marx and Engels within a broader philosophical tradition.

We will look at Engels discussion of the fundamental forces of nature: matter, time, space and motion in the context of the philosophical conflict between a relational view of the world and a mechanical one. We will look at the conflict between Newton and Leibniz and the subsequent vindication of the relational view with Mach and Einstein.

We will examine the contemporary “crisis in physics” - the conclusion to which mechanical reductionism has led both in philosophy and in recent attempts to...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 7:30pm

10-session class

As always, capitalism has crises. Again, a new generation turns toward Marxism. How do we apply this wide ranging and controversial revolutionary tradition to our current times? Writer and professor, Cedric Robinson’s magnum opus, "Black Marxism" will be our lodestar for this class. We will discuss Robinson’s critique of Marx’s Eurocentric frame of reference and explore how and if Marxism has value for today's multi-cultural left which at times turns much to anarchism, whether conscious or not of the Marxist tradition. We will also cover the Marxist legacy of C.L.R. James, Langston Hughes and Richard Wright on...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 7:30pm

co-sponsored by TOPLAB

In this talk, writer and researcher Basuli Deb will discuss some of the issues addressed in her book, Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Terror in Literature and Culture, which offers a transnational feminist response to the gender politics of torture and terror from the viewpoint of populations of color who have come to be associated with acts of terror. Using the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, Deb visits other such racialized wars in Palestine, Guatemala, India, Algeria, and South Africa. Her research draws widely on postcolonial literature, photography, films, music, interdisciplinary arts...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 7:30pm

We live in the twilight of neoliberalism: the ruling classes can no longer rule as before, and ordinary people are no longer willing to be ruled in the old way. Pursued by global elites since the 1970s, neoliberalism is defined by dispossession and ever-increasing inequality. The refusal to continue to be ruled like this — "ya basta!" — appears in an arc of resistance stretching from rural India to the cities of the global North.

We Make Our Own History — a book co-written by Laurence Cox and Alf Gunvald Nilsen — investigates this scenario through an exploration of how social movements are...

Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 10:00am

Learn to Use the Patterns of Nature to Create Social and Ecological Change!
10am-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays
October 22&23; November 5&6, 12&13, 19&20; December 3&4, 10
Tuition - $1100; Register Before September 10 - $950 (flexible scheduling and payment plans available)

Our Permaculture design course provides a positive and empowering vision for social and ecological transformation. Come be inspired by the possibilities of today and not by the fear of tomorrow!

Primary Permaculture Design Applications:

  • Bioregional design science that provides a new model...
Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 7:30pm

A talk and discussion with visuals 

The RCP [Revolutionary Communist Party], RSB [Revolutionary Student Brigade], and its front groups...represent a threat to the internal security of the United States of the first magnitude. —FBI Internal Assessment, 1976

Between 1968 and 1978 the FBI conducted a far-reaching “Internal Security” investigation against the largest Maoist organization to arise in the United States out of the sixties, the Revolutionary Union – later named the Revolutionary Communist Party. As a result of research conducted by author and historian Aaron Leonard and Conor...

Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 10:00am

Two-Day Workshop

In his 1971 book Rules for Radicals, legendary Chicago-based community activist Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) emphasized the point that "​We must begin from where we are if we are to build power for change"​. Of course, the question "​Where are we now?"​ arises, and once that is determined the questions of what to do and how to do it naturally follow.

We are witnessing a precipitous turn to the right by the ruling elites, at a time when ever-increasing numbers of people are moving to the left. Just several short years after Occupy Wall Street, and now, as movements like Black Lives Matter become stronger, more precisely...

Friday, November 11, 2016 - 7:30pm

Jason Moore and Christian Parenti introduce a new essay collection, Anthropocene or Capitalocene?  Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism. The book challenges the theory and history offered by proponents of the “Anthropocene” and stresses how climate change and related crises are rooted in the rise and domination of capital - hence the “Capitalocene.” This work offers a more nuanced and dialectical view of human environment-making, joined at every step with and within the biosphere.

Jason W. Moore is a historical geographer and world...

Monday, November 28, 2016 - 7:30pm

"I believe that all the truly revolutionary theatrical groups should transfer to the people​ ​the means of production in the theater so that the people themselves may utilize them.​The theater is a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it." — Augusto Boal

Augusto Boal (1931-2009), the Brazilian Marxist who founded the methodology and set of techniques called Theater of the Oppressed (TO), was fond of telling the story of TO's creation. In the late 1960s, he was involved in socially-conscious theater which took a definite, and very radical, political position. But the type of theater Boal practiced at that time...