Program Schedule

UNAC Conference 2017 Program 
at the Greater Richmond Convention Center

FRIDAY, JUNE 16

4 pm: Doors open

6:45 - 7:45 pm: Welcoming remarks by UNAC members & Allies (WATCH VIDEO)

Co-Chairs: Margaret Kimberley - Editor & Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report; UNAC Administrative Committee (AC) (NY, NY) & Cassia Laham - People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR); UNAC AC (FL)

Greeters:

Marilyn Levin & Joe Lombardo - Co-Coordinators, UNAC
Bahman Azad - U.S. Peace Council; Hands Off Syria Coalition
Ajamu Baraka - Black Alliance for Peace; 2016 Vice Presidential Green Party Candidate
Brian Becker - ANSWER Coalition
Medea Benjamin - Code Pink
Bernadette Ellorin - BAYAN USA; International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS)
Tamara Hansen - Mobilization Against War & Occupation (Vancouver, Canada)
Jess Jude - International Action Center
Charo Mina-Rojas - Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia  (PCN); Colombian Ethnic Commission for Peace (Colombia)
Clarence Thomas - International Longshore & Warehouse Union (Oakland, CA)
Representative - Raise Up / Fight for $15
Matyas Benyik - ATTAC, Hungary (Budapest, Hungary)

7:45 - 8 pm -  BREAK

8 - 9:30 pm - 1st PLENARY PANEL - DOMESTIC ISSUES (WATCH VIDEO)

Co-Chairs: Margaret Kimberley - Editor & Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report; UNAC Administrative Committee (AC) (NY, NY)
Cassia Laham - People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR); UNAC AC (FL)

ATTACKS ON MUSLIMS
“Muslims in America”
Saba Abed - Co-Founder, Ibn Rushd Cultural Center (Richmond, Va.)

BLACK COMMUNITY
“The Ongoing Struggle to reclaim Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom, the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade.”
Ana Edwards - Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project (Richmond, VA)
“Occupation is Aggression: Demand Community Control of the Police”
Glen Ford - Black Agenda Report (NY, NY)
“The Re-emergence of the Black Liberation Movement”
Aaron T. O'Neal, Esq. - African People’s Socialist Party (Washington, D.C.)
“The Struggle to Remove the Confederate Statues in New Orleans”
Malcolm Suber - Take Em Down NOLA; New Orleans Workers Group - VIDEO

DOMESTIC COSTS OF WAR
“What the Wars Abroad Cost us Here at Home”
Adria Scharf - Richmond Peace Education Center
“The Deep Costs of War”
Kevin Zeese - Co-Director, “It’s Our Economy” & Co-Host, “Clearing the FOG” (Maryland)

ENVIRONMENT
“End of the Line: Pipeline Struggles in Virginia & the Mid-Atlantic”
Whitney Whiting - Virginia Activist in the campaign to stop the Atlantic Coastal Pipeline (Richmond, Va.)

STRUGGLES OF THE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
Rebecca Keel - Southerners On New Ground (SONG) (Richmond, Va.)

SATURDAY, JUNE 17

9 - 10:15 am: 2nd PLENARY PANEL - INTERNATIONAL ISSUES (WATCH VIDEO)

Co-Chairs: Judy Bello - Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars (NY) & Alison Bodine - Mobilization Against War & Occupation - MAWO (Vancouver, Canada)

AFRICA
“The Congo & Central Africa”
Maurice Carney - Executive Director, Friends of the Congo (Washington, D.C.)
“No to the U.S. Military Industrial Complex! Yes to Revolutionary Pan-Africanism!”
Lee Robinson - All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) (Richmond, VA)

ASIA
"The Root of the US-North Korea Crisis & a Path for Peace in Korea"
Hyun Lee - Nodutdo; Zoom in Korea (NY, NY)
“The THAAD Deployment in South Korea”
Bruce K. Gagnon - Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (Bath, ME)
"The Struggle against U.S .war and intervention in the Philippines "
Raymond Palatino - Chair, Metro-Manila Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) (Manila, Philippines)
“The U.S. “Pivot” to Asia; U.S. Relations with China and the DPRK (North Korea)”
Brian Becker - National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition (Washington, D.C.)

10:15 - 10:30 am: BREAK

10:30 - 11:30 am: WORKSHOPS
  • HALL - MODERN WARFARE, THE EXPANSION OF NATO & THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENT (WATCH VIDEO) - Sponsor: Odessa Solidarity Campaign (UNAC)
  • BLACK ALLIANCE FOR PEACE - Sponsor: Black Alliance for Peace (Open to all people of African descent at the conference)
  • SKILLS & STRATEGIES FOR BEING IN THE STREETS: TACTICS & ORGANIZING DEFENSE & SECURITY AGAINST TRUMP FORCES - Sponsor: Workers World Party
  • OUR PATH TO NATIONAL IMPROVED MEDICARE FOR ALL - Sponsor: Dr. Margaret Flowers, Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE)
  • WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE PEACE MOVEMENT? - Sponsor: Patrick McCann, immediate past National President, Veterans For Peace; Member, VFP National Board
  • DRONE WARFARE & THE CYBORG SOLDIER: MARGINS OF MASCULINITIES - Sponsor: Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) (Minneapolis, MN)
  • ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & EXCLUSION IN PRISONS - Sponsor: RootsAction.org
11:30 - 11:45 am: BREAK

11:45 am - 1 pm: 3rd PLENARY PANEL - DOMESTIC ISSUES (WATCH VIDEO)

Co-Chairs: Osita Iroegbu - An educator, communications professional and community advocate and mentor. (Richmond, VA) & Kat McNeal - Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality (Richmond, VA)

BLACK COMMUNITY
"Exposing America's Human Rights Violations"
Margaret Kimberley - Editor and Senior Columnist at Black Agenda Report
“Unite the Battlefronts of Black Resistance to Stop the War on Black America.”
Saladin Muhammad - Co-Coordinator, Southern Workers Assembly

DOMESTIC COSTS OF WAR
Pat Elder - National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy (St. Mary’s City, MD)

IMMIGRANT STRUGGLES
Carolina Velez - ICE Out of RVA (Richmond, Va.)

LABOR

“The Tactic of the Political Strike”
Clarence Thomas - Past Secretary-Treasurer ILWU Local 10 (San Francisco, CA)
“The Fight for a $15 Minimum Wage”
Representative - Raise Up / Fight for $15

LGBTQ STRUGGLES
Representative - Southerners on New Ground (SONG (Richmond, VA)

1 - 2:15  - LUNCH

2:15 - 3:15 pm: 4th PLENARY PANEL - INTERNATIONAL ISSUES (WATCH VIDEO)

Co-Chairs: Bernadette Ellorin - BAYAN-USA & Cassia Laham - People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR)

PALESTINE
“Palestine: 50 years after Occupation, 69 Years after Nakba - Where do we go from here?”
Adeeb Abed - Longtime Palestinian Activist; Founder & President, Arab American Assoc. of Central Virginia
“Solidarity with Palestine”
Ann Wright - Retired U.S. Army Colonel & former diplomat (HI) - (By Video)

EUROPE
"Hungarian Experiences of the Transformation from Socialism to Capitalism"
Matyas Benyik - ATTAC Hungary Association (Budapest, Hungary)
“NATO: What it is & the Struggle Against it”
Joe Lombardo - Co-Coordinator, UNAC; represented UNAC at the recent massive European protests against NATO in Brussels, Belgium (Albany, NY)
“Russia vs. U.S.: Who is the aggressor?”
Ray McGovern - Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VA)
“Building International Solidarity with the anti-fascist movement in Ukraine”
Phil Wilayto - Coordinator, UNAC’s Odessa Solidarity Campaign

3:15 - 3:30 pm: BREAK

3:30 - 4:30 pm: WORKSHOPS
  • VENEZUELA - SYRIA - UKRAINE - IRAN: WHAT’S BEHIND THE “COLOR REVOLUTIONS”? (WATCH VIDEO) - Sponsor: Odessa Solidarity Campaign (UNAC)
  • ABOLISHING THE INSTITUTION OF WAR - Sponsor: World Beyond War
  • CRISIS IN THE CONGO: UNCOVERING THE TRUTH - Sponsor: Friends of the Congo
  • EVEN BERNIE WANTS TO BOMB SYRIA: CHALLENGES TO ANTI-IMPERIALIST & ANTIWAR ORGANIZING TODAY - Sponsor: International Action Center
  • YOUTH, THE U.S. EDUCATION CRISIS & THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENT - Sponsor: International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) USA Northeast
  • HOW TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO THE “PEACE PROCESS” IN COLOMBIA - Sponsor: Charo Mina-Rojas - Colombian Ethnic Commission for Peace
  • PIVOT TO ASIA: THE NEXT BATTLEFIELD - Sponsors: Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Veterans For Peace
  • RESISTING IMPERIAL TERRORISM - Sponsor: Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars


4:30 - 4:45 pm: BREAK

4:45 - 5:45 pm: 5th PLENARY PANEL - DOMESTIC ISSUES (WATCH VIDEO)

Chair: Kat McNeal - Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality (Richmond, VA)

POLITICAL REPRESSION
“The Case of Lynne Stewart, People’s Attorney, Political Prisoner”
Ralph Poynter - Speaking on Lynne Stewart (NY, NY)
‘How the #Jax5 Organized and Beat Police Repression in the Deep South”
Dave Schneider - Organizer & Co-Founder of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition
“Systemic Assault on Dissent, not Just the 1st Amendment”
Efia Nwangaza - Founder/Director, Malcolm X Center for Self Determination & WMXP/95.5fm  (Greenville, SC)
“Simón Trinidad, Man of Peace, Victim of Empire”
Mark Burton - Attorney representing Colombian political prisoner Simón Trinidad

5:45 - 6 pm - BREAK

6 - 7 pm - 6th PLENARY PANEL - INTERNATIONAL ISSUES 
(WATCH VIDEO - includes RALLY AT 1:29:02)

Co-Chairs: Judy Bello - Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars (NY) & Joelle Lingat - National Secretary General, Anakbayan USA (Jersey City, NJ)

LATIN AMERICA
Charo Mina-Rojas - Proceso de Comunidades Negras en Colombia  (PCN); Colombian Ethnic Commission for Peace (Colombia)
Gail Walker - IFCO / Pastors for Peace (New York)

WOMEN
“The Policy of Anti-Feminism and Militarization of Anti-Neoliberal Polish Government”
Ewa Groszewska - Co-Organizer, Social Forum of Eastern Europe​ & Coop. Bet. East & South​ (Wroclaw, Poland) - Statement

DRONES
“The Struggle Against Drone Warfare in Upstate New York”
James Ricks - Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars (NY)

MIDDLE EAST
“Saudi Threats Against Qatar: New war drive against Iran”
Sara Flounders - Co-Coordinator, International Action Center; Workers World Party
”What’s behind the war in Syria?”
Bahman Azad - U.S. Peace Council / Hands Off Syria Coalition
"Understanding Syria"
Jeff Mackler - Nat’l Sec., Socialist Action; Dir., Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal; Member, UNAC AC  (Oakland, CA)

8:30 pm: RALLY (WATCH VIDEO - Starts at 1:29:02)

Chair: Ana Edwards - Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project (Richmond, VA)

SPEAKERS
Ajamu Baraka - 2016 Green Party VP Candidate
Jaribu Hill - Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights (Jackson, MS)
Cassia Laham - People's Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR) (FL)
David Swanson - World Beyond War (Charlottesville, VA)

9:00 pm - DINNER


SUNDAY - JUNE 18

9 - 10:15 am: 7th PLENARY PANEL - BUILDING A MORE POWERFUL MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE & PEACE (WATCH VIDEO)

Chair: Marilyn Levin - UNAC Co-Coordinator (Boston, MA)
Opening comments on history of UNAC

Presenters:
Ajamu Baraka - Black Alliance for Peace
Bernadette Ellorin - BAYAN USA; International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) (NY, NY)
Sara Flounders - International Action Center (NY, NY)
Tamara Hansen - Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO); The Fire This Time Ed. Bd. (Vancouver, Canada)
Glen Ford - Black Agenda Report (NY, NY)
David Swanson - World Beyond War (Charlottesville, VA)
Phil Wilayto - Editor, The Virginia Defender; Member, Gabriel-Bowser Circle; Coordinator, 2017 UNAC Conference

10:15 - 12:15 pm - ACTION PROPOSALS (WATCH VIDEO)

Co-Chairs: Marilyn Levin - UNAC Co-Coordinator (Boston, MA) & Phil Wilayto - Editor, The Virginia Defender; Coordinator, UNAC Conference 2017 (Richmond, VA)


12:15 - 2:30 pm - LUNCH

2:30 - 3:30 pm - FINAL EVENT - JUNETEENTH ACTION (WATCH VIDEO)

Co-Chairs: Ana Edwards - Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project (Richmond, VA) & Lynetta Thompson - Former President, Richmond Branch NAACP (Richmond, VA)

March to Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom (map), once the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade, for a press conference to express support for reclaiming and properly memorializing this sacred ground. Transportation provided for those who cannot or prefer not to make the walk. Please let us know by Saturday if you need transportation.  **

No War on Syria, North Korea, Iran or Russia!
U.S. Out of the Middle East and Africa! Money for Jobs, not for War! 


Black Lives Matter! No Ban! No Wall! No Deportations!
Trans Rights Now! Fight for $15! No DAPL!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………...

**  Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It marks June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Texas first learned of the end of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, issued two-and-a-half years earlier by President Lincoln. We will observe this holiday by walking to Richmond’s African Burial Ground in Shockoe Bottom, once the epicenter of the U.S. domestic slave trade, and hold a press conference to declare support for the ongoing struggle to reclaim and properly memorialize Shockoe Bottom. This hopefully will result in media attention for the conference, while supporting a UNAC-supported struggle that illustrates our commitment to the principle of self-determination for oppressed peoples.