Hundreds of teachers attended a Marxist conference this past weekend in Chicago to unite on their common Socialist beliefs.
The Midwest Marxist Conference was hosted by the Chicago chapter of the International Socialist Organization, and was held at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
During the event, teachers discussed the partnership between the Chicago Teacher’s Union and the Chicago Socialists, and a number of teachers gave lectures during the breakout sessions. Reports outline that speakers also talked about the racism that they perceive as being inherent in the AFL-CIO.
According to the organization’s website, the schedule for the event included sessions such as “The Meaning of Marxism,” “Socialists and Trade Unions,” “Lenin’s Theory of the Revolutionary Party” and “Marxism and Women’s Liberation.” The all-day conference began at 10:00 a.m. with a bookfair and ended at 7:30 p.m. with dinner. Various socialist t-shirts were also made available in the vendor’s area of the facility.
Two reporters stated that they were booted from the conference later in the day after it was recognized that they were not present to affirm the cause of Socialism.
“I was ‘outed’ as not a communist, told I was ‘not in solidarity’ and surrounded by members of the Chicago Socialists who told me to leave the Northwestern School of Journalism premises,” explained Anne Sorock of Legal Insurrection.
“I was singled out as ‘not in solidarity’ by International Socialist Organization (ISO) organizer Dennis Kosuth around 4 p.m, and removed from the premises for ‘not being a Communist,'” said Rebel Pundit from Breitbart.com.”Despite registering for the event, the group of socialists removed me, including pre-school teacher Kirstin Roberts, social worker Alison McKenna, printer Eric Kerl, Socialist organizer Shaun Harkin, and others. They surrounded me at the edge of a staircase, proceeded to push their way closer to me to force me down the stairs, and hurled insults at me as I attempted to find a way to leave safely.”
Both reporters stated that during the question and answer period, instead of raising one’s hand, attendees were asked to raise their fist up in the air if they had a question.
Sorock said that she sat through three sessions and listened to teacher Becca Barnes provide a keynote speech.
“Barnes, a Chicago teacher, spoke about the new era of Marxism in America stemming from the Chicago Socialists’ recent successes in running the show during the Chicago Teachers Strike,” she explained. “Said Barnes, who referred to everyday American capitalists as ‘capitalist vampires,’ ‘the struggle here in the United States has entered a new phase. Nowhere have we pointed the way forward more clearly than here in Chicago with the teachers union strike.'”
“From her talk and other succeeding events throughout the day, it was clear that the Teachers Union and Marxists were one and the same,” Sorock commented.
“Working class revolutions have never succeeded without the existence of a revolutionary party that’s capable of making those sorts of decisions and providing that kind of leadership,” Rebel Pundit reports speaker Eric Ruder as stating. “And that’s what we’re asking you, the members of this group, to join and help in that process. We need you to be able to have enough size and influence to matter, but you need us to be able to be part of a force that could intervene in that sort of chain in historical development.”
Pundit filmed footage of the situation as he was being asked to leave the building. Organizers can be seen surrounding the journalist, telling him, “You’re not wanted” and “You make people uncomfortable.”
The Midwest Marxist Conference was held in part as a fundraiser for the Chicago Socialists organization.