Is criticism of religion an intolerant act of bullying against a minority or a courageous challenge to established power?
One afternoon last June, Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee living in Sweden, stepped in front of the largest Mosque in Sweden and lit several pages from the Quran on fire. Momika had sought and received a permit from the Swedish authorities for his provocative demonstration, and there were police monitoring the event.
The event, apparently involving two people, caused international uproar and condemnation from world leaders, especially in the Middle-East. It may affect Sweden’s prospects for entry into NATO, and both the Pope and Putin felt the need to weigh in.
Censorship, cancel culture, identity politics and other issues will go under the microscope during the Free Speech and the Left conference June 17 to 24.
The online event will feature authors, academics, journalists and activists from a dozen countries. The conference will consist of pre-recorded presentations, panel discussions and livestream segments.
Co-hosted by Plebity, India & Global Left, Redline, and acTVism Munich, the conference will be broadcast on Plebity’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@plebity).
Participants will include Nadine Strossen, Richard Wolff, Freddie deBoer, Noam Chomsky, Jill Stein, Susan Neiman, Tara Henley and Jacob Mchangama.
View this 5 minute preview of next week’s Free Speech and the Left conference
Our panelists discuss censorship, cancel culture, identity politics, the relevance of today’s left and other issues during the upcoming Free Speech and the Left conference.
The online event will take place June 17 to 24 and feature authors, academics, journalists and activists from a dozen countries. The conference will consist of pre-recorded presentations, panel discussions and livestream segments.
Participants include Nadine Strossen, Richard Wolff, Freddie deBoer, Noam Chomsky, Jill Stein, Susan Neiman, Tara Henley, Paul Jay, Jacob Mchangama, Norman Finkelstein, Wayne Hsiung, Katherine Corcoran, Ioan Grillo, Matthew Hoh, Lawrence Wilkerson and others…
Co-hosted by Plebity, India & Global Left, Redline, and acTVism Munich, the conference will be broadcast on Plebity’s YouTube channel.
The full list of panels and conference schedule can be found here: https://www.plebity.org/conference-2023-free-speech-and-the-left/.
Panelists: Jay Lesoleil, Clementine Morrigan
Moderator: Scott Costen
Description: Today’s identity politics is a toxic morass but it is possible to work towards a leftist vision of a society based on solidarity and mutual tolerance.
Jay and Clementine produce the fuckingcancelled podcast.
Scott Costen is a freelance journalist based in Nova Scotia, Canada
Panelists: Luis Chaparro, Katherine Corcoran
Moderator: Ioan Grillo
Description: Independent journalists and authors discuss their investigations into the power of cartels and government collusion.
Ioan Grillo is a journalist and writer based in Mexico City, working for outlets including the New York Times, France 24 and National Geographic. He has been covering Latin America since 2001 for news media such as Time Magazine, Esquire, CNN, Reuters, Al Jazeera, The Houston Chronicle, The Associated Press, GlobalPost, France 24, The Sunday Telegraph, Letras Libres and many others. Grillo is author of the books Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels (2021), Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields and the New Politics of Latin America (2016), and El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency (2011).
Katherine Corcoran is a former Associated Press bureau chief for Mexico and Central America. She has been an Alicia Patterson fellow, the Hewlett Fellow for Public Policy at the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame, and a Logan Nonfiction Program fellow. At the AP, she led an award-winning team that broke major stories about cartel and state violence and abuse of authority in Mexico and Central America. Corcoraan is author of the book In the Mouth of the Wolf: A Murder, a Cover-Up, and the True Cost of Silencing the Press.
Luis Chaparro is a bilingual journalist who reports in English and Spanish on the drug wars and the cartels at CNN, Business Insider, The Daily Beast, Vice World News, The Guardian, Univision, Playboy, and others outlets. Chaparro's YouTube channel is here https://www.youtube.com/luischaparro and his website is https://www.lchaparro.com/.
Panelists: Max Blumenthal, Christian Parenti
Description: An exploration of the Covid propaganda from March 2020 to the present day; how the official Covid Narrative is unraveling (or not), the left’s support for authoritarianism, democratic societies’ descent towards authoritarianism, the rapid adoption of digital tech under the guise of public health, inequities created by Covid, capitalism and the wealth disparity, the psychology behind conformity, the conflation of ‘freedom’ and far-right beliefs, the state of health care, and more.
Max Blumenthal is a journalist and editor of the independent site The Grayzone. He is the author of several books and documentaries and is based in Washington, DC.
Christian Parenti is a professor at John Jay College and a journalist. He has written a number of articles about the pandemic, including How the organized Left got Covid wrong, learned to love lockdowns and lost its mind: an autopsy. Christian is author of the book The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America, from Slavery to the War on Terror.
Panelists: Lawrence Wilkerson, Matthew Hoh
Moderator: Sasha White
Description: Discussion about the war in Ukraine and the power and influence of censorship and propaganda
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired army colonel and former chief of staff to Colin Powell. He served 31 years in the US Army and worked as a distinguished adjunct professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary, and taught National Security Affairs in the Honors Program at George Washington University.
Matthew Hoh is a Marine Corps veteran and former Department of Defense and State Department official. In 2009, Matthew resigned from his post in Afghanistan with the State Department in protest against the American escalation of the war. He was also a Green Party candidate in 2022 for the US Senate in North Carolina. He is the associate director of Eisenhower media network which ran a full page ad on May 16 in the New York Times, urging diplomacy and not more war in Ukraine.
Anti-fascism: Descendants of Spanish Civil War Veterans Compare Their fathers’ Left to Current Identity Politics, Language Policing and Social Activism
Panelists: Janette Higgins, Dov Osheroff
Moderator: Willy Maley
Description: Three descendants of Spanish Civil War veterans sit down to talk about their fathers, their working class backgrounds their growing political consciousness and how they literally went off to fight fascism in the international brigades of the Spanish Civil War.
Janette Higgins is the daughter of Spanish Civil War veteran Jim Higgins. She resides in Toronto and is the editor of her father’s memoir Fighting for Democracy, the true story of Jim Higgins (1907-1982) published in 2020.
Dov Osheroff is a carpenter, son of Spanish Civil War veteran Abe Osheroff and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Willy Maley is the son of James Maley, veteran of the Spanish Civil War. Willy is a professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow, Scotland as well as a playwright, poet and co-author of the book Our Fathers Fought Franco.
Panelists: Wayne Hsiung, Dušan Pajović
Moderator: Rozali Telbis
Description: Discussion on how animal rights are a free speech issue as well as a core concern for the Left.
Wayne Hsiung is an American attorney and environmental and animal rights activist. He is co-founder of the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) and most currently The Simple Heart Initiative dedicated to animal rescue. Wayne has a long history of non-violent direct action in support of his activist convictions.
Dušan Pajović is a Montenegrin activist and author. He is the Campaigns Coordinator and a member of the Coordinating Collective of the pan-European leftist organization DiEM25. Previously, Dušan led DiEM25’s Green New Deal for Europe campaign. In 2021, Wayne wrote this article: Why we need to liberate animals as part of the Green New Deal.
Rozali Telbis writes about society, technology, culture, propaganda, and more. She is a regular contributor to Plebity and Nevermore. To get the latest updates on her work, subscribe to her mailing list at Growing up Alienated.
Panelists: Stella O’Malley, Arty Morty
Moderator: Sasha White
Description: Stella and Arty discuss the difficulties of speaking up and being heard on the topic of transgender ideology.
Stella O'Malley is an Irish psychotherapist and author, with three books on parenting and mental health. She is a regular contributor to Irish national newspapers, podcasts, and TV. Her latest book is What Your Teen is Trying to Tell You.
Stella O'Malley's BBC documentary 'Trans Kids - it's time to talk': https://vimeo.com/304866757
Arty Morty is a commentator, writer and YouTuber who reports on gender ideology and its effects on children, women and the gay rights movement. Arty co-hosts an online show called The Mess We're In with Graham Linahan and Helen Staniland. He's known for his clarity and breaking down complex and contentious issues, and for his strong advocacy for gender non conforming individuals. He's written for Plebity, Lesbian and Gay News and on his substack artymorty.substack.com.
Sasha White became a free speech advocate in 2020 after being fired for her personal comments on transgender ideology. She has written for Spiked online, Tablet Magazine, and 4W. She co-founded the Plebity Free Speech Fund and hosts interviews on the Plebity Youtube channel.