If you’re reading this, then we most likely don’t need to convince you of our need to believe that a better world is possible, and that to bring this world into being, we have to listen to each other across ethnic, gender, national, religious, language, and every other line that the capitalist system draws between us to keep us from giving solidarity to each other.
How do we do this? How do we find each other? How do we learn of the myriad of needs and organizing in our city and in the world?
We could check out every website that tells what’s Left in LA. and try to catch the next, say, twelve events being held around this sprawling area we call home and go to each one.
Or we could reserve the weekend of August 24–26 to attend the entire Left Coast Forum, taking in as many as eight workshops or films organized by dedicated activists, plus four keynote speakers, and then spend any free time interacting with people at their tables.
The other plus is the culturally rich entertainment being offered.
Now, some of you reading this article may be in one of the organizations responsible for a panel, or you might be an enthusiast for a specific keynote speaker. Let me say something to you.
Last year I was volunteering at the reception table on a Saturday afternoon shift. Several times an individual showed up, asked me about a particular panel on which she or he was speaking, and left an hour and a half later. Left to go home.
Let me ask you this: Would you want other activists to just show up for their own panel and leave immediately afterwards? Or would you prefer their coming to yours?
Do unto other organizations as you would have them do unto you.
Your laundry can wait.
Is the weekend free of charge?
We need to ask for your money, not to make some for ourselves or even for our organizations, but to pay the costs of the event. However, be aware that no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Pay as much as you can so the costs of renting the campus won’t come out of the pockets of people of your fellow activists, but don’t stay away because of the fee. What would you pay if you went out to twelve events with major speakers or local activists over a period of months throughout LA?
Please continue volunteering; you might donate your time if you can’t donate money.
Come to learn and offer solidarity. If you have an organization in Los Angeles, we urge you to encourage everyone to attend as much of the Forum as possible, representing and reporting back to your organization. Don’t do it to support us who are organizing the Forum.
Do it to help create the better world we all know is possible.
Carolfrances Likins is a board member of the ICUJP, a retired elementary teacher, and screenwriter.