Is There an Alternative to Capitalism?

September 7, 2013 in Featured, Teach-In

From the Arab Spring to the protests against austerity in Greece and Spain, and from the Occupy Movement to discussions within the global justice movement, people are increasingly asking whether there is a viable alternative to capitalism. This is connected to a resurgence of interest in heretofore neglected aspects of Marx’s work. Join us for a discussion of whether Marx’s critique of capital points to an alternative to both “free market” capitalism and the totalitarian regimes that called themselves “communist” in the twentieth century.

Peter Hudis is Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at Oakton Community College. He is author of Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism and is General Editor of The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg. He is a member of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization.

Reading Group: Environmentalism & Capitalism

April 17, 2013 in Teach-In

What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism
by Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster

When: Tuesday nights @ 5:30 p.m. (Starts on April 23)
Where: The Deer Pile Space above City O’ City (206 E. 13th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203)
Facebook Event:

For those concerned with the fate of the earth, the time has come to face facts: not simply the dire reality of climate change but also the pressing need for social-system change. The failure to arrive at a world climate agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009 was not simply an abdication of world leadership, as is often suggested, but had deeper roots in the inability of the capitalist system to address the accelerating threat to life on the planet. Knowledge of the nature and limits of capitalism, and the means of transcending it, has therefore become a matter of survival. In the words of Fidel Castro in December 2009: “Until very recently, the discussion [on the future of world society] revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centers on whether human society will survive.”

Read the full review at Monthly Review.

OD Direct Action Group:

Colorado Extraction Resistance is committed to fighting poisonous energy industry processes such as hydraulic fracturing & tar sands extraction.


3/7: Digital Security for Activists (and Democracy)

February 27, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Thursday, March 7 from 5:30-6:45 p.m.
Where: the Deer Pile (13th and Sherman – above City o’ City – 206 E 13th Ave).

This teach-in will introduce the basics of digital security. There will be live demonstrations of packet sniffing and encryption to gain a working understanding of the risks of communication on networks, including the Internet (and how they can be mitigated).

Private communication, without eavesdropping, and without mapping of our associations, is necessary for a democratic society. We must defend the right to free speech, but it is just as necessary to defend the right to private speech, including the right to organize privately. What does private speech look like after the National Security Agency (NSA) completes its new data center in Bluffdale Utah and increasingly moves into domestic surveillance?

The teach-in will conclude by demonstrating how a small collective can setup a secure, private means of communication for organizing by using tools like Tor, and Hushmail. The adventurous will actually work together after the teach-in to setup a collective with a secure, private communications network.

Antony has a Master of Science in Information Systems from DePaul University’s School of Computing and Digital Media. One of his concentrations was digital security.

Teach-In Slides:

See Also:

2/21: Teach-In – Student Activism

February 21, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Thursday, February 21st, 5:30-7pm
Where: @ the Deer Pile (13th and Sherman – above City O City – 206 E 13th Ave)

As media pundits, former participants, and observers continue to proclaim that the Occupy Movement is dead, a new generation of youth and student activists catalyzed and politicized by their experiences in the Occupy movement is building momentum. Following the wave of movement energy that rippled in 2011-12 from Tunisia to Egypt to Spain and the US, the Quebec Student Strikes grew into the Maple Spring – an anti-austerity movement spearheaded by the Quebec Student Union’s bold call for a province-wide university student strike in response to the Quebec government’s new 75% tuition hike. The success of the Quebec Student Movement inspired many American students and young Occupy supporters to begin organizing toward their own educational movement, and that organizing manifested concretely for the first time with the National Student Power Convergence of August 2012 in Columbus, OH. Since then, American student activism has been undergoing an important shift that has the potential to fundamentally alter the face of one of the most stalwart pillars of the status quo – the education system.

Join us for a teach in facilitated by Roshan Bliss, one of the student organizers of the Colorado Student Power Alliance and a long-time Occupy Denver participant for a discussion about the current state of the US student movement and its potentials to impact the education reform debate, the debt economy, and the future of our society.

Contact for more information

Reading Group: The New Jim Crow (starting 2/19)

February 14, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Every Tuesday from 5:30-6:45pm, starting February 19th, 2013
Where: the Deer Pile (13th and Sherman – above City o’ City – 206 E 13th Ave).

The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West, and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.

Email to find out where we are in the reading each week.

2/16: Teach-In – Aesthetics of the Social

February 11, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Saturday Feb. 16th, 5-7pm
Where: The Deer Pile (13th and Sharman – above City O City – 206 East 13th Avenue)

The purpose of these lectures will be to examine the intersections between notions of the political, art, and social movements. These lectures explore the questions:

  • How does aesthetic perception and production hinder or facilitate social change?
  • What is the importance of talking about art and politics anyways?

Facilitated by Luke Leavitt

2/7: Disability Teach-In – Moved to Pablo’s Coffee (13th and Pennsylvania)

February 4, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Thursday, February 7th, 5:30-6:45pm
Where: Pablo’s Coffee (13th and Pennsylvania)

We often talk about privilege in regards to race and culture. However, do we look at ability privilege? In this class we will look at the condition of the disability community. The following topics will be examined. The topics are but are not limited to: defining disability, educating the disabled student, the economic pit falls of being a disabled person, the different cultural groups of the disability community’s, Job rates worth in physical disabled communities, the organizations that are for the benefit of these disability’s, and how to create change with in these disabled communities.

This class will predominatly highlight the blind and or visually disabled community and or physical disabilities. We will also look at the tug of war that will go on in the different disabled communities.

Lead by Fredarika Banks
I am a local citizen of Denver Colorado. I have just graduated with my masters of arts in education which includes curriculum and instructional leadership from Argosy University. I gained my bachelors in liberal arts with a miner in secondary education from Regis University School for professional studies. I have volunteered with the urban servant core where I was posted at Disability Center for Independent Living. I have also done English as a second language in sing Barry tie land through global Service Corpse. I also taught at a language camped in Austin Minnesota. I have always cared about social justice issues as well as education and advancement of the underdog. I also care about global issues.

2/2: Teach-In: Our View From the Border

January 26, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Saturday, February 2nd from 4:30-6:30pm
Where: The Deer Pile (13th and Sherman – above City O City – 206 E 13th Ave)

Join No More Deaths as we present: Our View From the Border. Our presentation will offer firsthand accounts of trends in migration; human rights abuse documentation in Nogales, Sonora; migrant support in the Sonoran desert; and allied movement building in communities throughout Arizona. No More Deaths is a volunteer-run organization based in southern Arizona that works to end death and suffering at the US-Mexico border through direct action. We work in solidarity to:

  • Provide humanitarian aid in the Sonora Desert
  • Assist recently deported individuals in Nogales, Mexico
  • Document Border Patrol and authority abuses Organize local border towns in a response to migration

More info at

Ayala Rahm: Born in Israel and raised in South America and later California, Ayala’s lived experience with borders and migration makes her work with NMD both politically acute and profoundly personal. She moved to Arizona to volunteer with NMD in the winter of 2009, and has focused primarily on the Desert Aid work ever since. She also works as an EMT at the volunteer Fire Department near the camp. Inspired by the strength of those she has met in the desert and driven by disparities caused by borders worldwide, Ayala sees NMD as one way of engaging with the political sphere, and directly with individuals most negatively affected by it.

Regan Wendell: Regan has lived in Arivaca, AZ for over 5 years. She is actively involved with NMD Desert Aid and also volunteers with the Nogales Project in Sonora, Mexico. Last year, Regan helped to open the Arivaca Humanitarian Aid Office. While the residents of Arivaca have been providing humanitarian aid to those in need for decades, there has never before been any formal organizing around this issue. The office is centrally located in the
small town to remind residents and law enforcement that humanitarian aid is never a crime.

Kate Morgan-Olsen: Born and raised in the Midwest, Kate found a home with No More Deaths during the Alternative Spring Break program of 2010. During her tenure with NMD, Kate has served as the Volunteer Coordinator, worked regularly at the desert aid camp in Arivaca, and volunteered on a weekly basis for the Nogales project. Kate finds profound meaning in working to end the needless death and suffering perpetuated by the U.S. government, and in standing in solidarity with communities affected by the border crisis. Currently, she resides in Chicago, IL.

Hannah Hafter: Hannah has been with No More Deaths since 2008 and helps run the Nogales Project, providing crisis support to people who have been deported to Nogales, Mexico after attempting to cross the border or after being detained living in the U.S. without papers. She is also co-author of No More Death’s groundbreaking report “Culture of Cruelty: Abuse and Impunity in Short-term U.S. Border Patrol Custody”, and coordinated the 2010 “We Reject Racism” campaign against SB1070, Arizona’s recent, controversial law requiring police to serve as immigration agents. (Outside of No More Deaths, Hannah received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Arizona and worked from 2010-2012 as the Border Health Program Coordinator at the Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center. She has also served as a Human Rights Accompanier with the genocide case witnesses in Guatemala with NISGUA.)

Contact for more infomation

1/24 Teach-In: Patriarchy, Prisons, Police

January 17, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Thursday, January 24, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: the Deer Pile (above City O’ City – 13th and Sherman)

This talk will consider how we respond to sexual assault in our communities. I will briefly give an overview of prevalent community structures for responding to this form of violence and how those came to be the prevailing structures. Then, I will explore the shortcomings of those strategies; in particular, I will talk about the failure of mass incarceration to make our communities safer. Finally, I will look at alternative responses to violence that some communities are already using to redress and bring an end to sexual assault without relying on the police or prisons.

Led by Sarah Tyson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy (CU Denver)/anti-violence and anti-prisons activist

Teach-In: Navigating Legal Support in Activism (January 17)

January 15, 2013 in Teach-In

When: Thursday, January 17, 5:30-7:00pm
Where: the Deer Pile (above City O’ City – 13th and Sherman)

Standing up for what is right is not a crime, it’s a necessity. However, when standing up against the system, the system will work very hard to keep you silent! State repression of even the most non-violent movements is a constant reality. Repression takes many forms but one of the most common is direct imprisonment of activists through arrests.

The criminal justice system is confusing and corrupt at best. When someone is arrested and taken to jail, a lot goes into their immediate release and then support through the legal process of fighting the trumped up charges. Far too many people caught in the legal system in the US do not have support or help to get bailed out of jail, get a lawyer, have support at court, or figure out all the complicated details of their case.

As a social justice movement, Occupy Denver is committed to supporting activists who are facing state repression.
This teach-in will cover the ins and outs of legal support. Topics like running a legal line, what can be done at actions to help people understand their rights and stay as safe as possible, working through the bail/bonding process, how to connect to lawyers or public defenders, things to know when approaching a trial, how to pack the court house with public support, and more will be covered!

Occupy Denver is currently striving to expand legal support for repressive arrests by empowering as many people as possible to do legal support and to understand their own legal process if arrested. If you have an interest in learning more or helping OD do legal support in any way please come to this teach-in and learn where you can contribute!

Led by long-time Occupy Denver legal committee members