On Monday, June 17th, Eric Blanc, author of Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics, will be heading to Bethlehem, PA to discuss his book and talk rank-and-file activism with all in attendance.
The event, “Teachers Rise Up,” is sponsored by DSA of the Lehigh Valley, will be held from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Color Me Mine at 25 E. 3rd Street in Bethlehem. Be to visit the Facebook event page and let folks know you’re going to be there!
Blanc traveled to West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona as an “on-the-ground correspondent” for Jacobin magazine to cover the historic rank-and-file teachers’ strikes of 2018. More than a “journalist,” Blanc embedded himself within the strike movement as was able to gain access to the organizers, activists, and community members that helped redefine what is politically possible in today’s context.
One of the key takeaways for Blanc was how important it is for the Left and organized labor to deepen their relationships and repair the damage done by decades of tension:
One of the main lessons from the red state revolt is that the Left needs labor just as much as labor needs the Left. Fortunately, socialists and the labor movement are beginning to overcome their decades-long divorce. In an interview conducted over celebratory beers, an hour after West Virginia strikers won their demands, Emily Comer–a socialist teacher, union member, and strike leader in Charleston–put it well: “If you have enough working people who are pushed to the breaking point, and who are angry about a specific grievance, then it’s the duty of activists to let them know that they deserve better–and that their lives can get better if they take action on that issue. If you lead the way, people will respond.”
Don’t miss this one if you can make it. This event will be part of building organizations, courage, and a vision for what is possible right in the heart of the Lehigh Valley.