Discussion on the Coming Explosive Consequences of Obama’s Interventions in Eastern Europe & the Middle East

Ukraine 1

Adam Schesch, PhD in the history of comparative guerrilla movements and counterinsurgencies, will discuss how in the past ten years President Obama has handed control of US foreign policy to pro-interventionist hawks. They disregard fundamental underlying factors of conflict such as unresolved ethnic and religious grievances, shifting demographic patterns, distorted economic developments which exclude the vast majority of local populations from extractive wealth flowing out of their regions, and dramatic climate change and loss of livelihoods.

Instead the US foreign policy establishment has stepped-up “irregular” and covert warfare to try to contain and suppress the growing explosive contradictions. A retired state worker and former antiwar and labor organizer, Adam holds a Ph.d. in the comparative history of resistance, revolutions and counter-insurgencies. He will present the left-wing equivalent of a CIA/National Intelligence Council long-term assessment of the situations in the Middle East and European zones.

Sponsored by the Peregrine Forum and the Madison Free Skool. Info? #608-284-9082.

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Black Lives Matter! – Madison Free Skool series on the History of Black Power Politics in Wisconsin!

Starting Mon, Feb 9th, 6:30 pm (come early for potluck at 6:00 pm)

Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative, 426 W. Gilman St

What can we learn from earlier struggles in our own state? How did activists challenge systemic racism in the past? Was black-led resistance effective and if so how? What was the role of allies? How did the forces of hate and the powers of the state respond? These are just some of the questions we hope to discuss in this series.

Suggested short readings will be made available prior to each future session, but feel free to bring your own materials and experiences to share! The Free Skool is designed around the idea that everyone is a learner and a teacher in the process of co-creating our own emancipatory pedagogy (thanks Paulo Freire!) There is also no need to attend earlier sessions, so folks can drop in whenever they can.

Proposed schedule of future discussions include (all 6:30 pm)

Mon. Feb. 9th – Introduction – Why Black Lives Matter

Mon. Feb. 23rd – Escape of Joshua Glover – Wisconsin Abolitionists versus the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act

Mon. March 9th – Free Black Farmers Homestead Wisconsin’s Kickapoo and Join the Civil War

Mon. March 23rd – The KKK Comes to Town – 1920s Racism and Resistance in Madison’s Green Bush

Mon. April 6th – The Selma of the North – “Race Riots” and Milwaukee’s 1960s Civil Rights Movement

Mon. April 20th – Fighting for Identity – 1960s Black Power & Student Protest at UW-Madison

Mon. May 4th – The New Jim Crow Feeding Wisconsin’s 21st century Prison Industrial Complex

Mon. May 18th – Wrap-Up Session – Why Black Lives Still Matter!

For more info? jepeck@wisc.edu #262-9036

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Book Club Discussion for “Mornings In Jenin”

Mornings in Jenin

Join us for an internationally coordinated book club discussion of the novel “Mornings in Jenin” by Susan Abulhawa, activist, poet and founder of Playgrounds for Palestine.  See further information on this project below.

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison, the Peregrine Forum and the Madison Infoshop Free Skool are partnering to host the book discussion in Madison.

The first session has met and now the second session will be Tuesday Feb 17th 7pm at 122 State in Room 200.  We will discuss the novel’s middle chapters covering the early Israeli Occupation 1967-1983, the 1982 Lebanon War, and the Palestinian Diaspora. Copies of the book are still available, contact rafahsistercity@yahoo.com. For other details call 608-284-9082.

Please note that the book was originally published under the title “Scar of David” and as far as we know there is no significant difference between the two versions.


From the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

US Campaign member group Librarians and Archivists with Palestine is excited to announce their newest campaign: “One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin.”

“One Book” is an international reading and discussion initiative drawing inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea that brings people together to talk about a common book.

LAP has selected the historical saga Mornings in Jenin by Palestinian-American author and activist Susan Abulhawa as their first “One Book” title, and discussions will be held in January 2015 around the world.

Mornings in Jenin is a sweeping, heart-wrenching historical saga about four generations of the Abulheja family. From Jenin to Jerusalem to Beirut to Philadelphia, the novel follows the family from its displacement from Ein Hod village in 1948 through love and loss over decades of life in Palestine and the diaspora.

Can you organize or host a Mornings in Jenin discussion at your library, local bookstore, Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, school, place of worship, or home this January? 

LAP has put together a toolkit to help you plan your event with ideas about how to hold great discussions that will spark interest in further exploration of Palestinian history and culture. They will also help with promotion by listing your event on their “One Book” site.

You can purchase the book directly from Susan Abulhawa here and use the promo code “lap1book” for a discount.

This is a great opportunity to create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination. If you have ideas or questions, please email librarians2palestine@gmail.com.

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Author Rory Fanning Discusses his book, Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America

Worth Fighting For Book

7:00 pm, Wed Feb 11

Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative – 426 W. Gilman St.

Rory Fanning returned to the United States following two deployments with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion in Afghanistan. Days before Fanning left the military as a conscientious objector, his comrade and unit-mate Pat Tillman was killed. Fanning returned to the US and walked across the United States for the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America explores the emotional and social consequences of rejecting the mission of one of the most elite fighting forces in the world.  At its core Fanning’s story is one of a developing political consciousness, shaped in turn by the horrors of the US military machine; the needless death of Pat Tillman; and the generosity and kindness Rory received while walking across the US.  He emerged from all of this with the firm conviction that he — and all of us — need to stand in solidarity with the victims of the US empire, and the most oppressed communities living in the US.

Fanning will use his story to draw out several lessons: Who are we fighting in Afghanistan? Why are we fighting?  He will push back against the myths surrounding the Special Forces, as perpetuated by movies and books like Zero Dark Thirty, Blackhawk Down and Lone Survivor.  He will also discuss why war resisters are so important. His talk will include reference to conscientious objectors throughout history: Nat Turner, Ida B Wells, Dolores Huerta, San Patricio Battalion.

Fanning’s writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, Mother Jones, Salon, Truthout, Common Dreams, TomDispatch, Socialist Worker and many other outlets.

Event is endorsed by Veterans For Peace, Clarence Kailin Chapter 25, of Madison.

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Book Discussion: Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%

14 Teachers strike Pilsen

7:00 pm Wed Nov 12

Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative – 426 W Gilman St

Author, Kari Lydersen will discuss her new book – published by Haymarket Books in 2013 and available at Rainbow Bookstore – detailing Rahm Emanuel’s political career and his symbolism as a New Democrat and a proponent of privatization and austerity at the municipal level. It also chronicles the way Chicago labor, faith, community and other popular groups have united in response to Rahm’s policies, plans and process. This battle is heating up right now as the February mayoral election approaches.

Though Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis was tragically forced to withdraw from the race for health reasons, the popular uprising that she represents is still a force for Rahm to reckon with.

Kari is a journalism instructor and co-director of the Social Justice News Nexus at Northwestern University which brings together professional journalists and grad students to report on issues including, currently, mental health care. Kari formerly worked for The Washington Post out of the Midwest bureau and for the New York Times via the Chicago News Cooperative. She is the author of four other books, most recently one chronicling the struggle to close Chicago’s coal-fired power plants, published by Midwest Energy News. More at www.karilydersen.com.

Info: 608-257-6050

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Are You What You Eat? – Amazing Adventures in the History of Agriculture!


Join the Madison Free Skool for a six part Fall 2014 community potluck and discussion series at Rainbow Bookstore – Mondays at 6:30 pm through October and November, hosted by John E. Peck of Family Farm Defenders!

Does it matter if the earth is dead or alive? Do we call it animal science or animal husbandry? How come it is so hard to grow food in the city? Where have all the peasants gone? Why do food/farm workers deserve a living wage? Should food be treated as a weapon? As a human right? What does it mean to say UW-Madison is a land grant college? Is food irradiation or seed patenting a good idea? What about the fence or the plow? What’s the difference between food security and food sovereignty?

These are just some of the questions related to the magic and science, discoveries and debates in agriculture that we’ll explore! Selected optional readings will be avalable before each session.
Bring a dish or drink to share if you wish – local food especially encouraged!

The tentative series schedule is as follows:

Mon. Oct. 13th 6:00 pm Introduction
Mon. Oct. 20th 6:00 pm Water & Soil
Mon. Oct. 27th 6:00 pm Plants & Animals
Mon. Nov. 10th 6:00 pm Skills & Tools
Mon. Nov. 17th 6:00 pm Family Farmers & Food Workers
Mon. Nov. 24th 6:00 pm Wrap-Up

For more info, please contact: jepeck@wisc.edu

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Book Discussion Group – Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

Goliath Book

6:30-8:30 pm Sep 11, Sep 17, Oct 1, Oct 15, Nov 5, Nov 19, Dec 3, Dec 17

Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative (426 W Gilman St)

In the book Goliath, New York Times bestselling author Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens.  The group will be facilitated by David Williams of the Peregrine Forum.

Goliath is published by Nation Books 2013 and is available at Rainbow Bookstore!

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