Sonic Youth: A New Wave of Activists Makes Some Noise


A message to all you fine young minds who feel disempowered and disenfranchised, and that your government is unresponsive and unjust: The Young Democratic Socialists wish to remind you that paralyzed defeatism is no solution, and to illustrate and motivate, they offer this three-day conference over Presidents’ Day weekend. To combat what they call the far right’s “war on America’s fundamental democratic values,” the YDS have assembled an array of panels and workshops featuring many of America’s top leftist writers, educators, and activists, all sharing goals of increased liberty and equality in the U.S. and beyond. The Friday opening plenary, “Beyond Katrina: Continuing the Struggle for Racial and Economic Justice,” features the energizing Bill Fletcher Jr. of TransAfrica Forum, while Saturday and Sunday panels explore such interconnected issues as imperialism, global capitalism, and unequal access to education. Leading academics like postcolonial theorist and Derrida scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and sociologist-author Frances Fox Piven (The War at Home: The Domestic Costs of Bush’s Militarism) join muckraking journalists including frequent Nation contributors Liza Featherstone and Christian Parenti in conversations whose urgency is underscored by a Frederick Douglass quote: “Power concedes nothing without a demand!”