Red May is a month-long festival of radical thought and art that brings together speakers and thinkers to explore alternatives to capitalism. This event centers the discussion on investment and expansion in our own city. Here’s what the organizers of Red May have to say about this evening:
“You think it’s your home but it’s their investment. You think you belong in this city. In reality, you’re just collateral damage. Ask the Urban Growth Machine and the Electeds who enable its relentless expansion. They’ve written your ticket out of here. You can live in the Rust Belt, Detroit or Cleveland, where rents are cheap. You can retire to Mexico: dental care is so affordable there. Buy a trailer and hit the open road. Sleep in a shelter. Or on the street. Or just die. Face it, all you do here is occupy space that has higher and better uses: space to host the Olympics or the World Cup, to house a high-paid, high-tech work force that can afford the restaurants and the rents. How did it get to this point? Who made it happen? And how can we turn that world upside down? Tonight, we convene the Red May City Council to investigate these matters and map new urban struggles.”
Cedric Johnson is associate professor of African American studies and political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of From Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics and editor of The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism and the Remaking of New Orleans.
Shaun Scott is a Seattle-based writer and historian and candidate for Seattle City Council District 4. His reflections on race, cinema and American spectacle have appeared in The Monarch Review and New Worker Magazine. He writes the thread “Faded Signs” for City Arts Magazine, a semi-weekly column about cultural life under late capitalism.
Mimi Sheller, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology and founding Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is founding co-editor of the journal Mobilities and past President of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility.
Samuel Stein is a geography PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center and an Urban Studies instructor at Hunter College. His work focuses on the politics of urban planning, with an emphasis on housing, real estate and gentrification in New York City. He is the author of Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Red May.