Kopkind event to feature Occupy Wall Street activist


GUILFORD -- This year, 2013, is a milestone year in the history of civil rights: the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It is also a year in which the not-guilty verdict in the case of the murder of Trayvon Martin has created an existential crisis for black Americans and allies engaged in the struggle for racial justice.

On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 13, at the Organ Barn in Guilford, the Kopkind Colony will address this moment of conflict and remembered promise with a talk capping its annual Harvest Late Brunch fundraiser titled "After Trayvon: Re-visiting MLK’s ‘Triple Evils’; Re-imagining Freedom."

The featured speaker, Pamela Brown, is an activist and writer deeply involved in organizing and educational projects at the convergence of race and class that have emerged out of Occupy Wall Street.

She is a columnist for Tidal Magazine and an organizer with the People’s Investigation of Wall Street. She was a founding member of Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee, and has been involved in campaigns and writing projects including the student debt pledge of refusal. With a background in philosophy and media arts, she is currently a doctoral student in sociology at The New School for Social Research in New York.

Brown’s talk will revisit Martin Luther King’s famous formulation of the "triple evils" of racism, economic exploitation and war as a way of understanding this current period of violence and growing inequality, and re-imagining freedom and how it might be achieved.

This will be the sixteenth Harvest fundraiser for the seminar/retreat project named for the great radical journalist and former Guilford resident Andrew Kopkind. Since 1999, the project has been presenting free public movies and lectures in the summer, while bringing journalists, filmmakers and political activists from around the country and world to Guilford for a week of cultural and political stimulation, reflection and rest.

"Andy Kopkind’s first important work as a political journalist was covering the Southern Civil Rights Movement," Kopkind’s president, JoAnn Wypijewski, said. "He once wrote, ‘I never cried, never shouted with joy, never loved comrades in "politics" until I was moved by those struggles’, and said that the black movement together with the Vietnamese freedom struggle seeded his lifelong interest in the issues of privilege and liberation."

"We thought it was fitting this year especially to invite Pam Brown, who has been thinking and working passionately on those same issues in these very vexed times today."

The event, at the Organ Barn, 158 Kopkind Road, in Guilford, begins at 2 p.m. with a tapas feast, followed by Pamela Brown’s talk.

Tickets are $35, $25 for students. This is the only local benefit put on by Kopkind. For reservations, more information or directions, 802-254-4859, stonewal@sover.net or jwyp@earthlink.net.


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