A remarkable thing happened several weeks ago in a small city in North Carolina. A group of Occupiers from Chapel Hill affiliated with the national movement, emboldened by similar actions by Occupiers in Oakland, California, reclaimed an old used car dealership that had sat vacant for years. The owner, a deadbeat who has been apparently at odds with city government for some time now, has kept the lot vacant and undeveloped for the better part of ten years. This large building and land, unoccupied and unused for a very long time, was converted to serve the interests of the people of Chapel Hill…

Of course, soon enough, the police decided to intervene in this ugly display of wanton public compassion and unity. That brought us photos of police dressed in full military fatigues and flak jackets, brandishing assault rifles, heading in to clear the building of the people who had attempted to give it a viable purpose to serve the community…

Through the occupation of both public and private abandoned space, the Occupy movement, as well as anti-capitalist political movements across the globe, are showing that they have the capability to escalate their tactics in a meaningful way. The reclamation of public space for political thought and dialogue is an important first step to breaking the bonds of capitalist hegemony in the sphere of public consciousness. This has been done in the past few months by brave Occupiers willing to risk arrest to get the public to pay attention to the issues staring them in the face. It has been proven to be a successful tactic, and should be continued. Now, an important next step is to carry the occupations to private space that can be converted to better use serving the wider needs of the community.

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Are you inspired by Occupy Wall Street? Did you join the struggle for Troy Davis? Are you part of protests about the housing crisis in your city? Were you in the streets for SlutWalk to say “Enough is enough”?

Millions of people have come to the understanding that capitalism is no longer working. And millions of people around the world—from Cairo to Athens to New York City—are fighting back.

Marxism provides a revolutionary understanding of society and a strategy for getting rid of exploitation and oppression once and for all. The International Socialist Organization is organizing regional conferences in cities around the country in October and November to discuss what Marxists say about race, class and revolution—and the fight for a better world.

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Meetings and courses include:

Why Marx was right

Why the working class can change society
— No power greater: Marxism and the centrality of class
— The 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters strike: A case study in working-class power
— The changing working class and the future of the labor movement

Black liberation
— Where does racism come from?
— The Black freedom struggle: From Martin Luther King to the Black Panthers
— Black liberation and socialism

Marxism and oppression
— The roots of racial oppression
— Theories of women’s oppression
— Can the working class liberate the oppressed?

Marxism, crisis and class struggle
— How capitalism works: What makes capitalism tick?
— How capitalism fails: The Marxist theory of crisis
— Crisis, exploitation and class struggle

Follow the link to find the conference near you!