Approximately 30 people attended a forum hosted by the Greater Boston branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation on Friday evening to discuss women’s liberation and the Palestinian occupation.
The forum featured a panel with various speakers from PSLBoston, and included a discussion section at which point audience members were able to join in and contribute to the conversation.
Nino Brown, PSLBoston’s branch organizer, said to The Daily Free Press before the forum that the issues of socialism, women’s liberation and Palestinian liberation are linked.
“Palestine is occupied by a settler colonial parasite, the State of Israel, unjustly and illegally,” Brown said. “With colonialism, you subjugate an entire people, and that includes women. Women’s liberation is part and parcel of the struggle for socialism, there will be no lasting socialism without women’s liberation.”
This idea echoes in PSLBoston’s slogan, “No socialism, no liberation. No liberation, no socialism.”
While liberation might be a national struggle, the PSL promotes the idea that there must be liberation everywhere for there to be true liberation anywhere, according to Brown.
“[Liberation is] a national struggle, which means it’s going to take everyone within that formation to defeat what is oppressing them,” Brown said. “Our goal is the ending of exploitation and the ending of oppression, and that can only happen on an international scale.”
Brown opened the forum by highlighting the differences between different types of feminism, focusing primarily on revolutionary Marxist feminism, which is what the PSL associates itself with. Brown focused on the need to approach liberation issues, including feminism, from a bottom-up perspective.
“Middle class folks want a little reform, a little conciliation,” Brown said. “Working class folks can’t afford capitulation anymore.”
Brown also issued a call for people to join PSL so they can fight against corruption.
Hira Sulthana, a PSLBoston member, presented facts about the struggle between Israel and Palestine, and the role the United States and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee play in that struggle. She also discussed settler colonialism, neocolonialism and sublimated colonialism, which she said are crucial to understanding Israeli oppression.
PSLBoston member Hersch Chaim followed up by presenting a promotional clip from AIPAC, explaining that watching the opposition’s propaganda can be a valuable exercise.
“It’s clear that AIPAC’s central mission is to actively maintain and strengthen the two-party system’s adherence to Israel’s control over Palestine,” Chaim said in his speech.
PSLBoston member Kaleigh O’Keefe spoke about the relationship between gender, sexism, the patriarchy and capitalism.
“The oppression of women and gender non-conforming folks takes many forms, but all are fundamentally rooted in the system of capitalist imperialism,” O’Keefe said. “Because patriarchy, capitalism and gender itself are part of the same process, it is impossible to get rid of one without the others.”
Several people in attendance said they found the forum to be an educational experience and expressed their opinions on issues having to do with oppression.
Will LeBlanc, 68, of Waltham, said he found the AIPAC video to be particularly interesting.
“I’ve never seen that before, always gotten it from the opposition,” LeBlanc said. “It’s basically the same thing. [AIPAC’s] selling their brand.”
Natalia Meneses, 24, of East Boston, said she attended to learn more about Palestinian liberation because it has ties to the liberation of immigrants to the United States from south of the border.
“[Capital and private interests] profit from detaining and imprisoning both immigrants and Palestinians,” Meneses said.
Willie Burnley, 23, of Somerville, said he was concerned that while the goals of the PSL may be achieved one day, it might not be soon enough.
“History’s very long, and within it people suffer for a very long time,” Burnley said.