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TMC at Left Forum

Interview with Selma James - Activist and Author

by Geordie Gwalgen Dent

TMC at Left Forum

New York - The TMC interviews Selma James, activist and author with Global Women’s Strike.  She's currently based in London, UK.

Toronto Media Co-op: Why are you here?

Selma James: I’m here representing a number of women’s strikers, a number of whom are here from Philadelphia and the organization Payday, men that work with us.

Also Global Women’s Strike recently published - Sex, Race Class:  The Perspective of Winning – an anthology of women, we are here to present.

TMC: Why did you choose to come to Left Forum among the many different Forum’s you could come to?

SJ: First of all, I have to say…we must have childcare here next year.  We had a complaint from one of our speakers at our panel…she has been hamstrung for child care this year.  We passed a unanimous resolution at our panel where everyone, including the audience, says we must have childcare.

But I’m here because of the kind of book we published, we felt it was the right thing to publish and issue it here and engage in discussions. 

People are trying to find their way to how to win.  We feel the work we’ve been doing is to highlight that the reproduction labour has plunged as a priority.  The movement can not get stuck in waged work, it needs to realize that that unpaid work, agricultural work, home care, is being done around the world in Africa and India and this work has to been seen as a key part of the  struggle to the overthrow of capitalism.  Left Forum is the best place to say this.

I’m happy to tell you that at our workshop on anti-capitalism behind bars…the daughter of one of the presenters was there…that workshop was hopeful.  That is new in this country.  They felt that they can win, I know we will win and I’m very happy to be discussing that and exchanging info.  We can win.  There is a chance now because they (people in the US) are ready and that is very encouraging.

TMC: What do you feel comes out of things like Left Forum?

SJ: There are two strands that come from it.  There are the academic strands which ‘discuss’ and the activist strands which are ‘doing’.  And the activist strands are winning over the academic strands but working with them and asking them for statistics to help compliment their work.

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