Social Ecology Blog

  • In this photo taken on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, a family leave the Sur district in Diyarbakir, Turkey. The family are among tens of thousands displaced by fighting raging between Turkish security forces and militants in the southeast after a peace process collapsed in the summer. (AP Photo/Murat Bay)
    Permalink In this photo taken on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, a family leave the Sur district in Diyarbakir, Turkey. The family are among tens of thousands displaced by fighting raging between Turkish security forces and militants in the southeast after a peace process collapsed in the summer. (AP Photo/Murat Bay)Gallery

    Sur: A neighbourhood of history, hope, and resistance: An interview with former mayor Abdullah Demirbas

Sur: A neighbourhood of history, hope, and resistance: An interview with former mayor Abdullah Demirbas

From 2004 until 2012, Abdullah Demirbas served as mayor of Diyarbakir (or Amed), Kurdistan's central Sur District, which has been largely destroyed in recent months by Turkish military assault.

Social ecology gathering in Lyons, France

From our colleague Vincent Gerber in Geneva:

The French « Rencontres internationales d’écologie sociale » recently discussed ways to overcome capitalism. At the center of the discussions: libertarian municipalism as an alternative to the nation-state and the need to renew militancy.

By Les Incontrôlées

On May 27-29, 2016, radical ecologists, supporters of degrowth, and anarchists gathered in Lyons for the first Rencontres internationales d’écologie sociale (International Social Ecology Gathering). Organized by an international board, it brought together nearly 120 activists, mostly from France, Belgium, Spain, and Switzerland but [...]

Enroll Now – New Flexible Online Course!

Our first online course Ecology, Democracy, Utopia was a great success! In response to high demand we are now offering a self-directed course featuring the same video lectures, readings, and discussion forums but without the fixed time commitment of a weekly seminar. This allows for more flexible participation; you can start the course at any time, at your own speed, and according to your own schedule.

Social Ecologists at the Left Forum in NYC 5/21-22

ISE faculty and board members are on 4 panels at the annual Left Forum this year:

Also Debbie Bookchin will be speaking on the Saturday evening plenary on “Black Liberation and the Sanders Groundswell: Prospects for Left Unity,” with Kshama Sawant and others, and Ynestra King is on a panel on “Revolution and Nonviolence: From Deming, Fanon, and Pan-Africanism to Today’s Global Movements” on Saturday morning (10 am) as well.

Here are the scheduled times for the panels featured here:

Climate Justice and [...]

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    Chaia Heller – Beyond Electoral Politics: Moving the Left Toward Communalism

Chaia Heller – Beyond Electoral Politics: Moving the Left Toward Communalism

"In November 2016, U.S. leftists will be offered up a blue and red pill provided by the matrix of our own failing democracy. Candidate #1 (let’s call this the blue pill) will be deemed the lesser of two evils, the greater of which is candidate #2 (the red pill). But what if, after responsibly choosing the pill determined to be less evil (an act of damage control), leftists then set their sights on going off their meds—that is, what if they aimed to leave the state matrix altogether? Local communalist politics, such as those outlined by Murray Bookchin’s theory of social ecology, beckon to leftists and offer a way to transcend the state by creating a confederation of directly democratic communities."
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    16 Year Anniversary of A16 IMF/World Bank Protest – Bringing Democracy Home

16 Year Anniversary of A16 IMF/World Bank Protest – Bringing Democracy Home

ISE faculty and students were key organizers and active participants in the alterglobalization movement. To commemorate the 16th anniversary of the "A16" action in Washington D.C. and the important role played by Social Ecologists in this movement, we're posting the widely-read Bringing Democracy Home pamphlet that helped give the movement its political flavor. Although written 16 years ago, its insights remain as relevant as ever.

Online debate on “degrowth”

The websites Commons Transition and Resilience.org have both highlighted a very interesting online debate on the future of the term “degrowth.” Pioneered by French economist Serge Latouche, degrowth has become a rallying point for an impressive array of critics and visionaries, especially in Europe. Some have critiqued the degrowth paradigm for being too eclectic, and perhaps insufficiently anticapitalist, but conversations initiated by degrowth advocates continue to be quite illuminating for many of us here.

In this dialogue, UK-based economist Kate Raworth argues that the term degrowth [...]

New book: Organic Revolutionary by Grace Gershuny

ISE faculty member Grace Gershuny’s long-awaited memoir has just been released, under the imprint of Joe’s Brook Press in Barnet, Vermont. The book, Organic Revolutionary: A Memoir of the Movement for Real Food, Planetary Healing, and Human Liberation, illuminates Grace’s roots in the early 1970s back-to-the-land movement, her early engagement with soil science and the emergence of organic farming in northern New England, her discovery of social ecology and socially-engaged Buddhism, and her intimate role in the development of national organic standards.

Canadian [...]

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    Statement on the assassination of Berta Cáceres in Honduras

Statement on the assassination of Berta Cáceres in Honduras

The ISE was among more than 30 organizations that signed on to a press statement expressing outrage at the early March assassination of Berta Cáceres, a leading indigenous activist in Honduras.  The full text is available at the US Food Sovereignty Alliance website.  Further background on Cáceres’ work to defend indigenous land rights from logging, mining mega-hydroelectric and other interests is available in this 2013 article from journalist/activist Jeff Conant. The case has also highlighted ongoing concerns about the current Honduran [...]

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    2016 ISE Summer Gathering: August 19-21 – Marshfield, Vermont

2016 ISE Summer Gathering: August 19-21 – Marshfield, Vermont

Join the ISE for our annual summer gathering in Vermont. This year's theme: Social Ecology, Socialism, and the State. How can we move from protest to social transformation?