Following the success of the inaugural Teach-In held November 8,9 & 11, the World Peace Forum Society has decided to hold a second one in November of 2009. Once again, activists, academics and artists will gather to try and make sense of the world we live and act in by looking at the roots of the present in the experiences of the past and trying to arrive at a direction for the future.

Given the current economic crises, it seemed appropriate to base the next Teach-In on the stock market crash of Oct. 1929 and the decade that followed it. The working title we have given to the 2009 Teach-In is ‘1929-1939- From Crash to Catastrophe’. We will be searching for speakers who can talk about some of the enormous range of events that characterized the decade. Topics on our list of possibilities include

  • Economic causes and lessons of the crash of ’29.
  • Smith, Keynes or Marx- Economic theory and the thirties.
  • From Bienfait to the On To Ottawa Trek-Labour Organizing Strategies in the Great Depression.
  • Youth and Student Organizations in the ‘Great Depression’.
  • From Third Period to Popular Front- Strategy and Tactics of the Comintern.
  • A Third Way?- The creation of the CCF.
  • Guernica and Nanjing- The Horror of ‘Total War’.
  • The rise of Fascism- Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany.
  • The Italian invasion of Ethiopia.
  • Anti-war and Solidarity movements in the thirties.
  • Organizing Artists- from the Theatre of Action to New Frontier.

These are only a few of the many possibilities for presentations and workshops. Early in the new year we will be refining our agenda in conversation with a variety of organizations to determine which are the most important and which can make the best contribution to helping activists today organize in the context of new wars and an economic crisis. This discussion will begin at our Annual General Meeting in late February. We hope to have a program finished by June.

The World Peace Forum will be soliciting funds to bring to Vancouver the best possible collection of speakers from Canada and abroad. We feel that we can play a unique role creating a space where thinkers and actors can meet to plan how the lessons of the past can be used to aid us in creating a world of sustainability, peace and social justice. We invite all who share those goals to participate with us in crafting the second World Peace Forum Teach-In.