Commentary Global Peace & Collaboration

Commentary: We Need a Ceasefire in Ukraine

| Dennis Torigoe |

This is a full page ad in the print edition of the New York Times published in May, 2023.  It was signed by former members of the State Department and the military, as well as leading critics of the war like Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University.  It came to my attention from an email sent out by Stop the War Machine, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico (

In summary, the Russia-Ukraine War is a humanitarian crisis that has caused immense death and destruction.

There are many factors that contributed to the war, including Russia’s security concerns, NATO expansion, and Ukraine’s desire to join the West. However, it is clear that NATO expansion played a significant role in the conflict.

NATO expansion has been a source of tension between Russia and the West for many years. Russia sees NATO expansion as a threat to its security, and has repeatedly warned against it. NATO expansion has also been seen by some as a betrayal of the promises made to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The war in Ukraine is a reminder of the dangers of NATO expansion. It is also a reminder that diplomacy is the only way to resolve security disputes. The United States and its allies must work with Russia to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine. Otherwise, the war could escalate into a nuclear world war  and have devastating consequences for all involved.

Analysis Commentary Democracy: Rule of Law & Elections Economic Justice Environmental Justice Financial Justice Global Peace & Collaboration Organizing Social Justice

Watch: Forum on the Democratic Socialists of America

Last month, Voices for New Democracy hosted its latest monthly political forum discussing the rise of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the work of its New York chapters.

The conversation, facilitated by NYC-DSA member Harrison Carpenter-Neuhaus in conversation with fellow member Danny Valdes, began with a presentation on the overall structure of the DSA and how chapters are organizing for a socialist future before shifting to dialogue about the successes and challenges that a new generation of socialist organizers in the DSA are experiencing. The conversation covered how NYC-DSA is navigating the challenges of wielding state power while preserving principles, the limits and possibilities of legislative and electoral campaign organizing, NYC-DSA’s efforts to support the labor movement, an analysis of the international situation, and the challenges of internal democracy in the country’s largest existing socialist organization.

Harrison and Danny encourage further discussion and dialogue via comments and questions on this post. Watch the full forum below.


Watch: Forum on The Global Crisis, Ukraine and the Fight against Nuclear War

Last month, Voices for New Democracy hosted our latest monthly political forum discussing contemporary global crises, including Ukraine and the fight against nuclear war.

Hosted by Dennis Torigoe with commentary from Jerry Tung and Bob Anderson, the forum touched on the factors at play in the current war in Ukraine and the threat of nuclear war that has been building over the course of the conflict. Highlighting the U.S. and NATO’s long history of antagonism towards Russia, China, and other rising powers not aligned with Western political and economic hegemony, they discussed the stakes and scope of the conflicts playing out today on the global stage. From the military-industrial complex to U.S. dollar hegemony, the forces of Western imperialism are fighting to maintain their control of the global political order. In this context, the danger of nuclear war is rising once again, and it is vital that socialists sharpen their analysis of the international situation to offer a viable alternative.

Watch the full forum below:

Economic Justice Financial Justice Organizing Social Justice

Watch: Forum on Politics at the Local Level

This past Sunday, February 5th, Voices for New Democracy hosted our latest monthly political forum exploring the possibilities for progressive politics at the local level with former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and former New York City Council Member Margaret Chin.

Recounting their personal histories of — and motivations for — running for office, Quan and Chin discussed the challenges they faced and the victories they secured in building more just and equitable local politics. The forum covered a wide range of experiences and insights, from Quan’s fight for police accountability and experience battling against well-funded and well-connected opposition in the halls of power and on social media, to Chin’s organizing and phone-banking electoral tactics, her fights for affordable housing, and her efforts to organize progressive BIPOC and women members of the City Council into a majority bloc.

Watch the full forum, including presentations and audience Q&A, below.

Analysis Democracy: Rule of Law & Elections Economic Justice Financial Justice Immigration Organizing Social Justice

Watch: Forum on 2022 Elections and Meeting the Moment

Last Sunday, Voices for New Democracy hosted our latest monthly political forum discussing prospects for the upcoming 2022 elections with friend, contributor, and MIT professor Phil Thompson.

Following up on his recent writings in the New Labor Forum (‘Is Now the Time to Break with the Democrats?: A Debate‘ and ‘Democratizing the Knowledge Economy: Will Labor Accept the Challenge?‘), Thompson contends that today’s moment is the one the Left has been waiting for since the 1970s, and outlined some of the key (and sometimes contradictory) trends of today’s political moment:

  • The rise of the far-right, anti-democratic radicalization among the conservative movement
  • Right-wing attacks on immigrants, labor, climate, and other progressive priorities
  • Timid union leadership hesitant to seize power
  • Long-standing weaknesses and failures of the Democratic party
  • Resurgence of labor organizing among service sector workers and strong public support for unions
  • Left-wing radicalization among young people and certain legacy institutions
  • Progressive movements expanding and pushing local government to the left in strongholds like New York
  • The growth of the knowledge economy and the possibilities it presents for organizing and the role of consumers
  • And much more

Watch the full forum below.

Analysis Democracy: Rule of Law & Elections Economic Justice Global Peace & Collaboration Social Justice

Webinar: Brazil Elections, What’s At Stake?

Brazil’s historic upcoming elections will pit the Worker’s Party’s Lula da Silva against the far-right former President Bolsonaro, and the results will shape the future of the country and global geopolitics.

To make sense of the challenge and understand the high stakes of the elections, the Brazilian progressive legal group Crivelli Advogados is hosting a webinar this Tuesday, October 11th from 7 – 9 pm EST with political analysts and a former Minister in Lula’s government to discuss and analyze the historical moment. Live English translation will be provided, and additional details can be found below.

Click here to register for the webinar.

Panelists will be Ricardo Berzoini, former Minister of Labour, Communications and Social Security during the Lula and Dilma governments, and Fabiano Santos,  political scientist, professor and researcher (IESP-UERJ). The mediation will be by Ericson Crivelli – Labor Law and International Rights specialist.

The polls on Sunday, Oct. 2nd, revealed a more conservative and radical Congress. The initial analysis of specialists shows that if Lula is elected – even with this Congress – there will be openness to dialogue, more possibilities for negotiation and a less adverse scenario.

But if Bolsonaro is reelected, there are risks of authoritarian advancement, reduction of social security, imposition of the conservative agenda, criminalization and even persecution of both social and workers’ movements.

So, how to organize to continue resisting? And how to advance on progressive agendas?

Economic Justice Financial Justice Organizing Social Justice

Watch: Forum on the Future of American Socialism

Last Sunday, Voices for New Democracy hosted our latest monthly political forum with a wide-ranging discussion on the future of American socialism.

The extensive conversation covered key themes in contemporary American political economy and the state of class struggle today. Steve Clark kicked the forum off with a presentation on his latest essay, outlining several important currents in the trajectory of American politics and society, and offered interpretations of how these currents may shape opportunities to build socialism in the United States over the coming years. Thomas Blanton carried the conversation forward, discussing the importance of theory and building partnerships with diverse movements (especially those of oppressed peoples) in advancing a more progressive future. Eric Gill also discussed his perspective on the trajectory of the American left, class formation, modern imperialism, and the contradictions of contemporary capitalism amid the shift to a service economy, drawing on his own experience as a leader of the hotel workers union in Hawai’i. Finally, the forum shifted to an open dialogue drawing out key themes from these presentations.

Watch the full forum below.

Analysis Commentary

September 11 Monthly Political Forum: The Future of American Socialism

Is the present situation in the US a revolutionary situation?

Did Post-Industrialism change the balance of class power in the US?

Is US financial capital on the political ropes?

Will we be living under socialism with American characteristics by the end of this decade?

Yes to all, says Steve Clark, who elaborated and defended his thesis in a recent e-booklet: American Socialism Lacks Vision and Plan: Post-Marxist Social Science Can Help

Join us on Sunday, September 11 at 4 PM PT / 7 PM ET for our next monthly political forum to discuss these questions and more. Steve Clark will briefly reprise his essay, followed by an open discussion and debate. Click here to join the conversation.

Economic Justice Organizing Social Justice

Watch: Monthly Political Forum on Labor and Reproductive Justice

In our latest monthly political forum, Jean Quan facilitated a discussion with Elise Bryant and Virginia Rodino of the Coalition of Labor Union Women on the role of women in the labor movement and the importance of centering reproductive justice in labor struggles.

Recounting their histories in the labor movement, the history of CLUW, and the evolving trends we’re seeing in the labor movement today, Elise and Virginia offered important reflections on why centering women and marginalized voices is key to strengthening the labor movement at large. And in the face of the right-wing attack to dismantle Roe v. Wade, they discussed how CLUW is launching new electoral efforts to build power at all levels of government to advance reproductive justice and worker power.

Watch the full forum below.


Watch: Monthly Political Forum on China and the New World Order

On Sunday, July 17th, Voices for New Democracy hosted our latest monthly political forum on “China and the New World Order.” Moderated by Voices editor José Z. Calderón, our guest this month was attorney, educator, and civil rights leader Stewart Kwoh. Kwoh is the founding President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Los Angeles, the largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Across the conversation, Kwoh outlined the evolving geopolitical situation regarding China and the trends in U.S.-China relations. Although the U.S. and China are the two largest economies in the world — and each other’s largest trading partners — the Washington, D.C. establishment is taking an increasingly hostile stance towards China, recently ratcheting up claims that China represents America’s biggest global threat. This posture and new escalatory measures like escalatory tariffs, trade policy, and foreign policy moves could further raise tensions and ultimately impact the global economy and global balances of power — at a moment when the need for global cooperation has never been greater.

Watch the full conversation below, and join us for our next forum on Reproductive Justice with Elise Bryant, the President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, on August 21st.