Illustration by Gabriel Silveira
On 18-20 September, the Progressive International (PI) will host its inaugural summit, convening members from across the planet to confront the central dilemma of our time: Internationalism or Extinction.
In May 2020, the PI launched with a mission to unite, organize, and mobilize progressive forces in a common front.
Since then, this coalition has grown to include unions, parties, and movements that represent millions of people around the world, from the National Alliance of People’s Movements in India to the Congreso de los Pueblos in Colombia to the Democracy in Europe Movement, DiEM25.
Together, the members of the PI have launched international campaigns on issues like debt cancellation in the Global South, developed a policy vision for ‘Reclaiming the World After Covid-19’, and built a wire service for the translation and dissemination of critical perspectives shut out by mainstream media around the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic has postponed the plans for a gathering of the Council in Reykjavik, Iceland. But the pandemic has also accelerated crises of democracy, climate, and economic inequality, calling on progressive forces everywhere to act quickly and decisively.
That is why the Progressive International is convening this emergency summit: to map our current crisis, to reclaim our shared future, and to strengthen our planetary front to do so.
The Summit will bring together for the first time PI’s Council, whose members include: Rafael Correa, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Yanis Varoufakis, Arundhati Roy, Wang Hui, Katrin Jakobsdottir, Keeanga-Yamahatta Taylor, Achille Mbembe, Carola Rackete, John McDonnell, Vijay Prashad, Vanessa Nakate, Alicia Castro: and around 70 member organizations from over 40 countries to plan collective actions and formally launch the Progressive International.
PI has announced the initial program of speeches and discussion events, which are open to the public upon registration, for Friday 18 September including keynote speeches from Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Yanis Varoufakis and a discussion on reclaiming democracy in Latin America, co-hosted by Wiphalas Across the World, between Ecuadorian presidential candidate from Union for Hope (UNES) Andres Arauz, Bolivian presidential candidate Luis Arce from the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS-IPSP) and Argentinian political and labour activist and diplomat Alicia Castro.
1. A Progressive Vision of Post-Capitalism, a panel discussion with Yanis Varoufakis, Vijay Prashad, Ece Temelkuran, Nick Estes, and Lyn Ossome
07:30 PM IST, Friday, 18TH SEPTEMBER 2020
The horizon of post-capitalism is coming into clearer focus — but it remains to be seen if the post-capitalist economy will be authoritarian and oligarchic or democratic and social. Yanis Varoufakis kicks off a panel discussion of how we can win the fight for a post-capitalist future.
2. The Years of Repair, a panel discussion with Naomi Klein, Tasneem Essop, Vanessa Nakate and Aruna Roy
09:30 PM IST, Friday, 18TH SEPTEMBER 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has imposed lockdowns around the world. How can we harness the new pace of our lives to heal the deep rifts in our societies? Join Naomi Klein and other members of the PI Council to discuss how we can use this time for reparation on multiple fronts: climate, race, economy, infrastructure.
3. Internationalism or Extinction, a panel discussion with
Noam Chomsky, Nanjala Nyabola, Cornel West, and John McDonnell
11:30 PM IST, Friday, 18TH SEPTEMBER 2020
Capital is coordinated. Our struggles against injustice and oppression must be the same. Noam Chomsky and other members of the Council set out the existential threat facing humanity — and how the Progressive International can fight back.
4. Reclaiming Democracy in Latin America, co-hosted by Wiphalas Across the World, with Luis Arce, Andrés Arauz, Alicia Castro & more
01:30 AM IST, SATURDAY, 19TH SEPTEMBER 2020
We are witnessing the destruction of democratic institutions across Latin America and around the world. Join Luis Arce — Bolivian presidential candidate from the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS-IPSP) — Alicia Castro, Andrés Arauz, and Wiphalas Across the World to discuss how progressive forces are fighting to reclaim democracy and popular sovereignty in Bolivia and across Latin America against increasing powerful tactics of legal warfare, or ‘lawfare.’
Commenting on the announcement of Progressive International’s inaugural summit to formally launch the organization, PI council members had the following to say:
Dr Cornel West, US philosopher, political activist and incoming PI council member:
'The Progressive International is one of the few last hopes for truth and justice in our catastrophic age of escalating neofascisms, ecological collapse, militaristic buildups and xenophobic resurgence. Without principled multinational and multiracial solidarity to empower the wretched of the earth this planet has no human or humane future.'
Ece Temelkuran, Turkish novelist and political commentator and PI council member:
'Those who came before us to defend human dignity left behind the knowledge that each of us is at our most beautiful when we stand tall against oppression. We are here to transmit this principle to those who will come after us. I hope Progressive International will be one of our generation’s great works, so that when our children grow up to ask “What have you done then?” we have a proper answer. The Summit marks the beginning of this work, a gathering from across the planet to craft our answer to the next generation.'
Nanjala Nyabola, Kenyan writer, lawyer and political activist and PI council member:
'This summit is about bringing together movements and activists from around the world to start thinking about our global problems at a planetary level. We all have to work together on these challenges or else we will fail. The current historical moment demands a new politics of generosity and inclusiveness for all the peoples of the world, and this Summit will kickstart a bigger process of planning a sustainable, just and democratic future.'