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Between 18-20 September 2020, the Progressive International (PI) is hosting their inaugural live summit online.
Sign up for the event here.

Words by Progressive International

September 16, 2020


Illustration by Gabriel Silveira

Register for the event here:

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



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.’

Council Members

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.'

Adapted and republished with permission. Find the original text on ROAR and Eventbrite.

PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL is a new global initiative with a mission to unite, organize and mobilize progressive forces around the world.

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Further Reading

Caste and Gender: A Systemic Obliteration of Justice

The legal system, rather than effectively and actively working to hold those who commit caste-based crimes acocuntable for their actions, has instead become a space for further discrimination.


Readings For An Anti-Caste Education

The eighth edition of Akademi Mag's Love, Pavemented collates a few anti-caste readings from Dalit and Bahujan activists and leaders.


We Must Call It What It Is: Caste-Based Violence

A nineteen-year-old girl who belonged to a Dalit community was brutally raped and killed by four upper caste men. This is not just a case of rape. It’s a caste atrocity.


‘A silk weaver can only weave silk, he cannot wear it.’

The Tamil film, Kanchivaram, explores the exploitation of weavers in Tamil Nadu through the story of its protagonist Vengadam, who belongs to the traditional silk weaving community, and is set within a period that saw weavers struggling with economic inequality and rapidly rising suicide rates.


Your rainbow doesn't hide your casteism

There are a lot of structural reasons why Guruswamy and Katju get to present themselves as leaders of this movement, and in doing so, tap into exactly the structural violence through which Section 377 has come to be represented.


It Means I Have Been Arrested

Umar Khalid was arrested on 13th September. He was arrested for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to incite the violence that broke out in Northeast Delhi in February 2020.


Sex Work Under The Colonial Raj: Calcutta

Major designated sex trade zones exist only in Delhi, West Bengal and Maharashtra. There are specific historical reasons behind the rise of both brothels and red-light areas in these cities.


The Women, The System, The Struggle: The Story of ASHA Workers

What do a million women, who connect remote parts of this country to healthcare, do when a system insists on deflating their worth?


What We Get Wrong About Drug Abuse

Drugs and addiction are fundamentally intertwined, and yet the word ‘addiction’ does not appear in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985) of India.


Bans, Boycotts and Borders

India has announced three rounds of app bans in response to skirmishes on its border with China. While China is yet to respond with any economic sanctions, tensions are escalating and it is fair to assume that these are impending.


Felt Delhi was No Longer My City

Ayush Tiwari won praise for his coverage of the violence that broke out in Northeast Delhi in late February, but it was this assignment that altered his relationship with Delhi and its people.


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