may, 20

07may18:00Take the City: The Future of Radical Urban MovementsKazembe Balagun (New York City), Margit Mayer (Berlin), Norma Rantisi (Montreal)


Event Details

A live-stream international discussion about the opportunities and aspirations facing urban social movements amid the global pandemic. Since the late 2000s, the majority of human beings have lived in cities. Across the world, a new wave of urban social movements is rising to fight against corporate control, social exclusion, hostile immigration policies, gender oppression, and ecological devastation. These movements are building economic, social, and political alternatives based on solidarity, equality, and participation—neighbourhood by neighbourhood, workplace by workplace. In this livestream discussion we ask: what opportunities and challenges do these movements now face in the volatile context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond? Is this a moment for the rise of municipal socialism and a collective Right to the City, in which cities are democratically run at the grassroots level, prioritizing social justice rather than capitalist profit? Or will austerity measures and predatory neoliberal policy further destabilize these movements, exacerbating existing inequality and precarious conditions for the poor and working class? This discussion will bring together activist-intellectuals Kazembe Balagun (New York City) and Margit Mayer (Berlin), moderated by Norma Rantisi (Montreal).




Black Rose Books is an independent, radical, non-profit publisher. Any contribution or share you can give directly supports our mission to spread the critical work of visionary thinkers. We are more than grateful for any solidarity donation you can give. To get free and pay-what-you-can eBooks, or donate to help us during this difficult time, please visit: Register through Eventbrite to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event and to make an optional donation.




The livestream will begin Thursday, 1PM EST. – Click here to find the time of the event in your timezone. – Click here for the Youtube livestream. The link will also be emailed to you before the event if you register on this Eventbrite page. – Send in your questions and comments for the speakers in YouTube’s livestream chat or by email to You can view our most recent livestream here: “RENT STRIKE: Housing Activism in the Pandemic.”


MARGIT MAYER currently is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin. Her research focuses on comparative, urban and social politics as well as urban social movements in the context of the neoliberal crisis. She co-edited “Urban Movements in a Globalising World” (2000), “Cities for People not for Profit” (2012), “Neoliberal Urbanism and its Contestations” (2012), “Urban Uprisings: Challenging the Neoliberal City in Europe” (2016), and has a lecture in the forthcoming book “Take the City: Voices of Radical Municipalism” (Black Rose Books, 2020).


KAZEMBE BALAGUN is a writer, critic ,and activist living in Co-Op City, the Bronx. His words can be found in the “Indypendent”, “Metrograph: The Edition,” and has been featured in The Guardian and The New York Times. He serves as a project manager with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (New York City) focusing on racial justice and the right to the city. His essay “We Be Reading Marx Where We From: Socialism and the Black Freedom Struggle” was included in “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA” (2014).


NORMA RANTISI is Professor of Geography, Planning, and Environment at Concordia University. She recently co-founded the online magazine Progressive City: Radical Alternatives. She is an associate of the Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES) and the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy, she is the Co-Chair of Planners Network International and a member of the Editorial Board at Black Rose Books. She co-edited (with C. Berndt and J. Peck) “Market/place” (2020) and was a contributor to “Transformative Planning: Radical Alternatives to Neoliberal Urbanism” (Black Rose Books, 2020).


(Thursday) 18:00 UK


Black Rose BooksWe are often asked the origins of our name. BLACK ROSE BOOKS was proposed as a name for the new project by our celebrated author and philosopher, Murray Bookchin. According to legend, during the peasant uprisings in the middle ages those who found freedom would also find the black rose in nature, and conversely those who found the black rose in nature would find freedom. It was agreed that no graven image of the black rose would be encouraged; we want the human imagination to see it freely. In today's world of press, television and massmarket publishers, an alternative point of view is more important than ever. The creation of this Web site marks a new avenue for Black Rose Books. Proudly, we will continue to present new seasons, and with each, invite you to celebrate creative publishing at its best, without compromise.

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