Wayne State Hosts ALBA/Susman Lecture

November 19, 2017
Mark Bray (courtesy of Dartmouth College)

Mark Bray (courtesy of Dartmouth College)

Dr. Mark Bray, controversial author of The Antifa Handbook, delivered the Bill Susman lecture to a lively crowd of 100 at Wayne State University on October 17.   His appearance served also as the annual event of the university’s Abraham Lincoln Brigade Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1982 after a benefit concert donated by Pete Seeger.

Bray, a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College, outlined the history of anti-fascist movements beginning with Mussolini’s Italy to present-day Charlottesville.  He made the case for direct action against fascists, white supremacists, and their ilk, celebrating the successes of such tactics in several European countries.

Ron Aronson, Distinguished Professor of the History of Ideas Emeritus at Wayne State, took issue with the efficacy of some of Antifa’s tactics and made the case for organizing mass political movements as the best way to combat the fascists in our midst.  His Wayne colleague, Brad Roth, a professor in the Law School as well as the Political Science Department, concentrated on the issue of free speech and how and when, if ever, it is legitimate to try to stop opponents from marching or speaking.

In the discussion that followed, members of the audience asked questions and made speeches representing the points of view of Antifa, Democratic Socialists, Trotskyists, libertarians, socialists, anarchists, and even Democrats and liberals.

Former ALBA Board member Mel Small is Professor Emeritus of History at Wayne State University in Detroit.