To tha Left 

Form coalitions over cocktails at the Leftist Lounge.

Who has the willpower to form a progressive coalition these days? It means suffering through endless meetings, listening to the griping about the country's descent to hell in a handbasket, and at the end of the day, all you have is a bullet-pointed wish list.

But wait -- it needn't be that way, says Josh Warren-White, one of the organizers of Leftist Lounge 3. This Friday's politically conscious dance party aims to build unity through booty-shaking, where nonprofit folks and community advocates can form coalitions over cocktails. "People there are from the social justice movement, but there ain't no meetings, and the music doesn't stop," he promises.

The concept originated in Boston in July 2003, when a fed-up group of young progressives decided to do something to bring some energy and joy into the movement. After six successful throwdowns in Boston, the idea hopped coasts, landing in Oakland a year and a half ago. The first Bay Area Leftist Lounge was a packed house party, with about two hundred attendees imbibing the beer and feeling the vibe. The second party had more than five hundred eager coalition builders. Warren-White expects the third event to top it all.

This time, the lefties are taking over the Noodle Factory, a converted industrial space in West Oakland at 1255 26th Street. Bay Area DJs like Sake One and Tim D will fill two separate dancefloors with music. "It's a regular dance party, with a club feel to it," Warren-White says. But when you move off the floor to wipe your brow, you'll encounter radical art plastered on the walls, and tables piled high with pamphlets. Plus, the proceeds benefit a trio of social justice groups: Just Cause Oakland, Left Turn, and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. It should be a feel-good night: "It's our folks coming together to remember why we work in social justice, and to celebrate what we've accomplished."

Socialist socialites, dissident divas, and raucous revolutionaries are invited to blow off steam and feel the love from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. ... because there's that meeting to be ready for on Monday. For more information, visit LeftistLounge.com or call 510-595-5526.

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