Workshop Descriptions 2011

 

Alternative Media – Dan Kellar

This workshop will discuss activities and operations of recent alternative media centres (G20, Olympics), and media co-ops (Dominion, TMC, AMC) and look at the growing accessibility of independent/radical journalism.  While providing a brief overview of the current media structures in canada, this workshop will also present press release creation and media engagement ideas, review some hardware and software options, and discuss the place of alternative media and social media in social and ecological justice movements.  It is the aim that by the end of this workshop, participants will have a few new tools and ideas to help tell or present the stories of resistance.

An Introduction to Animal Liberation & Anarchism: How Animal Liberation Attacks the Roots of the Capitalist System – Love and Rage Liberation Collective

This workshop will discuss the connections between anarchism and animal liberation. We will look at how the capitalist system deepens the oppression of animals and explore how the current capitalist system depends upon the property status of animals to thrive. Using past examples, we will look at how the animal liberation movement attacks the roots of capitalism and challenges the property system itself, building connections between human, earth, and animal liberation movements. It is our hope that through this workshop we will begin to build bridges between the animal liberation and anarchist movements, drawing on our similar motivations, goals, and beliefs.

Anarchism 101- Sandra Jeppeson and Brendan Bruce

Anarchism is generally understood as an ideology that defines itself as opposition to authority – and yet this basic caricature of anarchism fails to express the beautiful and humanistic motives that underlie anarchism as a philosophical tradition and set of political and cultural values. This workshop will serve as a useful primer for those who seeking a basic introduction to anarchism and can hopefully serve as a springboard into a more robust understanding of anarchist theory and praxis.

Anarchism and Black Liberation – Ashanti Alston (Part of the Anti-Authoritarian Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour Caucus)

What role can anarchism play in first-world nationalist struggles, such as those waged by Indigenous communities and people of colour? Former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army militant Ashanti Alston shares his insights, gleaned as an anarchist with a long history in the struggle for black self-determination.

Anarchism’s Social Vector: Drawing lessons from an historical overview in South Africa and Brazil- Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front

As was the case across much of the globe, both South Africa and Brazil were home to significant anarchist movements in the first part of the Twentieth Century. In both countries anarchists exercised an influence over the development of the labour movement disproportionate to their size, and anarchist militants played leading roles in some of the most significant developments and struggles of the time.

What, then, went wrong? How did the anarchist movement, so significant at the time, lose what the Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation (FARJ) calls the “social vector of anarchism” – its ability to influence the nature and direction of the mass fighting movements and organisations of the class? What lessons can we draw from this experience, while trying to rebuild and recapture anarchism’s social vector, in order to avoid repeating past mistakes?

 

Anarchist Organizational Issues during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

This workshop will discuss issues surrounding anarchist organizing during the Spanish Civil War. Specifically, examine Clandestine (FAI- Iberian Federation of Anarchists) and Open (CNT- National Worker’s Confederation) organizing, the question of participating in elections and in government (Federica Montseny and Camillo Bernerni), Agricultural Collectives in Aragon and Andalucia, the Archinov platform, Military organization, and Workers’ Control in Catalunya.

Anarchist Organizations –  Common Cause

This workshop will explore the topic of different models of anarchist organization, and what they can contribute to broader social struggles. It will include a basic introduction to anarchist organizational principles, including what can be learned from the platformist and especifista traditions. Common Cause Toronto members will use practical examples from their own experiences, both within Common Cause and as participants in a range of labour and social movement organizations to demonstrate some of the relative strengths and weaknesses of different organizational approaches. This workshop will offer space for discussion on the benefits of and challenges faced by contemporary anarchist organizations.

Anarchist Organizing in the Age of Collapse – Uri Gordon

The prognosis of industrial collapse in the 21st century requires anarchists to radically rethink their strategies in the medium and long term. In this presentation, Uri Gordon considers some of the possible social ramifications of deteriorating energy, climate and economic conditions in the future, and the questions that anarchists face once they detatch themselves from the expectation of technological and social progress as an organizing principle of their expectations for the future. Three areas in particular are addressed: delegitimation, direct action, and networking.

Anarcho-Nutritionism: Self-Care as Direct Action – Sarit Cantor

Having complete control of our lives starts with how we treat ourselves. What we put into our bodies has a direct effect on how we feel, and how we think.  By relying on GMO foods, annual monocrops, and inorganic, unsustainably grown foods, we are putting our wellbeing and health in the hands of the state. This presentation will go into detail of how inorganic foods, and annual monocrops (like wheat, soy, rice, potatoes, etc.) are devastating our earth, and devastating our minds, our bodies, our energy levels, our memory capacity, our emotional stability, etc… How can we start a revolution when we have chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia from eating too much white bread and coffee? How can we work together when we are aggressive and moody from eating too much white sugar? How can we work towards independence of the state when we depend on pharmaceutical medications?  As long as our food supply is being controlled, our behaviour, our mentality, our physical well-being is being controlled. People should not be waiting to “burn out” before recognizing the importance of taking care of themselves, they should recognize that the very act of self-care and self-nourishment is advancing our movement and is direct action against the state. With self-care and nourishment comes empowerment, strength, clarity and independence.  This should not be something that is looked down upon as hippy mumbo jumbo, it should really be placed as a top priority.

Appropriating Corporate Video for Anarchist Filmmaking – subMedia

A crash course on stealing video from the web to put at the service of the motherfuckin resistance with klepto video producer Franklin López AKA the stimulator of subMedia.TV.

Back to the Land – Dragon Fly Farm

Building new infrastructure and growing our own food in back-to-the-land communities. The capitalist system is designed to weaken us for the sake of profit, but many have resisted by trying to be the change they want to see in the world. This workshop will examine the possibilities presently being worked, and extract lessons from their successes and failures.

Deaf Culture 101: Culture, Communication, and Access – Jenny Blaser and Andrew (ASL-English interpretation confirmed)

This workshop will lead participants through a discussion about what it means to be culturally Deaf. It will touch on the historical aspects of Deaf culture and the ways in which it continues to thrive. We will discuss oppression and how multiple overlapping oppressions affect the Deaf community here in Toronto through a combination of facts and anecdotal experiences. Following a brief break participants will explore communication approaches through an interactive activity and then explore what it means to create a Deaf accessible environment, learning from the experiences of both a Deaf individual and a hearing ally. Participants will be provided with concrete resource materials on Deaf accessibility with a view to supporting their own capacity to do this work.

DIY Floggers and Consent Skill Share- Bender Gear

This bookfair, the Stitch and Bitch, is donning fetish gear. Learn to make your own flogger with found and recycled materials while participating in a skillshare on practicing good consent. Because consent is sexy– inside the bedroom and out. This is an informal, anti-expert discussion for sharing experiences and trading tricks for navigating situations from one-time hook-ups to longer relationships (monogamous or not), and kink play. We’ll talk about recognizing and dismantling situations which lead to sexual assault, communicating our histories (and STI statuses) to our partners, and any other issues of concern to the group.

Do-It-Yourself Bicycle Maintenance for Beginners- Bikes Not Bombs Toronto

Riding your bike is one of the most sustainable, economical, and empowering ways to get around. Walking into a bike shop when something goes wrong, however, can be both disempowering and expensive. This workshop will give you some basic skills to help maintain your bicycle so trips to the bike shop are less frequent. It will also help you learn to talk about your bike and problems you are having with it so that you’re more comfortable and confident talking to bike mechanics. Please bring your bike! You’ll be getting up close and personal with it!

Expanding bases of safety: A guideline for countering undercover operatives and breaking social distance in your network- Josh (ASL-English interpretation confirmed)

This workshop explores ideas and concepts for countering infiltration efforts by law enforcement agencies. It focuses on the mapping out of the networks radicals are a part of, and on creating safer relationships through communication. The first half of the workshop focuses on updating security culture strategies in current struggles, while the second half of the workshop offers guidelines for an individual to feel more secure, and closer to peers in the networks we exist and work in.

Imperialism, National Liberation and Class – Andrew Flood (WSM)

Andrew flood of the Irish WSM looks at how class conflict has played out within and alongside militant Irish nationalism and in particular the strikes, occupations and ‘soviets’ of the 1918 to 21 Anglo Irish War

 

Indigenous Sovereignty and Anarchist Allied Resistance (The Case of the Mapuche Nation) –  WCCC Toronto

Explore notions of indigenous and anarchist resistance as sister struggles in mutual solidarity, specifically by looking at the Mapuche Nation in so-called southern Chile and anarchist allies. The similarities and differences within our radical movements, and how the ongoing struggle for the reclamation of our land is the liberation for us all will be discussed. We will expose the current situation of our indigenous Mapuche sisters and brothers, as well as sister Nations across Abya Yala and Turtle Island.

Information Security and You – Kate Milberry (UofT Faculty of Information), and Chris Eby & Justin Saunders (TAO Communications)

North American governments have a long and inglorious history of using the law and law enforcement against social movements. If you are a social justice activist, human rights advocate or political dissident, chances are that your activities are of interest to the state, and it is prudent to assume the state may be monitoring you. With the advent of the digital era, activists have incorporated new communication tools into their repertoire of contentious action, learning new ways to organize, mobilize, educate and agitate. Unfortunately, with the adoption of these tools, security vulnerabilities have also emerged. While tech activists and hackers have developed many digital tools to protect privacy and anonymity in an effort to preserve freedom of speech and mobility online, these technologies of resistance are not enough. Online security also requires secure social practices. The security culture activists have practiced in their real world organizing needs to apply to their digital activism as well. It is a combination of social and technical practices that will keep activists safer in cyberspace. This workshop will examine how activists are failing to meet the challenge of information security. As we organize, work, and socialize we produce a growing stream of personal digital data of interest to the state.This workshop will address the issue of taking control over our own data and information; it will include a brief history of digital surveillance trends, and outline security ‘best practices’. It will also include a primer on mobile/smartphone security.

Intro to Encrypted Online Communication – Anarchist Tech Collective

A workshop to explain the basics of encrypted online communications, focusing on email and instant messaging. People are encouraged to bring their laptops, as we will install programs directly on-site. This is a small step towards building a secure communication infrastructure and a corresponding culture of security in the anarchist movement.

Organize the Hood: Organizing Street Youth, Gang Youth and Drug Users in Defence of their Rights- Julian Ichim

Come out and learn about the struggles in KW, Guelph and Stratford against gentrification, the criminalization of drug use and poverty, and local grassroots resistance. This panel workshop will deal with the social problems that marginalized street youth, gangbangers and poor people face in the above-mentioned communities, and examine the local solutions that arise from these social problems. Based on the idea that the people are the solution and not the problem, youth and people from these communities will talk about their experience with dealing with poverty, police brutality and criminalization, and discuss the methods they have used to find solutions that empower, rather than criminalize people. From doing harm reduction work, to running copwatch programs, to creating safe spaces run by the people themselves, this workshop aims to show what can be accomplished when social problems are dealt with by the affected communities themselves by seeking to deal with the root cause of the problem. Come out and learn how you can start something like this in your own community. It takes a spark to start a prairie fire!

Pirate Radio 101- Sakura Saunders

Learn to build a pirate radio transmitter! This workshop will teach participants to put together a radio transmitter, and then start a live broadcast. It will also discuss the history of pirate radio in the United States, and examine its use in revolutionary movements, and anti-mining struggles in Central America.

Political Prisoners in Canada and the United States- Karl Kersplebedeb & Toronto ABC

Depending on your definition, there are dozens or hundreds or thousands of political prisoners and prisoners of war held by the United States government. This talk will focus on political prisoners and prisoners of war who came out of the revolutionary movements from the 1960s to today, including the national liberation movements, the armed struggle, white anti-imperialists, anarchists, and, more recently, the Green Scare defendants. Topics will include the relationship between prisoners and supporters, the varying definitions of “who is a political prisoner”, and a look back at some of the support work that was being done in the 80s, especially in Canada. Certain specific cases and campaigns past and present will also be discussed, for instance Assata Shakur, Leonard Peltier, Geronimo ji Jaga, the Vancouver 5, Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson, the recent Georgia and Lucasville prisoner strikes, and more.

Refusing to Wait: Anarchism and Intersectionality – Jen Rogue & Deric Shannon

This workshop argues that anarchism can learn a lot from the theory of intersectionality that emerged from Black feminism. It gives us a way to conceive of militant struggles against domination of all kinds without privileging some struggles over others. Likewise, it theorizes different forms of domination as intimately tied together–so that none of us are free until we are all free. We also argue that mainstream and especially academic versions of intersectionality can learn a lot from anarchism. Concretely, anarchism provides a radical and uncompromising analysis of the state and the need for its abolition. Similarly, anarchism argues for class struggle politics that see working people as agents of social transformation without the need for political parties or politicians to mediate the resistance strategies of working people against capitalism.

Sexual Assault in Activist Communities: Creating a Culture of Accountability – Erin Skinner (ASL-English  interpretation confirmed)

Sexual assault happens in our radical communities. And for far too long perpetrators have been able to evade responsibility for their actions. People have left our movement because of sexual assault. People have worked in a climate of fear because of sexual assault. This workshop is about making accountability happen.We will look at the accountability process and discuss how it can help survivors heal from sexual assault while ensuring perpetrators take responsibility for their actions and change their behaviour. We will also discuss some of the ways we can respond when a person attempts to evade the accountability process. Let’s all learn how we can be strong allies to the people in our communities affected by sexual assault so that our radical spaces will be safer for us all.

Signals of Disorder – Iconoclast Media

An analysis of the psychology of subversion and the tactical spreading of anti-capitalist cognitive dissonance, presented by Alex Balch of Iconoclast Media.

Union Organizing 101- D. Bastien

We all know (or should be at least be dimly aware) that the gap between the rich and poor is growing, traditionally unionized manufacturing jobs are being outsourced overseas, and a lot people are stuck in crappy service sector jobs. We may as well make those jobs as good as we can. Let’s learn how to organize, fight the boss and create grassroots union movements! This workshop will discuss the basics of why unionizing is important, mapping workplaces, building rank and file committees, and crushing the boss.

WE ARE AN IMAGE FROM THE FUTURE- The Void Network

This workshop will focus on a discussion of moving from insurrection to revolution in an environment of global economic, social, political and ecological crisis. Tasos Sagris & Sissy Doutsiou from Greece / Void Network collective, co-editors of the well known book about Greek December Revolt of 2008, will join us through Skype connection.

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