June 19th: Organizing Inclusive Movements in the Face of Austerity

Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 7:00pm

Room 5260, OISE, 252 Bloor Street West. TTC: St. George Station

* Free
* Childcare available
* Wheelchair accessible venue
* ASL interpretation provided
* Attendant care available
* Please refrain from wearing scented perfumes or products

Presented by OPIRG Toronto. Supported by York University, Department of Sociology

How do we build movements across identities & tactics?

How do we harness the current political unrest and demands for change within the borders of Canada and across the globe to ensure lasting victories for marginalized communities?

This event will bring long time community organizers into conversation about building resistance against cuts, about creating social justice.

From the Quebec student strike to organizing against austerity in Toronto, this discussion will focus on why building inclusive movements makes struggles for social justice more meaningful and effective.


A.J. Withers is the author of Disability Politics and Theory, an accessible and radical history of disability and proposal for moving disability politics forward. A longtime organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, A.J. has worked to make the left more accessible and the disability movement more left for years. A.J. is also the author of the If I Can’t Dance is it Still My Revolution  zine series and website.

Lesley Wood is the author of Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion: Collective Action after the WTO Protests in Seattle, an in-depth examination of political organizing in New York and Toronto. Lesley is a long-time community organizer in anti-poverty and anti-globalization movements and an Associate Professor of Sociology. She is also a regional editor for the international, peer-reviewed, online journal Interface, a journal for and about social movements.

Mostafa Henaway is a Montreal based organizer who works with the Immigrant Worker’s Center, is a freelance journalist and has been involved in the Quebec student strike.

About A.J. Withers’ Disability Politics and Theory:

An accessible introduction to disability studies, Disability Politics and Theory provides a concise survey of disability history, exploringthe conc ept of disability as it has been conceived from the late 19th century to the present. Further, A.J. Withers examines when, how and why new categories of disability are created and describes how capitalism benefits from and enforces disabled people’s oppression. Critiquing the model that currently dominates the discipline, the social model of disability, this book offers an alternative: the radical disability model. This model builds on the social model but draws from more recent schools of radical thought, particularly feminism and critical race theory, to emphasize the role of intersecting oppressions in the marginalization of disabled people and the importance of addressing disability both independently and in conjunction with other oppressions. Intertwining theoretical and historical analysis with personal experience this book is a poignant portrayal of  disabled people in Canada and the U.S. — and a radical call for social and economic justice.

This Book:

• Examines disability history from about 1865 to present

• Explains different understandings (models) of disability in Canada and the United States

• Describes how and why the medical industrial complex holds so much power over disabled people

• Interrogates the role of charity in constructing and profiting off of disabled people

• Examines disability protest history

• Proposes new ways of moving disability politics forward.

About Lesley Wood’s Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion: Collective Action after the WTO Protests in Seattle:

What are the micro-level interactions and conversations that underlie successful and failed diffusion? By comparing the spread of direct action tactics from the 1999 Global Justice Movement protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle to grassroots activists in Toronto and New York, Lesley Wood argues that dynamics of deliberation among local activists both aided and blocked diffusion. To analyze the localization of this cycle of protest, the research brings together rich ethnography, interviews, social network analysis, and catalogs of protest events. The findings suggest that when diverse activists with different perspectives can discuss innovations in a reflexive, egalitarian manner, they are more likely to make strategic and meaningful choices.

This Book:

• Explains what happened to the global justice movement after the Seattle protests

• Explains how diffusion works by comparing the spread of four protest tactics to activists in Toronto and New York City

• Is an ‘insider’ look at direct action movements

• Shows how protest tactics travel to new places and links meeting dynamics with street tactics

Sponsored by OPIRG Toronto

For more information contact:

phone: 416-978-7770 . e-mail: still.my.revolution@gmail.com . web:



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