Please note that all workshops will be held in the Bahen Centre. The Giant Go-Around and panel on Racism in Organizing Spaces and Radical Communities will be held in the Galbraith Building across the street.
Saturday, June 23
For most of the 20th century, communism was identified with the state-capitalist dictatorships in Russia, China and elsewhere. Yet, throughout this time other communisms existed. These traditions sometimes called left communism or anti-state communism saw the road to a better world not through the party but through the power of the workers councils and through the abolition of production for value. This workshop will provide a brief introduction to these revolutionary traditions.
Richard St-Pierre of the Internationalist Workers Group and Neil Fischer of Internationalist Perspective/Notes from Underground.
Black Flags & Cupcakes: Anarchism 101
Anarchism as a political movement and theoretical tradition is incredibly rich and diverse. Anarchist ideas have inspired struggles in the university and the workplace, incited riots in the streets and agitated for insurrection, while providing the impetus for the creation of societal alternatives and supportive community projects. This workshop will introduce participants to the basic tenets of contemporary anarchist theory and practice. This is NOT a history workshop – we’ll focus on exploring the basic values that cut across divergent strains of anarchism, as well as look at examples of contemporary anarchist experiments. We’ll discuss ideas such as mutual aid, solidarity and voluntary association, decentralization and autonomy, anti-capitalism and intersectionality, resistance and revolution.
Tammy Kovich is an anarchist theory nerd and organizer who is involved with a variety social and environmental justice projects, and co-facilitates the Kitchener-Waterloo Anarchist Discussion Group.
Kalin Stacey is an anarchist and indigenous solidarity activist who currently lives in Kitchener-Waterloo where he organizes with KW FreeSkool and Grand River Indigenous Solidarity amongst other projects.
Freedom to Move, Freedom to Stay, Freedom to Return: No One Is IllegalBuilding a broad anti-capitalist and anti-colonial resistance movement implies uniting struggles for migrant justice, those in defense of indigenous sovereignty and for environmental and social justice. But can they be united? What are the connections that bind them together? What are their inherent contradictions? Also, in doing this work, we most often end up working both within and outside the system. What about the contradictions there? Is working within the system inherently demobilizing and counter-revolutionary while directly confronting it implicitly revolutionary?Join organizers from No One Is Illegal Toronto for a conversation to think through these questions and sketch outlines of responses that enable us to build a strong anti-authoritarian and organized resistance.No One Is Illegal (Toronto) is a group of immigrants, refugees and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect. We believe that granting citizenship to a privileged few is a part of racist immigration and border policies designed to exploit and marginalize migrants. We work to oppose these policies, as well as the international economic policies that create the conditions of poverty and war that force migration. At the same time, it is part of our ongoing work to support and build alliances with Indigenous peoples in their fight against colonialism, displacement and the ongoing occupation of their land.Room 2155
Radical Honesty: Empathy and Transparency in Alternative Relationships
Radical Honesty is the practice of clear, open expression of feelings, concerns, fears and desires, with yourself and your loved ones, detached from the outcome of such expression. We’ll discuss terms, visual ideas and ideologies to help aid you in getting more radically honest in all areas of your life. You’ll also learn about theories surrounding why and how humans may be predisposed towards polyamory or alternative relationship structures, and how they have been stifled and streamlined by Patriarchal and Capitalist influences. Finally, participants will be invited to do some visual and writing activities to help start the process of radical honesty with themselves. (This workshop came out of observations of many folks in queer and alternative communities taking on alternative relationship structures, without first having clear emotional tools for navigating them. As a result, many unhealthy and emotionally damaging relationships are frequently occurring between many who are otherwise so conscientious in their politics and ideologies)
12:15pm – 1:15pm
Early female anarchists challenged the patriarchal family structure, advocating bodily autonomy, access to birth control, gender equality, and sexual freedom. While challenging male domination, they also rejected state rule, refusing to participate in women’s struggles for the vote. In the early twentieth century, anarchist women increasingly engaged in a range of issues, from immigrant workers’ rights to anti-war organizing. At the same time, anarchist feminists played a role in the growing LGBTQ liberation movement, as these struggles emerged. Feminist anarchists engaged in a diversity of strategies and tactics from underground publishing and leafleting to direct action and protesting, to more everyday practices such as housing communes or collectives and free love, often transgressing societal norms or the law. Emerging from this, contemporary anarchist feminist movements have been developing intersectional analyses and practices that consider the interlocking politics of sexuality, gender, anti-racism, (im)migration, imperialism, colonialism, (dis)ability, sex work, police brutality, the prison-industrial complex, capitalism and the state, among others.
From the beginning of the anarchist movement, anarchist women have challenged male domination in the broader society, as well as ways in which it is replicated within the anarchist movement. However, this work has not always been documented or valued. Today there is a growing movement to rethink and revalue these histories, and to consider their impact on the present moment.
This will be a participatory workshop consisting of a presentation of anarchafeminist histories, followed by an open discussion of historical and contemporary anarchist feminist projects that participants know of or are involved in.
Sandra Jeppesen and Holly Nazar
Dealing with Drugs as a Social Issue – Mobilizing the Community
Come and find out the work we are doing in Kitchener around mobilizing the whole community around finding social solutions to the drug problem using a four prong approach prevention-creating health alternatives, harm reduction, community building and prison support. Find out how to mobilize liberal allies and community agencies without diluting the revolutionary nature of this work. All welcome.
Julian Ichim is a member of KW Dealing With Drugs As A Social Issue, a grass roots community based harm reduction organization and has worked in harm reduction in Guelph, Stratford and Inuvik where he was program director at the Inuvik Youth Centre.
Anarchist Visions of Life After Capitalism
While anarchists often have a deep understanding of the many problems of present society, we are too often vague and ambiguous about alternatives and our long-term objectives. This workshop aims to spark some discussion about what feasible alternatives to capitalism might look like. In particular, I will describe some pros and cons of two popular radical visions: economic democracy and participatory economics (Parecon) – in order to stimulate some friendly reflection and conversation about what we’re aiming for.
Tom Malleson is a long-time anti-authoritarian activist and community organizer. He is currently teaching political theory at the University of Toronto.
Combating Disablism: Disability Politics, Accessibility and Organizing
Disabled people are an important part of every community but noticeably absent in most aspects of community organizing. Not only do activist struggles fail to take up disabled politics as issues, but we often fail to make such organizing accessible. A true commitment to self-determination and social justices requires us to develop a radical disability politic and work in solidarity with disabled people.
This workshop will introduce people to radical disability politics, how disability is used in our society to maintain and perpetuate oppression and how to work towards making the organizing work we do inclusive and accessible.
Mobilizing Towards a General Student Strike: Lessons from the movement in Quebec
The 2012 student strike in Québec is rapidly inspiring mobilization across English Canada. We are two strike organizers who will talk about what we did right, what we did wrong, practical strategies for mobilizing towards a successful strike and what to do when you’re not sure where to start.
Jamie Burnett and Sunci Avlijas
Organizing on Stolen Land: Settler Colonialism and its Implications for Anarchist Struggle
This workshop will explore Canada’s development as a settler colonial state and how the settler colonial structure impacts, or should impact, anarchist and/or revolutionary organizing. The workshop will address the distinctions between colonialism and settler colonialism, the functions of patriarchy and racism in ordering settler colonial society, and the shifts in settler colonial governance that have been induced by the global turn towards neoliberalism. From this history, lessons will be plucked, and hopefully some principles to guide the struggle against this system will be gleaned. This workshop will presume a mostly settler audience (based on past bookfairs), but the content will hopefully be of interest to both settler and indigenous peoples.
terrance has been researching settler colonialism in Canada for some time and has been active in struggles for decolonization in Ontario. He is a white, male-bodied, masculine-raised, settler.
Know Your Rights
The Movement Defence Committee [MDC] is an autonomous working group of the Law Union of Ontario made up of legal workers, law students, activists and lawyers which provides legal support to progressive organizations and activists in Toronto. We recognize that members of oppressed groups are at higher risk when they encounter the law and we work to provide information and support that is specific to these groups.
In this workshop we will outline your legal rights in regards to police interactions, the basics of what happens upon arrest and, in going through the court process, and suggest some practical things to consider as you prepare to go out on the streets. We do this with a solidarity approach and with a focus on those who are most vulnerable to arrest/criminalization.
For more information on the MDC: movementdefence.org
Anarchists in Post-Mubarak Egypt
A discussion around how as anarchists/radicals we should (shouldn’t) engage with electoral politics, using the very pertinent and timely example of revolutionary Egypt, which has just undergone it’s first ever post-Mubarak presidential elections. Some questions for discussion include: 1) How do we as anti-authoritarians and/or anarchists navigate the tension between radical, grassroots, and alternative spaces like Tahrir Square, and the reality of electoral politics/representation under the scope and inherent limitations of liberal democracy. 2) Can a boycott (as is being proposed right now in Egypt by not only anarchists but also disillusioned liberals) be effective? 3) Should we engage in strategic voting ie. voting for the lesser of two evils (when the other option is clearly representative of a conservative, retrograde, and counterrevolutionary tendency)? 4) What lessons can be learned by the recent presidential election in Egypt, and what are some of the overarching themes we have in common that need to be better explored and understood.
Ali Mustafa is a freelance journalist and long time activist/organizer in Toronto who has just recently returned to the city from nearly a year away covering the Egyptian revolution
Every year at the anarchist bookfair we set aside an hour or so to sit together in a giant circle to briefly hear about each other’s current projects, plans, and aspirations for the coming year. From guerrilla gardening to community organizing to radical parenting, this is a great opportunity to hear what other folks are working on, to meet like-minded people, and get inspired by the breadth and depth of the communities of people working for radical transformation in myriad different ways. Come and share your project or just sit back and take it all in!
Room 412 of Galbraith Building
Sunday, June 24
Public Cervix Announcement: an Intro to Radical Sexual Health
This workshop is intended to introduce people to the idea of sexual health (and especially cervices) as a site of political struggle central to the fight for gender and sexual autonomy. I will begin with a discussion of what a cervix is and what it does. I will go on to discuss the politics of cervices including body shame and control by the medical establishment over women’s and trans bodies. I will present the group with practical applications of knowing one’s body such as fertility control, sexual enjoyment, and diagnosis of STIs. It is important for me to present this workshop in a way that deconstructs heterosexism and the gender binary since I have a cervix and I identify as genderqueer. Though I am also privileged by my experience as an able-bodied caucasian, I strive to meaningfully include the struggles for sexual autonomy of differently-abled people and people of colour in relation to an oppressive and eugenic medical institution. Everyone is welcome to attend, whether they have/engage with cervices or not.
Mapuche and Anarchist Struggle: Criminalization, Political Prison, and Resistance
Exploring the ongoing criminalization of the Mapuche indigenous sovereignty struggle and the Anarchist Movement in so-called Chile, including the use of State violence, judicial punishment, capitalist exploitation and the use of reformist pacifism (“the Red Police”) by the so-called Left. The implementation of Pinochet’s Antiterrorist Law, the Anti-Masking Law, (etc) regarding Mapuche Political Prisoners, the 14 Anarchist Bomb Case, Luciano Pitronello (“Tortuga”) among other cases. The presentation of the short films “Johnny Cariqueo: The Permanent Riot,” (the story of the Mapuche- Anarchist murdered by police in March of 2008/the insurrectional-anarchist movement) and “The Plunder– Part 6 the Movement” (demonstrating the strategy and tactics utilized within the Mapuche sovereignty movement) in Spanish with English subtitles, will be presented for discussion.
The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto] is an indigenous Mapuche grassroots organization seeking to create links between other indigenous, anti-capitalist/anti-colonial, community based struggles across Turtle Island by creating awareness through events,protests, publications, etc.
IWW Direct Action and Solidarity Unionism workshop
Got a problem on your job? Learn how to solve it through Direct Action. Use the power of Solidarity Unionism to take collective action, regardless of where you work, what you do and whether you are unionized. Learn about the IWW, a revolutionary grassroots democratic union that fights to win better lives today and aims for worker self-management in the long term.
Using Movement and Play to Reflect on Power and Oppression in our Collective Experiences… from the G20 to Occupy and Beyond
Due to the participatory format of the workshop, the capacity is 20 people.
Moving away from the technical and the tactical of organizing, this workshop offers our community the opportunity to look inward and re-connect both with each other and ourselves. Two years after the G20 convergence and six months after the excitement of Occupy, we invite you to come together to explore how we’ve healed, what we’re still carrying and how we’re moving forward to make our movement and resistance stronger.
Join us for a three hour workshop where we will use creative facilitation and theatre of the oppressed approaches to explore ways of sharing space and interaction that work towards building healthy and connected movements. The workshop centres on the body as a site of knowledge and experience, inviting connection, discovery, healing and vulnerability through movement and play. We use the body to explore and express internal and external forces of power and oppression. The ‘games’ offer us the opportunity to connect with ourselves and with one another, offering in this re-connection a renewed notion of collective resistance and subversion against forces that atomize and individualize us. We invite you to turn off your cell phones, leave the computers, put aside your projects and explore, without external distractions, in our organizing, our communities, our lives–all that makes us ‘enough’.
No theatre or organizing experience necessary! Just bring yourself–we’d love to have you.
Accessibility: Given the physical nature of the work, please check-in with either of the facilitators about accessibility requirements so we can find ways of supporting your participation. The organizers of the bookfair can put you in touch with us.
Brigid Tierney is a practitioner of arts-based social engagement and has worked with YouthCo using theatre of the oppressed approaches in health and wellness education, advocacy and empowerment . While she loves to be in her head and fight with fierce words, she is excited by the challenge of movement and embodied practice and all the places it throws her off to. Jeff Carolin is involved with various lefty legal things in Toronto, which has included a two-year stint with the Movement Defence Committee. He likes to talk… about his feelings… a lot.
11:15am – 12:15pm
Parent and Child Inclusivity in the Activist Community
A workshop on parent and child inclusivity in activist communities. Run by two parents, this workshop is a teach-in on how to include and support parents and kids in your community, engage them in organizing and ultimately sustain and build our movements. Drawing from personal experience (oftentimes extremely alienating) parents will share practical advice for organizing in activist communities and focus on things you can do so that you don’t leave parents and kids behind. This workshop is geared towards non-parents.
Alanna Kibbe & Sophia Lowe
1:30pm – 2:30pm
Struggling and Strategy
Although our struggles are full of smart, creative people, many movements and organizations often get stuck doing the same thing over and over. Why does this happen? How can we try to ensure that it doesn’t? This workshop is based on research done by Lesley Wood on the effect of the WTO protests in Seattle on activist organizations in Toronto and New York City. She found that the history of inter-movement dynamics in a city, effects of inequalities of race and class and histories of repression influenced the ability of activists to consider new tactics and strategy. After reporting on these findings, the workshop will discuss ways to support effective strategizing in their own organizations and movements.
Plan Nord=Plan Mort
Plan Nord, Quebec’s long-term development plan for the northern part of the province is a colonial, ecologically destructive project through which the Charest government is forwarding a neoliberal agenda. The Plan is structured around projects of extractive industries such as mining, which will receive government support to develop infrastructure, and meanwhile, the government dishonours the process of consultation with indigenous communities whose land many of these projects are on. To discuss the Plan, we think it is essential to look into the history of colonialism in Quebec and the ways in which it was framed differently than in other parts of the country, and how it is playing out now. We also will discuss the resistance to the Plan and its projects, including that of Innu communities in Uashat-Maliotenam, Pessamit, and elsewhere. Additionally, we’ll talk about resistance in southern Quebec, particularly Montreal, the economic centre where the Plan was developed and where many of the companies involved are based.
Anti-Colonial Solidarity Collective
Trans & Gender Queer 301: Creating our own Anti-Hierarchical Communities
Description: Our communities are targeted by violence from society, as well as from within our own communities. We will be talking about:
– How to fight the ownership that non-profits like the 519, Pride, Sherbourne and SOY exert on our communities.
– How we can create a more grassroots community independent of social services and colonial political agendas.
– What causes activists and social workers to dominate our communities in the guise of ‘doing good work’, and how to challenge oppressive ways of organizing internally within trans communities.
– The recent amendment to the Human Rights Code, and how this negatively impacts our community.
– The divide and conquer tactics used on our communities to break solidarity amongst ourselves.
– Co-optation of the trans community through events such as the trans march.
We will also briefly cover basic info on trans and gender queer people (like pronouns, etc.), for anyone that’s new to learning about trans and genderqueer people.
Abuzar and Jen
Discussions amongst anarchists about organizational issues during the Spanish war, 1936-1939
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.
2:45 – 5pm
Panel Discussion: Racism and whiteness in radical communities. What does it look like? What can we do about it?
The final event of the bookfair weekend is an important panel discussion on racism and whiteness in radical communities. Come join us for some introspection and informative discussion on the ways that racism is often reproduced in our movements and hampers our aspirations for social justice. We are lucky to have the opportunity to hear from a fantastic panel of people who have been involved in long-term anti-racist activism and organizing. They will discuss the various ways in which we can recognize how racism affects our movements, how we can learn from our mistakes, and, importantly, how we can move forward in overcoming it.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Room 412 Galbraith Building
Room 2165 in the Bahen Centre is a DIY/chill-out room in the bookfair. This is a room that is separate from the organized workshops and is envisioned as part chill/relax space part DIY room, where there will be light scheduling with one workshop in the morning (before lunch time) and one in the afternoon (after lunch) each day.
Saturday Afternoon (2:30-3:30)
Rosa will be teaching people how to do screenprinting.
Sunday Morning (11:15-12:15)
D.I.Y Freegan Wallet
Juice containers (tetra pak) are hard to recycle, so why not give them another, life? They can turn into anything, but we’ll teach you how to change them into a wallet, purse, laptop case and many other useful and great looking things. Just get some of them out of your/somebodys 😉 garbage, wash them out a little and bring them to the workshop! Bring scissors and duct tape if you can. It’s very simple…
Kuba, member of ‘TEKTURA’ collective – cultural and social center in Lublin, Poland
Sunday Afternoon (1:15-2:45) Comics for Better Living: Catching Up with Ourselves and Communicating Struggle
As Anarchists we are often working on a million projects at once, and sometimes lose track of ourselves along the way. This workshop will discuss journal comics as a method for reducing anxiety, ‘catching up,’ clarifying our ideas, and communicating them – back to ourselves, and to others. We’ll discuss “Why comics?,” and examples will be shown of work produced during the ongoing Quebec student strike. We’ll talk about methods and techniques for making comics, then we’ll stop theorizing for a minute and draw!
Presented by Sophie Yanow, a queer Montreal based cartoonist and a member of La Maison de la Bande Dessinée.