2014 Workshop schedule

pdf version

ROOM 1 ROOM 301 ROOM 302
11:00 – 12:30 Anarchism 101 Environmental Justice Anarchism in Poland
12:45 – 2:15 Dismantling Disablism Police Violence The Chilean Anarchist Bombs Case
2:15 – 3:15 LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED 
3:15 – 4:45 Resisting Poverty and Austerity Anarchism and Economic Practice Fascism in the Catalan Lands
5:00 – 6:30 Anarchism in Real Life Silence Fiction: Voice, Resistance, and Animal Politics Art-making for upcoming Grassy Narrows demo
6:30 – 8:00 DINNER WILL BE PROVIDED 
ROOM 1 ROOM 301 ROOM 302
11:00 – 12:30 Indigenous Solidarity in the Big City Ambitious Anarchism: a framework for thinking about our organizing Capitalism’s Other Fatal Contradiction: Competition
12:45 – 2:15 Solidarity against Imperialism in Afrika SEWA and the Basic Income in India
2:15 – 3:15 LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED
3:15 – 4:45 Justicia for Migrant Workers Nuclear Power Beehive Design Collective

 

Room 1 is on the first floor. Rooms 301 and 302 are on the third floor.


Workshop Descriptions for Saturday, July 19th

11:00 – 12:30

 

Anarchism 101 (Room 1)

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 revolution, while providing the impetus for the creation of societal alternatives and supportive community projects. This workshop will introduce participants to the basic tenets of anarchist theory and practice. It will provide a brief overview of the historical development of anarchism as a libertarian strand of socialism, discuss the role of anarchists and anarchist ideas in contemporary social movements, and look at examples of concrete anarchist projects and struggles.

Tom Malleson is a longtime anti-authoritarian activist and organizer. He is assistant professor of Social Justice and Peace Studies, and author of “After Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st Century”.

Tammy Kovich is a Hamilton-based organizer and anarchist theory nerd. Currently working on a PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, she enjoys the colour black, coffee, and riot porn, and is involved with various anarchist projects, including Hamilton’s anarchist social centre, The Tower.

*

Rising Tide Toronto and Environmental Justice (Room 301)

Rising Tide Toronto is a grassroots collective that challenges environmental injustice and the root causes of climate change on Turtle Island through direct action, in solidarity with people’s struggles locally and globally. The workshop will introduce participants to RTT’s mandate and principles of unity, and be a place to learn more about being involved.

Dave V. is a environmental justice activist in Toronto.

*

A Look Into the Anarchist Movement in Poland – A Presentation (Room 302)

Two anarchists, who are members of a few anarchist collectives in Poland will present you with a little look into the anarchist movement in Poland. We’ll talk about attitudes and methods used by different groups of people calling themselves anarchists/activists. Themes of our discussion will include anarcho punx, the squatting/tenant movement, the Anarchist Federation,

antifascists, the lgbtq movement, shale gas blockades with a historical background of these movements to contextualize the situation in Poland and the conditions of anarchist organizing there. It will hopefully be another step in building cooperation across that big ocean that divides us.

 

Olga lives in Poznan, a big city with two squats right in the city center. She loves garlic.

Kuba is a member of Tektura collective, Autonomous Social Center “Cicha4” collective, Rhythms of Resistance Lublin.

*

12:45 – 2:15

 

Dismantling Disablism: Examining and Eliminating Disablism in Anarchism (Room 1)

This workshop will provide an overview of disability politics, why it is essential to make anarchism accessible, and what we need to do to make that happen. We will also explore what disability politics can offer anarchism.

A.J. Withers is a disabled social justice community organizer in Toronto. They are the author of Disability Politics and Theory and the If I Can’t Dance Is It Still My Revolution? blog (stillmyrevolution.org).

*

Organizing the People against Police Violence (Room 301)

This interactive and participatory workshop is aimed at exploring a systematic approach to fighting police violence by generating and offering concrete proposals that are available to the people to challenge police violence, which is a key element of the prison industrial complex. The communities that are most affected by the most brutal and repressive expression of police violence must be at the forefront of the organizing work. It is fundamentally important to develop the capacity of the oppressed to fight oppression and build the movement for self-determination. Toronto’s Afrikan community has borne the brunt of police violence for a few decades and lessons may be drawn from how it has responded to the presence of the police as an occupation army in their lives and communities. We should also take pointers from the anti-police violence work elsewhere in Canada as well as the United States.

 

Ajamu Nangwaya is an activist with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence. He has been involved with organizing against police violence since the 1980s and has written on this subject.

*

 

SET UP: The Chilean Anarchist Bombs Case FILM SCREENING – Criminalization under the Anti-Terrorist Law (Room 302)

The film examines the case of 14 comrades who were charged with placing explosive artifacts and being part of a non-existent Illicit Terrorist Association under the framework of the infamous Chilean Anarchist Bombs Case. All had their charges dropped by the Court after 9 months in prison, 2 months on hunger strike and one of the longest trials in Chilean history. Discussion after the film on the current situation of Mapuche, Anti-Authoritarian and Anarchist Political Prisoners in Wallmapu, Chile and beyond including the imprisonment of two Ex co-accused of the Bombs Case in Spain, the Chilean Security Case among other international political prisoners.

 

WCCC [Toronto] is a Mapuche indigenous grassroots organization whose goal is to link the struggles of indigenous sovereignty with that of other indigenous, anti-capitalist/anti-colonial, community based struggles across Turtle Island.

*

3:15 – 4:45

Resisting Poverty and Austerity (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) (Room 1)

The workshop will assess the implications for poor communities of the mounting agenda of austerity. It will present some of the key fights going on that OCAP and other organizations are taking up. John will give a general presentation on this and Sigrid will focus resisting the TAVIS police sweep in Toronto’s downtown east

John Clarke got involved in anti poverty struggles in London, Ontario in the 1980s and has been an organizer with OCAP since 1990

*

Anarchism and Economic Practice (Room 301)

Anarchists have too often avoided discussion of economics, and specifically economic practice within and in opposition to capitalism. This workshop will engage in a discussion of the nature of capitalism and the possibilities of radical economic practice based on anarchist principles. Specifically we will discuss the Social and Solidarity economy, the potential and limitations of the Co-operative movement (especially worker), and radical and local finance.

J.J. McMurtry is Graduate Program Director of the Social and Political Thought Program at York University. His research and activism has been recently focused on alternative economic theory and practice.

 

*

Fascism in the Catalan Lands and the Fight Against It (Room 302)

The main idea of the talk is to create a space to discuss strategies and tactics in the fight against fascism as well as how this struggle interacts with anticapitalist or anarchist movements. For that purpose, we will present a brief history of fascism in the Catalan Lands and a picture of the present situation in Barcelona. We will also discuss the different responses that have been given to fascism in different times and situations and the role that antifascism has played in them.

Joan and Laura are both born and lived in Barcelona, were they have been involved in social movements.

*

5:00 – 6:30

 

Anarchism in Real Life: Working, Organizing, Thinking and Writing in a World of Capitalism, Hierarchy and Bureaucracy (Room 1)

Anarchism is a set of principles that make a lot of ethical and political sense, but is impossible to apply in a hierarchical world. As an anarchist, you will have to interact and live in a very non-anarchist world. This workshop will be a discussion of how to navigate the world as it is, while trying to change it wherever possible. Which are the battles to pick? Which are the ones to concede? The answers might be different for everyone, but we’ll see what we find out.

Justin Podur is a Toronto-based activist and writer mainly working on international solidarity.

*

Silence Fiction: Voice, Resistance, and Animal Politics (Room 301)

This presentation draws on feminist, anti-racist, anti-colonialist, and other liberation-based movements and theories to articulate an approach to animal advocacy that foregrounds agency and resistance (see, Hribal, 2011). As intersectional analyses are (and should be) increasingly centralized in animal advocacy and (critical) animal studies, the move to connect human and animal oppressions is enhanced by representations beyond victimhood and voicelessness. Unfortunately, animals remain strangely erased in coalitional activism and intersectional scholarship that fails to acknowledge the complexity of their lives. Field research on animals’ cultures, sociality, and emotionality helps shift this framework. Lessons from a diversity of liberation movements also significantly strengthen such efforts.

Lauren Corman is a Sociology professor at Brock University. She teaches Critical Animal Studies, and hosted the radio show Animal Voices for about a decade.

*

Art Making for Upcoming Grassy Narrows Protest (Outside if sunny, Room 302 if rainy)

Come and join us with your creativity to help us prepare an amazing 2014 River Run, only a few weeks away. We will be mending the long strips of blue fabric that make up the river as well as making windsocks and any art you would like to do. Bring your own supplies if you have specific ideas or just bring your lovely selves.

**

**

**

Workshop Descriptions for Sunday, July 20th

11:00 – 12:30

 

Indigenous Solidarity in the Big City: Learning the Lessons from Asubpeeschoseewagong Grassy Narrows Support Work (Room 1)

The people of Grassy Narrows have sustained themselves for thousands of years on their traditional territory in Northern Ontario. Over the years they have dealt with the trauma of clear-cut logging, mining, a legacy of residential schools, and mercury poisoning. In the face of this oppression, the people of Grassy Narrows are actively resisting the continued destruction of their territories, re-occupying their lands, reviving their culture and fighting for control over their lands and self-determination. And folks in Toronto are supporting their important work. As settlers in Canada, indigenous solidarity is both vital, and can also be confusing. What does it mean to be in solidarity with indigenous peoples and communities? And what can that look like living in Toronto? This workshop will look at the lessons from almost a decade of Grassy Narrows support work in Toronto to help explore what is solidarity and how can we get involved.

Daniella is a white immigrant settler to Canada. She has been working with Grassy Narrows since 2007.

*

Ambitious Anarchism: A Framework for Thinking About our Organizing (Room 301)

Viewing anarchism as a potentially successful challenge to all forms of domination, we do not believe this to be an inevitable outcome, and in fact at the moment it seems rather unlikely. In the past 15 years, anarchists have been struggling to establish ourselves as a viable strategy for political, social and economic change. However, considering the momentum which has been present at times, and predictions of a wide-spread resurgence, we have made remarkably little headway.In order to be better organizers, and better anarchists, this workshop will present a framework for analysis and intervening in the world around us. Drawing on recent developments in anarchist theory and practice emerging from the Platformist, Especifista and Cadre traditions, it will identify and elaborate on three possible methods for anarchist participation in struggle: the mass, intermediate and political levels. In this we hope to answer address the apparent lack of strategy and vision in the anarchist milieu. The absence of such a strategic capacity means that, far too often, our work becomes recuperated by other, more organized elements of the ostensible left (trade unions, social democrats, NGOs, Marxist-Leninists, etc), or worse, ends with our marginalization, individual/collective disillusionment and eventual burnout.

Presented by Common Cause Ontario. Common Cause is a specific anarchist communist organisation. Our members are active in neighbourhood, education, workplace, feminist and other fronts of struggle.

*

Capitalism’s Other Fatal Contradiction: Competition (Room 302)

Capitalism’s fundamental adherence to competition undermines its ability to function rationally in any economic climate. The competitive urge not only compels a corporation to act aggressively towards other corporations, it also permeates the mindset of those in positions of power within corporations. In

other words, every capitalist is always looking behind him- or herself to see who’s trying to stab them in the back. How does this affect the way we form co-operative organizations in our attempts to escape or overcome capitalism? In order to answer this question, participants in this workshop will be asked to share their experiences of co-operation versus competition in their workplaces, living situations, and other organizations.

Steve Izma was a member of Dumont Press Graphix, a worker-owned and controlled typesetting shop from 1971 until 1984, and was one of the founders of Between The Lines, a publishing co-op, in 1977. He has engaged in anarchist projects since 1973.

*

12:45 – 2:15

 

Organizing Internationalist Solidarity against Imperialism in Afrika (Room 1)

This workshop highlights some of the principal activities of imperialism in Afrika and their impact on the lives of its labouring classes. It explores internationalist actions that we may carry out to oppose imperialism on its home-front (in Canada) while being in solidarity with people’s organizations and movements on the ground in Afrika. Imperialism has been intensifying its militarization of Afrika as well as engaging in the super-exploitation of the continent’s natural resources and people. The local neocolonial regimes (the governing elite) are playing its part as handmaidens in maintaining the structures of domination over the people. Afrika is a resource rich continent, but most of its countries dominate the lower rungs of the United Nations’ Human Development Index. Afrika’s underdevelopment is directly linked to the economic and political policies of imperialism. We have an internationalist obligation to stand in solidarity with Afrikans by educating, mobilizing and organizing the people of Canada to oppose imperialism in Afrika and elsewhere.

Moyo Mutamba is an artist, PhD student, writer and member of the Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity and the Organization for Afrikan International Solidarity and Founder of Ubuntu Learning Village an anti-colonial, cooperative learning community based in Zimbabwe.

Claudia Espinoza is a trade unionist and president of PSAC/USGE Local 00079, member of Organization for Afrikan International Solidarity and an organizer with Justica for Migrant Workers.

Ajamu is a member of the Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity and the Organization for Afrikan International Solidarity, writes on Afrikan-related issues and works as an educator.

*

Basic Income in India

[More info to come!]

 

Renana Jhabvala is the National Coordinator of SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association), one of the largest trade unions in India.

*

3:15 – 4:45

 

Transforming the Discourse on Migrant Workers: How to Move Beyond Xenophobia and Racism (Room 1)

Chris Ramsaroop, organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers

*

Nuclear Power: The History, Consequences and Alternatives (Room 301)

Description: Nuclear power is often touted as a clean energy solution to our climate crisis. But is it? What are the climate consequences? What are the military connections? What are impacts of uranium mining on native territory? Who profits? What about health consequences, accidents, liability, and waste burial? And finally, what are the alternative energy options for Ontario and the world?

Judy Deutsch, Science for Peace – Judy Deutsch is a columnist for Canadian Dimension Magazine and is past president of Science for Peace. She works on many social justice issues.

Angela Bischoff, Ontario Clean Air Alliance – Angela is currently a full-time organizer with the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. After successfully shuttering the coal plants in ON, OCAA’s next goal is to shutter all the nuclear stations, moving ON to a 100% renewable electricity grid.

*

Toronto Beehive Design Collective (Room 302)

Toronto Beehive Design Collective is excited to share with you our newest poster, Mesoamerica Resiste! Taking almost a decade to complete, this is the third poster of a trilogy that speaks to the struggle against American and Canadian corporate takeover. It more specifically examines the megadevelopment projects happening in Mesoamerica, a region that stretches from Puebla, Mexico, all the way to Colombia, as well as the overwhelming struggle from the grassroots to resist these takeovers. One of the most important aspects of this kind of artwork, for us, is the collaborative process of sharing stories of resistance. We will be giving a brief overview of the poster and then collectively brainstorming how these ideas, stories, images relate to what is happening here, on stolen Native land. Please join us to share your stories.

The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist arts collective dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images for use as educational and organizing tools.