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Workshops

Sowing Subversion in the Metropolis – 10:30am, Rm 201

This workshop will focus on how anarchists and anti-authoritarians can spread ‘signals of disorder’ in urban environments, thereby producing a more fertile terrain for more substantial anti-capitalist organizing to take root. Members of the Iconoclast media collective will also discuss contemporary police tactics such as community and predictive policing models, the psychological role that they play in curbing dissent – and how better understanding these tactics can illuminate more effective strategies of resistance.

About the facilitators: Iconoclast Media is a shadowy collection of pissed off radicals, pushed into action by the tragic obscenity of our times.

The Case for Solidarity Unionism: An Introduction to Organizing with the
Industrial Workers of the World
– 10:30am, Rm 203

This short workshop will introduce the organizing system developed by the Industrial Workers of the World. It will explain how and why the IWW
looks so different than mainstream unions, both in ideology and practice. It argues for why solidarity unionism is a viable solution to
a dying labour movement and is necessary for building a revolutionary working class.

About the facilitators: Matthew is a research analyst at a Toronto hospital and member of a large public sector union, as well as the IWW. Jordan is a graduate student and teaching assistant at York University. He is a member of CUPE 3903 and the IWW. The Toronto IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) are a member-run labour union organizing workers in every industry.

Anarchism 10 – 11:30am, Rm 201

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.

About the facilitators: Elysha and Dan live and organize in the KW area. Aside from struggling against the debt-powered university structure, they participate in building the local alternative media culture and enjoy playing on the United Radicals Football Club.

Anti-Racism Workshop  – 11:30am, Rm 203

This workshop has been cancelled, and we have been unable to arrange for a suitable replacement.

The Benefits of a Specific Anarchist Organization – 2:00pm, Rm 201

This workshop will outline a variety of contemporary anarchist organizational models, and will make the case that structure, rather than being a authoritarian concept, can be an effective tool towards building autonomy and developing a collective approach to class struggle. It will include a basic introduction to anarchist organizational principles, including lessons drawn from the platformist, especifista, affinity group and cadre traditions. Presenters will draw on practical examples from their own experiences, both as members of Common Cause and as participants in a wide range of labour, student and community organizations to demonstrate some of the relative strengths and weaknesses of different organizational approaches.

About the facilitators: Common Cause is an anarchist organization with active chapters in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and Toronto.

Queerness and Ableism – 2:00pm, Rm 203

Are you wondering how “queer” and “disabled” are identities or labels defined against the dominant narrative of the social order? How notions of “other,” of normalcy and stability, are taught and enforced? This workshop will identify how folks are punished and marginalized for nonconforming bodies and sexualities. We will discuss local issues tied to access to services, policing of bodies, and the ongoing resistance to able-bodied hetero-normative patriarchy.

About the facilitator: eli is a queer community organizer and personal support worker/attendant service provider, working to support clients through transitions and change while advocating for an ethic of care in both organizing and support work. She facilitates conversations around sexuality and access and works to expose the role of capitalism and the state in repressing queer and disabled bodies.

Anti-Oppression & Privilege Politics: Towards a Critical Engagement – 3:00pm, Rm 201

“We refuse a politics which infantilizes us and people who look like us, and which continually paints nonwhite and/nonmale demographics as helpless, vulnerable, and incapable of fighting for our own liberation.”
~Who is Occupy Oakland

Anti-oppression politics have become a cornerstone of the contemporary anarchist milieu. While contributing much to social movement struggle, discussions of anti-oppression and privilege are not without substantive limitations. The purpose of this workshop will be to facilitate a dialogue concerning the challenges of anti-oppression and privilege politics in relation to gender, and to offer a critical anarcha-feminist perspective to such discussions.

Questions to be considered include: To what extent do contradictions exist between anti-oppression and privilege politics, and revolutionary struggle? What are the implications of gendering confrontational forms of resistance as ‘masculine’? Whose experiences and what histories are erased by such categorizations?

About the facilitators: Tammy and Dillyn are anarchists living in Kitchener. They both enjoy the colour black, books, and riot porn, and have spent much time thinking about and being frustrated by a lack of critical engagement with anti-oppression and privilege politics within anarchist communities.

Unsettling Anarchism: How We Fight for Freedom on Stolen Indigenous Land – 3:00pm, Rm 203

This workshop presentation will explore the parallels and intersections between anarchism and grassroots movements for decolonisation across Turtle Island (North America), seeking to uncover foundations for solidarity among settler anarchists and Indigenous land defenders. As a movement engaging in resistance to all forms of oppression and domination, on stolen Indigenous land, anarchism needs to take seriously a commitment to anti-colonialism and solidarity with Indigenous resistance. Raising critical questions related to concepts like self-determination and solidarity – used so often in radical discourse – this session aims to work towards the “unsettling” of anarchism and equip us to pursue our own freedom out of respect for, and in support of, Indigenous autonomy.

About the facilitators: Grand River Indigenous Solidarity (GRIS) is currently a collective of white settlers, including numerous anarchists, working towards decolonisation at a local, grassroots level. We approach this work with a dual focus on directly supporting Indigenous land defenders (primarily Haudenosaunee, on whose land we live and work) and intervening within settler communities to build a base of support for indigenous self-determination.

Towards an Anarchist Ecology – 4:30pm, Rm 201

As the current wave of Indigenous struggle continues to build, many non-native people are challenging themselves to think seriously about the history of colonialism on Turtle Island. Because colonization played out differently across the continent, it’s important for settlers who want to engage in anti-colonial or Indigenous solidarity struggles to become rooted in the land where they live, to really know the land.

When we set out to know the land though, we find this knowledge often jealously guarded and mediated by so-called experts. The study of ecology in this society is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a deeply colonial and oppressive practice that has and continues to serve the interests of the powerful, usually at the expense of Indigenous communities. We call this dominator ecology.

For the past three years, the Knowing the Land is Resistance crew has been building up a fierce rejection of dominator ecology and have been developing some starting points for an anarchist ecology. This workshop with start with a discussion of how dominator ecology plays out in our lives and in our communities. From there, we will offer what we’ve learned about building an ecological practice rooted rooted in careful listening and observation, trusting the authority of our own experiences, active engagement in defense of the land, and participation in anti-colonial struggles.

These ideas are far from new – we owe all credit for them to Indigenous Peoples around the world who continue to embody a radically different relationship to the land than the one we’ve inherited from this culture. We are also inspired by scientists who valued the land more than their careers, the more conscious elements of the nature connection movement, and all the lovely people we’ve gone on walks with during the thirty or so workshops KLR has done throughout Southern Ontario. We would probably also be inspired by your voice too, so if you love the land come out to this workshop and help us all vision ways to collectively deepen our connection.

About the facilitators: Knowing the Land is Resistance is a project based out of the remaining Carolinian forests at the Western end of Lake Ontario, along the rocky cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, on the traditional territory of the Chonnonton people. The KLR collective formed in the Winter of 2010 around offering nature connection workshops and writing exploratory articles that sought to read the colonial and ecological history of this land. For articles and resources, visit knowingtheland.wordpress.com

Where the Fuck is Mutual Aid? – 4:30pm, Rm 203

Mutual aid: from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs. We’ve heard it, we say it all the time, but what does it look like in practice? This workshop will be a conversation about how we might build organizations and communities that live out this particular anarchist value. Critiquing and expanding on ideas around “self-care”, we’ll talk about why we think this thing called “care” is really just mutual aid and we should all be doing more of it. We strongly encourage attendance by people who typically do not go to “self-care” workshops (because this isn’t one of those).

About the facilitators: fig and laura are on the wpirg board of directors, which has recently been thinking through ideas about collective care. they like sycamore trees, bicycles, organizing things, and working toward a community of resistance built on interdependence.


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