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2014 Workshop Descriptions!

Anarchism 101  (10:00 AM – 11:15 AM)
By Anarchist Bookfair Collective
What is anarchism? This workshop will seek to answer that question with a facilitated discussion on several key components of anarchist thought and tradition. We will also discuss what it is that anarchists do.

Elysha is an alienated and chronically unemployed queerdo who enjoys travelling by bike and book. Since being fired from her last job, she has compiled a zine about jokes, and baked a lot of bread.
Dan is an anarchist organizer in KW. He likes discussing politics, making art, and playing with his cat.

Radical/Anarchist Birth  (10:00 AM – 11:15 AM)
By Beth Murch
Who “owns” birth? Who gets to determine what is “proper action” at a person’s birth – the individual giving birth, or the capitalist system that profits when they follow institutional protocol? Who determines who a pregnant person “invites” to their birth to support them – a hospital or clinic’s protocols or the birthing family itself? Who are we to prescribe a mandatory experience for birthing people?
The terms, “radical birth and/or “anarchist birth” can allow for the acknowledgement of traditional midwifery and “wimmin’s wisdom”. It acknowledges that each person must inform themselves and make the choices that are best for themselves and for their families, and recognizes that for some, birthing without medical guardianship can be a legitimate, political choice. This workshop will explore and debate these concepts, propose possible future actions, and leave room for those (of all genders) who wish to share their stories to do so. Babies welcome.

Beth Murch is a community wyse womyn, full spectrum doula, birth worker, independent placenta service provider, reproductive justice activist, and spoken word artist. She can be reached at

A look into the anarchist movement in Poland  (11:30 AM – 12:45 PM)
By Olga and Kuba
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 methodes 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 – I lived in Poznan, big city with two squats right in the city center. I love garlic.
Kuba – Member of Tektura collective, Autonomous Social Center “Cicha4” collective, Rhythms of Resistance Lublin.

Silence Fiction: Voice, Resistance, and Animal Politics  (11:30 AM – 12:45 PM)
By Lauren Corman
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.

Organizing Solidarity Networks in Ontario; Tips, Trip Ups & Telling Moments!  (11:30 AM – 12:45 PM)
By Steel City Solidarity & KW Solidarity Network
Solidarity Networks are organizations of volunteers that use direct action and mutual aid to defend themselves against bad bosses and landlords, among other antagonists. This workshop will give a brief introduction to the Solidarity Network model and how it has been applied by the Kitchener-Waterloo Solidarity Network and Steel City Solidarity.

Unsettling Oppression: Towards an Anti-Colonial Anarchism  (3:00 PM – 4:15 PM)
By Sâkihitowin Awâsis
This workshop will provide a brief overview of colonization and the ongoing impacts it has on Indigenous ways of being. How the colonial processes of dehumanization and dispiriting subjugate Indigenous Peoples and the earth will be reflected upon from an anti-capitalist perspective. This will provide an understanding of how activists reproduce colonial power dynamics in their organizing. Lastly, strategies for supporting decolonization and Indigenous resurgence in anarchist organizing will be explored.

Gentrification as Class Warfare  (3:00 PM – 4:15 PM)
By Common Cause
Our neighborhoods are more than just physical environments made up of concrete, glass and steel. They are more than nameless crowds of people abstractly grouped together to work, sleep and consume. They are vibrant communities,buzzing with the daily rhythms of life and culture. They are contested spaces, where capitalism’s endless drive for profits clashes with the resistance of those asserting their right to exist. Gentrification represents the ever shifting front line of this conflict–and a potent site of class warfare in the 21st century.
This workshop will introduce some of the history and theoretical concepts that provide the context under which contemporary gentrification takes place. From there, we will move on to explore strategies of building community resistance that can bring the fight against capital and the State to the neighborhoods in which we live.

Common Cause is a specific anarchist-communist organization, with branches in Hamilton, Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo. This workshop will be facilitated by Alex, a member of Common Cause Toronto.

Solidarity Unionism and the Fuelers’ Strike at Porter Airlines  (3:00 PM – 4:15 PM)
By Toronto IWW
On January 10th, 2013 twenty-two fuelers at Porter FBO walked off the job for higher wages and better working conditions. Toronto members of the Industrial Workers of the World provided strike support, and worked with the fuelers to move the strike from sidewalk pickets to ferry blockades. Practical anti-capitalism means struggling in the economic realm. The Porter strike demonstrates the challenges as well potential for a working-class movement that fights on the job.In this workshop, fuelers and IWW members will discuss the strike and its implications for practice.
Lina and Matt are currently students at York University and members of the Toronto branch of the Industrial Workers of the World. Both are members of the IWW’s Solidarity Committee and participated in the Porter fueler’s strike in 2013.

Strategizing for the Long Haul – Activism over Thirty  (4:30 PM – 5:30 PM)
By Leslie and Mac
Why are there so few activists over thirty? How do we balance livelihood, child care, organizing, health and friendships? What have older generations learned about the ebbs and flows of staying part of radical, transformative movements? This participatory workshop will reflect on past experience of long term activists, and strategize for lifelong struggle!

Lesley Wood is interested in helping more people stay engaged in revolutionary work as they exit their early 20s. She’s been rabble rousing since the 1980s in a wide variety of movements. She tries not to take herself too seriously.
Mac Scott has been organizing around poverty, immigrant rights, environmental justice and indigenous solidarity for a good long while, mostly in Toronto.

Workers’ Control: Does it actually work?  (4:30 PM – 5:30 PM)
By Steve Izma
Dumont Press Graphix operated as a worker-owned typesetting shop in Kitchener from 1971 until 1987. As well as providing typesetting and printing services as a means of income, its members also produced newspapers, pamphlets, books, posters, and other print-based communications expressing a politics of radical social change.
Nonetheless, keeping the business going meant that the Dumont workers engaged in day-to-day operations at an entirely different level of effort and intensity than any other workplace would require. They needed not only to participate in the capitalist market, but, given their commitment to the egalitarian values of the New Left and the counterculture of the late 60s, they also had to get along with each other under the de-personalizing circumstances of commerce.
Steve Izma will outline Dumont’s history and its relationship to the Left and the counterculture, and raise issues about workers’ control for a general discussion.
Steve Izma worked at Dumont during most of its existence. He currently works at WLU Press and for Between The Lines Publishing. Shop stuff on the website!

Working Class: A Skinhead History  (4:30 PM – 5:30 PM)
By Analia and Mark
Looking at the historical and cultural origins of skinhead identity, from its 1960s Jamaican and British roots to contemporary global interpretations of the subculture. This workshop will place a specific focus on the growth and movement of the skinhead subculture on turtle island.

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