Home » Workshops 2012

Workshops 2012

The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair includes both introductions to anarchism and in-depth workshops on both Saturday, May 19 & Sunday, May 20. This year, the Bookfair also includes two theme rooms: The Autonomous Media Room and the Kids and Parents Room.

For more information about the Autonomous Media Room, click HERE.
For more information about the Anarchist Families Room, click HERE.

There is more info below about workshops at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. Workshops take place in three rooms  at the Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier and room 123 at the CEDA. Both buildings are across from each other, and all main workshop rooms are wheelchair accessible.

Each workshop takes place in English, French or is bilingual, with whisper translation into English and/or French.

When applicable, we’ve indicated those workshops which have been designated by their presenters as “for all ages.”

WORKSHOPS AT THE MONTREAL ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR

SCHEDULE IN BRIEF

(full descriptions below)

SATURDAY, MAY 19

Room 2.100 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)

  • 11am: Student struggles, anarchist struggles? A round-table on the student strike at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (fr.)
  • 1pm: (INTRODUCTION) Occupy Anarchism (en.)
  • 3pm: Organizing as Anarchists and Indigenous/People of Colour (bil.; for all ages)

Room 1.000 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)

  • 11am: Anarchist practices and anti-imperialist struggles (fr.)
  • 1pm: Take Back the Night – Reflections on a Night-time March (fr.; for all ages)
  • 3pm: Anti-colonial Workshop on Quebec History in the Context of the Struggle Against the Plan North (fr.; for all ages)

Room 0.100 (main floor) — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)

  • 11am: Indigenous Mapuche and Anarchist Allied Struggle: Criminalization, Political Prison, and Resistance [in so-called Chile] (en.)
  • 1pm: French Anarchists and Algeria’s National Liberation Revolution: The Split and Its Relevance Today (en.)
  • 3pm: Contradictions of Communism and Autonomy:  A Case Study of the Sojourner Truth Organization (en.; for all ages)

Room 123 — CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)

  • 11am: Alternatives in Action:  the People’s University, the Association to Support Peasant Agriculture (fr.)
  • 1pm: (INTRODUCTION) Discovering Anarchism Through Music(fr.)
  • 3pm: (INTRODUCTION) Anti-authoritarian 101: Demystifying Contemporary Anarchism in Quebec (fr.)

Room 202 — CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)

  • 12pm: Meeting for all anarchist writers of fiction, theatre, poetry, etc. (bil. note: this 1-hour discussion is not wheelchair accessible, but can be moved to enable wheelchair access)

SUNDAY, MAY 20

Room 0.100 (main floor) — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)

  • 11am: Commons Not Capitalism: Cultivating the Occupy Idea (en)
  • 1pm: (INTRODUCTION) Anarchism without Anarchists / Anarchism with Anarchists: The Practice & Relevance of Anarchism (en)
  • 3pm: Let’s Talk about Leadership: Anti-Authoritarian Approaches to Taking Initiative and Building Capacities (en)

Room 1.000 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)

  • 11am: Yiddish Anarchists, Bastard Cops and Queer Pirates: Building Collective Histories of Anarchist Struggle in Montreal (fr)
  • 1pm: The far right in Québec: How can we fight the antithesis of anarchism? (fr)
  • 3pm: The importance of critique and curiosity in the development of the Anarchist movement (fr.; for all ages)

Room SS-110 (basement) — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)

  • 11am: Creation of feminist anarchist comic books (fr & en)
  • 1pm: Homos for Prison Abolition:  Building Solidarity Movements with Queer and Trans Inmates (en)
  • 3pm: Parole sans parole: The Prequel: The Vultures (en; for all ages)

Room 123 — CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)

  • 11am: Safety for anarchists (fr; for all ages)
  • 1pm: (INTRODUCTION) Black Flame: an introduction to anarchism of the masses (fr; for all ages)
  • 3pm: Rising up and writing it down (fr; for all ages)

FULL DESCRIPTIONS

[Note: There will be whisper translation into English for all French workshops]

Student struggles, anarchist struggles? A round-table on the student strike at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (FR)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
11am-12:45pm – Room 2.100

A roundtable discussion with invited individuals involved with the current student strike and who identify with different tendencies of anarchism. Some thematic questions: What has been, and what is currently, the role of anarchists in the organization of the strike? What is the role of economic disruption in the building of an effective rapport-de-force? What is the strategy used by the media and state to separate anarchists from students? Did the CLASSE fall for the conciliation trap by accepting to condemn violence? Is the CLASSE the site of real direct democracy? What are the dangers of the current negotiations? Is fighting unionism giving place quietly to a collaborating bureaucracy? How do we reconcile our struggle against the fee hike with an anarchist vision of education? Have we neglected to develop a reflection on education as a whole, to the benefit of a critique of accessibility?

With: Eva-Loan Ponton-Pham, Camille Robert, Dominique Bordeleau, Pierre-Luc Junet, Alan Gilbert, David Clément, Janie Durand, Maxence L. Valade, et others. Facilitated by Anna Kruzynski.

Occupy Anarchism (EN) – Introduction to Anarchism
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
1pm-2:45pm – Room 2.100

As the “do-it-ourselves” uprisings that have swept across the globe from Egypt to North America are proving, self-organization is not only effective for resistance but also serves as the potential basis for a new world in common. The ethical practices that anarchists advocate are becoming powerful everyday experiences, with people self-managing everything from civic defense and trash collection to general assemblies. Through the occupy lens, we’ll explore anarchism’s ideal of a free society of free individuals.

Presented by Cindy Milstein. Cindy has been long involved in anarchist spaces, popular education projects, and anti-capitalist organizing efforts. She is an Institute for Anarchist Studies collective member, active participant in Occupy Philly, and author of the books Anarchism and Its Aspirations (AK Press, 2010) and the forthcoming Paths toward Utopia (coauthored with Erik Ruin on PM Press).

Organizing as Anarchists and Indigenous/People of Colour (BIL)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
3pm-4:45pm — Room 2.100 – for all ages

This workshop will consist of a guided discussion amongst Anarchist People of Colour and Indigenous Peoples that seeks to centre anarchism around our experiences. Through this discussion, we aim to ask pertinent questions such as why we identify as anarchists and how we could build solidarity amongst each other? For the purposes of having conversations as People of Colour and Indigenous People, this workshop is a closed space to people who identify along these lines.

Organized by members of the the No One Is Illegal Anarchist People of Colour and Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus Crew, a subgroup of No One Is Illegal-Montreal.

Anarchist practices and anti-imperialist struggles (FR)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
11am-12:45pm  — Room 1.000

This workshop is a reflection on anarchist practices and anti-imperialist struggles, given by members of PASC (Projet d’accompagnement solidarité Colombie).Drawing on examples of solidarity work in Colombia, we’ll discuss different forms of action and ways to critique the State and Canadian companies as actors in a colonial system that generates and is maintained by war.

Facilitated by members of PASC – Projet d’accompagnement solidarité Colombie

Take Back the Night – Reflections on a Night-time March  (FR)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
1pm-2:45pm  — Room 1.000 – for all ages

After a first experience organizing a night-time march for International Women’s Day, Take Back the Night would like to do it again this summer. This workshop is a space to brainstorm and expand the ideas behind the second edition of the march. We are particularly seeking to create a space for reflection around the ways in which differentsystems of oppression (heteropatriarchy, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, slutphobia, racism, colonialism, capitalism) create and perpetuate night-time violence in the street.

Take Back the Night is a feminist, queer, nocturnal collective.

Anti-colonial Workshop on Quebec History in the Context of the Struggle Against the Plan North (FR)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
3pm-4:45pm — Room 1.000 – for all ages

Quebec is a part of the Canadian state. For decades, an independence movement in Quebec has claimed to struggle against Canadian colonial oppression. While Canada is a colonial state, in its oppression of indigenous peoples Quebec is every bit as much of one. The fight of Quebecers against colonization has been perceived by many as a liberation struggle. But an anti-colonial reading of Quebec history reveals its foundations in both British and French colonialisms, and that it’s in this context that these battles are played out. This multimedia workshop seeks to deconstruct and critique our points of view as participants in this colonization and to underline the importance of an anti-colonial analysis in our anarchist struggles against all forms of domination. This battle is becoming even more pressing these days, in the organization of the opposition to Plan North.

Facilitated by Christian, an anarchist involved in different anti-capitalist, anti-colonial and anti-patriarchal struggles.  He has been engaged as an organizer in many different social movements. He is also a media activist with CKUT.

Indigenous Mapuche and Anarchist Allied Struggle: Criminalization, Political Prison, and Resistance [in so-called Chile] (EN)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
11am-12:45pm – Room 0.100 (main floor)

Exploring the recent repression carried out within the current Piñera government in the ongoing criminalization of the Mapuche indigenous sovereignty struggle, including the militarization of communities in resistance, as well as Anarchist movements.  The implementation of Pinochet’s Antiterrorist Law, the Anti-Masking Law, (etc) regarding Mapuche Political Prisoners, the 14 Anarchist Bomb Case, Luciano Pitronello among other cases. The short films “Johnny Cariqueo: The Permanent Riot,” (the Mapuche- Anarchist murdered by police in March of 2008/the insurrectional-anarchist movement) and “The Rebirth of Lemun” (17 year-old Mapuche Warrior murdered by police in 2002) in Spanish with English subtitles, will be presented for discussion.

Presented by the Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto], 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.

French Anarchists and Algeria’s National Liberation Revolution: The Split and Its Relevance Today (EN)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
1pm-2:45pm – Room 0.100 (main floor)

The question of supporting or working with national liberation movements has divided anarchists in the past and still does. The pluralist French anarchist movement approached and acted upon Algeria’s violent independence struggle (1954-62) from a range of distinctly different positions. These distinctions caused contrasting views on nationalism, revolution, violence, multi-staged liberation and political collaboration with statist forces. Similarly different orientations on these and other generic issues continuously face the anarchist movement today.

Presented by David Porter and Sandy. David  is the author of a new book on French anarchists and Algeria. Sandy is a Montreal anarchist currently participating in various anarchist projects.

Contradictions of Communism and Autonomy: A Case Study of the Sojourner Truth Organization (EN)
Saturday, May 19 – Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
3pm-4:45pm – Room 0.100 (main floor) – for all ages

The Sojourner Truth Organization (STO) was a group of unorthodox Leninists during the 1970s and 1980s who merged theory and practice – whether engaged in factory organizing and anti-fascist struggles they developed complex theories of class consciousness and white-skin privilege.  Michael Staudenmaier will read selections from his new book, Truth and Revolution:  A History of the Sojourner Truth Organization, 1969-1986 (AK Press), and discuss the contradictions between communism and autonomy, highlighted in the experiences of STO.

Presented by Michael Staudenmaier. Michael is a long-time anarchist from Chicago, as well as a husband and a father of two young children.  After many years as an independent historian he has just completed his first year as a graduate student in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.  He is the author of Truth and Revolution:  A History of the Sojourner Truth Organization, 1969-1986 (AK Press, 2012).

Alternatives in Action:  the People’s University, the Association to Support Peasant Agriculture  (FR)
Saturday, May 19 – CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)
11am-12:45pm — Room 123

We don’t lack for alternative institutions. Obviously anarchists should involve themselves in these alternatives but often the existing political context doesn’t allow for the adoption of libertarian practices. That’s why it’s important for anarchists also to be initiators of alternative projects, as many aspects of how they’ll unfold are rooted in their creation. We will illustrate this through our experience of local initiatives: the People’s University, the Association for the Support of Peasant Agriculture, etc.

This workshop will be facilitated by members of the Anarchist Federation of France.

Discovering Anarchism Through Music (FR) – Introduction to Anarchism
Saturday, May 19 – CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)
1pm-2:45pm — Room 123

This workshop is designed for people curious about but not necessarily very familiar with anarchism. Its goal is to discover the origins, central ideas and historical figures and movements of anarchism through the medium of French-language music.

Facilitated by Philippe Morin, member of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair Collective.

Anti-authoritarian 101: Demystifying Contemporary Anarchism in Quebec (FR) – Introduction to Anarchism
Saturday, May 19 – CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)
3pm-4:45pm — Room 123

Anarchist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer, anti-colonial, anti-racist; are these terms familiar to you, but you’d like to deepen your understanding of them? The Research Collective on Collective Autonomy (CRAC) presents a workshop aimed at discovering the contemporary anti-authoritarian movement in Quebec. The workshop will help participants to better understand the issues, action strategies, and organizing styles of activist groups and networks fighting for social justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective.

Facilited by the Research Collective on Collective Autonomy (CRAC). Made up of (pro)feminist, anti-authoritarian activists, the CRAC seeks to document the initiatives of the movement from which it comes, in particular the resurgence of an anti-authoritarian tendency around the turn of the 21st century in Quebec, and its evolution over the last decade.

Anarchist Writers Bloc meeting (BIL)
Saturday, May 19 – CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)
12pm-1pm — Room 202

An opportunity for anarchist writers at the Bookfair to meet each other and chat. People introduce themselves and their written work, exchange emails, and discuss possible collaborations, locally and internationally.

(This 1-hour discussion is not wheelchair accessible, but can be moved to enable wheelchair access.)

Commons Not Capitalism: Cultivating the Occupy Idea (EN)
Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
11am-12:45pm – Room 0.100 (main floor)

As the do-it-ourselves occupations that have swept across the globe proving, direct democracy and cooperation are becoming powerful everyday experiences for millions. This compelling and quirky, beautiful and at times messy experimentation has cracked open a window on history, affording us a rare chance to grow these uprisings into a world of our own collective making and doing. This talk will draw out some of the promise and especially dilemmas of the occupy moment.

Presented by Cindy Milstein. Cindy has been long involved in anarchist spaces, popular education projects, and anti-capitalist organizing efforts. She is an Institute for Anarchist Studies collective member, active participant in Occupy Philly, and author of the books Anarchism and Its Aspirations (AK Press, 2010) and the forthcoming Paths toward Utopia (coauthored with Erik Ruin on PM Press).

Anarchism without Anarchists / Anarchism with Anarchists: The Practice and Relevance of Anarchism (EN) – Introduction to Anarchism
Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
1pm-2:45pm – Room 0.100 (main floor)

This workshop will outline the basic principles of anarchism, from its historical origins, to inspirations and antecedents from diverse cultures and movements. From support work with prisoners, migrants and victims of police brutality, to inspiring insurrections and uprisings world wide, we’ll explore the tangible practice of anarchist values of self-organization, mutual aid, solidarity and autonomous action. We will look at meaningful examples of self-organization and resistance from Kabylie & Chiapas to Mapuche territories & the Iroquois Confederacy, including local examples in Montreal (including some analysis of “anarchist dynamics” at Occupy Montreal). Whether through anarchism by self-identified anarchists, or “anarchism without anarchists” who practice the values of anarchism in the day-to-day, this workshop will provide a basic overview of anarchist ideas and practice, and the uncompromising struggle against capitalism, state and all forms of oppression. This workshop is intended for Bookfair participants who are new to, or curious about, anarchist ideas and practice (not for people already quite familiar with anarchism).

Presented by Jaggi Singh. Jaggi is an organizer with the No One Is Illegal, Solidarity Across Borders and the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC), as well as a member of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair Collective.

Let’s Talk about Leadership: Anti Authoritarian Approaches to Taking Initiative and Building Capacities (EN)
Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
3pm-4:45pm – Room 0.100 (main floor)

Leadership is a big unresolved question for anarchism. As anti-authoritarians we have important criticisms of conventional kinds of top-down leadership. However, our rejection of leadership – and our silences about it – has created significant problems for our organizing, particularly concerning accountability and developing people’s capacities as effective organizers. This workshop will open a space to talk about these problems and explore new approaches anti-authoritarian organizers are using for understanding, enacting, and building leadership.

Presented by Chris Dixon. Chris is a longtime anarchist organizer, writer, and educator who lives in Sudbury, Ontario, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Territory. He is a board member of the Institute for Anarchist Studies and is active with the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty.

Yiddish Anarchists, Bastard Cops and Queer Pirates: Building Collective Histories of Anarchist Struggle in Montreal (FR)
Sunday, May 20 Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman) (FR)
11am-12:45pm- Room 1.000

It’s often said that history is written by the victors. But fuck that! We write our own histories, every day. In this workshop, we’ll approach anarchist history through particular moments where oppressed people have risen up in direct action to improve their lives and communities. In the first part of the workshop, the workshop facilitator will present several “anchor moments” of anarchist history in Montreal, around which we can build a foundation for elaborating our own histories. In the second part, participants will be invited to share their own insights, moments, heroes that they would consider as their part of anarchist history.Finally, no anarchist history is complete without an anarchist future. Drawing from our collective histories, we will discuss where we could go in the years and generations to come. The workshop facilitator invites each participant to bring a moment of Montreal radical history to share with the group, or a question they would like to have answered. The workshop will include a practical section where we’ll construct our own timeline of Montreal anarchist history.

Presented by Aaron Lakoff. Aaron has been doing research and giving walking tours on Montreal’s anarchist history over the last 3 years, and he’s obsessed with Jewish anarchist history, and bagels.

The far right in Québec: How can we fight the antithesis of anarchism? (FR)
Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
1pm-2:45pm – Room 1.000

Extreme right-wing groups have been very vocal this year in Québec. This workshop will look at the current state of the far right in Québec, from populists known to the general public (trash radio, Quebec Freedom Network) to neo-Nazi cells active in the province. A brief presentation of various recent actions of resistance to these groups will conclude the workshop before a discussion of strategies to adopt towards the far right.

Presented by Justin Duval, anarchist activist involved with RASH-Montréal.

The importance of critique and curiosity in the development of the Anarchist movement (FR)
Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
3pm-4:45pm — Room 1.000 – for all ages

Anarchism has many faces, often ill defined and misunderstood for those interested or even those already committed to it. It’s easy to get lost amongst the contradictions, incoherence and speculations surrounding anarchist thought and we all lose as a collective in this process. This workshop will address the importance of curiosity and critique for the development of anarchist thought. For the purpose of this workshop, we invite participants to bring a text or a book which inspired them in their exploration of anarchism to give away.

Facilitated by Sophie, Eddy and Thomas, involved in many anarchist projects and groups, notably La Mauvaise Herbe and the Union communiste libertaire

Creation of feminist anarchist comic books (FR & EN)

Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
11am-12:45pm — Room SS-110 (basement)– for all ages

In a CEDA classroom, anarchists will be invited to create, on paper (coloured pencils and magazines for collages provided) or by internet (via a list of open source programs), anarchist, feminist comics. Afterwards, the Collectif Rebelles will see to it that the comics are published as a whole online or otherwise.

The workshop will be facilitates by the Collectif Rebelles Montréal.

Homos for Prison Abolition: Building Solidarity Movements with Queer and Trans Inmates (EN)
Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
1pm-2:45pm – Room SS-110 (basement)

With so many queer and trans folks violently removed from our communities by policing, criminalization, and imprisonment, these valuable members of our communities are being locked away and pushed aside.  Let’s build strategies to put prisoner struggles back onto queer and trans radars and back into the forefront of our organizing.  We’ll strategize to expand our networks and support systems against the prison industrial complex and the role it plays in queer and trans lives.

Presented by the Prisoner Correspondence Project, a collectively-run initiative based out of Montreal, Quebec that coordinates a direct-correspondence program for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer inmates in Canada and the United States, linking these inmates with people a part of these same communities outside of prison.

Parole sans parole: The Prequel: The Vultures
Sunday, May 20 — Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
3pm-4:45pm — Room SS-110 (basement) – for all ages

The Termite Collective will be presenting a multimedia play exploring the daily realities of living inside prison, the absurd, devastating and over-the-top control inmates have to face and the impacts of the new crime bill and “tough on crime” rhetorics. The play will consist of speeches by the conservative government, the head of the correctional services of canada, some songs and some skits. Most of the stories and skits are true, they are stories told to us and experiences by us, only the names and the faces have been changed.

Presented by Termite Collective, a group of creative and concerned people who want to expose the ever increasing repressive nature of prison through political parody and criminal cabaret.

Safety for Anarchists (FR)
Sunday, May 20 — CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)
11am-12:45pm – Room 123 – for all ages

This workshop will help anarchists to make informed decisions regarding their safety, online as well as offline. To be covered: basic security practices and security culture as well as an overview of the workings of the internet. The workshop aims to be interactive and focused on the needs of the participants. It’s not necessary to bring a computer.

Facilitated by Antoine, a systems’ administrator with a solid experience of simplifying computer tech for the Montreal activist community.

Black Flame: an introduction to anarchism of the masses (FR) – Introduction to anarchism
Sunday, May 20 — CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)
1pm-2:45pm – Room 123 – for all ages

In their historical essay Black Flame, Michael Schmidt and Lucien Van Der Walt use the expression «anarchism of the masses»  to introduce and gather in a coherent manor principles, strategies and tactics favored by numerous anarchist organizations. The workshop will introduce the insights and questions posed by these authors. Then a collective debate will be opened on the content of this introduction.

Presented by L’Union communiste libertaire, a federation of collectives and individuals from various resistance movements identifying with communist (or of the masses!) orientations within anarchism

Rising up and writing it down (FR)
Sunday, May 20 — CEDA (2515 rue Delisle)
3pm-4:45pm – Room 123 – for all ages

A hands-on workshop on writing and speaking out where we will take inspiration from history’s revolutionary poets and speakers so that we too can write and say what’s on our minds. The idea is to create a safe space where listening can happen, and creativity and speaking up can lead to a collective action/creation. Rage is a creative energy; writing a perpetual fight against silence; speech, a taking back of the Bastille.

Facilitated by Frank Poule, a multidisciplinary artist, mostly known for his public poetry recital and for using art as a tool for subversion, inspiration and education.