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Workshops & Presentations 2014

Submitted by on May 15, 2014 – 7:31 pmNo Comment

Workshops that explore topics related to anarchism in some depth, as well introduction to anarchism workshops, take place during both days of the Montreal Bookfair. Our schedule in brief is included below, followed by more detailed descriptions. This year we feature four introduction to anarchism workshops, as well as eighteen workshops exploring a topic related to anarchism in some depth.

SCHEDULE IN BRIEF

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014

11am-12:45pm

1pm-2:45pm

3pm-4:45pm

There will also be an Autonomous Media Room on Saturday, May 24 from 11am-5pm in room 125 of the CEDA. For details about Autonomous Media Room workshops, please click HERE.

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2014

11am-12:45pm

1pm-2:45pm

3pm-4:45pm


- Each workshop takes place in English (EN) or French (FR), with whisper translation into English and/or French.

- All workshop rooms are accessible to wheelchairs. There is limited capacity for all workshops, so please arrive early.

CCGV = Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
CEDA = Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (2515 rue Delisle)

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS

Squatting as political practice: Guide to Italy’s occupied autonomous social centres (FR)
Saturday, May 24, 11am-12:45pm
CEDA – Room 119

Occupied Autonomous Social Centres are sites of material and immaterial resistance that can take on the role of genuine political actors. They are spaces full of potential for social movements with an anti-authoritarian, anti-imperialist, and anti-fascist worldview. In what ways is this practice declining within Italian anarchist movements? What does this mean for Montreal?

Facilitated by Davide Pilizzotto. Davide is from Italy, and came to Montreal for romantic reasons. He is currently finished a Doctorate in Semiology at UQAM, without of course losing his political convictions.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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Death on the Commons: Toward Caring Communities (EN)
Saturday, May 24, 11am-12:45pm
CEDA – Room 123

The (psycho)pharmaceutical-industrial complex is one of the few growth economies in today’s capitalism, setting profit above people’s bodies, and turning care and death into commodities. In what might seem counterintuitive, this workshop will explore (politically and experientially) how dying well within commons of care like hospices and embracing mutual aid self-care applying anarchistic ethics to death when extended backward to the whole of our lives, might supply keys to increasingly de-commodified well-being within communities of care.

Facilitated by Cindy Milstein. Cindy is currently a collective member with both the Institute for Anarchist Studies (www.anarchiststudies.org) and Station 40 (social center) as well as engaged in anti-eviction organizing in San Francisco. She is author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations (IAS/AK Press) coauthor with Erik Ruin of Paths toward Utopia (PM Press), and blogs at cbmilstein.wordpress.com.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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(INTRODUCTION TO ANARCHISM) Unity in diversity: Portrait of contemporary anarchism in Québec (FR)
Saturday, May 24, 11am – 12:45pm
CCGV – Room 1.100

The anarchist perspective today is articulated by activists involved in a wide variety of struggles, ranging from the gentrification of our neighbourhoods to feminist issues, from the fight against resource extraction practices here and abroad and to education issues. Despite this diversity, it is possible to identify common characteristics that help us to better understand contemporary anarchism as it has developed in Québec in the turn of the 21st century. What are the particularities of this anarchist perspective? Are anarchism’s ideas and practices only employed by its ideological adherents? This workshop aims to demystify contemporary anarchism in Québec through an interactive approach. The presentation will be based in popular education tools designed by the Collectif de recherche sur l’autonomie collective (CRAC), which researched anarchism in Québec between 2006 and 2012.

Facilitated by Rachel Sarrasin. Rachel was a member of CRAC (Collectif de recherche sur l’autonomie collective) from 2009 to its dissolution in 2012. She has been an ally of the anarchist movement since the mobilization against the Summit of the Americas in 2001, with the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC).

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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Anarchy, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Decolonization (EN)
Saturday, May 24, 11am-12:45pm
CCGV – Room 2.100

Since 2010, the Unis’tot’en camp has blockaded oil and gas pipelines in the north of occupied in unceded “British Columbia”, succesfully taking direct action to prevent 7 companies from transporting bitumen oil from the Alberta tar sands and natural gas from fracking to the Pacific coast. The Unis’tot’en now practice a free, prior, and informed consent protocol for all people seeking access to their lands. They have also built a permaculture garden and a pit house directly on the path of the pipelines in an inspiring example of direct action. Mel Bazil is a member of the Unis’tot’en camp and also self-defines as an anarchist. In this presentation he will speak about some pathways for the anarchist movement, and the commonalities with the Indigenous Decolonization movement. He stresses breaking boundaries, and sharing histories, a dual process of both unlearning and remembering.

Presented by Mel Bazil an indigenous Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en family man, sovereignist, and anarchist, and a participant in the Unis’tot’en camp.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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May Day: Towards a general strike against austerity (FR)
Saturday, May 24, 1pm-2:45pm
CEDA – Room 119

From every side, we are being battered by austerity measures and their impact on our quality of life. The federal government is driving the agenda: unemployment, privatization, draconian regulations, labour conditions, the environment, etc. There are many consequences: rise of racism and xenophobia; populism; security measures. We are not winning in our struggles against this government. The time has come for unity, mobilization, and action if we want to win.

Facilitated by members of the Collectif Libertaire Montréal and IWW-Montréal.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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(INTRODUCTION TO ANARCHISM) Anarchy 101 (EN)
Saturday, May 24, 1pm-2:45pm
CEDA – Room 123

Confused by what the word anarchism means? Interested in discussing radical ideas that have inspired and shaped uprisings and struggles for liberation across the world? This introductory workshop will focus less on the historical roots of anarchism and more on the daily relevance of the anarchist ideas. To be discussed are the anarchist desires of anti-authoritarianism, self-representation and revolution that shape the practices of mutual aid, solidarity, direct action, community and self-liberation with the ultimate goals of autonomy and sovereignty. If these words are confusing don’t be intimidated! Everything will be explained as simply as possible rooted in our current Montreal context.

This workshop will be facilitated by Dylan, a genderqueer anarchist who’s been in Montreal for the past six years.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Anarchist Creative Writing Workshop (FR)
Saturday, May 24, 1pm-2:45pm
CCGV – Room 1.100

This creative writing workshop of absurd and rebel literature has the unrealistic goal of the complete deconstruction of language in less than two hours, through totally irrelevant creative exercises. Whether you have “writing skills” or not, whether you are a “writer” or not, you are welcome.

Facilitated by the Anarchist Writers Bloc, a multilingual collective of anarchist writers of all tendencies.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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Anarchist Indigenous and People of Colour (AIPOC) Caucus (EN)
Saturday, May 24, 1pm-2:45pm
CCGV – Room 2.100

The caucus would like to acknowledge our plurality of experiences, ways in which we are racialized differently, and the limits of claiming Anarchist Indigenous and People of Colour (AIPOC) as an identity-based group. How can AIPOC be a political commitment to building genuine solidarity with one another and supporting each other’s struggles? How can we be accountable to each other and address issues of anti-black racism, settler colonialism, and other ways in which we hurt each other and also contribute to each other’s oppression? This caucus is for self-identified Indigenous People and People of Colour only!

The Anarchist People of Colour (APOC) caucus is organized by self-identified queer and trans, anti-authoritarian and anarchist people of colour in Montréal that seek to create spaces for sharing conversations for all People of Colour and Indigenous Peoples.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Supporting Migrant Justice Struggles: An Anarchist roundtable (EN)
Saturday, May 24, 3pm-4:45pm
CEDA – Room 119

Anarchist activists involved with Resist the Raids (Boston) and No One Is Illegal (Montreal) will facilitate a roundtable discussion about supporting migrant justice struggles. Anti-border, anti-deportation work has been an organizing focus of many anti-authoritarians, and direct support with individuals and families resisting deportations and detentions roots those struggles. Support work raises important questions about anarchist practice as allies, and participants. This roundtable will share organizing experiences and analytical reflections, based in the idea of support work with directly affected people being the tangible and important “practice of anarchy.”

Organized and facilitated by anarchists involved with Resist the Raids in Boston (www.facebook.com/resisttheraids) and No One Is Illegal in Montreal (www.nooneisillegal.org).

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Does the anarchist movement in Quebec have a future outside Montreal? (FR)
Saturday, May 24, 3pm-4:45pm
CEDA – Room 123

Now that we have grabbed your attention with a provocative title, here is our workshop description. We first thought of calling it something like, “Five years of anarchism in Saguenay”. But highlighting five years of a collective outside Montreal as a feat struck us as rather revealing of the state of our movement. We would like to create a space for thinking about and discussing the reasons that anarchism has hardly spread beyond or lasted outside the island of Montreal. We will also present the different realities of Quebec anarchists outside the main urban areas.

The Collectif anarchiste Emma Goldman is an anarcho-communist organization active in the Saguenay region since 2008.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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Writing and reading trauma in Sci-Fi, Experimental Memoir and Fiction (EN)
Saturday, May 24, 3pm-4:45pm
CCGV – Room 1.100

As readers and writers, how does Science Fiction and experimental memoir relieve us, inspire us, heal us, and create sites of recognition? This workshop focuses on the writing and reading of trauma in sci fi and creative memoir, focusing on grief and intergenerational violence. This workshop considers trauma to be the result of systemic oppression, racism and colonization and class based struggles. We will explore work by Toni Cade Bambara, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler among others.

Facilitated by Mel Gayle and Sarah Mangle. Mel is a queer Black disabled sometimes femme as well as a poet, student, and community activist. Sarah is a white, queer, writer, artist, and educator.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Struggles against police brutality from an anarchist perspective (FR)
Saturday, May 24, 3pm-4:45pm
CCGV – Room 2.100

More than ever the anarchist movement and ideas are targeted by the State on Turtle Island. We must combat this repression. COBP aims to deepen the analysis on the matter and develop possible avenues in order to make the streets a space freed from repression in all of its forms.

The Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière (COBP) (Collective Opposed to Police Brutality) is an autonomous group, which brings together individuals who are victims, witnesses and/or feel concerned by police brutality and all other abuses perpetrated by the police. Given the magnitude of repression, social cleansing and impunity still on the rise in Montreal, COBP decided to organize on a permanent basis to pursue its fight against police brutality.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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Anarchism and the Black Revolution: past, present, future (EN)
Sunday, May 25, 11am-12:45pm
CEDA – Room 119

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin is a writer, activist, and black anarchist. He is a former member of the Black Panther Party, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and currently based in Memphis. In jail, Ervin wrote the classic “Anarchism and the Black Revolution”. He has remained very active for decades as a community organizer, part of groups and efforts like Black Autonomy and Copwatch. He is outspoken in criticizing electoral, political party and statist politics, even more so since the election of Barack Obama. The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair will host Lorenzo, who can’t cross the border, via skype. This presentation will cover the history of youth organizing in Tennessee under segregation, the Black Panther Party, black autonomy and Copwatch movements, the importance of supporting political prisoners, direct democracy, hip hop culture, and much more.

Please note: This workshop is intended for self-identified people of colour anarchists and anti-authoritarians (APOC) to learn and be challenged by an inspiring revolutionary movement elder. This presentation will be recorded and distributed by the Anarchist Bookfair Collective after the Bookfair on our website and e-mail announcements list.

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin was involved in desegregation efforts; after a short army stint, he became an anti-war activist. In February 1969 (during the height of the FBI organized COINTELPRO which targeted activists for arrest, jail and in many cases elimination) Lorenzo highjacked a plane to Cuba to avoid prosecution for the alleged attempted killing of a KKK leader. He became disillusioned with state socialism and eventually was extradited to the United States where he was given a life sentence. He also organized from within prison walls and with the support of the Anarchist Black Cross prison support group was able to gain release after 15 years.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Collective responses to intimate violence and sharing emotional labour in the anarchist milieu: How do we create strong communities (FR & EN)
Sunday, May 25, 11am-12:45pm
CEDA – Room 123

Intimate violence continues to be perpetuated in anarchist communities. A consequence of patriarchal oppression, the presence of this violence destroys the idea we have of our communities that aim to be free from all forms of oppression. Unfortunately, we are not well equipped to cope and often the emotional labour that these situations entail is borne by survivors and their allies. By drawing on community accountability processes that have been implemented in various communities, particularly on the initiative of Indigenous women and women of colour, we will consider how to strengthen the bonds that unite us and create spaces where survivors can have justice.

Faciliated by Danielle Holyk, Dani, Pascale Brunet and Maude Chalvin who are feminists, anarchists, queers and above all interested in thinking about our communities.

This workshop will be presented in French and English with whisper translation.

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Towards an anarchist practice of art history (FR)
Sunday, May 25, 11am-12:45pm
CEDA, Room 125

Organized by the members of the Raccords Collective, this participatory workshop is an introduction to the relationship between art and anarchism, inscribed within a larger questioning of traditional art history analyses. The workshop will be centered around this question: if anarchism is omnipresent in art, is it possible to develop an anarchist practice of art history?

Facilitated by the Raccords Collective. In the spirit of the student strike, the Raccords Collective seeks to reconcile modalities of activist struggle and art history practices. This collective explores, through workshops, meetings and targeted interventions, the current state of this discipline and its contribution to the Montreal community. For this event, the Raccords Collective will be represented by Alexandre Poulin and Gina Cortopassi.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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(INTRODUCTION TO ANARCHISM) ABC of anarchism (FR)
Sunday, May 25, 1pm-2:45 pm
CEDA – Room 119

The case appears to have been settled: since 1968 and in particular since the beginning of the 21st century, a new way of living-out anarchism has emerged. It is no longer a question of anarchism awaiting a single moment of truth, placing all hopes with the working class and a hypothetical revolution, but rather we see an anarchism which aims for its values to come alive in the here and the now, within small communities, individual practices and subversive collectives. Some will even go as far as to say that anarchism and its positioning within the left-right axis is outdated: contemporary anarchism, while still carrying the same name, would appear to be departing significantly from classical anarchism. One thing is certain: anarchism has become increasingly complex, as is the case with society as a whole. However, the idea itself of classical or orthodox anarchism is a stereotype that ought to be deconstructed with the aid of a more complex sociological and historical lens than that which is proposed in introductory texts to anarchism. We invite participants to explore anarchism in all its complexity without rejecting either its diversity or its divergences: struggles against colonialism, libertarian education, autogestion (self-management), syndicalism, insurrection, etc. The workshop will integrate a lecture-style presentation with public participation, answering questions and meeting participants’ expectations.

Facilitated by Albert, a Quebec City-based anarchist activist. Albert was first active in student struggles before engaging with affinity groups and anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian coalitions, including the Coalition Guerre à la Guerre and the Union communiste libertaire. He currently organizes with the Collectif Subvercité, an anti-capitalist collective in Quebec City.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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Anti-racist anarchist perspectives against the Quebec Charter of Values: A critical assessment and discussion (FR)
Sunday, May 25, 1pm-2:45pm
CEDA – Room 123

This presentation and discussion space – facilitated by anarchists involved in grassroots popular education work and mobilizing against the proposed “Charter of Quebec Values” – will provide an opportunity to critically discuss and debate the political challenges faced in opposing racism in Quebec society. The Quebec Charter of Values was a clear xenophobic electoral ploy. It also exposes the limits of secularist, progressive politics when it comes to meaningfully supporting the self-determination struggles of working class and marginalized peoples. The Charter of Values debate opens up essential questions about anarchist theory and practice as it relates to religion and secularism, and the instrumentalization of feminist, anti-racist and LGBTQ movements in support of the state. How do we, as anarchists, define an organizing and analytical space to oppose capitalism and the state, while supporting the self-determination of members of our shared communities?

Facilitated by Joel Pedneault and Jaggi Singh, anarchists and organizers with Ensemble contre la Charte xénophobe.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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A look into the anarchist movement in Poland (EN)
Sunday, May 25, 1pm-2:45pm
CEDA – Room 125

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.

Facilitated by Olga and Kuba. Olga lived in Poznan, a big city with two squats right in the city center. Kuba is a member of Tektura collective, Autonomous Social Center “Cicha4″ collective and Rhythms of Resistance Lublin.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Anarchists and Social Forums: Creating space for smashing the state (FR)
Sunday, May 25, 3pm-4:45pm
CEDA – Room 119

This coming August 2014, Ottawa will host the People’s Social Forum, expected to be attended by over one thousand social justice activists from across Canada. In 2016, Montreal is scheduled to host the global World Social Forum, which will be attended by thousands of “social progressives” from around the world. Both efforts are spearheaded by NGOs and major unions and are sometimes described as “NGO Olympics.” This workshop will be a discussion space to critically engage anarchist and anti-statist responses to the social forum process. The social-democratic social forum process – and similar NGO/union organized “people’s summits” – has paralleled the smaller, less showy, but not necessarily less effective, anti-capitalist/anti-colonial movements for the past decade. Anarchists have organized interventions, sometimes within social forums, often outside of it, and at times in total ignorance of them. For anarchists involved in community organizing – indigenous solidarity, migrant justice, anti-poverty, queer, anti-gentrification, international solidarity, anti-capitalist, environmental justice, and more – social forums present a challenge. On one level, they overwhelm existing organizing, and inherent radicalism. But they might also provide opportunities to build space and capacity for radical ideas and organizing. Should anarchists based in Montreal be proactive in our own ability to organize around these social forums, on our own terms, respecting the grassroots organizing we are a part of?

Presented by Patrick Cadorette & Jaggi Singh, two local anarchists are active with the current Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC) that came together to oppose the G20 in Toronto, as well as the previous Anti-Capitalist Convergence that formed in 2000, partially as an anti-authoritarian/anti-capitalist process to NGO-dominated people’s summits and social forums.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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(INTRODUCTION TO ANARCHISM) Everyday Anarchism (EN)
Sunday, May 25, 3pm-4:45pm
CEDA – Room 123

This workshop will briefly sketch out the ethics of anarchism in order to bring them into conversation with contemporary anarchist(ic) experiments in self-determination and self-organization. In particular, gazing through what James C. Scott has recently called “anarchist eyeglasses” to reveal already-existent lived examples, we’ll look at the antiauthoritarian impulse within recent moments of uprising, but peer far more closely at the everyday anarchism that appears within seemingly commonplace practices.

Presented by Cindy Milstein, currently a collective member with both the Institute for Anarchist Studies (www.anarchiststudies.org) and Station 40 (social center) as well as engaged in anti-eviction organizing in San Francisco. She is the author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations (IAS/AK Press) coauthor with Erik Ruin of Paths toward Utopia (PM Press), and blogs at cbmilstein.wordpress.com.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Lifestyle Anarchism: From Anarchist Culture to a Culture of Conflict (EN)
Sunday, May 25, 3pm-4:45pm
CEDA – Room 125

Tattoos, zines, show spaces, gardens are some of the things get put together under the heading “lifestylism.” We will discuss the role lifestyle practices play in building networks, giving access to necessities, and making meaningful things within and against capitalism. We will look at DIY projects in order to think about their role in revolutionary practice. How do we prioritize resistance in our creative projects as a way to overcome the power dynamics seen in our everyday lives?

Facilitated by Virgil Addison and Morgan Peni. Virgil has been part of DIY projects for decades, individually, informally and in collectives such as Walking Distance Distro. Morgan is an anarchist living in Montreal, and has created and destroyed many collective projects over the years, from DIY show spaces, to punk houses, to bands and gardens.

This workshop will take place in English, with whisper translation into French.

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Fifteen Years of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair: A critical assessment (FR)
Sunday, May 25, 3pm-4:45pm
CCGV – Room 1.100

This year marks the 15th year of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. The Bookfair is one of the largest anarchist events in the world, and an important networking and gathering space for anarchist ideas and practice. This workshop space will be a space to critically assess the Anarchist Bookfair and the model of Bookfairs in general. Some critical questions we’ll address, with the active involvement of Bookfair participants, are: How can future Anarchist Bookfairs be improved? Are there other means of conveying anarchist ideas and practice effectively to a large public? Is the Bookfair a worthwhile space for anarchist networking? We hope to facilitate an open, critical discussion that will be of use for the organizing of future Bookfairs in Montreal.

This workshop will be hosted and facilitated by members of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair collective.

This workshop will take place in French, with whisper translation into English.

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- Each workshop takes place in English (EN) or French (FR), with whisper translation into English and/or French.

- All workshop rooms are accessible to wheelchairs. There is limited capacity for all workshops, so please arrive early.

CCGV = Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (2450 rue Workman)
CEDA = Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (2515 rue Delisle)

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