Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Molly mentioned the upcoming Toronto Anarchist Assembly briefly before on this blog. Well, it's almost upon us...April 9 to 11. Looks like an interesting lineup. Here's the details from their website.


April 9, 10, 11

Friends – the anarchist assembly and bookfair is almost here!

It’s time for us to gather. To assemble and talk to each other. To bring together folks who secretly or not so secretly identify with anarchism, and continue to build a larger and more vibrant community. Building on last year’s “Toronto Anarchist Gathering” this will be a bigger and better weekend of events including panel discussions, booktables, workshops, social events and more.

Come participate in a weekend of fun and anarchism at the Toronto Anarchist Assembly on April 9-11th. This will be a space for a wide variety of anarchist individuals, radical political groups, and anti-authoritarian organizations to come together, meet, greet, educate, skill-share, and hear about each other’s projects and plans.

Hopefully this will be an opportunity to educate some people about what anarchism is all about, to encourage people to get involved with some of the organizing and organizations that exist in Toronto, and to provide a space for already-established groups to learn about one another’s work.

If you’re able to help out by making a donation, putting up posters, or volunteering to do childcare, that’d be awesome. Give us a shout at Also please let us know if you have any particular accessibility requests. We’ll do our best to accommodate.

The Toronto Anarchist Assembly is open to anyone who shares our anti-oppressive perspective against classism, sexism, racism, ableism, colonialism, homophobia, and other hierarchical attitudes, practices and crap.

See you there!

FRIDAY APRIL 9 - Bike Pirates (1292 Bloor Street West)(wheelchair accessible)

Panel Discussion: “Anarchism in the 21st Century”


Cindy Milstein is a well-known anarchist and educator. She has been involved with the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont with Murray Bookchin, as well as the Institute for Anarchist Studies in Montreal. (not confirmed)

Lesley Wood is a longtime anarchist grassroots organizer in Toronto. She is an active member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the Toronto Community Mobilization Network against the G8/20, and a Professor at York University.

Karen Emily is an activist and organizer with the Anarchist Black Cross Federation – Toronto, working in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war.

SATURDAY APRIL 10 – The Steelworkers’ Hall, 25 Cecil Street, (near Spadina/College) (wheelchair accessible)

10:30am – 3pm: Bookfair and Workshops

3pm – 4:30pm: Giant Go-Around

5pm – 7pm: Food, Movies, Games

7pm – 12am: Music, Bar, Party

Workshop Schedule (details below):

11:15am – 12:15pm

Room 1: Introduction to Anarchism (Joanna Adamiak and Tom Malleson)

Room 2: Linux for Anarchists (gbby and Patrick)

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Room 1: Indigenous Solidarity and Land Claims (Shiri Pasternak and Heather Dorries)

Room 2: Anarca-Islam (Mohamed Jean Veneuse)

1:45pm – 2:45pm

Room 1: The Black Bloc and Diversity of Tactics (Mandy Hiscocks and Leah Henderson)

Room 2: Gender and Sexuality (Sandra Jeppesen)

SUNDAY APRIL 11 – The Steelworkers’ Hall, 25 Cecil Street, (near Spadina/College) (wheelchair accessible)

10:30am – 5pm: Bookfair and Workshops

Workshop Schedule (details below):

11:15am – 12:15pm

Room 1: Beyond Bars (Anarchist Black Cross Federation - Toronto)

Room 2: How to Start a Radical Anarchist Co-op (Eton Harris)

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Room 1: The Sociology of Radical Community (Richard Day)

Room 2: No One Is Illegal! (S. K. Hussan, Thomas Nail)

1:45pm – 3:45pm

Room 1: The G8/20 and Community Organizing (Mac Scott, Lesley Wood, Hussan)

Room 2: Hands-On Screen Printing (The Beehive Design Collective) (will be 3 hrs)

4:00pm – 5pm

Room 1: Know Your Rights (Movement Defence Committee)

Workshop Descriptions and Bios

Introduction to Anarchism - This will be a general workshop on anarchism, offering a brief overview of its history, highlighting some of the core ideas, detailing the main divergences from the Marxist tradition, and describing some models of contemporary anarchist organizing.

Joanna Adamiak lives, organizes, and studies in Toronto.

Tom Malleson is an organizer with No One Is Illegal, and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto

Linux for Anarchists – This workshop will introduce GNU/Linux operating systems, and elaborate on why a free and open source operating system should be the first choice for anarchists everywhere. We will look at how the two market leaders, Microsoft and Apple, stifle creativity and collaboration, and explore ways that a GNU/Linux operating system can facilitate openness and knowledge-building. We will share simple installation, setup, and customization tips. This workshop is not just for geeks, though. We encourage everyone, no matter how technically proficient they might be, to join us. Bring a laptop if you have one!

gbby is a professional troll. Patrick is an archivist at the CBC.

Indigenous Solidarity and Land Claims – This workshop will break down the current land claims process and its uses in maintaining a long history of Indigenous dispossession on these lands. We will talk about Indigenous resistance today and the role of allies in the struggle for Indigenous self-determination, emphasizing the need to understand how being an ally has real impacts (both positive and negative) on the possibilities of building a broad based anti-colonial movement.
Shiri Pasternak is an organizer with Barriere Lake Solidarity-Toronto and a member of Circle of Support, an Indigenous solidarity Toronto network. She is also a researcher and writer.

Heather Dorries is a PhD student in Planning at the University of Toronto and her research rethinks the history of planning and municipalization in Canada through the colonial land grab.

How to Start a Radical Anarchist Co-op – This is a "how-to" workshop for groups that want to get a co-op going, including dealing with the state when it comes to legal structure, general policies around non-hierarchically organizing work, conflict resolution, and much more. We’ll talk about what's worked for us over the last 14 years at the Mondragon Bookstore and what we're working on getting better at.

Eton Harris has been a collective member of Mondragon Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Winnipeg since 1998 and is also a member of the newly formed Rudolph Rocker Cultural Centre ("Newly formed" ?????-Molly ).

The Black Bloc and Diversity of Tactics – This workshop will look at where insurrection anarchy tactics intersects with mass mobilization tactics. Discussions on how they work together, how they can work against each other, and how as a movement we can plan strategically to support each other.

Mandy and Leah

Anarchist Perspectives on Gender - We generally understand that gender is socially constructed, meaning that there is nothing essential, natural or presumed that can be said to be true about being female, transgendered or male. Instead we can think about gender as a narrative that we tell ourselves and each other, through our bodies, our clothes, our stories, our embodied desires, etc. Anarchist narratives of gender challenge mainstream assumptions about gender, such as presumed gender roles, gendered divisions of labour, racialized and ableist gendered stereotypes, the presumption that gender equals sexuality, etc. We consider gender as something more dynamic, open-ended and in process. We also consider disruptions to the static gender binary to be crucial to overthrowing white supremacist heteronormative patriarchal colonial capitalism—in other words the interconnected dominant systems of oppression operative in North America today. This workshop will introduce some ideas that might help us think beyond the gender binary, and then provide some space for open-ended discussion of people’s various experiences of gender oppression and liberation, and gender projects that people are engaged in.
Sandra Jeppesen is a Montreal writer, educator and activist, who has been active in
anarchist things for over ten years.

Beyond Bars: A dialogue on prison struggle, and the importance of including prisoners in everyday organizing. Prisoners, whether they are serving time for political actions, or
became politically conscious while incarcerated, know first-hand the brutal lengths of repression in capitalist society, and often offer the most radical critiques and perspectives. Prison writers like Malcolm X and George Jackson have been key in propelling social
justice movements forward and inspiring revolutionary activities on both sides of the walls. Prisons, using physical segregation and censorship, work to silence these vital voices. As anarchists we must renew our commitment to raising prisoners' voices in our work – and not just in "prison-centric" publications and events. It is through strengthening these relationships, and building links between social justice groups, that the movement will grow.
Sara Falconer and karen emily of Toronto Anarchist Black Cross Federation have been working in solidarity with political prisoners for almost a decade, collaborating
on projects including and ,the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar.

Anarca-Islam - As an anarchist and a Muslim, I have witnessed troubled times as a result of extreme divisions that exist between these two identities and communities. To minimize these divisions, this workshop will argue for an anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian Islam, an ‘anarca-Islam’, that disrupts two commonly held beliefs: one, that Islam is necessarily authoritarian and capitalist; two, that anarchism is necessarily anti-religious. From this position I offer ‘anarca-Islam’ which I believe can help open-minded (non-essentialist/non-dogmatic) Muslims and anarchists to better understand each other, and therefore to more effectively collaborate in the context of what Richard JF Day has called the ’newest’ social movements.

Mohamed Jean Veneuse is an academic and activist who self-identifies as a Muslim anarchist.

The Sociology of Radical Community – This workshop asks what are the things that work and don't work, when one is trying to construct an explicitly 'political' alternative of a particular sort, here and now, where we are? For example, an urban infoshop, or a social centre, or a rural ecovillage. If there are people with experience in such things around, which I'm thinking there will be, it might be enjoyable and productive for them to 'theorize' a bi about this complex, deeply important, but much under-discussed topic.

Richard J.F. Day is an autonomy-oriented theorist and practitioner, whose work focuses on creating non-statist, non-capitalist, post-colonial, sustainable alternatives to the dominant global order. He has been involved in many experiments of this sort over the years, and currently works at Queen's University.

No One Is Illegal! - What is Migrant Justice? How do anti-imperialism, feminist, anti-capitalist struggles intertwine within Migrant Justice work? Exploring the No One Is Illegal! analysis, charting community based strategies for transformative change and building to the National Day of Action for Status for All! - May 1, 2010.

Hussan is an organizer for migrant justice and in defence of Indigenous Sovereignty.

Thomas Nail is an activist and PhD candidate in philosophy at the university of Oregon. He is a member of No One Is Illegal – Toronto, and a member of the Advisory Board for Upping The Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action.

The G8/20 and Community Organizing - An introduction to what is happening during the G8/G20 summits in terms of resistance, along with a discussion of why we hate the G8 and G20 and a discussion of how community organizing and anarchism intersect.

Mac Scott is an anarchist who does legal work. Go figure. He’s also in NOII and OCAP, loves his collective house, family, bad suits and beer.

Lesley Wood is a longtime anarchist grassroots organizer in Toronto. She is an active member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the Toronto Community Mobilization Network against the G8/20, and a Professor at York University.

Hussan is an organizer for migrant justice and in defence of Indigenous Sovereignty.

Hands-On Screen Printing - Learn easy ways to collaborate with others to design and reproduce an image on paper or fabric. This workshop fits into 3 hours including
Beehive Design Collective is an all-volunteer, grassroots arts-activist collective making anti-copyright graphics as education and organizing tools. Our mission is to 'cross pollinate’ the grassroots.

Know Your Rights – A legal workshop in preparation for the demonstrations during the G8 and G20 summits. People willbe given legal information on what their rights are during the protests and how to preserve those rights where possible.People will also be informed of what the legal support network will look like during the summit protests.Please note that the Movement Defence Committee supports a diversity of Tactics.The Movement Defence Committee will be facilitating this workshop. ; .


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