Workshops 2023

SATURDAY, MAY 27 | 11 am to 12:45 pm

Inside Illinois Civil Commitment: Learn and Explore the Archive (CÉDA, room 123, Eng.)

Attendees will learn about the shadowy carceral practice called “civil commitment,” a unique form of detention that confines people who have been convicted of sex offenses in 20 US states to secretive “treatment” facilities, often for life. Attendees will engage in a hands-on exploration of the Inside Illinois Civil Commitment Archive, featuring handwritten materials from people detained at Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility, describing their experiences in their own words.

The Inside Illinois Civil Commitment Project is led by a handful of researcher-activists based in so-called Chicago, Illinois. We are feminists, abolitionists, and survivors who believe that the state cannot adequately address harm and fight for a world where transformative justice flourishes.

Anarchism 101 with Q&A (CÉDA, room 125, Eng.)

If you’re new to anarchism or simply curious as to what it’s all about, join us for this basic informal introduction. After a brief overview, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about anarchism, and offer book recommendations and other useful resources. We will make time for conversation, so bring your questions!

Christine Renaud is an anarchist living on Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat land in Prince Edward County, Ontario. When she’s not hiking, she’s reading, making art, and writing. A longtime community organizer, especially involved in mutual aid projects, she runs Diggers info shop and is a passionate believer that a better world is possible.

Life, the Universe, and Anarchy (outside, Eng.)

We have installed across the width of the park around the bookfair a physical timeline marking the approximate origin times of the universe, galaxy, solar system, and life as we know it. This event will consist of a presentation and discussion along this timeline, oriented this year around questions of the origins of life on and off our planet, the plausibility of a broader cosmic ecology beyond our biosphere, and the political implications for anarchists of contact with extraterrestrial life.

Cleeyv is an anti-colonial anarchist settler from Montreal who works on free software for money, and reads science fiction for fun.

J’ACCUZE (CCGV, room 1.100, Fr.)

For 12 years, the Dreyfus affair tore France apart. In this immense 19th century scandal, state conspiracy, miscarriages of justice and anti-Semitism collided. This great media and political circus was a total farce… The KRIZO THEATER offers a humorous (and masked!) version of this sensitive affair. A respectful yet quirky approach to an important story, with a touch of lightness and humour. With Aimée Leballeur and Christophe Thebault.

3rd PRIZE in the Arts and Letters of France 2021 competition. Supported by the DILCRAH (inter-ministerial delegation for the fight against racism and anti-Semitism) “Who would dare to present the Dreyfus affair with humor? Krizo Théatre did it!” – Philippe Oriol, director of the Dreyfus museum “A great success for the defense of human rights” – Georges Joumas, historian “Your show is funny and it feels good” – Martine Leblond Zola, great-granddaughter of Emile Zola

SATURDAY, MAY 27 | 1 to 2:45 pm

Hand-to-hand combat for collective anarchist struggle – Contextual discussion + practical workshop (CÉDA, room 123, Eng.)

Join anarchists spanning all over so-called North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) for a discussion about martial arts training. We will dicuss our martial arts backgrounds, our motivations for training, how we view martial arts training as part of an anarchist projectuality, and how our respective trainings/training spaces are structured. After the discussion, we will hold an all levels Muay Thai training session for those interested.The secret is to really begin (training)!While we are focusing on the current Ontario prison expansion, we believe that all anarchists, despite arbitrary borders, should be concerned with how the state develops a narrative for the need to expand prisons. We hope to share ideas, strategies, and inspiration with as many like-minded individuals as possible.

The panel is comprised of anarchists from so-called Montreal, Philadelphia, and Mexico City who all participate in organizing spaces that are focused on developing hand-to-hand combat skills within their communities with an eye towards collective and individual self-defense.

Mastodon and Federated Social Media for Anarchists (CÉDA, room 125, Fr. and Eng.)

We all love to hate corporate social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, but many of us see them as a necessary evil for organizing events, spreading ideas, and socializing. But well-functioning, open-source alternatives already exist and are part of a flourishing online infrastructure that is much more in line with many anarchists’ ideas and interests, including privacy, decentralization, and autonomy. If you’re curious or confused about the fediverse (or not yet convinced) join usSince the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cooperation Jackson has advanced the “Build and Fight Formula”. This formula centers around productive/reproductive activities and social relations that millions of people around the world are currently engaged in, though they remain loosely connected at best. Our theory is that IF these activities were directly connected, federated and coordinated through democratic methods and institutions, they could facilitate the process of building ecosocialism from below.

Kolektiva is an effort to develop digital communication infrastructure for anarchist and anti-colonial movements. More at kolektiva.infoThe authors of the Fedizine are some Montreal anarchists who are interested in helping other anarchists learn about and navigate the fediverse.

Mutual Aid as a Defense Against Ecofascism (outside, Fr.)

We will discuss the anarchist tradition of mutual aid, and its usefulness in the context of the climate crisis where many states are turning to authoritarian and individualizing measures. Mutual aid is useful to us insofar as it offers an autonomous and collective alternative to state measures, while building the infrastructure necessary for our collective survival in a post-capitalist world in the here and now.

We are two white anarchist and queer activists organizing mainly in Tio’tia:ke.

The Crypto-Utopian Occult Revival and Anti/Fascism (outside, Eng.)

“Occult Features of Anarchism” (2019) explored how New Age spirituality may be articulated with fascism if not anti-capitalism. Because of the rise of right populism and conspiracy theory during the pandemic, I was invited to launch the book around Europe and have returned with an update on just how fucked we really are. In the current technophiliac occult revival, social justice will be optimized by hacking the world with blockchain and psychedelics, and technofascism grows.

Erica Lagalisse is an anthropologist, heteronymic writer, and author of “Occult Features of Anarchism – With Attention to the Conspiracy of Kings and the Conspiracy of the Peoples” (2019).

SATURDAY, MAY 27 | 3 to 4:45 pm

Feminist Self-Defense Workshop – no cis men (CÉDA, room 123, Fr.)

This workshop will introduce physical, verbal and emotional techniques to deal with patriarchal violence of all kinds. We will talk about knowing our limits, the most effective strategies for defending ourselves and others, and ways to stay connected to our communities when we experience violence of this kind. This space will allow us to share survival strategies and to learn from each other’s experience.

The Feminist Self-Defense Network (RAF in French) is an autonomous collective in Montreal that disseminates knowledge and shares experiences related to defending against patriarchal violence. RAF regularly offers 12-hour trainings and organizes various workshops without cis-men.

Black Flag, Black Life (CÉDA, room 125, Fr. and Eng.)

What is Black anarchism? Why “Black,” instead of just anarchism? Is this about identity–as in, being an anarchist who happens to be Black? And / or is there something more to consider about Black life, Black radical thought, and anarchist politics and ways of being? This participatory session responds to these questions with a brief presentation about Black anarchism, and an invitation for conversation among folx interested in strengthening our collective capacities for radical coalition building.

r. is an activist and educator for whom Montréal will always be home. Emmanuel is an artist-educator who lives in Toronto. He was born in Rwanda and raised everywhere.

Grief Ceremony (outside at the Grief and Remembrance Space, Fr. and Eng.)

Parneet Chohan will guide a two-hour grief ceremony to support folx in exploring their own authentic expression of grief and mourning. This space will invite authentic movement, sounds, song, facial and emotional expression as well as a place to release and surrender that which is no longer needed. All emotions and somatic experiences are welcome. All practices are optional and invitational. Please note incense, essential oils and drumming may be used in this ceremony for grounding and anchoring purposes. Please arrive on time.

Parneet is a counsellor, Somatic Experiencing® practitioner and naturotherapist inspired by the resilience and healing abilities of the human heart and body. Their work is focused on the inherent liberation and wholeness of all beings including themself. Parneet is mindfulness and meditation coach as well as an authentic relating facilitator.

Ritual as Resistance (CCGV, room 1.100, Eng.)

Jewish anarchism is being remade in feminist/queer/trans practices, building bridges from grief to rebellion and joy, and drawing from millennia of diasporic rituals and communities (without states). Cindy Milstein will look at Jewish anarchism as a weapon against colonialism, capitalism, fascism, and ecocide, and how to use it to form communal solidarities that sustain and mend us in cultivating forms of liberation that help us live “the world to come” here and now.

Cindy Barukh Milstein, long an engaged anarchist, is author/editor of books like Try Anarchism for Life, Rebellious Mourning, and Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart.

SUNDAY, MAY 28 | 11 am to 12:45 pm

How to Not Snitch at the Border! Best Practices for Traveling Internationally (CÉDA, room 123, Eng.)

Security culture in anarchist circles is clear on the point of not cooperating with the police to give them information about our friends. By entering border checkpoints, we are volunteering ourselves to be searched and questioned. What can we do and say so that we don’t accidentally snitch at the border? We will outline what to expect at the border, what risks we face there, and offer practical tips for ways that we can change our behaviours to give them as little information as possible.

Sirius and Severus have both crossed many international borders many times. Both have been having ongoing conversations in their communities about the border and are impacted by border repression.

Authentic Relating Games (CÉDA, room 125, Eng.)

Come practice and play authentic connection games with fellow anarchist comrades – these practices support us in being more embodied, present, and regulated with and for one another ― we will practice relationship building skills including emotional expression, curiosity, non-judgement, active listening, and mirroring. These relational qualities are vital in building sustainable relationships and communities.

Parneet is a counsellor, Somatic Experiencing® practitioner and naturotherapist inspired by the resilience and healing abilities of the human heart and body. Their work is focused on the inherent liberation and wholeness of all beings including themself. Parneet is mindfulness and meditation coach as well as an authentic relating facilitator.

A Talk with the Veterans from It Did Happen Here: An Antifascist People’s History (CCGV, room 1.100, live virtual, Eng.)

Mic Crenshaw, Jonathan Mozzochi, and Jon Bair will discuss their histories in grassroots efforts to drive racist skinheads and white nationalists out of Minneapolis and the Pacific Northwest during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and connect their experiences to antifascist organizing today.

Mic Crenshaw, Jon Bair, and Jonathan Mozzochi are antiracist grassroots activists working across cultural mediums. All three are featured in the 2020 oral history podcast and now book “It Did Happen Here: an Antifascist People’s History, sharing their experiences as young people fighting racism on the streets and behind enemy lines.”

Click here for webinar access.

SUNDAY, MAY 28 | 1 to 2 pm

The World of Painting (outside in Vinet Park)

We invite everyone to use their creativity to help make a collective mural throughout the weekend!

A single parent family of artists.

KidzKlez: A Klezmer Music, Dance, and Puppet Show (Kidzone, (CÉDA, room 115)

Kids! Come join us for some easy, musician-led dancing set to klezmer tunes. Puppets will be dancing amongst you!

Yenne Velt Yiddish String Ensemble and Burial Society plays the klezmer music of Jewish Eastern Europe, featuring violins and tsimbl (hammered dulcimer). Our music comes from another world that no longer exists, but continues to haunt us, echoing through our bones, through the streets of Montreal, and through worlds we’ve only begun to imagine.

SUNDAY, MAY 28 | 1 to 2:45 pm

Radicalizing Environmental Discourse and Practice: The COP15 Experience and Future Implications (CÉDA, room 123, Fr.)

This presentation aims to share the work of mobilization and popular education done during the COP15 in Montreal, and then intended results. What happened in this struggle will be discussed..

Presented by members of the Anti-Capitalist and Environmentalist Coalition. The coalition organized 4 demonstrations in the framework of COP15 as well as a student strike for which student associations representing 23,000 members voted in favor.

Judaism, Anarchy, and Liberation (CÉDA, room 125, Eng.)

Anarchy is about liberation from the dynamics of power. Judaism is about liberation from Egypt, which the Jews escaped in the night of “pesach”, that in Hebrew means “the mouth (pe) discusses (sach)”, as the time of the oppression was also a time of silenced mouths and hardened hearts, of monologues and not of dialogues. In this workshop we will encounter ancient Hebrew texts on freedom and will struggle with them. Can they teach us something? Can the way to liberation be in the way we talk?

Haim Ben-Abraham has been teaching midrash, the art of Jewish interpretation, in various contexts for many years. He is the author of the forthcoming book “The way of the bees. Reading, writing, midrash”, in Italia

Calling All Anarchist Writers of Fiction: Meet the Anarchist Writers Bloc (AWB) (outside)

An open meeting for all anarchist fiction writers, or those interested in the genre. Meet the Montreal-based Anarchist Writers Bloc / Le Bloc des Auteur-e-s Anarchistes, learn about their work, and talk about your own. An opportunity to meet other like-minded writers and maybe get involved in a publishing project.

The AWB is a group of anarchist fiction writers based in Montreal with contributing members from around the world. Since 2010 we have published three anthologies of anarchist fiction: SUBVERSIONS Vol 1, 2 and 3.

Grief Circle (outside at the Grief and Remembrance Space, Fr. and Eng.)

Due to deadly structures like colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy, among others, communal traditions of “mourning our dead” have largely been killed off. Yet as human cultures have wisely understood for millennia, when we share the fullness of our lives, our sorrows and joys, we lessen the power of the forces that destroy us, while cultivating forms of collective care and social solidarity that alleviate unnecessary suffering and accentuate the inherent worth of life. Cindy Barukh Milstein and Marie will offer a brief ritual and framing thoughts, but mostly hold space for sharing, hearing, and honoring your stories of loss with care and compassion, in all of their messy-vulnerable beauty. You are not alone.

Cindy Barukh Milstein: diasporic, genderqueer, Jewish anarchist organizer, writer, and do-it-ourselves space maker who’s always honored to do grief care. Marie: queer, open-minded, believes in building our vision of the worlds outside capitalism.

Black Metal Rainbows (CCGV, room 1.100, Eng.)
Black Metal Rainbows is a panel discussion featuring presentations from the people behind the book Black Metal Rainbows (PM Press, 2023): a 400-page, full-color anthology of radical, queer, and leftist writings and artworks that explore black metal as a genre of openness and inclusivity—and the Black Metal Rainbows benefit compilation album on Bandcamp, raising money for organizations that help LGBTQ youth.

Wes Cunningham Closs is a Montreal-based multi-media artist. Daniel Lukes is a Montreal-based writer and editor. Stanimir Panayotov teaches philosophy at the University of Tyumen, Russia. Jaci Raia is a Vermont-based creative director interested in design, typography, metal Frederic-Vivianne is a Quebec-based artist involved in DIY and zine scenes.

SUNDAY, MAY 28 | 3 to 4:45 pm

Radical History and Movement Strategy (CÉDA, room 123, Eng.)

Radical history nerds, let’s talk. How can we make our history projects more useful for building strong movements? This will be a facilitated conversation amongst those engaged in archival, oral history and other radical history projects. The goal is to learn more about each others work and to strategize about the ways this work can fertilize movements.

Lesley Wood is involved in a number of radical and anarchist history efforts, including the Peoples Global Action Oral History project. She is an activist/scholar based in Toronto/Tkaronto.

Apartment and Street Organizing 101 (CÉDA, room 125, Eng.)

A discussion on how to start up a tenant council in your building or on your street. We’ll go through the kind of direct actions that tenants have available to them to make wins (such as marches on their landlords’ offices, banner drops, and rent strikes). We go through the history of rent strikes and the place of tenant syndicalism in revolution.

Presented by members of the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union (SLAM). We’ve been tenant organizing since the union was founded in November 2021. Union efforts have led to tenants getting thousands of dollars back from their landlords, and halts to encampment and tenant evictions.

Anarchism and Queer Revolutionary Perspectives (outside)))

We want to facilitate a discussion about the connections between queer and anarchist movements, how they feed and inform each other, what brings them together and what differentiate them. What can we learn from anarchism as queer people and what should anarchism learn from queer perspectives.

We are four francophone anarchist and queer activists organizing mainly in Tio’tia:ke.

Presentation of the Book The Mohawk Warrior Society CCGV, room 1.100, Fr. and Eng.)

Published last October, The Mohawk Warrior Society: A Handbook on Sovereignty and Survival, tells the story of the origins of the Kanien’kehà:ka warrior society and its infamous exploits, focusing on the central figure of Louis Karoniaktajeh Hall, designer of the unity flag, and experienced writer.

Kanien’kehà:ka activist, Karakwine, and anthropologist and principal coordinator of the book, Philippe Blouin, will be present to share their experience of working collaboratively on this project, as well as recent developments in the litigation between the Mohawk Mothers and McGill University. Other surprise Kanien’kehà:ka guests are to be confirmed.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY | 10 am to 5 pm

DIRA Archives Poster Exhibition

A selection of anarchist posters from the DIRA archives will be on display throughout the bookfair.

Grief Space (outside)

Held by Cindy Barukh Milstein, Parneet Chohan, Emma, and Marie The grief space offers facilitated and unfacilitated time to mourn and honor our dead and all other losses. All emotions are welcome, as is everyone’s presence and participation. There will be altars and remembrance areas that you can add to, along with herbal tea, zines, and other comforts. Please bring photos, memorabilia, and any objects you wish to share during the bookfair in the grief space, which will be held outside CÉDA between two trees by the playground both days.

COMMUNITY BIKE CLINIC, with BQAM-E, B-choppe, and Tourne-à-gauche (outside)

BQAM-E is a community bicycle repair and adjustment workshop located on the UQAM science campus. A workstation, the necessary tools to make basic adjustments, and some new parts will be offered outdoors at the bookfair, on a voluntary contribution or exchange basis. B-choppe is the community bike workshop of L’Achoppe Social Centre.