Sunday – Workshops and Events 2022

Sunday August 7

Tenant Organizing 101
 (EN) – 11:00

A discussion on how to start up a tenant council in your building or on your street. We’ll go through the direct action toolkit that tenants have available to them to make wins (marches on their landlords’ offices, banner drops, rent strikes, etc) and why we don’t use housing tribunals or ask for reforms.

Members of the Organizing Committee of the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union. Most of us have been organizing for a while outside of tenant organizing, and started up a tenants’ union in November 2021. We are currently organizing in over a dozen buildings.

10 years since the strike: the place of nationalism within militant struggle
10 ans après la grève : la place du nationalisme dans les luttes militantes
 (FR) – 11:00

In this facilitated, interactive discussion, participants are presented with an anti-colonial anarchist analysis that demonstrates the historical and ongoing presence of Quebec nationalism within militant struggle, connecting such iterations with ongoing settler expansion and notions of futurity.  For example, in 2012, during the strike against tuition hikes, part of the student left proposed funding Quebec’s education system with royalties from the Plan Nord, thus relying on the colonization of northern Indigenous territories to ensure social gains. The discussion aims to initiate a collective reflection on the reproduction of these kinds of dynamics in current struggles.

Emma and Tony: are white, queer and anarchist.

On Microfascism and feminist antifascism: a book talk

(EN) – 11:00

On Microfascism examines today’s swell of fascist and reactionary cultural forces and links its expressions to important dimensions of racialized masculinity and gendered necropolitics. To effectively counter fascist movements, we need to understand them beyond their most visible and public expressions. We must dig deeper into the psyche and body that gives rise to fascist formations. There we will find microfascism, or the cultural ways in which a fascist understanding of the world is generated from the hatreds that suffuse everyday life. 
By highlighting the misogyny at fascism’s core, the book argues, we are able to observe a key process in the formation of a fascist body. Recognizing the microfascism behind bellicose appeals to recover the past glory of white male subjects created by earlier foundational wars, we see how histories of gendered domination are animating the deadly mission of fascism today. By focusing on the variety of ways the resurgent fascist tendency courts its own destruction (and demands the destruction of others), we can trace how fascism refines and expands the death and annihilation that underpins capitalist, colonial, and patriarchal systems.

Jack Bratich is a researcher who applies social and political theory to the intersection of popular culture and political culture.  He is author of On Microfascism: Gender, War, Death (Common Notions, 2022); Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and Popular Culture (2008).

Black Rose triple book launch on Kropotkin and the 1919 Hungarian Revolution
(EN) – 11:00

The curious one: Peter Kropotkin’s Siberian diaries

Peter Kropotkin was one of the most influential Russian thinkers and activists and, though born a prince, is considered the architect of anarcho-communism. To mark the centennial of his death, Black Rose Books has published his Siberian diaries in English for the first time.  As a young military graduate, Kropotkin decided to be posted to the distant backwater of Siberia, where he idealistically pursued political reforms and also participated in various ground-breaking geographic surveys, developing as a brilliant scientist exploring almost impassable terrain.  Ten years later, after tenuously living a double life in the royal court and radical circles, the Tsarist Secret Police arrested him in St. Petersburg and seized his papers, including these Siberian diaries. This arrest, and his dramatic escape from prison, would spark the beginning of his reputation as one of the most famous anarchists ever.  His “Siberian Diaries” take us on his five year journey where he developed while also giving us a clear picture of his early political and philosophical thinking at a crucial moment in Russian history.  More information on Kropotkin’s Siberian diaries

Kropotkin now! Life, freedom & ethics

Chris Coquard is also the editor of « Kropotkin Now! Life, Freedom & Ethics, » the culmination of an international effort to investigate Kropotkin’s ideas and to imagine new alternatives on the centenary of his death. Contributors engage Kropotkin’s work in diverse contexts, including evolution and mutual aid, cyborgs and feminist technoscience, sexuality, urbanization, building dual power, and more.  More information on « Kropotkin Now! Life, Freedom & Ethics »

The forgotten revolution: The 1919 Hungarian Republic of Councils

After the ravages of World War I and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Budapest was engulfed by revolution and marauding foreign armies in 1919. Factory workers, disillusioned ex-soldiers, landless peasants, artists, and intellectuals began forming grassroots councils to get the country back on its feet. The groundswell of the Budapest Commune produced a unique cross-class alliance in pursuit of social justice, constitutionalism, and egalitarian economic development, which quickly led to the formation of the Hungarian Republic of Councils on March 21, 1919.  After only four months, however, this radically new experiment in self-government ended in tragedy. Over time, the revolution has been smeared by a series of counter revolutions that followed and remains misunderstood and largely forgotten to this day by the rest of the world. « The Forgotten Revolution » sets a precedent, by not only revealing a very different revolutionary experience to the 1917 Russian Revolution, but by exposing the counter-revolutionary roots of autocracy in Hungary that continues with the current government of Viktor Orbán.  More information on “The Forgotten Revolution”

ANDRÁS B. GÖLLNER is a Hungarian born Canadian political economist, author/editor of five books, a co-founder of Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs, Emeritus Associate Professor of Political Science at Concordia, and an active civil-rights advocate.  CHRISTOPHER COQUARD is an educator living and working in Quebec City, is the translator of « The Curious One: Peter Kropotkin’s Siberian Diaries », and the editor of « Kropotkin Now! Life, Freedom & Ethics ».

Know Your Landlord: Tools for Researching Landlords and Disrupting Landlord Proptech
(EN) – 13:00

Landlords know everything about us, but often we know little about them. On an apartment application, it is standard to be asked for your occupation, income level, credit score, social insurance number, license plate, partner’s name, pets, etc. Landlords can hide behind superintendents, property managers, lawyers and paralegals, numbered companies. It can be hard to know who to go after when engaged in a campaign for repairs, pest treatment, rent relief. This presentation will cover basic tools you can use to research and put pressure on your landlord. I will focus on research tools available in Ontario, but I hope the tips will be generally applicable. We’ll cover: how to find out who owns your building, what other properties your landlord owns, your landlord’s home address, if your landlord has a history of eviction, if your landlord makes political donations. Also, how to research registered companies and numbered companies to find who is behind them. I’ll review the bigger players – real estate investment trusts, private equity companies, asset managers, pension funds – and show how to find investment reports and determine who holds shares in a company.
Finally, I’ll cover some troubling developments in property technology in Canada in recent years. These include tenant screening apps, rent collection apps, and property management apps that have grown in popularity among landlords, especially during the pandemic. I’ll outline the potential threats these pose to tenants and share examples of ways tenants from other places have fought back against adoption of these technologies. I’m interested in hearing from tenant organizers from across Canada about your experiences researching landlords and ways we can share our knowledge and work together.

Presented by an anarchist and tenant organizer from Hamilton

« Anarchiving » as collective creation of memories and anti-authoritarian imaginaries
Atelier d’anarchivage pour la création collective de mémoires et imaginaires anti-autoritaires
(FR) – 13:00

The objective of this workshop is to reflect and criticize the official notion of archives using the concept of anarchives. The first part (15-20 minutes) aims at defining the notion of anarchives and briefly explain how institutional powers rely on archives to justify their domination. The second part will focus on creating collective anarchives (30-40 minutes), and, the third part will be a return to the larger group discussion. We are starting off with the idea that the notion of archive is closely linked to the production of dominant memories and stories. Therefore, the refusal to participate in the creation of authoritarian archives, and the rejection of prevailing myths, demand an active engagement in the creation of counter-memories that can render them obsolete.In this way, anarchiving invites us to think of potential dissident futures, or even, to rethink stories of the past. The creation of archives that are playful, emotional, ephemeral, and collective, can be understood as praxis at the intersection of the refusal to collaborate with authoritarian archives, and the pleasure of destroying or diverting them. We therefore propose a collage workshop based on official archives and blank maps. Concretely, it will be about authorizing ourselves to destroy and transform different artifacts (official maps, newspapers, magazines, encyclopedia, books, etc.) to come up with plans that illustrate non-official memories and desires.

Luce and Albertine live together with their two cats, Avant-Garde and Praxis. They are both university students. Queer and Anarchist theory is at te core of their personal lives, academic pursuits, and activism.

Islam & Anarchism: Relationships & Resonances – BIPOC & Anarchist Futurities & Decolonial Struggles Beyond Racial Capitalism & nation-States
(EN) – 13:00

This discussion will address how discourses around Muslims and Islam often lapse into a false dichotomy of Orientalist/Fundamentalist tropes. In turn, a popular reimagining of Islam is desperately needed, and anarchist political philosophical traditions offer the most towards this pursuit and affects in turn affects non-Euro-American Anarchist futurities. Drawing on my forthcoming book my talk will commence from the historical marker of 1492 that ushered in Columbus’ invasion of the Americas, coinciding with Muslim, Sephardic, and Mizrahi Jewish eviction by Crusaders from Andalusia, Spain, in the same year, and hence addresses the casting of these communities alongside Indigenous and transatlantic Black peoples as ‘savages’ and ‘heathens.’ 

My book Islam and Anarchism argues that the ‘War on Terror’ represents an ongoing crusade on Islam and Muslims, while casting doubt on ‘secularity’ in the U.S./Canada given their undergirding in Protestant Ethics, anthropocentric conceptualizations of land and non-humxn life, as well as Doctrines of Manifest Destiny and Discovery. Islam and Anarchism does this by asserting the inseparability of race from spirituality, politics from religion, and capitalism from the nation-state. This book simultaneously disrupts two commonly held beliefs – that Islam is necessarily authoritarian and capitalist; and that anarchism is necessarily anti-spiritual. Deeply rooted in key Qurʾānic concepts and interdisciplinary textual sources and drawing on radical BIPOC social movement discourses in an effort at connecting the flames of the Tahrir uprisings with that of NoDapl/INM and BLM, my book proposes ‘Anarcha-Islam.’ By constructing a decolonial and abolitionist, non-authoritarian and non-capitalist Islamic anarchism, Islam and Anarchism philosophically and theologically challenges authoritarian and capitalist inequalities in the entwined imperial context of post-colonial societies like Egypt, and settler-colonial societies (the U.S./Canada) that never underwent decolonization and are symbolically, historically, and materially interrelated. In re-interrogating the genesis of how we can dangerously learn to re-dream Anarchist Futures differently my talk seeks to address a biodiverse strategy of liberation that does not alienate spiritual-anarchist and non-Euro-American activists given the pretext of classical anarchist anti-religious views and the fact that most anarchist circles are predominantly white-centered.

Mohamed Abdouis a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University’s Einaudi Center’s Racial Justice Program and is an interdisciplinary Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University of Cairo. He is author of Islam and Anarchism: Relationships and Resonances (Pluto Press, 2022).  He wrote his transnational ethnographic and historical-archival Ph.D. on Islam & Queer-Muslims: Identity & Sexuality in the Contemporary. Drawing on his involvement with horizontal social movements centered on BIPOC and Palestinian liberation his research stems from hisinvolvement with the anti-Globalization Seattle 1999 movements, the Tyendinaga Mohawks and the sister territories of Kahnawake, Akwesasne, and Kanehsatake, during the standoff over the Culbertson Tract, as well as the anti-War protests of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Indigenous Zapatista movement in Chiapas, and the 2011 Egyptian uprisings.  

NADA: médecine révolutionnaire
(FR, EN, SP) – 14:00

Come receive a NADA treatment (ear acupuncture) or learn how to give a NADA  treatment (acupressure with stickers)! NADA is a protocol developed by the Black Panthers and Young Lords to support withdrawal from opiates in the Bronx in the 70’s-80’s. Since then it has been used all over the world to prevent PTSD and support mental health. 5 needles or stickers are inserted in 5 acupuncture points in the ears to regulate the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight). It is simple to learn, lost cost and very effective when administered frequently in reducing consumption and diminishing side effects of detox.
Hochelaga Community Acupuncture Clinic: A cooperative Chinese medicine clinic offering sliding scale acupuncture and tuina treatments opening it’s doors in September 2022.

Rapid response encampment support in Toronto (or, If you think that tent looks messy, wait ‘til you see our organizing!)
(EN) – 15:00

Fences and drones and liberals-oh my! Rapid response encampment support in Toronto (or, If you think that tent looks messy, wait ‘til you see our organizing!)
This discussion is about rapid response support for unhoused people living in parks in Toronto. We will give a brief overview of the housing situation in Toronto, highlighting how events of the past two years have intensified and highlighted the need for multifaceted forms of community organizing. We will provide examples of what rapid response has entailed, and invite conversation about the outcomes, strengths, and challenges of this strategy

Presented by a small group of activists from a range of organizing backgrounds hanging out together in toronto

Escaping Tomorrow’s Cages, a presentation and brainstorming discussion on how to combat Ontario’s current prison expansion initiative
S’échapper des cages de demain : une présentation et une discussion de remue-méninges sur la façon de combattre l’initiative actuelle d’expansion des prisons de l’Ontario
(FR) – 15:00

The Province of Ontario is in the midst of an initiative to expand the provincial prison system in eastern and northern Ontario. This is an invitation to get familiar with the projects and to start dreaming of ways to oppose them. Regardless of where you live in (or near) Ontario, all of these expansion projects affect you.These structures must not be built. Our hope is to spread opposition to Ontario’s prison expansion as widely as possible, advance anti-prison politics throughout our region, and maybe even stop some prisons being built along the way. Because once a prison is built, it cannot be undone.

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.

Anarchist Zine Making Workshop
(FR, EN) – 15:00

Zine making in itself is anarchism to its core, serving as a democratized voice and vision to the DIY art maker. Getting out your message in a fast and clear way is essential to the standard zine format, as zine making allows individuals to self publish their opinions by rejecting commercial publication structures. Our workshop aims to teach individuals how to structure their ideas in a concise, cohesive manner through zine making, as well as creating visually impactful formats through image making and collage.

The organization Zine Recipe strives to create an inclusive and encouraging space for artists to experiment with storytelling, art making, and bookmaking processes.  In collaboration with the nonprofit ARCMTL & Expozine, Zine Recipe has begun to host various drop-in zine making workshops as a means to promote zines as a creative outlet within the DIY community.

Adventure Capitalism: A History of Libertarian Exit, from the Era of Decolonization to the Digital Age
(EN) – 15h00

Imagine a capitalist paradise. An island utopia governed solely by the rules of the market and inspired by the fictions of Ayn Rand and Robinson Crusoe. Sound far-fetched? It may not be. The past half century is littered with the remains of such experiments in what Raymond Craib calls “libertarian exit.” Often dismissed as little more than the dreams of crazy, rich Caucasians, exit strategies have been tried out from the southwest Pacific to the Caribbean, from the North Sea to the high seas, often with dire consequences for local inhabitants. Based on research in archives in the US, the UK, and Vanuatu, as well as in FBI files acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, Craib explores in careful detail the ideology and practice of libertarian exit and its place in the histories of contemporary cap­italism, decolonization, empire, and oceans and islands. Adventure Capitalism is a global history that intersects with an array of figures: Fidel Castro and the Koch brothers, American segregationists and Melanesian socialists, Honolulu-based real estate speculators and British Special Branch spies, soldiers of fortune and English lords, Orange County engineers and Tongan navigators, CIA operatives and CBS news executives, and a new breed of techno-utopians and an old guard of Honduran coup leaders. This is not only a history of our time but, given the new iterations of privatized exit—seasteads, free private cities, and space colonization—it is also a history of our future.

Raymond Craib is the Marie Underhill Noll Professor of History at Cornell University and the author of The Cry of the Renegade: Politics and Poetry in Interwar Chile, Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes, and with Barry Maxwell, co-editor of No Gods No Masters No Peripheries: Global Anarchisms. Adventure Capitalism: A History of Libertarian Exit, from the Era of Decolonization to the Digital Age is his newest book just published by PM Press, 2022.