2015 Book Fair Session Descriptions
Following is the list of sessions that have been confirmed. Session times are here.
- Internal Conflict – its danger and opportunities
In the Americas, anarchists have always been the target of state repression, most recently from grand juries on the west coast and arrests in Mexico City for fire bombings. Anarchists are also among those at the forefront of the struggle against systems of domination. Both our ability to resist oppression and to advance the struggle rely heavily, if not completely, on the quality of the social and personal relationships we keep. Repression, and our difficulties resolving conflict, create seemingly unbridgeable chasms between us. The cracks in our social relationships and our internal conflicts are then further exploited by the state. With this panel and workshop we focus on maintaining and building relationships within our community; how and why (and if!) to resolve internal conflicts; and working with non-anarchist groups and communities to strengthen our movements and increase the support available to us in the face of repression. We will have folks from different generations speaking from their own experience, giving real examples of problems and how the state has profited from them, and a vision /experience of something better. Participants will then engage in a facilitated discussion of the question, “What can Bay Area anarchists do to improve our social relationships and management of internal conflict?” With Kate Raphael, Rachel Jackson, and Leona Benton
- Cruz Negra Anarquista – Mexico and Anarchist Solidarity with Oaxacan
The Mexican chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross has been supporting prisoners against state repression for over 10 years. A comrade from the organization joins us from Mexico City to talk about anarchist activity and give updates on political prisoners like student activist Mario Gonzales, Metro Libre suspect Fernando Castillo, and 2012 firebombing suspects Carlos, Amelie and Fallon. Further, we’ll hear about a new anarchist solidarity project working with communities in Oaxaca defending their land against corporations looking to extract resources, an exploration of anarchist-indigenous solidarity.
- Anarchy on the Shop Floor: Anarchists in Contemporary Labor Struggles
Pitted against not just the capitalist bosses, but also often against a bureaucratic union apparatus, as well as the racist organization of the workplace – anarchists and anti-authoritarian anti-capitalists face an uphill battle. But work is where most of us spend a huge amount of our time. Here are some ways that contemporary anarchists in the Bay Area are organizing in their workplaces and showing solidarity with other workers self-organizing on their job sites.
Lauren is a long time bay area militant who participated in the wave of struggles that broke out during the Occupy Oakland period. They were also deeply involved in supporting and organizing with independent truckers at the Port of Oakland, who self-organized the Port of Oakland Truckers Association, holding mass meetings, noise demonstrations, and wildcat strikes.
Cole is an IWW Organizer. Organizing for the Starbucks Workers Union in the mid-2000s he was involved in the unionization of the first Starbucks in Michigan. He has since been dual card organizing in the construction industry. A member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for over 10 years, he is currently a journeyman lineman living in Oakland.
Robbie has cut his teeth in a variety of fights and struggles in the Bay Area. Organizing at his workplace, Robbie is involved in United Rank and File, a self-organized group of construction workers. Last May Day, United Rank and File organized a job action in San Francisco against the “2 Gate System”.
Mike is a worker-organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World. He helped lead an organizing effort at Whole Foods in the Bay Area 2011-2014 that won gains for employees throughout California. The Whole Foods drive demonstrated that workers can win better conditions from big corporations through direct action while expanding their revolutionary consciousness.
MC-ing the event is Doug. Doug works at AC Transit as a bus driver and is rank and file member of ATU 192. He is involved in Bay Area anarchist media projects such as FireWorksBayArea.org and the tabloid publication, EastWest.
- Radicals Seeking Therapy
Too often radicals find themselves entering therapy for various hardships, only to find their therapist or counselor to be reproducing much of the same oppressive systems of power that created their hardship in the first place. Our conversation will include a brief outline of the various therapy modalities and the theories that support them, as well as discussion of how each of these forms of therapy have been used historically to subjugate, pathologize, and dismiss us. We will then focus the rest of the session on common hurtles anarchist and radicals often face when trying to access therapy within a neo-liberal, managed-care health paradigm. Focus topics will include: diagnosis and psychopathology, insurance, medication, choosing a therapist, the first session, and co-constructing a therapeutic alliance. Presenter: Clayton Hartmann & TBD
- Political Prisoner Support and the Release of Anarchist Prisoner, Eric McDavid
Sacramento Prisoner Support will be giving a presentation on doing support work for political prisoners and more specifically; sustaining support for long-term prisoners. SPS is Eric McDavid’s principal support crew, and will be talking about the experience they’ve gained through engaging in support work for him from his arrest in January of 2006 to his release this past January, and now as he embarks on his post-release endeavors. They’ll also be talking about how Eric’s release came to be, and the role they played in making it happen. Presenters: Sacramento Prisoner Support & Eric McDavid
- Fighting a Police State: From Mexico to Ferguson
Communities of color are standing up to state oppression through the use of a variety of tactics, such as armed self-defense in Mexico, and community copwatch groups in Ferguson, Missouri. We will present short films by Simon Sedillo documenting armed self-defense struggle in Mexico. David Whitt from Ferguson will present a report back and conversation specifically about the development and importance of copwatch groups in the aftermath of Mike Brown’s murder. Presenters: Simon Sedillo and David Whitt
- Women’s Leadership in Anti-Capitalist Movements
Women have played a critical role in social justice and anti-capitalist movements in the US and around the world, but this role has often been overlooked. Revolutionary struggles cannot achieve collective liberation for all people without addressing patriarchy, and women’s freedom cannot be disentangled from racial, economic, and social justice. This panel will discuss the leadership roles that women have played in a number of compelling social movements – the Zapatista movement, domestic worker organizing, the Kurdish resistance movement, and #BlackLivesMatter – and compare the challenges and opportunities. Moderator: Charlotte Saenz. Panelists: Hilary Klein, Selma James, Nina López, and others TBD
- Insurgent Utopias: Creating insurrectionary, dynamic and liberatory organizations and spaces
This presentation will explore the importance of creating grassroots spaces, organizations and coop businesses foundations that open liberatory, insurrectionary and sustainable engagements as part of resistance to capitalism and creating power from below. It will touch on some of the limits and issues in the way we create and run organizations or spaces within social and political communities today.
Offering some proposals to avoid the professional nonprofit trap or organizations and spaces that are self-sabotaging by engaging in frameworks and models that are living and dynamic. Presenter: scott crow
- Narratives of Displacement: The Oral History Project of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
Over the last two years, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project has been engaging in an oral history project, documenting the stories and lives of those dispossessed from their homes in the Bay Area in the wake of the Tech Boom. We have been gathering stories through participatory action research, and then geolocating them on an interactive map, which will soon be available to the public. In this session, members of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project will describe the oral history project and the processes and frameworks that have been used in developing the project. We will lead a mini workshop with project participants, recording their experiences of gentrification in the Bay Area. Those stories that participants wish to share will be added to a new map. Presenters: Erin McElroy, Karyn Smoot, and Andrew Szeto
- Conflict is Radical: Learning from Mistakes and Growing Resilience
Within our movements and communities, conflicts are inevitable and are also important experiences for us to learn and grow from. While radical approaches to internalized oppression and the prison industrial complex are more commonplace amongst anarchists, often there is a lack of radical awareness, and fluency of language and approach, about conflict. Due to this, inter-personal, group-level, and movement-wide conflicts seemingly lend to destabilization rather than enhanced resilience. Join panelists to explore how we might collectively engage conflict and harm in ways that strengthen trust, effectiveness, and success for our shared struggles. Presenters: Mars Goetia, rain crowe, Jenn Vicious
- Octavia’s brood: Science Ficion and Social Justice
All organizing is science fiction. A world where everyone has a home, a great education, community based transformative justice, nourishing food to eat and clean water to drink, where we are in right relation to the planet, to each other, where are free to be and love ourselves as we are, to grow together? We have never seen it. But Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements (AK Press, Spring 2015) can help us envision that world. Octavia’s Brood is an anthology of original science fiction from social justice movements written by organizers and activists. Each of the 20 stories reimagines the world we live in, putting forth compelling futures with new questions, new visions to explore. The co-editors/writers present about Octavia’s Brood in the context of the history of sci fi and social change, sharing tools for using science fiction as a practice ground for social justice strategizing and vision. Presenters: adrienne marie brown & TBD
- POC Discussion Break-Out
This discussion group will be for self-identified people of color who want to meet others and learn about ongoing projects. There will be a focus on Black liberation, and the discussion will be led by folks working on the ground in these efforts. We want to ask the question: how can non-black POC participate with black communities in resistance as accomplices and not allies?
- subMedia.tv: A Decade of subversion
In 2003 subMedia.tv produced its first anarchist film “Join the Resistance: Fall in Love!” inspired by the writings of CrimethInc. 10 years later and subMedia.tv is still bringing anarchy to the screen with its newest offering Street Politics 101 a video report on the militant battles of the 2012 Quebec student strike.
A Decade of subversion will be a celebration of subMedia.tv’s video sabotage, with picks from the best videos from the over 200 it produced during the past 10 years and a talk by its founder Franklin López. The program will include clips from “It’s the end of the world as we know it and i feel fine”, shorts about shoplifting, mash-ups, short docs and Street Politics 101.
- Beyond Stack
It is often challenging for Anarchist and other groups to function consistently with their professed values, such as accountability, mutual aid, inclusion, and equity. In particular, meetings are a source of frustration when certain individuals dominate the discussion, disagreements aren’t dealt with productively, decisions aren’t reached or carried out, or they just take too long.
In this workshop, participants will experience up to 3 structures for discussion and decision-making that ensure each person’s inclusion and meaningful participation and lead to better decisions by:
– making space for different thinking and communication styles,
– encouraging different perspectives
– valuing all contributions
– enabling meaningful and productive dialogue on difficult subjects
– building and clarifying common ground.
– dealing with more data in less time.
– pooling individual contributions into larger, more informative patterns.
– using diversity as an asset while minimizing polarization and conflict.
– allowing creativity and innovation to surface
A resource packet will be provided so that participants can try these methods out in their own groups. Presenter: Laura Turiano and TBD