Solidarity 2015 Concordia Teach-In Against austerity, in support of a general strike, towards Spring 2015 Panels, Workshop, Skillshares, Walking Tour & more Movement-building together!
FEBRUARY 2-7, 2015 7th floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West Concordia University (métro Guy-Concordia) Join Solidarity Concordia for this teach-in to share skills and knowledge as we build together towards Spring 2015 against austerity. Attend one event, or attend them all!
All events are free. Welcome to everyone: students, workers & community members. All events are wheelchair accessible. Childcare available at all events (please reserve in advance). Traduction chuchotée disponible à chaque événement (français-anglais). Please get in touch about any accessibility needs.
SCHEDULE IN BRIEF -> All events on the 7th floor of the Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve West) unless otherwise noted. -> Read below for more detailed descriptions and information
* MONDAY FEBRUARY 2 1:30pm: Radical Walking Tour of Concordia University
* TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 1:30pm: Presentation: A History of Student Movements in Quebec 1996-2015 6pm: Discussion: Direct Democracy, the 2012 Student Strike at Concordia, and possibilities for Spring 2015
* WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4 1:30pm: Presentation: Resisting Capitalism and Austerity: from Seattle 1999 to Printemps 2015
* THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5 1:30pm: Two Presentations: Austerity and the Environment / Confronting Corporate Competition in our Food System 6pm: Workshop/Discussion: Collective Well-Being and Sustainable Communities 8pm: Solidarity Concordia Social Gathering at QPIRG Concordia (1500 de Maisonneuve West; #204)
* SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7: Day of Skill-share Workshops and Discussions 11am: Workshop/Discussion: Effective Meetings 12:30pm: Lunch 1:30pm: Workshops: i) Graphic Design 101; ii) The Media & Social Movements 3pm: Mobilization 101 / Civil disobedience and direct action 101 5pm-7pm: Hang-out Time
-> All events on the 7th floor of the Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve West) unless otherwise noted. -> Read below for more detailed descriptions and information +++++
MONDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1:30pm Radical Walking Tour of Concordia University rendez-vous: CSU Lounge (7th Floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West)
Come learn more about social justice struggles at Concordia University and beyond. Topics include: The 1969 Sir George Williams Computer Center Riot; The 1970 Santhanam Affair; The 1987 Day of Action Against Tuition Hikes; The 2002 Netanyahu Riot/Uprising on Campus; the 2012 Student Strike; and more. Learn more about previous Concordia-based struggles for social justice. The tour will last approximately 2 hours. This walking tour is wheelchair accessible.
This Radical Walking Tour is presented by QPIRG Concordia, a campus-community social justice center at Concordia since the 1980s, with a mandate focussed on non-hierarchical anti-oppression struggles. Info: www.qpirgconcordia.org ---
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1:30pm Presentation: A History of Student Movements in Quebec 1996-2015 CSU Lounge (7th Floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West)
This presentation will focus on the changes that have occurred in the student movement in the past decade from the remains of the 1996 strike, which saw the Mouvement pour le Droit à l’Éducation (MDE) give birth to the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ). We will pay attention to the socio-political context of the period in connection with the particular political legacy of unionism in Quebec. This will lead us to try to understand the various transformations being carried out to this day and especially during the general strike of 2012 in order to situate syndicalisme de combat (fighting unionism) in a political and historical perspective. What is left of syndicalisme de combat? What is it exactly? What are the internal tendencies that fought each other on the issue of syndicalisme de combat and have permanently influenced the movement? These are some of the questions to be addressed and asked together during this workshop.
Presented by Pierre-Luc Junet. Pierre Luc was a member of the Association Étudiante du Cégep du Vieux-Montréal (AGECVM) from 2002 to 2005 and participated actively in the organization of the unlimited general strike of 2005 and in the occupation of the Cégep for seven weeks. Afterwards, he was a member of the Association Facultaire Étudiante des Arts at UQÀM, notably during the unlimited general strike of 2012. He has also been active in different anti-capitalist organizations and collectives over time. He is a member of the Hors-d'Øeuvre collective since 2005 and currently a Cinema Studies student at Concordia. ---
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 6pm 6pm: Discussion: Direct Democracy, the 2012 Student Strike at Concordia, and possibilities for Spring 2015 CSU Lounge (7th Floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West)
This collective discussion will include the participation of members of the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ), as well as current and former Concordia students. ASSÉ members will address direct democracy and syndicalisme de combat (fighting unionism) and their undeniable contribution to mass mobilization. They will also present their annual campaign to safeguard public services and the need to oppose economic austerity.
ASSÉ participants will include Emmanuelle Arcand, Dominique Boisvert & Aleksandra Pelletier. Emmanuelle is a human sciences student and the external affairs secretary for ASSÉ. Dominique is a musicology student and the academic affairs secretary for ASSÉ. Aleksandra is a masters student in communications and a member of the ASSÉ women’s committee.
Concordia-based based participants include Anas, Rushdia Mehreen & Myriam Tardif.
Anas is currently studying Community and Public Affairs at Concordia and has an academic background in theatre and finance. He was involved with Fine Arts Students On Strike during the 2012 student strike at Concordia. He’s currently interested in the diversity and plurality of discourses and horizontalism, and is taking part in intercultural social/community theatre troupes. He’s a member of Solidarity Concordia 2015.
Myriam is currently a master’s student in anthropology at Concordia, but studied before at Université de Montréal where she started being involved in the student movement in 2010. She was on the executive of her student association and in the Université de Montréal’s mobilisation committee (RUSH) from 2010 to 2012. She worked on the Social Struggle Committee of ASSÉ in 2012-2013, doing anti-racist and anti-imperialist organizing, leading to the international strike week in autumn 2012. Amongst other things, she is now involved with the Politics and Care collective, which is reflecting on collective well-being and sustainable communities. She’s a member of Solidarity Concordia 2015. ---
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1:30pm Presentation: Resisting Capitalism and Austerity: from Seattle 1999 to Printemps 2015 CSU Lounge (7th Floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West)
This presentation will analyze the underpinnings of corporate capitalism in the past generation, and its manifestations in various neo-liberal and austerity attacks. Looking back at the mobilizations against NAFTA, APEC, and the WTO, to the resistance at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, and to the more recent round of opposition to cutbacks and austerity in the lead-up to the Printemps 2015, this presentation will provide an anti-capitalist, anti-colonial analysis of capitalism globalization, as well as focus on resistance efforts by grassroots mobilizations rooted in anti-oppression, decolonization and mutual aid and struggle.
Presented by Jaggi Singh. Jaggi is from working class immigrant Toronto. He has been active in anti-capitalist organizing from the Summit of the Americas (Quebec City 2001) to more recent efforts against the G20 (Toronto 2010). He was a co-initiator of the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC) and active with that group from 2000-2006 & 2010-2012. He was banned from Concordia for 5 years for his participation in the anti-Netanyahu pro-Palestinian riot of 2002. He's an anti-colonial anarchist. ---
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1:30pm Two Presentations: Austerity and the Environment / Confronting Corporate Competition in our Food System CSU Lounge (7th Floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West)
Austerity and the Environment: Austerity is a very political and social issue, with major consequences for the environment. This interactive workshop covers why austerity is not just an economic issue and how the austerity measures affect the environment. The discussion includes the logic of how austerity is in effect a tool to implement the neoliberal agenda that socializes the environmental costs and privatizes the profits. By the same logic extractivism is to natural commons (or the environment) as austerity is to social commons (or the welfare state) both corresponding to dimensions of neoliberalism and capitalist accumulation. The discussion further explores how this justifies ecological destruction, which consequently has severe effects on Indigenous communities. The workshop concludes with an overview of the concept of unequal burdens on affected communities and false solutions, and what we all can do; we will also outline the current mobilizations and campaigns around these issues in which folks can get involved.
Presented by Climate Justice Montreal, a grassroots group pursuing environmental and climate justice in solidarity with directly affected frontline and indigenous communities. Climate Justice Montreal aims to highlight the voices of those least heard and most impacted, and emphasizes an anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist perspectives.
Confronting Corporate Competition in our Food System: In light of Concordia's Request for Proposal process said to be released at the end of January, the Concordia Food Coalition (CFC) would like to host a discussion emphasizing the significance of this process for the future of our food system. We will start with an overview of what we know, how this process is carried out by the administration and the timeline for the RFP and the transition from the present company Chartwells to the new contracted service provider. We will then shed light on the CFC's post-Chartwells vision, what we are demanding of the administration as they deliberate and choose a new food service provider, as well as outlining our very own Consortium bid. This last point is the CFC's own RFP application. In the works for over a year now, it is our attempt at competing with and hopefully overcoming the multinational corporations that will be bidding on this contract.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 6pm Workshop/Discussion: Collective Well-Being and Sustainable Communities CSU Lounge (7th Floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West)
Pushed by a society that is always running, too often we're trying to be as efficient as possible while working towards social change. Another protest, an extra meeting and, why not one more conference at lunch time. We fight for social justice... until we break down. And even then, we feel guilty for not doing, and being, “enough”.
This workshop will be a space to reflect on collective well-being, emotional labor and self-care, to share stories, ideas and practices to create accountable and sustainable communities. It will be a moment to think about what are our needs surrounding those issues, and to take charge of the strategies that are already in place or could be implemented regarding collective well-being and self-care.
Too often, we do not take the time to question our limits and the emotional involvement that is intrinsic to activist work. We tend to stretch ourselves thin and to not take time to care for one another. How many people around us burn out, are depressed, or completely overwhelmed by everyday struggles and family life?
This is why we need to open-up a space to discuss and think about collective well-being and emotional labor in our communities. Emotional labor (active listening, acting as confidants, confidentiality, support work, mediation, defusing tensions, worrying about people being comfortable in new spaces) is almost invariably seen as being within the realm of “emotions” and arbitrarily disconnected from the political, *and therefore erased from our work*. However, it is integral to sustainable collective action and movements that cease to reproduce systemic oppressions and violence that structure our lives.
Acquiring tools and actively engaging with ideas about self-care and collective well-being are powerful ways to contribute to creating social justice.
If you can, please bring food to share at this workshop ---
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 8pm Solidarity Concordia Social Gathering at QPIRG Concordia (1500 de Maisonneuve West)
Let’s hang out together, in an informal setting, with drinks and snacks. Let’s get to know each other, and continue the discussions that have happened over the week. Or just make jokes.
We encourage all participants in the week-long Teach-in to join us for this social event, from 8pm onwards. Bring food and drinks to share if you like; we’ll have some snacks and drinks on-hand ourselves.
Organized by members of Solidarity Concordia 2015 in collaboration with QPIRG Concordia. ---
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Day of Skill-share Workshops and Discussions CSU Lounge (7th Floor, 1455 de Maisonneuve West)
Saturday Schedule: 11am: Workshop/Discussion: Effective Meetings 12:30pm: Lunch 1:30pm: Workshops: i) Graphic Design 101 OR ii) Media & Social Movements 3pm: Mobilization 101 / Civil disobedience and direct action 101 5pm-7pm: Hang-out Time (descriptions below)
11am: Workshop/Discussion: Effective Meetings
This workshop will take the form of a 30 minute oral presentation on the planning, organization and facilitation of effective and motivating meetings. After that, participants are invited to discuss for about 15 minutes about what was presented in order to improve the information presented and to complete any possible missing information. Let’s share our knowledge so we can better mobilize together.
Presented by Agnès Gaudreau. Agnès is a student in studio arts who was involved in the Concordia strike of 2012. Following that experience, she started to get interested in the structural organization of social movements from a non-hierarchical perspective. ---
1:30pm: Graphic Design 101 Using Free Tools: Pamphlet Design
During this 1 hour workshop participants will be shown how to use free software to design and layout a 3-fold pamphlet for their organization. Participants must bring their own laptops and have Scribus installed. If participants do not have a computer, they simply can follow along.
Facilitated by Arrien Weeks. Arrien is the Web & Design Coordinator at Sustainable Concordia and the founder of Chapeauvert, a small multidisciplinary design practice that works with small businesses and non-profits to help them be more sustainable in their day to day through design. ---
1:30pm: The Media & Social Movements
A discussion for activists, journalists, scholars, and anyone with an interest in communication. What role will the media play in Printemps 2015? Does the media help or hinder social movements? How should activists engage with the media? Can journalists be good allies while remaining "objective"? Can social media really bring about revolution? Can Twitter really bring about revolution) ? ---
3pm: Mobilization 101 / Civil disobedience and direct action 101
(This section is presented in two parts).
Mobilization 101: In the imperialist state we live in, ideological struggle takes a very high priority for changing and maintaining oppressive structures. The misconception is that ideological struggle happens only in a classroom, or only through reading. This workshop wishes to re-frame that, and insists that it is only through action that we can make change. Our ability to mobilise is a direct reflection of our ability to convince, debate and listen to each other. This workshop will focus on the foundation of all grassroots organising, which is going up to strangers and talking to them. The workshop will try to give direction and structure, and there will be a short time to actually practice this mobilisation strategy, then we will reconvene to conclude with our reflections of this experience.
Facilitated by Louisa Worrell; Louisa participated in organising in Lawrence Heights community in Toronto, and have been active in the student movement since 2011. She was for a year on the executive of AFESH-UQAM, and a member of the mobilisation comittee of AFESH in 2011, as well as the mobilisation committee of ASSÉ in 2012-2013. She is currently working and going to school at UQAM
Civil disobedience and direct action 101: This workshop is conceived as an introduction for people interested to join actively in social movements, civil disobedience and direct action in preparation for the 2015 strike that the student and workers movement are walking toward. We will go over : some basic legal and medical information, what to do in case of arrest or police brutality (and tips to try to prevent these), an “abc” of participation in a demo or a direct action and an “abc” of organizing those. We will finish with a discussion on social movements, security culture and inclusivity.
Facilitated by Myriam Tardif: Myriam is currently a master’s student in anthropology at Concordia, but studied before at Université de Montréal where she started being involved in the student movement in 2010. She was on the executive of her student association and in the Université de Montréal’s mobilisation committee (RUSH) from 2010 to 2012. She worked on the Social Struggle Committee of ASSÉ in 2012-2013, doing anti-racist and anti-imperialist organizing, leading to the international strike week in autumn 2012. Amongst other things, she is now involved with the Politics and Care collective, which is reflecting on collective well-being and sustainable communities. She’s a member of Solidarity Concordia 2015. ---
5pm: Hang-out Time
We end the day, and the teach, with more time to hang out informally. We can debrief the teach-in, get to know each other a bit more, and conspire informally about future plans. There will be snacks and drinks. Join us!
Organized by Solidarity Concordia Solidarity Concordia came together in fall of 2014 in the wake of the latest round of cuts (part of recent “austerity measures”) and students, staff, and faculty have begun to talk about and understand their effects. Some of the allied Concordia groups supporting the anti-austerity efforts of Solidarity Concordia include: - Concordia Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) - Concordia Student Union (CSU) - Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) - Geography, Planning, and Environment Graduate Students Association (GEOGRADS) - Quebec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia (QPIRG) - Students Association of Graduates in English (SAGE) - Students of Philosophy Association (SoPhiA) - Sustainable Concordia (SC) (if your organization wants to endorse our efforts, get in touch!)