The Institute for Advanced Trouble-making is an anarchist education collective that runs in-depth courses on radical theory, movement building skills, and action tactics.
The Institute for Advanced Trouble-making is an anarchist education collective that runs in-depth courses on radical theory, movement building skills, and action tactics.
The I.A.T. anarchist summer camp will be held August 11th – 18th, 2017 in Worcester, MA.
We are a small collective of long time anarchist organizers seeking to create a lasting movement education hub in the Northeast of the so-called US. The I.A.T. seeks to train new and old organizers alike beyond the basics in anarchist theory, anti-oppression, direct action tactics and strategic movement building.
The I.A.T. aims to raise collective capacity to target our enemies at the systemic level with effective direct action and campaign work. As Trump’s presidency spurs a swell of anarchist organizing and renewed interest in anti-state anti capitalist perspectives, we want to escalate by building skills in direct action, creating movement infrastructure, and community organizing for new anarchists. We also want to bring experienced organizers together to innovate strategies and tactics for our contemporary context. Rather than an activism 101, our intention is to cultivate deeper understanding and praxis of anarchist organizing among people who are already doing some of that work.
In part we are inspired by long lasting radical education projects such as the IWW associated Work People’s College (1907-1941), Movement for New Society’s ‘Life Centers’ (1971-1988), the Highlander Folk School (1932-present), and the Institute for Social Ecology (1974-present). These examples are notable largely for drawing organizers together in order to innovate tactics and strategies for their context- tools that were intentionally injected broadly into radical movement work. These longer form education projects are also notable for their alumni largely remaining life long radicals.
While informal education spaces, campaign based action camps, and book fairs are important elements of our struggle they have serious limitations as well. By creating longer form 1-4 session courses the I.A.T hopes to give space and time to go in depth on contemporary anarchist analysis, theory, and concrete movement building skills. The I.A.T. is a move towards creating a more rigorous exploration of anarchism that is:
We are in the planning stages for the next IAT summer camp in 2018.
Be on the lookout for events and courses this winter and spring!
Help us provide financial aid to attendees and support course facilitators !
Decapital: Funding for Radical Projects
Decapital’s funding comes from a small collective of individuals who contribute a portion of their income each month. We’re organizers, artists, and diy’ers. It’s an affinity group that pools resources to provide grants for creative trouble makers.
Mark Baumer Sustainability Fund
Mark Baumer was a renaissance man—award-winning poet, prolific content creator, and he even had an earlier career as a talented baseball player—but first and foremost, he was a committed activist.
He was attempting a cross-country walk (his second trek across the country) focused on raising awareness of climate change, while also raising funds for FANG, an activist collective he was a member of. He was hit and killed by an SUV on Day 101 of his walk in Crestview, Florida, along Highway 90. Mark was 33.
Mark was deeply concerned about the future of Earth. Additionally, he worked to create a more just society. His protests involved the opposition to the power plant in Burrillville and he participated in the March to Burrillville with FANG, as well as protesting the manufacture of cluster bombs by Textron, Inc., a protest where he was arrested. He even managed to get himself banned from RISD’s property for daring to shout out to the governor, asking about her decision on the power plant.
Mark will be missed forever by his parents and the people that knew him and knew of his love and concern for the world and the people in it.
The Mark Baumer Sustainability Fund was created as a way of keeping Mark’s memory and spirit alive. It will be focused on supporting causes and organizations that cultivate traits that were part of Mark’s philosophy of life—love, kindness, and working towards building a better world—a world of equals, of mutual aid and an economic based on equity, not the further enrichment of the elite.
The Farmers and Mechanics League Trust
The mission of the Farmers and Mechanics League Trust is to fund radical anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist collective or cooperative projects in Worcester, MA and Providence, RI. We fund counter-institutions that directly combat capitalism, government, institutionalized racism and wanton environmental destruction; and from these ashes build radical, egalitarian, sustainable alternatives.
This workshop will be organized in three parts. The first one, anarchism in anticolonial action, will explore colonialism/anticolonialism/decolonization, taking a historical overview of what these words mean and the various ways they manifest. We’ll discuss how anarchists (in both colonizing and colonized positions) have related to such struggles, including those identified as national liberation struggles. Part two will focus on decolonizing the idea of anarchism, looking at various specifically located traditions of resistance and liberation philosophy/praxis that have affinity or share some key concepts with anarchism. It will analyze how anarchistic thought and praxis might look in different political, social, and cultural contexts. Finally, part three will center on anarchism and decolonization today, concentrating on some contemporary hot spots of empire and settler colonialism (drawing on my experiences organizing around Palestine and Standing Rock), and touching on ethical, practical, strategic, and tactical considerations for action.
Maia is a writer, historian, teacher, activist, and performing artist based in New York City. She has taught modern South Asian and world history, written two books (and is working on a third) and numerous articles on transnational radical anticolonial movements. A “self-identified” anarchist since the 1990s, she has since been active in organizing (under countless acronyms and affiliation hats) around a range of intersecting issues of economic, racial, and environmental justice, Palestine solidarity, and indigenous solidarity, all understood as interlinked aspects of the same imperial/colonial system.
Check out Maia’s book Decolonizing Anarchism : An Anti-authoritarian History of India’s Liberation Struggle
(Khaled and Layla)
The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement is a political movement dedicated to freeing people from bondage and building anarchist resistance. We situate our political movement in the context of the abolitionist struggle against slavery, and are continuing the tradition from Nat Turner to the black freedom struggle. We believe the US Civil War was never resolved, the slave system was not abolished and actually transformed, and our struggle today must begin from this point. Lastly, as anarchists, we believe that the state and capitalism are illegitimate, and we are calling for their abolition, while using the Rojava Revolution as a model for self-governance and revolutionary self-defense. This three-part workshop will explore these themes and strategy.
Khaled and Layla are collective members of The Base, an anarchist political center in Bushwick, Brooklyn, committed to the dissemination of revolutionary left and anarchist ideas and organizing.
(Kevin Yuen-Kit Lo and Zola)
This course will facilitate discussions on the role of art in social struggles and the multiplicity of ways in which artistic practices support radical movement building. We will share examples of diverse approaches drawn from our own experience as artist-activists (in anti-racist and anti-colonial struggles, Palestinian solidarity work, student activism, and anti-capitalist cultural production), highlighting both successes and failures within specific campaigns and contexts. And there will be time for some hands-on art making within or outside this course. We hope to challenge the separation between “art” and “activism,” revealing and deconstructing the ideological frameworks that structure all artistic practice. Furthermore, we will examine the affective bonds that are a central component of collective art making and the experiencing of art, to show how they are essential to the building of solidarity within and between social movements.
Kevin is a graphic designer, educator, and community organizer based in Montreal (Tiotià:ke). He runs the design studio LOKI, working at the intersection of graphic design and social change. The studio’s practice focuses on collaboration and community building, cultural production, activist research, and political mobilization. He is a member of the Howl! Arts Collective, organizing artistic events and actions in support of social justice struggles, and Artivistic, an all-POC art collective working on friendship (in the largest possible sense of the word).
Zola is a street artist and community organizer. She became involved in activism through the Quebec student movement ten years ago, and has evolved between the Francophone and Anglophone realms of anti-capitalist and anti-oppressive politics of Montreal since then. In the past years, she has focused her time mainly on popular education around settler colonialism and indigenous solidarity through direct action and art.
Since the Zapatista uprising in 1994, anarchism has become the primary organizing logic for many of the major recent mobilizations—from the Global Justice Movement, to Occupy, M15, and Greek antiausterity efforts, and now antifa resistance. Anarchists are also playing a vital role in helping to infuse a more radical perspective and praxis into the ongoing, interrelated struggles for racial, gender, queer, Crip, indigenous, immigrant, and climate justice.
This workshop will provide a brief historical overview of anarchism and what contributed to this shift along with taking a closer look at how it has informed organizing in recent decades. We’ll also draw on experiences from our own respective political work to consider what anarchists can do to better strengthen and support current resistance and solidarity efforts, counterpower projects, and transformative movements for collective liberation.
Hillary has been involved with anarchist and radical education projects since the 1990s, and is currently part of the efforts to organize graduate student workers, a mentor and trainer for Organize Pittsburgh, a collective member of the Big Idea Bookstore, and a content editor for Agency: An Anarchist PR Project. She is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches about social movements, gender, power, and resistance.
In this participatory workshop, we will collectively construct a clear definition of consent and affirmative consent practices using our own experiences as a guide. We hope to provide participants with tools and opportunities to practice running scenarios in order to better bring affirmative consent and clear boundaries into their lives and relationships. We also plan to open up space for participants to explore what happens when things go awry in our relationships and communities when consent isn’t well-practiced. We will be using frameworks and tools from the FemSex curriculum to guide this work including, but not limited to: role-playing, dialogue, storytelling (explicit and anonymous), and pod-mapping tools.
The last 20 years have seen a dramatic unmasking of the state’s use of heavy-handed tactics for the criminalization and demobilization of radical social movements. While many are aware of the Green Scare of the early 2000s, many are less aware of how such means have continued throughout the modern era. In this course will we look at the past, present, and future of state repression, and discuss how to interpret this strategy. This will involve close examinations of the means used to target Animal and Earth liberationists, as well as more recent events such as mass felony indictments. We will examine how the rhetoric of (domestic) terrorism has been mobilized, the use of Federal Grand Juries, sexual infiltration by police and informants, federal laws such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, and incarceration in Communications Management Units. This course will seek to carefully balance two outcomes: making organizers keenly aware of how repression has been used to quiet dissent, while at the same time not immobilizing folks’ abilities to act towards emancipatory goals.
Michael has been an anarchist organizer for the past two decades and regularly writes and speaks about state repression and political violence. He works as a precariously-employed professor of sociology and social justice studies at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and the Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He posts all of his work for free at http://gmu.academia.edu/MichaelLoadenthal
This three-part workshop will explore anarchism as an ethical compass and visionary politics, both in terms of its ideals and how those aspirations are put into practice, or rather, into messy and beautiful experiments that necessitate bonds of solidarity and prefigurative direct action.
Cindy is the author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations, coauthor of Paths toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism, and editor of two anthologies, Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism, and the forthcoming Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief. Long engaged in anarchistic organizing, contemporary social movements, and collective spaces, Cindy has recently been part of solidarity projects countering displacement, gentrification, prisons, and police. Cindy
was also death doula for three (biological and chosen) parents over the past four years.
This course will focus on techniques of grassroots organizing from an anarchist perspective. In the first part, we will explore basic grassroots organizing techniques. In the second part, we will ask about how to frame such techniques in an anarchist orientation as opposed to more traditional hierarchical organizational work.
Todd is a professor of philosophy at Clemson, and author of Nonviolent Resistance: A Philosophical Introduction, The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralism Anarchism, and thirteen other books of philosophy, including work on Foucault and Deleuze. Long involved in many resistance movements from anti-apartheid to LGBTQ rights, Todd has recently been doing trainings in grassroots organizing around the upstate of South Carolina as well as organizing against the Clemson administration’s silence regarding the Muslim ban and racism on campus and in support of lower-paid staff at the university.
DIY production of art and design is an important entry point to the anarchist community. This session will discuss the different methods of producing large volumes of physical objects and media for maximum impact. We will discuss and demonstrate various digital and conventional fabrication tools and their application for activist art- including lazer cut stencils, sticker, and mobile printmaking. We will also discuss the accessibility of this equipment and the role of maker spaces and cooperative workshops in supporting movements. We hope to demonstrate several projects that have been implemented from our space along with exciting ideas we hope to try out soon. Time for smaller meetings with the instructors will be possible if participants are interested in learning more or fabricating a design.
Spencer is a carpenter and activist from Worcester who has been involved in cooperative workershops and maker spaces for many years. He is a member of the The League of JustUs mobile printmaking team.
Julia is a carpenter, artist, and dabbling herbalist. Julia has been making stuff and doing things as long as she can remember. After leaving college and joining friends in various justice oriented groups she’s become proficient in speaking up, acting out, and not over committing herself to things she feels passionately about. She enjoys reading, being in nature, games, and talking about body stuff.
The basics in climbing for direct actions. More advanced climbers will be focusing on skill sets beyond the basics- so please let us know what you are interested in learning on our application.
Drawing from social anarchism, social ecology, and traditional indigenous knowledge, and using the lens of decolonization, we will explore permaculture as a practical tool that emphasizes social and ecological integration through design methods based on observance and replication of nature, diversity, egalitarianism, and decentralized, autonomous control of communities along with their environment and resources. What can permaculture teach us about strategy and place in designing and creating egalitarian, free, and ecological neighborhoods and communities? How can anarchism help bring out the implicit radical and liberatory potential of permaculture? How can a deep and liberatory understanding of ecology strengthen anarchist theory and practice? How can a radical ecology resist the de-radicalizing phenomenon of cultural appropriation? Drawing on theory and historical as well as contemporary examples, we will critically examine our practices while calling for a new radical ecology that informs our movements and our work for another world.
Pavlos is a community activist and educator who has been part of indigenous, anarchist, environmental, solidarity, and local struggles, both in the United States and his native Greece. He is the founder of Woodbine Ecology Center, which focuses on the confluence of sustainability, social and environmental justice, indigenous knowledge, and decolonization struggles.
Participants will learn the basics in welding, welding for blockades and action equipment, and welding in the field.
The basics in planning and executing non-violent direct actions.
Since Trump was elected in November, many in the US have turned away from traditional political parties and the promises of independent third parties. At the same time, a national surge in anarchist ‘antifa’ and ‘black bloc’ activity has resulted – with many asking, “just what the hell do these people want and why are they dressed like weird ninjas half the time?”
What is anarchism? What do anarchists stand for? What are they against? What does an anarchist society look like? Aren’t humans just kinda crappy and unreliable?
To help answer these questions, the Institute for Advanced Troublemaking is putting on a series of three workshops as an introduction to anarchism!
Introduction to Anarchist Theory-July 6th (SWARM)
Just what in tarnation are these anarchists even about?
We’ll tackle the principles of anarchism, key thinkers & ideas, anarchist schools of thought, economics, and finally… What anarchists envision as an alternative to capitalism and the state!
Introduction to the Anarchist Movement- July 12th (Alex I)
Alex (Ex-Slingshot Collective member http://slingshot.tao.ca/) will lead a workshop discussing anarchist history, with a special focus on the modern era (80-90s – 00s).
Anarchist Organizing and Tactics- July 19th (SWARM)
Just what in tarnation do these anarchist propose we do now?
We’ll talk about how anarchists propose to destroy capitalism, systemic oppression, the state, and how they organize in communities (and what the heck is up with all the black clothes!?).
Broad strategies such as syndicalism, dual power, insurrection, and gradualism will be discussed as well as direct action and organizing tactics such as labor organizing, strikes, affinity groups, black blocs, civil disobedience and more.
Anarchism and its Aspirations:
Free PDF version:
To Change Everything
A History of Anarchism in 8 Minutes
Anarchism: Philosophy and History
Gathering Proposal by Vic – From Disconnection Issue #1:
The Political Prehistory of Love and Rage: