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The Scoop-

Announcing the dates for our third Anarchist Summer School:

August 3-11, 2019!

Applications are closed for this year.
Sorry Chum.

This summer will be the third annual Institute for Advanced Troublemaking (IAT), a weeklong anarchist theory and action summer school for adults of all ages. The school will take place August 3-11 in Worcester, MA.

 For this summer, our intention is to cultivate a stronger understanding and praxis of anarchist organizing among people who have been active in anarchistic spaces and movements —- but are looking to deepen their organizing strategies, learn theory, and skills. Our hope is that the anarchist summer school provides generative ground for imagining another world — and sticking with such visions for the long haul.

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Anarchist Summer School

Anarchist Summer School:

Announcing the dates for our third Anarchist Summer School:

August 3-11, 2019!
Applications are closed for this year.
Sorry Chum.

back to school bloc

This summer will be the third annual Institute for Advanced Troublemaking (IAT), a weeklong anarchist theory and action summer school for adults of all ages.
IAT will take place August 3-11, 2019 in Worcester, MA.

The IAT emphasizes a prefigurative politics that explores forms of freedom as a counter to and, hopefully, increasingly replacement for forms of domination and hierarchy. We aspire to bring that sensibility to the summer school, doing our best to cultivate transformative social relations as we co-learn and create a temporary, do-it-ourselves community.
 

Our long-term goal for the IAT is to create a lasting anarchist education hub in the Northeast that can train new and old organizers alike beyond the basics in anarchist theory and practice, critical thinking, and collective self-organization and liberatory infrastructure. We have seen the need for our struggles and organizing to develop deeper forms of mutual aid and solidarity for the days ahead — building innovative new strategies that can present a revolutionary challenge to the state, capitalism, and other forms of systemic violence.

For this summer, our intention is to cultivate a stronger understanding and praxis of anarchist organizing among people who have been active in anarchistic spaces and movements – but are looking to deepen their organizing strategies, learn theory, and skills. Our hope is that the anarchist summer school provides generative ground for imagining another world — and sticking with such visions for the long haul.

 

Workshops

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IAT Workshops 2019

(see list below)

The Anarchist Summer School is a gathering of adult troublemakers of all ages who come together for eight days to immerse themselves in rigorous co-learning in a co-created community of care. Together, facilitators and participants, we aspire to build a vibrant space of popular education that celebrates social anarchist as well as radical feminist and queer thought, traditions, and practices; cultivating intergenerational relationships with each other and the nonhuman ecosystem; and challenges us all in generative ways to stretch ourselves and grow through critical thought and serious yet playful experimentation.

What does that look like exactly? Unlike a traditional school or academic setting, we learn, teach, think, practice, eat, feel, share, socialize, reflect, grow, and so much more together, whether in our barn-as-classroom, doing meal prep with others or offering an informal skills share, or around a campfire. Over the eight days, the Anarchist Summer School’s schedule and offerings, from workshops to social time, aspires to weave ideas, questions, and themes into an increasingly powerful, generative conversation that both challenges and nourishes everyone.

Here’s what some participants from the past two summers had to say about it:

“Bright and beautiful space, … imagined with intention, love, and care.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a time in my life where I’ve felt so nurtured in mind, body, and spirit at the same time.”

“[The Anarchist Summer School] was complete immersion into a consistently supportive and experimental anarchist mind-set that left me feeling transformed. … This immersion changed my heart and my resolve.”

“There was a culture of care. … There was a large amount of warmth and acceptance. I could see anarchist ideals realize themselves in the ways that we were treating each other, which is rare.”

“Everyone was willing to listen, learn, and grow.”

“I think a running theme I took home was to always be thinking prefiguratively. I think I often fail to strategize more tangibly about creating the world we want because I’m so caught up in responding to the world we don’t want.”

“There was a lot of invitation to be open and vulnerable; that we can be generous with each other.”

“I felt there was a really great balance between orderliness and organization and fluidity, and I liked that the learning processes were collaborative.”

“I liked the arc of what we built together.”

We’re now accepting applications for the Institute for Advanced Troublemaking’s (IAT) third annual Anarchist Summer School, August 3-11, 2019, and hope you apply and/or help spread the word!

Once again, we have limited space and will be prioritizing people whose identities are often marginalized by the dominant society. Applications will be decided in two batches: for applications received on or before February 1, 2019, we’ll get back to folks by March 15, 2019. For applications received on or before April 1, 2019, we’ll let people know by May 15. 2019.

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WORKSHOPS

(in alphabetical order by title; a few more workshops will be added soon)

ANARCHA-FEMINISM AND COMMUNITIES OF CARE
HILLARY LAZAR

What is anarcha-feminism, and how does it relate to solidarity, shared struggle, and transformative social relationships? While there is no single theory or approach to anarcha-feminism, for many of us, it’s about challenging patriarchy and domination in all its forms, which means understanding the connection between heterosexism, white supremacy, colonialism, ableism, and of course capitalism. It’s also about prefiguring the kind of world we hope to live in by adopting daily liberatory practices that help to cultivate more empathetic, transformative ways of relating to one another based on understanding these struggles as interrelated. In effect, it’s a way to approach the creation of more caring communities that are based on love, solidarity, mutual aid, and a desire to see full liberation for everyone. This workshop will explore the meaning of anarcha-feminism through this lens — paying particular attention to the critical influence of other radical currents such as black feminism, queer theory, decolonial thought, and social ecology — and how we can better incorporate these ethics and practices into our own lives, relationships, projects, and communities.

Hillary is an activist, educator, writer, and returning instructor for the IAT who has been involved with social justice struggles since the 1990s. Over the years, she has been part of numerous anarchist projects, particularly related to radical education and building prefigurative spaces. She is currently on the board for Agency: An Anarchist PR Project, a member of the speakers’ bureau for the Institute for Anarchist Studies, and working to unionize grad student workers. Her writing has been featured in Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, Anarchism: A Conceptual History, and Emma Goldman: A Documentary History. Hillary lives in Pittsburgh, where she teaches about gender, power, and resistance while grappling with the meaning of anarchist parenting.

ART AND/AS ACTIVISM
ARTIST/ACTIVIST/DESIGNERS FROM MONTREAL/TIO’TIA:KE

This workshop will provide opportunities for discussions on the role of art in social struggles and the multiplicity of ways in which artistic practices support radical movement building. The facilitators will share examples of diverse approaches drawn from their own experience as artist-activists (in antiracist and anticolonial struggles, Palestinian solidarity work, student activism, queer liberation, and anticapitalist cultural production), highlighting both successes and failures within specific campaigns and contexts. They 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 as well as between social movements. The workshop will also include hands-on skill-share time using both DIY creation techniques and the facilitated tech and tools at a Worcester anarchistic makerspace. The sessions hope to challenge the separation between “art” and “activism,” revealing and deconstructing the ideological frameworks that structure all artistic practice.

Facilitators are members of a network of artist/activist/designers from Montreal/Tio’tia:ke, working out of and in collaboration with LOKI design studio, Zola, and Sidetracks Screenprinting collective. LOKI, a multidisciplinary design and communications studio working at the intersection of graphic design and social change, creates images, objects, and experiences that engage, empower, and oppose. Zola is the pseudonym for a queer, settler whose work focuses on the iconic character of the masked protester as a romantic allegory for street politics while shifting its representation to embody the diversity of folks who engage in this radical tactic. Sidetracks aims to be a collective run by and for people who are trans, two-spirit, queer, indigenous, and/or people of color that makes screenprinting accessible to projects and organizations working for transformative social change.

DECOLONIZING ANARCHISM
MAIA RAMNATH

This workshop will explore the history, structure, function, and ideologies of colonialism, anticolonialism, and decolonization from an anarchist perspective. For starters, it will offer a broad historical overview of colonialism over the past five hundred years — anarchism in anticolonial action. This requires understanding and confronting the interconnections of empire, capitalism, race, and resource extraction. It will then focus on how anarchists (in both colonizing and colonized positions) have related to anticolonial struggles, including those identified as national liberation struggles. The workshop will consider various specifically located traditions of resistance and liberation philosophy/praxis that have affinity or share some key concepts with anarchism. Finally, the workshop will center on anarchism and decolonization today, concentrating on some contemporary hot spots of empire and settler colonialism, identifying manifestations relevant to participants, and considering ethical and practical concerns for action, taking into consideration how anarchistic thought and praxis might look in different political, social, and cultural contexts.

Maia is a writer, historian, teacher, activist, and performing artist based in New York City. She has taught modern South Asian and world history, and written two books (and is working on a third) and numerous articles on transnational radical anticolonial movements. Coming up on her twentieth anniversary as a “self-identified anarchist,” she has worn many different organizing hats to face a range of intersecting issues of social, 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 Antiauthoritarian History of India’s Liberation Struggle, and her pieces in No Gods, No Masters, No Peripheries and the Routledge Handbook of Radical Politics.

DIRECT ACTION PRAXIS
CRICKET COLLECTIVE

This direct action training will focus on scouting in both urban and rural areas. Scouting is important work to make sure our actions are as effective and low risk for our crews as possible. Ever get caught before you even did an action? Ever get trapped trying to slink away from one? Ever try to do a banner drop and realize, “This banner is three times too small to be read from a distance”? You could have used some scouts! Information gathering and knowing the area are key. Scouting skills can vary from scoping out areas for future actions, understanding police formations, sneaking into buildings and corporate conferences or through forests, and mapping escape routes. Participants will learn the basics of direct action and strategy before splitting into two groups: one focused on evasion, blending in, and scouting in cities, and one focused on scouting, subterfuge, and hiding out longer-term in the woods.

The Cricket Collective is made up of folks who’ve been trainers and schemers in a wide array of struggles, including environmental, animal rights, antiracist, indigenous, and antifa movements. They prefer to be purposefully vague!

EXPLORING ACCOUNTABILITY, BOUNDARIES, AND CONSENT IN OUR LIVES AND COMMUNITIES
(2 SESSIONS)
WORCESTER FUCCRS

This participatory workshop will collectively construct a clear definition of consent and affirmative consent practices using participants’ own experiences as a guide. The aim is 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.
Space will also be opened up to explore what happens when things go awry in relationships and communities when consent isn’t well practiced. The sessions will use frameworks and tools from the FUCCRS curriculum to guide this work, including, but not limited to, role-playing, dialogue, storytelling (explicit and anonymous), and pod mapping.
Worcester for Understanding Consent, Community, and Relational Sexuality (Worcester FUCCRS) consists of CoquiLily, Bettny, and Holly. They are a loose affinity group of leftists who have all organized together in a multitude of capacities including at the Stone Soup Community Center and FemSex Worcester. They have all done work as sexual health educators, and have been present to their community for processes around consent and accountability. This group has as many questions as answers, but is working to facilitate a world with less patriarchy and pain along with more joyful, liberatory practices of love.

REPRESSION AND RESILIENCE
MICHAEL LOADENTHAL

What does political repression look like today? How can it be reflected in past eras? How has it changed? And how can we learn to be more resilient in our movements, networks, and communities? These key questions will be examined in this hybrid workshop-discussion. We will begin by exploring how repression operates generally, and how to understand these strategies. How can repression be examined psychologically, legally, practically, and through the lens of language and discourse? What lessons can we take from the Red Scare, COINTELPRO, the Green Scare, and specific methods of domestic policing, including infiltration, surveillance, grand juries, and laws such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act? What can we learn from the increase in felony prosecutions, conspiracy charges, and antiprotest laws? Finally, how can we build on this knowledge to discuss strategies and tactics for countering repression, acting boldly, remaining free, and increasing our abilities to bounce back when knocked down?

Michael has been an anarchist organizer and trainer for the past two decades, and regularly writes and speaks about strategies of resistance, state repression and political violence. He has been an organizer with a variety of local, national, and international networks helping to plan and protect direct action campaigns on four continents. He works as a precariously employed professor of sociology and social justice studies, and directs the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) and the Prosecution Project (tPP), which seeks to untangle the prosecution of political violence in the US court system.

SOCIAL ANARCHISM AND RADICAL ECOLOGY
PAVLOS STAVROPOULOS

What does it mean to look at anarchist and liberatory movements and struggles through an ecological lens? How can a radical understanding of ecology strengthen anarchist theory and practice? How can anarchism bring out the implicitly radical potential of ecology? How can a radical ecology address immediate needs, guide us toward long-term visions and goals, and imbue our activism and everyday lives with desire, play, and curiosity? Drawing from social anarchism, social ecology, permaculture, and traditional indigenous knowledge, and informed by decolonization, feminist, and queer theory and movements, we will critically, and playfully, examine our assumptions and practices while exploring tools and strategies that emphasize social as well as ecological integration and liberation.

pavlos is a longtime activist, educator, and organizer involved in ecological, indigenous, queer, liberatory, and anarchist struggles, including solidarity projects in their native Greece. The founder of Woodbine Ecology Center, which focuses on the confluence of sustainability, social and environmental justice, indigenous knowledge, and decolonization struggles, pavlos is currently writing queer speculative fiction, and is a certified permaculture designer and instructor, water and sustainability educator, street medic, translator, and father.

TRY ANARCHISM FOR LIFE!
CINDY MILSTEIN

In the best spirit of anarchism, this participatory workshop will strive to create a space of learning together, drawing from our shared understandings and experiences. It will explore anarchism as an ethical compass, which points simultaneously to an overarching critique of all forms of hierarchy and an expansive social vision of what it could mean to be free people in a free society. The workshop look at how anarchism can offer a way of thinking—a critical or dialectical theory—to find “cracks in the wall.” And crucially, it will dig into anarchism as a living, breathing, prefigurative politics, utilizing illustrations from messy-beautiful experiments in the here and now that at once gesture toward a liberatory, loving world. At its heart, this workshop will revolve around what it means to aspire toward and practice an “everyday anarchism,” where notions such as self-organization and self-governance, mutual aid and solidarity, autonomy and collectivity, dignity and care, to name a few, become commonsensical second nature as well as the basis for new social relations and social organization.

Cindy has long engaged in anarchistic organizing, contemporary social movements, and collective spaces. They are the author of Anarchism and Its Aspirations, coauthor of Paths toward Utopia, and editor of two anthologies, Taking Sides: Revolutionary Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism, and Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief; a new anthology on self-governance is forthcoming. Most recently, besides co-organizing the IAT, Cindy did support work for J20 defendants and made trouble with Solidarity & Defense, Huron Valley. Cindy is honored, when asked, to do talks almost anywhere, and/or death doula and grief care.

Apply to Attend

Announcing the dates for our third Anarchist Summer School:

August 3-11, 2019!

Applications are closed for this year.
Sorry Chum.


We have limited space! Not everyone who fills out this application will be accepted as a participant. So please fill out this application with care!
We prioritize people of often-marginalized identities, including but not limited to people of color, young or older adults, working-class folks, queer, trans, or gender-nonconforming people, those with dis/abilities, parents, and women, but recognize that many of these may not be visibly apparent.  
Overall, we are looking for participants who can commit to the whole time. The days will be full — but fun and thought-provoking — so we also want participants who are eager to dive into learning with their head, heart, and hands in a supportive, yet intensive environment.
 

Unfortunately our space is not compliant with ADA standards, and only parts of our facilities are wheelchair accessible, but as a collective we care about making our space usable for folks with mobility needs. We’re interested in discussing ways we can accommodate physical needs in the meantime as well as planning for greater accessibility in the future.

Applications will be decided in two batches: for applications received on or before February 1, 2019, we’ll get back to you by March 15, 2019. For applications received on or before April 1, 2019, we’ll let you know by May 15. 2019.

Our Anarchist Summer School runs from dinner on August 3 through lunch on August 11, and we are looking for participants who can commit to the whole time. The days will be full — but fun and thought-provoking — so we also want participants who are eager to dive into learning with their head, heart, and hands in a supportive yet intensive environment.

About

8point5x11

Announcing the dates for our third Anarchist Summer School:

August 3-11, 2019!

Applications are closed for this year.
Sorry Chum.

The Institute for Advanced Troublemaking (IAT) is composed of a small collective of longtime anarchist organizers seeking to create a lasting movement education hub in the Northeast of the so-called United States to train new and old organizers alike. In this way, we hope to raise our collective capacity to both challenge all forms of hierarchy and domination while prefiguring egalitarian alternatives premised on anarchist ethics, such as mutual aid, freedom, solidarity, self-organization, and care.

Our Anarchist Summer School, now in its third year, brings together new and experienced anarchists and like-minded others for eight days of co-learning and serious play. Through participatory workshops, hands-on practice and skill shares, pitching in to tasks around our shared “summer camp” space, and circling around the campfire, we intentionally co-create a community even as we cultivate a deeper understanding of theory and praxis. That understanding, which is more like a rich and growing conversation over the course of the Anarchist Summer School, critically and constructively touches on what we face today as well as what we envision instead, grassroots/community organizing, building do-it-ourselves infrastructures, engaging in various forms of direct action both to shut down what we don’t like and open up space for what we want, and so much more.

In part we are inspired by long-lasting radical education projects such as the IWW-associated Work People’s College (1907–41), Movement for New Society’s “Life Centers” (1971–88), the Highlander Folk School (1932–present), the National Conference on Organized Resistance (1994–2004), and the Institute for Social Ecology’s monthlong “anarchist summer school” (1974–2004), among others. These examples are notable largely for drawing organizers together in order to innovate theories, strategies, and tactics for their context—tools that were intentionally injected broadly into radical movement work. These longer-form education projects are also remarkable in that their alums often remained lifelong radicals.

While informal education spaces, campaign-based action camps, and bookfairs are important elements of our struggle, they have serious limitations as well, precisely because they are short lived. By creating longer-form popular education, the IAT and its Anarchist Summer School hopes to give space and time to go in-depth on contemporary anarchist analysis, theory, and concrete skills and practices. The IAT is a move toward creating a more rigorous exploration of anarchism that is:

  1. Outside the purity of radical internet culture
  2. Contemporary to our context
  3. Rooted in social anarchist principles
  4. Directly linked to on-the-ground organizing and movement struggle
  5. Rooted in caring community and long-haul strategy

Donate:

Donate Here!

Donate!

Help us provide financial aid to attendees, travel funds for facilitators, and to help our kitchen crew operate!

Donate Here!

The IAT is a humble project, co-created by a crew of volunteers who believe deeply in the transformative power of popular education. Indeed, our Anarchist Summer School emphasizes a prefigurative politics that explores forms of freedom as a counter to and, hopefully, increasingly replacement for forms of domination and hierarchy.

Such multigenerational mentorship, almost by definition, is far slower than the urgent types of organizing that are necessitated by the many types of systemic violence we face, whether from settler colonialism or capitalism, the state or patriarchy, to name a few. But we believe that such longer-term vision is crucial for imagining as well as implementing a world premised on such ethics as dignity and mutual aid, collective freedom and solidarity.

In the first two years of our Anarchist Summer School, some sixty participants from across Turtle Island have been able to cultivate a stronger understanding and praxis of anarchist organizing, critical theory and imaginative thinking, and hands-on skills. They’ve also done so in a way, together with facilitators, that practices the types of caring do-it-ourselves community that’s necessary to sustain anarchistic spaces and movements for the long haul. They’ve then taken that co-learning back to their own communities, as generative inspiration for other egalitarian infrastructure, organizing, and prefigurative projects. And they’ve crafted solid bonds with each other, now collaborating with past “alums” on various additional educational and political efforts.

The IAT’s Anarchist Summer School and other popular education projects are done on a shoestring, mostly through our sliding-scale fees for programming. In order for the IAT to itself be sustainable, we need the firm ground of some additional financial aid, whether in the form of a onetime donation or, better yet, a monthly contribution. Help us continue to co-create what one IAT alum called a “bright and beautiful space, … imagined with intention, love, and care,” or as another alum put it, “I don’t think I’ve ever had a time in my life where I’ve felt so nurtured in mind, body, and spirit at the same time”!

Donate Here


Past Donors:

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.

https://decapital.org/

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.

Past Workshops

IAT Summer School 2018

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ANARCHA-FEMINISM, PREFIGURATIVE POLITICS, AND COMMUNITIES OF CARE
(2 SESSIONS)
HILLARY LAZAR

What is anarcha-feminism, and how does it relate to creating more caring communities and transformative, loving, solidarity-based relationships? While there is no single theory or approach to anarcha-feminism, for many it’s about challenging patriarchy and domination in all its form, which means understanding the connection between heterosexism, white supremacy, colonialism, ableism, and of course capitalism. It’s also about adopting daily liberatory practices that help to cultivate more empathetic ways of relating to one another based on understanding these struggles as interrelated. In effect, it’s a way to approach the creation of communities of care that are based on loving solidarity and a desire to see full liberation for everyone. This workshop will explore the meaning of anarcha-feminism through this lens, and how we can better incorporate it throughout own lives, relationships, projects, and communities.

Hillary has been involved with anarchist and radical education projects since the 1990s. She is currently part of the efforts to organize graduate student workers, a collective member of the Big Idea Bookstore in Pittsburgh, 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.

ART AND/AS ACTIVISM
(2 SESSIONS)
KEVIN YUEN-KIT LO AND ZOLA

This course will be split into two sessions. The first one will open opportunities for discussions on the role of art in social struggles and the multiplicity of ways in which artistic practices support radical movement building. The facilitators will share examples of diverse approaches drawn from their own experience as artist-activists (in antiracist and anticolonial struggles, Palestinian solidarity work, student activism, and anticapitalist cultural production), highlighting both successes and failures within specific campaigns and contexts. They 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 as well as between social movements. The second session will be a hands-on skill share to use the space and tools available at a makerspace in Worcester. This course hopes to challenge the separation between “art” and “activism,” revealing and deconstructing the ideological frameworks that structure all artistic practice.

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).

DECOLONIZING ANARCHISM
(3 SESSIONS)
MAIA RAMNATH

This workshop will explore the history, structure, function, and ideologies of colonialism, anticolonialism, and decolonization from an anarchist perspective. It will be organized in three parts. The first one, anarchism in anticolonial action, will offer a historical overview of colonialism and its various manifestations over the past five hundred years. This requires understanding and confronting the interconnections of empire, capitalism, race, and resource extraction. Part two will focus on how anarchists (in both colonizing and colonized positions) have related to anticolonial struggles, including those identified as national liberation struggles. It will consider various specifically located traditions of resistance and liberation philosophy/praxis that have affinity or share some key concepts with anarchism. Finally, part three will center on anarchism and decolonization today, concentrating on some contemporary hot spots of empire and settler colonialism, and touching on both ethical and practical concerns for action, taking into consideration how anarchistic thought and praxis might look in different political, social, and cultural contexts.

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. Coming up on her twentieth anniversary as a “self-identified anarchist,” she has worn many different organizing hats to face a range of intersecting issues of social, 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 Antiauthoritarian History of India’s Liberation Struggle

DIRECT ACTION PRAXIS
(5 SESSIONS)
ANNE, SHANE, Michael

The direct action track for the IAT will start by grounding participants in various direct action techniques. Instead of asking permission or appealing to people in power, direct action is a political tactic that harnesses our collective capacity to make the world we want to see, or directly intervene in worlds that harm us, by using our bodies and smarts to shut things down, open things up, or make our demands impossible to ignore. This track will draw inspiration from the rich history of groups such as Earth First! and Convergence des Luttes Anti-Capitalistes (Anticapitalist Convergence) in North America, say, or Zone to Defend (ZAD) in France; from people who engage in forest defense or water protection in rural areas, to those who engage in convergences, mass demonstrations, and building occupations under a “diversity of tactics” frame that includes a “respect for all life. The sessions will work with folks to build a larger perspective and ability to plan actions that move beyond planned arrests. It will focus primarily on scouting and blockades via simulations and hands-on skill building as well as discussions of theory and strategy.

The direct action track is put on by folks from across the East Coast(ish) who have been trainers and schemers in a wide array of struggles, including environmental, animal rights, antiracist, indigenous, and antifa movements. They prefer to be purposefully vague! Anne, and Shane are part of the FANG Collective, which takes an intersectional approach to stopping the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the Northeast and doing solidarity with liberation movements.

EXPLORING ACCOUNTABILITY, BOUNDARIES, AND CONSENT IN OUR LIVES AND COMMUNITIES
(2 SESSIONS)
WORCESTER FUCCRS

This participatory workshop will collectively construct a clear definition of consent and affirmative consent practices using participants’ own experiences as a guide. The aim is 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.
Space will also be opened up to explore what happens when things go awry in relationships and communities when consent isn’t well practiced. The sessions will use frameworks and tools from the FUCCRS curriculum to guide this work, including, but not limited to, role-playing, dialogue, storytelling (explicit and anonymous), and pod mapping.
Worcester for Understanding Consent, Community, and Relational Sexuality (Worcester FUCCRS) consists of CoquiLily, Bettny, and Holly. They are a loose affinity group of leftists who have all organized together in a multitude of capacities including at the Stone Soup Community Center and FemSex Worcester. They have all done work as sexual health educators, and have been present to their community for processes around consent and accountability. This group has as many questions as answers, but is working to facilitate a world with less patriarchy and pain along with more joyful, liberatory practices of love.

REFRAMING ANIMAL LIBERATION AS AN EXERCISE IN ANTIRACISM
(1 SESSION)
SYL KO

One of the primary aims in antiracist scholarship, art, literature, and so on, is to highlight and dismantle the projection of Western modes of whiteness as the universal representation of “the human.” As is well known, the racialization of “the human” subordinates humans existing outside that mode to “subhuman” or “animal/nonhuman” status. This talk will explore how these racialized notions of “human” and “animal” shape and inform mainstream ethical attitudes and judgments toward nonhuman animals as well. On this view, the logic central to upholding “human = white” is implicit in our routine ab/use of nonhuman animals as food, entertainment, objects of scientific inquiry, and so forth. If this is true, then an adequate commitment to antiracism must also include an interrogation concerning our obligations to nonhuman animals.

Syl is an independent researcher based in Portland, Maine, and is half of the activist duo Aphro-ism. She studied philosophy at San Francisco State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Syl is coauthor of Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism (2017). Her current work focuses on examining antiracism as a novel ground for an animal ethic.

SCAMP SCHOOL
(1 SESSION)

SCAMP COLLECTIVE

During the summer, every Friday starting at 8 p.m., Elm Park’s playground in Worcester is taken over by youths looking to create a better world for themselves—a world away from adult supremacy and disempowerment. The Anarchist Summer School will be joining Scamp for a night of yelling, climbing, sneaking, snacking, learning, running, biting, stenciling, pushing, coloring, shoe throwing, and a whole lot of milk crates. It’s a world that we create together, by everyone for everyone.
 The Scamp School is a youth organizing collective made up of artists, activists, and troublemakers who are dedicated to making alternative education and direct action more accessible for young people. Through a combination of radical play, art, and education, Scamp creates intergenerational space for all people to be heard, practice direct action, and build community. Scamp wants everyone to self-organize to challenge authority, take risks and learn, while still having fun too.

SOCIAL ANARCHISM AND RADICAL ECOLOGY
(2 SESSIONS)
PAVLOS STAVROPOULOS

What does it mean to look at anarchist and liberatory movements and struggles through an ecological lens? How can a radical understanding of ecology strengthen anarchist theory and practice? How can anarchism bring out the implicitly radical potential of ecology? How can a radical ecology address immediate needs and concerns while avoiding the pitfalls of reformism and cultural appropriation? Drawing from social anarchism, social ecology, and traditional indigenous knowledge, and informed by decolonization, feminist, and queer theory and movements, we will critically examine our assumptions and practices while exploring tools and strategies that emphasize social as well as ecological integration and liberation.

SOLIDARITY SOCIETIES: THE CASE OF GREECE
(1 SESSION)
PAVLOS STAVROPOULOS

Solidarity: A guiding ethic, a social value, an organizing principle, an everyday practice;
an antidote to neoliberalism; a pathway to autonomy and liberation. This talk will take a critical look at the emergence of popular assemblies and solidarity projects in Greece as a response to the austerity and refugee crises of the last eight years. It will examine the promise and pitfalls of these efforts as a possible reference point in our ongoing struggle toward social liberation.

Pavlos is a longtime activist and organizer involved in numerous local, national, and international ecological, indigenous, liberatory, and anarchist struggles, including solidarity projects around austerity and refugee issues in his native Greece. He is a founder of Woodbine Ecology Center, which focuses on the confluence of sustainability, social and environmental justice, indigenous knowledge, and decolonization struggles, and a certified permaculture designer and instructor, water and sustainability educator, street medic, and father.

TRY ANARCHISM FOR LIFE!
(3 SESSIONS)
CINDY MILSTEIN

In the best spirit of anarchism, this three-part workshop will strive to create a space of learning together, drawing from our shared understandings and experiences. It will explore anarchism as an ethical compass, which points simultaneously to an overarching critique of all forms of hierarchy and an expansive social vision of what it could mean to be free people in a free society. The workshop look at how anarchism can offer a way of thinking—a critical or dialectical theory—to find “cracks in the wall.” And from there, crucially, it will dig into anarchism as a living, breathing, prefigurative politics, utilizing illustrations from messy-beautiful experiments in the here and now that at once gesture toward a liberatory, loving world. At its heart, this workshop will revolve around what it means to aspire toward and practice an “everyday anarchism,” where notions such as self-organization and self-governance, mutual aid and solidarity, autonomy and collectivity, dignity and care, to name a few, become commonsensical second nature as well as the basis for new social relations and social organization.

Cindy has long engaged in anarchistic organizing, contemporary social movements, and collective spaces, and 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 Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief. For over a year, Cindy has been doing support for the J20 defendants, and is currently focusing on popular education, antifascism, and “care not cops,” among other mischief, as part of the Solidarity & Defense, Huron Valley collective in so-called Michigan. Cindy is honored to do death doula and grief care too.

UNDERSTANDING REPRESSION AND BUILDING RESILIENCE
(2 SESSIONS)
MICHAEL LOADENTHAL

What does repression look like in 2018? How can it be reflected in past eras? How has it changed? And how can we learn to be more resilient in our movements, networks, and communities? These key questions will be examined in this hybrid workshop-discussion hosted over the course of two sessions. The first session will explore how repression operates generally, and how to understand these state strategies. That will involve investigating the Red Scare, COINTELPRO, the Green Scare, and specific methods of domestic policing, including infiltration, surveillance, grand juries, and laws such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The second session will build on this knowledge to collectively discuss strategies and tactics for countering repression, acting boldly, remaining free, and increasing our abilities to bounce back when knocked down.

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, and the director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He posts all his work for free at http://gmu.academia.edu/MichaelLoadenthal. Michael also has the distinct displeasure of being one of the remaining fifty-nine J20 defendants facing sixty-plus years in federal prison for participation in counterinaugural activities.

IAT Summer School 2017

IAT flier

Course listing:

Decolonizing Anarchism (3 sessions)

(Maia Ramnath)

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

Burn Down the American Plantation: Revolutionary Abolitionism (3 sessions)

(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.

Art and Social Movements (3 Sessions)

(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.

“The Anarchist Turn”: Understanding Anarchism in the Twenty-First Century (2 sessions)

(Hillary Lazar)

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.

Learning Our ABCs: Exploring Accountability, Boundaries, and Consent in our Lives and Communities (2 sessions)

(Worcester FemSex)

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.

Criminalizing Dissent & (Un)Civil Disobedience: Repression, Terrorization & Rioti-zation (3 sessions)

(Michael)

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

Everyday Anarchism: Aspirations, Solidarity, and Direct Action (3 sessions)

(Cindy Milstein)

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.

Anarchist Orientation in Grassroots Organizing (2 sessions)

(Todd May)

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.

Radical Fabrication, Printmaking, and Makin’ Things

(The League of JustUs)

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.

Activist Climbing

(V H S S K)

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.

Anarchism, Permaculture, and Radical Ecology (3 sessions)

(Pavlos Stavropoulos)

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.

Welding for Actions (2 sessions)

(SWARM)

Participants will learn the basics in welding, welding for blockades and action equipment, and welding in the field.

Intro to Nonviolent Direct Action (1 session)

(SWARM)

The basics in planning and executing non-violent direct actions.

Introduction to Anarchism (3 Sessions)

anarchism_infoshop_-_become_ungovernable

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!
Presentation Link:

http://prezi.com/uitvt6skr-md/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

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.

Course Materials:

Anarchism and its Aspirations:

Free PDF version:

http://libgen.io/ads.php?md5=B1BDCFBA828417946098FBA9E493D093

Paperback version:

https://www.akpress.org/anarchism-and-its-aspirations.html

To Change Everything

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Rj4mMMSYI

A History of Anarchism in 8 Minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YitdjMORoU

Anarchism: Philosophy and History

http://revolutionaryleftradio.libsyn.com/website/anarchism-philosophy-and-history-with-dr-mark-bray

Gathering Proposal by Vic – From Disconnection Issue #1:

https://archive.org/details/Disconnection1GatheringProposalByVic

The Political Prehistory of Love and Rage:

https://ia600302.us.archive.org/4/items/ThePoliticalPre-historyOfLoveRage/political_pre_hist_lnr-SCREEN.pdf