Anarchist Summer School:
(print by Andrea Marcos, www.dreamarcos.com)
Dear fellow troublemakers,
First and most important, we hope that you, your loved ones, and comrades are doing as well as can be during this challenging moment. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, and so many people are now grappling with difficult stresses, emotions, and losses. Our hearts go out to you.
As anarchists, we’re also suddenly facing specific dilemmas, such as what our self-organizing tactics and strategies can and should look like, and whether to keep our spaces open and/or cancel our events. It feels painful not to be able to gather face-to-face, and instead try to maintain our social relations while physically distancing. Yet as in most moments of disaster, anarchists are thinking collectively, initiating beautiful forms of mutual aid, and being extra responsible about caring for and protecting each other because it’s the right thing to do—not because state or capitalism tells us so.
Against this background, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel our Anarchist Summer School, originally scheduled for August 1-9, 2020. We’re committed to this project over the long haul, though, and plan to reschedule when it’s possible to hold group gatherings again. We’ll miss cultivating community with old and new friends this coming summer; we’ll miss our beautiful, generative, brave space. Yet it feels the only ethical decision at this point.
In the meantime, we—like so many others—have turned our attention to mutual aid and solidarity projects. If you’re involved in any of these types of organizing efforts, please add them to the “Collective Care” directory, so we can continue to find, inspire, and borrow from each other. Or if you’re looking for something to plug into, also see the directory and you might find a nearby project: https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org/collective-care/.
with grief, love, and rage,
IAT will take place August 1-9, 2020 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.