WORKING GROUPS are the heart of QPIRG Concordia. They are groups, collectives, networks, projects, and campaigns that organize together in the Montreal community, and beyond, on a wide variety of issues directly related to social and environmental justice.
*** UPDATE: Consider being a Working Group of QPIRG Concordia for 2015-16! Deadline to apply: October 16, 2015, before 5pm. INFO: www.qpirgconcordia.org/?page_id=1512 ***
Together, QPIRG Concordia’s twenty-eight working groups share skills and knowledge, engage in popular education and art, organize events and protests, provide direct support and solidarity, publish alternative research and analysis, and, in general, contribute, encourage, and maintain resistance in diverse and creative ways. Read more about this year’s working groups below.
* AT THE HEART OF RESISTANCE is QPIRG Concordia’s working groups journal, featuring articles and images from dozens of our groups covering topics ranging from prisoner justice, to indigenous solidarity, from queer support for Palestine, to Anarchist secure technologies, and much more! You can pick up a copy at QPIRG Concordia, or you can read the 2012 edition of the journal online HERE. The 2011 edition is available HERE.
* WORKSHOPS: Many of our working groups offer workshops on a variety of topics related to their ongoing organizing and campaigns. Read more about these workshops, which you can request for your own group, HERE.
QPIRG CONCORDIA 2014-2015 WORKING GROUPS
(descriptions and contact info are listed below)
- Accessibilize Montreal!
- Anti-Canada Committee
- Asian Arts’ Freedom School
- Certain Days Political Prisoner Calendar Committee
- Colectivo de Inmigrantes Españoles en Montreal / Collectif d’Immigrant.e.s Espagnol.e.s à Montréal
- Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière
- Contempt of Court / Outrage au tribunal
- Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes (CLAC-Mtl)
- Cordillera People Support Group
- L’École-Libre Radicale de Mtl Rad School
- 8th March Committee of Women of Diverse Origins
- Équipe Sonore / Soundteam
- Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Harm Reduction Coalition
- Justice For The Victims Of Police Killings
- Mad Pride MTL
- Montreal Anarchist Bookfair Collective
- Montreal Childcare Collective
- Not Fine
- Open Door Books Montreal / Livres-Accès Montréal
- Prisoner Correspondence Project
- Queer Between the Covers
- Qouleur Qollective
- Sidetracks Screenprinting Collective
- Solidarity Across Borders
- Ste Emilie Skillshare
(descriptions and contact info are listed below)
8th March Committee of Women of Diverse Origins
Women of Diverse Origins is a grassroots anti-imperialist women’s network that organizes public eventsparticularly around International Women’s Day, to educate and discuss the links between global policies and the situation of women locally, share experiences of struggle and mobilize against injustice and for the right of all to live with dignity.
Accessibilize Montreal! aims to make Montreal a more accessible place in every way: from the mindsets and interactions between Montrealers to the infrastructure that surrounds us. By holding workshops like Why Accessibilize Montreal, and Gender; Disability and Sexuality: Real Talk with Accessibilize Montreal, we challenge mainstream perceptions of disability, and through advocacy and direct action we protest transit and systemic discrimination. Join us in our movement beyond ableism and a respect of diversity!
The Anti-Canada Committee works to undertake popular education activities and actions to raise awareness and oppose Canadian coloniasm and neo-colonialism, specifically within the context of the upcoming 150th Canadian confederation celebrations to take place in 2017 (the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Confederation). Already, the Canadian governement has started a multi-million dollar campaign to whitewash Canadian colonialism in the lead-up to 2017. 2017 itself will be full of activities from coast-to-coast to “celebrate” Canada. Our committee, in a modest way, wants to counteract that mainstream propaganda by organizing and supporting popular education activities that focus on resistance to Canadian (and Quebec) colonialism, capitalism and racism.
Asian Art’s Freedom School
The Asian Arts’ Freedom School is a community-based popular education collective whose mission is to use the creative arts and anti-oppressive methods to bring together racialized, Indigenous, mixed-race, and People of Colour identified individuals in order to build solidarity and share practical skills for organizing, peer support, art creation, and survival.
Certain Days Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar Collective
The Certain Days Political Prisoner Calendar Committee works to support, educate and fundraise for political prisoners through the production of a yearly calendar. The calendar is a project produced by organizers in Montreal and Toronto, with the support of 3 political prisoners in New York State. We work with an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, feminist, queer and transliberationist perspective to help free our movement’s political prisoners.
Colectivo de Inmigrantes Españoles en Montreal (CIEM)
We are a group of immigrants from Spain, and Spanish descended individuals, allies & friends in Montreal who raise awareness about the current worldwide neoliberal establishment and its pro-austerity policies. We also collaborate with immigration groups in Montreal aiming to improving their status and rights.
Collectif opposé à la brutalité policière (COBP)
The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP) is an autonomous group that brings together the victims, witnesses and anyone concerned about police brutality as well as any form of abuse perpetrated by the police. COBP not only denounces police harassment, violence, intimidation, arrests and abuse of power and inform the public about their rights with regards to the police, but we also provide support to the victims by helping them with filing a complaint with the police ethics board and in facing abusive accusations.
Contempt of Court / Outrage au tribunal
The Contempt of Court legal clinic is an initiative by and for activists whose mission is to support those having to deal with the legal system as a result of political activity or actions that fit within our principles. Our work is grounded in solidarity and is complementary to work of other support and legeal defense groups and initiatives. Whether it’s through our monthly or bi-monthly clinics, individual support or workshops on specific legal charges, we seek to recognize activists’ legal experience and want to pool our shared experience with the judicial system, be it theoretical or practical. Our goal is to contribute to a shifting of the balance of power with regards to the judicial system that isn’t simply on a case by case basis. Join us if you are facing charges or looking to file a complaint or would like to share your own experience or support.
Convergence des luttes anticapitalistes / Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC)
The Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC) of Montreal is a convergence and coordination space for the radical anticapitalist milieu of the Montreal area. The CLAC’s mandate is to put forward an anticapitalist analysis on a public platform through the organization of a variety of campaigns and protests, including the yearly May 1st anticapitalist mobilization. We adopt an antiauthoritarian approach and respect the principles set out by the People’s Global Action. The CLAC is an explicitly anticapitalist, antiauthoritarian and anticolonial space.
Cordillera People Support Group
The Cordillera People Support Group is a newly formed group. We are in the process of exploring the indigenous Filipinos in the community, their general and specific issues close to them. Our objective is to gather information on issues of their concerns and share experiences between each other. Later on, we can develop a scientific analysis and unite on what actions we can take that are needed to change our common issues.
École-libre radicale de Mtl Rad school
The Rad School provides a space for children to pursue their own interests, explore at their own pace and participate in a democratic community. They are encouraged to learn what they are passionate about, to explore, question, discover and grow! This working group is focused on making student centered learning available to everyone, freedom in education for all! If you are interested in getting involved with this project, please visit out website.
Équipe Sonore / Soundteam
Équipe Sonore/Soundteam provides sound services for Montreal area community groups that cannot afford to pay professional rates. We build, maintain and operate P.A. systems for community events, rallies, conferences and performances. We also strive to disseminate and democratize the technical knowledge of audio production systems. Our purpose is to support people’s grassroots initiatives and act in the interests of communities and their struggles for economic and political justice.
Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Harm Reduction Coalition
The Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Harm Reduction Coalition is an Indigenous collective. We organize within an Indigenous feminist and Two-Spirit framework. We work in collaboration with Santé Publique and are cleared to distribute harm reductive materials in Tiotia:ke (Montreal). Examples of harm reductive materials include needles, straight shooters, and other materials for safer drug use. We also distribute sexual health materials such as pregnancy tests and safer sex materials.
Justice for the Victims of Police Killings
The Justice for the Victims of Police Killings Coalition brings together directly affected families and friends of the victims of police killings, as well as their allies. Our main goals and purpose as a coalition are to remember the victims who lost their lives due to police violence, impunity and abuse; and to support their families and friends in any way we can. The Coalition follows from years of struggle and support for the families and friends of police killing victims. The Coalition currently involves the family members and friends of Anas Bennis, Claudio Castagnetta, Ben Matson, Quilem Registre, Gladys Tolley, Jean-Francois Nadreau and Fredy Villanueva, all of whom died as a direct result of police actions and interventions. We continue to reach out to family and friends of other victims of police killings.
Mad Pride MTL
We’re a fabulous collective by and for folks identifying as mad, sad, crazy, hyper-emotional, neuroatypical, mentally ill/different, psychiatric survivors/consumers and/or questioning. We meet regularly for mad hangouts and support groups, we have a mental health distro and we participate in / give workshops on radical mental health.
Montreal Anarchist Bookfair Collective
The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair — and month-long Festival of Anarchy (May 2015) — bring together anarchist ideas and practice, through words, images, music, theatre and day-to-day struggles for justice, dignity and collective liberation. The Bookfair and Festival are as much for people who don’t necessarily consider themselves anarchists, but are curious about anarchism, as they are spaces for anarchists to meet, network and share in a spirit of respect and solidarity. All are welcome. The Bookfair and Festival are together one of the largest anarchist events in North America, and for the past decade, an important gathering and reference point for anti-authoritarian ideas and practice.
Montreal Childcare Collective
The Childcare Collective, offers strategic childcare in response to the fact that childcare is frequently overlooked and underappreciated. We aim to assist parents, caregivers, youth and children, including but not limited to low-income communities, non-status and immigrant communities, communities of colour, and queer and trans communities.
Not Fine Concordia aims to provide a safe, anonymous, non-judgemental and non-oppressive space for students to discuss their experiences with mental health. We want to increase awareness about campus and community resources, and fill the gap in service by connecting students to one another, and providing space for us to support each other.
Open Door Books Montreal / Livres-Accès Montréal
The Open Door Books (ODB) collective is part of an informal network of Books to Prisoners programs throughout North America. ODB seeks to support and work in solidarity with imprisoned people. We believe that prisons and the (in)justice system act as institutions of social control and oppression, further targeting marginalized people as a result of patriarchy, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, disableism, and colonialism.
Prisoner Correspondence Project
The Prisoner Correspondence Project is a collectively-run initiative based out of Montreal, Quebec. It coordinates a direct-correspondence program for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer inmates in Canada and the United States, linking these inmates with people a part of these same communities outside of prison. In addition, it coordinates a resource library of information regarding harm reduction practice (safer sex, safer drug-use, clean needle care), HIV and HEPC prevention, homophobia, transphobia, coming out, etc. The project also aims to make prisoner justice and prisoner solidarity a priority within queer movements on the outside through events like film screenings, workshops, and panel discussions which touch on the broader issues relating to criminalization and incarceration of queers and transfolk.
Queer Between the Covers
Queer Between the Covers is a volunteer collective that promotes and provides access to queer materials in Montreal. We organize an annual queer book fair, which attracts hundreds of people, and assembles both local and out-of-town authors, zinesters, independent bookstores, publishers, and community groups. The collective also runs a queer book/zine distro and organizes smaller queer-lit events.
We are a grass-roots collective of artists, performers, writers and political activists based in Montreal, Quebec who have decided to volunteer our time and energy to bring awareness of racialized queer identities and experiences to the wider public. We work to bridge the gaps between communities and create an open space for voices that all too often go unheard.
Re-Con is a prisoner-initiated re-integration program created in 1999. The group is made up of people serving a life sentence at the Federal Training Center in Laval, formerly incarcerated members now serving their sentence on parole, and outside volunteers. It is Re-Con’s main goal to establish links between prisoners and the community after a long period of incarceration and isolation. We aim to diminish the effects of institutionalization through personal development workshops and by introducing those incarcerated to community resources which may help them re-integrate into society upon their release from prison. To this end, weekly meetings that take place both inside and outside the prison focus on exploring the various services, resources, and networks available outside the prison walls.
Sidetracks Screenprinting Collective
We are a superstar screenprinting team of volunteers whose mandate is to make screenprinting accessible to projects and organizations working for social change. Sidetracks was born out of the Ste-Emilie Skillshare and works to uphold its mandate.
Solidarity Across Borders
Solidarity Across Borders is a Montreal-based network engaged in the struggle for justice and dignity of im/migrants and refugees. We are comprised of migrants, immigrants, refugees and allies, and come together in support of our main demands: the regularization of all migrants living with precarious status (Status for ALL!), an end to deportations and detentions, and the abolition of double punishment of migrants with criminal records. We are actively building a “Solidarity City” campaign, which aims to build networks of solidarity and mutual aid within the city of Montreal as well as demanding that essential services be accessible to everyone, regardless of their immigration status. Some of us have direct experiences with the immigration and refugee system; some of us come from immigrant backgrounds; all of us organize as part of a collective struggle for justice and dignity. For us, there is no such thing as “illegal” human beings, only unjust laws and illegitimate governments. We organize not on the basis of pity or charity, but rather solidarity and mutual aid.
Ste Emilie Skillshare
The Ste-Emilie Skillshare is a community art space devoted to empowerment, self-determination and collective liberation. It is a space run by and for people who are trans, two-spirit, queer, Indigenous and/or people of colour* and friends. As a collective of activists and artists, we work within an anti-oppression framework toward social and economic transformation. We share skills and resources to create art in the spirit of self-representation and revolution.
Some recent working groups of QPIRG-Concordia include: Alcan’t in India; Anarchist Reading Circle; Block the Empire Montreal; Brown Birthing Network; Colours of Resistance Montreal; Comité soutien Dany Villanueva; Committee to Support Kader Belaouni; Common Front; Countershot; End Exploitation; Haiti Action Montreal; Ici La Otra; Independent Media Center (IMC-Montreal); Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement (IPSM); Initiative de Vidéo Stratégique; International Solidarity Movement (ISM); Kanehsatake Garden Project; LCP (Live-in Caregiver Program) Focus Group; Mad Autonomous Solidarity Collective (MASC); Mexico-Montreal; Not In Our Name – Concordia; Parc X Citizens’ Committee; Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC); Political Prisoner Solidarity Project; Résovélo; SNAP! Moving to Our Own Beats; Tadamon! Montreal; Women in Gear/Les Dérailleuses; W.O.R.D. (Writing Our Rhymes Down); and many others!
Some groups and projects that evolved from QPIRG-Concordia’s working groups in the past include: Right to Move/La Voie Libre; Popular Film Series (evolved into Cinema Politica); Urgence Manif; Sustainable Concordia; Blood Sisters; Un Juste Café; Santropol Roulant; Concordia Recycling and Composting Committee; Vegan Lunch Program (became People’s Potato); Project Take Root (evolved into Frigo Vert); Action Rebut; ASEED (became Equiterre); and others!