(Saturday 9am-7pm) CAPITALISM IS THE CRISIS! Anti-capitalist Teach-in


Saturday 24 November 2012
7th floor of Concordia Hall Building
1455 de Maisonneuve W. (Guy-Concordia metro), Montreal

9am to 10am: Breakfast and welcome
10am to 7pm: Workshops, with lunch from 2pm to 3pm
All day: Info-fair with anti-capitalist resources
Free breakfast, lunch and snacks. Childcare. Whisper translation EN-FR-SP. Fully accessible to wheelchairs.
A full day of 101 workshops on the history and current reality of capitalism and struggles against capitalism in Quebec and globally. This teach-in, the first in what we hope will become a series, is organized in the context of Montreal’s monthly anti-capitalist assemblies. It is open to everyone who would like to learn more about an anti-capitalist approach and get involved in the movement.
In a spirit of self-education and aimed at collective action, the teach-in will also serve to launch a new online database of anti-capitalist workshops, a decentralized tool for popular education. http://ateliersanticapitalistes.wordpress.com/
9 to 10am Welcome / breakfast / tabling

10 to 12noon Workshops on the History of Capitalism and anti-capitalist struggles

–> Anti-capitalism 101 FR
Presented by Pat, Gui M. and Nique, CLAC Comité Agit-Prop
Historical and theoretical overview of different modes of production, with an in-depth look at capitalism and forms of resistance throughout history. From the prehistory of the World Trade Organization starting with the origins of exploitation, patriarchy, slavery, the state and imperialism, we will try to synthesize the mechanisms of the capitalist economy from the industrial revolution to neoliberalism. Throughout history, there has been no exploitation without resistance …
–> Prisons, Military and Special Laws: Hidden Fist of the Market
Presented by the People’s Commission Network EN
An introduction to the role of the liberal state in underpinning the ‘free’ market, with specific examples from Quebec and Canadian history: opening markets and accessing resources abroad through military occupation; prisons, laws and borders for the everyday regulation of workers and access to natural resources; and, when necessary, ‘national security’ and ‘special laws’ to repress social movements and create an ‘internal enemy’.
–> Anarchism and anticolonialism FR
Presented by Christian and others
A multimedia workshop and collective discussion on relations established and to be established between anarchism and indigenous resistance. What are the affinities and common objectives? How to conceptualize anarchism in occupied lands? What are the links between anarchism and decolonization? These are some of the questions this workshop will try to address.
Christian is an anarchist who has been active for many years. He is also an independent researcher and journalist who works with Media Coop (mediacoop.ca) and CKUT and is an active member of the Anticolonial Solidarity Collective.
12 to 2pm Workshops on the History of Capitalism and anti-capitalist struggles
–> From the Zapatista Uprising to Occupy Wall Street: Global Justice Movements in North America EN
Presented by Jaggi Singh & Nandita Sharma.
This presentation and discussion will look at the most recent generation of resistance movements in North America to neo-liberal capitalism (1994 to 2013), exploring the strategies used to articulate clear anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-racist opposition to structural exploitations and oppressions. We’ll look critically at the past two decades of resistance. We’ll address movement debates ranging from the role of NGOs and political parties, to state and police repression; from rooting resistance in community organizing to building solidarity through a respect for a diversity of tactics; and about how to effectively prefigure radical alternatives and practice direct democracy. We’ll emphasize the emergence of clear discourses of opposition that reference capitalism and anti-capitalism, colonialism and decolonization, global apartheid, as well as horizontal organizing and direct action. We’ll attempt situate and contextualize the current movements of opposition – anti-austerity, the recent student strike, climate change, and “occupy” movements – in previous resistance efforts in Montreal, Quebec and in North America. This will be an introductory style presentation, to acquaint participants with the organizing references from the immediately previous “generation” of activists, thinkers and organizers.
Jaggi Singh is a member of CLAC, No One Is Illegal Montreal and Solidarity Across Borders. Nandita Sharma is an activist scholar whose research is shaped by the social movements she is active in, including No Borders movements.
–> Unemployment insurance or assured exploitation? FR
Presented by Jacques Beaudoin, Mouvement Action-Chômage de Montréal
The Canadian unemployment insurance regime was created in 1940 in response to crisis and the struggles of the unemployed people’s movement. Responding to the demands of globalization and the re-organization of capital, the Canadian state proceeded to dismantle the regime throughout the 1990s, inflicting an historic defeat on the workers’ movement. Recent announcements by the Harper government are set to do away with what was left of a formerly universal regime – what will the impact be?
–> Double forced displacement: the Mexican community in Quebec EN
Presented by Mexicanos unis pour la regularisation
Because of economic policies like NAFTA and military and security policies like the PSP and Plan Mexico, thousands of Mexicans have been forced to leave their lands and become urban workers, docile and vulnerable, in Mexico, the United States and Canada.
2pm to 3pm Lunch

3pm to 5pm Workshops on Understanding and fighting current capitalism
–> Understanding and fighting austerity and crisis in Montreal EN
Presented by Mostafa Henaway, Immigrant Workers’ Centre
A discussion on the changing nature of capitalism and the impacts of the economic crisis here in Montreal, including the increasing use over the past 3 decades of precarious labour, mainly in the form of migrant workers. These measures have perfected the “neo-liberal worker” in the race to the bottom, undermining gains made by past workers’ struggles, and contributing to the crisis we face today. This workshop will draw on the experience of the Immigrant Workers’ Centre which has been organizing with Temporary Agency workers, Temporary Foreign Workers, and undocumented workers from Montreal’s textile industry, food processing, and other vital service sectors. The workshop will present the view that it is necessary to see austerity and the crisis beyond the attacks on public education and services and as part of a much broader struggle, including the struggle for migrant justice and against Plan nord. Capital’s only way to get out of this worsening crisis is to revert to strategies integral to the beginning of the Canadian state: land theft with cheap migrant labour.
Mostafa Henaway is a community organizer at the Immigrant Workers’ Centre in Montreal.
–> Anti-Capitalism and Supporting Sex Workers Rights EN/FR
Presented by Robyn and Anna Aude, Stella
We will discuss the importance of supporting sex workers’ autonomy and struggles for self-determination and freedom from violence, and decriminalization of our lives and work. This workshop will be provided in a framework of anti-capitalist solidarity with directly affectly affected people, and also from a perspective of anti-capitalist solidarity with labour movements. We will touch on the harms caused advertently or inadvertently by what is often termed as ‘abolitionism’, those who under the rubric of feminism or other justifications seek to “abolish” the sex trade entirely, providing the perspectives of numerous sex workers in Montreal, Canada, and internationally. This workshop would be interesting to many in the anticapitalist movement currently, as the topic of supporting sex workers rights struggles, versus that of radical feminism or abolitionist feminism, is currently an important debate to the anti-capitalist movement in Montreal. Also as many of the criminal laws in Canada surrounding sex work are being challenged both federally and in British Columbia by sex workers, it is a topic that is of interest to anyone keeping current with social justice issues.
–> What is gentrification? Anti-gentrification: tips for countering developers. FR
Presented by Marcel Sévigny and Marco Silvestro, La Pointe libertaire
This workshop will have two parts: the first will address the question of what gentrification is; its actors and dynamics. We will see that the phenomenon, driven by speculation and profit, accompanies the development of big cities just about everywhere in the world. Gentrification has an impact on existing populations, the type of housing available, the culture of consumption and the imposition of an individualist ideology. The second part will look at strategies for resisting this phenomenon, the articulation of a dynamic of opposition to capitalist projects and the development of alternative projects. We will use the example of the Autonomous Social Centre in Point St. Charles.
5pm to 7pm Workshops on Understanding and fighting current capitalism

–> Anarchist Tech Support for Everyone EN
Presented by Anarchistes pour des Technologies Solidaires
The computers and other technologies that we use every day are useful to us, yet also create new ways for states and corporations to do surveillance and attempt to control us. This workshop will include a critical discussion of the role of technology in our society, as well as practical information on how to use technologies of solidarity against capitalist, authoritarian power. If you would like to start using some of these tools, bring your computer. It may be possible to work on some smartphones as well. No prior knowledge of computers is required to participate, everyone is welcome!
–> Plan North, Plan South: Colonialism and resistance here and elsewhere FR/EN
Presented by PASC and the Anticolonial Solidarity Collective
Plan North is a business venture to occupy land and extract mineral resources, just like the many projects driven by the mining and energy industry in most parts of the world. A constant in these many specific projects is the dispossession of local populations and their forced conscription into the logic of industrial development. The first people affected are those who live in contact with their lands. In Columbia, it is the indigenous and Métis populations have been displaced by Canadian miners, who have created a state of civil war, and launched strategies to make their actions acceptable with the support of CIDA. Here, the Innu, Naskapi, Atikamekw, Cree, Anishnawbe and the Inuit peoples are affected. They are marginalized by the state and companies like Hydro-Québec. How does land colonization create poverty and marginalisation of populations? What forms of oppression empower this social war for resources? How are people resisting and how are they trying to defend their self-determination? What forms of solidarity can we adopt to support them?
–>Legal Self-defence against criminalization FR
Presented by the Self-defense and legal support committee of CLAC
An introductory workshop to understand legal proceedings, from challenging a ticket to a trial for criminal charges. This will help prepare for defending yourself in court or for being involved in your trial with a lawyer.

If you would like to help out, submit material to the info-fair, or submit a workshop to the workshop bank, get in touch with us at: banqueateliers@gmail.com.
Teach-in Committee of the CLAC (Convergence of anticapitalist struggles)

Co-sponsored by QPIRG Concordia, www.qpirgconcordia.org/, and QPIRG McGill, www.qpirgmcgill.org