Workshop Descriptions

Sunday December 15th – Workshop Descriptions

For descriptions of activities and workshops on or about kids, click here.

TAF 2013 schedule




Decolonizing Anti-Capitalism

Featuring reflections from an Haudenosaunee @narchist, this presentation will provide a critical analysis of contemporary anti-capitalist and anarchist struggles on Turtle Island. How does colonialism inform the practice and execution of capitalism on Turtle Island? With the shared goal of smashing the state – how can anarchist circles work to deepen their commitment to anti-capitalism through supporting Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination? Articulating formative intersections between anarchism and indigeneity, this session will challenge the hegemony of Western/Eurocentric imaginings of insurrection.

Amanda Lickers (Turtle Clan, Onondowa’ga Nation) contributes to the movement against tar sands pipelines while dreaming of the Indigenous insurrection against colonial-capitalism. She curates the blog Reclaim Turtle Island where her first short film, co-produced with, “Kahstastensera” can be found. “Kahstastensera” is a Kanien’keha word meaning Strength In Unity which focuses on Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipelines in northeastern Turtle Island.

Toronto Seed Library presents: “Growing Seed Freedom”

Cultivators of the Toronto Seed Library, a free community seed growing and sharing program, discuss the state of local and global seed security, including the ongoing privatization, contamination and destruction of the seed commons and the emergent global movement for Seed Freedom.

Conversation will revolve around new seed growing and saving initiatives, practical seed saving instructions, how to establish a community seed library, and the groundwork necessary to recreate a resilient local seed system to realize seed and food sovereignty and protect global biodiversity.

We will introduce and call for contributions to “The Seedy Zine”, a seedy seasonal community publication. During this event we will detail the growth of the seed library movement in Toronto and beyond, and how one can initiate, support or scale up community seed saving projects required to truly challenge the corporate GMO seed and agricultural industry.

New and experienced seed growers and savers are encouraged to attend. Free seeds and tips for growing will be available to check out from the Toronto Seed Library. Contact for seeds and more information.

Anarchist Organizational Issues During the Spanish War, 1936-39

1) Different levels of organizing (FAI – Federation of Iberian Anarchists, CNT – National Workers Confederation); 2) The question of participation in elections and in government (Federica Montseny and Camillo Berneri); 3) Agricultural collectives and cooperatives in Aragon and Andalucia; 4) The Archinov Platform; 5) Militias and anti-militarism, pacifism; 6) Workers’ control in Catalunya.

Men Dealing with their Shit Assembly

A space for men to discuss and examine their male privilege and how that privilege informs their actions and interactions, both political and personal. What can a man do to subvert and betray patriarchy, and how can we all become better and safer dudes?

Facilitated by Wesley.

Why Do We Use Drugs? (or in other ways alter our consciousness)

We use many techniques to influence how we will perceive, feel and experience in the near future. We can make everything more intense, or less intense, change it or add content. But why do we want to change? In this workshop and community discussion, a theory which attempts to address the full variety of motivations will be introduced, applied and discussed. This theory is applicable to all motivations for change, but drug use will provide an entry point for discussion. The discussion will strive to be inclusive and to reject stigma, and will surpass a “harm reduction” perspective by orienting itself towards desired outcomes rather than harms. All are welcome to participate, regardless of personal history of inebriation or sobriety.

An article outlining the theory to be discussed is available online here:

Michael Vipperman is a Toronto based ethnographer, theorist and artist, trained in research methods by the Sociology department at the University of Toronto (from which he ultimately refused to accept a degree). From 2007-2011 he performed ethnographic fieldwork with young drug users in Toronto. His interests include cognitive science, critical anthropology, affect studies, queer theory, analytic psychology, religion, magic(k), mythology, narrative intervention and qi gong.




Maximum Tolerated Dose” – Discussion with Director

For animal rights activists and the AR curious, the intersection of animal rights and anarchism may not be immediately apparent. karol orzechowski will show clips from his film Maximum Tolerated Dose and facilitate a discussion on the links between anarchism, animal rights, and the pervasiveness of speciesism in culture more broadly. Through a non-dogmatic and non-hierarchal approach to the subject, we’ll discuss ways that anarchists and animal rights activists (sometimes one and the same) can learn from each other, and strengthen each others work.

Settler allies in solidarity with Indigenous Resistance to Extractive Industries, Environmental Racism, Land Theft

This interactive workshop will encourage discussion around building solidarity efforts with Indigenous communities. Participants will be given scenarios to discuss and will be asked to create action plans. This workshop does not aim to debate the existence of environmental racism, colonialism, and land displacement. We encourage participants to become familiar with these concepts and examples of these practices prior to arriving at the workshop.

Chelsea Taylor and Taylor Chelsea are still on their learning journeys with these matters. Chelsea Taylor has organized in solidarity with 6 Nations before moving to Edmonton – Treaty 6 territory to work in solidarity with land defenders in the west. Taylor Chelsea has been working alongside solidarity efforts in the Toronto area with tar sands impacted communities.

Anarchism & Hope: An interactive workshop on dreams, desire, struggle, and the cold reality we live in

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself the question as an anarchist or a revolutionary “what gives you hope”? What keeps you motivated to fight for a better world? What stops you from throwing in the towel? This workshop comes from a belief that anarchists are perhaps the most hopeful and the most cynical people in society at the same time, yet we rarely openly discuss the notion of hope. This workshop will be an interactive discussion on several questions surrounding hope. It is based on a recently released zine called “Anarchism and Hope”.

Aaron is a Montreal anarchist who thinks a lot about hope, and is fighting for a world with less borders and more bagels.

Building APOC (Anarchist People of Colour) Affinity and Alliances

A space for settlers of colour and indigenous persons to participate in discussions of alliance, solidarity, identity, actions and anything our hearts need to express.

Facilitated by Mubarak and Amanda




Basic Mobile Security

While smartphones have been heralded as the coming of the next generation of communication and collaboration, they are a step backwards when it comes to personal security, anonymity and privacy. This workshop will use Creative Commons licensed training materials created by the Tibet Action Institute’s partnership with the Guardian Project to discuss communication, mobile security and documentation of struggle. Videos will be captioned.

Byron Sonne is computer/technical security specialist who had some unfortunate experience during the G20 in 2010. He likes mountain biking, cats, and coffee.

Corporate Repression: How to Fight Against SLAPP Suits, Corporate Media and Private Investigators

This workshop will focus on personal experience in navigating corporate repression and protecting against civil litigation while still remaining effective.

Dylan Powell is an organizer in St. Catharines, Ont. Co-Founder of Marineland Animal Defense, #OurScars and the Live Free Collective. Dylan is active in the animal and earth liberation movements, as well as involved in solidarity organizing with the Haudenosaunee of the Grand River, the migrant justice advocacy community and at risk youth in the Niagara Region. Dylan is graduate of Brock University (Honours History) and current Addiction Education student at McMaster University in Hamilton. Through advocacy work Dylan has lectured and spoken across North America and been featured in International news media outlets. He is currently being sued by the captive animal facility Marineland Canada for $1.5 million in damages.

Social Movements & Assemblies in Ecuador

A presentation and discussion on social movements and assemblies in Latin America, particularly focussing on environmental struggles.

Santiago has been working with Social Movements in Ecuador and Venezuela for about 10 years; specially focusing on developing and implementing People’s Media platforms, and active in environmental justice against the oil giant Chevron. Since arriving in Canada about 4 years ago, Santiago has worked on migrant workers rights issues, mainly with migrant farm workers in the Niagara region and in solidarity with the struggles of indigenous peoples of Canada and Quebec.

Winter Riding! 

This is a two-part workshop on how to ride your bicycle during the winter in Toronto. The first part focuses on what you can do to your bike to give it a head-start on getting through the winter. The second part is on what you can do as a rider to make winter riding less daunting.

Facilitated by Chloé.

Workers’ Control: Does it actually work?

Dumont Press Graphix operated as a worker-owned and controlled typesetting shop in Kitchener from June 1971 until April 1987. As well as providing typesetting and printing services as a means of income, its members also produced, outside of the regular working day, newspapers, pamphlets, books, posters, and other print-based communications — all of it expressing a politics of radical social change. Nonetheless, keeping the business going meant that the Dumont workers engaged in day-to-day operations at an entirely different level of effort and intensity than any other workplace would require. They needed not only to participate in the capitalist market, but, given their commitment to the egalitarian values of the New Left and the counterculture of the late 60s, they also had to get along with each other under the de-personalizing circumstances of commerce.

Steve Izma worked at Dumont during most of its existence. In this workshop, he will outline Dumont’s history and its relationship to the Left and the counterculture during that time, and raise issues about workers’ control for a general discussion.




Emerging Science: Implications for Activists

New and emerging hard science has implications for community building, organizing and even our visions of social justice.  Some of this information is slowly finding its way into popular consciousness but many new findings are being ridiculed, blocked and devalued because they challenge the dominant worldview and provide information that jeopardizes existing power dynamics.  Armed with this new (plain language) information activists can increase their effectiveness and accelerate radical social change.

Zainab Amadahy is an author, activist and educator.  Among her publications are “Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples in Canada: Settlers or Allies” for Breaching the Colonial Contract: Anti-Colonialism in the US and Canada.  She also authored the science fiction novels Resistance and Moons of Palmares.  Zainab is a frequent contributor to and  Her publication, Wielding the Force: The Science of Social Justice, explores emerging science and its relevance to activism, community organizing and solidarity.  For more information about Zainab’s work:

Labour Self-management, Anarchism and Community Organizing

In spite of the assertion that “another world is possible” and the continued assault of capitalism on the lives of the working-class and other labouring classes, revolutionary and progressive forces in Canada have largely ignored labour self-management as a part of our strategy to fight capitalist exploitation. Anarchists should naturally gravitate toward an economic practice that enshrines self-organizing and labour exercising control over capital. How could anarchists bring a more transformative approach to cooperative economics in general and worker self-management in particular? To what extent is it possible for anarchists to use labour self-management as a community organizing tool to win the working-class over to anarchism? To what extent are anarchists ready to make our movement a home for the oppressed by organizing around their employment and other material needs?

Anarchists are not strangers to cooperative economic thoughts. Here is a comment by Mikhail Bakunin on the subject, “Let us cooperate in our common enterprise to make our lives a little more supportable and less difficult. Let us, whenever possible, establish producer [worker]-consumer cooperatives and mutual credit societies [credit unions] which, though under the present economic conditions they cannot in any real or adequate way free us, are nevertheless important inasmuch as they train workers in the practice of managing the economy and plant the precious seeds for the organization of the future.”   We must win the battle of ideas in order to make anarchism, as a revolutionary option, irresistible to Fanon’s “wretched of the earth.” Now is the time to infuse anarchist ideas in the alternative institutions and movement organizations that we are seeking build.

Facilitators:  Taodhg (Tim) Burns and Ajamu Nangwaya

Biskaabiiyaang – we are returning

Giibwaanisi (Red-tailed hawk) is of the Bear clan, and is from Anishinabek and Sayisi Dene Nation. Giibwaanisi is also known as Richard Peters born in Winnipeg Manitoba, but was raised along with his sister Jasmine in Toronto and Beausoliel First Nation Indian Reserve.

His mother Nora who was a victim of Residential school, committed suicide when he was 4 years old. His father Glen, who took her death personally never recovered and would lose his two offspring to Childrens Aid Society. Giibwaanisi and Jasmine would initially bounce around from home to home but would finally settle on Beausoliel First Nation. Both he and Jasmine would be subjected to 9 years of physical and emotional abuse in this home. As he grew up he excelled in baseball, and his high school academics.

Having no real role models, and no trusted confidants, he found solace in destructive behaviour and became addicted to drugs and alcohol when he was 15.

He has traveled far and wide across Canada, from Ontario, Manitoba, to B.C. and has held prominent employment positions such as Band Administrator, and Board of Education Director. He has always had a strong affiliation with children, and having had such a lack of role models growing up, this necessitated the need to pass on learned skills.

He has always struggled with identity issues, not fully understanding who he really was as an Anishinabe, for he was raised assimilated. That is until he decided that he was going to reclaim his identity that was stolen from him. Giibwaanisi is now drug and alcohol free and actively engages in cultural practises such as the Ritual of Purification (smudging), Prayer Lodge Ceremonies (Sweats), Seasonal Feasts, and has participated in  Fasting Ceremonies.  With the help of Traditional Elders, Teachers and Medicine People, Giibwanisi has overcome a lot of the trauma and abuse and has found the identity he has been looking for, as an Anishinabek Nini. (Anishinabek Man)

Giibwaanisi is a natural born actor, comedian, and expresses this art form through his own unique form of storytelling. During the most tumultuous times of his life, it was his comedic sense of humor that allowed him to rise above these hardships and use these experiences as teaching tools.

Giibwaanisi is a poet and songwriter and a self taught musician. He has instructed  guitar and taught various students of all ages throughout all regions of Canada. Recently he has discovered the lost Solfeggio Scales and has been applying these ancient tunings and frequencies to modern guitar.

He is a co-founder of ACTION and the Oshimaadziig Unity Camp located in  Awenda Provincial Park.  When he is not re-occupying stolen lands, he resides in anywhere on Turtle Island.

We Will Burn You to the Ground:  Effigy Burning & Its Consequences

Effigy burning has a million storied traditions and purposes, from political  spectacle to religious rite to psychotherapeutic method. Fire is one of the world’s most embedded metaphors and terrifying/exhilarating material processes, and a good effigy harnesses both with purpose. We will talk effigies, collectively think through an appropriate effigy form for those in attendance, and then build one together.

“Nate Prier” is a precarious worker who has convinced himself he’s channeled his pyro sketchiness into something substantial.

Against Polynormativity: Dismantling Hierarchy in Non-monogamous Relationships

This discussion-based session will examine how the ways in which we build relationships, understand love and intimacy, and treat our romantic partners can have a strong effect on our politic -and vice versa.  As we struggle to challenge and unlearn many of the unhealthy and underserving behaviours we’ve come to internalize about what a typical “relationship” should look like, we run the risk of selling ourselves short and only getting halfway there.  “Polynormativity” (not unlike homonormativity) is a term to describe the mainstreaming of non monogamous relationship structures. The word serves to highlight the ways in which polyamory is being co-opted, misrepresented and watered down into the same line of values that govern many forms of monogamy.  Polynormativity takes polyamory away from its radical roots, and neutralizes its potential to be a transgressive force in both our movements and personal lives.

Suggested reading before the discussion:

The Problem with Polynormativity – Andrea Zanin

Disclaimer: This session is not aimed to put down those who subscribe to monogamy or even variants of it.  Part of creating authentic and empowering relationships is (bearing in mind consent and respect) figuring out what works for you – and also understanding the fluidity that accompanies these identity terms.  This discussion is intended to create a space for with those who identify as or are open to becoming more “politically polyamorous”.

Sam Riot – Successful university, college, *and* high-school drop out Sam is a self-proclaimed radical feminist, cat enthusiast, and kink-loving queer.  She is excited to be learning more about anarchism, though is hesitant to adopt the term as an identity given its often glamourized connotation.  When she is not grappling with her depression, ideas around her gender identity, or how to smash the state, she can be found attempting to turn all of her emotional baggage into this year’s trendiest line of handbags. Sam is striving to be kinder and more loving with herself, more honest and supportive with her friends, and a stronger, fiercer ally to her community.


***5:30PM-7:00PM*** A Decade of subversion

In 2003 produced its first anarchist film “Join the Resistance: Fall in Love!” inspired by the writings of crimethinc. 10 years later and is still bringing anarchy to the screen with its newest offering Street Politics 101 a video report on the militant battles of the 2012 Quebec student strike.

A Decade of subversion will be a celebration of’s video sabotage, with picks from the best videos from the over 200 it produced during the past 10 years. The program will include clips from “It’s the end of the world as we know it and i feel fine”, shorts about shoplifting, mash-ups, short docs and Street Politics 101.

Gentrification as Class Warfare

Our neighbourhoods are more than mere amalgamations of concrete, glass and steel; more than nameless crowds of people abstractly grouped together to work, sleep and consume. They are vibrant communities, pulsing with the daily rhythms of life and culture; they are contested territories, where the constant drive for capital accumulation clashes with the resistance of those asserting their right to exist. Gentrification is the front-line of this conflict, and a potent site of class warfare in the 21st century.

This workshop will look at the history and theories that underpin contemporary gentrification, the increasing importance that real estate markets play in the global economy, and will explore strategies of building community resistance that can bring the fight against capital and the State to the neighbourhoods in which we live.

Facilitated by Common Cause

Fighting Domination by Non-Profit Corporations Over POC, Homeless & Trans Communities

A workshop and discussion about building a fierce resistance and fighting back against the domination of For-Profit & Non-Profit corporations over our communities… aka the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.

The state, political, police and (in)justice system, social services, academics and other professionals work together to attack our communities through oppressive tactics (rooted in racism, classism and sexism), while “Not-For-Profit” corporations exploit the remains of our broken communities under the guise of “helping” us. We can fight these centuries old tactics refined through white domination by learning from anti-racist struggles, challenging oppressive structures, direct action, protests, education, accountability processes, consensus building and long-term mutual commitment to rebuilding our communities.

Facilitated by Abuzar

Holiday card writing to prisoners with Toronto Anarchist Black Cross

This can be an especially lonely time of year for those inside, and we want to let them know that we’re thinking of them. This workshop will be a “mini” version of the letter writing nights for prisoners that Toronto ABC hosts each month.

Join us for a relaxed opportunity to chat with Toronto ABC, ask questions, and show solidarity with those behind bars who can’t join us. Children are welcome!

The Toronto Anarchist Black Cross can be reached at