MV Freedom School Classes Announced for September

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is back in session! Topics discussed this month will include urban spaces, Murray Bookchin, the Zapatistas, art and murals, education, anarchism, Black Lives Matter and Ban the Box.

There will also be excursions to Hamilton College and Rochester. Come get involved with the Freedom School!

The Limits of the City, Utica
Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

(Photo: Utica Phoenix)

(Photo: Utica Phoenix)

The opening class for the Fall 2015 Semester will also launch a series of classes focused on community-building and organization. Derek Scarlino will lead the discussion with an analysis of Murray Bookchin’s work on urban spaces, ‘The Limits of the City’. A discussion will then commence as the class applies some of Bookchin’s critiques and suggestions to Utica and the metro area.

Mexican Independence Day – The Zapatistas, the Power of Art & Painting Murals in Utica
Wednesday, September 16 at 7:00pm – 8:30pm 

“Build different worlds where many worlds fit” mural of the Zapatista autonomous rebel elementary school in Oventic, Chiapas.

Please join us in celebrating Mexican Independence Day by watching the very short film “Galeano Vive! – Painting a Zapatista Teacher.” This will be followed by a short presentation on the Zapatista village of Oventic in Chiapas, Mexico that educator Brendan Maslauskas Dunn visited this summer, and a discussion of art and murals.

The fast-paced, visually stunning video will teach about the assassinated Mayan rebel Zapatista teacher Galeano while documenting the painting of an astounding mural deep in Zapatista territory. This dramatic artwork was painted by an international team of volunteers from twelve countries earlier this year and now lives on the walls of Galeano’s rebuilt school and clinic in the community of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico. Discussion will then focus on murals and art in Utica.

Planning is currently underway to paint a “people’s radical history” mural in Utica that people in the community will design and paint next summer under the guidance of mural artists from New York City.

To Change Everything: The Promise of Anarchism – An International Panel Discussion in Rochester
Thursday, September 17 at 6:30pm

Flying Squirrel Community Space, 285 Clarissa St, Rochester, New York 14608

(Photo: Crimethinc)

(Photo: Crimethinc)

Climate change, economic crisis, unrest from Baltimore to Brazil: the prevailing order is unsustainable in every way. Today even the most entrenched authorities admit that it is necessary to change everything. But all the solutions they offer rely on the same structures that produced this mess in the first place. How do we change everything?

This panel brings together organizers from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the US to discuss what anarchist ideas and strategies have to offer in the 21st century. Comparing experiences in the social movements and uprisings of the past decade, they will explore questions about reform, democracy, and self-determination.

The event is being put on by Black Rose Anarchist Federation
A car pool will leave Utica from the Freedom School around 4:00pm.
Please call 240-3149 for more information.

Black Lives Matter Founders at Hamilton College
Friday, September 18, 2015 at 4:15 pm – 8:15 pm
Kirner-Johnson 125 Bradford Auditorium, Hamilton College, Clinton, NYblacklivesmatter2

The “Black Lives Matter” movement founders Malachi Larrabee-Garza and Alicia Garza will discuss contemporary social justice, social media and the criminal justice system. Outraged by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza took to social media to express her anguish and love for the black community. Ending her message with Our Lives Matter/We Matter/Black Lives Matter, Garza helped to ignite a movement that went beyond a Twitter hashtag.

For a ride to Hamilton College, please call 240-3149.

Ban the Box!
Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Come to this discussion on the local movement being initiated to help end discrimination in hiring practices. The discussion will be led by members of Black Rose Anarchist Federation/Rosa Negra Anarquista Federacion, the Utica local of a national organization that fights for justice, freedom and dignity and against mass incarceration and prisons. Ban the Box is a national movement where people push to remove the criminal record box that is often seen on applications for employment and education. The cities of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse are some of the upstate NY municipalities that legislated to ban the box. Will Utica be next? Come to this interactive discussion around issues of mass incarceration, discrimination and the right to have a job.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is a school dedicated to social justice and social change. It is run by and for the community and is rooted in popular education.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is held every Thursday at the Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Classes are from 7:00-8:30pm. Please contact 732-2382 or

This class is free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds.

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