Mohawk Valley Freedom School Classes Announced for January 2016

A march during the World Social Forum in 2013, held in Tunis, Tunisia.

by Mohawk Valley Freedom School

 

Militias, Militants and Rebels: Anti-Government Movements on the Left and Right
Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Ammon Bundy departs after addressing the media at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns

Ammon Bundy departs and other militia members near Burns, Oregon. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Derek Scarlino will lead a conversation about the similarities and differences within anti-government efforts of both the left and right. While at first the anti-government sentiments appear to link these groups, gaps begin to form very quickly as scrutiny is further applied leading to important distinctions between both right and left wing groups seeking autonomy from the state. To provide background for discussion, some of the ideologies explored will be fascism, nationalism, anarchism and internationalism. The class will compare and contrast the militia/sovereign citizen movement in the United States with well-known leftist examples in Mexico, Spain, Kurdistan and others to see where the pieces fit, and where they do not in order to better understand the broader messages and implications inherent in these movements.

Another World is Possible – The World Social Forum
Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

socialforumtunis

A march during the World Social Forum in 2013, held in Tunis, Tunisia.

Freedom School class tonight will focus on the World Social Movement (WSF) which was founded in 2001 in Brazil. The WSF is an integral part of the global justice movement and exists as “an opened space – plural, diverse, non-governmental and non-partisan – that stimulates the decentralized debate, reflection, proposals building, experiences exchange and alliances among movements and organizations engaged in concrete actions towards a more solidarity, democratic and fair world….a permanent space and process to build alternatives to neoliberalism.” It has been held in many different nations and has also taken the form of national, regional and even local social forums. This spring, the Freedom School and other groups are planning on having a Utica Social Forum and in August the World Social Forum will be held in Montreal. There is discussion locally about organizing a bus to drive to Quebec for a week for the forum. Come to this class if you want to learn more about the World Social Forum Movement, building a Utica Social Forum and how you can get involved.
Utica Activist Coalition Meeting
Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

uticaactivist

Local activists discuss organizing at the first Utica Activist Coalition meeting.

The third meeting of the Utica Activist Coalition will take place tonight as part of this month’s slate of Freedom School classes. Members of student, community and activist organizations are welcome to come to this meeting as well as people not (yet) connected to any activist group. Among other topics up for discussion during this class will be organizing a Utica Social Forum among other campaigns and events being planned for the spring and summer. New people are always welcome.

Another World is Possible – The World Social Forum
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

socialforumtunis

A march during the World Social Forum in 2013, held in Tunis, Tunisia.

Freedom School class tonight will focus on the World Social Movement (WSF) which was founded in 2001 in Brazil. The WSF is an integral part of the global justice movement and exists as “an opened space – plural, diverse, non-governmental and non-partisan – that stimulates the decentralized debate, reflection, proposals building, experiences exchange and alliances among movements and organizations engaged in concrete actions towards a more solidarity, democratic and fair world….a permanent space and process to build alternatives to neoliberalism.” It has been held in many different nations and has also taken the form of national, regional and even local social forums. This spring, the Freedom School and other groups are planning on having a Utica Social Forum and in August the World Social Forum will be held in Montreal. There is discussion locally about organizing a bus to drive to Quebec for a week for the forum. Come to this class if you want to learn more about the World Social Forum Movement, building a Utica Social Forum and how you can get involved.
The ABC of Anarchism Reading and Discussion Group
(Originally scheduled for Thursday, January 28 but will be postponed!)

CNT-1mayo2010

The anarchist CNT union marches in Spain on May Day, 2010.

The Black Rose Anarchist Federation will facilitate a discussion during class tonight on the classic political text The ABC of Anarchism written in 1929 by Alexander Berkman. This discussion is open to anyone whether they consider themselves anarchists or not. Students are expected to read as much of the text as they can before the class so they can participate in the discussion but walk-ins are also welcome. Hard copies can be picked up in the Freedom School office, by request or can be found online at Libcom.org.

From the book:

“Our social institutions are founded on certain ideas; as long as the latter are generally believed, the institutions built on them are safe. Government remains strong because people think political authority and legal compulsion are necessary. Capitalism will continue as long as such an economic system is considered adequate and just. The weakening of the ideas which support the evil and oppressive present-day conditions means the ultimate breakdown of government and capitalism. Progress consists in abolishing what man has outlived and substituting in its place a more suitable environment.”

 


 

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 mvfreedomschool@gmail.com.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: