Monthly Archives: November 2014

Day After Demonstration for Mike Brown: Utica in Solidarity with Ferguson

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Join us as we stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson in their quest for dignity and justice the day after the grand jury in Ferguson reveals their decision in whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown. (Although there is a specific date listed here for the rally, we will MEET THE DAY AFTER the grand jury delivers their verdict).

The rally will start at the foot of the Baron von Steuben memorial at the intersection of Genesee Street at the Parkway in Utica at 5:30pm. We will then march to Oneida Street to the location where UPD Sargent Geddes killed Utica’s very own Mike Brown, Walter Washington, in 2005. We will have a candlelight vigil at that location.

We will rise up with countless people in countless cities all over the country and world to demand justice. No matter what the grand jury decides, the struggle for racial equality, economic justice, and the necessity to act upon the simple belief that Black lives matter should continue to be fought for.

It is far too often that innocent young Black men are gunned down by police. It is incredibly rare that justice is ever found. Every community has its Officer Darren Wilsons who gun down innocent Black men. Every community has its Mike Browns, those who are pushed to the edges of society because of the color of their skin and their socio-economic class, those who are killed at the hands of the police.

In the summer of 2005 UPD Officer (now Sargent) Samuel Geddes gunned down Utica resident Walter Washington in plain sight of the man’s girlfriend and their children. Washington is our Mike Brown. Justice has yet to be delivered for Geddes, like most cops who kill young people of color, are above the law. The UPD continue unabated in their racial-profiling, disrespectful behavior, unwarranted searches and raids, surveillance, brutality, and violence.

While the people of Ferguson continue to rebel against injustice, they are only one movement within an ocean of movements that stretch from Ferguson to Mexico to Palestine and all over the world. Let us join this global justice movement and stand up for Mike Brown, Walter Washington, and all the others whose lives were cut short by police and state violence. Brother Martin Luther King said it best when he proclaimed, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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Anarchism Reading Group Meets! – Saturday, November 22

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Anarchism, Revolution & Political Theory Discussion and Reading Group
When: This Saturday, November 22 at 7:00pm
Where: Mohawk Valley Freedom School office – 500 Plant Street in Utica’s Oneida Square                                                     What: We will be discussing the first 30 pages of the book ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman

Why?: Several local activists are forming a new organization in town called Black Rose (Rosa Negra). They have decided to launch a discussion and reading group open to anyone interested which will be centered around the philosophy and theory of anarchism and revolution. Although anarchism and anarchy conjure images of chaos, violence and disorder in the minds of many people, the actual theory and practice of anarchism are the exact opposite. In its most basic form, anarchism is a framework that is critical of all forms of violence, coercion, hierarchy and oppression. As such, it is a rejection of both capitalism and the State. Anarchism envisions a society that is rooted in concepts of liberty, freedom, mutual aid, cooperation, decentralization and collectivism. A society whereby the people democratically control and self-manage society and the economy. There is a long history of anarchism and anarchist social movements in the US and around the world. Come join this reading group if you want to learn more about this philosophy or are interested in discussing political theory.

We will read the following text:

The ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman
– Published in 1929, this is considered a classic text that discusses what, exactly, anarchism is, its theory, history, and practice. Berkman was a well known revolutionary anarchist who was persecuted for his beliefs and activism and eventually deported to Russia by the US government. The book can be found here or picked up in person at the Freedom School: https://libcom.org/files/AlexanderBerkman-ABCofAnarchism.pdf

Freedom School Organizational Meeting, Saturday, November 22

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There will be a general organizational meeting this Saturday, November 22 at 2:00pm for anyone interested in helping make the Freedom School grow. We will discuss future classes and courses, summer school, fundraising, structure, outreach and many other exciting topics. If you want to help shape the Freedom School and expanding various programs, this is the meeting for you. It will be held in the Freedom School office at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Please call 315 732-2382 if you have any questions. See you there!

Freedom School Class – Thursday, November 20

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See you at the Freedom School today, Thursday, November 20, for a 6:30pm dinner and 7:00 class. We’ll be continuing the discussion on education, school, knowledge, philosophy, and power. We will also begin formulating our own plan and program to offer as an alternative to the education system (or what we would like to change about it). Students are encouraged to come a talk about different models of education to the table and what can learn from them. Bring yourself, bring a friend and bring some ideas for some great discussion!

Freedom School Class – Thursday, November 13 – Education, School, Knowledge & Power

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We will continue the discussion we started over a week ago on the philosophy of education for this class. What is education? What is school/schooling? Are these terms in opposition to each other or do they compliment each other? We will look at different perspectives on knowledge, education, school and learning and have an open dialogue about this. We will also look at the debates surrounding public schools, charter schools and various alternative approaches to school and learning. In addition, we will look at the unique experiment in “popular education” led by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Bring yourself, bring a friend, bring a family member and bring some ideas for this exciting class! As always, dinner will be served at 6:30pm and class will be from 7:00-8:30.

Anarchism, Revolution & Political Theory Discussion and Reading Group

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Anarchism, Revolution & Political Theory Discussion and Reading Group
When:First meeting this Saturday, November 15 at 5:30pm
Where: Mohawk Valley Freedom School office – 500 Plant Street in Utica’s Oneida Square
We will order pizza! Feel free to bring other food to share with us!

Why?: Several local activists are forming a new organization in town called Black Rose (Rosa Negra). They have decided to launch a discussion and reading group open to anyone interested which will be centered around the philosophy and theory of anarchism and revolution. Although anarchism and anarchy conjure images of chaos, violence and disorder in the minds of many people, the actual theory and practice of anarchism are the exact opposite. In its most basic form, anarchism is a framework that is critical of all forms of violence, coercion, hierarchy and oppression. As such, it is a rejection of both capitalism and the State. Anarchism envisions a society that is rooted in concepts of liberty, freedom, mutual aid, cooperation, decentralization and collectivism. A society whereby the people democratically control and self-manage society and the economy. There is a long history of anarchism and anarchist social movements in the US and around the world. Come join this reading group if you want to learn more about this philosophy or are interested in discussing political theory. The readings will be passed out at the first meeting and we will decide which sections to read and how often we will like to meet.

We will read the following texts:

The ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman
– Published in 1929, this is considered a classic text that discusses what, exactly, anarchism is, its theory, history, and practice. Berkman was a well known revolutionary anarchist who was persecuted for his beliefs and activism and eventually deported to Russia by the US government.

“The Tyranny of Structurelessness” by Jo Freeman
– This was a popular essay that emerged from the women’s liberation movement in the US in the 1970s. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in setting up organizations that have democratic structures. Freeman was active in the women’s liberation movement of that era.

Anarchism and the Black Revolution by Lorenzo Komboa Ervin
– Written by ex-Black Panther turned anarchist Lorenzo Komboa Ervin, this is a great writing that focuses on the fundamentals of class struggle anarchism and discusses the relevance of anarchism to the Black liberation movement.

“Revolutionary Ecology: Biocentrism & Deep Ecology” by Judi Bari
– A great essay on what deep ecology is and why struggle must also be centered around the environment. Bari was a member of Earth First! and  the Industrial Workers of the World who organized timber workers and environmentalists to save California’s old growth redwood forests.

Please email mvfreedomschool@gmail.com if you have any questions or are interested in joining this reading group.

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IWW Union Meeting – Saturday, November 15 – 4:00pm

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There will be an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union meeting this Saturday, November 15 at 4:00pm at the Freedom School office. If you are a worker, or even unemployed, and are interested in getting involved with labor and union activism then this is the organization for you. It is open to all workers of any background. The delegate of the union will be present to sign up new members, distribute the most recent newspaper, and discuss the upcoming elections within the union. There will also be an opportunity to discuss current campaigns within the union and how you can improve conditions at your workplace.

Email maslauskas@riseup.net or call 732-2382 if you have any questions.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

http://www.iww.org

Field Trip to Hamilton College Slam Poetry Event – November 6

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The Freedom School class this week will travel to Hamilton College Thursday, November 6 to attend a slam poetry event. The event is dubbed Poetry in Power and three young poets will perform. Students are welcome to meet us at Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street at 6pm sharp so we can all travel to Hamilton College together. We will have a quick dinner at Tony’s Pizza in Clinton and head up the hill to Hamilton College. The event starts at 7pm and will be in the Event’s Barn on the Kirkland side of the campus. Feel free to meet us at the church so we can carpool over together, or meet us at the actual event.

The event is funded by the Kirkland Endowment in collaboration with ACS, BLSU, & Womyn’s Center 
 
Check out the Artists: