Tag Archives: Feminism

Freedom School Class Schedule for January – Je suis Charlie? – The Kurdish revolution in Kobane – Love and Rage Media


This is a list of the Mohawk Valley Freedom School classes for this month. Dinner starts at 6:30pm every Thursday and classes usually run from 7:00 – 8:30pm. The Freedom School is located at 500 Plant Street in Utica, NY at Cornestone Community Church.


Thursday, January 15

Je Suis Charlie?

The recent attacks in France have led too much commentary and massive public support and empathy for those who were killed at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. The mainstream media is saturated with news stories about Islamic extremism and terrorism and push the dangerous narrative of “us versus them” and the “clash of civilizations.” We will discuss the events that led up to the attacks, media coverage of it and ask the difficult questions surrounding war, terrorism, racism, Islamophobia and imperialist aggression. We will also look into the history of colonialism in Algeria, free speech in France, and secularism in France.


Thursday, January 22

The Kurdish Revolution in Kobane

Derek Scarlino and Brendan Dunn will give a talk and lead a discussion about the events in the fight against ISIS in Kobane, Syria, and the Kurdish social revolution. The Kurds are a people who have for years been denied a nation to call their own and have been occupied by the Ottomans, British, Americans, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. While Syria has been ripped apart by a tragic civil war since 2011, a number of Kurdish towns in the Northern part of Syria carved out their own autonomous cantons where they have created a social revolution rooted in concepts of feminism, mutual aid, cooperation and participatory democracy. It is here where women have taken the lead in the fight against ISIS and have successfully beat them back. It is here where the PKK, the anarchist Kurdish Workers’ Party, has carved out an alternative to the systems envisioned by Islamic fundamentalists, authoritarian states and the Capitalist West. It is a system that many would call anarchist in nature and in practice. There will be an open discussion in class about what we can learn from the Kurdish revolution.


Thursday, January 29

Love and Rage! – A New Media Collective

Love and Rage is a new independent, alternative media collective in Utica that was just launched as an alternative to the mainstream media that already exists. Members of Love and Rage will be present to have a discussion about who they are, what they do, and how you can get involved. They will also lead a discussion on critically analyzing local and corporate media, creating narratives, and doing “guerrilla and citizen reporting.”

This is a statement from the Love and Rage “About” section on the group’s new website:

The aims of Love and Rage are simple. We are a collective which wants to provide our diverse, multiethnic hometown with a source for alternative news and information.

It has come to pass that the past few years have seen dramatic shifts in all currents of American and global society. From the social to the economic to the political. We are activists, writers, students, teachers and organizers who have come together to use our talents to tie the strings together.

If you’re looking for fair and balanced, keep searching. There’s no such thing. What there are plenty of, however, are facts. We’ll do our best to present those.

What there’s also a lot of are analyses to news and information that local for-profit media are not equipped to engage in. We don’t want to skim the surface. We want to dig in and present insight, from the bottom-up.

We declare that news through our lens is through that of anarchism, of feminism, of anti-fascism. We are critics of capitalism, imperialism and racism. These are some themes that will be prevalent with us.

“You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” – Howard Zinn



Anarchism, Revolution & Political Theory Discussion and Reading Group



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.