Tag Archives: Utica

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



The Lead Catastrophe in Utica – Freedom School Class – Thursday, December 18



There is a major public health problem locally that few are talking about. Utica is the epicenter for instances of lead poisoning and the piloting of lead prevention programs in New York State. Join MVCC student and researcher Lana Nitti as she leads the Mohawk Valley Freedom School in a discussion to take a deeper look into the lead catastrophe in our community, who it impacts, and why. We will examine this important issue through a social, economic, and scientific lens to ensure that we have the necessary knowledge to make positive changes in our community. We welcome you to become a citizen scientist!

Class will begin at 7:00 and dinner will be served at 6:30.


Running Down the Walls! – Fundraiser for Political Prisoners & Local Community Group Incarcerated Flavors – October 19



WHAT: Running Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike/Skate
WHEN: 1:00pm, Sunday, October 19th
WHERE: Proctor Park– Culver Ave/Rutger St. in Utica, NY.
COST: $10 donation (people will not be turned away for lack of funds)

Countless political prisoners languish in prison cells around the world. The US is no exception – 100s of political prisoners, many of them who were targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program during the Civil Rights and New Left movements of the 1960s-70s, are locked up in prisons across the US. Thankfully, organizations exist to raise awareness of these political prisoners and support them. One such group is the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC).

Every year, prisoners and supporters of political prisoners organize solidarity events with a 5km road race called Running Down the Walls. Last year, runs were held in in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Boston (MA), Denver (CO), Elmore (AL), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), New York (NY), USP Navosta (TX), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), and Toronto, Ontario. This year we hope to expand the amount of runs in prisons and other cities, as well as increase the amount of funds raised for community projects. This is the very first time that Utica will have this event.

This year’s run in Utica is taking place later than other runs but it is still in the spirit of solidarity and conjunction with runs that took place in cities and prison yards across the country.

Over $70,000 has been raised over the years by ABC, both through Running Down the Walls and other events. Local activists will split the raised funds from this event with the local prisoner justice organization Incarcerated Flavors which is organizing the event.


* Run/walk/bike/roll in the 5k – We need participants who can run/walk/bike/roll the 5k and are able to collect financial pledges to offer as donations to the run.

* Volunteer for the run – We need people who are willing to staff a registration/literature table, hand out water, and help chalk the route beforehand.

* Donate to the run/sponsor a participant – If you are not able to attend, but want to support this fundraising effort, please email maslauskas84@gmail.com and someone will meet you to pick up your donation.

If you have any questions, please contact maslauskas84@gmail.com or 315 732 2382. See you at the race!

For more information on ABC, Jericho Movement (another political prisoner support group) or Incarcerated Flavors, please check out: