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RECLAIM! workshop schedule

workshop descriptions and schedule and short biographies of presenters
SATURDAY 3/22
9am-10:45am workshops at Polka Dot Art Space 817 W. Broad Street.


1. * Free Palastine Now!: Divestment From Israeli Apartheid
Presenter: Diana Kamongi, student activist, Chairwoman of Free Palestine Now! Divestment Committee


A proactive and interactive workshop on how to build a grassroots activist movement that challenges the racist apartheid system of Israeli occupation in Palestine. The workshop will include a history of divestment and boycott campaigns, news from those campaigns all over the world, personal accounts from divestment activists, pictures and videos of divestment and pro-Palestinian events. The discussion of proactive activities will bring activists together to create an important future of divestment and pro-Palestinian activism in our communities.


2.*Nonviolence: The Spiritual and Tactical
Presenter: Sue Frankel-Streit


Sue is a long time civil disobedience activist from the Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm in Louisa, Va. She has experience "turning swords into plowshares" by destroying B-52 bombers during the first Gulf War. Learn why she did this and how civil disobedience is an integral tool to effecting dynamic social change in the world.


11am-12:45pm workshops at VCU Commons 907 Floyd Ave


1. *Islam, Women and Activism, Capital Ballroom C
Presenters: Kazem Beyad (Muslim Students Association-VCU), Mariam Lodin (MSA-VCU) and Juniad Ahmad (Progressive Muslim Network-Norfolk)


This workshop involves a general overview of the religion of Islam to include the five pillars and basic ideologies, as well as the role of women in Islam. Muslims in the U.S. and across the world have developed anti-war and anti-corporate globalization positions and are increasingly joining mass struggles for social justice. There is a need to link issues of the Muslim world (Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, etc.) within the larger context of U.S. expansion, militarization and the global resistance to emerging Empire.


2.*The War in Latin America, Capital Ballroom A
Presenters: Joe Catron, street medic and organizer from Hopewell, Va., Sue Kelly of Richmond A.N.S.W.E.R., and Jeff Winder, former director of School of the Americas Watch and founder of People United.


U.S. intervention in Latin America has been occuring for decades and has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, installations of brutal military dictatorships, environmental degradation and economic devestation at the behest of U.S. corporate and military interests. The workshop discusses the similarities mirrored in U.S. intervention in Latin America and conquest of Iraq.


3.*PATRIOT Act, Capital Ballroom D
Presenter: Ken Willis, Virginia American Civil Liberties Union and Jason Morris, a librarian and Richmond Coalition for a Living Wage activist.


How is nationalism tied to creating a war culture? Why do most americans except the idea that their overall freedoms will be secured if they give many of their own liberty up? How does the PATRIOT act affect your local library? Get your questions answered by a representative of the ACLU and librarian.


4. *Confronting Militarism and Patriarchy at Polka Dot Art Space 817 W. Broad Street
Presenter: Liz Canfield is a Womenís Studies professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and long time feminist activist


This workshop explores the links between patriarchy and militarism.


1 p.m. Women in Black Vigil at the corner of Grove Avenue and Boulevard


2pm-3:45pm workshops at VCU Commons 907 Floyd Ave


1.*Activist Grab Bag
Presenter: Jim Straub


A long time activist from Philadelphia, where he worked with Act-Up Philly, Straub currently does a lot of work with the Richmond Coalition for a Living Wage, Food Not Bombs and anti-war organizing. He will go over tactics like mounting an effective media campaign, tips for good outreach and designing effective fliers, as well as strategies for building long term grassroots movements.


2.*Public Speaking: a workshop for women Capital Ballroom A
Presenter: Dr. Rania Masri, the director of the Southern Peace Research and Education Center in Durham, NC.


This women-only workshop teaches the skills and creativity necessary for women to become effective public speakers.


3.*Confronting Empire: An anarchist analysis on U.S. imperialism
Presenters: Cindy Milstein, writer and activist from Vermontís Free Society Collective, Carol Baker, Richmond anarchist with the Better Days Collective and Mark Lance, radical professor from Georgetown Univeristy and activist with the Stop U.S. Tax Aid in Israel Now (SUSTAIN) campaign.


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SUNDAY 3/22


11am-1pm workshops at the Pace Center, 700 W. Franklin St.


1.*Making Connections: Local Issues and Anti-War Activism
Presenters: Mary Lou Decossaux, founder of Richmond Coalition for a Living Wage and community leader in the multiracial working class neighborhood of Fulton Hill and Marty Jewell, a long time civil rights activist
and tenant organizer, who has organized in the African-American community of Richmond for decades.


They say think globally, act locally, so what is Richmond doing in its own backyard? Making connections is a panel discussion on area social justice organizing and the anti-war movement.


2. *War And Racism Capital Ballroom C
Presenter: Rami Elamine from Left Turn in D.C.


What role does race play in contributing to a war culture? Likewise, how does racism become a response to war? Will the elimination of racism end war? Will the elimination of war end racism? This panel discussion involves the intricate connection between racism and war.


3.*Disability And War Capital Ballroom A
Presenter: Loree Erikson, a queer femme gimp activist/organizer who works primarily with the Richmond Queer Space Project as well as presenter on disability and gender identity at several other conferences.


This workshop highlights the importance of incorporating a disability rights perspective into anti-war organizing efforts. There will be a brief discussion of what is a disability rights perspective, ableism and what does access mean. We will also explore the relationship between people who are disabled and war. The workshop will also include tips and techniques for applying a disability rights perspective into peace work.


2pm-4pm workshops at the Pace Center 700 W. Franklin St.


1. *The War Abroad And the War at Home: Building A United Anti-Racist Movement
Presenter: Ana Edwards from the Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, a committee of Richmond area residents concerned about the survival of our community.


Foreign policy is a direct extension of domestic policy - A panel discussion of current issues facing the black community including these topics: 1. erosion of voting rights 2. affirmative action 3. welfare changes 4. homelessness & the black community 5. racial and religious profiling 6. police brutality and shootings 7. jail and prison conditions 8. labor unions & city workers 9. homeland security


2.*Introduction To Palestinian Liberation And The International Solidarity Movement
Presenter: Adam Shapiro, activist from the ISM, a movement that is spearheading a direct action campaign to help the people of Palestine resist Israeli occupation.


Where is Palestine anyway? Why are so many people fighting over some land? What are the reasons for Americans, both on the left and the right, to be concerned with it? The workshop will mainly focus on the activities of the ISM in Palestine and what we are planning for our upcoming freedom summer campaign. Learn the basics of the Palestinian struggle and what you can do to help!


3.*Working Class Resistance to War at VCU Commons 907 Floyd Ave.
Presenters: Steve Wylie and sean west damon (aka wispy cockles), two activists with RIchmondís Better Days Collective and organizers in a GI rights and counseling project.

sean west damon (aka wispy cockles) an anarcho-communist orginally from Philadelphia and Steve Wylie, a community organizer from the Blue Ridge area will host this workshop that will examine how working class people have historically and presently resisted war efforts to protect themselves, their communities, their interests and working class people from other countries. Some topics to be covered will include contemporary movements in which working class people have shut down the transport of weapons and supplies for war through community and union activity, G.I. resistance to war, spontaneous truces between soldiers, and the unique perspectives that working people have brought to movements past and present.

 
 


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