Talks 2013

Here’s the list of talks booked for 2013

Following a request we’ve added information on who is running each of the talks.
Follow links for more information.

Talks/ workshops will last approximately 45 minutes.

This year we will be running talks in three rooms:

The Coal Store Conference Room (First Floor)
The Meeting Room (First Floor)
The Education Space (Ground Floor, Direct Access from Engine Hall)

The Coal Store Conference Room (First Floor)

11.00am: Anarchism? FAQ Off! You Must Be Joking
Hosted by: Anarchist Federation (Manchester)
An interesting introduction to everything you ever wanted to know about anarchism!

12.00noon: Anarchy in Action: Beautiful Planet, Preston
Hosted by: Beautiful Planet
How we set up our 100% volunteer-run community centre/café
Followed by discussion.

1.00pm: Can anarchists constructively subvert NGOs and trade unions to become forces for change?
Hosted by: More Like People
Lots of anarchists – self-describing and not – spend our weekdays working for reformist social change organisations. We often relegate ourselves to the idea that no real change will emerge through these reformist hierarchies, but can we pre-figure spaces for a different kind of organisation, subverting the bureaucracies to create pockets of radical change, without using the organisation’s formal processes to do so? Liam Barrington-Bush, has just crowd-funded and self-published the book ‘Anarchists in the Boardroom’ and thinks there are possibilities to avoid feeling like our 9-5 work is done at the expense of our wider belief in how change happens

2.00pm: England’s Forgotten Revolution
A talk in period dress about the revolution in the 1640 and 50, Levellers, Diggers, Ranters but much much more, including the mutinies in the army, the first trade unions and the revolutionary uprising in London

3.00pm: Epiphany (Film) First Showing after London Anarchist Bookfair
Epiphany is a hybrid documentary evoking the Mystics and Anarchists of the English Revolution. Highlighting two little-known religious and political movements of the 1600s’ Republic, The Fifth Monarchists and the Muggletonians come to life in London as told by contemporary anarchists: Ian Bone and Martin Wright star as John Thurloe (Cromwell’s spymaster) and Thomas Vennner. Venner led the only uprising through the city against the restoration of the monarchy. Epiphany is a modern take on the parallels of the revolutionaries of the 1660s and today’s ongoing fight against the monarchy and the City of London corporation.

The Meeting Room (First Floor)

11.00am Learning from the Zapatistas in Chiapas: The Zapatista ‘little school’
Hosted by: Manchester Zapatista Solidarity Group
The UK Zapatista Solidarity Network offers a workshop based on the practices of the Zapatista ‘little school’ this summer in Zapatista territory in Chiapas. Activists were invited into Zapatista territory, to learn about the Zapatista practice of autonomy (health, education, justice; resistance; participation of women; good government), and were asked to respond from their own calendars and geographies. The workshop will also give an update on the situation in the Zapatista territories in resistance. In the face of threats and oppression from the state and paramilitary groups, Zapatista territory continues to provide an inspiring anti-capitalist and decolonial example.

12.00noon Reproductive Justice?
Hosted by: Feminist Fightback
There has recently been an upsurge in pro-choice activism, in response to threats to legalised abortion from both Parliament and from anti-choice groups like 40 Days for Life. While this activism is important, it is reactive, focused on maintaining the status quo. Furthermore, it assumes that, as long as abortion is available for up to 24 weeks on the NHS, women are able to ‘choose’ whether or not to have children. This doesn’t address all of the circumstances that might restrict a woman’s freedom when deciding whether or not to have children, for example, being unable to access the NHS for maternity care or to have an abortion; concerns about whether she can ‘afford’ a child; and the demonization of disabled people in the mainstream media.
The Reproductive Justice model was developed by Radical Women of Colour and their allies in the United States, and champions every woman’s right ‘the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments’ ( It rejects the liberal model of ‘choice’, and instead argues that we must understand how capitalism, sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia and other systems of oppression work together to seriously restrict women’s reproductive freedom. Using the Reproductive Justice model, we can see that the government’s austerity measures, and xenophobic attempts to limit migrants’ access to the NHS, are as much of a threat to reproductive freedom as anti-choice legislation and harassment. This workshop will discuss the Reproductive Justice model in more detail, and how we can apply this model to our activism, so that every woman enjoys reproductive freedom.

1.00pm The Syrian Revolution- anti-authoritarian perspectives
Hosted by: Leila Shrooms is Syrian origin and worked for a number of years as a human rights activist inside Syria. She is a co-founder of Tahrir-ICN, a network to build connections between the anti-authoritarian movements in Middle East, North Africa and Europe
The discourse on the situation in Syria has been dominated by geopolitical considerations, questions of foreign intervention and the rise of radical Islamism and sectarianism. Whilst these issues are of vital importance, the focus on these has over-clouded any real understanding of the popular
struggle on the ground.
This presentation will give an overview of the key players involved in the struggle in Syria, both progressive and reactionary, on the local, regional and global level.It will focus on grass roots resistance
movements and provide examples for international solidarity.

2.00pm Austerity
Hosted by: Critisticuffs
Over recent years austerity has become a hot topic amongst the left and in society in general. Some argue there is too much, others that is applied to the wrong areas of the states budget and some advise the state to increase its spending in order to fix the economy. Many on the left explain austerity as an ‘attack on concessions won by the working class’. We think this explanation is insufficient to explain what austerity actually is and what an understanding of austerity can teach us about capitalism and the state in boom and bust.

3.00pm Squatting in Belarus
A short film about squatting in Belarus
Hosted by: Anarchist Federation (Manchester)

The Education Space (Ground Floor, Direct Access from Engine Hall)

1.00pm Losing Ourselves
Radical approaches to psychiatry and mental health in an age of austerity.
Hosted by: Anarchist Federation (Manchester)

2.00pm IWW: Revolutionary unionism: the IWW and new workplace struggles
Hosted by: Industrial Workers of the World (Manchester)
A discussion of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), its role in the union movement and its success and challenges to building a revolutionary union.

3.00pm WAST
Hosted by: WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together)
An introduction to the work of WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together) and the launch of a new publication. Hear readings by the women members.

Any questions? Please email:


 Photo by Iain Broadley

Talks/ workshops will last approximately 45 minutes.

Please note. Line up subject to last minute changes.

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