Ideas>> True Democracy: Anarchism as Order

When reports of social breakdown are reported on the news, we always hear that it is 'anarchy'. What can it mean when we say we are anarchists? Chaos and terror? Anarchy means no rulers, just like mon-archy means one ruler explains Wes

The Upcoming G8 Meeting and Anti-Capitalist Resistance in Japan

Despite being held on a Friday night, a reasonable turnout showed up to listen to Japanese anarchist activists, Sabu Kohso and Go Hirasawa, here as part of a speaking tour, discuss the current political situation in Japan, with topics like anti-Japanese imperialism, article-9, Japanese free-trade agreements, as well as, organizational efforts around the upcoming G8 meeting near Lake Toya.

The talk began with an explanation that Japan was not an island but an archipelago. The importance of this statement may not seem clear at first, but it was later explained that this was one indication of Japan's history of imperialism, which arguably continues to this day. It has often been expressed by right-wing leaders and nationalists that Japan is an island with the existence of a 'pure' Japanese race; this conceals the historical facts that Japan had colonized nations and peoples like the Ainu of Hokkaidō and Okinawa. This is in addition to imperialist actions against China - spheres of influence, colonization of Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria etc. A major focus of the anarchist, anti-fa movement in Japan has been to oppose the continued misconception of Japan's imperialist past. This opposition is illustrated by demonstrations against state visits to the Yasukuni Shrine – a Shinto shrine where Japan's 'war dead' are commemorated and a number of war criminals are memorialized as “Martyrs of Shōwa”.

"Noam Chomsky: Live" - Anarchist Scholar Delivers Lecture in Toronto

Perhaps one of the best known anarchists alive today, a household name even for many outside anarchist 'circles', Noam Chomsky has been described as, in an oft-quoted line from the New York Times, “arguably the most important intellectual alive.” On November 9, 2007, he spoke to a crowd of over 700 in the Burton Auditorium at York University in Toronto via live video transmission. He had originally planned to speak in person, but according to organizer, Harshal Dave, had to cancel because of his wife - Carol Shatz 's current medical condition. Chomsky lectured about various topics, including: biofuels as energy substitutes, genetic modification and civilian nuclear agreements. The talk was followed by a question and answer session.

Chomsky criticized the use of corn-based ethanol as an alternative fuel, which is currently being proposed and put into practice. He questioned the efficiency of ethanol as an energy source, citing studies indicating that inputs may exceed energy outputs. In addition, the production of ethanol is not economically feasible, given political decisions made by the U.S. government – including, substantial subsidies and high tariffs that have an effect of excluding the more efficient and lower-priced sugar-based ethanol from Brazil.

In effect, the promotion of corn-based ethanol as an energy source is only to the benefit a few major agro-businesses and not to the benefit of society as a whole. Most alarming, however, is the effect this process has had on many in countries like Mexico, who are reliant on corn as a food staple. With the rising price of corn caused by ethanol production, prices for items like tortillas have likewise climbed by more than 50%, resulting in great hardship for Mexico's workers and the poor.

CoSchooling For Freedom

In her racy and humbly excited nature Cindy invites the audience into her idea of a better world. As she talks, describing hers and other’s projects, one really does begin to imagine the possibilities. Ideas of a better, richer, more fulfilling life, dedicated to actively and simultaneously deconstructing the oppressive systems of he current world and replacing them with healthier, anarchistic ones.

[b]“Education is about empowering people in a disempowering time”[/b]- [i]Cindy Milstein[/i]

Weapons of Mass DeSchooling

Speaking about the impacts on societies and individuals of the forced schooling system, John Taylor Gatto propelled forward the momentum gained by the [url=]unSchooling Oppression conference[/url].

Following in the lead of David F. Noble who opened the conference Monday night, Gatto too believes there are major problems within the educational system. Problems solvable only by deschooling the self. Unlike Noble though, Gatto does not believe in challenging and infiltrating the system but rather in taking it down. In the context of rule-breaking though, Gatto is quite similar to Noble, and like him, professes self-determination, autonomy, and the fight against authority. ‘You cannot replace one educational system with another system’ he says, explaining that education is always a custom-made job that starts at self-examination.

‘You are the architects to your own education. You are the only ones who know precisely what you need’[/b]- [i]John T. Gatto[/i]

Long-time teacher in New York and winner of the Teacher of The Year award several years in a row Gatto got to know the educational system intimately. This talk was concentrated on his experience and a letter he has written to his granddaughter. Though he personally attended 2 Universities, in this letter he portrays his attempt to dissuade her from even enrolling. He supports this by pointing out the greatest leaders and most economically successful have had nothing but mediocre grades throughout their secondary and post-secondary educations. This he believes is a direct proof that the goal system with which so many fall into the belief that attending college perpetuates success is false.

Noble Aspirations At The Unschooling Oppression Conference

By Lia Tarachansky

Kicking off the [b][url=]unSchooling Oppression conference[/url][/b], David F. Noble filled the Ottawa Public Library's auditorium. Not a surprise from such a high caliber activist and speaker. With an academic career spanning over three decades, he has gained a wide range of experience with the higher education system.

Being let go from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), fired from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and denied tenure at the Simon Fraser University, his defiance of University systems is deeply rooted. In spite, he is currently a tenured professor at York University and has a long record of publication.

Shortly describing his experiences in this talk he has built a colourful picture of a man bent on getting education and leaving schooling far behind. Told with a grain of salt from a tireless activist, his talk was never lacking in humor or insight.

When describing the educational system he summarized it as essentially a [i]“war on pleasure.”[/i] Comparing to other experiences in life, he reflects to note people remember best when they are having fun. [i]“Education has to be self-motivated and self-directed. If the students are not worried about what the professor thinks, they can start worrying about what they think. And that is incredibly hard.”[/i]

Advocating academic defiance, he described his own against the systems of oppression within the various institutions he has been part of. [i]“Don't whine, don't complain. Get 'em. But you have to go for the Jugular, don't kid around. It's a street fight, do not have any illusions, there are no rules.”[/i]

Photos from 2007 Anti-War Protest (Toronto)

Photos from this year's Anti-War Protest in Toronto.

Report on Hamilton Oct 27 anti-Afghanistan Occupation Demonstration

The Common Cause Hamilton members took part in the demonstration against the occupation of Afghanistan. Around 150 people gathered to listen to speeches and then march through downtown Hamilton. It was the first outing for the Hamilton Common Cause Locals new banner, there were also flags there from the Local 548 Postal workers, Elementary Teachers union and Local 1005 AFL-CIO-CLC Steelworkers

Against the occupation of Afghanistan

[b]October 27th Day of Action Against the War[/b]
[i]Statement from Common Cause Hamilton[/i]

Today activists in Hamilton join others across Canada to voice their opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan. The so-called “War on Terror” has been in full swing since 2001 and the scope of destruction and domination by Western powers has been steadily increasing. Resistance to the occupation has only intensified and shows no sign of slowing down since Harper’s decision to follow the US into Central Asia.