Festival of Alternatives: Workshops, Talks & Discussions

One of the main aims of the Mayday Festival of alternatives is DIY skills-sharing, empowerment and political discussion. To this end there will be a series of workshops on themes as diverse as the history of Anarchism, juggling & plumbing. Some workshops will offer a hands-on chance to learn new skills, others will consist of theoretical discussion.

Practical Workshops

Saturday 27th April
Day of workshops and discussions on the theme of social centres, squats & how to set them up. The aim of the day is to transform a disused building into a vibrant social centre, and to learn & share new skills.

Workshops on plumbing, electricity, finding a good building & legal advice. Speakers from London Social Centres Network & Advisory Service for Squatters. There will also be talks from collectives who have set up both permanent & reclaimed social centres. Cleaning & decorating will go on all day, so please come down and lend a hand.

Squat electronics - 10.30am
Get the electricity connected without frying yourself.

Practical Plumbing - 12pm
Hands-on session covering elementary fix-it skills relating to whatever needs doing in the particular reclaimed space we'll be working in.

Lock-changing, securing a building & fire escapes - 1.30pm

Carpentry - 2pm
Learn to make your own bookshelves, tables etc.

Advisory Service for Squatters talk - 3pm
Help and legal advice for squatters.

London Social Centres Network talk - 5.30pm

The dutch experience of squatting - 7pm
Differences in law, police repression, defence, activist community mobilisation and cultural representation of the scene.

Venue for all of the above social centre workshops: Temporary social centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details.

Women's Football Skills workshop - (please note change of date) - meet 12pm Clissold Park, Stoke Newington. (bottom side of park, near lake, behind tennis courts. A chance to brush up on tackling, headers etc for the Looney Left footie tournament on Sunday 5th May.

Sunday 28th April
A series of workshops with a focus on useful skills for mass actions:

Legal workshop
on 'dealing with public order situations', including 'Section 60'. Essential if you're going to Mayday. (2 1-hour workshops from 2-3pm and 5-6pm).

Medical Workshops: First Aid on Demonstrations (3 one-hour basic first aid sessions from 2-3pm, 3-4pm, 4-5pm).
These workshops will provide an introduction to medical support for demonstrators. They will be interactive, with hands-on workshops, and focus on the how to deal with simple trauma (physical, mental and spiritual) as well as the recognition of serious injury.

There will be more detailed information available about medical care and medical support from the London Street Medics. For further information, contact: londonmedics@bigfoot.com or come along on the day!

London Street Medics
The London Street Medics are a group of activist first-aiders who will be providing medical support on May Day. There will be Street Medics on all of the actions who will be able to give support or advice or, in a worst-case scenario, summon further help. Look out for them!!

Banner-making workshop - 12pm onwards. Bring material, paint, brushes etc.

Circus skills workshops - come along & join the 'Anarchist Travelling Circus':
Juggling & juggling-ball making - 11am - make your own juggling balls & learn to use them.
Poi Spinning & poi-making - 1pm
Marching band - 3pm - bring a drum, tambourine, rice shaker or other portable instrument.

Venue for all of the above: Social Centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details of venue.

Monday 29th April
Banner-making workshop - 12pm onwards.

Costume-making - 3pm onwards. Make a carnival costume for Mayday - bring material, sequins, ribbons, glitter etc.

Venue for all of the above: Social Centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details of venue.

Tuesday 30th April
Making Websites Easy-Peasy - 11am - 2 hours
How to guide to making a website for campaigns, protests or just news and comment.  You don't need your own computer, expensive software or years of computer training.  This will help you make a site, publicity, images, domain names, email and all the other stuff you need to know.  Recomended for beginners to the internet as well as those who know a little more.  A Hand-out with all the info provided.
Venue:
London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St.,
London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel & Aldgate East)
Run by media activists group Pop Star Liberation Front: http://www.popstarliberationfront.org.uk

Marching band workshop - 3pm
Join the Anarchist travelling circus marching band. All musicians (even bad ones) welcome. Especially trumpeteers.
followed by:
Samba Dance workshop - 5pm
Venue: Social Centre - 10 Great Eastern St, EC2. Nearest tube: Liverpool St.

Theory & Discussion

Friday 26th April
London Anarchist Forum meeting - 8pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1.

Saturday 27th April

Anarchy, Anarchism and the Anarchists - 2pm

An informal talk on history, anthropology, psychology and ideology with special reference to the movements of the working class and disinherited, plus reflections on the anti-capitalist movement and the future. (Followed by open ended discussion, if so desired).
Venue: Temporary social centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details.

Sunday 28th April
'Gender & women-only spaces' - all genders are welcome. 4pm.
Why do radical groups sometimes become Boyz clubz? How can we acknowledge and address stuff like sexism, patriarchy, male female differences in our movement without it being divisive?

'The War on Terrorism' - discussion hosted by Anarchist Youth Network- 6pm

Discussion hosted by Pere Manel from the Campaign Against the Europe of Capital, Barcelona - CANCELLED

Venue for the above workshops: Temporary social centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details.

Monday 29th April
Direct Action Workshop - 5pm

A participatory discussion on direct action. What is it? Why use it? Why is it important. A run-down of different direct forms of resisting, blocking, stopping, defending, reclaiming & occupying, and views on how we can be more effective and sustainable in the future. Everyone's ideas and experiences are welcome.

followed by:
Information for Action! - Investigating and understanding state activity.
This workshop shows you how to navigate your way through the complicated but interconnected web that is corporate and state activity. From genocidal, ecocidal corporations, and the institutions promoting them to policy forming thinktanks, government divisions, public hearings and legislation formation. Also includes guide to UK-based free market-championing, arms, police, international capital and repressive technology summits. This workshop aims to lend practical insight into how to stay on top of new state and corporate developments, agendas and strategies. Knowledge is power! Know your enemy!

Palestine
- a talk from women who have been to Palestine as part of a 'human shield' international peace mission. - 7pm
Going on the International Solidarity Delegations to Palestine this past year changed our lives, 100s of us. We saw the torture and humiliation first hand, we (some of us) were human shields, we were shot at, and participated first hand, if only briefly, in the struggle. This workshop will be a report-back from Palestine, an update (though things are changing all the time) and a discussion of how we can most effectively participate in the struggle.
Venue for above workshops:
Temporary social centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details.

Tuesday 30th April

Workshop: Outlaw Women - 1pm

From the Chinese straits, Mediterranian, Atlantic and Caribbean, to the streets of Philly, Bonn, Delhi and London, this workshop charts the rise and fall of gender-bending pirates, radical black eco-warriors, gun slinging bandit queens, freedom fighters and beatnik bomb girls - critically.
Venue: Social Centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details of venue.

Post-revolution and post-capitalist visions - 4pm
An brief history of counter-revolution and insurrectionary failures; including 1930s Spain, France 1968, English Civil war and beyond, followed by group discussion amd simulated scenario outlines, focusing on post-capitalist social organisation, culture, and the shape and scope of counter-revolutionary elements; How could we be recuperated?What will we do about police, paedophilia, politicians with secret weapon stockpiles, us with weapons stockpiles?, food production, industry, work, religion. Could it happen here? And what would it look like if it did? If we cannot make it here, where will it smoulder first? What about the concept of an anarchist Permanent Revolution?
Venue:
Social Centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details of venue.

Why is Hackney up for Sale?
Come to an open meeting of the Hackney NOT 4 Sale group for a discussion on how Hackney got into the mess it is in and what alternatives there are for the future.
7pm at The Old Firestation, Corner of Brooke Road and Leswin Road, Stoke Newington, N16

Talk from Ex-Black Panther, Robert King Wilkerson. 6pm.
Robert King Wilkerson was held in solitary confinement in Angola maximum security prison, Louisiana, for 27 years for a crime he didn't commit. He was framed because of his political organising at the prison as a member of the Black Panther party. Released in February 2001 after a long campaign, he's now spending his time doing speaking tours around the world to raise awareness of the brutality, corruption, racism and injustice of the Louisiana criminal justice system. His co-accused, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, are still in prison and entering their thirtieth year of solitary confinement.
Venue: The Union Tavern, Camberwell New Road. Nearest tube Oval, Buses 36 or 185.

Wednesday 1st May - Mayday

The Documentary Filmmakers Group is hosting a special event for Mayday.
The evening will include screenings of activist video shot earlier in the day as well as completed Direct Action documentaries. This will all be followed by a panel discussion with speakers from Media Workers Against War, Undercurrents and Indymedia.
£3 on the door
7:00pm - Late
Arrive early for seats (120 seater cinema)
Venue: London Film School, 24 Shelton Street (nearest tube Covent Garden)
more details at: http://www.dfglondon.com

Thursday 2nd May
Showing of a documentary film (Spanish, no subtitles) of the SINTRAEMCALI trade union occupation of the Emcali tower in Cali, Columbia. On Christmas Day last year, 800 workers occupied the nerve-centre of the state-owned municapal company which runs water, electricity and telecoms, for over three weeks,and won their fight to stop essential resources being privatised. A talk by Carlos Gonzales, member of Sintraemcali and participant in the occupation plus a member of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, follows. Colombian food possibly available.
Venue: The Union Tavern, Camberwell New Rd, nearest tube Oval or BR Vauxhall, in the luvly back room called The Latin Palace.
7.30pm

Friday 3rd May
Prisoner Resistance! - 11am.
Introduction to the UK prison system, reform, revolt and how life has changed for prisoners over the years. The Parkhurst riots (1969), Grisley Risley victory (1989) and Strangeways uprising (1990) plus the shape of future resistance (i.e Detention centre uprisings Yarl's Wood,UK and Woomera, Australia) are all explored and their origins and impact on prison life evaluated.
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)

Rising Tide: Workshop on Climate Change - 2pm
We know climate change is happening, so it’s time to take action for climate justice!
Rising Tide UK is a new rapidly growing grassroots network.  It supports community initiatives and local protest against climate change, and for climate justice. It’s also a part of the international Rising Tide network.
For more info see: http://www.risingtide.org.uk
Venue:
London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1

Workshop/discussion: Feminism 101 - 4pm.
Challenging the (capitalist lie that) we live in a post feminist world, so don't need to talk about: Sexism, male power and patriarchy as political issues! How can men taking women-related issues (like feminisation of poverty, work, childcare, domestic violence, rape...) seriously? Should men be involved in those struggles and, if so, how? Most of us have some privilege/s and can be oppressors as well as oppressed. How can we--men, women, white/black, class divides, etc etc.-- acknowledge our privilege/oppressor behaviour without it being a big/divisive deal?
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)

European Social Consulta: discussion - 7pm
The ESC is a product of the ideas and visions of social movements that are struggling against capitalist globalisation and its neo-liberal policies. Our mobilizations have created spaces of convergence where we have become aware of the importance and complementary nature of our social struggles. Given our growing capacity for mass mobilization, the system is creating the conditions necessary to control us: police impunity, restriction of basic liberties, intimidation and manipulation of information. Because of this, we believe it is important to deepen our contact and communication, strengthen our networks, connect to the rest of society and decentralize our struggles.The ESC will allow our social movements to take the initiative, to build a precess complementary to mobilizations around international summits and forums and to support the cohesion of European social movements. The ESC is therefore meant to be a project that will reinforce the efforts of local groups and networks and to connect local and global struggles.
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)

Sunday 5th May
Introduction to D10 and anti-Militarist direct action - 7pm
D10 is a anti militarist group made up of a diverse collection of autonomous activists from many different backgrounds. We have chosen to define ourselves by our actions.  Recent actions have included blockades at Northwood and throwing paint bombs at a military presentation. This workshop explains the philosophy behind D10, lends insight into anti-militarist action in the UK and offers people a chance to get involved.
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)

Monday 6th May
Workshop: Food Autonomy - 4pm.
A one to one-and-a-half hour talk plus gorgeous slide show featuring images of diverse agriculture and grass roots resistance to corporate control of the food chain. Workshop also includes updates from the Resistance is Fertile (www.resistanceisfertile.com/english/) actions in Den Haag April 8 - 19 against the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (phew! - aka Cop6) which looks at the commodification and privatisation of 'genetic resources'- plants, ecosystems, land, agriculture, and knowledge.
Venue: London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1 (corner of Fieldgate St & Parfett St). Nearest tube: Aldgate East or Whitechapel.

No Borders - 6pm
A participatory discussion about the current strengthening of nation state borders and the proliferation of immigration controls. Come and join in a discussion about recent struggles against these controls and how the resistance can spread in the future until everyone can enjoy freedom of movement.
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)

Incitement to riot - 6pm; followed by a followed by a discussion about how police tactics during public order situations have changed over the past few decades.
"Incitement To Riot" is an hour long video that does just what it says on the box! Packed with footage from all the best riots of the past, and a hard hitting soundtrack, from Gil Scott Heron to Conflict!
Venue: London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1 (corner of Fieldgate St & Parfett St). Nearest tube: Aldgate East or Whitechapel.

Simon Jones Campaign: talk & film - 8pm.
Film charting the struggle of Simon Jones' family and friends to secure justice for their loved-one's death. Simon was killed on his first day of work four years ago when the grab of a crane virtually decapitated him. He was sent to work at Shoreham Docks for Euromin by Personnel Selection a Brighton employment agency. He had had no health and safety training whatsoever and had never worked at a dockyard before.

Film is followed by a talk describing how the campaign was set up, gained momentum, succeeded in prosecuting Euromin - the company responsible for the health and safety breaches which caused Simon's death - the political issues behind corporate killing - casualisation, flexible labour, unscrupulous employment agencies, the use of direct action, and and the future tactics.
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)

Alternative Health

Radical Yoga:
free yoga classes
with opportunities for discussion, practice and meditation. You will be very welcome to participate…wearing loose clothing, bring a happy heart, an empty stomach and an open mind.

There will be 3 free yoga sessions throughout the week:
Saturday 27th April: 3pm-6pm – Diorama One (Movement Room 1st floor), 34 Osnaburgh Street, NW1.
Monday 29th April: 3.30-5pm - Social Centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details of venue.
Thursday 2nd May: 4:30pm-7pm – London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1. (part of a 'Health & healing' day - see below for details).

Thursday 2nd May:
'Health & healing' day
Central to Anarchism is the belief in self-empowerment and the notion that we, the community, should control our lives as much as we possibly can. One way we can do this is through looking after both our own health and that of the wider community. We are holding an alternative health and healing day in order to learn more about how our bodies work, their relationship with the earth, and how we can help one another in the community to cut out the state (doctors) and capital (pharmaceuticals) as much as we can.

Contrary to popular belief, revolution can be good for our health!

Stress, contamination of food air and water supply, global warming, alienation, not to mention the police batons .... capitalism is bad for us in lots of different ways, and it is the end result of several millennia of patriarchy, with its drive to enslave the body and stifle desire. Come and celebrate the innate human instinct to heal ourselves and others, often persecuted and hindered, but never crushed. There will be a variety of workshops and therapies on offer, including shiatsu, aromatherapy, massage, ear acupuncture, radical yoga, herbal medicine, women's health, the politics of madness, and more, in a chilled out atmosphere and beautiful venue, and yes it's all free. Open at about 11 am; hopefully there will be some food, but bring your own or to share if you can.

If we can heal ourselves we can help others heal themselves, and together we can heal our society and our planet.

Venue : London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1.
Details below (further details tba):

Sports massage - 5pm

radicalyoga - free yoga classes with opportunities for discussion, practice and meditation. You will be very welcome to participate…wearing loose clothing, bring a happy heart, an empty stomach and an open mind. 4:30pm-7pm – London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, E1

Throughout the Week

A temporary Social Centre, will host many of the workshops, in addition to many other events. ofind out more about the social centre,go to social centres page>>>