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(en) France, pga conference - lyon

Date Thu, 13 Jul 2006 12:37:09 +0300

What is PGA?
People’s Global Action is an instrument for coordination and
communication between various groups and people who fight against
capitalism and authorities throughout the world. Since 1997, the
conferences have enabled people to exchange practices and knowledge and
to develop a global network for easier common actions.
More info at www.pgaconference.org
The August 2006 Conference will stand as a European meeting (European
PGA): conferences are held on each continent every two year. The last
European gathering occurred in 2004, in Belgrade. From the 19th August
to the 3rd September, the conference will take place in various French
cities thanks to the “Stamps”- the organizers. This group gathers
members of the Sans-titre network, as well as people who belong to
different French-speaking collectives. The Conference will last two
weeks and consists of a two step process.
First step: for 9 days, the conference will be decentralized and will
therefore be held simultaneously in five different places (urban squats,
collective farms…), with discussions on particular subjects and workshops.
Second step: for 4 days, people who joined the decentralized conference
will meet in one same place –which is an autonomous self managed place
in Dijon called les Tanneries– to share the issues of the previous
discussions and to discuss PGA’s management.
More information at http://stamp.poivron.org

What will happen in Lyon?

The discussions will take place in La Friche, an artistic and political
autonomous space that stands between the walls of former Renault’s
factories. Here follows the various subjects we would be glad to discuss
in Lyon. The list is not exhaustive, we’ve been thinking about different
big issues but we still wait for you to hear our call and to suggest
ideas, workshops, discussions, and any other project you’d like to
share. The content of the conference does really depend on your
suggestions. Moreover, the French context may somehow differ or look
alike yours in some point, so is the reason why exchange is all the more
Do not hesitate, contact us at: stamp-lyon at poivron.org


Social control is quite complex as it strikes at many different levels
in society. Control is mainly used by institutions (such as national
education, families, work, jails, police, or work agencies) for enhanced
monitoring, harsher punishment and education so that individuals may
know “good manners” and behave themselves to become one day “honest
citizens”. Those institutions have many tools for repression (justice),
stabilization (with any kind of mediation, space planning...),
brainwashing (TV), monitoring (electronic surveillance, microchips).
They aim at maintaining people passive. Every impulse of anger must be
repressed. When anger is individual, the victim is locked into a
psychiatric clinic, when it’s collective - in case of social movements
for example - people are gassed by riot police. Our lives are so
controlled, we wonder which strategy would be the most effective: should
we skip social normalization, or should we rather destroy it?
We are eager to discuss the issue of different security policies in
August. It is important for us to define and understand where the
problem lies, and to find all together what we can do to work the system
to our advantage, or to destroy it.
And this is not that easy- there are many different balances of power,
many different contexts according to the organization, the different
parts people involved play, notwithstanding the strategies they try to
implement… all that stuff must be taken into account. That’s why State
can not be regarded as the only responsible for social control; things
are not so simple. This is a Manichean approach which focuses on a
system considered as a whole. Such consideration leads to thinking that
the system is extern, which is wrong, we are parts of it, we’ve grown up
into it and we have even complied with its norms, when gender-oriented
attitudes, sexism, racism, our relationship with our body, social
heritage come into play.

Here follows a list of suggestions for the discussions to come (feel
free to add some!)

The different technologies used by the state for better monitoring and
control. (Biometry: the body as a way of individualization and control /
Normalizations through moves and bodies)
The new forms of urban architectures for a better management of human
movements (public places more and more clean, stainless, with no life
possible, only meant for people to come and go)
Psycho-pharmaceutics as a tool for normalization, and pacification.
(Psychiatric clinics, the last report issued by INSERM -the National
Institute for Health and Medical Research- on children with
hyperactivity disorder…)
The Medias and their propagandas on security (threats, insecurity
sentiment, some Sarkozy’s laws…)
Institutions and normalization (dropping out from the regular school
system, destroying prisons…)


According to us, the four issues that follow are linked together despite
their diversity. You can not deal with one without dealing with the
others. They are hotly debated issues because they put at stake
individual or collective situations, which are often controversial. We
often wonder about them, without really linking them to our lives and
our struggles. That’s why we are eager to discuss them earnestly- they
are of the most importance.

Moreover, we would be glad to take a glance at the implementation of
European and Extra-European migration policies, how they have got
tougher, how dangerous they can be for some people, what we can already
do to re-act and resist… and so on, in order to strengthen resistance,
to enhance reaction, and to encourage solidarities.

Racism (or racisms?) is still prevailing in our societies, on
institutional as well as inter-individual basis. How can we face it, and
resist it? In a word, how can we react against racism/s?

In the French context, people often explain the position of some
individuals or social groups –according to their situation into de
country, or their relations towards the State itself, or comparing to
society – by the prevalence or resurgence of colonialist attitudes… What
about those analyses? How can we fight? How come people are so much
“colonialist” in their relations to their country, nationally speaking,
but as well in their relations to “us”, and “our networks”?

And last but not least, we should mention the riots and the other
demonstrations of violence that mostly occurred in suburbs and poor
areas of France, in November 2005, as well as the old struggles that
regularly make us march. Those struggles are linked to the three topics
we mentioned lately, i.e. migration policies, racism, neo-colonialist
attitudes and policies (notwithstanding the police’s behavior, social
and economical discriminations, urbanism…). Most of us felt enthusiast
when the riots occurred, but actually it seems there is a great
discrepancy, in France, between most anarchists, libertarians,
anti-capitalists, and revolted whatsoever and the people themselves who
revolted in suburbs and poor areas. That’s why we should focus on the
nature of those movements. How can we use them to meet, strengthen
links, solidarities and projects between the most of revolted people?
Besides, we should as well question the riots: what did we get, in terms
of meeting, enthusiasm, and questionings… How can we fill the gap, and
feel empathy …behind the words? You, people outside of France, most of
you may be interested in discussing those matters.. What can you add to
that, how did you see, how did you live those events? Did they inspire
you, or question you…in which way?

Why a focus on queer feminism?

Since 2002 Leiden Conference, there have always been attempts to discuss
gender-oriented issues, male domination and heterosexism at AGP’s
meetings in Europe. In Belgrade, in 2004, the discussion was fiercely
resisted, but aroused also desire and enthusiasm among participants.
That’s why the organizers of the conference agreed to implement “a focus
on the fight against patriarchy and heterosexism” in one of the cities
which will serve as platforms during the decentralized part. On the one
hand, we wanted to add a focus, but on the other one, we wanted as well
this issue to be part of the whole thematic.
We are really decided to insist: this topic can not be ignored.

According to us, who prepared the focus, this is not a subject we have
to take“apart”, only meant for specialists. On the contrary, this
subject concerns everybody, eager to live in completely different world.

If we tackle seriously feminist and queer criticisms, the definition of
“politics” will be greatly changed, and its perspectives will be
broadened. We always come out with classical, patriarchal definitions
which used to de-politicize and to de-historicize subjects, like the
body, the relational, the emotional, housework and sexuality…

Actually, we think no real antiCapitalism and no real antiState can be
possible if we don’t radically criticize gender relations and sexuality
in the first place.

At the conference that will be held in Lyon, we would like to create a
space meant for thinking crossgenders, sexualities, racisms, xenophobia,
anti-Semitism, capitalism, the State and the nation…

What (Pro) Feminisms?

We want to focus on the approaches which take into account feminist and
queer criticisms on identity. This is not only the problem that
everybody reasons in terms of stereotypes and gender-oriented
distributions of parts, but as well that some groups dominate on other
groups, with the same and acute mechanisms. We won’t fall into the trap:
we won’t talk about people “oppressed”, people “victims” of their own
compliance to the domination system. They are not passive, powerless
victims, we won’t hush they have a relative autonomy. WE aim at creating
a space for people who feel concerned, giving everybody the possibility
to jeopardize our own social position, often regarded as “leading” (as
we are activists) and our complex network of contradictory relations of
domination. First, we have to understand who we are before examining the
projections (positive or negative) we perceive in unknown people.

The Feminism and its Links to the Industrial Society
“The New Technologies: Emancipation…or Oppression and Control?

Lately, the feminist approaches have often been criticized, on a harsh
anti-industrial basis. Their approaches were seen as secondary, even
harmful because they jeopardized an order seen as “natural” and
therefore salutary… comparing to the on going disaster. We think it
could be interesting discuss issues such as: why there is a craze for
neo-antifeminism, without forgetting the emancipation dimension (true or
not) the new technologies contribute to, and criticisms as well of what
the new technologies represent today, and the impacts they have on the
society which produces them. Different cultural approaches are welcome!
It has as well been suggested that people interested should gather
documents on the subject.

Feminism and Racism
Projection of the movie entitled “un racisme à peine voile” by Jerome Host

Actually, it could be interesting, if we could find and put together
cross gender or women’s groups from not western cultures – may they only
exist, or have played important parts for years. Precise propositions
have already been made for this subject. Since a few years, the
feminist movement appeared divided on that subject, that’s why it would
be better to work on that, and not only between western activists.

Work towards linking different topics together
For example, the implementation of machismo and homophobia against “the
others” just to secure racist discourse.
Self-defense workshops for people, members of a community often
subjected to violence (women, lesbians, cross gender people)
Contact-improvisation workshops: towards an alternative body practice?
Space for speaking about mono-normativity, hetero-normativity,
Feminist info kiosk
Tune in the radio Programs “DégénéréE- l’émission pour déranger” …
This is only a small part of the whole content of the conference. Here
follows a list of topics suggested (the list, of course, is not exhaustive).
Gender, precarity, migration
Racism, westernalism, sexism
Feminist movements and history
Learning from “Black” or “third world” feminisms
Solidarity behind checkpoints
Economical/ emotional/ sexual work, exchange and exploitation
Genders and love, sex and emotional relationships.
Cross gender policy
The genesis of identities, queer think
Anti-Semitism and gender
Feminisms and ways of life
Criticism on the idea of nature
Body-related norms, the body and politics.

This meeting will be based on the propositions and the experiences every
body can bring.
Do not hesitate to pop in.

Contact the group responsible for the organization at:
stamp-feminisms at pgaconference.org
Workshop of Screen printing
The events of late Spring and Autumn
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