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(en) US. NYC, Introducing... Café de Cleyre: Direct Action Reading Group and Film Series!

Date Wed, 18 Jul 2012 08:04:12 +0300

Dear Direct Actionists, Anarchists, Anti-Authoritarians, Autonomists, Agitators, Instigators, Incendiaries, Troublemakers, Rabble-Rousers, Radicals, Revolutionaries, Fomenters, Firebrands, Malcontents, Mischief Makers, Miscreants, Movers and Shakers, -- From the occupation of Zuccotti Park to the May Day General Strike, the Occupy movement has engaged in direct action. As a result there has been a renewed interest in the concept and its history. Let us take this opportunity to deepen our collective understanding! ---- Join us for our first gathering of Café de Cleyre--a direct action reading group and film series! ---- Tuesday, July 24 16 Beaver (4th floor) 6:00 PM -- Cafés have served as an important site of social gathering and debate. In this spirit, and inspired by the writings of anarchist and feminist Voltairine de Cleyre, we seek to study direct action so as to inform our struggle against the state and capitalism.

In striving to develop consistency between our principles and interactions with one another, this group offers a horizontal approach to learning. Drawing from personal experiences as well as films and readings, Café de Cleyre is an opportunity to engage in a participatory model in which everyone has something to offer and everyone has something to learn. We place emphasis on asking questions over assuming answers.

We wish to explore questions such as:

What is direct action and what forms can it take?
What distinguishes direct action from other types of action?
When and where has direct action been used through history?
How does direct action work to dismantle all systems of oppression, such as white supremacy, patriarchy, colonialism, heterosexism, transphobia, ableism, and ageism?

In future weeks, the group will collectively decide which texts to read and which films to watch. Discussions will be guided by different facilitators each week. For the first gathering, we are asking folks to read any and all of the following suggested pieces:

Voltairine de Cleyre, “Direct Action,” in The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader, edited by A. J. Brigati (pp. 38-50) (1912/2004)

David Graeber, “Direct Action, Anarchism, Direct Democracy,” in Direct Action: An Ethnography (pp. 201-238) (2009)

AK Thompson, “Direct Action, Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” in Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent (pp. 59-79) (2010)

Additional readings (if you have the time):

Jason Brannigan, “Direct Action Gets the Goods,” in Working Class Resistance 10 (2005)

Sans-Titres Bulletin 1, “What is Direct Action?” A-Infos News (1999)

Rob Sparrow, “Anarchist Politics & Direct Action” (2001)

David Wieck, “The Habit of Direct Action,” in Reinventing Anarchy, Again, edited by Howard Ehrlich (pp. 375-376) (1996)

We will also be viewing Shutdown: The Rise and Fall of Direct Action Against the War (2008), a documentary reflecting on the shutdown and occupation of the Financial District in San Francisco on March 20, 2003.

Tea and coffee will be provided; feel free to bring food! For more information, please contact cafedecleyre@riseup.net.

So please join us:
Tuesday, July 24
16 Beaver (4th floor)
6:00 PM

See you at the Café!
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