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A Manifesto for Rebuilding
R ight now in any given town or city in the United States (indeed across much of the world) small groups of mostly well-educated upper class (mostly) men are designing the future of the built environment. These architects, urban planners, landscape architects, transportation experts, politicians, and financiers are building varied projects, such as entire pre-packaged cities like Anthem, Arizona, a 20,000-plus population satellite suburb of Phoenix erected seemingly overnight.
The guiding light of this is profit. The land we live on has been so thoroughly commodified that professional place shapers exist to create only the most profitable sorts of cityscapes, ones that will appeal to those who have the most purchasing power. Those who cannot buy their place in this world find themselves at the mercy of this system. They are called the poor and homeless. Structural racism is also deeply embedded in our urban environments in the form of segregation and economic disaccumulation—or what the professionals euphemistically call the “ghetto.” All in all, the professional place makers are building a world that is ecologically unsustainable, unjust, inhibits collective creativity and local control, and is terribly boring and unimaginative compared to what’s possible.
Shaping space and place as it is practiced by the “professionals” in the United States can be categorized by three different schools of thought; suburbanization, gentrification, and new urbanism. Each of these forms a part of what is called urban planning and design—a discipline that has its roots in the 19th century work of people such as Baron Georges-Eugène Haussman. Hired by Napoleon III, Haussman was responsible for “modernizing” Paris. His plans included cutting massive boulevards through neighborhoods that would facilitate the movements of troops through the city and prevent barricades from being erected by rebels. Haussman reshaped Paris so that its physical order was more congruent with the economic and social goals of the rising revolutionary bourgeoisie, not those of workers, the poor, or anyone else who lived in those Parisian quartiers pulverized by progress. He molded Paris into the first modern city. Haussman’s work quickly spread to have global influence, showing politicians, capitalists, and architects across Europe and beyond that the reengineering of space could serve their needs for social control in ways that laws and police forces could not. Shaping space promised solutions to the “problems” of the city— slums, crime, ethnic minorities, toxic environments, and supposedly declining morality.
Accordingly, the greatest potential of top-down design was its purported ability to create the balanced city through rational planning. This would be the tranquil place free of class conflict and racial strife where every man, woman, and child knew and accepted their place. What solidified the role of professional place making in the modern world was the assurance that designs for perpetually more intensive land uses could be imposed on disparate landscapes, promising a way to further the accumulation of capital (profit).
Bernard Moses, intellectual heir to Haussman, oversaw the massive reshaping of New York City from the 1930s-1950s. It was during this era that top down planning monopolized its role in the U.S. and became a major profession. People like Moses have shaped U.S. cities, towns, and countrysides with tools of “rational planning” and centralized authority ever since.
The sick logic of planning has been that it focuses on the most privileged stratum of the population; thus the wealthy live in well planned, serene settings with tree shaded curving streets, excellent schools, and generally healthy environments. The poor, working class, and non-white typically find themselves unable to utilize the “skills” of planners to improve their neighborhoods. In fact, when they do encounter these skills it is usually because their communities are on the the chopping block of an urban revitalization scheme that intends to clear the slum and make way for “progress.”
S uburban design remains the dominant ideological and practical force in the political economy of place making. Stripped to its essentials suburbanism is the placement of new developments far outside of dense urban cores. Houses are usually sprawling and arrayed in big monocrop fields with thousands of others. Streets are ridiculously wide, and the automobile rules over all. Population density is low. Strip malls, big box stores, and shopping centers are built in and around suburban tracts providing infusions of tax dollars fueling further expansion into the hinterland. All of this works to the detriment of those left in the inner city as state, municipal, and private resources pour out.
Gentrification is design and development within the city that unabashedly provides housing and infrastructure for a young, wealthy, and mostly white population—the bored sons and daughters of the suburbs who have come back to the city in search of what their parents fled. Although it is often portrayed as an unplanned market process whereby “ghettos” are settled by more affluent households and finally made into nice places to live, the role of big business and government in gentrification is well known. Virtually all successful attempts to gentrify an area must gain needed subsidies and support from city and/or federal government. Equally, this relies on the work of architects and planners in the service of the powerful.
Gentrification is the darkest side of the suburb. Although it allows city colonizers a lifestyle more ecologically sustainable than the suburbs, it displaces the poor and mostly non-white communities long abandoned by the consumer class (more commonly called the middle class). It causes particular harm to the elderly poor. Right now highly paid place makers are hard at work trying to seize inner city areas in order to convert them into high-rise condos, lofts, corporate offices, and trendy business districts.
The third major paradigm of elite dominated place shaping, new urbanism, is neither suburban nor crassly gentrifying. New urbanism is a school of thought that touts the positive effects of dense housing, urban life, and mixed-use or mixed-income neighborhoods. It praises the idea of integrating different socio-economic classes and racial or ethic groups into the same places. Its vision of community is a dense cluster of housing, greenspace, sidewalk, and businesses that are well proportioned, centralized, easily accessible, and safe.
However, it largely fails at these goals because, like suburban-styled development and overt gentrification, it is bound completely by the process of planning from the top down. Designs flow from planners, technocrats, politicians, and financiers at the top. Furthermore, it only redevelops these “mixed-income” communities on top of formerly poor and non-white communities. New urbanist place makers displace these groups in their quest to create supposedly diverse and healthy communities. Never before have they demolished upper-income areas to build “mixed-income” communities. The degree to which they actually succeed in bringing different social classes together in living is questionable, to say nothing of other schisms.
One high profile example of this sort of planning is River Garden,
an urban housing development plus a Wal-Mart supercenter built on
top of the demolished St. Thomas housing projects in central New
Orleans. (I use it as an example because that whole city is on the
verge of being rebuilt and River Garden is the likely template.)
The majority of homes in River Garden are priced for “middle
class” homebuyers, effectively locking out those who used to
live there—the rationale being that it was a “blighted”
neighborhood in need of revitalization. The buildings resemble a
Hollywood back lot imitation of New Orleans’ architectural
styles in bright Caribbean colors. Thus, new urbanism’s solutions
to problems that are fundamentally about poverty boils down to more
tried and untrue solutions that fetishize aesthetic and spatial
fixes to problems grounded in social inequality.
T here is an alternative process of making place not beholden to the financial interests of a powerful minority or the professional monopoly of planners and architects who work on their behalf. Its defining features include creating useful habitats for human beings and creating a meaningful sense of community, one that extends deeper than the look and feel provided by the façades and embellishments of top-down planning. It’s not a process of imposing form. Rather, it’s a process of collectively creating form and sharing space. One particularly useful name for this decentralized and rebellious form of place making is anarchitecture.
Anarchitecture shouldn’t be taken as any particular ideological commitment to anarchism. Rather, the prefix “anarch” serves to keep the idea of some sort of anti-capitalist/anti-authoritarian place making as open as possible to various visions and projects and to emphasize that this form of creating place occurs largely beyond (and in spite of) the state. It can be cooperative and quiet or a contentious ruckus of activity. “Anarchitecture” also captures the spontaneity and unpredictability of many collectively built structures outside of the purview of the planning professionals. What already exists in cooperatives, urban farming, guerilla gardening, green building, community development corporations, DIY infrastructure, squatting, protest, small businesses, participatory budgeting, random beautification, small builders, handymen/women, and even basic homeownership is a desire to cultivate use values over exchange values and to do it in a way that not only benefits individual users, but also the community as a whole.
The distinction between use value and exchange value that distinguishes professional architecture from anarchitecture is rather simple. The capitalist political-economy of making places is powered by the buying, selling, and making of real estate in order to make money. This is exchange value. Use values are those social things that capital will not necessarily provide for. Indeed the normal operation of capital overruns and destroys many use values. Capital demolishes low-income apartments to build gentrified high-rises. It strips forests and destroys watersheds in order to stamp new suburbs on top of former fields or forests. Out of this fundamental conflict between real human needs and the products of the market (products that can never fully provide a place to make our lives) arises anarchitecture.
As a perspective on things, anarchitecture recognizes that landscapes
can be disempowering or isolating (indeed many of them are purposefully
designed to be this way), but it doesn’t let us off the hook:
we can’t claim of any place that “there is no there there,”
as Gertrude Stein famously said of her estranged hometown. Whatever
is there, or is not, is our responsibility. It’s up to us to
make it if it doesn’t yet exist or to deconstruct it if the
professionals have imposed it on us. Free floating capital seeking
to maximize profit can only build the same homogeneous, interchangeable
units of land with familiar buildings decorated with numbing logos.
T here are numerous examples of anarchitecture in practice. Three facets of anarchitecture give the concept more clarity—(1) urban farming, (2) infrastructure creation, and (3) disruption of top-down planning.
Urban farming—including community gardens, backyard plots, and guerilla gardens—is an example of anarchitectural place making because it challenges so many of the dominant forms of space-time organization under capitalism. In the first instance, it challenges industrialized large-scale agriculture as the best model for food production. Urban farms are always smaller than the mega-farms that dominate food production and, because they can fill spaces, such as backyards, empty lots, parks, and greenways, they decentralize production. This allows urban farmers to utilize more sustainable techniques thereby causing less harm to the land and the people who ultimately eat the food. This means that crops must be acclimated to the local climate or microclimates and that seasonal variations in production determine variations in what people can eat. This contrasts with industrial agriculture where food is grown in large, remote monocrop plantations, treated after harvest to prevent spoiling, and then shipped an average of 1,500 miles to the consumer.
Urban farms also challenge dominant notions about the “best uses” of space within cities. According to capitalist economics, real estate should be developed according to whatever use is most profitable. Under these assumptions, inner-city agriculture is incredibly inefficient at capitalizing on land values and therefore should be replaced with more intensive projects like high-rise buildings, condos, or factories.
Urban farms range in sizes from large multi-acre sites to small patches alongside roads and railroad tracks. Many are legal, some are not. By far the most common form of urban agriculture is simple backyard gardening. Individuals and families that take it upon themselves to produce a portion of their own food are practicing a fundamentally subversive means of production in our society. Community gardens, often formed in partnership with city government or through non-profit organizations, are much more organized than guerilla gardens or home landscaping, but still represent a challenge to the dominant forms of centralized food production and landscape creation. In the southern California city I live in, I have seen everything from community gardens with dozens of members, to small milpas and gardens around homes, and even the rogue efforts of guerilla landscapers who have established clusters of avocado and loquat trees in formerly desolate patches of dirt which years down the line bear rich clusters of fruit free for anyone to pick. Urban agriculture and landscaping can change local ecologies for the better and challenge corporate control over food and land uses.
Another form of anarchitecture widely practiced involves the creation of infrastructure. Infrastructure is anything that facilitates movement, connectivity, and communication. It is the roads, wires, bridges, and pipelines that connect homes, workplaces, schools, parks, prisons, farms, and factories. Rather than allowing government or private developers to plan and build these most social of projects, many have taken it upon themselves. This form of anarchitecture is most prevalent in societies without strict zoning codes or the means to enforce the dominance of centrally planned infrastructure as the only system of connectivity. In large portions of the global south whole community water systems are fashioned in this manner, as are roads and walls. In many cities residents and squatters have taken to tapping the official power grid and wiring elaborate electricity systems.
A major form of anarchitectural infrastructure in the United States includes footpaths and bike paths that appear wherever centrally planned transportation infrastructure is inadequate, boring, or divisive. It might be easy to dismiss a footpath established through an empty lot or alongside a highway as anything like “infrastructure,” especially because it takes virtually zero capital to construct. If, however, we think about the kind of investment that people make in a certain pathway simply by traveling on it frequently enough to demarcate its boundaries, to compact the dirt, and even to repair its flooded or eroded areas, we start to get a sense of how much human energy actually can go into what appears to be nothing more than a casual trail.
These types of pathways facilitate movement not sanctioned or planned for by the authorities. The elaborate ways that the U.S. Mexico border is dissected by trails is an example. These pathways undermine the official infrastructure of the border, providing passage for those being exploited and oppressed in no small way by the official infrastructure. The homeless and itinerant have created vast infrastructures to traverse cities and suburbs outside of the surveillance of authorities and the scorn of others. Migrant and immigrant laborers have also cut diagonals through the official infrastructure of roadways and sidewalks as a means of connecting their workplaces, homes, and places of socialization. As a general rule, the more a society persecutes and pretends away the subalterns it exploits, the more they will take it upon themselves to build the structures and infrastructure necessary to make their lives and to fight toward a better future.
A third example of anarchitecture can be found anywhere local communities disrupt the top-down planning process that produces urban sprawl, gentrification, or other losses of community in the pursuit of profit. Every major U.S. city has seen movements challenge the architectural prerogatives of the power elite. From the 1940s through the 1960s one major goal of these movements was to oppose the negative (and oftentimes discriminatory) impact of the federal highway-building boom that threatened to cut cities into shreds. What tended to happen was that federal funds and expertise would be channeled through local political regimes that would inevitably map highways through non-white and poor districts. Those in the crosshairs of the asphalt layers seldom stood idly by while their homes were paved over. Many of these battles were lost and the multi-lane monsters were built through once thriving neighborhoods, but many were won, thus sustaining community cohesion and economic vitality instead of sacrificing them to the supposed progress of autotopia.
The urban renewal programs that exploded on the U.S. inner-city in this same era were opposed with even more effort. It was during this time that cities first secured massive federal grants specifically to rebuild themselves. After receiving federal grants, cities would proceed by exercising the laws of eminent domain to forcibly remove residents from their homes and neighborhoods. They demolished millions of lower-income housing units, as well as many thousands of small businesses, and sold the land to wealthy developers who usually built luxury apartments, condos, sports arenas, and convention centers, among other projects for profit.
Neighborhood activists opposed this most fervently. Their main contention was a political-economic one: why spend our collective resources on projects that clearly benefit the few at the expense of the majority? Why destroy “slum” housing, replacing it with fewer units of higher prices? Where would the people go? Residents and activists were always quick to question the assumptions on which renewal operated—that blighted neighborhoods were better off demolished, and that there is a spatial and aesthetic fix to problems of urban poverty. They were right to connect the decline of inner cities with the rise of suburban America. They were right to refute the idea that their communities were terrible places filled with crime and despair. They countered that their communities were vibrant, if troubled, but they were theirs and they would not give them up without a fight. Many fights were won.
Disruption of the top-down planning process is anarchitecture in practice. Whenever those who will be most affected by a proposal enjoin the process, whether it is welcomed by those who drafted the original plans or resisted tooth and nail, it shapes the outcome in a more equitable way. When the professionals try to impose plans on communities that are widely perceived as harmful and not in the interest of the community as a whole, the outcomes can be several. The professional place shapers can ignore, repress, and impose their form on the community; they can alter the design so that it incorporates some of the demands of the community; or they can abandon the project entirely. The first outcome has been a common one. The second two solutions are the results of anarchitecture in action: the building of place and space in spite of capital.
The promise of anarchitecture—the decentralized making of place by and for the community—is an activity that continually challenges the ability of the powerful to reshape our cityscapes and countrysides as they see fit. Anarchitecture can be a defense of place, but also an imaginative way of shaping it. It can be a reaction to the destructive power of real estate capitalism and our political system. It can also be a proactive undertaking—spontaneous, unpredictable—a window into a different world where place might be more than a means to accumulating wealth and power. It might be a reason unto itself.
Darwin BondGraham is a graduate student in sociology at UC Santa Barbara currently writing about social movements in post-Katrina New Orleans. Woodcuts on pp. 50-52 are by Eric Drooker.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; email@example.com; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.