Programme 2016

2016 Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair – Skillshares, Panels and Workshops



Description of Workshops:

Skills for Action

Affinity groups, blockades and trauma


A guided discussion focusing on the opportunities, challenges and practicalities of squatting. Where to go, what to look for, how to change locks and how to set up utilities. For those new and experienced alike, all are welcome.

Utopian Singalong

An exciting and inclusive opportunity for everyone to come together and have a fun singalong about some of the things we’re passionate about –

building vibrant communities, fighting the system and co-creating the movement towards a happy and fair society. We’ll be singing beautiful songs and leading ourselves in a non-hierarchical way. All singing abilities encouraged, and everyone is welcome!

Lizard Bites Back – Roxby Downs Uranium mine blockade and protestival.

Films and informal chatting about next steps of solidarity to support Kokatha and Arabunna struggle against the nuclear industry. Last month over 300 people blockaded the Roxby mine main road for 18 hours and took creative direct action while and participated in a resistance protestival under massive policing, drones, helicopters and intimidation. Come and see footage and discuss next steps for solidarity with Kokatha and Arabunna elders in their fights against colonialism and the nuclear cycle. “Beneath the Olympic Dam uranium mine on Kokatha country, there is an old Sleepy Lizard known as Kalta. BHP is mining right into its guts to extract the world’s most poisonous ore. That Lizard ain’t so sleepy no more. The mining operation is permanently poisoning the land in and around Roxby Downs, creating radioactive dust and mega-tonnes of tailings that have contaminated the groundwater and will be left on the surface of the land forever. Once mined, uranium’s destructive journey continues, from Fukushima to the depleted uranium shells that children play with in the streets of Iraq and Kosovo.” NO MINES, NO MASTERS, SUPPORT INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNITY!


Environmental struggle: Facing the crisis, finding justice

In this panel, three different perspectives on environmental crisis and justice will be explored.

In ‘Fossil Free Resistance’ on, Nicola Paris argues: “We need to step up, and mobilise in numbers larger than ever seen before. We need a huge and growing nonviolent resistance to the fossil fuel industry. We need to push for coal mines to start closing, and communities to receive just transitions. We must stop any new proposed fossil fuel projects with our bodies and our sheer force of numbers….We need to not give up, we need to stand up.”   In this panel Nicola will rally us to step up for truly disruptive NVDA.

Marisol will describe indigenous movements in Latin America struggling against Multinational Corporations, the struggle both to hold onto their own sovereignty over the land, to prevent harm to the environment and then to rehabilitate the land after mining companies leave.  She will raise questions about our own struggles for the environment, when we recognise that it is stolen land.


Jonathan will not focus on tactics/strategy for the movement. Rather the goals we need to aim at. He will briefly put the case that the solution cannot be found via mere reforms within capitalist-consumer society, and only a multi-faceted process of societal “de-growth,” at least in wealthy nations/regions, holds out the hope of achieving climate justice.  

Nicola Paris is from CounterAct which supports communities in taking effective, creative, strategic action on issues of environmental and social justice.

Marisol Salinas is from the Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) who aim to raise awareness of the struggles and resistances of Latin American grass-root organisations, “from the bottom up and to the left”, and who work to support these initiatives through local and national activism.

Jonathan Rutherford is coordinator at New International Bookshop and promotes the Simpler Way, an eco-anarchist approach.  .

Gary Foley in conversation with Clare Land

Aboriginal Black Power Community Controlled organising – how does it align and overlap with Anarchism?

Dr Gary Foley is a Professor in History, in the Moondani Balluk Academic Unit at Victoria University.

Dr Clare Land is the author of Decolonizing Solidarity (2015).

Stolen Lives – The Prison Industrial Complex and Racism

Aboriginal people are jailed at a higher rate in Australia than they were in Apartheid South Africa. This panel will be a discussion from people at the coal face of activism about how racism and the Prison Industrial complex continue to oppress Aboriginal people today.

Viv Malo and Robbie Thorpe are from First Nations Liberation and 3CR, Charandev Singh is a long-time prison advocate and activist

‘Where to for Anarchists in Australia?’

A plenary session to imagine and provide a vision for Anarchists in the now and into the future. Various positions will be presented and discussed in a facilitated discussion and Q&A. With Ben from the Anarcho-syndicalist Federation (Melbourne), Rebecca Winter from Anarchist Affinity, Theo Kitchener from Doing it Ourselves and Pope Fred.


Anarchism 101 – with Anarchist Affinity

The workshop will explore the faults of society today, highlighting issues surrounding the state, capitalism, systems of oppression such as patriarchy and racism, and the current ecological crisis. We will discuss what an anarchist society would look like, describe anarchist structures and ideals for direct democracy, an anti-capitalist economy, and social equality. Finally we’ll discuss what practical steps are necessary to achieve an anarchist society. The workshop will be participatory and will involve a mix of small group discussion and presentation.

Introduction to Security Culture

An introduction to the concepts and practices of security culture for activists.

Shut down Pine Gap – Disarm

In the last week of September, 2016 there will be a week of protest at the US intelligence base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs.  This workshop will explore the planned actions and the reasons we are going there to protest:  the US alliance, drone warfare, militarism & the arms industry in general.

Myths of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (and how they manifest in activist groups) – Supporting survivors and holding people who harm accountable

This Undercurrent workshop will address the myths of sexual assault and domestic violence, and how they manifest in activist communities. We will build participants’ skills at critically discussing/working on the issues of – intimate partner violence, gender, consent, violence, healthy relationships, supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and holding people that cause harm accountable. We are strongly informed by various feminist (intersectional), queer theory, transformative justice and prison abolitionist frameworks which we draw on in these discussions. You can also find more information about us on our website:

Empathic Communication:

An introduction to a communication process that embodies anarchist values and principles. Learn how to resolve conflicts, understand & manage trauma, connect more deeply with people you love and learn how to see the anarchist in everyone. Facilitated by Vaughan.