Disorientation Week 2012 Presents: The City is a Battleground
Disorientation 2012 presents....
The City is a Battleground
September 17-September 21, 2012
University of Toronto
Austerity. What is it? What does it mean for our communities? How can we resist it?
It isn’t always easy to understand it as a concept, but we know what it looks like on the ground. Attacks on public sector workers and cuts to social services have been on the rise in Toronto and abroad. This is only the beginning. The local cutbacks are only a small part of a larger agenda. This fight against austerity also resists the same exploitative system that keeps communities and people poor, and works to end a system built on a continuing history of white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and the colonization of indigenous people. A brutal era of austerity is already being felt, but so too is the resistance to it.
Join OPIRG-Toronto and the University of Toronto Student’s Union for a week of discussion, debate and direct action!
Dis/Orientation is the radical alternative to frosh week. Organized annually by OPIRG-Toronto, in conjunction with the University of Toronto Student’s Union, disorientation aims to introduce new and returning students to the politicized side of campus life, and connect them with student activism, community organizing and the work of OPIRG’s action groups.
All Disorientation events are free and wheelchair accessible.
If you want to get involved, in a volunteer or skills sharing capacity, get in touch with us at email@example.com. More information on all Disorientation volunteer opportunities to come shortly!
Monday September 17th
12:00-2:00 p.m.: Fighting Ford and City Cuts
Since Toronto Mayor Rob Ford took office, communities have organized to resist his agenda of deep cuts to social services, layoffs of public sector workers and attacks on the poorest people and communities in this city. While many of the proposed cuts were averted at the budget vote in January, the battle with city hall is not over. This workshop will explore how people organized to stop the cuts, what services are still on the chopping block, and how we can continue to fight back. This workshop will also discuss current campaigns within the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the Downtown East Stop the Cuts Committee, including the Save the Schoolhouse shelter campaign.
4:00-6:00 p.m.: Demystifying the University: Corporatization, Access and Campus Organizing
Who is the University for, and who benefits from it? Rising tuition fees have only further highlighted who has access to these institutions of higher learning, but the high cost isn’t the only barrier people are facing to excelling at the University of Toronto. As students invest in a post-secondary education, what are they really investing in? Corporate funding and influence over the University is rarely discussed, but is obvious everywhere, from endowments of mining companies with a history of human rights violations to the fight of campus workers for a fair contract. This panel will explore racism, accessibility, the struggles of campus workers and the fight against corporatization, and strategize how to mobilize in coalition for a better campus for all of us.
6:00-8:00 p.m: Get in Gear: Bike Repair 101
Join folks at Bike Chain as they discuss various issues around transit in the City followed by a hands on tutorial on how to fix your bike!
Tuesday September 18th
12:00- 2:00 p.m.: Resisting Mentalism: Becoming an Ally to Mad People
This workshop will examine unexposed sites and methods of
Through interactive group activity and discussion, participants will be encouraged to challenge their mentalist attitudes in order to ally with Mad people and the local and global Mad Movement as well as to foster more fully accessible and “safer” social justice spaces.
Elizabeth and Alisa, from the Mad Students Society Working Group on Ally Relationships, self-identify, language-flexibly, as psychiatric consumer/survivors and crazy Mad people. They are activists, scholars, and workers in these communities.
Police violence is not an anomaly in many neighbourhoods in Toronto. Racial profiling and criminalization is a reality for many people, and the resulting interactions with the prison system have been made all the more harsh with the passing of the Conservative government’s Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which includes more punitive sentences for youth, and longer sentences for a variety of different crimes. Policing and Prisons go hand and hand, so join us for a discussion connecting criminalization and over-incarceration with a Conservative agenda of prison expansion. This workshop will focus on both campaigns against police brutality and changes to crime legislation, as well as prison support and community mobilization.
6:00-8:00 p.m.: Who’s afraid of an anti- capitalist student movement?
This past April, thousands of students in Quebec went on strike in opposition to a 75% tuition hike proposed by the provincial government.The red square has now become iconic the world over, a symbol of the striking students and their struggle against the rising costs of post-secondary education. Students activists, community organizers and the wider public have met the strike with varying responses. Ontario students face the highest tuition rates across Canada and many have begun to ask, why not strike here, and what would it entail? How can we begin to build a movement like that of Quebec? What are the aims and motivations of such a movement, and can it meet the needs of all students? This discussion brings together a variety of perspectives and strategies for spreading the strike, and works to explore what an inclusive, anti- capitalist student movement looks like, and how we can start one here.
This workshop will cover the basic steps to organizing a rally or march and show examples of creative innovation in rally design. The workshop will also offer tips on planning routes, roles, marshalling, escalation and de-escalation, promotion and visuals.
Wednesday September 19th
Show up for the food, stay for the show! Local musicians will be featured during a social justice fair with tabling from campus and community groups. Complete with a collaborative mural painting and a participatory, skills sharing art workshop, this art attack and bloc party is a creative boost in an otherwise average day!
4:00 - 6:00 pm: Trans People Drop-in and Social
*Details to be announced!*
6:00- 8:00 pm: Environmental Justice and Tar Sands: Where we are and what we can do
We will explore the context of tar sands in Ontario through a participatory workshop focusing on the history of tar sands development, the impact it has on front-line communities, how the regulatory process has failed and what we can do from here. The workshop will also focus on ways to get involved with tar sands organizing and empower participants to take action.
Dave Vasey is an environmental justice activist from Walkerton, Ontario. Dave has been involved in tar sands organizing since 2008 and has worked with several groups including the Rainforest Action Network, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Environmental Justice Toronto and Environmental Justice Ontario.
Thursday September 20th
11:00-1:00 pm: Our Home on Native Land: Building Indigenous Solidarity
*Details to be announced!*
Let's talk about Revolutionary Love: Workshop and Keynote by D'bi Young
Join us as dub-poet and performer D'bi Young takes us through the importance of LOVE in a time where we face many challenges; where the people in "power" fail to prioritize we the people over their profit.
2:00- 4:00 p.m.: Is a love ting: Reclaiming our Integrity as People
7:00 p.m.: We the People, We the Planet
D’bi Young is an internationally celebrated Jamaican dubpoet, monodramatist and educator whose socially-conscious performance art work has made an indelible mark upon the global psyche. She first exploded onto the Canadian theatre scene in 2001 as the unbelievable storyteller in Da kink in my hair. She has authored two collections of poetry, produced 2 dubpoetry albums and is anthologized in over 40 publications worldwide. Having recently returned from a tour of India, d'bi. is currently in Jamaica working with Edna Manley College's 4th year drama students, and penning a new album for Jamaica's 50th independence anniversary.
Friday September 21st
2:00- 4:00 p.m.: Queer Resistance and Pinkwashing
This workshop examines the concepts of pinkwashing and homonationalism as tools of neoliberalism that co-opt sexual rights and queer struggle. Through the workshop, participants will work through the meaning and mechanisms of pinkwashing and homonationalism, and will examine multiple sites in both Canada and internationally where pinkwashing is occurring. The purpose of the workshop is to help identify and explain sites of pinkwashing, and to develop tools for interrupting and resisting these practices.
*JOINT ANNIVERSARY EVENT*
This isn’t your everyday birthday party- This is a story-sharing, art making, eclectic musical celebration!
United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street (near College and Spadina)
For several decades, OPIRG-Toronto, OPIRG-York and the York University Graduate Student’s Association have been agitating and demonstrating for social change. OPIRG-Toronto and the Graduate Student's Association are reflecting on 30 years, and OPIRG York on 20 years, of student organizing, grassroots education and action on social and environmental justice. We have been disrupting the normal run of things since our inception, and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon! We invite you to Disruption! a anniversary party recognizing decades of resistance, and decades more to come!
Join us as we celebrate our achievements and reflect on our involvement in so many amazing and influential campaigns over the years. What better way to end two packed weeks of DisOrientation than sharing stories and dancing the night away with friends and comrades! With performances from LAL, Progress, Maiko Watson and Wolf J, this night is sure to be one to remember! DJs Zehra and Saira Chhibber will end off the night and keep you on your feet with their sweet beats. Take a look at the archived posters and materials from 30 years of Toronto's political work, and don't forget to grab your anniversary swag: silk screened birthday t-shirts, buttons, patches and a collaborative mural, to be produced the night of the party. Good food, drinks and great friends!