Events from the 18th August onwards

Hiya folks,

Highlights for me this week include: the meeting on Tuesday evening to see if there are people interested in forming a new social centre here in Glasgow; then on Wednesday the talk/discussion event in the Glasgow AF we are hosting about the very real ways capitalism effects our health for the worse and looking at ways to transform the world to be better suited for our well-being; and Fail Better raising funds for refugee Palestinians.

Anyway, without further ado…

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Create Your Own Cult, The Scientology Way – Dr Martin Poulter | Best of Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 18 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Scientology has been described in the States as “ruthless, litigious and lucrative” and in this country as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”, yet it boasts global success and has made hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to the Internet, it now faces an unprecedented global opposition. The scary secrets of Scientology and its recruitment methods will be exposed in this talk. It will be useful for anyone wanting to set up their own lucrative cult

Dr Martin Poulter first encountered skepticism while a teenager. He has a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Bristol. He has been a Scientology-watcher since 1995, when he was threatened with legal action over material he posted online. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the SubGenius, which offers eternal spiritual salvation or triple your money back.

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Martin spoke at one of Glasgow Skeptics’ first events, back in January 2010. As we approach our fifth birthday in November, we hope to bring back some of the best speakers we’ve heard from in that time.

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Reforming the Glasgow Social Centre Collective
Tuesday, August 19 at 7:00pm
Electron Club Room, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall St, G2 3JD

Glasgow Social Centre collective was a group that aimed to create a safe and healthy space, open to all members of the community, that was to operate as a hub for a variety of community and social groups in Glasgow. They worked on principles of mutual aid, solidarity and co-operation, and aimed to provide a space which promoted education and involvement in issues of environmental and social justice.

Due to changes in life circumstances the original collective had disbanded over a year ago, however some of it’s members are still at hand and the idea of opening a sustainable social centre lives on. Individuals and groups are invited to this open meeting to discuss the formation of a new GSC collective.

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A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: PALESTINIAN POETRY LIVE IN GLASGOW
Wednesday, August 20 at 8.00pm
Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, G1 5HB

Admission £5/£3

All Welcome!

Please join us for this rare opportunity to hear Palestinian poets reading their work in arabic with new versions performed by leading Scottish Poets.

Palestinian poets MAYA ABU AL-HAYYAT and ZUHEIR ABU SHAYEB will be joined by Liz Lochhead, Liz Niven, Christine De Luca, Abla Oudeh and Sarah Irving.

‘The tragic story of Palestine continues to stain this new century with its tales of apartheid and injustice. It is no surprise that great art is born out of its suffering and also no surprise that most people in the outer world do not get to hear of it. Therefore this exquisite book of poems must be all the more welcomed – by all those who love art, who would denounce oppression, and who want to read the songs of those living behind the wall.’ Emma Thompson, Oscar-winning actor

‘A Bird is Not a Stone is a fabulous, landmark collection, an example of poetry’s ability to transcend borders, cultures and languages in order to celebrate our shared humanity. These poems resound with both the ephemera of the everyday, and also the tragedies lived beneath an ever-present threat of violence. Not just beautiful, they are important for the voices they give sound to, and their translations by some of these Islands’ best poets are vital reminders of what we know, what we forget, and what we have to learn from Palestine.’ Carol Ann Duffy, British Poet Laureate

‘Angry, celebratory, bawdy and moving, these are poems by fine poets, translated by fine poets. They feel like the first offerings of the Cafavys, Nerudas and Lorcas of today, brought fresh to the modern reader.’ Andrew Marr, journalist and political commentator

‘This is a beautiful and timely expression of cultural solidarity and internationalism.’ Bella Caledonia

A rare opportunity to discover the range and variety of extraordinary voices in contemporary Palestinian poetry translated by Scotland’s most acclaimed poets.

A major collection of contemporary Palestinian poetry translated by 25 of Scotland’s very best writers including Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead, James Robertson, Jackie Kay, William Letford, Aonghas MacNeacail, DM Black, Tom Pow, Ron Butlin, Christine De Luca and John Glenday.

A Bird is Not a Stone is a unique cultural exchange, giving both English and Arabic readers a unique insight into the political, social and emotional landscape of today’s Palestine. Includes both established and emerging Palestinian poets.

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Penington Cohousing Public Meetings
Wednesday, August 20 at 05.15pm Cafe & 17.45 Blytheswood Room (Mitchell Library)
Sat 23 Aug 14.30 Cafe & 15.00 Blytheswood Room (Mitchell Library)

Seeking new members!

Cohousing is a way of living in community. Starting with an interested group of 20 to 25 households, we will design our homes for our site, including a common house where we will have regular shared meals and space for community activities, and visitor accommodation. The landscaping will enable more day to day interactions to develop the sense of belonging. Sharing the design process will be part of community formation. Once built we will each buy our homes, and pay a regular charge for the shared facilities, and do a few hours of work to maintain the facilities each week.

We plan to use high building standards, reducing the need for energy input, and generating electricity eg from solar cells. Design will take into account the anticipated needs of an ageing community, like step free access. Plans are to have a cross age community that is mutually supportive, with opportunities to engage in activities, and reducing the isolation currently prevalent among older people. We are looking for a site with good access to public transport as the Cohousing Community will be part of the wider community that it is located in, not a gated estate.

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Capitalism is a Health Hazard!
Wednesday, August 20 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

Hierarchy harms our health. Inequality in income and lack of control over living and working conditions leads to deadly chronic stress. Climate and environmental destruction is a major threat to public health. And that’s before we get to consumerism and the isolation of the individual; the emptiness of modern existence.

While heathcare and modern sanitation are vital to achieve a base level of health, it will require a fundamental transformation of our society to tackle the big killers today and bring about well-being for all.

What would this healthy society look like?

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

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Fail Better: BOYCOTT ISRAEL
Thursday, August 21 at 8:00pm
McChuills, 40 High Street, G1 1NL

This Fail Better is dedicated to the martyrs of Palestine (Gaza, West Bank & Historic Palestine). By answering the call from the Palestinian civillian population for the total Boycott Divestment and Sanction of Israel, we can work to dismantle the Apartheid State.

There will be poetry, music & film including:

Short films made by the LAJEE youth centre in Aida Camp, Betlehem

If anyone has words or music to share, please get in touch.

This Fail Better is a social space for discussing where we are. There will be no formal discussion, but treat the night as place to meet up with friends and folk to discuss what’s going on – whatever your knowledge/involvement with the Palestinian struggle.

There will be as much information on BDS as we can get our hands on.

All pennies spent will go directly to help the refugees of Palestine

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NOT PROTEST, BUT ACTIVE RESISTANCE // LAVINIA RACCANELLO
Friday, August 22 – Sunday, September 7
New Glasgow Society, 1307 Argyle Street, G3 8TL.

“People have as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.” – Emma Goldman

Lavinia Raccanello (1985) is an italian artist and activist, now based in Glasgow, where she was selected to be part of the Many Graduate programme 2013 – 2014. Her work always focusses on the relationship between human beings and society, with a particular emphasis on the power of dialectic and participatory practice. At the beginning of March, she moved to Faslane Peace Camp, the longest-running permanent peace camp in the world, and for her first solo exhibition at New Glasgow Society she stands up with Faslane Peace Campers for a nuclear-free Scotland.

On the closing day of the exhibition, September 7th, an open talk will be hosted in the gallery space, inviting artists, politicians, activists, and concerned citizens to come together to share their views on nuclear weapons along with their hopes for the future.

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The Decline of Violence – Helen Dale | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 25 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, criminologists warned a despairing and frightened public throughout the developed world that already terrifying rates of violent crime would continue to rise. They described, among other things, the emergence of the ‘Superpredator’, an adolescent male who knew neither conscience nor remorse.

However, their predictions were wrong.

Crime rates began to drop like a stone. In the US, the drop had already commenced when criminologists were sounding their direst warnings. Other developed countries – including both England and Scotland – followed the US lead, and crime is now at historic lows.

Those who have read Steven Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’ would be aware that Western societies have become less violent over the long term – as in, since the Middle Ages. The period from 1965 to 1990 – when crime rose – represented a short-lived and partial reversal of this trend. Because criminologists got it so wrong, many have reoriented their scholarship in an attempt to work out just what it was that made crime escalate in the 1960s, and then, as though by magic, drop away in the 1990s.
Helen will discuss the various theories put forward in an attempt to explain the latest decline of violence, and offer suggestions as to which have the greatest explanatory power.

Helen Dale studied her English law at Oxford (where she was at Brasenose) and her Scots law at Edinburgh, and although she now works in corporate law, she started out – for the most part – practising criminal law. One of her advanced papers at Oxford was in criminology, and she (like lots of other lawyers) wanted to work out how an entire discipline could get it so wrong, and what may explain the (recent) decline of violence.

Helen blogs at: http://skepticlawyer.com.au/

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Education as the Practice of Freedom
Wednesday, September 17 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

“There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes “the practice of freedom,” the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” – Paulo Freire

Anarchists have a long and illustrious history of involvement within education, with interventions in libertarian education as notable as Ferrer’s Escuela Moderna, and the Free Skools, right through into the contemporary spaces of Social Centres. As a movement, Anarchism has historically emphasised the importance of the role of education – whether as a domesticating tool of oppression or as a prefiguring and liberating force – with a concern rarely echoed in other political perspectives.

While naturally touching on some of that history, this talk will mainly be concerned with the understanding that radicalism presents us with a fundamentally educational space, and will consider this in light of the work of Paulo Freire, among others. Though identifying outside of the specific Anarchist tradition, Freire’s work within Popular Education can be easily understood as broadly libertarian, and with implications and prospects for Anarchism.

Though the talk will highlight the role of informal education, contributions and reflections on all modes are welcome and expected in the discussion following.

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

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