Tag Archives: Anarchist Federation

Angry Women Win!

The latest issue of our Resistance free sheet is on the streets! This special issue looks at the struggles of women, both historically and today. Articles include a look at:

  • Abortion struggles in Ireland and Spain
  • Legal battles for women in the UK
  • Gender and Factory Resistance in China
  • Women & LGBTQIA in Ukraine today
  • Free Women of Spain in the 1930s
  • Dealing with sexual harassment at work
  • Transgender struggles being side-tracked by mainstream acceptance
  • The Angry Women of Liverpool
  • Single mothers fighting social cleansing in East London

You can download the issue here!

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A look back at AFem2014

Sunday the 19th of October seen the first International Anarcha-Feminist Conference, aka AFem2014. The seed from which it would eventually grow fell from the tree back in August of 2012. That tree was the St Imier International Congress anarcha-feminist round table. This was series of meetings that took  place on each of the five days of that event. In the closing session it’s participants announced their plans to host an anarcha-feminist congress of their own within several years. This was met by thunderous applause from the congress floor. Busily contacts were exchanged, interested parties came forward, and a group agreed to take lead on the project.

Then nothing.

Months passed.

The Anarchist Federation started to get occasional contacts asking if we knew of any organising on the Anarcha-Feminist Congress. Our international secretaries put out inquiries thought our sibling federations in IFA as well as any other contacts in the global anarchist movement. After some investigation it appeared that no planning had happened, and those who had stepped forward at St. Imier were out of contact. Sometimes things just can’t get done, such is the nature of being in a struggle, and definitely not something to be ashamed of.

That may have been the end of it if it wasn’t for one federation member deciding that this idea was necessary to both counter the failings of feminism outside the anarchist movement, with all other branches of thought happy to throw more and more people under the bus in the name of capitalism; and also within, as we see elements of the anarchist movement where misogyny and sexism are rife and where little more than lip service is given to overcoming the power structures surrounding gender, especially in regard to groups marginalized even by other feminists.

Discussions were had and soon proposals drafted for the fed to kickstart the previously proposed international event. The discussions were thorough and some of the goals laid out at this early stage. This wasn’t to be a project hosted only by the AF (as had previous anarcha-feminist events we had been involved in organising), or just undertaken by our international the IFA, but was to be born from the AF and gain its own autonomy. It had to provide a strong class-struggle perspective to provide a counter to the dominant feminist movement’s lack of liberatory potential. It also had to not only be inclusive to groups normally marginalized within the anarcha-feminist movement but also counter the prejudices they face. After some debate the federation reached a consensus of agreement to go forward and feelers were put out to other organisations.

Early on sibling federations throughout the IFA were keen to help, while here in Britain the SolFed joined and they made contact with their international federation the IWA. A meeting at 2013 London Anarchist Bookfair gathered support from independent anarcha-feminists, as did the creation of a web presence. After several months a consensus emerged on the criteria for organisation where those involved had to:

As planning went on things looked touch-and-go at times whether an event would be possible at all. New people got involved and others took breaks. Fundraising took place but money was short. Speakers and workshops started to came forward but then the programme had to be made to work. The inclusion policy was agreed along the lines of the form of oppression suffered which caused ripples in a field normally only looking purely to identity to give an indication of attendance. The safer spaces agreement was put in place and people needed to help on the day. Eventually everything started to come together.

Key to the whole event was the way in which different strands of the conference timetable would be given to groups usually marginalized within feminism (such as the disabled, sex workers, trans women, etc). This gave longer discussions over the course of the day about certain subjects, and it was hoped that this would highlight struggles from those who found their voices normally sidelined, vilified or lost entirely in feminist organising.

The day came and everything went past in a blur. Personally I spent the day either volunteering, supporting others, or helping to present the community accountability strand so I’m going to leave the nitty gritty of reviewing the strands to those who were there purely as attendees  This was the first time something like this had been attempted and it was all a bit experimental – but if we are ever to succeed in our goal of social revolution we have to be brave and try stuff. I think AFem did that and made a success of it all, though not everything was perfect.

I’ve also not kept up with the internet feedback but I know there has been moaning online. I find forums are a draining, negative space, and hearing that folks were griping (often folks who were not even in attendance), I haven’t gone to look for it yet – that can wait until I’m more rested. On the other hand I spent the days following AFem hopping between different people who had been in attendance. The feedback I’ve been getting in person has been overwhelmingly positive. One person said it was best anarcha feminist event they had attended (and they were not green in this kind of thing). All of them gave feedback of negative points, but it was fell into fairly similar areas, constructively phrased, and the positives were overwhelming to them. A quick rundown these:

+ Big open/close
Folks loved the opening and closing sessions which gathered everybody in attendance together and were kept on track by the organisers. The way people set goals for the day meant there was a collective feeling of active participation expected from folks attending.
+ Developing ideas
Everyone I talked to had learned new ideas and methods to take back home, and many otherwise liberal feminists were not only exposed to anarcha-feminism for the first time, but engaged and took away lessons from an anarchist perspective.
+ Strands
The way in which strands were organised was loved by all. It led for more discussion and time to work on things. People said this was SO MUCH BETTER than how bookfairs and other conferences run their meetings and it rarely felt like you were just being talked to but were part of a discussion.
+ Atmosphere
On the whole people found the atmosphere at the event to be positive and liberating, with people able to build solidarity against shared opression. ot only that but international links were forged and space for meeting other anarcha-feminists took place. They also commented on how easy it was to find organisers and volounteers, and upon how friendly and approachable they all were.
+ Safer Spaces Policy
Every person commented that it was refreshing to see is attempting a safer space policy that goes far beyond what most conferences would do, and think we have struck some new ground in how this could be put in place at similar events, though some areas do need development.
+ Self Care
Food Not Bombs provided lunch for anyone who was skint and was loved by all. At the same time a decent quiet space and the readily available interpretation and safer space volunteers made everything a lot more manageable.
+ Internationalism
The international aspect was seen as being vital to the experience, with at least 19 different countries represented in attendance, and something others would hope to see us expand.
+ Enthusiasm to continue
Overwhelmingly people wanted to see this happen again, if not next year then in 2016.

The constructive criticisms raised to me were:

– Time table clashes
These can almost never be avoided, and people acknowledged this, but at the same time everyone said there was some clash at some time for them. We tried the best we could but always worth keeping this in mind.
– TERF infestation
A group of trans exclusionary radical feminists (known as TERFs for short) tried to undermine the event. Someone who had been on the organiser list from the start lied about their willingness to uphold the inclusion policy to other organisers. They then positioned themselves to help present the Introduction to Anarcha-Feminism where they went off the presentation planned with the co-facilitator in order to spout some transphobic bile. At the same time they were seen conferring with other terfs before they dispersed into each session and parrot the same transphobic talking points, and appeared to be using the quiet space to regroup and plan. Attempts were made to remove the TERFs by some of the organisers but this unity was undermined and they used the confusion caused by sabotage of the consensus we had otherwise forged for the event to hang about. Despite this betrayal and sabotage, everyone I talked with found that any move towards transphobic discussion was quickly shut down and made unwelcome, and that the issue was handled better than most events. However, there was still a lack of consistency on how those breaking with the safer spaces agreement were dealt with.
– Cultural appropriation/racism
Lots of white people turned up using fashion displays from cultures that had been othered by white imperialism with no respect for the cultures they were came from and then got defensive when this was fed back in a negative light by the POC strand. Again, while the safer space policy had words on this subject we didn’t have a consistent process on what we were actually doing about it.
– Lack of resources
We didn’t have enough full programmes  for the attendees (though everyone did get a timetable), and while we had people on hand to read out the timetable we did not have large print versions. This was a major slip up and something that I will not be repeated.

On the TERF gang, it is unfortunate that but not surprising that they would go to such lengths to try and ruin the event. However if after a year of planning the best they could manage was to get one person to lie about their intentions and then protect the five or six die-hards that came along in the center of London then they have played what may be their hardest hitting attempt to disrupt at a time where the conference was vulnerable and gone home with plumbs. The problems that have been highlighted have came with constructive suggestions for improvement and the organising group are already moving forward with these, thought we are going to need to take a wee break before launching into any serious planning.

AFEM banner

AFem has now been fully realized as its own organisational entity,  separate to the groups that nurtured it early on. As a member of the AF this is a key example of the worth of the federation, and illustrates the way in which anarchist organisations differ from their authoritarian counterparts. Where others would use this as a front group and co-opt the struggles of others for self gain, anarchists work to create mutual aid and forge solidarity between truly autonomous groups, with struggles directed by those who are oppressed.  I have every confidence that this has been the start of an ongoing series of truly international events to build a modern anarcha-feminist practice and will start to ensure that anarcha-feminism is central to anything that could be regarded today as anarchist practice. As such, the last thing to say is a big thanks to everyone who contributed to making AFem 2014 a resounding success. Thank you all!

Events from the 12th September onwards

Hi all,

Another week and another set of events. If you pick this up quickly you will notice that there is a fundraiser for the Document Film Festival happening tonight. Over the next week the momentum carries on to form a new social centre collective (again the meeting is on a Tuesday but please note the change of venue and start time – Garnethill from 6). Also, this Wednesday, the next in our monthly discussion series will be taking a look at education from an anarchist perspective.

There is also a lot of other events to look at, so without further ado…

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Document Fundraiser w/ Wolf, Alarm Bells & Harsh Tug (£4 on the Door)
Friday, 12 September at 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Stereo Cafe Bar, 20 – 28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH

In just over a month Document Film Festival will kick off its 12th year at Glasgow’s CCA. With over 35 films, workshops, live music, visual installations and performances that explore global human rights injustices and video activism. But why wait to celebrate? On September 12 we’ll be at Stereo Cafe Bar putting on a pre-festival fundraiser and we’ve invited some of our favourite local musicians and DJs to come along to get you dancing!

We’ve got WOLF, Alarm Bells and Harsh Tug set to perform. There will be a raffle, festival swag and an all around good time to be had. Just to get you into the festival spirit.

Hope to see you there!

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Parkour Girl’s Jam
Sunday, September 14 at 2:00pm
Rottenrow Gardens, off Rottenrow

After a wee break, Women*’s jam is back!
This month we’re at Rottenrow, at 1400. If you don;t know where that is, we’ll meet at Buchanan St subway station, at 1345, then we’ll head to Rottenrow.

The jam is free and open to women of all abilities and experience. So, even if it’s your first time, come along and have a jump!!

There will be a warm up together, maybe some games, and a wee conditioning session too! And our ADAPT qualified female coach will be there for support and guidance, if you need it!

Send a message to the Glasgow Parkour Girls facebook page if you have any questions about the jam.

See you there!!

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Glasgow Skeptics: The Next Five Years
Monday, September 15 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Glasgow Skeptics has been going for five years now (and if you’ve not already RSVPed to our very special anniversary event, please do!https://www.facebook.com/events/1495028154042640/). Looking ahead to the future, we’d like to talk about the next five years.

What should skeptics care about? What should Glasgow Skeptics be doing, and what could we be doing better? Should there be more of a focus on raising public awareness? Should we focus on the evidence base for specific legislation being discussed? Are there areas that are crying out for a skeptical eye, that have so far been missed?

If you’ve never been along before, this might be the perfect time to say hello. Part open-mic night, part group discussion: come along and let us know what you want from the next five years of Glasgow Skeptics.

Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance.” Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair users.

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Reforming the GSC Collective, Third Meeting
Tuesday, 16 September at 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, G3 6RE

The second meeting to set up a new social centre collective brought up the need to solidify the ideals and goals the the new collective will be working towards in order to create a new collective.

We hope to have minutes from the last meeting and a provisional agenda for this meeting available on the night!

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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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Faslane Picnic
Saturday, September 20 at 12:00pm
Faslane Naval Base

On Saturday, September 20, the Scottish Peace Network will be holding a demonstration at Faslane Naval Base at 12 noon. After the demo we will be having a picnic so bring food. We will be at Faslane whether the referendum results. NO TO TRIDENT, NO TO NATO!

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Smashing Physics – Prof. Jon Butterworth | Glasgow Skeptics Special
Friday, September 26 at 9:00pm – 10:00pm
Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, G51 1EA

The discovery of the Higgs boson was the culmination of the largest scientific experiment ever performed, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And how has its discovery changed our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature?

Jon Butterworth is a professor of physics at University College London. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group on the Atlas experiment at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider and also manages to write regularly in The Guardian, as well as taking part in other science communication.

His book, Smashing Physics: The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs,was published in May 2014.

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A NIGHT IN THE WILD!
Friday, September 26 – Monday, September 29
Sallochy Woodlands

Do you have what it takes to spend a night or two sleeping rough in the wild? Take part in our sponsored camping weekend. Participants will be provided with a tent and pitch in Sallochy Woodlands. Minimum sponsorship of £50 to be raised by each participant. Maximum of 4 people to each tent. All money raised will go to charities supporting homeless people in Glasgow.

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ARIKA | Episode 6: Make A Way Out Of No Way
Friday, 26 – Sunday 29 September
Various

A 3-day exploration, through performance, screenings and discussion, of the art and politics of wayward communities who refuse to be bound by the fictions of race and sex.

Episode 6: Make a Way Out of No Way is about working class American dance (Krumping,Voguing), black poetry, queer counter-publics, cultural history and theology, ballroom & house music. It is in conversation with communities who challenge the prison industrial complex and who organise in the face of multiple oppressions. It features a queer operatic requiem, the greatest film in the African-American canon, and counter canonical impulses at the dawn of a singular black cinema. It is about the noise of black and/or queer sociality. And it asks whether it is possible for communities, even while so constrained, to practice being somewhere else – practically, socially and aesthetically making a way out of what is at hand and rehearsing in anticipation of what is to come.

“Waywardness is the refusal to be governed. It is the next phase of the general strike, the flight from the plantation and refusal of slavery and the demeaning conditions of work, this time it happens in the slum. It is a social experiment and an effort to elaborate new forms of existence.” Saidiya Hartman

Friday 26 Sept

Waywardness – Saidiya Hartman
The wayward create upheavals and incite tumult. They come and go as they please; they are riotous; they are itinerant and never settle; they are fugitive; they are excessive rather than efficient, they are in open rebellion against society. Saidiya’s keenly affecting and poetic writing is some of the most influential cultural criticism in America today, deeply concerned with the mental and physical traces bodies accumulate as they manoeuvre between terror and pleasure, power and flight.

Killer of Sheep – Dir: Charles Burnett, USA, 1977, 87 mins
Killer of Sheep is an undisputed masterpiece of African-American filmmaking. Filmed in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Watts Riots, with the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, it is one of the major films of the L.A. Rebellion. The film makes visible the struggle undertaken by black communities as they improvise themselves in relation to social conditions that seek to habituate depression and desensitization. It explores a space of numbing labour and insidiously enforced brutality – but also one of play, humour and love.

Make a Way Out of No Way: Club – MikeQ, Miss Prissy, Kia Labeija and the Legendary Pony Zion Garçon – Stereo
In which the crown prince of modern ballroom music, a master and rising star or Vogue, the Queen of Krump and hopefully you explore whether the club a world within a world? Can it be a space in which we can organise our bodies, our selves differently? Is it a space in which we might still be able to dance our way out of the time-traps and identity prisons we are locked in? What happens if we think of house music or social dance forms as ways to organize our bodies in relation to this quote from the Krumper Dragon – “most people think: they’re just a bunch of rowdy, ghetto, heathen thugs. No, what we are is oppressed”?

Saturday 27 Sept

Fugitivity and Waywardness – Saidiya Hartman and Fred Moten
What are the politics of the wayward or fugitive, of self-defence, self-organisation and flight? What can we learn from runaway slaves, maroon societies and the underground railway, from queer counter-publics and from waywardness in Glasgow today? Fred is one of the great poets, educators and theorists of blackness and fugitivity. Saidiya’s book Scenes of Subjection is one of the most telling contributions to current black thought.

Touching the Imperceptible – Kara Keeling and Arthur Jafa
A performed constellation of voices and filmic fragments that might variously be about slipping into darkness or the (im)possibilities of being black…about cinematic, queer and black world-making and the similarities and differences therein…about Instagram and the acinematic… Kara Keeling is a leading thinker on what queer and/or black film might be, or become. Arthur Jafa is the most inventive, talkative improviser of the cinematic we’ve ever met.

Speculum Orum: Shackled to the Dead – M Lamar
Drawing on negro spirituals, Marion Williams, opera and Leontyne Price, M Lamar’s performances slide between noise and music, pain and truth. A 75-minute requiem that asks us to stay in the hold of the slave ship and that tries to understand the connection from the slave ship to the prison. Including movements from M Lamar’s “Surveillance Punishment and the Black Psyche” – an imprisoned black man’s reflections on his life sentenced to death for killing his male overseer and lover.

You’ve Never Seen Pain Expressed Like This – Miss Prissy, the Legendary Pony Zion Garçon, Kia Labeija and Danielle Goldman
A freestyle performed conversation for bodies and voices – on how Black, working class and queer dance is a way of moving in tight spaces and giving shape to oneself, of practicing and being ready for freedom. What’s political about American black, working class dance styles like Krump and Vogue? Do they practice moving in two worlds at the same time? With the Queen of Krump, the master of Vogue Femme Dramatics, the rising star of Vogue Women’s Performance and Danielle Goldman, writer on dance as politics.

Sunday 28 Sept

Workshop with Miss Prissy and Glasgow Open Dance School
A movement-based workshop on Krump and the politics of how we teach, learn and listen with our bodies.

From Subjection to Subjection – Reina Gossett, Saidiya Hartman and Charlene Sinclair
How are categories of race, sex, sexuality, gender and class mobilised to criminalise communities and create and maintain such carceral spaces? And how are people organising in realisation that it is not enough to work to reform the system, but that the system itself is the problem? Reina Gossett is Activist-In-Residence at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women. Saidiya Hartman is a leading cultural critic. Charlene Sinclair is the Director of Centre for Race, Religion and Economic Democracy.

Dreams Are Colder Than Death – Dir: Arthur Jafa, USA, 2014, 52 mins
Using a range of tactics that resist the white cinematic gaze, Arthur Jafa’s most recent film asks what it means to be black in America in the 21st century. Grounded not in sequence but in the interrelation of a constellation of voices, bodies and images, the film maps out black relationships with early and frequent death, with violence, with fantasy, with love and with memory, assembled from interviews with Charles Burnett, Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Portia Jordan and Storyboard P.

Realness – Icon Ayana Christian, Legendary Co-Founder Michael Roberson Garçon, Reina Gossett, Fred Moten and Charlene Sinclair
What is at stake in the performance of realness and the practice of passing, and how are they both acts of survival and resistance? Black, queer and trans bodies tell stories. Often they are multilingual – talking to numerous cultures, telling many stories simultaneously. Portraying a sense of ‘realness’, conforming to a set of socially prescribed norms so that you can walk streets safely, is self-defence. Ayana Christian and Michael Garçon are both leaders in the Ballroom community.

Mutual Instruments – Fred Moten and Miss Prissy
What might be the capacity to feel through others, for others to feel through you – what is the feel for feeling others feeling you? How might you un-sensationalize yourself? How does the voice or the body remember having been moved by others, with others? How might it feel at ease with the fugitive, at peace with the pursued, at rest with the ones who consent not to be one? Can our favourite Vegas-born poet of prophetic blackness and a South Central transmuter of social rage into beauty feel through each other?

Ticket Info – £4 Friday Evening Pass, £4 Friday Club Ticket, £6 Saturday or Sunday Day Pass, £14 Festival Pass

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Beat the frack out of Scotland
Saturday, 27 September at 6:00pm – 3:00am
River, 260 Clyde Street, G1 4JH

Top Glasgow musicians turn out to support communities fighting back against fracking. Appearing so far: George Tucker, The Lonesome Hearts, Willie and the Poorboys, the Carlton Jugband with special guest Carola Cosimini, Nicky Murray & Chloe Rodgers, Anti-fracking busker Alexander Mccallum. Compere: the incomparable Gary Little. Entry £10 on the door or buy in advance from http://www.brownpapertickets.com

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The Dark Side of the Universe – Dr Catherine Heymans | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, September 29 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Just over 95% of our universe comes in the shrouded form of dark energy and matter that we can neither explain nor directly detect. Together, these two dark entities play out a cosmic battle of epic proportions. While the gravity of dark matter slowly pulls structures in the universe together, dark energy fuels the universes accelerated expansion, making it ever harder for those structures to grow. Catherine Heymans has used the world’s best telescopes to map out the invisible dark matter in our Universe and confront different theories on the dark universe. She will explore this dark enigma and describe where we will look next in our search for darkness. It is widely believed that in order to truely understand the dark universe we will need to invoke some new physics that will forever change our cosmic view.

Catherine Heymans is a Reader in Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, a European Research Council Fellow and a member of the Young Academy of Scotland. She specialises in observing the dark side of our Universe and co-leads the European Southern Observatory KiDS analysis team, using deep sky observations to test whether we need to go beyond Einstein with our current theory of gravity. Since completing her PhD at Oxford University in 2003, Catherine has held fellowships from the Max-Planck Institute and the Canadian Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics. When she is not busy unveiling the mysteries of the Universe or enthusiastically lecturing undergraduates, she can usually be found building sandcastles and paddling in the sea with her three small children.

Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance.” Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair uses.

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Night Shelter Volunteer Recruitment Open Day
Wednesday, October 1 at 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Contact glasgownightshelter@gmail.com for full info

On Wednesday 1st October we’re planning a Volunteer Recruitment Open Day at the Night Shelter for people to come and find out a bit more about volunteering at the night shelter.

There’ll be a tour of the shelter as well as people talking about their experiences of volunteering as well as some of the men who stay at the shelter explaining what the shelter means to them.

It will be an ideal opportunity for anyone who has thought about volunteering at the night shelter to find out more about what it is like and what volunteering at the shelter involves.

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RiB at Document Film Festival
Saturday, October 11 at 12:00pm until late
CCA, 350 Sauchiehall St, G2 3JD

The Radical Indipnedant Bookfair will be doing a one day stall this year at our favourite human rights documentary film festival. We will be located up in the balcony. Setting up in the morning for a lunchtime opening we will likely be open till after the last film comes out.

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Would you eat a GM Chicken? – Prof. Helen Sang | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, October 13 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

The recent development of a range of technologies for genetic modification of animals means that the possibility of genetically modified farm animals being licensed for human consumption is getting closer. What are these technologies, and what are the applications that are being developed? The current regulations for licensing GM animals for food, including the differences between assessing GM animals and plants, will be discussed. Many of the objections to the use of GM technologies relate to societal issues rather than technological risks, so how does this relate to possible introduction of GM animals for food?

Professor Helen Sang was born in Edinburgh but went to high school in Brighton. She is a geneticist and molecular biologist, with a degree and PhD from Cambridge University. She continued her research career with postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and Edinburgh universities. Since the 1980s, she has led a research group at the Roslin Institute (famous as the home of Dolly the sheep), with a research goal to develop methods for genetic modification of chickens with applications in basic biomedical research and for improving chicken breeds, particularly for enhancing resistance to major diseases including bird flu.

Doors open at 19:00 for a start at 19:30 sharp.
FREE

Accessibility: As per the policy of the Admiral Bar, access to the venue “can only be provided to patrons who are sufficiently mobile and capable of independently evacuating premises, or with the minimum of assistance.” Unfortunately, this leaves the basement inaccessible to most wheelchair users.

Education as the Practice of Freedom (talk/discussion)

Wednesday 17th September
18:45 – 21:00
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, Glasgow, G4 9AJ.
Facebook | Map

“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.

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.

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.

– – –

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/

Capitalism is a Health Hazard! (talk/discussion)

Wednesday 20th August
18:45 – 21:00
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, Glasgow, G4 9AJ.
Facebook | Map

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?

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.

Events from the 16th July onwards

Hi folks,

Of note this week coming is that us folks at the Glasgow Anarchist Federation are putting on a discussion on bicycles, transport, and the city environment and the call-out by claimants in Clydebank to show support to their campaign against benefit sanctions. The free personal safety courses for women hare also still ongoing this month:

16th July 10am – 12pm, Castlemilk

22nd July 7pm – 9pm, Toryglen

30th July 7pm – 9pm, Langside

For full information or to book a space on the course, see the Wise Women-Glasgow website: http://www.wisewomen.org.uk/currentcourses.html

Now without further ado…

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The Revolution must be Localised: The bicycle as a tool for liberation in the struggle for radical neighbourhoods
July 16 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

The city excites & enthuses us, but it troubles us in equal measure. There are fewer and fewer free spaces in the city, every square foot of this place where we live has been divided up walled in and fenced off a dozen times before we were even born. The only thing that we have left that belongs to all of us is the streets

This months presentation looks at the bicycle as a tool for liberation in the struggle for radical neighbourhoods, followed by a discussion upon the issues raised.

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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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Glasgow Anarchist Collective Support Clydebank Against Benefit Sanctions
Thursday, July 17 at 10:00am – 4:00pm
Clydebank Jobcentre, Radnor House, 245 Kilbowie Rd, Clydebank, G81 2JN

GAC will be in attendance to support Clydebank Against Benefit Sanctions on their day of protest against JSA sanctions.

“we are campaigning locally to end the blight of thousands of people in West Dumbartonshire being reduced to desperate poverty by benefit sanctions.” – Clydebank Against Benefit Sanctions

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Ibrox Flower Field Family Day
Friday, July 18 at 12:009m – 4:00pm
Ibrox Flower Field Community Garden, Hinshelwood Drive

Come and join us for an afternoon of family fun at the lovely Ibrox Flower Field Community Garden in Ibrox.

There will be:

Arts & Crafts
Garden Games
Planting Sessions
Herbal Teas
Strawberries and Cream
BBQ

All are welcome to come along and enjoy the afternoon.

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‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’ – Free Film Screening, Discussion & Live Music
Saturday 19th July at 6:00pm – 10.30pm
Stereo Cafe Bar, 22-28 Renfield Lane, Glasgow, G2 6PH

FREE ENTR

Earthmovies is proud to present the Scottish premiere of ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’, an award-winning film with film director Liz Marshall present for a Q&A after the screening (she is coming all the way from the US for a UK tour!). Moreover there will be free vegan food and the fabulous Blochestra playing live music. And the best is it’s all free!

About the film:
Acclaimed photographer Jo-Anne Mc Arthur gives an empathetic insight into the lives of animals which are usually out of our sight. Each story is a window into different global animal industries such as food, fashion, entertainment and research.

Her captivating images raise important questions about how we treat animals in our society. Can it be justified to use animals as products instead of recognizing their value and dignity as fellow living beings?

The screening will be followed by a discussion about animal rights and the role of the media with film director Liz Marshall as well as Tatiana Heise representing Animal Aid.

About the event:
The event will start at 6pm when free vegan food snacks will be served, there will be some info stalls and most likely a raffle as well.

At 7pm the film will start, followed by a discussion.

After that will be some awesome live music entertainment by Blochestra. It’s not your average band but a full sized neighbourhood orchestra featuring all sorts of instruments from trombones to guitars, violin and double bass merging into a unique soundscape.

Hope to see you there! Please spread the word and invite your friends.

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Grow Your Own
Thursday, July 24 – September 11
Polmadie Plots, Toryglen

This is a free course though booking is essential. To book a place please contact Colin at either colin@urbanroots.org.uk or 0141 613 2766

Whether you have a spare window ledge for a window box, or an allotment plot, this course will help you to get started growing your own food. The course will cover the basics of seed sowing, planting, composting, and harvesting, and there will also be help to design your own space for growing fruit and veg. There will be lots of practical activities, help and advice, and visits to gardens in the area.

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Frack Watch
Sunday, July 27 at 2:00pm – 4:00pm
GMAC, 103 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HD

IT’S HAPPENING UNLESS WE PREVENT IT.

The Scottish Government is going to give the go-ahead for fracking in the central belt of Scotland, the gas to be used as a feedstock for the INEOS plant at Grangemouth. How can we prevent this reckless plan?

Come along to Frack Watch and say what you think could be done.

The date has been chosen because by then the “expert panel” will have reported to Scottish government and the new licences handed out – so we will be clearer exactly what we’re up against.

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Grow Local, Shop Local, Love Local
Sunday, July 27 at 12:00pm – 5:00pm
The Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, G1 5HZ

*****A Glasgow Local Food Network Market at the Empire Cafe*****

Join us for Food Sovereignty Day at The Briggait: An afternoon of workshops, cookery demonstrations and tasters.

Browse and buy at stalls from local Glasgow growers selling fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit and other delights, all made from locally sourced ingredients!

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Playful Movement in nature: discovering self and place
Sunday, August 3 at 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Malls Mire, Toryglen

Playful Movement in nature: discovering self and place.
Facilitated by Satya Dunning, Wellbeing Practitioner and Dance Artist as part of The Living Well series for Urban Roots.
Half a day on Sunday 3 August 2014 at Malls Mire.
2pm – 6pm.
Cost: £5

To book a place email: projects@urbanroots.org.uk or tel: 0141 613 2766

http://www.satyadunning.co.uk

Aim:
Playful Movement in nature aims to increase wellbeing by being creative in a natural environment.

It’s a chance for you to get energised, and absorbed in a natural environment and leave busy thoughts and concerns behind.
It’s a space to reconnect with your body, others and your surroundings through play, movement, mindful based activity, using your imagination and paying attention to what’s around you.

You will:
Discover a new sense of self and relate to your surrounding creatively.
Increase your capacity to be in the present moment and have fun.
Improve your listening skills use a multisensory approach.
Deepen your experience of how creativity and nature contribute to your wellbeing.

The session is usually a mixture of talking, playful movement, sometimes drawing, reflecting and seeing how we can bring these experiences into our daily life.
No experience is needed. Open to 16 years old and plus.
What to bring:
Water, a snack and something to write on (notebook, journal).
Comfortable layers of clothing.
Waterproofs.

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Geoengineering – Human Innovation, or Hubris? – Prof. Colin McInnes | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 11 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Geoengineering research is at present a speculative venture at the intersection of Engineering Science, Climate Science and public policy. Current research programmes aim to devise and develop processes through which the climate could be actively tuned to partly offset the potentially regressive impacts of future human-driven climate change. For some, geoengineering is a clear example of human hubris, and, for others, a hedge against high climate sensitivity and/or the continued growth of carbon emissions.

In this talk, Colin will explore the technological means of delivering geoengineering interventions, both feasible and speculative, and will put contemporary thinking on the topic into its historical context. He will then speculate on how large-scale engineering ventures could impact human development into the deep future – whether greening deserts or greening Mars, or indeed protecting the Earth from the natural calamities of the past.

Colin McInnes is Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Strathclyde where leads the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, an awarding-winning space technology research centre. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was awarded the Society’s Kelvin Prize in 2013. He is author and co-author of a number of publications on the technological challenges associated with Geoengineering, most recently contributing to an edited volume Geoengineering the Climate System published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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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.

– – –

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.

**********

Health & Hierarchy
Wednesday, August 20 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

This month’s talk looks at the negative impact capitalist society has on our health. Full blurb to follow.

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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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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/