Jan 20 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

John Borst, PhD, WISR Alumnus, Presenter

Advocates of neoliberalism or market fundamentalism envision a world free of government
intervention in which self-regulating markets replace political judgements in shaping and
determining economic equity for people.

As the guiding economic narrative/ideology in the United States since the election of President Reagan,
seminar participants will increase their awareness of the dystopian consequences of neoliberal
governance by our country’s ruling and financial elite (e.g., the “1%”), as well as be able to identify,
explore, and/or take steps to build an alternative democratic future intended to create a more just and
healthy “We the People” society.

For more information please see

Please RSVP if you plan to participate by videoconference or phone and provide a
phone# in case of technical difficulties.
Log on:
You can also dial in using your phone.
(872) 240-3311; Access Code: 727-623-581

RIOTcon @ East Bay Community Space
Jan 20 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

RIOTcon (Radical Interactive Open Technology Conference) is a new conference seeking to highlight the intersections between radicalism, art, and technology. Hosted in Oakland, CA

11 am
Main Room:
Advanced Tactics for Guerrilla Eco Street Art By Kasey Smith

Telegraph Room:
Hackerspace and The need for community By Mitch Altman

12 pm
Main Room:
Building a Better Opposition: The Pursuance System and the Second Wave of Online Resistance By Steve Phillips

Telegraph Room:
Free Crack Pipes For Better Public Health Outcomes By Maggie Mayhem

Main Room:
Audience Choice Lighting Talks
Have a talk you didn’t get to submit but still want to talk? Come to this talk to let the audience decide what they want to hear. 15 minutes each.

Telegraph Room:
A History of Fire in California’s Ecosystems By Natalie Wilkinson

Main Room:
F[oia] the Police by Freddy Martinez

Telegraph Room:
Fighting Cyber Dystopia with Tech Solidarity and the Digital Commons By Mai Ishikawa Sutton

Main Room:
Internet Art, Aesthetics, and Activism By Jeff Ray

Telegraph Room:
Using the blockchain to create a token backed by a land trust by Josh Wolf


Advanced Tactics for Guerrilla Eco Street Art By Kasey Smith
Generally, guerrilla gardening is employed to support a narrow range of social causes. How can we borrow from their toolkit to expand our tactics and augment other forms of protest art? We’ll cover the basics, delve into some underutilized tactics, and ideate on additional implementations.

Hackerspace and the need for community by Mitch Altman
The hackerspace movement has grown as big as it has because of the need for community. Community takes a lot of effort, yet the benefits are incredibly rewarding. This talk covers these and other aspects of creating effective communities.

Building a Better Opposition: The Pursuance System and the Second Wave of Online Resistance By Steve Phillips
Our free, open source, and secure Pursuance System software enables participants to: create action-oriented groups called “pursuances”, discuss how best to achieve their mission, rapidly record exciting strategies and ideas in an actionable form (namely as tasks), divvy up those tasks among one other, share files and documents, get summoned when relevant events occur (e.g., when they are assigned a task, or when mentioned), request help from others, receive social recognition for their contributions, and to delegate tasks to other pursuances in this ecosystem in order to harness its collective intelligence, passion, and expertise.

Pursuance can be used for a great many things. But we, its creators, have certain interests. Specifically, we are focused on organizing activists, journalists, and non-profits in order to solve serious problems we face as a society — the surveillance state, the police state, the drug war, and many more.

Free Crack Pipes For Better Public Health Outcomes By Maggie Mayhem
Although controversial, harm reduction strategies have been proven to be successful in reducing infection and negative health outcomes among substance users. The benefits of needle exchanges are numerous: people are tested for HIV and Hep C and linked to care if needed, fewer discarded needles are found in public spaces, people are trained on how to prevent overdoses and what to do if someone is experiencing one, wound care is available, and case management and support is offered. Most of all, infections are prevented by providing people with the clean supplies they need so they aren’t reliant on sharing or re-using equipment.

Although many cities begrudgingly accept the benefits of syringe access programs, providing similar resources to crack cocaine and methamphetamine users is almost uniformly forbidden even in some of the most progressive cities due to stigma and fear of substance users. The risks associated with smoking increase when substance users share pipes, especially when the glass is broken or mouth wounds from burns are present. Given that pipes are classified as drug paraphernalia, they can be difficult to access and costly to carry so ad hoc pipes are made from unsafe materials such as broken light bulbs and discarded trash. This presentation will outline why safer smoking supplies are needed, how they work, and what you can do to support them.

A History of Fire in California’s Ecosystems
Natalie Wilkinson presents historical context of fire in California’s ecosystems utilizing several texts by experts such as Neil Sugihara, Stephen Pyne, and Raymond Clar. An analysis of the history of fire practices of the Native American Era and how they changed during colonization up until present practices, will address governor Jerry Browns statement, that the state faces a “new normal” of fire risk exacerbated by climate change. The talk will end with a discussion about steps forward; what should be expected from our national resource agencies after such a catastrophic fire season.

F[oia] the Police by Freddy Martinez
F[OIA] the Police is a high-level overview of different techniques used when sending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to police departments in the United States. The talk tells the story over the last two years of using public record to inform activism, drive journalism, and help change laws. FOIA laws, like all systems, can be hacked and worked around using creative tricks, some of which this talk will highlight. Finally we will address the need for democratizing this internal knowledge and spreading it throughout civil society.

Fighting Cyber Dystopia with Tech Solidarity and the Digital Commons By Mai Ishikawa Sutton
These days it seems impossible to go a week without news of a major scandal involving a large, networked computing platform. Infamous stories include Google image search algorithms that return racist and sexist results to users, or Twitter’s repeated failure to moderate aggressive trolling and systematic intimidation that aim to silence marginalized voices. Why do many tech companies neglect to address (or foresee) such glaring problems with their user platforms, even despite good intentions? What does a different approach to technological innovation look like?

This talk will explore some recent trends and innovations within the tech solidarity movement, such as platform cooperativism and digital commoning projects. It will explain how they may offer an alternative to the dominant model of profit-fueled tech development — projects and enterprises that instead center equity, diversity, and democratic control by design. It will end with ideas on how technologists and artists can help bolster this movement to democratize control over our internet infrastructure.

Internet Art, Aesthetics, and Activism By Jeff Ray
In this lecture and visual presentation, we will be exploring current and past internet art and artists including the political collage animations of Ken Tin Hung, the digital interventionist work of Paolo Cirio, and the computer game manipulation of Jodi (art collective). We will talk about the genre as a whole and its capacity to be one of the most political of all art genres. We will discuss some of the tools to create this kind of work including open source, inexpensive software tools and various other resources including Bay Area classes and organizations. There will be a 15-minute questions and answers period at the end of the presentation. My artist website is

Bio: Jeff Ray is an artist, musician, digital arts instructor, and arts activist. He is currently teaching net art and web design at Cal State University San Marcos. He recently taught Game Art at the University of Nevada, Reno, and in the past has taught sound art and conceptual information arts at San Francisco State University. He currently helps develop the programming and artist outreach at Escondido’s “A Ship In The Woods” art gallery.

Using the blockchain to create a token backed by a land trust by josh wolf
While much of the attraction to cryptocurrency is its ethereal nature, is it possible to apply the technology to build a real-world intentional community that relies on a new form of cryptocoin as its primary currency? A round-table discussion.

12th Annual Social Justice Symposium @ Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
Jan 27 @ 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

The 12th Annual Social Justice Symposium will be on Saturday, January 27, 2018, with the theme: Raising Voices, Driving Action.

The Social Justice Symposium (SJS) is a student-organized event that serves as space for the community to meet and discuss social justice work in the Bay Area.

Strike Debt Bay Area will be presenting one of the seminars, from 10:30 AM – 12:00 noon, entitled

Financial Inequality: How We Got Here and How We Get Out

The Social Justice Symposium is an annual FREE event organized by students in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

We are thrilled to have Zion I as our keynote speaker. Zion I is a Bay Area native and concious rapper that speaks to the social and political challenges of our time.

No automatic alt text available.The Social Justice Symposium aims to integrate critical analysis and academic learning with direct practice and action efforts. We challenge the belief that social justice is limited to civil and political rights. As such, we seek actions emphasizing liberatory principles that also support economic, social, cultural, environmental, and collective rights.

Due to our event space capacity of 400 people, we are offering 325 registration slots for guaranteed attendance. Once these slots have been filled, registration will be closed and the remaining 75 spaces will be allotted for first-come-first-serve arrival on the day of the event. You must register through the ticketing website in order to reserve your spot ahead of time.

To RSVP, make a donation, or buy some symposium swag, visit

Doors and breakfast begin: 8:30 am
Keynote: 9:30-10:30 am
Workshop sessions: 10:30-12:00, 1:30-3:00, and 3:10-4:30
There will be a silent auction throughout the day with all proceeds going to future symposiums. Lunch will be provided at the event.

Directions and parking information:

The following fantastic organizations and people will be presenting workshops at the symposium: Destiny Arts Center, HIV Education Project, Community Works West, The Center for Harm Reduction and Therapy, Haven Connect, Coalition on Homelessness, Strike Debt Bay Area, The Dellums Institute for Social Justice, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Safe Return Project, BAYPeace, and GRADD

We are committed to alternative perspectives and collaboration with community groups to achieve a sustainable movement for social change. The objectives of the symposium are:

● To raise awareness, build knowledge and reflect on social justice work;
● To provide a space for participants to network, discuss, and share strategies to work toward social change;
● To bridge the gap between micro and macro practice areas and social change;
● To share successful social justice strategies from different perspectives or professions;
● To encourage participants to explore creative, radical ways to serve as change agents; and
● To develop the practical skills to further a sustainable and action-oriented movement for social justice in participants’ professional lives and in their communities.

Our working definition of social justice is:
Social justice is a process, not an outcome, which seeks fair (re)distribution of resources, opportunities, and responsibilities; challenges the roots of oppression and injustice; empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential; and builds social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action.

Grassroots Digital Security Training
Jan 27 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm


Register here

Bay Area activists of color and allies: Learn how to protect yourself from surveillance at a digital security training!

The vast system of U.S. surveillance is in the hands of a President who is violating our constitutional and human rights. As organizers, it’s vital that we protect our digital security so we can continue to work for social change.

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and The Center for Media Justice – home of the Media Action Grassroots Network – in partnership with Wellstone Action and United We Dream, would like to invite activists and organizers to join us for a FREE digital security training to protect community activism and protest.

Our team of expert security practitioners are flying in from around the country to share the history and current reality of surveillance in a digital age and under the Trump Administration, and use interactive practices and learning-in-action to get your phone, computer, apps, and services secure.


  • Oakland, CA (Exact location will be sent to you via email upon completion of pre-registration survey. Event space is wheelchair-accessible.)

What you will learn: Participants will learn surveillance self-defense — including sustainable digital security practices to keep you and your personal or social movement networks safe from 21st century threats including

  • Direct police and government surveillance of activists
  • Indirect government surveillance using third-party developers
  • Spying by your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Doxxing, exposure, and online harassment

*Please be sure to bring your mobile devices with you as you will be working to secure them throughout the day!

This training is grounded in cultural relevance, self-determination, relationships, and racial justice – and driven by art, community organizing, generative somatics and popular education.

SF Bay Area Interfaith Drone Warfare Conference @ Pacific School of Religion
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This interfaith gathering includes presentations, three half-hour videos, and Q&A time to inform faith communities and others about the dangers and realities of drone warfare. Action suggestions for followup.

Panel Presenters include:

Marjorie Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The former president of the National Lawyers Guild and criminal defense attorney is a legal scholar, political analyst and social critic who is editor and contributor to Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

Lisa Hajjar, is a professor of sociology at the University of California – Santa Barbara, with courtesy appointments in Global and International Studies, and Middle East Studies. She is a contributor to Life in the Age of Drone Warfare. Her work focuses mainly on issues relating to law and conflict, military courts and occupations, human rights and international law, and torture and targeted killing.

Lisa Ling, is a former technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. She is featured in the heralded documentary National Bird, which, according to The Washington Post, is “artful, profoundly unsettling.” In an article for The Guardian, Ling noted how little the public knew about the U.S. drone program and its consequences.

Two films produced by the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare for congregations will be screened along with a half-hour version of National Bird

Issues addressed include:
Why is the faith community concerned about drone warfare?

What is the effect of drone warfare on drone operators?

Divest from Fossil Fuels/Invest in a Healthy Future @ North Berkeley Library
Jan 27 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Workshop: Divest from Fossil Fuels/Invest in a Healthy Future

Join us for a workshop on the whys and hows of personal divestment from fossil fuels —  a powerful tool in the struggle for climate justice. This 90-minute workshop will explain why fossil fuel divestment matters, the role divestment has played in civil rights movements throughout history, and how you can do it! This workshop is for everyone even if you are thinking about opening your first bank account or have been investing for many years.

We will be debuting an ongoing divestment mentorship program that can continue to provide information and support beyond the workshop. Come get connected and join the divestment movement for a more beautiful world.


We will meet in the community room downstairs from the main library room.

This workshop is sponsored by Fossil Free CA.


Build Your Own Internet: discussion, demos, hands-on workshops @ Omni Commons
Jan 27 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
What if the internet wasn’t about connecting to Comcast, AT&T, Google, or Facebook?
What if it meant connecting directly with your friends, neighbors, and community…?Let’s discuss how the internet works, how to build your own, and talk about existing community network projects like the Oakland-based People’s Open Network.
2:00pm Introduction
2:15pm Panel discussion: Net neutrality is dead — or is it?
3:00pm Hands-on workshops and demos
5:00pm End / clean up
Restore the Vote: Overturning Voter Suppression
Feb 1 @ 12:00 am – 1:00 am
This workshop will provide the context for the Voting Restoration & Democracy Act of 2018, including essential understanding of voter suppression history in the United States and California. Learn concrete actions you can take over the next several months to help restore voting rights to 162,000 incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals in California. This effort is led by Initiate Justice.

More information can be found here: