2014 Speaker Bios

These will be updated as speakers and sessions are confirmed.

2014 Speakers (Alphabetical by last name)

  • Originally formed to support Occupy Oakland actions, the Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee (ARC) stands against political repression and is in solidarity with all those who challenge the state, capitalism and other forms of systemic oppression and domination. We provide support for actions that are anti-patriarchal, anti-racist, anti-imperialist & anti-capitalist. Our support work comes primarily in the form of education, information and referrals. We also manage an anti-repression bail fund for those that do not have the resources to bail or bond themselves. We are a first resort for education and information on solidarity and a last resort for financial support.
  • José-Artiga-18JUL11-009-300x337Jose Artiga, executive director of SHARE-El Salvador, narrowly escaped a deadly assault by a Salvadoran government death squad in 1980. He fled the country, leaving his family and his Christian base community. In 1981 he became Executive Director of Casa El Salvador in San Francisco; he went on to become a key activist in the sanctuary movement, and to help organize the 1987 GOING HOME campaign, in which hundreds of religious and lay people accompanied Salvadorans from refugee camps in Honduras back to their homes in El Salvador. Today he is co-president of the Salvadoran American National Network and executive director of the SHARE Foundation. A core piece of SHARE’s work is support for efforts to oppose metallic mining that threatens to contaminate water sources, communities and the environment.
  • Ask Your Whore: A Project by Vagina Dentata. We are a collective of sex-worker artists based in Los Angeles.  We believe in self defense and perform sexual services to fund the revolution.
  • The Bay Area Grand Jury Resistance Collective is a group of activists from the animal rights, environmental, anarchist, and anti-imperialist movements who collectively have decades of experience organizing against grand juries and other State repression. Recently we came together to discuss the increased use of grand juries as a tool by the State to disrupt and gather information on radical movements and the ways in which these communities have chosen to address them. We decided to collectively write and distribute the statement, Resist Grand Juries!, because we were aware that certain individuals have cooperated with a grand jury in San Francisco (known as the Santa Cruz grand jury) within the last year. We believe a strong resistance to political repression is hinged on our ability and commitment to foster a culture of solidarity, support, and accountability. Therefore, it is vital to engage in discussions about what notions like “solidarity” and “accountability” will materially look like prior to them becoming necessary. We encourage all those engaged in social and revolutionary change to have these conversations now, in preparation for the next grand juries.
  • The Bay Area Intercommunal Solidarity Committee consists of radical and revolutionary organizers from different formations, communities, and political tendencies in the bay area.  We have a formal membership and are developing and implementing a detailed praxis of solidarity.  Our reciprocal commitments include honesty and accountability, “inclusive” criticism, sharing of resources, protecting each other from repression, and working together on politicized survival programs that strengthen our communities.
  • 2_george_caffentzis_flatGeorge Caffentzis is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine. He has taught and lectured in Europe, Latin America and Africa, including five years at the University of Calabar (Nigeria).  He was a co-founder of the Midnight Notes Collective, and a coordinator of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa. He as written many essays on political and social struggles. His books include: “In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines and the Crisis of Capitalism”; “Clipped Coins, Abused Words and Civil Government: John Locke’s Philosophy of Money”; “A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities”; “Exciting the Industry of Mankind: George Berkeley’s Philosophy of Money.”
  • Chaga is an African born in America from oakland California. He is active in his community which includes volunteering at qilombo ( formerly the holdout) is a member of men for the emancipation of women, which is under the African women’s charity organization and is involved in unification of Africa movement.
  • scott crow is an international speaker and author. He has spent his varied life as an underground musician, coop business owner, politicalorganizer, trainer, strategist and ‘green collar’ worker advocating for anarchism.  He has been called a jackass, but thinks of those words as fond reflections of noble animals. He is the author of *Black Flags and Windmills* (PM Press) and a contributor to Grabbing Back, both of which can be found at http://www.scottcrow.org
  • 6__john-curl002John Curl is author of For All The People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America (including a chronicle of the Bay Area Peoples Food System of the 1970s), of which Howard Zinn wrote, “It is indeed inspiring to be reminded by John Curl’s new book For All The People of the noble history of cooperative work in the United States.” Also a poet, he is a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade. He has been a member of Heartwood Cooperative Woodshop since 1974, a former organizer of the InterCollective, and is a board member of the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NOBAWC).
  • IMG_0588Corina Dross is a contributor to the recent zine Self As Other: Reflections on Self-Care, and is an artist and writer who’s been involved in collective organizing in Philadelphia for the past ten years. She’s written zines and led workshops on the intersection of gender, economics, and care work with the feminist collective She Revolts for the past four years, and is also the author of PANIC!, a DIY guide to managing panic attacks. As an artist, her prints have raised money to support grand jury resisters, prisoner solidarity, and environmental justice.
  • img_resumen_486Silvia Federici is a long time feminist activist, teacher and writer. She was a co-founder of the International Feminist Collective, the New York Wages For Housework Committee, the Radical Philosophy Association Anti-Death Penalty Project and the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa. She has taught at the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and Hofstra University. She has authored many essays on feminist theory and history. Her published books include: “Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle,” “Caliban and the Witch. Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation”; “Enduring Western Civilization: The Construction of the Concept of Western Civilization and its Others” (editor); “A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities” (co-editor).
  • Jennifer Fieber organizes with Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. She has a MFA in filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA in Environmental Design from UC Berkeley. She has been a volunteer researcher working on statistical analysis and GIS mapping projects for the San Francisco Tenants Union (SFTU) for three years, and helps direct the database components of the AMP.
  • Harjit Singh Gill is a South Asian American activist living in Oakland and a board member of the Institute for Anarchist Studies. He holds advanced degrees in humanities and social work. His work focuses on providing clinical support for low-income people in the Bay Area and is informed by a commitment to anti-imperialist, feminist, and queer-positive perspectives toward collective liberation. Harjit is a Unitarian Universalist, and is deeply committed to a vegan and straight-edge lifestyle.
  • Corrina Gould is a Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone woman, born and raised in Oakland, CA.  She is the mother of three children and currently works as the Title VII Coordinator, Office of Indian Education at the American Indian Child Resource Center, where she assists in directing an after school program that includes wrap around services for Native students in Oakland.  She is also the Co-Founder and a Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native run organization that works on Indigenous people issues as well as sponsoring an annual Shellmound Peace Walk to bring about education and awareness of the desecration of the sacred sites in the greater Bay Area, 2005-2009.  In April of 2011 Corrina, Wounded Knee De Ocampo and a committee of  others, joined together and put a call out to warriors to create a prayerful vigil and occupation of Sogorea Te in Vallejo CA. This is a 15 acre Sacred Site that sits along the Carquinez Straits.    The occupation lasted for 109 days and resulted in a cultural easement between the City of Vallejo, the Greater Vallejo Recreation District and two federally recognized tribes.  This struggle was victorious and will set precedence in this type of work going forward with others that are working on sacred sites issues within city boundaries in California.
    Corrina also sits on the California Indigenous Environmental Association Board , the Board of Directors for the Oakland Street Academy Foundation and is the treasurer for the Edes HOA.   She is an avid Raiders Fan.
  • davidgrefarthathefarm_by_peter_menchiniDavid Grefrath: Autodidact, David left San Francisco to do relief work in New Orleans in 2007 & 2008.  He then helped perform cultural heritage work with Tibet House in New York before spending a growing season on Pine Ridge Sioiux Indian Reservation, near the site of the 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation.  Since returning to the bay area in 2009, he’s been involved with Climate Justice work, helped run Nabolom Collective Bakery, Strong Roots Community Garden in Berkeley, and was one of the lead farmers for Occupy The Farm, a radical farm occupation which sought to protect the last 15 acres of pristine farm land in the urbanized East Bay from ‘development’.  The occupation lasted 3 weeks in the Spring of 2012.  In the two years since the Occupation, the area under dispute has fought off corporate tenant Whole Foods and the land has been preserved for agriculture until 2022.
  • Andrej Grubacic is Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Anthropology and Social Change program at the California Institute ofIntegral Studies. He is an outspoken protagonist for “new anarchism,” co-author with Staughton Lynd of /Wobblies and Zapatistas/ (PM Press 2008) and a contributor to the forthcoming book /Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab/ (AK Press).
  • Tim Huet is author of A Cooperative Manifesto, and a founder of the Association of Arizmendi Cooperatives, an enterprise dedicated to the development of successful worker cooperatives. He serves on the board of the Western Worker Cooperative Conference, the California Center for Cooperative Development, the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union, his housing cooperative, and the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NOBAWC). He served on the founding boards of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute. He has been a speaker at cooperative conferences throughout the US, in Canada, and at CICOPA, the international federation of worker cooperatives.
  • magpieMargaret Killjoy is the editor of Mythmakers & Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction as well as We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation (which was referred to as “deftly edited” by The New Yorker). His first fiction book was What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower. Margaret’s fiction has been praised by Alan Moore and Cory Doctorow, and SJ Chambers called the book, “A fun read, not only engaging, but also enlightening. It is a story about class warfare, capitalism, oppression, revolution, and most of all free will.”
  • linebaugh-fotoPeter Linebaugh is professor of history at the University of Toledo.  He was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Cattaraugus, N.Y., Muskogee, Oklahoma, and post-war London, as a child of empire.  He was schooled in London, Bonn, and Karachi.  He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Columbia University, and the University of Warwick (Coventry, U.K.).  He has taught at Harvard and the Attica Correctional Facility; New York University and the Federal Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.  He co-edited Albion’s Fatal Tree (Penguin, Pantheon) with Doug Hay and E.P. Thompson.  He is the author of The London Hanged (Penguin, Verso).  He is the co-author of The Many-Headed Hydra (Beacon, Verso).  He has published articles in CounterPunch, The New Left Review, The Times Literary Supplement, International Socialism, The Nation.  He has lectured in Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Germany, the U.K., and Ireland. He is a long-standing member of the Midnight Notes Collective.
  • Brooke Marino was born and raised in the southern reaches of the cascade range, on the northern coast of the region commonly referred to as California, in a smallish town in the heart of the redwood forest and is fairly certain that the rocky coasts and perennial morning fog of her home land base has profoundly influenced her temper and aesthetic sensibilities, for better or worse. Brooke has spent a majority of the last five years in the East Bay flirting with the border of Oakland and Berkeley and with the idea of finally finishing school. She is expected by family and friends to graduate this May from UC Berkeley with a degree in Geography. In her time in the East Bay, she has come to adore ‘the city’, despite its shortage of towering trees, and is excited to continue to delve into Bay Area social and bio regional history and pursue project-based and autonomous explorations in urban geography. She has been involved in community activism throughout her time in the East Bay and has been organizing with Occupy the Farm since 2013.
  • erinErin McElroy organizes with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a San Francisco Bay Area digital mapping and storytelling collective working to make visible what gentrification and displacement invisibilizes. They also work with Eviction Free San Francisco to hold landlords and speculators accountable for the displacement of longtime San Francisco residents. Previously, McElroy’s work has engaged participatory action research in studying formations of dispossession enacted upon Roma communities in Romania and Northern Ireland.
  • Francis Mead. My name is francis and I am named after 3 of my grandmothers. a fact i’ve always liked because it nurtured a connection to my ancestors when i was young, especially the warrior womyn who have come before me. i am a student of the universe; of my people. molded from the earth. a conscious dreamer. womyn warrior. black. mixed. artist. witch. rooted in oakland, ca. i believe in the creative rebellion of the people, in its many spiritual and material forms, to smash the white imagination and the colonial system it created.  i’m seeking to grow and learn in and through struggle holding the words of audre lorde, “i’m deliberate and afraid of nothing”.
  • Jai Jai Noire is maker of the two-DVD set This Way Out: A Guide to Starting a Worker Cooperative, and lives in one of the oldest Limited Equity Housing Cooperatives in the East Bay. The past three years she has taped over 100 coop workshops and interviews and posted them online at http://www.YouTube.com/JJNoire. She is currently focusing on how property ownership effects the bottom line of worker coops and creating truly affordable, resident-controlled housing. Jai Jai serves on the Bay Area Community Land Trust board.
  • Kanahus Pellkey is a Secwepemc and Ktnuxa warrior and has been involved in Native Youth Movement since 2001.   A Secwepemc and Ktnuxa mother, warrior and community organizer,  Pellkey promotes living off the land, Indigenous independence (sovereignty) and decolonization.  She has been involved in Indigenous blockades in British Columbia, which has been expanding into Seecwepemc territory, as well as her run from police after being falsely accused of assault while she was pregnant, criminalization and incarceration for her uncompromising stance.  Pellkey wants to “never feel comfort in everyday living” because of the urgent call to defend and protect the land and Indigenous Territories.
    Kanahus has a full-length interview and writings published in “Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth” and “Tangled Roots: Dialogues on ecological justice, healing, and decolonization” Kanahus addresses issues of colonialism in Canada, the legacy of genocide that continues today, government anti-terror squad harassment, and how the Indigenous forces are conspiring for change.
    Her focus is defense of Indigenous Territories against mining, pipelines and all extractive industries and protection of water, building healthy and decolonized communities and Nations, and rebuilding Nationhood and Independence in her Indigenous Territory.
  • 1_marcy_reinMarcy Rein, co-editor of Until the Rulers Obey: Voices From Latin American Social Movements (PM Press, Oakland, CA 2014), is a writer, editor and organizer who has engaged with a wide range of social movements and organizational forms over the last forty years, including publication collectives, labor unions and community organizations. Her articles have appeared in women’s, queer, labor, and left publications from the pioneering radical feminist journal Off Our Backs to Race, Poverty & the Environment, the national journal for social and environmental justice. She also worked for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for almost twelve years, writing for its newspaper and serving as the communications specialist for its organizing department.
  • e_clifton_rossClifton Ross, co-editor of Until the Rulers Obey: Voices From Latin American Social Movements (PM Press, Oakland, CA 2014), is a translator, filmmaker, and writer who has traveled extensively in Latin America and worked in solidarity with its social movements for more than thirty years. His first feature-length film, Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out, was released in 2008 by PM Press. In 2005 Ross represented the United States in the Second World Poetry Festival of Venezuela, and his book of poetry, Translations from Silence, was the recipient of PEN Oakland’s 2010 Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence.
  • Alexander Reid Ross is an activist and journalist. He is currently a member of the Earth First! Journal Collective and a co-founding moderator of the Earth First! Newswire. He edited the forthcoming book /Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab/ (AK Press), and is working on a Bakunin translation for a forthcoming Bakunin Reader (PM Press).
  • Helen Yost: A community organizer with the Moscow, Idaho-based climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, Helen Yost has explored human-nature values and relationships and worked, written, and wandered with conservation, restoration, climate, media, and tribal groups, to inform and mobilize Northwesterners to confront industrial threats to public resources and impacted communities since the early 1980s. Catalyzed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in cherished Alaskan home waters, she has integrated activist and academic perspectives while earning a baccalaureate in resource conservation at the University of Montana, an environmental education master’s degree at Southern Oregon University, and an ABD natural resources doctorate at the University of Idaho, before resisting the ExxonMobil tar sands invasion of her second rare wilderness home, the Big Wild in north central Idaho. She is a contributor to the forthcoming book /Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab/ (AK Press).