Unsettling the Commons: Social Movements Within, Against and Beyond Settler Colonialism

To kick off OPIRG Guelph’s 2018 Rebel Knowledge Symposium, we’ll be hosting a book launch event for Unsettling the Commons. Author of the book, Craig Fortier, and local organizers Amber Holmes and Brad Evoy will be on hand to discuss the topic of struggling for the commons.

About the book: Drawing on interviews with 51 anti-authoritarian organizers to investigate what it means to struggle for “the commons” within a settler colonial context. Unsettling the Commons interrogates a very important debate that took place within Occupy camps and is taking place in a multitude of movements in North America around what it means to claim “the commons” on stolen land. Traveling back in history to show the ways in which radical left movements have often either erased or come into clear conflict with Indigenous practices of sovereignty and self-determination; all in the name of the “struggle for the commons”. The book argues that there are multiple commons or conceptualizations of how land, relationships, and resources are shared, produced, consumed, and distributed in any given society. As opposed to the liberal politics of recognition, a political practice of unsettling and a recognition of the incommensurability of political goals that claim access to space/territory on stolen land is proposed as a more desirable way forward. For more information – http://arpbooks.org/books/detail/unsettling-the-commons.

Craig Fortier is an Assistant Professor in Social Development Studies at Renison University College, an affiliated college of the University of Waterloo. He holds a PhD in Sociology from York University. Craig has participated in migrant justice and anti-capitalist movements and in support of Indigenous sovereignty for over a decade in Toronto (Three Fires Confederacy, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and Wendat territories). Craig plays centre field for the Humber River Hustle in the Field of Dreamers Cooperative Softball Association and is the author of the cat blog Diaries of a Cat Named Virtute.

Brad Evoy is a nerdy, disabled Mi’kmaw from Elmastukwek, Taqamkuk (or Benoit’s Cove, Newfoundland) who is known for his focus and his upbeat tempo. Brad works at OPIRG Guelph as their Organizational and Policy Development Coordinator, hosts the CFRU radio show Terminal Degree, and regularly writes on issues of social justice in and outside higher education.