What is the Pittsburgh Freedom School (PFS)?

Based on the Freedom School tradition from the civil rights movement, the PFS will be a weekend of camaraderie, movement building, networking, actions, training, workshops, films, anti-oppression practice, and other events. The goal is to link our struggles for justice together based on cross-movement solidarity, understanding, and friendship. We understand that every privilege enjoyed in our current era is the result of centuries of social movement resistance to the gears of oppression. Labor unions, students, environmental justice folks, community organizers, and all other revolutionaries must embrace one another in the common struggle to build a society based on consent, respect, dignity, and cooperation. The PFS will arm us with the tools we need to get organized, grow, and support one another’s work.

After this weekend, we hope that the coalition of groups involved, especially those based regionally around Pittsburgh, will stick together in a “social change community” to work collectively to spread the organizing sparks of the Freedom School like wildfire through our neighborhoods. In a city where the NFL team is more relevant to the daily lives of people than the defunct city government, we have the opportunity to displace functions of the state and businesses with cooperative, federated projects in our communities. This radical infrastructure, in addition to meeting needs of our communities, will hopefully be a base for mobilizations, convergences, and summits against oppression in our society.

Who’s big idea was the PFS?

Trainers and revolutionaries, of all genders and varying sexualities, black and white, youth and elders, anarchists, socialists, and progressives, frustrated with the disconnect that post-modern, hierarchical single-issue movements have restrained our ability to address structural and systemic oppression effectively. In order to extinguish the flames of state and corporate abuse of our friends and our Planet, we must work, build, and resist together.

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