American University Supports Anarchist Conference

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:05pm EDT

( - An American University-funded student group plans next month to host the ninth annual National Conference on Organized Resistance, a gathering of anarchists and socialists.

The Feb. 3-5 conference "seeks to promote organized action amongst participants against the injustices and inequalities that we confront in our daily lives and in the world," according to the National Conference on Organized Resistance (NCOR) website.

The NCOR student group organizing the event received $1,800 in 2005 and $2,000 in 2004, according to American University budget documents. The student group was previously known as the Animal Rights Effort and received funds under that name -- $1,688 in 2005 and $1,250 in 2004, according to the same records.

In addition to the funding, the university allows students groups to use campus space free of charge, according to Kat Fauss, the program advisor who oversees many of the university's student groups, including NCOR.

"We work very closely with the students to make sure it's run smoothly and follows all our policies and procedures and is within the law," Fauss said. "And we run it by our security, our public safety and make sure they're aware of everything that's going on so that there aren't problems because we know it could be a target for that."

The 2006 conference is the second of its kind that Fauss has advised. She said last year's event "went very, very smoothly," without any problems to her knowledge.

The three-day conference is held on campus and costs $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Groups may purchase tables to display their materials for $25. Because it is part of the non-profit institution, Fauss said, any profits NCOR might make from registration fees "rolls over into funding the next year's conference."

Fauss said the students are completely responsible for planning the conference, including booking the space, scheduling the workshops, and selling registrations. Workshops at the 2006 conference will include "Parenting for Radical Social Change" and "Queers and Gentrification."

The NCOR conferences, which began in 1998, have included discussions on the end of capitalism and democracy, the relationship between civil disobedience and property damage and anarchist economics. Another discussion was titled "DIY (Do It Yourself) PORN: Do Your Own Smut! Radical Porn and Why It's Important."

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