Below is speech by Detroit FIST organizer Tom Michalak’s that was made at the Anti-Globalization Conference in Moscow on February 24th. He spoke on the history of NATO, its neo-colonial character, its advancement eastward following the overthrow of the USSR, the US/EU-backed coup in Ukraine, and the struggle between the various political forces within the Ukrainian junta:

It is truly an honor and a privilege to come from my home in Detroit, USA, to speak to you all today. This year as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of military and political defeat of German nazism at the hands of the various brave peoples of what was then the USSR. We also have passed the one-year anniversary of the US/EU-backed coup in Ukraine and the ouster of elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

I first met Joe Iosbaker last year at an anti-war conference in Chicago last year put on jointly by Workers World Party, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Fight Imperialism – Stand Together, and the American Party of Labor. I was bussed in from Detroit to help provide security, because leading up to the event, the organizers received threats from the local ultra-nationalists in the Ukrainian community, many having immigrated to the US after the defeat of nazism in 1945. The fascists surrounded the building, numbering from 40-50. They pounded on the doors attempting to break in, blasting the Ukrainian anthem on speakers, waving the UPA battleflag, and wearing matching blue shirts with the Ukrainian trident. Some had infiltrated the meeting before we shut the doors, and they had to be removed by force, which I was proud to have had a hand in. Fascism is not only a problem on Russia’s doorstep but on the contrary, it is a world problem.

As I speak to you now, the heroic resistance to the fascist junta in Kiev are making incredible gains in Donbass, after surrounding an estimated 6,000-7,500 US-equipt Ukrainian soldiers. Forces associated with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have reached Mariupol and have captured Debaltseve, despite the the weapons provided and the threats made by the NATO imperialists. NATO, chiefly the US, has shown that there is no corner of the world in which they are not prepared to unleash hell on earth wherever their interests are at stake, whether it be in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya.


I had a great time at ICLDC4 - and not just because it was in Honolulu, with its sunny days and (for a Singaporean resident) cool nights. The conference has become a highlight of my calendar, because of the opportunity to see the great work being done by so many committed and enthusiastic academics and communities from around the world. I’ve storifed some of the Twitter traffic from the conference to give you an idea of the range of presentations, and people’s opinions (it was also nice that there was a real Twitter community online at the conference this year!)

I loved many of the presentations I saw, but I also just liked speaking to people and discovering what they were working on. One minute you’d be in a presntation about using Harry Potter to encourage students to develop their Cook Islands Maori language skills, the next you’d be talking to someone about the Taku River Tlingit Place names map or how researchers should use social media to encourage good habits #GetYourLangDocOut, so that good work doesn’t languish on a computer where it’s of no use to communities.

My own presentations went well - people were particularly interested in the work on setting benchmarks for good methodology writing in grammar writing, you can download the slides here, and when the ICLDC team upload the recordings I’ll let you know! We’re also working on getting a written version of the paper together, which I’m really enjoying working on, and will keep you updated about as well. 

It was also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. It was good to see lots of people from Melbourne and other parts of the world, and it was also great to meet some twitter people as well.

Thank you so much to the team at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa for organising the event - I’m always particularly impressed by the number of engaged students who do so much work making the conference happen.

[Image of Sally Nicholas’s Harry Potter slide thanks to Christine Schreyer’s conference photography and twitter account, the photo on the bottom left is the majority of the pedagogy in Indigenous Australia panel, who were an absolute delight to work with]


It’s often said: “Let’s sit around and talk about it, and maybe we’ll understand it at that point”. It’s even to be argued, it’s the purposeof “Kawaii Developers’ Conference”. When it’s gamesoft, or other stuff,let’s never stop learning. It’s to be strong and kawaii.

You can see it!! “Good Morning.”

It’s “Jaws.” By Westone?!

Furthermore, we’ll regularly remind… you can join “Fan/Fun Club”.

Beyond the Bars: Transforming (In)Justice Conference f/ Michelle Alexander, Impact Repertory Theatre, Asha Rosa, Marlon Peterson, Eddie Conway
Hosted by Bryonn Bain 
Presented by the Criminal Justice Caucus at the Columbia University School of Social Work, Center for Justice at Columbia University & the Beyond the Bars Fellows
March 6-8, 2015 | March 6 @ 7:30pm | March 7th at 10am | March 8th at 1pm
Columbia University | New York, NY
Admission: FREE
To register, visit