Toronto: skale: a symphony of brick and glass

condo developer skale was attacked last night.
their ‘project’ at queen and gladstone
“a provocative and innovative symphony
of metals, glass and brick”
is another attack on the community of parkdale.
these streets
this neighbourhood
is not a “world-famous centre of cool and creativity”
it is (was) our home
our community
that we are being (were already) pushed out of by developers
yuppie businesses
and scumbag landlords.
this violence
this trauma
is tearing apart communities
and lives. Read More …

Honouring Dave Vasey on his birthday

We are members of Rising Tide Toronto, a grassroots group dedicated to Indigenous solidarity work in Toronto. It has taken us a while to write something about one of our members, Dave Vasey, because in addition to being our co-organizer and co-conspirator, he was also our friend. We are still devastated by his sudden death in January 2019. Today Dave would have turned 41 years old. On this occasion we want to reflect upon his contributions to our collective movements and mourn his passing. Read More …

20 Years in the Matrix: Escaping the Prison of Surveillance Capitalism

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Wachowski’s pioneering film The Matrix, a 1999 sci-fi masterpiece that seems more prophetic than ever. Here in 2019, machine learning and surveillance capitalism are increasingly feeding off of the raw material of human lives, simultaneously enslaving and entertaining us – and mirroring the film’s premise.

‘Surveillance capitalism’ is a term coined by social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff, which she expounds upon at length – for nearly 666 pages – in her 2019 tome The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. For Zuboff, our economy is increasingly built around corporation’s relentless drive to digitize and monetize our personal lives. 

This should sound eerily familiar to anyone who’s a fan of The Matrix. The film presents a vision of a dystopian future, where the natural world has been scorched by human action into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. People cannot recognize this truth because their senses have been filled since birth by a placid artificial reality that enslaves them, enabling machines to feed off them. Read More …

Squeezing Profits: Landlord and Tenant Board Grants Timbercreek 7.2 Percent Rent Increase

A couple dozen Ottawa residents braved the dipping temperatures and frigid downtown winds to rally at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) on Albert Street on Nov. 13.

Tenants of Sunset Heights Apartments at 2880 Carling Avenue and their supporters with ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) were challenging an application filed by their landlord Timbercreek Asset Management. Timbercreek wanted an above guideline rent increase (commonly referred to as an AGI) of 5.4 percent above the provincially mandated 1.8 percent maximum. Read More …

Help It’s Going Down Grow and Continue Into 2020

Next year IGD will turn 5 years old and at this point, the project has to expand or it will fail not only to reach more people, but also continue to provide for the communities, struggles, and movements that depend on it. To do this, we have to bring more people onto our team, and for that to happen, we need more of our readers and listeners to stand behind us.

We know that IGD supporters have always stood by us and we are grateful for each and every person that not only donates but also gives us feedback and constructive critique. As we have said many times, without you this project is nothing and we mean it. We hope that 2020 marks a turning point for IGD as we expand our collective and create new projects. Read More …

Confidence Courage Connection Trust: A proposal for security culture

When we talk about security culture, people tend to have one of two kinds of experiences. The first is of building walls and keeping people out, the second is of being excluded or mistrusted. Both of these come with negative feelings – fear and suspicion for the former and alienation and resentment for the latter. I would say that they are two sides of the same coin, two experiences of a security culture that isn’t working well.

I want to be welcoming and open to new people in my organizing. I also want to protect myself as best I can from efforts to disrupt that organizing, especially from the state but also from bosses or the far-right. That means I want to have the kinds of security practices that allow me to be open while knowing that I’ve assessed the risk I face and am taking smart steps to minimize it. Security culture should make openness more possible, not less.

This proposal for security culture is based on reframing — on shifting our focus from fear to confidence, from risk-aversion to courage, from isolation to connection, and from suspicion to trust. Read More …

From Embers: New Episodes in October 2019

From Embers is a regular anarchist podcast produced in Kingston, Ontario. We produce a few episodes each month about actions and projects going on in so-called Canada that inspire us, or about topics that we think will be relevant to anarchists living north of the border. We are a proud member of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network. Read More …

Like Hand in Glove: on the collaboration between media, police, and far-right in the recent arrests of antifascists in Toronto and Hamilton

On Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23, four antifascists were arrested by Hamilton police, watchdogs of white supremacy, in connection with the counter-protest against Maxime Bernier’s fundraising event last month. Two people living in Toronto came to Hamilton to turn themselves in, while the two living in Hamilton were arrested at their school and home respectively. Cynically, HPS chose to wait until right after the federal election before launching this wave of arrests to avoid further having their complicity in the rise of the far right in Hamilton become a national political issue. By doing so, they make obvious the political nature of these charges: they have more to do with the narrative being produced than with what happened on the ground. 

Two people are charged with intimidation and causing disturbance in connection to an old woman who was yelled at and delayed from entering the venue; another is charged with intervening in an attack by a fascist goon on other protestors; and then, perhaps most strangely, we have one person charged with theft under $5000 for allegedly removing a Canadian flag from an armed fascist’s baton.  Read More …

Kingston: Luxury Spa Development Sabotaged

Recently, we quietly entered the site of a luxury spa development just north of Kingston and sabotaged several heavy machines by adding bleach to the oil tanks (thanks to Mythbusters for the tactical advice). We waited a little while for the machines to run and cycle the bleach, and now they have disappeared. We hope that the engines are permanently disabled. Read More …