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 …

Maxime Bernier’s PPC and the Far Right

Voting is not really our thing, but we do recognize that this is a time when more people are speaking about politics and policies, including many that will have a real impact on many people’s lives. This time around (not for the first time) the Conservatives are contending with a national party to their right, as Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada fields candidates across the country on a populist platform with climate denial and anti-immigrant sentiment as its key planks. Read More …

A Timeline of Canadian Colonialism and Indigenous Resistance

From The Leveller Based on a two-part article by Tim Kitz that appeared in The Leveller 5.4 and 5.5 in 2013 to put Idle No More in context. Developed into a game by Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa, for use in their Introduction to Anti-Colonialism & Indigenous Solidarity workshop. “Canada doesn’t give a fuck about Indigenous rights,” as Romeo Saganash, a Cree MP for the NDP, famously put it. Those who have Read More …

Hamilton: The Tower’s Statement on Backlash after the Bernier Demo

In the few days since the counter-demo against the Bernier event at Mohawk College, there has been an intense backlash against antifascists. In particular, we see as particularly vile the targeting of an organizer based in Toronto named Alaa, who immigrated to Canada from Syria. We are enraged to see him subjected to racist insults and threats targeting both himself and his family. This backlash has latched on to a video of an elderly person having an uncomfortable few minutes and being slightly delayed. This person experienced no harm, she’s fine, and afterwards went to a bunch of media outlets where she made comments about how her interest in Bernier stems from concerns about the Middle East, specifically Syrians, and how they have different values from ours.

She says it’s not her idea of Canada that she experiences a little difficulty in supporting an openly xenophobic political party. In this she is correct: racism has been a feature of Canada from the beginning. That so much of Hamilton (starting with its media) is focused on an old white person’s moment of discomfort rather than yet another immigrant family being targeted for harassment by the racist far-right should come as no surprise. This is the Canada she is turning to Bernier to defend. Read More …

Hamilton: Reportback – Shut It Down: All Out Against Maxime Bernier

This past weekend Mohawk College held a campaign fundraiser event for Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada. Bernier was interviewed by Dave Rubin, an American YouTube personality who proudly hosts well known white supremacists on his show. Neither Bernier or Rubin should ever be given room to spread their hate.

Despite resounding critiques and calls to cancel the event, the college claimed because of their policies they could not cancel the event, and that in fact, the event was not an endorsement of any political party. As a direct result of the criticism, Mohawk increased their security fee (which Dave Rubin so generously paid for- a possible campaign finance law violation) which in turn increased police presence.

What Mohawk didn’t count on, was that their decision to give a platform to white supremacy set the stage for some fabulous community members to organize the now infamous protest: Shut It Down: All Out Against Maxime Bernier. Following the protest, it has become evident that not only did we achieve our primary goal, but our success has spurred a ripple effect, detailed below. Read More …

Anti-Fascism Beyond Machismo: Gender, Politics, and the Struggle Against Fascism

This text was recently published by The Tower InPrint in Hamilton. It starts with an analysis of the different forms of that anti-feminism takes in far-right politics to build towards the importance of developing a militant feminism when organizing against it. The second half looks at the role of women in three historic anti-fascist struggles and contrasts militancy with machismo to imagine movements capable of really fighting back that don’t reproduce sexist, macho dynamics. The full text is below, as well as a link to an imposed pdf for printing.

“It’s a naturalized, state-sanctioned, normalized and deepening fascism, whose waves of violence seem to measure the strides of a giant… So here this question is key: What do we mean when we speak of feminism? Feminism cannot be defined at the surface level…It’s a struggle that is only renewed by restoring the historical memory of our women fighters, those who have been forgotten in the dustbins of revolutions… We cannot think of a feminism, an anti-patriarchy, without anti-capitalism, without anti-fascism, without anti-racism and without class struggle…” Read More …