Hamilton: Recent Updates from the Barton Prisoner Solidarity Project

There have been a number of updates from the Barton Prisoner Solidarity Project about conditions in the facility over the past month, and we compile them here.

Covid in the Courts is a Guilty Plea Machine

May 15, 2020: “They say they’re letting people out, but they’re not. They’re just doing it like in Mission”, a Barton prisoner told us yesterday, referring to the federal prison in Mission, BC where a prisoner died from coronavirus this week and at least seven have been hospitalised. The prison there has been on lockdown to deal with the outbreak and people in Barton see the similarities with the lockdown they are facing here. It claims to be a health measure, but for many, the consequences are mostly legal. Read More …

Hamilton: Rail Sabotage in Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en struggle

Using the jumper-cable and wires method described elsewhere the track signalling system on a CN mainline in Hamilton was sabotaged last week. This was done in continuing solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and land protectors. Work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline continues without the consent of the chiefs and despite the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the chiefs with BC and Kanada. the colonial governments and capitalist industry do not indicate that they will respect the sovereignty of the Wet’suwet’en. Read More …

Ottawa: Midpoint Reflections on the Pandemic

Since March, several possibilities have opened up in this city for tenants to work together in our interests against landlords. While Herongate Tenant Coalition was formed in May 2018 by tenants across our neighbourhood in the south end of so-called Ottawa to defend against Timbercreek’s massive demoviction campaign, this pandemic has created another urgency; this time for working class people across the city to unite to proactively address our suffering under these specific conditions we share. Hence why the Keep Your Rent strategy rang so powerfully here as it did in other cities. Read More …

Solidarity is relationship (& Detroit’s RAD UnConference is now online)

Now more than ever, this is the time to question what our relationships would look like if we really lived our values.

This is a time when many people can no longer ignore the alienation they live, from their communities, from each other, and even from themselves.

In the COVID-19 climate, people are increasingly participating in building networks of care and mutual aid. These networks are a circulatory system throughout the body of society, interconnecting us for our individual and collective survival. Survival in the context of a new disease. Read More …

Keep Your Rent Hamilton – Reflections on May Day and Organizing in a Pandemic

The first of May is celebrated in most countries around the world—and by North American leftists—as May Day, or International Workers Day. For most working-class people in Hamilton, however, this year it had a more urgent significance. For the second time since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, rent was due.

Rent day can be a source of stress at the best of times. And these are far from the best of times. Over the past two months, millions of workers across Canada have been laid off or had their hours cut. Nearly one in five Canadians are now receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a temporary federal income support that offers two thousand dollars a month in taxable income to those who have lost work as a result of the pandemic. For people in Ontario earning $48,535 or less per year, the payment works out to $1590 per month after taxes. It’s already been pointed out that this isn’t sufficient to cover the current market rent of a one-bedroom apartment in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. In Hamilton, the CERB will cover rent… barely. But beyond that, there’s not much room left over for luxuries such as food, medicine or other basic necessities. Shockingly, this hasn’t stopped landlords from staking their claim to their tenants’ cheques anyway. Read More …

Recent Actions in Guelph: Banks and Animal Testing Lab Vandalised

Recently in Guelph, an animal testing lab was broken into and a video of animal conditions was posted online. Tags were left claiming it for the Animal Liberation Front. A few days later, several banks were defaced with anti-capitalist graffiti. Although no communiques for these actions were submitted to North Shore, we find them interesting and choose to republish information about them. Text and images below are lifted from mainstream sources. Read More …

May Day noise demo at Toronto South Detention Centre

For May Day this year, despite the current limitations on some of our traditional activities, we wanted to safely take to the streets. It was a perfect opportunity to do a demonstration we’d been thinking about at Toronto South Detention Centre. Toronto South, nicknamed “Guantanamo South”, is a horrific place, and an especially dangerous place to be during a pandemic.

Just as dark fell on May 1st, we gathered in a parking lot nearby to go over the plan, and one person gave this statement:

“It’s May Day, or International Workers Day, a day to celebrate anti-capitalist struggles and fight for our collective freedom. The struggle against prisons is tied to so many other fights we’re engaged in, as a threat and punishment that keeps us trapped in the current system. […]” Read More …

No Pandemic Profiteering: Bank Sabotage Action in Downtown Toronto

In response to the call for decentralized May Day actions, some Toronto anarchists went for a delightful ride on a clear night in late April to let banks know that we are watching and that we are ready and willing to act. Despite most branches being closed due to Covid-19, we managed to find a few branches that were continuing to open for customers. We visited several banks, gluing the locks, and spray painting messages on the concrete or exterior facade as appropriate. Our messages centred around their abysmal failure to show even a modicum of compassion amid widespread income loss among its clients.  Read More …

Toronto: Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Banner Drop

It was a picture snapped by a friend of a friend, spotted on a walk, passed around on signal and shared on an anarchist facebook page. A banner waving in the breeze off a rail bridge, proclaiming “Genocide is not an essential service – Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en”. A few kilometers down from the spot where the banner was hung, just a few months ago hundreds of us gathered on the rails. We were part of a wave of actions stopping rail traffic across the country, demanding the RCMP get off Wet’suwet’en territory, and declaring that the Canadian economy couldn’t continue as usual while Indigenous land was invaded in the name of greed and environmental destruction. This banner echoes that moment and to me, is a small spark of hope about moments to come. Read More …