From Embers: New Content in Spring 2020

Submitted by From Embers

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 part of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network.

Usually we publish a monthly round-up, but these are strange times and our lives have been turned upside down like everyone else’s. We have published five episodes since our March round-up:

April 9th: Criminalizing COVID-19

We speak with Alexander McClelland and Zoë Dodd about criminalization in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2016, they published “An Anarchist Response to Hep C & HIV.” We spoke about the Canadian healthcare system, the problem with government approaches to “Public Health,” Hep C & HIV criminalization and what it can tell us about what’s happening in the present crisis.

April 23rd: Talking About Harm Reduction With Fagdemic

A conversation with the folks behind Fagdemic (“Fag harm reduction for coronaworld”). Lots of practical harm reduction advice around sex, hookups, and substance use (or changes in your substance use) as well as talking about shame, negotiations around intimacy and care, reducing the harms of police, and individual and community autonomy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 7th: Gun Control

Following the mass shootings in Nova Scotia last week, the federal government rushed to impose an extensive and immediate ban of semi-automatic firearms. We reached out to Ron in Edmonton, author of the article “The History of Gun Control in Canada” on the counter-info website North Saskatchewan Resistance. We spoke about the shifting regulatory context in Canada, the problem of mass killers from an anti-fascist perspective, arming the vulnerable and the oppressed, and the possibilities associated with anarchist interventions into gun culture.

May 20th: History of Epidemics in Canadian Prisons

In the context of ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in Canadian prisons and jails, I was curious about other times in history that prisoners have faced similar situations and especially times when prisoners have been released as a result. Today’s interview is with a local prison historian about epidemics and public health in Canadian prisons, mostly about the 19th and early 20th century. Also some stories about prisoners being released, what health care was like inside and outside of prison walls, and what kind of world people were returning to.

May 28th: Automation, Guaranteed Income and the Pandemic

A conversation with a member of the It’s Going Down collective about their pre-pandemic text “Livewire: Against Automation, Against UBI, Against Capital.” We revisit the text in the context of the pandemic, ever-increasing trends towards automation of various sectors in Canada and the USA, and the Canadian government’s emergency relief benefit (CERB), which many have compared to universal basic income.

You can tune in to From Embers in the Kingston area on CFRC 101.9 FM between 8 and 9 PM on Wednesdays. You can also stream episodes directly at or subscribe and download them via any major podcast app.