On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with two anarchists involved in the Punch Up Collective, a group which is currently mobilizing in Ottawa, the capitol city of so-called Canada, in the midst of an ongoing far-Right protest occupation made up of several hundred vehicles in the downtown area.
During our discussion we talk about the far-Right leadership of the protests, their history of organizing similar convoys and their involvement in a variety of racist and reactionary groups, and how the public, the police, and the State are all responding to the demonstrations, as law enforcement has been giving the convoy free reign of the streets and residents report hundreds of incidents of harassment, targeted violence, and racist intimidation. Meanwhile, anger is growing not only at the convoy, but at police and the failure of the State to respond, as people begin to self-organize and take action. We also look at how the Conservative Party is coming out in support of the convoy; hoping to use it as a wedge to gain more power and influence.
We also broadly cover how the Left has been caught off guard by these demonstrations: from how the current pandemic has negatively impacted organizing and support networks, to how the electoral Left has been slow to respond and terrified of the growing anger on the streets against the convoy. Finally, our guests map out current mutual aid programs and various forms of resistance and talk about the need to take the streets back from the far-Right and hold them. With more convoy protests being pushed for in the US and a counter-demonstration being called for in Ottawa this Saturday, it’s up to us to understand what is happening on the ground and prepare accordingly.