Lambs to the Slaughter: An Ontario prisoner on COVID-19 behind bars

For the past two weeks, we have heard from dozens of prisoners locked up behind the walls of the Hamilton-Wentworth detention centre. People are feeling scared about catching the virus, concerned for their families, and angry about the myths that are being reported about the conditions that they’re living in.

Some prisoners, despite fear of reprisals from guards, have decided that it’s worth risking their own safety to get their stories out. As one put it, “this is bigger than me”.

Click through for the recording Read More …

For Autonomous Communication: North Shore Counter-Info at Two Years

North Shore Counter-Info launched just over two years ago, at the start of March 2020. Since then, we’ve published 302 texts with the goal of providing a platform for autonomous communication and connecting related struggles across the region. We’ve had a lot of feedback that the project is useful – starting from the repression in Hamilton around the Locke St affair in the project’s first days to the Wet’suwet’en solidarity movement this winter. This text is written by some members of the collective to share a few thoughts about what North Shore has been able to do so far and offer some directions for future growth. Read More …

Kingston: Radio Pandemic — surveillance, rent, and killing time

Radio Pandemic is a three-times a week live call in show on CFRC in Kingston that started on March 23 as a space for people to discuss COVID-19 and especially society’s reactions to it. It highlights critical perspectives on what’s going on and tries to broaden the conversation about the virus, while making lots of space for personal reflections and factual information. They are well worth a listen during long days around the house Read More …

Hamilton: Barton Jail Update — Freeing all the prisoners is possible

Since last Friday when it was confirmed that a Barton Jail employee tested positive for the coronavirus, we’ve been on the phone daily with inmates asking how the news has played out on the inside. Today, the jail is on lockdown — just the most recent in a string of at least ten lockdowns in the last month. This one, however, is expected to last since it’s caused by guards no longer showing up to work due to the virus. It is expected to last until at least Thursday, though some have been told to expect it to last even longer. Read More …

From Embers: New Episodes in March 2020

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. Read More …

COVID-19: Preliminary Thoughts on the Current Situation

What follows are preliminary thoughts; things are changing quickly and in unpredictable ways, and while we don’t claim to have anything particularly original to say, we feel it’s important to communicate some thoughts and connect some dots from an anti-racist, anti-fascist perspective, as the exercise might be useful, and to start thinking now about how we will move forward from this. Read More …

Announcement regarding the 2020 Montreal Anarchist Bookfair

We are writing to update you on the 2020 Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. As everyone is more than aware, the global pandemic has resulted in the postponement or cancellation of large gatherings, and many upcoming anarchist bookfairs worldwide (from Europe to Aotearoa and beyond) have been forced to call off their events. Our collective has yet to make a decision. It is clear to us, however, that if we organize a gathering on the weekend of May 16 and 17, it will look significantly different from what the bookfair has been for the past twenty years. Read More …

Hamilton: March 27 Update from the Barton Jail

A lot happened in Barton today and the people we talked to were feeling stressed. Late morning today the jail was put on lockdown, we got a quick call from someone just as prisoners were being made to return to their cells. While they were locked up, word came out that a prison employee had tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, March 25th after being told to go into self isolation on Friday, March 20th. Prisoners were allowed back out of their cells in the afternoon, so seemingly they were just locked up in case people had strong reactions to the news that they could have been exposed to the virus. Read More …

Keep your Rent, Help Each Other: Roundup of rent refusal and mutual aid organizing

Across Ontario, many tenants across the region will withhold rent from their landlord. Even though we are constantly told we are all in this together, the social impact of the virus will be hugely uneven and intensify existing inequalities. Whether tenants still have the means to pay this month or not, this movement shows solidarity with those who can’t and recognizes that few people can last long without the income Read More …

Hamilton: Coronavirus Phone Line for Prisoners at the Barton Jail

On March 20 and 21, we stood outside the Barton Jail with a banner reading: “Jail Sucks! Tell us about it #coronavirus2020” with a phone number on it. The phones in provincial jails only work to make collect calls to Bell land lines (because they are scumbag profiteers), so we had to set up a service in order to be able to receive these calls. This tactic is easy to replicate in different places and only requires a small group, so we share our experience in order to encourage others to open direct lines of communication with prisoners during this time. Read More …