August Barton Jail Hunger Strike: Post Updated for Day 2

Starting this morning, August 5th, prisoners on range 4B in the Barton Jail initiated a hunger strike, their third in the past two months. Their most recent strike in late July ended quickly when the administration agreed to meet their core demands: Access to books from outside and more items available from the canteen. (The full list of demands is below). However it seems that these were empty words, as more than a week later there has been no follow through.

Hunger strikes are a dangerous tactic and the 4B prisoners are prepared to go further with it this time, since it is clear that the administration will make empty promises to undermine collective action. They need outside solidarity to both help them meet their goals and to protect them from reprisals. Prison is set up to be free of scrutiny, but by paying attention to the voices of prisoners and showing them that they will never struggle alone, we can take a powerful step in breaking down the walls. Read More …

Colonial statues defaced in downtown Toronto

Last night, for the second time in a week, the statues of John A MacDonald and Eggerton Ryerson were doused with paint.

In case you missed it, last week, activists with Black Lives Matter – Toronto dumped paint and spray painted messages around 3 statues in downtown Toronto; an attack against the symbols of Canada’s violent and ongoing, racist, colonial legacy. That day also resulted in one of the fiery-est, most love and rage-filled anti-cop rallies we’ve experienced in a long time and one of the greatest displays of jail support we’ve seen in this city.

We set out to double down on their message – Ryerson was cleaned up a bit too quickly for our liking and we wanted to amplify the message that the time is long past-due for these statues to come down. Read More …

There Was a Time Before Police, There Will Be a Time After: Reportback on (anti) Canada Day Demo in Guelph

On July 1st, 2020, the day called “Canada Day”, several hundred people gathered in Lions’ Park in Guelph for a march called Black and Indigenous Solidarity Against Police Brutality. Led by Black and Indigenous youth, this march was very exciting and represents a shift in what demos in the city can be. This reportback is the perspective of just one individual who participated in the demo, to share what happened in Guelph with those elsewhere in the region responding to similar issues of racism and policing. Read More …

Where do you stand? Pride action in the class war of Toronto gay village

This pride week, residents of Toronto’s Queer Village woke up to a question they can no longer avoid answering: WHERE DO YOU STAND?

On June 26 2020, an ad hoc affinity group of queer and trans Village dwellers peppered the historically queer Church and Wellesley neighbourhood and the blocks surrounding — our turf — with circular floor decals, a now familiar feature of the pandemic urban landscape.

But unlike the banal directives to “mind your social distance”, these dots challenge village dwellers to take a stand on critical issues affecting the village: police and citizen policing, the housing crisis, racism and transphobia, autonomy in public spaces, and the indefensible harassment of people in our community who are underused, psychiatric consumers, sex workers and drug users. Read More …

Hamilton: A Second Range Starts a Hunger Strike! Call-in Campaign on Monday the 22nd

Yesterday we announced a hunger strike on 4B with a list of demands. Later that day we stood outside the jail with a banner reading “Hunger Strike on 4B”, since it’s very difficult for prisoners to communicate between different section. Our phone line immediately lit with calls from people inside wanting to know more and to vent their own frustration. Today, we got a call from a prisoner on 3B letting us know that a whole range there is on hunger strike now as well — all 20 prisoners refused breakfast this morning. Read More …

Hamilton: Hunger Strike in the Barton Jail

At about 4:30pm on June 19th, 2020, all prisoners of the 4B range, in the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Center (aka Barton Jail), sent back their trays and announced a hunger strike. Since COVID-19 measures hit jails some months back, the quality of food has greatly declined. Prisoners have been getting the same meals back-to-back, are being served meals still frozen, and have recieved sandwiches with soaking wet bread. Healthy food is a necessity for those inside at any time, let alone during a pandemic. Today they decided that until they are given a diverse range of healthy food, they will collectively refuse to eat. 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 …

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 …