Regarding Lindsay Shepherd

Next week, a speaking event is scheduled at Queen’s University featuring alt-right-connected and self-styled ‘free speech warrior’ Lindsay Shepherd. Posters have appeared in Kingston calling for a counter-demonstration. It feels like a familiar story is unfolding, one in which we play our parts in a script already written by the strategists of the campus right. Wanting to contribute to an ongoing discussion about how to engage with these kinds of events, I reached out to an anarchist comrade in Kitchener-Waterloo who is familiar with Shepherd’s strategy and has experience with various efforts to counter her events. What follows is a reflection without an obvious solution, but my hope is that it will encourage creativity, strategic thinking and effective practice. We did this interview over email; it has been edited for clarity and length. Read More …

From Embers: New content in August, 2018

From Embers is a regular anarchist podcast produced in Kingston Ontario. We produce a few episodes a 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 a proud member of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network. This month, we’ve produced four original episodes. They are: August 7th: Is Read More …

Calling It Terror: On recent attacks in Southern Ontario

Unfortunately, the word “terrorism” has been getting thrown around a lot in Ontario these past few months. […] Terrorism is a strategy that’s been used by almost all political tendencies at different times. As a strategy, it’s not desperate or insane, the way the specific attacks often appear; terrorism has specific goals and groups using it aren’t shy about articulating them. The goal of this text is to look at terrorism as a strategy, as a choice that rational people might make to achieve their goals. This gives us a stronger basis for rejecting it and also gets us beyond the shocked and decontextualized reactions we understandably have to scenes of violence, like the two attacks in Toronto. Read More …

From Embers: 85 Years Since the Christie Pits Riot

85 years ago this week, in the midst of another long hot summer, a series of anti-Semitic and xenophobic provocations in the City of Toronto escalated into a full blown riot at Christie Pits. As the Nazis rose to power in Germany, a series of “Swastika Clubs” were organized out of a canoe club in Toronto and patrolled the Beaches neighbourhood with the intention of harassing so-called foreigners and to “clean up the beaches.” Tensions mounted and several confrontations were narrowly avoided.

About a week later, during a baseball game at Christie Pits, members of the “Pit Gang” unfurled a huge white banner bearing a black swastika. Jewish and Italian youth rushed the banner and tore it to shreds, and the skirmish quickly escalated into a massive riot involving hundreds of fighters and lasting several hours. Amazingly, no one was killed. The riot became a part of the mythology of the city, especially for the Toronto’s Jewish community. Read More …

Getting It Together: Organizing Collectives for the Real World

During 2017, Punch Up Collective spent several months developing curriculum for a four-hour workshop we call “Getting It Together: Organizing Collectives for the Real World.” In early 2018, we facilitated this workshop for the first time and also wrote “Getting It Together: Ideas for Organizing Collectives,” a companion article which Briarpatch Magazine published.

We were primarily motivated by what we see as the demands of this political moment. As Toronto-based organizer Syed Hussan writes, “If there is a hope in hell of us transforming our society, and building the kinds of worlds we want to live in, we need masses of people organized, disciplined and militant. It may seem that media moments are where change happens, but that is fleetinDuring 2017, Punch Up Collective spent several months developing curriculum for a four-hour workshop we call “Getting It Together: Organizing Collectives for the Real World.” In early 2018, we facilitated this workshop for the first time and also wrote “Getting It Together: Ideas for Organizing Collectives,” a companion article which Briarpatch Magazine published.

We were primarily motivated by what we see as the demands of this political moment. As Toronto-based organizer Syed Hussan writes, “If there is a hope in hell of us transforming our society, and building the kinds of worlds we want to live in, we need masses of people organized, disciplined and militant. It may seem that media moments are where change happens, but that is fleeting. Large scale movements rise up and dissipate. Organizations, collectives, affinity groups are needed to build up to them and beyond them.” We wholeheartedly agree.g. Large scale movements rise up and dissipate. Organizations, collectives, affinity groups are needed to build up to them and beyond them.” We wholeheartedly agree. Read More …

Support the Flemingdon Park Rent Strike

On August 1st more than 200 tenants at 31-35 St. Dennis Drive will withhold their rent. Rent strikers demand Minto Properties withdraws its application to raise rent above the guideline. Despite serious and persistent disrepair in the building, Minto wants to raise tenants’ rent by $180 over three years. This would mean that every month Minto would take $70,000 more in rents from the pockets of tenants in the building. Read More …

Educate Me: On Canceling the Sex-Ed Reform

Only a few weeks into his time as Premier, Doug Ford has already moved on a key promise he made to social conservatives while securing the Progressive Conservative party’s leadership nomination. By canceling the sexual education reform and restoring the 1998 curriculum, Ford has provoked some significant popular anger. This is interesting because the level that people feel impacted by this is much more than at other moments around the same issue, for instance, in 2010 when Dalton McGuinty’s government proposed and then withdrew a very similar reform, or in 2015 during consultations by the Wynne government to write the new curriculum. Read More …

From Embers: New Content in June 2018

From Embers is a regular anarchist podcast produced in Kingston Ontario. We produce a few episodes a 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. This month, we’ve created four original episodes. Open The Borders Conversations with two Quebec-based organizers about supporting refugees, imagining a world without borders, and Read More …

A Criminal’s Guide to Bill C-75: Understanding the Liberals’ Crime Bill (Part 2 of 2)

Submitted anonymously to North Shore Counter-Info This is the second part of a two part series. Start at the beginning here. In part 1 of this series, we saw briefly what the Liberals’ crime bill C-75 intends to accomplish and looked at one of the big tasks it set for itself: creating a legislative response to some recent Supreme Court decisions. Although those are perhaps the most important aspects of Read More …