Signal Fails

Signal is an encrypted messaging service that has been around in different forms for about 10 years. Since then, I have seen the software widely adopted by anarchist networks across Canada and the United States. More and more, for better and for worse, our interpersonal and group conversations have moved onto the Signal platform, to the extent that it has become the dominant way anarchists communicate with each other on this continent, with very little public debate about the implications. Read More …

From Embers: New Content in May 2019

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 a proud member of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network. Read More …

On Subculture

A defense of anarchist subcultures and a proposal for one we could build

I’ve been thinking a lot about subculture the past two years, and had intended that this month (May, 2019) be a deadline for getting out a piece of writing about it. I didn’t do that, because writing gets harder and harder as years go by, because online projects felt more immediate, more urgent, more like a living conversation, because I just didn’t get to it. But since part of what I had wanted to propose was that we have more intentional conversations as an anarchist milieu/community/movement/culture, and that we return somewhat to writing and printing as a means of doing that, it felt wrong to not put something on paper. I would rather this were a finished document with punchy, certain proposals. I suspect I’d get more response if it was. But it’s not. Consider it more of a published draft. Read More …

Answering Back: Teaching Kids the “Art of the Deal”

Do you ever read your local paper and wonder why there aren’t more articles favourably comparing school children to Donald Trump? Well, the Waterloo Region Record’s got you covered. Yesterday, May 13, they ran an article called “Waterloo Region Youth Learn the Art of the Deal”; so lying, bravado, and sexual harassment, right? It described children as young as 4 gathering to highlight their businesses and sell each other stuff at the Children’s Business Fair: “They hope it will help children learn about the entrepreneurial spirit from a young age — something they don’t get in most classrooms.”

Are we actually expected to believe that a lack of “entrepreneurial spirit” is a problem with schools? And that we should be grateful that Catalyst 137, a space for venture capitalists and developers of the creepy “Internet of Things”, has stepped in to fill the gap? There are a lot of things that kids don’t get in most classrooms that would actually be beneficial, like time in nature, accurate sex education, or conflict resolution. Or (why not?) anti-capitalism. “[These kids] aren’t even 12 years old yet, but they know how to close” — I’m sure that’s exactly what we all need. Read More …

From Embers: New Content in April 2019

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 a proud member of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network. Read More …

Answering Back: The World Just Needed A Man

While Justin Trudeau was in Hamilton yesterday (April 20) handing out free lunches at St-Patrick’s church, notorious for its anti-abortion activity, our beloved local paper The Hamilton Spectator decided to republish a long article from the New York Times entitled “What’s a Feminist Government? Canada, and Trudeau Grapple With the Question”. I was reading the morning paper with six or seven friends, and over waffles we read the article out loud and had a go at the questions it raised with a fair bit less bullshit than its author. Read More …

From Embers: New Content in March 2019

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 a proud member of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network. Read More …

The View From Here: An Assessment of the East Hamilton Rent Strike

What follows is a brief and rather belated update on the East Hamilton Rent Strike, a seven-month campaign waged by tenants of the Stoney Creek Towers against their landlord, InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust and property manager, CLV Group. To those who’ve been wondering what was going on, or who have asked us for updates on how the strike was going, apologies for the delay in getting this out. This article is the product of many one-on-one conversations with Stoney Creek Towers tenants, a ‘rent strike review’ mass tenant meeting, and internal discussions amongst members of the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network who supported tenants in the campaign. Read More …

Open Letter to Climate Strikers

First of all, thank you. Thank you for giving a shit. For deciding that there are futures worth fighting for, even when the future being imposed on us looks increasingly bleak. The good news is that you are here, with your body, along with so many others around the world. Today we have a chance to acknowledge that we are connected to each other and to the living and non-living beings on this planet, in ways that are far more complex and beautiful than any #hashtag could express. Read More …

WTF Their March 15th and Ours!?

We’re asking ourselves if we want to go to the March 15th climate demo. We tried to go to a reformist demo for the planet a couple months ago. It felt like crap. We’ve been in demos before where we weren’t feeling it, where we didn’t feel in our place (like in a union demo). But there it was really of an entirely different order. Like total incommunicability between our bodies and theirs (or something like that). Like, we didn’t even feel like we were on the same side of the barricade. Read More …