Female Keep Separate: Prisons, Gender, and the Violence of Inclusion

When finally the cell door closes, when the jangling keys recede, you’ve arrived as far as you’re going that day. Then you can exhale alone with your mattress and be in your own body again, your body no longer a problem to be solved or a question to be answered. Just your own familiar weight under the blanket, where you can just shake and shake and try to sleep and get ready for whatever happens next.

I’ve done time in both men and women’s prisons, and from this I’ve learned a lot of things about the world we live in. About gender and how the state perceives it, about how gender is a form of control. Here in the territory called Canada, the state changed its rules about how its institutions engage with gender a few years ago by listing “gender identity” as a charter-protected category, like race or sex, in Bill C-16i. This meant that all the arms of the state have been required to figure out what it means to respect self-identification around gender. Read More …

10 years ago ~ reflections on the state’s utilization of shame: #MyG20Story

10 years ago today I was just waking up in Toronto, after a day of the largest mobilization I have ever been a part of to this day. What power it felt to be out in those streets. There were SO MANY COPS and also SO MANY OF US. And now on this morning, 10 years ago, so many of us were in jail. Yet the streets continued to be alive with resistance, and we had another demo that afternoon. Somehow until that moment I had evaded arrest. That later demo, (which was going to be a prison demo) did not end up happening, the area was streaming with cops. Me and some pals were stopped, searched, and arrested, like so many. Read More …

Ambitious Times: On Decentralized regional organizing for the 2010 G20 summit

I’m based in Hamilton was involved in Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance, SOAR, in the leadup to the 2010 G20 summit. In the years since, a lot of our conversations about that organizing experience since focus on repression – the undercovers, the mass arrests, the prison time – but lately what stands out to me most about it is how ambitious the whole mobilization was. 

The crowds that came out to the G20 demos were qualitatively different than crowds that come out to large demos in this area at other times, because of the scale and depth of the organizing that went into it. Usually, a big crowd is because a social media post gets a lot of attention due to circumstances that are ultimately ephemeral, or because an established group calls for it, and the rest of us are just left to decide whether or not to participate on the terms they set.  Read More …

From Embers: New Content in February 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 a proud member of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network. Read More …

“From Sea to Sea”: Train Blockades, Colonialism and Canadian Rail History

CN’s rail network has been paralyzed for more than a week by blockades in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en community, who opposes the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on their unceded territory. The Mohawk community of Tyendinaga has been blocking passenger and freight train traffic between Toronto and Montreal since February 5, and a railway blockade in New Hazelton, B.C. has forced the closure of the Port of Prince Rupert. Blockades in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en have since multiplied across so-called Canada as camps have been set up on the tracks at Kahnawà:ke, Listuguj, Magnetawan, and Diamond, among others. Read More …

Reconciliation is Dead: A Strategic Proposal

This text speaks of a change in strategy in this moment of resistance, calling to widen the scope of revolt. While the main audience is other native people, the author urges settlers to read it and take away the main lessons as well. It is available here as a print-ready PDF. Print and distribute widely. Get this in the hands of as many native folks as possible. RECONCILIATION IS DEAD Read More …

From Embers: New Content in January 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 a proud member of the Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network.

After a break over the holidays, we hit the ground running in 2020 and published four episodes in January. Read More …

Confidence Courage Connection Trust: A proposal for security culture

When we talk about security culture, people tend to have one of two kinds of experiences. The first is of building walls and keeping people out, the second is of being excluded or mistrusted. Both of these come with negative feelings – fear and suspicion for the former and alienation and resentment for the latter. I would say that they are two sides of the same coin, two experiences of a security culture that isn’t working well.

I want to be welcoming and open to new people in my organizing. I also want to protect myself as best I can from efforts to disrupt that organizing, especially from the state but also from bosses or the far-right. That means I want to have the kinds of security practices that allow me to be open while knowing that I’ve assessed the risk I face and am taking smart steps to minimize it. Security culture should make openness more possible, not less.

This proposal for security culture is based on reframing — on shifting our focus from fear to confidence, from risk-aversion to courage, from isolation to connection, and from suspicion to trust. Read More …

A Timeline of Canadian Colonialism and Indigenous Resistance

From The Leveller Based on a two-part article by Tim Kitz that appeared in The Leveller 5.4 and 5.5 in 2013 to put Idle No More in context. Developed into a game by Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa, for use in their Introduction to Anti-Colonialism & Indigenous Solidarity workshop. “Canada doesn’t give a fuck about Indigenous rights,” as Romeo Saganash, a Cree MP for the NDP, famously put it. Those who have Read More …