Hamilton: Keep your CERB, keep your rent! No bailout for landlords

In the last week, tens of thousands of Hamiltonians have applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the government’s COVID-19 income support package which provides payments of $2,000/month for up to four months. In this post we look into the nuts and bolts of the CERB rollout and consider what the government hopes to accomplish by ladling out all this cash.

For working-class people in Hamilton, $2,000/month is a lot of money. And it comes at a time when people that did not pay rent on April 1st are feeling the pressure to find the money somewhere for their landlords. Recent surveys estimate that 30% of renter households across Canada and 25% of renter households in the Greater Toronto Area did not pay April rent. Sources in post. Read More …

Prisoner Solidarity Car Caravan in Kingston

On Sunday afternoon a caravan of about a dozen vehicles drove to Collins Bay Institution, a federal prison in Kingston, ON to hold a noisy demonstration in solidarity with prisoners demanding to be released in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This demo was organized in response to a call from Solidarity Across Borders for caravan actions against imprisonment and for status for all.

We stayed in our cars for the duration of the event and took care to maintain physical distancing among ourselves, as we felt it was important to avoid contributing to the spread of this deadly virus. This spirit of care is the same reason it felt important to take action to help free those imprisoned by the state in prisons, jails and migrant detention centres, where COVID-19 is a disaster waiting to happen. Read More …

Montreal Anarchist Bookfair: What We’re Doing in May 2020

For a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with COVID-19, the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair collective has made the tough–but in our view, responsible–decision that we are not going to organize the big two-day gathering that has taken place around parc Vinet for most of the past twenty years. Instead, though, we hope to organize a different kind of event on May 17, 2020, to sustain our connections, politics, and solidarity. Read More …

Opportunity in Every Crisis: A Call For Decentralized May Day Actions

However you tell the tale of May Day, one thing is consistent: it is a time people gather together, to march in the streets or to celebrate a new spring. Although most of us are enjoying the warmer weather blowing in, we are mostly stuck in our homes. Reading the news, trying to figure out the right thing to do, watching May 1st creep closer and wondering what it will look like this year if we can’t take over downtown and revel in May Day as we have come to know it: a celebration of anticapitalism.

Life is an evolving story, an ever-changing landscape. We have always had to adapt and shift our tactics to new realities as they crop up. This is no different. The context in which we find ourselves is affected by both the coronavirus and the repressive actions taken by the state around it, but the need for resistance is still just as present. Read More …

Hamilton: Update message from Barton Prisoners

The prisoners of Barton Jail continue to feel that they are forgotten. Telling us that ‘No one stands up for prisoners, we don’t have a voice’ and that its a relief to have a number to call to tell the outside about what happening inside.

Lock downs seem to happen intermittently on different ranges at different times for different reasons but all stem from the guards unwillingness to deal with any situation. We have reports that folks are slowly being let out but in an excruciatingly slow and dragged out process. And still, even with the state of the country during this covid crisis new people are being brought into the jail. Many feel as if the guards will just ‘sit back and watch us die’ when the virus makes its way in to the jail.

Audio file in post Read More …

Keep Your Rent Hamilton Banner Drop

“Words can’t communicate realities like the ones we’re currently experiencing. There can be no words to describe a condition which never existed before, which changes from one moment to the next and which has no known stages or outcomes.” – Yarostan Vochek

The only way Covid-19 is going to be a “great equalizer” is if we use this moment to conjure something entirely new. Alongside beautiful movements of prisoner solidarity and neighborhood mutual aid we are also seeing rent strikes pop up all over the world. And it warms our hearts! We are all so sick of landlords hoarding property while we scramble to find shelter. These smug goons really believe they’re making an “honest living” by sitting a rung above us on the pyramid scheme of capitalism. They genuinely seem to believe they deserve half our paychecks! Read More …

Save the date: (tentatively) Announcing the 2020 Toronto Anarchist Bookfair!

While we don’t know what the coming months will look like, we are excited to announce and invite you to mark your calendars for the Toronto Anarchist Bookfair on October 24, 2020.

While there is much uncertainty in the world right now, it is our hope and intention to host a bookfair this year. The need for many of our ongoing projects hasn’t stopped, and in fact the need for community organizing, direct action, and mutual aid has become more urgent than ever in the time of COVID-19. Similarly, we think it is important to maintain this project if we can, and have something to work toward and look forward to. We really hope that we will be able to come together for a much-needed community gathering in October 2020. If we can’t, we’ll explore other options, and continue to work on a plan that will allow us to gather in person as soon as we’re able. Read More …

Two Demos for Barton Prisoners: What’s possible in the streets during Covid?

Last Friday, April 10, the Barton Prisoner Solidarity Project (BAPSOP) published a report that some prisoners had been attacked by guards after refusing a lockdown, and today two actions occurred to support the prisoners and call for their immediate release. During the day, there was a public call for a car demo, then at night, an invite-only action to go set off lights and fireworks.

This kind of solidarity mobilizing happens not infrequently around here, but this time felt a bit different because of the virus and the repressive social context around it. As an anarchist who participated in both actions, I wanted to share a few reflections on this campaign and on doing demos in the covid era, as a letter to others who are also asking what’s possible in these strange times. Read More …

#FreeThemAll: Email campaign to release federal prisoners

Anonymous submission to North Shore. If you choose to contact government or prison officials, be mindful of what you say, consider hiding your identity, and avoid linking yourself to specific prisoners. SUPPORT ALL PRISONERS NOW! NO ONE SHOULD SPEND A PANDEMIC IN PRISON! The situation facing prisoners during the COVID19 pandemic is terrifying. It is widely understood that prisoners are in a dangerous position during this pandemic due to the Read More …

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 …