Update on Hamilton Rail Charges

Anonymous Submission to North Shore Counter-Info

Hamilton, ON
Territory of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas

After an astounding 20 months, the remaining four of us facing charges in Hamilton, ON for a rail blockade in solidarity with Tyendinaga and the Wet’suwet’en in 2020 have finally settled our charges with a non-cooperating plea.

The blockade itself lasted for 24 hours and shut down both CN & CP lines in a strategic bottleneck, stopping all cargo between Ontario and New York state, with no ability for the companies to bypass the stoppage. The action cost CN & CP Rail more than $45,000, and was part of #ShutDownCanada – a wave of solidarity actions that spread throughout Turtle Island and included the blockades of ports, rails, highways, bridges, and more. Nationwide rail blockades alone stranded an estimated $425 million in cargo each day, creating serious delays in ports, as well as delays in mining and agriculture.

(For a summary of those actions and of the charges that resulted, see this post: https://north-shore.info/2021/01/11/after-a-winter-of-blockades-updates-on-criminal-charges-from-shutdowncanada-en- fr/)

Collectively, our actions were described as a potential “catastrophe for the economy.

For our roles in these shutdowns, we each faced four criminal counts: 2 X mischief over $5000 and 2 X mischief under $5000. We pled to just one count of mischief under each. Three of us were able to plea on a conditional discharge with one-year probation, while our fourth accepted a one year probation on a suspended sentence after serving 14 months on a strict pre-trial house arrest. Our decision to plea was not just motivated by punitive and coercive bail conditions, but also our hearts and minds which sought to reduce risk for all coaccused, and find more meaningful and empowered ways of being in struggle than just dealing with repression in the colonial courts.

Early on, we committed to navigating the legal process collectively, sharing resources and making strategic decisions together. Unifying principles and our care for each other made this possible – though not always easy – and we see collective defense as an essential part of the overall struggle against repressive forces.

We believe the only good way through repression is to step and stand together.

We’re happy to say we did just that, and even ended the sentencing proceedings with a few inspired and unrepentant words to the court.

On the Intensity of Repression & Surveillance

From the moment charges were laid, the court – with apparent input from detectives – imposed conditions to limit our use of social media and prevent us offering any kind of support to the Wet’suwet’en, or any other Indigenous group.

We were restricted from attending or organizing most protests – a condition from the Toronto G20 Main Conspiracy case in 2010 that has since become standard in southern Ontario bail proceedings related to “activism”.

One defendant was ejected from the city altogether. Another was put on house arrest following separate charges related to an OPP raid on 1492 Landback Lane. That individual continues to face charges alleging their involvement in actions taken against the RCMP in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en back in 2019. Look for future updates about those charges.

If you missed it, we encourage the reading of a previous North Shore article that provides details around the surveillance of Wet’suwet’en solidarity actions and actors in our area https://north-shore.info/2020/08/20/details-of-police-surveillance-targeting-wetsuweten-solidarity-organizing/, but in short: At least one of the individuals arrested had been under intermittent mobile surveillance in the months leading up to their arrest. This involved 4 to 5 teams of plainclothes officers following that individual for entire days, documenting what they did, and retrieving video footage and receipts from stores they entered. On the same day the arrests for the rail blockade took place, Hamilton Police also sought an application under 492.1(1) – a warrant to apply an electronic tracking device to a vehicle – against one of us. The application was heard and approved before our bail hearings ever took place. A warrant to search that same person’s cellphone using Cellebrite to crack encryption was also granted later in the year as police attempted to make a conspiracy case against us.Despite these extraordinary measures, police were unable to make their case.

We don’t know how extensively Hamilton (or any) police use these methods against activists and anarchists as a whole, but it is clear we need to consistently and proactively keep these things in mind – without letting it stop us. We encourage discussing these new revelations with your crews and taking a minute to brush up on security culture basics https://north-shore.info/2019/11/05/confidence-courage-connection-trust-a-proposal-for-security-culture/

Last Words – for Now

We offer our complete respect and solidarity to the many frontlines throughout Turtle Island right now – from the Haudenosaunee at Landback Lane and Arrowdale, to the Secwepemc protecting their homes; the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht protecting their old growth elders; the Mi’kmaq peoples protecting the Shubenecadie and fighting for sovereign fisheries; and of course with great care – the Wet’suwet’en who continue to take an active stand and face yet another invasion by the RCMP.

Land Back.

P.S. We also learned that each individual rail car sitting on the tracks costs about $32 per day. We think that has the potential to add up pretty quick. What do you think?

Toronto: Banner Drop in Solidarity with Gidimt’en

From Rising Tide Toronto (Facebook)

On the last day of the Week of Action in support of the Gidimt’en, a banner was dropped in the busy west end of downtown Toronto to draw the attention of rush hour drivers toward the invasion of Wet’suwet’en land being perpetrated by our government. We want to remind people that the RCMP are foreign aggressors assaulting members of a sovereign nation in defense of a pipeline (and CGL – the company who has repeatedly breached their own environmental management plan) that threatens Wedzin Kwa, and the people, salmon, bears, etc that depend upon it. RCMP GET OUT!
#RCMPofftheYintah #AllOutForWedzinKwa #WetsuwetenStrong #ShutDownCanada

For Autonomous Communication: North Shore Counter-Info at Two Years

North Shore Counter-Info launched just over two years ago, at the start of March 2018. Since then, we’ve published 302 texts with the goal of providing a platform for autonomous communication and connecting related struggles across the region. We’ve had a lot of feedback that the project is useful – starting from the repression in Hamilton around the Locke St affair in the project’s first days to the Wet’suwet’en solidarity movement this winter. This text is written by some members of the collective to share a few thoughts about what North Shore has been able to do so far and offer some directions for future growth.

In founding the project, we wrote about overcoming isolation in Southern Ontario, sharing resources to make anarchists across the area stronger, and make space for a conversation specific to our needs here. In some ways North Shore is a news site – we do hope to make actions and ideas visible, especially among people who share some underlying ideas. However, there are far, far more things that happen in the area than what gets posted to North Shore. We could spend more time scraping things from social media or reposting articles, but it isn’t our goal to be exhaustive or represent “the struggle” as a whole.

We encourage people to share news and reflections about their activities and situations because they value having access to an autonomous platform to reach other radicals that isn’t run by interests hostile to their own (like, for instance, Facebook). We encourage people to read what’s posted here to share tactics and ideas across the region, amplifying everyone’s actions and linking them together around shared principles.

The benefits of having this platform have been very rich. A surprising piece is how North Shore has enabled actions that might not have otherwise happened because there would have been no way to communicate about them. We are concerned with an emerging ‘common sense’ even in some anarchist circles that actions are only relevant when they are shared on social media, and so the only actions considered are those that can safely be posted to Facebook. This is intensely pacifying and greatly limits the kinds of tactics and strategies at our disposal.

During the wave of #ShutDownCanada actions in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders, North Shore provided a secure, anonymous platform for a wide variety of submissions on actions ranging from reports on public demos to blockades to sabotage actions and incendiary attacks targeting the rail system. We hope that by amplifying these calls to action, analysis, communiques and reports that we helped contribute something meaningful to the level of coordination between anarchists active in the solidarity movement. In particular, it’s much harder to communicate about clandestine actions like sabotage, and North Shore was one of the only where people trying such actions could share experiences and build momentum.

It’s not our desire to privilege these actions over others though – in our first retrospective text at six months, one challenge we identified was that North Shore seemed associated with the most combative and controversial aspects of anarchist practice in a way that limited what kinds of actions seemed post-worthy. Our hope is that clandestine attack, protests of all kinds, blockades, mass organizing, and agitational street art can all appear here alongside analysis and reflection. We want people who do different things to be in touch with each other and develop their ideas together, to co-ordinate when it makes sense to, and have lively debate and critique around tactics and strategy.

This practical diversity has been most vibrant on North Shore during social movements. The first big moment of that was the Pride Defenders solidarity movement after the far-right attack on Hamilton Pride in 2019. Reports of rallies, discussion, graffiti, counter-demos, and more poured in from all over, articulating different visions of solidarity, struggle, and queerness. This conversation through action was beautiful, complemented by reflective pieces and notes in the comments. During the Wet’suwet’en solidarity campaign this winter, the conversation about solidarity continued and deepened – is anarchist solidarity based on taking direction to further the strategic objectives of those we support, or is it based on clarity about our own ideas and attacks on common enemies that further both our respective priorities? It’s unlikely that a discussion of that nuance, playing out through a dozen reportbacks and analysis pieces, would have happened about this movement without a platform like North Shore.

One small change here at North Shore is we have scrapped the Events page. Although we feel it’s urgent that we regain our collective ability to promote and find events without relying on social media, the plug-in was never very user friendly and we didn’t receive many submissions. We suspect that while some anarchists are exclusively posting their events on Facebook, others have wider strategies to promote their activities that are specific to their local context and don’t gain much from appearing on a regional website. That said, we have heard stories of anarchists finding each other for the first time because of an Event post on North Shore – we remain open to your ideas!

This brings us back to why we don’t encourage the use of social media, especially corporate platforms. Although we do want a wide reach, our goal is much more qualitative than quantitative – we want to deepen and enrich, not just grow. We do have some social media for North Shore – Twitter and Reddit, and also Raddle (a radical-run alternative) – but, in line with how some recent texts have proposed (here and here) we “think of social media as a megaphone, a way of amplifying your voice, and not as a living room, for discussing and getting to know people. [We] use it to promote, to announce, to disseminate, but move conversations elsewhere.” We also encourage “collective abstinence or near-abstinence from personal social media, and very limited use of social media platforms for promotion, with the explicit intent of drawing people offline while drawing them towards anarchist practice.”

Quantitatively speaking though, of the 302 posts on North Shore, 139 are action reports and 101 are news or analysis. Considering that a bunch of the latter are updates from ongoing projects, it seems like the balance is pretty good in terms of keeping theory welded to practice. In terms of location, the balance is a bit skewed. There are as many posts tagged Hamilton (115) as there are of Toronto (51), Kingston (28), Ottawa (24), and Kitchener-Waterloo (11) combined. This might be partially explained by the level of anarchist activity in Hamilton, but it’s also due to a radical culture in that city that makes a point of writing report-backs.

This location breakdown is about the same as it was after North Shore’s first six months, so our goal “to continue trying to involve people in cities and towns throughout the region” hasn’t really been successful. Building cohesion and dialogue regionally still seems like a worthwhile goal, so we will keep trying to find ways to bring in more content from as many places in Southern Ontario as we can. If you want to support the project consider writing content about actions you’re involved in or taking some time to write a reflective piece or opinion piece about your local context. Encourage your friends to do the same, argue about ideas together and help each other edit, and then hit submit.

Finally, with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government measures that now dominate our lives, we think this project could be more relevant than ever. As anarchists and anti-authoritarians around the world are scrambling to respond to this rapidly developing crisis, having online platforms to encourage, highlight and reflect on real-world organizing and intervention is vital. As more and more people are finding themselves isolated, quarantined or locked down – whether it be by choice, circumstance or threat of punishment – we want to provide a space where critical discussion can happen about the new social and political context we find ourselves in. In a period of intense threat to human health and survival, when the economy seems to be crashing while state repression and social policing are rapidly escalating, we must continue to find ways to struggle together, both online and especially offline, for lives worth living.

Ask a Different Question: Reclaiming autonomy of action during the virus

Anonymous submission to North Shore

The situation changes quickly. Along with everyone else, I follow it avidly and share updates, watch our lives change from day to day, get bogged down in uncertainty. It can feel like there is only a single crisis whose facts are objective, allowing only one single path, one that involves separation, enclosure, obedience, control. The state and its appendages become the only ones legitimate to act, and the mainstream media narrative with the mass fear it produces swamps our ability for independent action.

Some anarchists though have pointed out that there are two crises playing out in parallel — one is a pandemic that is spreading rapdily and causing serious harm and even death for thousands. The other is crisis management strategy imposed by the the state. The state claims to be acting in the interest of everyone’s health — it wants us to see its response as objective and inevitable.

But its crisis management is also a way of determining what conditions will be like when the crisis resolves, letting it pick winners and losers along predictable lines. Recognizing the inequality baked into these supposedly neutral measures means acknowledging that certain people being asked to pay a much higher cost than others for what the powerful are claiming as a collective good. I want to recover some autonomy and freedom of action in this moment, and to do this, we need to break free of the narrative we are given.

When we let the state control the narrative, the questions that are asked about this moment, we also let them control the answers. If we want a different outcome than the powerful are preparing, we need to be able to ask a different question.

We mistrust the mainstream narrative on so many things, and are usually mindful of the powerful’s ability to shape the narrative to make the actions they want to take seem inevitable. Here in Canada, the exaggeration and lies about the impacts of #shutdowncanada rail blockades was a deliberate play to lay the groundwork for a violent return to normal. We can understand the benefits of an infection-control protocol while being critical of the ways the state is using this moment for its own ends. Even if we assess the situation ourselves and accept certain reccomendations the state is also pushing, we don’t have to adopt the state’s project as our own. There is a big difference between following orders and thinking independently to reach similar conclusions.

When we are actually carrying out own project, it becomes easier to make an independent assessment of the situation, parsing the torrent of information and reccomendations for ourselves and asking what is actually suitable for our goals and priorities. For instance, giving up our ability to have demonstrations while we still need to go work retail jobs seems like a bad call for any liberatory project. Or recognizing the need for a rent strike while also fear mongering about any way of talking to our neighbours.

Giving up on struggle while still accomodating the economy is very far from addressing our own goals, but it flows from the state’s goal of managing the crisis to limit economic harm and prevent challenges to its legitimacy. It’s not that the state set out to quash dissent, that is probably just a byproduct. But if we have a different starting point — build autonomy rather than protect the economy — we will likely strike different balances about what is appropriate.

For me, a starting point is that my project as an anarchist is to create the conditions for free and meaningful lives, not just ones that are as long as possible. I want to listen to smart advice without ceding my agency, and I want to respect the autonomy of others — rather than a moral code to enforce, our virus measures should be based on agreements and boundaries, like any other consent practice. We communicate about the measures we choose, we come to agreements, and where agreements aren’t possible, we set boundaries that are self-enforceable and don’t rely on coercion. We look at the ways access to medical care, class, race, gender, geography, and of course health affect the impact of both the virus and the state’s response and try to see that as a basis for solidarity.

A big part of the state’s narrative is unity — the idea that we need to come together as a society around a singular good that is for everyone. People like feeling like they’re part of a big group effort and like having the sense of contributing through their own small actions — the same kinds of phenomenons that make rebellious social movements possible also enable these moments of mass obedience. We can begin rejecting it by reminding ourselves that the interests of the rich and powerful are fundamentally at odds with our own. Even in a situation where they could get sicken or die too (unlike the opioid crisis or the AIDS epidemic before it), their response to the crisis is unlikely to meet our needs and may even intensify exploitation.

The presumed subject of most of the measures like self-isolation and social distancing is middle-class — they imagine a person whose job can easily be worked from home or who has access to paid vacation or sick days (or, in the worst case, savings), a person with a spacious home, a personal vehicle, without very many close, intimate relationships, with money to spend on childcare and leisure activities. Everyone is asked to accept a level of discomfort, but that increases the further away our lives are from looking like that unstated ideal and compounds the unequal risk of the worst consequences of the virus. One response to this inequality has been to call on the state to do forms of redistribution, by expanding employment insurance benefits, or by providing loans or payment deferrals. Many of these measure boil down to producing new forms of debt for people who are in need, which recalls the outcome of the 2008 financial crash, where everyone shared in absorbing the losses of the rich while the poor were left out to dry.

I have no interest in becoming an advocate for what the state should do and I certainly don’t think this is a tipping point for the adoption of more socialistic measures. The central issue to me is whether or not we want the state to have the abiltiy to shut everything down, regardless of what we think of the justifications it invokes for doing so.

The #shutdowncanada blockades were considered unacceptable, though they were barely a fraction as disruptive as the measures the state pulled out just a week later, making clear that it’s not the level of disruption that was unacceptable, but rather who is a legitimate actor. Similarly, the government of Ontario repeated constantly the unacceptable burden striking teachers were placing on families with their handful of days of action, just before closing schools for three weeks — again, the problem is that they were workers and not a government or boss. The closure of borders to people but not goods intensifies the nationalist project already underway across the world, and the economic nature of these seemingly moral measures will become more plain once the virus peaks and the calls shift towards ‘go shopping, for the economy’.

The state is producing legitimacy for its actions by situating them as simply following expert recommendations, and many leftists echo this logic by calling for experts to be put directly in control of the response to the virus. Both of these are advocating for technocracy, rule by experts. We have seen this in parts of Europe, where economic experts are appointed to head governments to implement ‘neutral’ and ‘objective’ austerity measures. Calls to surrender our own agency and to have faith in experts are already common on the left, especially in the climate change movement, and extending that to the virus crisis is a small leap.

It’s not that I don’t want to hear from experts or don’t want there to be individuals with deep knowledge in specific fields — it’s that I think the way problems are framed already anticipate their solution. The response to the virus in China gives us a vision of what technocracy and authoritarianism are capable of. The virus slows to a stop, and the checkpoints, lockdowns, facial recognition technology, and mobilized labour can be turned to other ends. If you don’t want this answer, you’d better ask a different question.

So much of social life had already been captured by screens and this crisis is accelerating it — how do we fight alienation in this moment? How do we address the mass panic being pushed by the media, and the anxiety and isolation that comes with it?

How do we take back agency? Mutual aid and autonomous health projects are one idea, but are there ways we can go on the offensive? Can we undermine the ability of the powerful to decide whose lives are worth preserving? Can we go beyond support to challenge property relations? Like maybe building towards looting and expropriations, or extorting bosses rather than begging not to be fired for being sick?

How are we preparing to avoid curfews or travel restrictions, even cross closed borders, should we consider it appropriate to do so? This will certainly involve setting our own standards for safety and necessity, not just accepting the state’s guidelines.

How do we push forward other anarchist engagements? Specifically, our hostility to prison in all its forms seems very relevant here. How do we centre and target prison in this moment? How about borders? And should the police get involved to enforce various state measures, how do we delegitimate them and limit their power?

How do we target the way power is concentrating and restructuring itself around us? What interests are poised to “win” at the virus and how do we undermine them (think investment opportunities, but also new laws and increased powers). What infrastructure of control is being put in place? Who are the profiteers and how can we hurt them? How do we prepare for what comes next and plan for the window of possibility that might exist in between the worst of the virus and a return to economic normalcy?

Developing our own read on the situation, along with our own goals and practices, is not a small job. It will take the exchange of texts, experiments in action, and communication about the results. It will take broadening our sense of inside-outside to include enough people to be able to organize. It will involve still acting in the public space and refusing to retreat to online space.  Combined with measures to deal with the virus, the intense fear and pressure to conform coming from many who would normally be our allies makes even finding space to discuss the crises on different terms a challenge. But if we actually want to challenge the ability of the powerful to shape the response to the virus for their own interests, we need to start by taking back the ability to ask our own questions.

Conditions are different everywhere, but all states are watching each other and following each others’ lead, and we would do well to look to anarchists in other places dealing with conditions that may soon become our own. So I’ll leave you with this quote from anarchists in France, where a mandatory lockdown has been in place all week, enforced with dramatic police violence:

“And so yes, let’s avoid too much collectivity in our activities and unnecessary meetings, we will maintain a safe distance, but fuck the confinement measures, we’ll evade your police patroles as much as we can, it’s out of the question that we support repression or restrictions of our rights! To all the poor, marginal, and rebellious, show solidarity and engage in mutual aid to maintain activities necessary for survival, avoid the arrests and fines and continue expressing ourselves politically.”

From “Against Mass Confinement” (“Contre le confinement généralisé“). Published in French on Indymedia Nantes

How to Safely Run a Public Blockade

Anonymous submission to North Shore

We are really excited by the enthusiasm for railway blockades that has been sweeping the thieving state called “canada”  since the call out to #ShutdownCanada!

As described here (https://contrepoints.media/posts/from-sea-to-sea-train-blockades-colonialism-and-canadian-railways-history), rail has a violent colonial history and is an excellent way to create leverage to struggles for justice and Indigenous sovereignty.

We wanted to share some considerations for organizing a rail blockade so that different groups can easily take up the tactic.

** It is important to note that this is for folks who want to host a PUBLIC blockade. Any sabotage or other activities that might lead to more serious charges should be done by your affinity group in secret. Solidarity with the sabotagers! Some of this information might be helpful for you as well, but this instructional is primarily geared toward public blockades **

Read this. Get ready. Gather your friends and go for it!


1. Look at the Canadian Rail Atlas. Determine what line you want to block. Consider strategy and accessibility. Scout the location.

Strategic considerations could include:

– Is this line heavily trafficked by freight? Is it a main through line? Or an off-shoot with a lesser impact.

– Is this line already impacted by another blockade?  If it is, you could consider picking a different spot.

– Can our team easily access the site? Can other supporters easily join us later? Does being close to transit help? Having multiple entry/exits might reduce your chance of being kettled by the police.

2. Create a legal plan. In some areas there are legal collectives that may agree to be on call during the action. In Tkaronto, the Movement Defence Committee is a collective of lawyers and activists who can be contacted to arrange on call legal support for your action. You need to ask them in advance if they are available on the day of your action to support. Discuss the risks of the action with your group. Make sure everyone consents to the risks. Understand who in your group might face increased vulnerability for repression and how you can make sure everyone takes care of each other.

Starting the action, safety considerations:

Flags. A red flag on a rail line is train conductor speak for Stop Now. Trains take a long time to stop. We recommend placing red flags on both sides of the tracks at 1km and 2kms away from your action site in both directions.

Make a safety call. A further layer of safety can be established by calling CN and/or CP, depending on who’s line you are on to alert them to the obstruction. You can make this call anonymously from a pay phone so that a police investigation does not lead back to you having made the phone call.

CN Rail’s emergency line is: 1-800-465-9239
CP Rail’s emergency line is: 1-800-716-9132

They are FREE phone calls, even from payphones, which we also recommend using!

Sometimes commuter trains also run on CN and CP rails. It is a good idea to find out if this is the case and call BOTH companies to ensure all trains are stopped.

Other potential safety layers:

– Have spotters down the tracks or on bridges with good sightlines who are communicating whether trains are coming.

– Use copper wire or jumper cables to activate that automatic block signalling system, which automatically sends messages to operators to stop all traffic (see North-Shore article linked for instructional)

– Use flares with the flagging for visibility

All these happen BEFORE you step on the tracks, which to some extent requires thought around coordination and timing. Because you want to be safe but also arrive shortly after these calls have been made and flags have gone up.

Pre-blockade research and digital security practices

Always remember digital security when doing your research. Stay off google as they are a tool of the surveillance state. A great alternative to Google for mapping purposes (including directions to send out to supporters and other practicalities) is https://www.openstreetmap.org

Make sure that you are using a VPN or TOR or something to mask who it is that is visiting these maps, consulting instructionals, and sending out media advisories or press releases (use a riseup or other encrypted service that is privacy minded), and don’t log into any account tied to you in the same browser.

Careful with facebook and other social media platforms. While it is important to gaining enough supporters to help protect you from police, it is also a risk. Social media sites are as complicit as google (especially Facebook/Instagram, but all social media!), so you must be aware that everything you do on social media is being surveilled with an aim toward repressing you.

Organize on an encrypted platform (not whatsapp, as that is owned by facebook/insta) such as signal or telegram.

Holding the site the longest possible

Activists have a long tradition of using a variety of equipment and gear to maintain blockades.

These include lock boxes (https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/lockbox.html), tripods, handcuffs connecting two peoples ankles under the rail.



We do not suggest locking yourself to stopped trains. Trains can move unexpectedly even when they are stopped and this can be dangerous.

Damaging the tracks in any way is not something we’d suggest doing at a blockade as it puts everyone at a bigger legal risk. Damaging the tracks can be more safely accomplished when no one is around.



Day of Action

PIFs, or Personal Information Forms, are forms given out at actions and in advance of actions to participants to fill out so that people are able to provide legal support for them if arrested by checking in with legal support, ensuring they have their pets taken care of, and have people call in sick for them. PIFs must be taken off site to someone uninvolved but very trusted so that participants feel secure handing over their personal information to people, and so that the little piggies don’t get access to people’s information. It is very important to have this well coordinated so that a car is at the ready to drive off packets of PIFs to the offsite support team.

MCs and Marshals need to ensure they communicate safety information to everyone, have them fill out PIFs and write the MDC number on them somewhere. Even those of us with it well memorized find we suddenly forget when experiencing panic.

Some groups prefer to work with Police Liaisons. If you choose to do so, make sure you choose two strong and persistent people who will not let the cops give them the run around. Having two people appointed to act in this capacity can be helpful in ensuring participants are freely consenting because all information helps us do that. Police Liaisons ideally can be helpful in delaying the police from acting and thus helping the longevity of your blockade.

Having some people appointed to act as Media Liaisons is also part of your safety practice. Making sure the people speaking to the media know what to say and more importantly, what NOT to say. Not all participants are going to be as up on security culture and may say things to the media that the state thugs might also want to know!

Someone offsite should be sent any photos taken to blur faces and identifying marks, remove any metadata and post on social media.

Legal Considerations

Rail blockades can lead to a range of charges. These include mischief obstructing, mischief under 5000, mischief over 5000.

Rail companies also have a history of suing blockaders.

Remember that arrests do not only occur at an action. Police can use a combination of photos of you at the action, taken by them, or that you posted on social media, combined with other information they have collected on you, from your social media, or from their investigations, to charge you weeks or months after an action. You can try to avoid being identified at an action by disguising your look.

If police do come to your door asking questions that does not neccesarily mean you are under arrest. Do not, under any circumstances, speak to the police. Ever. About anything. Ever.

More Resources:


For information on causing rail disruption without a blockade:



Reportback on Pipeline Sabotage Behind Enemy Lines – Alberta

Anonymous Submission to North Shore Counter-Info

Editorial Note: North Shore typically publishes content from or directly related to Southern Ontario. This submission contains information that can be difficult to publish, so we are making an exception.

before the sun rose in the early early morning of 02/20/2020 we took direct action against pipeline infrastructure in Acheson AB
outraged by the Reactionary Colonial Mounted Pigs invasion of sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory and in solidarity with the Secwepemc we decommissioned a section of pipe that the klanadian state (financers of this project) had left sitting in the open air with little defense
solidarity means attack

“smile for the camera, boys” shouted the security guard after us
even though the camera could not capture it we were smiling beneath our masks
“joy is arming itself”

we hope to discourage a lot of the fear that currently surrounds resistance
it has now been weeks after a direct attack on a large corporation with no sign of police repression
there are many others living in this colony ready and willing to act
neither the pigs nor reactionary gangs can stop sabotage
do not wait for permission
strike hard while your enemy is unprepared
find your friends and act with joy!
Kenney said we are in a state of anarchy, prove him right!
there are online field guides teaching sabotage

Act spontaneously, but do your homework
we broke our drill bit while eating through the steel pipe these companies publish comprehensive engineering reports which can be found on their own websites
study these and use proper materials
it is worth noting the existence of perimeter-monitoring technology
there was a thick black cable lining the top of the fenced perimeter around the material storage site
it is also possible for these sensor cables to be under topsoil
this perimeter sensor may have tipped off the guard or maybe he found us by the noise we made or by chance but the response was immediate and impotent

This action was done in support of all land defenders
Mohawks who consistently assert their autonomy
Zapatistas and other indigenists in southern Mexico
democratic forces of Rojava
pirates of Somalia
countless tribes of the Amazon
Mapuche in Chile
Standing Rock Sioux Nation
Quechua, Guarani, Aymara of Bolivia
Anishinaabe of Minnesota
feminists in Mexico
redneck coal miners in the Appalachian mountains
rebels of Haiti
farmers of la Z(A)D
to the many nations that inhabit the beaver hills meeting grounds

Many have put effort into reconciling with klanada
consistent colonialism has given only disrespect in return, reconciliation is now dead
to #shutdowncanada colonial land claims must be disputed everywhere alongside the current struggles in so-called BC
the entirety of klanada is illegitimate and there should be insurrection everywhere

Another world is possible!

– your friends in amiskwaciywaskahikan

From Embers: New Content in February 2020

Submitted by From Embers

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.

We published three episodes in February 2020:

February 6th: Foire D’Hiver/Winter Fair

Conversation with an organizer of this year’s Winter Fair in Montreal: a book/zine fair as well as discussions annd workshops around trauma, dealing with conflict, and building resilient and strong communities of struggle. This year’s event is focused on the many ways to mitigate the harms that often accompany conflict – both from the state and from within our interpersonal relationships.

February 12th: Wet’suwet’en Land Defense

An interview with Dtsa’hyl, a hereditary chief of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The Wet’suwet’en people have defended their land against pipelines for more than a decade. After an RCMP raid on their territory on February 6th, a national movement was sparked to #ShutDownCanada and protest against the infringement of Indigenous sovereignty.

February 29th: #ShutDownCanada: From Oka to Today

This week’s episode features an interview with Gord Hill, a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation whose territory is located on northern Vancouver Island and adjacent mainland in the province of “British Columbia.” He has been involved in Indigenous people’s and anti-globalization movements since 1990 and is the author of The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book and The Antifa Comic Book.

You can tune in to From Embers in the Kingston area on CFRC 101.9 FM between 8 and 9 PM on Wednesdays. You can also stream episodes directly at fromembers.libsyn.com or subscribe and download them via any major podcatching app on your smartphone.

If you have feedback for us, or ideas for future episodes, please get in touch! You can email us at fromembers [at] riseup [dot] net

We Will Respond

Anonymous submission to North Shore

We Will Respond

The OPP have told folks at Tyendinaga they will enforce the injunction, just not when. When they do, people in Hamilton will respond within 12 hours. We are asking people to be ready to respond with us. When you hear about an OPP raid on Tyendinaga, we encourage you to check https://north-shore.info/ for where to join us. Wear warm, layered clothing, bring water and snacks, and be prepared to act in solidarity.


We encourage other cities to prepare their own response. We’ve included an editable graphic with this post for you to use, if desired. Let the state know that just like raiding the Wet’suwet’en has, violence against the Mohawks of Tyendinaga will elicit even more issues for the economy. We are not giving up, and the only way out of this is to be accountable: RCMP out! CGL out!

The Mohawks of Tyendinaga and their supporters have been blockading a CN mainline through their territory for nearly two weeks now in support of the Wet’suwet’en. Two weeks ago, militarized RCMP invaded Wet’suwet’en territory to arrest land defenders, who were reclaiming their territories and impeding the Coastal Gas Link project. While the invasion of Wet’suwet’en lands seems particularly atrocious because their lands are unceded and unsurrendered, the truth is that Canada has long since voided its treaty with every Indigenous Nation.  It is time to stand up and shut things down; for Tyendinaga, for the Wet’suwet’en, for the Sipekne’katik and for every Indigenous Nation fighting to protect the land & water.

PDF for creating your own social media graphic for your city. Add your cities name and save as a JPG.

Editable Graphic

CN Rail Lines Blocked on South Shore of “Montreal” – Public Call for Reinforcement!

From MTL Counter-info

A CN rail crossing in Saint-Lambert, Quebec is currently being blocked. The track connects Montreal to Eastern Canada as well as to the United States. We are acting in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en who are fighting against Coastal Gas Link’s proposed energy corridor through their territory and whose land was invaded by the RCMP in January.

Since the beginning of the RCMP’s invasion, many different types of solidarity blockades have multiplied across the country. We are inspired by the courageous acts of Indigenous resistance we have witnessed, including the ongoing rail blockades in Kahnawake and Tyendinaga. We have set up this new encampment blocking CN tracks as we believe these land and water defenders should not have to fight alone.

We invite all those who are able to join us at the site of this encampment. The blockade is set up a block south of rue rue Saint-Georges and ave St Charles. You can get there by taking the 2 or 54 bus south from Longueuil metro (bring change for an extra fare). We encourage everyone to bring very warm clothes, water, food, and any winter camping gear you have access to.

We will continue to block the railroad tracks until the RCMP leaves Wet’suwet’en territory. We encourage others to take action in order to force the government to accept the demands of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

For more up to date information, follow us on twitter @MTLanticolonial or write us an email at mtl-wetsuweten-solidarity@protonmail.com.

#ShutDownCanada #AllEyesOnWetsuweten #WetsuwetenStrong #Wetsuweten #ShutCanadaDown

Family Day Field Trip Shuts Down Thousand Islands Border Crossing

Anonymous Submission to North Shore Counter-Info

On Monday February 17th ~60 determined people occupied the Thousands Islands Bridge at the Canada/US border near Kingston for about 3 hours. We are a mix of indigenous and non-indigenous people responding to the call from Wet’suwet’en land defenders to rise up following violent RCMP raids to force a pipeline through their unceded territory. Our energy is particularly high thanks to the strength and resolve of the Mohawks at Tyendinaga who have forced the closure of Canada’s busiest rail corridor for 13 days now, creating a crisis for the federal government and an “emergency for the Canadian economy.” We were also excited to hear about the Rainbow Bridge occupation in Niagara Falls on Sunday.

There was a public call to prepare for a day-long “field trip” and gather at Skeleton Park in Kingston, where speakers connected the dots between indigenous sovereignty, climate change and state violence that have moved so many to action in this moment. The surprise destination was revealed in the park, and most of the crowd decided to board the school bus heading to the bridge. Those who felt uncomfortable or unprepared were treated with respect and encouraged to join a call-in campaign at another location downtown.

Our plan was simple – a small team waited on Hill Island (on the south side of the bridge) for word that the main group had reached the toll booth at the base of the bridge on the north side. As the main group passed the toll booth, giving donuts to workers and asking them to halt traffic onto the bridge, the south team dragged pylons onto the road and held a banner, bringing northbound traffic to a halt. Both teams allowed cars on the bridge to clear out before closing it completely.

From the North:

On the approach to our destination where the guardrails narrowed at the base of the bridge, one cop drove towards us announcing that anyone who continued past him would be charged. We stuck together and multiple people started chanting “flow like water” as we walked around the cruiser, which was a nice moment of bravery to experience with the crowd. When we arrived at the bridge, folks quickly set up a portable sound system, snacks and hot drinks, a bathroom tent (a pop-up hunting blind with a DIY bucket toilet inside – fairly inexpensive and comfortable!), and a burn barrel in the centre of the road. Some folks took a moment to pray, offer tobacco, or just feel aware of their bodies and the earth and sky around us. Then we settled in for a few hours of chanting, eating snacks, drumming, linking arms, and staying warm. Police closed the bridge from the north side almost immediately after we arrived, so we had virtually no interactions with drivers. The OPP brought in a liason team who occasionally walked over to ask us how long we would be there and what sorts of vehicles we would let through. It was nice to know that we were keeping some OPP busy out here instead of hassling folks beside the rails at Tyendinaga.

From the South:

The ideal plan for the south crew was to close the road, wait for the Bridge Authority to arrive, allow them to take over the base of the bridge, and then fall back to the main group. That never happened – in fact, no authorities appeared on the south side until the very end, so we had to hold our position and engage with drivers for several hours, which could have gotten dangerous. Many of the islanders and drivers were respectful and supportive, but a handful of them were very angry and threatening, and at one point a group even started organizing to drive through our blockade. Thankfully we held our ground, did our best to de-escalate, got some reinforcements from the other side when things heated up and no one tried to push through in the end. Like our first experience at the rail crossing in Kingston a few weeks ago, we learned that we can’t rely on the authorities to even follow their own safety protocols and to always plan to keep ourselves safe. After 3 hours were up, a large contingent from the main group showed up to pick us up (a truly heartwarming sight to see), and we all marched back together across the bridge, regrouped, and marched back to the parking area together.

The occupation was relatively short, and this was the first time most participants had ever done anything like this, but it had a sizeable impact. The border crossing was closed for much of the afternoon, and commercial transports were backed up for kilometres, eventually causing police to close Highway 137, sections of the Thousand Islands Parkway and the 401 exit to the border. It’s our understanding that the closure also caused a massive backlog at the Ogdensburg-Prescott international bridge 80km east.

Two weeks ago when the idea to close this bridge was first floated, it seemed impossible. But the present momentum outpaces us, and people’s courage and willingness to act right now continues to exceed our expectations and challenges us to think bigger. Tens of thousands of people are participating in actions across the country right now, including many that intend to create economic disruption and political consequences for decision-makers who think they can impose a pipeline on the Wet’suwet’en people at gunpoint and get away with it. It’s clear that they vastly underestimated the level of solidarity that exists all across the country right now, and it’s our turn to see how much space this momentum can create for imagining something better than the current trajectory towards intensified colonial extraction and climate catastrophe.