COVID-19: Preliminary Thoughts on the Current Situation

What follows are preliminary thoughts; things are changing quickly and in unpredictable ways, and while we don’t claim to have anything particularly original to say, we feel it’s important to communicate some thoughts and connect some dots from an anti-racist, anti-fascist perspective, as the exercise might be useful, and to start thinking now about how we will move forward from this. Read More …

Like Hand in Glove: on the collaboration between media, police, and far-right in the recent arrests of antifascists in Toronto and Hamilton

On Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23, four antifascists were arrested by Hamilton police, watchdogs of white supremacy, in connection with the counter-protest against Maxime Bernier’s fundraising event last month. Two people living in Toronto came to Hamilton to turn themselves in, while the two living in Hamilton were arrested at their school and home respectively. Cynically, HPS chose to wait until right after the federal election before launching this wave of arrests to avoid further having their complicity in the rise of the far right in Hamilton become a national political issue. By doing so, they make obvious the political nature of these charges: they have more to do with the narrative being produced than with what happened on the ground. 

Two people are charged with intimidation and causing disturbance in connection to an old woman who was yelled at and delayed from entering the venue; another is charged with intervening in an attack by a fascist goon on other protestors; and then, perhaps most strangely, we have one person charged with theft under $5000 for allegedly removing a Canadian flag from an armed fascist’s baton.  Read More …

Maxime Bernier’s PPC and the Far Right

Voting is not really our thing, but we do recognize that this is a time when more people are speaking about politics and policies, including many that will have a real impact on many people’s lives. This time around (not for the first time) the Conservatives are contending with a national party to their right, as Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada fields candidates across the country on a populist platform with climate denial and anti-immigrant sentiment as its key planks. Read More …

Hamilton: The Tower’s Statement on Backlash after the Bernier Demo

In the few days since the counter-demo against the Bernier event at Mohawk College, there has been an intense backlash against antifascists. In particular, we see as particularly vile the targeting of an organizer based in Toronto named Alaa, who immigrated to Canada from Syria. We are enraged to see him subjected to racist insults and threats targeting both himself and his family. This backlash has latched on to a video of an elderly person having an uncomfortable few minutes and being slightly delayed. This person experienced no harm, she’s fine, and afterwards went to a bunch of media outlets where she made comments about how her interest in Bernier stems from concerns about the Middle East, specifically Syrians, and how they have different values from ours.

She says it’s not her idea of Canada that she experiences a little difficulty in supporting an openly xenophobic political party. In this she is correct: racism has been a feature of Canada from the beginning. That so much of Hamilton (starting with its media) is focused on an old white person’s moment of discomfort rather than yet another immigrant family being targeted for harassment by the racist far-right should come as no surprise. This is the Canada she is turning to Bernier to defend. Read More …

Hamilton: Reportback – Shut It Down: All Out Against Maxime Bernier

This past weekend Mohawk College held a campaign fundraiser event for Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada. Bernier was interviewed by Dave Rubin, an American YouTube personality who proudly hosts well known white supremacists on his show. Neither Bernier or Rubin should ever be given room to spread their hate.

Despite resounding critiques and calls to cancel the event, the college claimed because of their policies they could not cancel the event, and that in fact, the event was not an endorsement of any political party. As a direct result of the criticism, Mohawk increased their security fee (which Dave Rubin so generously paid for- a possible campaign finance law violation) which in turn increased police presence.

What Mohawk didn’t count on, was that their decision to give a platform to white supremacy set the stage for some fabulous community members to organize the now infamous protest: Shut It Down: All Out Against Maxime Bernier. Following the protest, it has become evident that not only did we achieve our primary goal, but our success has spurred a ripple effect, detailed below. Read More …

Anti-Fascism Beyond Machismo: Gender, Politics, and the Struggle Against Fascism

This text was recently published by The Tower InPrint in Hamilton. It starts with an analysis of the different forms of that anti-feminism takes in far-right politics to build towards the importance of developing a militant feminism when organizing against it. The second half looks at the role of women in three historic anti-fascist struggles and contrasts militancy with machismo to imagine movements capable of really fighting back that don’t reproduce sexist, macho dynamics. The full text is below, as well as a link to an imposed pdf for printing.

“It’s a naturalized, state-sanctioned, normalized and deepening fascism, whose waves of violence seem to measure the strides of a giant… So here this question is key: What do we mean when we speak of feminism? Feminism cannot be defined at the surface level…It’s a struggle that is only renewed by restoring the historical memory of our women fighters, those who have been forgotten in the dustbins of revolutions… We cannot think of a feminism, an anti-patriarchy, without anti-capitalism, without anti-fascism, without anti-racism and without class struggle…” Read More …

Ottawa: Fight for the Future! Forever Against Fascism!

A Report Back on the 20 July 2019 Yellow Vest Rally in Ottawa

This past Saturday comrades came together to successfully confront fascists who planned three days of rallies on Parliament Hill. The Canadians for Canada -“Breaking Chains” Yellow Vest rally called for convoys to arrive from all over so-called Canada to reach Ottawa. Despite their call for 10,000 motorbikes or more to come from all over the country, only about 40-50 people showed up – and not a single motorbike with them.

Originally having planned to have their rallies on Parliament Hill, their permits were pulled a week and a half before their planned rallies due to military events taking place. As a result, they were forced to hold their rally at a nearby park downtown, Garden of Provinces and Territories. However, in coordination with the Ottawa IWW GDC Local 6 and Anakbayan Ottawa, antifascists and the supporting community took over the space in the park to hold an event countering the fascist demonstration. Read More …