Thou Shalt Not Question Public Health! Censorship in the Age of COVID-19

Something has been gnawing away at me for months. Why have anarchists been so silent in the face of increasing state repression? Aren’t radical Leftists historically the defenders of civil liberties such as the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press? Yet until recently, there seemed to be a taboo against criticizing measures justified in the name of Public Health.

Thankfully, that is now changing. In Quebec, home to a fierce anarchist tradition, it took the imposition of a curfew before anarchists reached the point of mobilizing, but I am happy to report that radical Leftists in Quebec are now taking to the streets. Today, on Saturday, January 16th, 2021, the first anti-curfew demonstration will take place in the neighbourhood of Hochelaga.

This is an encouraging sign, and I hope that it will lead to further dialogue about what the best way for the Left to respond to the new challenges of organizing a resistance movement in the age of COVID. I, for one, am hoping that to see more critical analysis emerge, as I think that we, as a movement, need to orient ourselves to the new political landscape. Read More …

A Critique of Emergency Measures that Remove Freedom of Assembly

A lot has changed in the past year. If you would have told me a year ago that the government would ban gatherings in private homes, and given police special powers to forcibly enter people’s homes without a warrant *, I would have assumed that you were a paranoid conspiracy kook. Yet such is the reality in 2021. Read More …

More Than Facebook: Mutual Aid Organizing in Ottawa During COVID-19

Thousands of people around Ottawa connected on social media to request help and offer assistance to strangers during the first spike of COVID-19 in March, 2020. They were forming COVID-19 support groups, mutual aid networks, and “caremongering” groups. Membership in these Facebook groups grew to over 4,000 within weeks, and they have remained active since then, with daily posts, comments, news, and updates. Read More …

Into the Second Wave: Barton Prisoners on past rounds of struggle and the challenges ahead

It’s been two months now since the last hunger strike at the Barton Jail. To end it, the administration made a slew of promises, but have they been kept? This past week, we had long conversations with several prisoners who participated in the strike and in negotiations with the admin, and they expressed deep disappointment at the Barton Jail’s failure to follow through on even basic promises. As well, there has been a steep increase in lockdowns in recent weeks, rolling back a gain from a previous round of struggle that saw an end to rotating lockdowns. And finally, as the second wave of covid hits, we talked with prisoners about masks, soap, and healthcare. Read More …

Where do you stand? Pride action in the class war of Toronto gay village

This pride week, residents of Toronto’s Queer Village woke up to a question they can no longer avoid answering: WHERE DO YOU STAND?

On June 26 2020, an ad hoc affinity group of queer and trans Village dwellers peppered the historically queer Church and Wellesley neighbourhood and the blocks surrounding — our turf — with circular floor decals, a now familiar feature of the pandemic urban landscape. Read More …

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. 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 [1] from Solidarity Across Borders (https://www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/) for caravan actions against imprisonment and for status for all. Read More …