Health on a Human Scale: A vaccinated anarchist against vaccine passports

Quebec is instituting a system of vaccine passports in the coming days, and Ontario is likely to follow suit. The passport is a document confirming your identity and your vaccination status that will have to be shown in order to access many spaces. Not a day goes by here without a barrage of open letters and social media posts asking to be required to show a passport to move around the city, for every worker to be given a policing function.

I got fully vaccinated as soon as it was available to me, and so did all my close people. However, I think the vaccine passport is despicable and that those who are advocating for it are making a serious mistake. Read More …

Hamilton: Fuck the Covid Cops!

Like millions of other people in Ontario, I woke up this morning in a world where the police had been given the authority to stop you at any time, question you, demand information without any reason, and make orders which have to be followed. In practice, a lot of this stuff already happens, but formalizing what is usually an abuse of power is a huge blow.

The government claims this is to try to stop the spread of covid. They are banning us all from sitting outside in the park with friends at a distance while factories and prisons are still operating full steam, prioritizing profits over relationships. Giving the police enhanced power to enforce these kinds of rules is just unbelievably fucked.

I was pretty upset so I made a bunch of posters and put them up around my neighbourhood in East Hamilton. Would they have been better if I’d taken more time? For sure. Should I have put “Covid is real” or something on them so it’s more clear I’m not an anti-masker or denialist? Probably. But I would say it’s more important to act, to make visible some opposition to these authoritarian measures, so that we don’t all feel scared and alone. Read More …

Hamilton: The Tower is Closing… For Now

From The Tower’s Facebook As of April 2021, The Tower is temporarily closed and will be moving. One of the key goals of the project from the beginning has been to provide infrastructure explicitly useful to support and further radical organizing in Hamilton for free. Over the course of the last year we have struggled with ongoing questions of how to best operate within a pandemic when so much of Read More …

Hamilton: 27 cases in Covid outbreak at Barton Jail

Since an outbreak at Barton Jail was declared 5 days ago, almost no information has gotten out from the people locked up inside. They have been on 24 hour lockdown for over 5 days as of the writing of this. According to the city’s covid outbreak website there are 27 cases at Barton, including both inmates locked up inside and staff.
Folks inside have been cut off from the outside because of this extreme, panicked, and unplanned lockdown. They have not been able to make phone calls and have not been able to send out any mail correspondence because of the guards’ refusal to handle it. This means no contact with lawyers, loved ones, or other important community supports. 24 hour lockdown also means no access to showers, making keeping themselves clean and healthy even more difficult. Read More …

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 …