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 …

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 …

From Embers: New Content in August 2019

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. Read More …

Every Death is a Murder – Prisoners Justice Day, Hamilton

On the evening of Prisoners Justice Day, August 10th 2019, a small group of prison hating folks gathered in Hamilton, Ontario at Beasley park for a noise demo. HPS (Hamilton Police Sevices) observed the rally with excessive numbers including bike cops, a cop van, a supervisor suv and two cruisers. As our numbers grew we gathered to listen to a small introduction by the Barton Prisoner Solidarity Project explaining how PJD started and why it continues. The BPSP is a newly developed organization that seeks to thin the prison walls by building connections and magnifying the voices of those inside, while simultaneously working to smash those walls altogether by asking bigger questions about what a world without prisons would look like and figuring out how to get there. Read More …

Answering Back: Windsor’s “Drug Den”, or How We Choose to See Things

Two prominent recent articles in The Windsor Star describe a burnt out building on Wyandot St as a “drug den” and the people using the space as “a problem crowd” of “addicts” and push for the building to be demolished. The total lack of humanity in how the situation is described is striking. Drawing heavily on the words of local business owner Andrew Steptoe, it creates an opposition between good citizens like him – whose presence matters and whose voice counts – and the anonymous drug users who are portrayed as subhuman, represented only by photos of the garbage they leave behind, and who need to be driven away. Read More …

From Embers: New Content in July 2019

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. Read More …

Hamilton: Cedar is out!

UPDATE: Cedar has been out for a couple now and is doing well. She hasn’t been able to shed any light on why she was released though, she only found out about it the day before, having received no official communication after the parole hearing, not even a copy of the ruling. Its good that sometimes we get nice surprises. They’re slowly catching up on everything that’s been happening and want to pass on so much gratitude for the support, solidarity with all the pride defenders charged (drop the charges!), and all those still locked up are big in their thoughts. As good as it is to be out, its hard to leave people behind in there, and though we celebrate that our friend is safe, we try to remember as well the violence faced by other queers, especially queers of colour, and so many others. Looking at the police service board meeting this week and the super soft bail release for the only person who has been arrested for assaulting folks at Pride, it is clearer than ever that the cops and courts will never protect us and we need to continue to build towards autonomy without them. The struggles of the last month are only the beginning. Read More …

Camp Chaos Gays Farewell Statement

For 3 days last weekend the chaos queers held an encampment at city hall that was more inclusive, productive, and community-centred space than the last 3 years of bureaucratic work going on inside.

We are some of the same queers Mayor Fred has called fake and tried to label as agitators; some of the same ones police have tried criminalizing. We are rebel queers; still resisting. Still loud. Always political. Still seeking and creating alternatives to the status quo. Who see what happened at Pride as a symptom of an ongoing issue in this city (and beyond) and a flashpoint; not a one-off event. Our identity and consistency makes it easy for them to try and label us as agitators, but not easy to shut us down. Read More …