The time we spent talking about violence: #MyG20Story

Back in the leadup to the 2010 G20 summit, the debate around violence-nonviolence felt so important – both externally to other group or the public, and within ourselves as individuals. You couldn’t open your mouth in 2010 without talking about violence, but now that debate doesn’t feel at all relevant to my life. It doesn’t at all feel like a sticking point. The issue still comes up, but the illusory divide around it doesn’t seem real now. Maybe watching the endless series of bodies killed by police, watching all the victims as capitalism has conquered the world has made the debate seem trivial. Read More …

Ambitious Times: On Decentralized regional organizing for the 2010 G20 summit

I’m based in Hamilton was involved in Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance, SOAR, in the leadup to the 2010 G20 summit. In the years since, a lot of our conversations about that organizing experience since focus on repression – the undercovers, the mass arrests, the prison time – but lately what stands out to me most about it is how ambitious the whole mobilization was. 

The crowds that came out to the G20 demos were qualitatively different than crowds that come out to large demos in this area at other times, because of the scale and depth of the organizing that went into it. Usually, a big crowd is because a social media post gets a lot of attention due to circumstances that are ultimately ephemeral, or because an established group calls for it, and the rest of us are just left to decide whether or not to participate on the terms they set.  Read More …

#MyG20Story: Sharing reflections ten years after the summit

Ten years ago, Toronto was facing off the G20 Summit. I can imagine that in the next few days, many of us will reflect on what happened. Mainstream media and some organizations might share their own version of what’s true. But history is rarely singular – each of us holds a piece.

If you are thinking about sharing, or would consider sharing, please do. With hindsight, criticism, and clarity come easier. And it is much needed. So much has changed – particularly in this moment of rebellion and lockdown. But there are lessons, always. Maybe it’s something you’ve said many times, or perhaps it’s something you’ve been holding back on. Well, now is the moment. Read More …

“From Sea to Sea”: Train Blockades, Colonialism and Canadian Rail History

CN’s rail network has been paralyzed for more than a week by blockades in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en community, who opposes the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on their unceded territory. The Mohawk community of Tyendinaga has been blocking passenger and freight train traffic between Toronto and Montreal since February 5, and a railway blockade in New Hazelton, B.C. has forced the closure of the Port of Prince Rupert. Blockades in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en have since multiplied across so-called Canada as camps have been set up on the tracks at Kahnawà:ke, Listuguj, Magnetawan, and Diamond, among others. Read More …