20 Years in the Matrix: Escaping the Prison of Surveillance Capitalism

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Wachowski’s pioneering film The Matrix, a 1999 sci-fi masterpiece that seems more prophetic than ever. Here in 2019, machine learning and surveillance capitalism are increasingly feeding off of the raw material of human lives, simultaneously enslaving and entertaining us – and mirroring the film’s premise.

‘Surveillance capitalism’ is a term coined by social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff, which she expounds upon at length – for nearly 666 pages – in her 2019 tome The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. For Zuboff, our economy is increasingly built around corporation’s relentless drive to digitize and monetize our personal lives. 

This should sound eerily familiar to anyone who’s a fan of The Matrix. The film presents a vision of a dystopian future, where the natural world has been scorched by human action into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. People cannot recognize this truth because their senses have been filled since birth by a placid artificial reality that enslaves them, enabling machines to feed off them. Read More …

Squeezing Profits: Landlord and Tenant Board Grants Timbercreek 7.2 Percent Rent Increase

A couple dozen Ottawa residents braved the dipping temperatures and frigid downtown winds to rally at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) on Albert Street on Nov. 13.

Tenants of Sunset Heights Apartments at 2880 Carling Avenue and their supporters with ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) were challenging an application filed by their landlord Timbercreek Asset Management. Timbercreek wanted an above guideline rent increase (commonly referred to as an AGI) of 5.4 percent above the provincially mandated 1.8 percent maximum. Read More …

A Timeline of Canadian Colonialism and Indigenous Resistance

From The Leveller Based on a two-part article by Tim Kitz that appeared in The Leveller 5.4 and 5.5 in 2013 to put Idle No More in context. Developed into a game by Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa, for use in their Introduction to Anti-Colonialism & Indigenous Solidarity workshop. “Canada doesn’t give a fuck about Indigenous rights,” as Romeo Saganash, a Cree MP for the NDP, famously put it. Those who have Read More …

Ottawa: Solidarity Climate Action for the Amazon Rainforest Fires

Report back from Ottawa for the Global Day of Actions for the Amazon

After the fires in the Amazon rainforest received widespread attention in late August, September 5 was a global day of action in solidarity with a call from Indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, promoted globally by Amazon Watch and Extinction Rebellion; in Brazil it was the annual Amazon Day, Dia da Amazônia.

Below is a statement from organizers of an action in Ottawa, written in response to media request, followed by some other points of reference. 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 …

Not Our Friends: The Ottawa Police’s Long History of Violence and Racism

In this article, we take a careful look at the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). Drawing on public records, media accounts, and independent investigations, we examine a history of violence and racism, ineffective oversight, reports that go nowhere, and bloated budgets. Taking all of this together clearly indicates that the OPS, as an institution, is rotten to the core. Read More …

Far Right Yellow Vests Convoy Rolls into Ottawa: Met with Resistance

From Anti-Fascist News

On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, a convoy made up of hundreds of semi-trucks, pickups, cars, and buses rolled into Ottawa for a protest against the Liberal federal government. Dubbed the United We Roll Convoy, the protest originated in Alberta ostensibly to protest the federal government’s policies on the oil industry and to call for new oil pipelines and extractives industry developments. However, the convoy and protest were made up largely of people associated with the far Right “Yellow Vests” movement in Canada (the original name of the convoy was the “Yellow Vest Convoy”—changed to cover up that connection). The Yellow Vests movement in Canada have nothing in common with the French Gilets Jaunes and are really an effort by far Right and white supremacist groups to give a populist dressing to their hate. Read More …

Mobilize Against the Pro-Pipeline Truck Convoy

Currently, pro-pipeline reactionaries are planning a truck convoy from Alberta to Ottawa. This intended show of force is meant to pressure the federal government into taking more forceful actions to get major new oil and gas pipelines built. At a time when Indigenous peoples are heroically resisting massive industrialization in the Pacific Northwest, we must fight back against this foray of far-right forces into pro-pipeline activism before it becomes a real threat. Read More …