Ottawa: R.I.P. Matt Cicero – Anarchist Militant, Journalist, and Community Organizer

On March 16, 2020, our comrade Matt departed for the spirit world. We have lost one of the most committed anarchists in our part of the world, and the loss is felt intensely due to the tragic circumstances of his death.

Many people who did not know Matt well will probably remember him as the guy that bombed the bank back in 2010. At this time, there was a major mobilization of anarchists preparing for the G20 summit in Toronto. Several months prior to the summit, a group calling itself FFF (Fighting For Freedom) released footage of the firebombing of an RBC branch in Ottawa. The footage was dramatic – a black-clad figure runs out of the bank minutes before it explodes in flame. 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 …

Ottawa: In Solidarity with Kids and Their Caregivers

As the school year starts, we are thinking about kids and their caregivers. None of us currently parent any children, though we all have kids in our lives who we love and consider friends and comrades. In the Punch Up Collective, as a general practice, we aim to organize our work in such a way that kids and the adults who sustain them are included in our activities. We do this by budgeting money to hire someone who can host kid activities during events we put on, scheduling social gatherings during the day instead of at dinner time, making space in protests and marches that can be more kid-friendly, and generally trying to make sure that children are an ordinary part of our political lives. We believe that this approach makes our political spaces more sustainable, inter-generational, and joyful. Read More …

Ottawa: Midpoint Reflections on the Pandemic

Since March, several possibilities have opened up in this city for tenants to work together in our interests against landlords. While Herongate Tenant Coalition was formed in May 2018 by tenants across our neighbourhood in the south end of so-called Ottawa to defend against Timbercreek’s massive demoviction campaign, this pandemic has created another urgency; this time for working class people across the city to unite to proactively address our suffering under these specific conditions we share. Hence why the Keep Your Rent strategy rang so powerfully here as it did in other cities. Read More …

Keep your Rent, Help Each Other: Roundup of rent refusal and mutual aid organizing

Across Ontario, many tenants across the region will withhold rent from their landlord. Even though we are constantly told we are all in this together, the social impact of the virus will be hugely uneven and intensify existing inequalities. Whether tenants still have the means to pay this month or not, this movement shows solidarity with those who can’t and recognizes that few people can last long without the income they’re counting on.

Alongside this, people across the region have organized to help out their neighbours autonomously.. We are highlighting mutual aid projects that try to go beyond a social media page to build lasting independent strength in their neighbourhoods. Read More …

#ShutDownCanada: Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Actions Continue Into Weekend

Following RCMP raids on Wet’suwet’en Territory this week, indigenous people, land defenders and accomplices have been taking up the call to Shut Down Canada with ongoing actions across the country targeting urban centres, highways, ports and railways. Here is an update on some actions across southern Ontario thus far and some notes on what’s to come. Something incomplete or missing? Send us a reportback! Read More …

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 …