The following is an announcement for a brand new counter-information website, North-Shore.Info, in so-called Southern Ontario, Canada.
North Shore Counter-Info is a platform for publishing news, analysis, and events, as well as facilitating discussion and encouraging collaboration. We aspire to provide a space for strategic reflection, engaged critique, and thoughtful debate from an anarchist and anti-authoritarian perspective in Southern Ontario.
In the spirit of overcoming isolation and creeping feelings of hopelessness, we want to build stronger regional networks by sharing resources, publicizing activities, and putting us in communication with each other. In absence of trusted and well-used spaces to share information, it can feel difficult to build intentions, seek out accomplices, and take action. Without platforms to exchange radical ideas about the current context in our towns and cities, it’s easy to be discouraged from putting in the work to build an analysis of what’s possible here. The limits of social media and corporate news are huge, and their logic completely counter to liberatory discussion.
By no means will a website fix all these problems, not even close! However, we believe that creating a shared infrastructure for communication is a small step towards developing new ways of relating to each other and understanding our place on this land. In doing so, we hope to contribute to building a decentralized and creative force capable of meaningfully pushing back against the state and capital in this area.
Where we are:
Geographically, North Shore Counter-Info is based out of and primarily concerned with the north shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario – from the Detroit river to the mouth of the Saint Laurence, as well as further north up to the shores of Georgina Bay and along the Ottawa river. Put differently, this is the area from Windsor and Sarnia in the West, across London, Hamilton, and Niagara, through the GTA and extending to Ottawa and Cornwall in the East, not forgetting Kingston, Barrie and Peterborough along the way. There are more than 12 million people living in this area, spread over 140 thousand square kilometers.
This area encompasses the traditional territory of a dozen or more indigenous peoples, including Ojibwe, Haudenosaunee, Chonnonton, Wyandot, Mississaugi, and Algonquin peoples. Some of these peoples were decimated during colonization, while others were displaced to reserves in or near their traditional territories. There is enduring resistance by indigenous groups and individuals throughout the region, ranging from negotiations with the state around land claims (such as the massive Algonquin land claim in Eastern Ontario) or for treaty recognition (such as the 1701 Nanfan treaty with the Haudenosaunee) to defense of particular lands or opposition to specific toxic industries (such as in Aamjiwanaang First Nation), to broader challenges to the existence of settler-colonial society. Colonization and indigenous resistance are a crucial part of our local context, and we evoke it (briefly and incompletely) as a reminder that as we conspire to resist this knowledge must be at the forefront.
Who we are:
The collective behind this site are anarchists, meaning that we organize ourselves based on autonomy, solidarity, and mutual aid, and in opposition to all forms of domination. Although we don’t see this project as exclusively for people who call themselves anarchists, we believe that anti-authoritarianism is a key part of any struggle that interests us. This means we aren’t very interested in attempts at replacing one powerful person with another, building ‘the party’, or in reforming the current economic and political systems to be more equitable and representative.
We’re excited about struggles in which people build their capacity to self-organize horizontally, without leaders, and take direct action. That is, struggles where people do for themselves what they want to see happen, rather than petitioning to outside forces or pressuring the powerful to do it for us.
There’s not tons of content on there yet, but with your submissions we can build a platform that can support and connect projects across Southern Ontario.