Filed under: Canadian Tire Fire, Featured
In the time since our last issue, there have been many events to celebrate and many others to fuel our continued resistance. In this issue we’ve got details and dates for three upcoming anarchist bookfairs, in Montreal, Halifax, and Victoria. We bring you more updates from the Naujawan Solidarity Network, which continues to consistently bring out large numbers to fight wage theft in Toronto. We bring you a summary of an alternative Pride event in Hamilton, as well as a sex worker justice rally in the same city. We also bring you news of several anti-homeless initiatives and incidences of violence that have taken place recently. We also provide a short update on continuing repression against land defenders on Gidimt’en territory.
— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) July 21, 2022
In Kitchener this month, a group of anonymous environmentalists let out the air in the tires of over 30 SUVs around town. Each vehicle was left with a note that read “your gas guzzler kills.”
We’d be remiss not to mention that July 19th marked 2 years since Haudenosaunee land defenders and their supporters re-occupied 1492 Land Back Lane, successfully getting the McKenzie Meadows settler housing development cancelled. Love and solidarity to the land defenders who have, for the past two years, been faced with police violence, racist politicians and media, and more. This struggle shows that wins against the colonial state are possible, so let’s keep fighting!
Finally, a reminder that we always welcome tips for stories at [email protected]!
Upcoming Anarchist Bookfairs in so-called Montreal, Halifax, and Victoria
The annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair will be happening on August 6th and 7th. The bookfair takes place at the Georges-Vanier Cultural Centre (CCGV) (2450, rue Workman) and ii) the CÉDA (2515, rue Delisle) in Little Burgundy/St-Henri. The event will feature two days of workshops, an Art and Anarchy Banner Display, a community bike repair station, a kidz zone, and over a hundred tables of books and zines. The event is free or by donation, and is for anarchists and anyone curious about anarchism!
Some workshops and tables will be outside, while others will be indoors. You can check out the full schedule with workshop descriptions and locations here. For those who can’t attend, there will be live radio coverage of the event on Sunday on CKUT 90.3FM, you can listen online!
The 5th annual Halifax Anarchist Bookfair will be taking place on September 3rd, you can find more information, and a schedule when it’s released, at their website.
Finally, the Victoria Anarchist Bookfair just announced they will be back with an in-person bookfair on September 24 and 25. Find more information at https://victoriaanarchistbookfair.ca/.
Annual Grassy Narrows River Run Takes Place in Toronto
July 21st marked the annual Grassy Narrows River Run for mercury justice. Fifty community members and leaders traveled from Grassy Narrows to Toronto, and were joined by a few hundred people to take the streets of downtown Toronto. They had three demands: that Ontario and Canada compensate everyone in Grassy Narrows fairly for the mercury crisis, respect the Grassy Narrows Indigenous Protected Area (end mining and logging plans in Grassy Narrows territory), and support Grassy Narrows in restoring their community and way of life from the damage that mercury has done.
The march included a stop in from of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, where youth from the community spoke. The people of Grassy Narrows have been fighting for justice since the 60s, when 9 tonnes of mercury was dumped upstream from their community with devastating impacts on the land, water, and people of the area.
Hamilton Alternate Pride March
Earlier this month in Hamilton, following the announcement of a fully-indoor, heavily-policed official “Pride,” folks decided to take matters into their own hands. An alternate Pride march and party was planned that emphasized no cops, no commercial opportunism, and taking up space as a political act. A report back for the event read:
…a plan was made to have the kind of Pride we dreamed of: a street march and party. No cops, no bigots, nothing for sale. Just queers being loud, rowdy, and together in public. The day went as well as we could have hoped. Over a hundred people showed up in their pride best, with signs and banners, ready to take the streets. After a few speeches, we wove through downtown. Near the doors to the convention center where the indoor pride would be held, people threw up dozens of posters calling out RBC, who were tabling at the event, for bankrolling the coastal gaslink pipeline. There was music, confetti cannons, rainbow smoke bombs, a banner drop and fireworks. We ended in a park next to city hall, where DJs carried the party into the night.
Justice For Jared One Year Anniversary
July 8th marked one year since Jared Lowndes, a Wet’suwet’en man, was killed by the RCMP in Campbell River, BC. To commemorate and mourn the death of Jared and many others who have been killed by police, people drove and marched through Campbell River and gathered at the local RCMP detachment. Comrades and friends of Jared’s family shared the following report and analysis of the gathering:
On July 8th, Laura Holland, Jared’s mother, was joined by Martha Martin, Chantel Moores’s mother, the organizers from @defund604network, and community members to commemorate the beautiful life of Jared. The gathering, which was led by Laura and her Wet’suwet’en family, was powerful. So powerful it shook the Campbell River RCMP to the core as it defied their normalized genocidal colonial violence.
image: Justice for Jared memorial credit: Meenakshi
In a press release, the Campbell River RCMP accused the families and present members of our communities with perpetuating acts of violence against the public. The RCMP issued a statement after the protest, alleging the group blocked traffic, shouted profanities at the police, and painted on the roads. The police even tainted and painted these actions as “criminal in nature.”
However, the Campbell River RCMP and all levels of government by extension must know that we see through their ruse. Their mediocre sleight of hand is as mediocre as a colonizer is. The RCMP is merely trying to hide the execution of Jared by engaging in a racist smear campaign that paints the peaceful actions of the family and community members who showed up to express their grief and exercise their inherent right to exist on the land as violence. All this while it’s the RCMP who killed and is continuously taking countless Indigenous lives since the force was engineered by the settler state as part of its genocidal project, meant to maintain the settler colony’s genocidal extractivist and racist apartheid regime of domination, destruction and terror.
Worker Solidarity Group Confronts Wage-Stealing Businesses
The Brampton-based Naujawan Support Network (NSN), a international student and young worker-led solidarity network, has been busy again this month. On July 9th, a crowd of over 100 people assembled and marched on two businesses that owe their former workers pay. At one of the businesses, Sukh Auto, the owner and some supporters confronted the crowd, assaulting one of the protesters. The owner had previously filed a defamation lawsuit against the NSN, and threatened to have the worker deported for requesting his unpaid wages. This highlights the odds stacked against workers with precarious immigration status, especially racialized workers. In Canada, labour and immigration laws create a environment where migrant workers can easily be exploited, facing the threat of deportation if they push back against unsafe or unfair work environments.
At the July 9th demo, the NSN reported on twitter that police became involved and threatened to bring in the riot squad to arrest participants. The group held their ground, continued to protest and left on their own terms.
Criminal Charges for More Land Defenders, Coastal GasLink Resistance Continues
Earlier this month, the crown announced it will proceed with upgrading criminal charges for four more land defenders arrested last November. The four people were grabbed on the second day of raids this fall, when RCMP made it up past the Gidimt’en Checkpoint and made arrests at Coyote Camp, burning down a cabin and destroying other structures that had been lived in for months.
Sleydo’ and three others will join 15 others arrested the day before, and who previously had their charges upgraded to criminal contempt as well. An upcoming hearing on July 28th may bring more news on the repression, as CGL will “decide whether it will pursue further legal action.”
While the State continues to attempt to prevent resistance to CGL incursion on Gidimt’en territory, the clan is building a feast hall at Lamprey Creek, just across the bridge from the Gidimt’en Checkpoint. They have called for skilled builders to come help finish the project, as well as other supporters to come to camp to support the day to day functioning of camp.
Additionally, Dini ze’, Ts’ako ze’ and Sky ze’ from the Wet’suwet’en Nation will be travelling across so-called Canada in mid-August to build on relationships of solidarity with other Indigenous nations while they continue to resist CGL at home. All these efforts show that the fight against the pipeline is far from over, and that the state and industry attempts to quash resistance have not succeeded.
Hamilton Rally for Sex Workers’ Safety
Following the assault and beating of a sex worker in Hamilton last month, community members held a march and vigil to demand safety for sex workers. Dozens of people dressed in red gathered in the alleyway where the assault occurred, then took the street and marched to a recently-opened drop-in support center for sex workers. Speeches at the vigil highlighted how the criminalization of sex work puts workers at a higher risk of violence, and how sex workers cannot rely on police or the law to keep them safe. Multiple sex workers who work in the area took the megaphone during the march to lead chants and speak about their experiences and concerns. The event was organized by Sex Workers Action Program Hamilton who recently opened a new drop-in support center in the same area where the attack occurred.
Mass Shooting of People Experiencing Homelessness in Langley; Cities of Montreal and Vancouver Announce Camp Clearings
This week, it was revealed that the City of Montreal is hiring someone to oversee the dismantling of homeless camps, preparing to pay them up to 70,000$ annually to kick people out of the camps. Community organizers have already begun to sound the alarm and we look forward to hopefully hearing of resistance to this move, and solidarity with folks living in encampments.
Just as we prepare to publish this issue, we’re reading the horrible news of a targeted mass shooting of homeless people in Langley, BC. At the time of publication, two of the individuals shot have died, and one is in critical condition. Police killed the shooter at the scene. People are pointing out that less than a week ago, Joe Rogan suggested to his podcast listeners that they shoot homeless people.
The same day as the shooting in Langley, the City of Vancouver fire department announced an order to immediately remove tents and structures from Hastings Street in the downtown eastside. Citing fire safety concerns, and with empty words of sympathy for the “complex” situation, the order was endorsed by the mayor as well.
While this the Langley shooting is an extreme case, we live in a state of consistent normalization of violence against people experiencing homelessness. This violence is led by the State, who allows and perpetuates the erasure and eviction of homeless people from public space constantly. People experiencing homelessness are our friends and neighbors, and deserve care and safety.
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