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Mar 24, 23

Canadian Tire Fire #56: International Day Against Police Brutality, Protesting Grocery Store Price Gouging, Mining Convention Disrupted

This week we cover news from the International Day Against Police Brutality, and actions disrupting business as usual at a grocery store and a mining conference.

In Montreal, a banner was dropped in solidarity with those arrested for fighting Cop City in Atlanta, and in remembrance of Tortuguita. “At the edge of Weelaunee forest, every cop pushed back with fireworks and every piece of construction equipment set ablaze is welcomed with cheer from companions all over turtle island and beyond.”

Now let’s get to the news!

International Day Against Police Brutality

Every March 15th, anarchists, police abolitionists, and the family and friends of those killed by police observe the International Day Against Police Brutality. This year, events took place in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Montreal. As always, send us reports if events happened in your city!

In Vancouver, an art and memorial event took place to remember the victims of police killings in the city.

In Winnipeg, a march and rally took place outside the Millennium Library. The library has recently had an increase in police and security, having the effect of preventing people from using it. City budget deliberations were taking place at the same time as the march, so the rally aimed to ask people how they could imagine their city being different if the police budget went elsewhere.

In Montreal, the annual rowdy March 15th demo took place in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood. This year’s theme was “In the streets or in jails, police brutality prevails.” The NDG neighbourhood was home to Nicous Spring, who died in December while being held in Bordeaux jail.

As per usual, the demo began with speeches from community organizers. Once the demo took the street, chants of  “Justice for Nicous” could be heard. Along the route, the SPVM attemped to control the crowd by flanking it with bike and riot cops. Nonetheless, there were fireworks, colourful smoke and graffiti all along the route. Reports online indicate at least one bank, an RBC, was smashed up along the route. No arrests have been reported.

Protesting Price Gouging at the Grocery Store

In Montreal, a crew disrupted business as usual at a grocery store that was preparing to host a special visit from investors and bankers. The disruption was part of the Ben Trop Cher campaign fighting the rising cost of living. A report back read:

At least 20 anti-poverty protesters, affiliated with the local Ben Trop Cher campaign against the cost of living, entered and disrupted the Maxi Superstore in Parc-Extension in Montreal earlier this morning. Protesters unveiled a banner reading “Things are too expensive! Our lives before your profits!” (original French: C’est ben trop cher; Nos vies avant vos profits), as well as chanting, singing, distributing flyers with the title “Food Is Way Too Expensive! Bring Down the Prices. Stop Exploiting Us!, and stickering merchandise with the slogan “Ben Trop Cher.”

The Parc-Extension Maxi store was preparing to welcome a visit of investors and bankers affiliated with Loblaw Companies Limited, and has previously hosted visits from senior executives across Canada, including Loblaw CEO Galen Weston Junior. The protesters kept their disruption going for roughly 20 minutes before leaving the store. At least five police cars arrived after the protesters left, responding to a 911 call from panicked Maxi managers, and the cops futilely searched the store, the nearby metro station and the underground garage for the protest perpetrators.

Mining Convention Disrupted

Source: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network

In early March, people in Toronto maintained an annual tradition of disrupting the world’s largest mining convention, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canda convention (PDAC). The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) – has described Toronto as “the belly of the beast” – a global hub for the offices of mining companies and investors who are responsible for environmental destruction both in Canada and abroad. While PDAC offers an opportunity for mining company executives and government representatives to push rhetoric about ‘clean energy’ or ‘environmental practices’, protesters were there to ensure that the voices of those whose communities are destroyed by resource extraction are not forgotten.

In a report back from the day, MISN stated:

While capital flows back to Toronto, Canadian mining operations, and the governments that support and enable them, are shifting the flow of the world’s waterways, polluting rivers that flow into the oceans, our planet’s life support system and one of our most important natural solutions to mitigate climate change.

In response, MISN disrupted the flow of people at PDAC and business as usual. Organizers and allies used long swathes of blue fabric painted with fish to temporarily block the entrances to the trade show, exhibitor booths, and access to escalators. We held blue fabric, to represent a river, in front of Ontario’s booth which promotes critical minerals and proposed mineral exploration and development projects in the so-called Ring of Fire region. We brought the importance of water back into the spaces where it is so often excluded.

Extractive projects create “sacrifice zones” – places that extractors poison and destroy for the greater good of economic progress because to the extractors, they “don’t count.” A true just transition will not create sacrifice zones and will include Indigenous communities exercising sovereignty over their territories and economic development, workers in fossil-fuel producing and reliant industries, such as oil and gas workers and auto workers, and rural communities without access to critical infrastructure like Internet connection and public transportation.

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A weekly roundup of anarchist and anti-authoritarian news from so-called Canada. Email us at: [email protected]

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