Filed under: Canadian Tire Fire, Featured
This week we have a couple funny anecdotes in the world of anti-fascism, a couple stories we missed in December, and as always stories of continued resistance.
Anarchists held noise demos in multiple cities on New Years Eve as always. In Montreal, queer and trans people redecorated the city in outrage over Quebec’s anti-trans bill and Coyote Camp duped the RCMP, executing a strategic retreat ahead of another raid while solidarity actions continued across the country.
Here’s hoping for a 2022 full of fierce and effective resistance to all things Canada.
Let’s get to the news!
News from the Far-Right
“Rebel Media” and its founder, Ezra Levant, were denied a commercial mortgage from the Royal Bank of Canada; a rejection Levant claimed was due to his conservative politics. Levant wanted to use this building as a space for all sorts of far-Right personalities and groups to collaborate and work together. Less skilled fascists gaining access to Levant’s experience and resources would certainly be a concerning prospect so we are happy to hear of this set back. As mentioned later in the roundup, RBC is the same bank funding the CGL pipeline, so no, the rejection isn’t because of Levant’s conservative opinions.
Shortly after the turn of the new year, a fascist nearly froze to death in the snow according to one of his accessories. Kevin J. Johnston went on the run recently after he was expected to turn himself in to police in Ontario for failing to stay within conditions of a hate crime ruling against him. Johnston’s plan was to walk across the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border and claim political asylum. A video online shows the person that was going to pick him up on the American side calling the police for fear he was going to die out in the wilderness.
New Years Noise Demos
On New Years Eve, multiple prison noise demos took place across so-called Canada. New Years noise demos are part of an international anarchist tradition of ringing in the new year
In Laval, a suburb of Montreal, about 30-40 people visited a series of prisons, including a federal men’s prison and a migrant prison, blasting music and setting off fireworks.
Out in the streets of #Montreal!
Happy new year! pic.twitter.com/sRTyHzyhc8
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) January 1, 2022
In Southern Ontario, noise demos were held outside the Toronto South Detention Centre and Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre.
A report back read in part:
As we head into another year with the looming threat of a worsening public health crisis, it’s as important as ever to let prisoners know that we have their backs. This past year saw historic numbers of prisoners inside of Barton participate in organizing during a major covid outbreak. As covid again begins to spread in the jail, we need prisoners to know that they remain part of our lives and part of our struggles.
Presently, outbreaks have been declared in at least 7 federal prisons, and countless more provincial prisons, and the need to stand with prisoners remains as urgent, if not more, than ever.
Fuck Prisons, Happy New Year! ✨ pic.twitter.com/7ZbCarmqJM
— Toronto Prisoners' Rights Project (@letstalkjails) January 1, 2022
Night of Redecoration Against Bill 2 in Montreal
Credit: Contre Points Media
In slightly belated news, on December 18th in Montreal, coordinated action was taken against Quebec’s aggressively anti-trans Bill 2 legislation. The bill, introduced in October 2021, restricts trans people’s ability to change the sex designation on their ID unless they have undergone certain gender-affirming surgeries.
Around a dozen people participated. Their report back read in part (translated):
We are trans, non-binary people, and allies, and we are determined to oppose this vile attack on our communities. During the night, banners were dropped across the city, where for months walls have already been filled with posters, stickers, and tags protesting this law that continues to enrage us.”
Along with the action, they called for further actions to take place and released a list of demands, translated below:
“Further than the simple modification of Bill 2, in the face of institutionalized transphobia and interphobia and in the face of a policy of recognition that only serves the most privileged among us, we demand:
* The abolition of sex/gender markers,
* Free and easy access to name changes and gender affirming care,
* The abolition of police and prisons, which includes the complete decriminalization of sex work, drug use and HIV
* The opening of borders that block and control the bodies of trans and queer migrants in particular.
Credit: Contre Points Media
Union Victory in Winnipeg
— Jonathan 'Boo and Vote' Cohn (@JonathanCohn) June 30, 2021
We missed the fact that on December 1st, workers at the Winnipeg Canada Goose jacket plant successfully unionized, but are happy to bring you the news now. The union drive took three years to reach this point, according to a press release from the union Workers United. The production facilities in Toronto unionized in the mid-1980s and any new facilities in Toronto were automatically included in that union. But when the company opened a new facility in Winnipeg in 2013, those workers were not automatically included since they were outside of Toronto. The largely migrant work force at the Winnipeg plant have denounced low pay, being stuck at the minimum provincial wage, and abusive behavior by management.
While the company website lists many “progressive” initiatives and touts high labor standards, employees tell a different story. They say they often face intimidation from management, and that when they make a complaint to HR, there is only a confrontation that follows. One worker was written up twice, after coming to work in a pro-union shirt, and for wearing headphones while working.
We hope conditions for the workers improve and we’d like to underline how any company’s portrayal of concern for the environment, justice, health, etc, is just a mask and tool for increasing profit margins.
Coyote Camp Strategic Retreat, #AllOutForWedzinKwa Solidarity Actions Continue
In recent weeks, a large buildup of RCMP began in Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan territories. Police were transparently readying themselves for another raid of Coyote Camp, which had recently been reoccupied by Wet’suwet’en land defenders and their supporters. In addition to booking hotels in the nearby towns of Houston and Smithers, an increased police presence was felt in Gitxsan territory.
RCMP have once again redeployed more out of town officers to occupy and surveil the Gitxsan lax yip. pic.twitter.com/rX5lNC1o0k
— Kris (@Kris_Statnyk) January 1, 2022
On the night of January 4th, while cops were beginning to ready themselves for their coming operation, and others were preparing to be flown in, Coyote Camp executed a strategic retreat. In the words of spokesperson Sleydo’: “Our warriors are not here to be arrested. Our warriors are here to protect the land and water and will continue to do so at all cost.”
Sleydo' speaks about the strategic retreat of Coyote Camp, as RCMP mobilize to invade unceded #Wetsuweten land again: "Our warriors are not here to be arrested. Our warriors are here to protect the land and water and will continue to do so at all cost."#AllOutForWedzinKwa pic.twitter.com/wEvV37qCY2
— Gidimt’en Checkpoint (@Gidimten) January 5, 2022
With an empty camp and cops mobilized for nothing, land defenders are making clear they’re organizing for the long term, and making strategic decisions to ensure they can continue to defend the land. We look forward to seeing what moves may come in the future.
With plane-loads of cops on the way, Coyote Camp executed a strategic retreat to avoid police violence and criminalization. Cops are left with an empty camp.
We will continue to fight Coastal GasLink, but can not do so if all of our warriors are taken as political prisoners. pic.twitter.com/lHda9o8eBd
— Gidimt’en Checkpoint (@Gidimten) January 7, 2022
Calls for supporters to come to the Yintah continue in this new context, as well as continued calls for solidarity actions. And, solidarity actions have continued in recent weeks. On the evening on December 25th, two rail lines in Montreal were sabotaged.
A particular focus was also paid to RBC. In Ottawa in late December, an RBC branch was covered with white paint from a fire extinguisher.
Credit: MTL Counter-Info
A communique recently emerged from Vancouver, describing two solidarity actions against RBC branches in the city. According to the communique:
The RBC on Commercial drive and 1st ave was molotoved on the night of Nov 15, the other location on Nanaimo and Hastings had 12 windows smashed in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people and all indigenous people resisting colonialism and white suppremacy. They ignore peaceful protest, take a stand.
In Montreal, two actions against RBC branches occurred recently. In late December, windows were smashed at an RBC in the Notre-Dame-des-Grâces neighbourhood.
And again, on December 30th, another RBC was targeted in Montreal. From the communique:
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) funds Coastal GasLink (CGL), the pipeline fiercely opposed by Wet’suwet’en land defenders for over a decade. As we enter 2022, despite three RCMP raids, land defenders at Coyote Camp stand in the way of CGL drilling under the sacred headwaters of the Wedzin Kwa. RBC and all of CGL’s investors must understand that this pipeline will not be completed.
On the evening of December 30, 2021, more than a dozen windows were broken at the RBC head offices for Quebec, in the middle of downtown Montreal. No one was arrested.
As settlers on stolen lands, may we carry into the new year our resolve to develop practices of anti-colonial solidarity that cannot be ignored.