You Gotta Have Faith: Resolving the Unholy Alliance Between the Left and Religion

On February 4, 2017, a national day of action was called across Canada. Entitled Against Islamophobia and White Supremacy, the action was originally called after the election of Donald Trump to address growing racism and Islamophobia in Canada. However, days before the rally, Alexandre Bissonnette…

From UTA Number Twenty

Building Everyday Anti-Fascism

Editorial Committee

Ibrahima Barry. Azzeddine Soufiane. Khaled Belkacemi. Mamadou Tanou Barry. Abdelkrim Hassane. Boubaker Thabti. On January 29, 2017, these six men were murdered while praying at Québec City’s Islamic Cultural Centre, and five others were seriously injured. While the horror of that night became…

From UTA Number Nineteen

Who Cares? : The Politics of Care in Radical Organizing

Editorial Committee

In many of today’s social movements, a common framework is taken up with regard to “self care.” In many ways, it seems as though self care is commonly understood as taking some form of “time-out” from the stresses of daily life within capitalism and organizing, especially from spaces that…

From UTA Number Eighteen (published Aug 2016)

What Are We Waiting For? Rethinking Internationalism and Localism

Editorial Committee

The one-year anniversary of Ali Mustafa’s death passed on March 15, 2015. The one-year mark allowed many in the community and around the world to reflect on his art, his words, and his insistence to be in spaces of open conflict.  As a new art exhibit opened in Toronto showcasing never before…

From UTA Number Seventeen

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of your Fist: In Memory of Ali Mustafa

Irina Ceric and Élise Thorburn

I know you are still standing in Tahrir,  where I saw you last. Tahrir was your address.
- Rachel Gee

On Sunday, March 29, 2014, Syrian regime forces dropped a barrel bomb in Hadariyeh, a rebel-held civilian area of Aleppo in Northern Syria. As rescue crews, firefighters, and journalists rushed…

From UTA Number 16

Notes on Spontaneity and Organization

Elise Thorburn, Adrie Naylor, and Robyn Letson

On March 18, 1848 silent processions marched through Berlin – a city of 450,000 that was over 85 percent working class – collecting their dead and gathering crowds. For the first time in days, the city was quiet as the sun set. There were no gunshots, no barricades, no army, no police; just the…

From UTA Number Fourteen

The Courtroom and the Street: Notes on Activist Encounters With the Law

Editorial Committee

Stepping out of a Toronto courthouse last April, Montreal-based activist Jaggi Singh addressed the media about his decision to plead guilty to “counselling to commit mischief” during Toronto’s anti-G20 protests in June 2010. Nearly a year after being arrested and eventually charged with…

From UTA Number Thirteen

The Right Desires: Their Base and Ours

UTA Editorial Committee

The moment in which we find ourselves is marked by promise and peril. Throughout the Middle East, popular uprisings are dramatically accelerating history and undermining a half-century’s worth of geopolitical certainties. Meanwhile, in Canada, the US, and Europe, right-wing politicians and…

From UTA Number Twelve

Behind the Mask: Violence and Representational Politics

UTA Editorial Committee

Particular moments can, like a lightning flash, illuminate the terrain upon which we struggle. The recent anti-G20 convergence in Toronto was one such moment. Under the glare of the world’s media, three social forces – the capitalist state, the social democratic left, and the small but active…

From UTA Number Eleven

With Eyes Wide Open: Notes on Crisis and Resistance Today

UTA Editorial Committee

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. For the last two years, the financial crisis and global recession have presented the left in North America with the best opportunity in recent memory to move beyond the defensive postures of “resistance.” Rocked by the most severe financial crisis since…

From UTA Number Ten

Seeing the Change We Want to Be

UTA Editorial Committee

As we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century, we are faced with an uncomfortable paradox. On the one hand, the spectre of catastrophe – economic, ecological, social, biological, and nuclear – looms as large as ever. Even in mainstream political discourse, it’s possible to…

From UTA Number Nine

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Social Democracy and Anti-Capitalist Renewal in English Canada

UTA Editorial Committee

While many radicals would rather not admit it, it’s difficult to talk about a specifically Canadian project of anti-capitalist renewal without considering the role that social democracy plays as either an obstacle to or a potential stepping stone for mass radicalization. As one of the most…

From UTA Number Five

The Moment of Danger: Catastrophe and Actualization

As radicals, we’re often accused of looking for trouble. The problem is, nowadays, we don’t have to look very far. Everywhere we turn, it seems like trouble has seized the initiative. It has stolen the wind from our sails. It has come looking for us. Under conditions like these, being radical…

From UTA Number Seven

In Praise of Good Maps: Theory, History, & the Signs of the Times

Except for graying professors encased in ivory towers and card-carrying members of anachronistic socialist sects, nobody really reads Lenin these days. Like wide-legged furry pants, he seems to have been relegated to the dustbin of history. Few will be worried, then, that the turnout at the 100th…

From UTA Number Six

Becoming the Enemy They Deserve: Organizational Questions for a New “New Left”

We are living in a moment of paradox. Prospects for rebuilding the radical left in North America seem as tentative as ever. At the same time, the face of our enemy has never been clearer. Capitalist class rule makes little attempt to hide its deprivation and hypocrisy. Imperialist wars of…

From UTA Number Four

Growing Pains: The Anti-Globalization Movement, Anti-Imperialism and the Politics of the United Front

Writing our most recent histories seems to bring to mind the reliable touchstones of literature. Let us say, then, that it was the best of times – and the worst of times. A little over five years ago, our world was turned upside down. All it took was two events: Québec City and September 11.

From UTA Number Three

Breaking the Impasse: Breaking the Impasse

In this issue of Upping the Anti we continue our attempt to engage with the radical political currents in Canada and around the world from which we have taken our name; the politics of anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, and anti-oppression. In our first editorial, we took as our starting point the…

From UTA Number Two

Upping the Anti: Upping the Anti

Our name Upping the Anti refers to our interest in engaging with three interwoven tendencies which have come to define much of the politics of today’s radical left in Canada: anti-capitalism, anti-oppression, and anti-imperialism. These three political tendencies, while overlapping and…

From UTA Number One

The Content and the Phrase: Myth and Hegemony Today

For the generation of radicals that grew up at the end of history, today’s economic crisis comes as a relief. Despite the hardship the collapse of global markets is producing, it remains consoling that we’ll never have to sit through another story about the inevitability of progress. And it’s…

From UTA Number Eight