Roundtables

#WeBelieveSurvivors of Barrick Gold

Ellie Ade Kur & Robert Fajber

Toronto-based mining company Barrick Gold, whose abysmal record of human rights abuses and environmental degradation are documented at ProtestBarrick.net, is the largest gold mining company in the world. In April 2017, two women affected by Barrick’s Porgera Valley mine in Papua New Guinea…

From UTA Number Twenty

Union Renewal From the Margins: Perspectives on Organizing Precarious Workers

Adrie Naylor

Over the past few years, international migration has been a popular topic in the mainstream media in both Canada and the United States; however, this attention has often centred on asylum seekers, “queue-jumpers,” trafficking, racial profiling legislation and, less often, the tragic and…

From UTA Number Twelve

Pedagogy of Unrest: Education Struggles and the Prospect of an Autonomous University

e?lise Thorburn & David Hugill

Students and education workers have been at the forefront of the mass mobilizations that have swept across Europe over the past 18 months. As these movements have developed, their transnational character has become increasingly evident. Student movements have begun to draw connections between their…

From UTA Number Twelve

Abolitionist Practices, Reformist Moments

Rachel Herzing, Erica R. Meiners, and nuri nusrat

Despite campaign promises to restore “law and order,” the Trump administration might not be able to arrest the momentum of prison and policing reform movements, which intensified under the Obama administration with Black communities at the forefront of these struggles. However, across the US…

From UTA Number Nineteen

Seed, Skill, and Soil: Organizing for Food Justice. With Leticia Boahen, Rachelle Sauve, Vanessa Ling Yu, and Gabriel Allahdua

Gita Rao Madan

According to the United Nations, food security is achieved “when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” While this framework allows us to identify cases of food insecurity, it…

From UTA Number Nineteen

A Roundtable on Sex Work Politics and Prison Abolition : with Elene Lam, Chanelle Gallant, Robyn Maynard and Monica Forrester

Niloofar Golkar

The Bedford decision was announced on December 20, 2013 saw the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously strike down Canada’s three anti-sex work laws including laws prohibiting brothels, living on the avails of prostitution, and communicating in public with clients. Sex worker advocates argued that…

From UTA Number Eighteen (published Aug 2016)

From the Kitchen Table to the Barricade: Oral History & Social Change: with Nassim Elbardouh, Sarah Loose, and Dan Kerr

Scott Price

Oral history as both a methodology and as a practice seeks to document the stories, memories, and viewpoints of the people left out of archives and official records. As many marginalized groups and individuals can attest to, it is a rare experience to accurately represented official records are…

From UTA Number Seventeen

Incredible Breakthroughs & Major Challenges: A Roundtable on Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS): With Lisa Taraki, Chandni Desai, Max Ajl, and Lisa Hajjar

Greg Shupak

Inside the Canadian state and across much of the planet, the BDS movement is growing. Labour and student unions in Canada and the US have passed BDS resolutions in recent years. 

At the same time, BDS activists living inside the Canadian state face strong opposition from a ruling class with…

From UTA Number Seventeen

Stay Relevant, Stay Real, Stay Radical: A Roundtable on the Solidarity City Movement in Canada

Mac Scott and Sherry Thorpe

Four years ago, No One Is Illegal Toronto organizers reflected on Building a Sanctuary/Solidarity City in the pages of Upping the Anti issue 11. Since then, there have been victories and new efforts that bring momentum to the movement. On February 21, 2013, Toronto’s Solidarity City Network…

From UTA Number 16

Health Care as Social Justice Practice

Martha Roberts and Tom Warren

As neoliberalism continues to erode access to a publicly-funded health care system in Canada, people’s health organizers are working to improve the health of working class and marginalized communities. This budding movement seeks to defend and expand upon existing health and medical services. At…

From UTA Number 16

From Idle No More to Indigenous Nationhood

PJ Lilley and Jeff Shantz

The Canadian state, founded on colonization and genocide, has always faced diverse forms of resistance from Indigenous peoples. The Idle No More movement, which ignited in November 2012, was a convergence point for mobilization against ongoing colonial assaults by the Canadian state and…

From UTA Number Fifteen

Coming Out ?Against Apartheid: A Roundtable about Queer Solidarity with Palestine

Robyn Letson

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) is a Toronto-based group working in solidarity with Palestinians. The group formed in 2008 in response to Brand Israel, a public relations campaign that (among other things) paints Israel as a safe haven for queers in the Middle East. In 2010, QuAIA had to…

From UTA Number Thirteen

“Worst of the Worst”? : Queer Investments in Challenging Sex Offender Registries

Erica R. Meiners, Liam Michaud, ?Josh Pavan, & Bridget Simpson

Over the past 30 years, Canada and the United States have afforded select gays and lesbians more rights, both symbolic and substantial. Simultaneously, most mainstream gay and lesbian organizations have disengaged from the issues of prisons and policing. Resisting police brutality, pushing back…

From UTA Number Thirteen

Building Sanctuary City: NOII-Toronto on Non-Status Migrant Justice Organizing

Thomas Nail (Primary), Faria Kamal (Secondary), Syed Hussan (Third)

In 2006, Solidarity Across Borders, No One is Illegal, and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty organized a march from Montréal to Ottawa calling for the end of all deportations, detentions of immigrants and refugees, and security certificates, as well as the full and accessible regularization…

From UTA Number Eleven

Twenty Years of Struggle: A Retrospective on the “Oka Crisis”

Sarita Ahooja, Fred Burrill, and Cleve Higgins

Twenty years ago, the people of Kanehsatake and Kahna-wake rose up in defense of their ancestral lands, facing off against government officials, the police, and the Canadian Army. Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) communities have been on the forefront of resistance to colonialism in Canada, and the events…

From UTA Number Eleven

Occupy Everything: A Roundtable on US Student Occupations

Kelly Fritsch

A wave of occupations has swept the coasts of the United States. In December 2008, students at the New School for Social Research in New York City occupied their main building for three days while hundreds of supporters cheered outside. After winning some demands, they left and vowed to be back. On…

From UTA Number Ten

No Justice, No Peace!: A Roundtable with Ex-Cops on Resisting Police Repression

Samir Shaheen-Hussain

When Montreal police officer Jean-Loup Lapointe shot Fredy Villanueva to death on August 9, 2008, riots erupted, making headlines throughout the world. Montreal activists have organized against police violence and impunity for years, but the campaign stemming from Fredy’s killing caught…

From UTA Number Ten

Beyond the Margins: A Roundtable on Radical Publishing

Nicole Cohen

This roundtable assembles members of left publications based in Canada and the United States to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing radical media in the current political, economic, and cultural climate. Although Canadian Dimension, Media Co-op, Briarpatch, Left Turn, and Z Magazine

From UTA Number Ten

Going for Gold on Stolen Land: A Roundtable on Anti-Olympic Organizing

Maryann Abbs, Caelie Frampton, and Jessica Peart

The winter Olympic games will be held on unceded Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia) in February 2010.

“No Olympics on Stolen Native Land” has been a rallying cry for those opposing the 2010 winter games, on the basis of this sporting event’s connection to…

From UTA Number Nine

Out of the Shadows: Ten Year Reflections on Seattle

Kelly Fritsch

Between November 30 and December 3, 1999, a mass mobilization of demonstrators shut down the negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, Washington. The planning, execution, and fallout of the “Battle of Seattle” shifted the political landscape and transformed social…

From UTA Number Nine

You Can’t Jail the Spirit: The Movement to Free Political Prisoners

Bryan Doherty and Tom Keefer

All too often, when activists raise the issue of our movements’ Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, it is done with a sense of guilt for how they have suffered. That is not what this roundtable is about. Though the lack of support that PPs and POWs receive from contemporary movements is…

From UTA Number Five

Home and a Hard Place: A Roundtable on Migrant Labour

Kimiko Inouye

While migrant worker organizing has a long and established position in American labour history, the stories and struggles of migrant workers in Canada remain less well known. In recent years the Canadian state has created a series of labour policies that both ease the entry of temporary workers to…

From UTA Number Seven

Labour Solidarity for Palestine: Unions and the BDS Movement

Caitlin Hewitt-White and Clare O’Connor

In May 2008, the Toronto-based Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) organized a conference that brought together labour activists from across North America to develop strategies for labour union involvement in the international movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against…

From UTA Number Seven

Navigating the Crisis: A Study Groups Roundtable

Dan Berger and Chris Dixon

Our moment is marked by both crisis and possibility. Economies are plunging worldwide, and ecosystems are in undeniable danger. State repression is expanding, and the US, Canada, and Israel continue to wag wars of occupation. In this context, the recent US presidential election tapped into a…

From UTA Number Eight

A Culture of Resistance: Lessons Learned from the Student Liberation Action Movement

Suzy Subways

In March 1995, 20,000 students from City University of New York (CUNY) were attacked by police after surrounding city hall to protest a draconian tuition increase. This protest, organized by the CUNY Coalition Against the Cuts, marked an upsurge in student movement activity that continued into…

From UTA Number Eight

Eastern Promises: A Discussion with the Halifax Coalition Against Poverty

The Halifax Coalition Against Poverty (HCAP) is a grassroots, direct-action, anti-poverty organization active in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The largest city in Atlantic Canada, Halifax (and Nova Scotia more generally) is nevertheless part of the Canadian state’s periphery. It is a province whose…

From UTA Number Six

Roundtable on G8 Resistance: Perspectives for the Next Phase of Global Anti-capitalist Uprisings

Kriss Sol

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Seattle. It will also mark the first meeting of the G8 in Italy since 2001. During the time between the WTO meeting in 1999 and the G8 meeting in Genoa in 2001 everything seemed possible. Social justice movements everywhere seemed to be on the…

From UTA Number Six

Raising the Roof: Housing Activism in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Krisztina Kun

Of all the socio-economic problems facing residents of Vancouver, housing is the number one issue on almost everyone’s mind these days. Homelessness is rising at alarming rates, and nowhere is this felt more acutely than in Vancouver’s most impoverished neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside…

From UTA Number Four

Prison Abolition in Canada

Arising from and extending the life of slavery’s economy, the modern prison-industrial complex continues to earn the rage of abolitionists worldwide. Like anti-slavery abolitionists before them, prison or penal abolitionists seek to make redundant an institution most people - including many…

From UTA Number Four

The Six Nations Land Reclamation

Upping the Anti is pleased to bring you a roundtable discussing the important land reclamation being carried out by the Six Nations people of the Grand River Territory and the role of non-native solidarity work in that struggle. To begin with, Tom Keefer provides a brief overview of recent events…

From UTA Number Three

Fighting Borders: A Roundtable on Non-Status (Im)migrant Justice in Canada

Macdonald Scott

In June of 2005, Montreal’s Solidarity Across Borders (a broad coalition comprised of refugees, non-status immigrants, and their supporters) organized a walk from Montreal to Ottawa to push for four key demands: an end to all deportations, an end to the detentions of immigrants and refugees, an…

From UTA Number Two

Roundtable on Anti-War Organizing in Canada

Lesley J. Wood

This roundtable is an attempt to address some of the issues currently facing anti-war (and, more broadly, anti-occupation) organizing within the Canadian state. While obviously not a representative sample of the diverse collectives and organizations that comprise the Canadian anti-war movement,…

From UTA Number Two

Perspectives on Palestine Solidarity Organizing

Mordecai Briemberg, Rafeef Ziadah, Adam Hanieh, Samer Elatrash

With the brutal repression of Palestinian uprisings by the Israeli state now giving way to a more subtle, and less news-making, regime of occupation, Upping the Anti asked several of Canada’s most committed Palestine solidarity activists to discuss some of the obstacles and accomplishments they…

From UTA Number Two

The Question of Revolutionary Organization: with Robbie Mahood, Jeff Shantz and Indu Vashist

Edited by Aidan Conway

That we have recently seen an important radicalization can be registered in the rising appeal and relative rejuvenation of anti-capitalist politics and perspectives, particularly in the anti-globalization and anti-war movements. While there has been a notable downturn in the last couple of years,…

From UTA Number One

Anti-Oppression Politics in Anti-Capitalist Movements

with Junie Désil, Kirat Kaur, and Gary Kinsman

The modes of resistance and struggle that came out of liberation movements in the latter part of the 20th century gave rise to anti-oppression organizing and politics. Anti-oppression arose out of the left’s failure to develop a nuanced approach to questions of oppression and to consider various…

From UTA Number One