Articles

  • Article

    Mining Makes This World Possible

    In 2016, I joined a group of co-organizers and trusted friends at a vigil on the showroom floor at the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), the biggest mining convention in the world.

  • Article

    Insurgent Planning and the Rooster Town Blockade

    The Rooster Town Blockade was a land occupation in Winnipeg, Manitoba that lasted from July 14 through September 15, 2017. The blockade aimed to prevent the destruction of an area known as the Parker Wetlands by Gem Equities, a property development company that intended to construct a housing development on the site.

  • Article

    The Ground Beneath Our Feet

    Commoning In, Against, and Beyond the Mechanisms of Urban Accumulation

    We are sitting in Prinzessinnengarten, a 6,000 m2 garden adjacent
    a busy roundabout in the heart of Kreuzberg, Berlin,
    during our regular Commons Evening School. Behind the fence, a
    large construction site with three towering cranes looms overhead:
    construction is underway on “The Shelf,” a hub for tech-companies
    willing to pay astronomical rents. It is one of many in a cohort of
    developments by Pandion, a prominent real estate shark—astute in
    artwashing techniques—operating in the city.

  • Article

    Holograms, or, Learning from 70 Years of Resistance in Myanmar

    I remember June 2, 2012, the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited Mae Sot, on the Thai-Myanmar border, as one of the best days of my life. It was the kind of day where everything oozes exhilaration and reverie; simple acts like eating breakfast and getting dressed feel ceremonious. On such a monumental day, you carefully curate the comrades you want to be with, choosing those who’ll understand. I remember collecting my best friend, both of us barely able to speak as we walked into a crowd of thousands of other reverberating, nervous-laughing souls. Grinning ear-to-ear together, donning red National League for Democracy (nld) hats, we waited hours for her car to drive by. When it did, we seemed to dissolve with jubilation, clutching at our hearts and the people around us, fists pointed toward the sky and toward children perched on shoulders, children for whom the day meant everything, as we allowed ourselves to believe, for once, that things in Myanmar would get better. 

  • Article

    History Never Ended

    The Far-Right Revival, Trump, and the Anti-fascist Renaissance

    In the summer of 2017, Rebel Media, a Canadian crowd-funded website politically positioned to the right of Breitbart, posted the article, “Eight-Year Old Drag Queen the Product of Antifa Parenting?”2 This came on the heels of a slew of news articles associating everything and everyone with anti-fascism, from the actual anti-fascist “black bloc” to liberal professors unduly called “antifa” organizers. This pattern has become commonplace in right-wing media: use bait words like “communist” or “anarchist” to label aspects of the Left that are feared or scorned, then turn them into talking points and petitions for the far-Right to further their agenda. The liberal language of “extremism,” which was used previously to raise money by non-governmental organizations (like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union) to fight white supremacist terrorism, was turned on the Left.

  • Article

    Political Policing and the Surveillance Matrix

    Reflections for Organizers

    On May 18, 2010, a group calling themselves the fffc1 claimed responsibility for the firebombing of a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch in the Glebe, an upper-middle class neighbourhood in Ottawa. The incident occurred three months after the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and a month prior to the g8/g20 Summits in Toronto. The rbc was targeted by activists as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the bank’s role in funding the Tar Sands and the Olympics, as well as other socially and ecologically harmful investments.

    One month later, Matt Cicero—one of the co-authors of this article—and Roger Clément were arrested and charged with arson. Clément ultimately pleaded guilty and received a sentence of four years for arson and mischief over $5,000 for two separate actions against different rbc branches. Cicero’s charges were stayed and then dropped as the Crown did not have enough evidence to proceed with a trial. Additionally, part of Clément’s plea agreement with the Crown involved the Crown dropping the charges against Cicero.

  • Article

    Fallout from the June 2009 Protests in Iran

    Political Inconsistencies and Pressing Questions

    The fraudulent election results of June 2009 have now become a social fact in Iran. Fueled by a series of violent clampdowns by the security forces of the Iranian state, the convergence of dissenting elements within the Iranian population led to the development of a national opposition, popularly re…

  • Article

    Protection Without Police

    North American Community Responses to Violence in the 1970s and Today

    After successfully stopping an intruder from raping his sister, Antoine Dodson appeared on the local news warning the community, “obviously we have a rapist in Lincoln Park… hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your husband.” Addressing the assailant, Antoine warned, “we’re looking for you…

  • Article

    Blood and Soil

    Notes on Lierre Keith, Locavores, and Death Fetishism

    I Until recently, the terms of what we might call human species right – our perceived, autogenous R echt to appropriate, exploit, torment, and kill other sentient beings for any and all human purposes, forever – were seen as natural and immutable, and so went unquestioned. In the late 20th-centu…

  • Article

    Care as Colonialism

    Immigrant Health Workers at Canada’s Frontiers

    A tiny street in the northeastern reaches of Montréal is named for Denis Jamet. His role in Canada’s history is central, although the inconvenience of this truth has now relegated him to an obscure crescent in the city’s suburban periphery. In 1615, he was plucked from the upper echelons of the…