Montréal Contre-information
Montréal Contre-information
Montréal Contre-information
Nov 142023

From It’s Going Down

Excerpt from Canadian Tire Fire #65

Since Hamas’s October 7th attack, killing around 1,400 people and taking around 240 hostages, Israel has been carrying out a massive campaign of death and destruction on the Palestinian people through a brutal siege and military offensive. Thousands of Gazans have died, over 10,500 at last estimate, with thousands more estimated buried under the rubble of countless buildings collapsed by the bombings. Fuel has run out at many hospitals, worsening an already deadly crisis caused not only by the air and ground assault but also by the blocking of food, water, and fuel from entering the open-air prison.

The colonial violence of the Israeli state has intensified in the West Bank as well, where Israeli settlers have been given increasing access and encouragement to arm themselves. Between IDF and settler civilian attacks, at least 133 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed. Israel recently deported Palestinians working in Israel to Gaza, where they will be under constant threat of death, but only after imprisoning, beating, and interrogating many of them. In the face of all this, Western states like the US and Canada have been standing by Israel, publicly mourning the deaths of Israeli soldiers, shying away from providing any meaningful international pressure for a ceasefire, and creating an environment generally hostile to solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Across Canada, anarchists and others have been organizing to support Palestine from afar. So much has been happening there’s no way we can cover it all, but we’ve put together a summary of some of the efforts that have taken place over the last few weeks, as well as some reflections on proposals for anarchist interventions.


On October 30, coordinated office occupations began of 17 Canadian MPs demanding that Canada call for a ceasefire.

In addition to office occupations, MPs have been targeted in other ways. On November 1st, the entrance to Melanie Joly’s MP office was drenched in red paint and had a banner hung on it. As well, the list of the names of the Palestinians killed by Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza (produced by Palestine’s Health ministry) was left in front of the door of the building.


Weekly marches have been happening in many cities in Canada. In Vancouver, protests have met most Saturdays at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

In Montreal, protests have been been happening downtown at least once a week as well, with emergency protests called a few times as well. These demonstrations have consistently brought out thousands of people.

A recent Montreal demonstration on November 4th was attended by an estimated 50,000 people and coincided with a symbolic blockade of the CBC/ Radio Canada building.

Weekly marches have been occurring in Toronto, with the latest on November 4 including a 5 hour sit-in in Toronto’s financial district going late into the night.


In Toronto, INKAS Armored, a defense contractor with tied to the IDF, was picketed:

Early on the morning of October 30th, a crowd descended on INKAS Armored, a Toronto-based defence contractor with ties to the Israeli Defence Forces. Responding to a call from Palestinian trade unions for workers around the world to shut down exports to the Israeli military, the protesters set up picket lines to block access to the facility.

In Vancouver on November 3rd, anti-Zionist Jews held an action where they blocked a major artery to the Port of Vancouver, calling for an end to business as usual in the face of the assault on Gaza.

Anarchist Analyses of Palestine Solidarity

A few proposals have emerged recently for how anarchists and radicals should engage in this moment of international solidarity with Palestine. Because we imagine our readers will come across them, we’d like to offer a few reflections.

An anonymous submission to North Shore Counter-info has called for anarchists to escalate their interventions in the current moment. The article speaks, in part, to a desire for a specifically anarchist response to the unfolding crisis, one in which it is easy to feel powerless, and where the way to respond from a specific politic is at times unclear.

Commentary published in Montreal Counter-Info offers a different suggestion: for anarchists and the radical left to “prioritize the voice(s) of the people concerned and acknowledging their complete leadership of the ongoing resistance movement…accept a secondary role: to sometimes stay silent, to listen, and to learn.” It also asserts: “it is in no way our role to emphasize “complexity” and bring “nuance” to the situation.”

We believe that an anarchist response to this situation requires careful reflection, and identification of both the specific analysis and skillsets that anarchists bring. A meaningful anarchist response requires political clarity, which in turn requires time spent understanding the issue and building political analysis together. It requires reflecting on our range of tactics and skills, and what these can offer to an international solidarity movement. It also requires an honest discussion of strategy, developed with our comrades or adapted from other contexts. We can use a lens of effectiveness, or of what tactics we wish to see generalized, what skills we may be able to help foster and spread, but the why matters. Whatever words we use to describe it, we should assess both the intentions and likely effects of our interventions. Are we aiming to spread a message of solidarity in a new but still symbolic way, have we identified a chokepoint that allows for a more material intervention in the flow of money, information, or equipment to Israel and those supporting it, or are we doing something else entirely?

We should remain critical of our desire to ‘escalate’ – does this stem from a belief that ‘escalated’ actions (one-off or sustained) are more effective than marches and rallies in this moment, do they feel more politically fulfilling (to us, or to a broader movement), does taking on more risk mean we care more? How does acting with urgency support or hinder our goals? There are myriad good reasons to escalate, and it is worth being clear about what those reasons are, and whether the tactics we choose align with those reasons.

While the submission to North Shore Counter-info may give some anarchists a much needed push to begin reflecting on how to engage more thoughtfully and consciously in this context, its lack of specificity makes its message ring hollow. While hope is a critical part of any struggle, the vision for anarchists to “share food, tell stories, dance and sing songs, bask in the warmth of the sun, and marvel at the deep night sky” feels out of touch while the Gaza sky, day and night, is filled with explosions. Living free in Canada is not a suitable anarchist intervention in the absence of a direct proposal to use that freedom to affect something outside of ourselves.

While the commentary in Montreal Counter-Info proposes a model of solidarity that misses the opportunity for deeper understanding, unity, and empowerment, its assertion that showing up is never the wrong thing remains true: “While solidarity in words means little at the moment, solidarity in the streets will never be too much.” In this moment, we must not look away – with our eyes on Palestine, and a critical gaze toward every violent nation state, including our own, we can turn to each other and find a way forward.