Montréal Contre-information
Montréal Contre-information
Montréal Contre-information

On Crow, Fascist Drifts, and People Who Are Not Comrades

 Comments Off on On Crow, Fascist Drifts, and People Who Are Not Comrades
May 122023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

This article contains research taken from public sources, mostly from articles posted publicly by Crow himself. Our intention is not to dox Crow, but rather to provided a compilation, summary, and analysis of already easily available information. We are also not encouraging anyone to harass Crow, threaten him with violence, etc. We simply want to give other anarchists the information they need to keep him out of our organizing.

We should also flag here that this text quotes Crow (somewhat graphically) discussing sexual assault allegations. If that’s something you’d prefer not to read, we suggest skipping the section entitled “Crow on Women/Feminism.”

Crow/Anton Bueckert

In early April, CBC published a hit piece and an accompanying video about anarchists and their alleged participation in an attack on a CGL worksite in February 2022. In it, they quoted one Anton Bueckert (who many of us know as Crow—he uses both names on his blog), who had responded to a CBC journalist who had contacted him via email in February of this year. A lot of people have probably already heard some bad things about Crow—that he has treated people poorly, or not been good about security, and more recently, that he has made anti-vax conspiracy politics a central project.

Since the beginning of his Nevermore project, he has embraced anti-feminism, as as well as the conspiracy-laden, reactionary populism of the convoy movement. And, since January 2023, Crow has been more openly promoting antisemitic and anti-trans conspiracy theories on his personal blog. At the same time, the Nevermore project now lists as “contributors” a number of more prominent conspiracists with longstanding ties to red-brown/third-positionist platforms. We think these developments make it quite clear that Crow has made a definite break with any kind of meaningful anarchism, and with the liberatory principles that most of us understand as central to anarchy.

We are sharing this information because we see no space in our movements and communities for alliances with the far-right, or for the promotion of fascist/third-positionist ideas. We are using the term third-positionism somewhat broadly here to describe a phenomenon what in other contexts is also called querfrontism or red-brown alliances. That is, political ideologies that combine both ideas traditionally associated with far-left movements (e.g. anti-capitalism, anarchism, etc.) with ideas central to fascist or neo-fascist movements (e.g. antisemitism, reactionary populism, etc.)1 We think it is important that anarchists across North America understand the political trajectory that Crow seems to have taken, so that we are all able to make informed decisions about how to relate to him should he try to re-involve himself in anarchist stuff on this continent.

Some Background:

  • Crow used to be involved in anarchist scenes in Quebec and Ontario and has spent some time in BC. He has also been involved in anti-colonial and anarchist movements in the US.
  • When the COVID pandemic began, Crow started publishing Nevermore, a COVID conspiracy/anti-vax zine, and maintaining social media pages and a website associated with the publication.
  • A few years ago, some of us started paying attention to the increasing links between Crow’s Nevermore project, and European conspiracist publications/projects such as Winter Oak and The Stirrer. While in its early days Nevermore might have been slipping past some anarchists in Canada because the conspiracy theory and anti-vax content was somewhat less prominent, Winter Oak was already quite straightforwardly conspiracist, with its obsession with the Great Reset etc. Both began to merge their politics and to promote each other, along with public health misinformation such as lies about vaccines, and claims that ivermectin could cure COVID, etc.
  • Even when the main conspiracy theories promoted on Nevermore mostly revolved around COVID and “The Great Reset,” the project and its core contributors were still clearly flirting with some far-right ideas and figures. The project has long cited and promoted the work of people like James Corbett2 Jennifer Bilek,3 and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.4 It also hosts materials that make pretty explicit comparisons between the Holocaust and mRNA vaccines.5
  • Crow left Canada for Mexico in May 2021 but, on his trips back he has occasionally shown up in organizing contexts. On his blog, he mentions plans to return to Canada in May 2023. It is also possible that he could try to get more involved in anarchist scenes in the US again.
  • Following the publication of the CBC article last month, we found Crow’s personal blog and learned more about how his politics have developed. Crow himself connects his experience of “breaking taboos” by speaking out about “the COVID conspiracy” to his and other anarchists’ newfound willingness to confront other “taboos” including “trans ideology”, feminism, Marxism, and “Jewish banking”.

(For more on Crow’s intellectual hero, Paul Cudenec, and other contributors at Nevermore, please refer to the second addendum at the end of this article.)

Crow on Women/Feminism

Crow has developed very explicit men’s rights/anti-feminist politics. He has written multiple blog posts decrying feminism, saying that there’s no gender inequality in Canada in 2023. He happily predicts that soon the only feminists left will be “man-hating dykes who don’t want to compete with men for the sexual attention of bisexual women,” along with several other offensive stereotypes.

He’s got a whole lot of anger towards feminists and he isn’t at all afraid to show it. In his words: “You had a good thing going for yourselves, with your men so fucking wrapped around your finger that the pussywhipped faggots are apologizing for raising their voices while they’re clearing their shit out of the house that they worked decades paying for.”

Some of these opinions seem to be related to his story about leaving Montreal because of a rape accusation. We don’t know anything about the situation he’s referencing, but this is how he defends himself against that accusation: “The definition of rape is a penetrative assault, and I had never penetrated the crazy bitch who was lying about me for attention.”6

Crow on Trans Kids

Crow also hates trans kids. He believes and is publicly promoting the notion that Drag Queen Story Hours are queer people “forcing your ideology down the throats of children,” and that gender affirming health care is “mutilating the genitals of children and making them life-long dependents on pharmaceutical drugs that will undoubtedly cause all kinds of fucked-up side effects.” He claims to have no problem with trans adults—make of that what you will—but he seems to have fully signed on to the trans-people-are-groomers line.7

This is an unfortunate, if somewhat predictable, development. Nevermore has featured articles from The Stirrer (a UK TERF blog) since 2021, and Nevermore itself has referred its readers to Jennifer Bilek’s9 work on more than one occasion. In 2022, an article published on Nevermore claimed that“in an increasingly pornified culture, [Drag Queen Story Hour events] are leading to the sexualisation of children, removing innocence from their lives.”10 More recently, another article on the site claimed that drag “is a parody that plays on every regressive gender stereotype that’s put on women” and “reinforces gender stereotypes,” and then compared drag to blackface.11

Crow’s Antisemitism

Crow dedicates at least one whole post on his blog to promoting the conspiracy of Judeo-Bolshevism, the antisemitic theory that The Jews were behind the Russian Revolution and that communism is a Jewish conspiracy. In Crow’s words: “Marxism was a Rothschild-sponsored plot.12 This roundly disproven theory was not only central to Nazi propaganda in the lead-up to and during the Holocaust, but also spread throughout many parts of the West, both before and after WWII.

Crow’s antisemitic conspiracist thinking is not limited to buying into the theory of Judeo-Bolshevism. Unsurprisingly, he also thinks that woke ideology is silencing the “truth” that Jews control the economy. He writes: “Now, let me ask you this: If it could be proven beyond all reasonable doubt that some of the most powerful people in the world are Jewish bankers, would you really be that surprised? Or would it merely confirm something you’ve long suspected?”

He also compares Jewish religious beliefs with Nazi ideology: “Nazism was wholly incompatible with the original spirit of the Volkisch movement, because Nazism denies that Jews are part of the manifestation of the universal life force that the original Volkisch movement revered. But is not the Jewish belief that the Jews are God’s chosen people equally misguided?”13

Finally, given that Nevermore has already been engaging in some implicit Holocaust revisionism by suggesting that mRNA vaccines are essentially equivalent to the Holocaust, it probably shouldn’t surprise us that Crow himself seems to hold some questionable ideas about Jews and genocide. In his words:“given the fact that communists keep betraying and murdering us, why are [we] hiding the fact that Marx was, in all likelihood, an agent of the Rothschilds? This is a pretty big fucking deal, isnt it? Keep in mind that Im [sic] Mennonite. My ancestors fled Russia after the Bolshevik coup, and my [sic]. I am a survivor of genocide, and the people responsible for that genocide were Jewish bankers. And their descendents rule the world today, and were [sic] not supposed to talk about them because their co-religionists were also the victims of genocide.14

To summarize, Crow seems to think that: 1. Jewish bankers tried to exterminate his Mennonite ancestors. 2. These same Jewish bankers are still in power today. 3. The (supposedly Rothschild-funded) Soviets carried out a genocide equivalent to (if not greater than) the deliberate Nazi extermination of six million European Jews.15 4. Because of the Holocaust, people like Crow are silenced from talking about the power of the Jewish bankers who ostensibly rule the world.

In our opinion, this sounds an awful lot like the theory of “double genocide,” an idea that gained popularity in certain post-soviet European states (e.g. Lithuania) where there is often a vested interest in ignoring or obfuscating local collaboration in the extermination of Jews.16

Throughout this entire diatribe, Crow emphasizes over and over again that he does not hate Jewish people, and that he is definitely not an antisemite. Unfortunately though, it seems that the only things covered by his definition of antisemitism are statements such as “the Jewish nation is parasitic.” Given that our own understanding of antisemitism includes more than just overt hate speech, we’ll take his claims of not promoting antisemitism with a big grain of salt.17

Crow’s Exchanges with the CBC

Crow’s correspondence with the CBC journalist should also give anarchists pause about whether he should ever be privy to sensitive information. While the quote that the journalist used in the CBC article was surprisingly reasonable, the full content of what Crow sent to them over months of emailing back and forth is all over the map. He doesn’t seem to have shared any potentially damaging information like guesses on individuals who might have been involved, but he does vacillate between reasonable explanations of anarchist participation in anti-colonial struggle, tirades against woke ideology, personal threats against the journalists, and promotion of conspiracy theories.18 One particularly troubling aspect of this correspondence is that Crow seems to think that he holds all the cards in the exchange, is fully in charge, and is actually the one gaming the journalist. This kind of hubris can cause even “well-intentioned” anarchists to become unwitting collaborators with repression.

He has published his full exchanges with the journalist in a series of posts, which we encourage you to read for yourself: [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive]

Crow on Climate Change

As a final kicker, we’ll mention that Crow seems to be starting to believe that climate change is a hoax.19

Why Are We Writing This?

We’re sharing this information not because we want to spread mean-spirited gossip about someone for fun, and definitely not because we want to feed into Crow’s narrative that white men are being persecuted and pushed out of their communities by “wokeists.”

However, it is entirely conceivable that Crow will return to Canada (or go to the US) and try to get involved in anarchist organizing in some way again, and we want people to know what he’s been doing, saying, and thinking so they can assess whether or not they want him involved.

From our perspective, Crow has already drawn a clear line between himself and anarchists; he sees the vast majority of us and our communities as a “demented cult.20 We’ve watched his slow but accelerating slide into solidly third-positionist politics and we don’t think that he should be related to as a comrade.

Thankfully, as he’s been on the outs for a few years now, he doesn’t seem to have been able to do much damage to our movements yet. But anarchists should be aware of the risks of having him know anything about what we’re doing, and we all need to make sure his fucked up ideas can’t spread any further into our circles. Hopefully, seeing how this slide into third-positionism has happened for Crow will also better equip us to intervene earlier in the process for others.

First Addendum

Some thoughts on how schizophrenia relates to this story…

Something we learned in writing this piece is that Crow is, in his words: “a diagnosed schizophrenic.”21 While our intention is neither to pathologize Crow, nor to make excuses for his behaviour, we think it’s important to address this fact up front for a number of reasons.

Schizophrenia is an often misunderstood and heavily stigmatized condition. Unlike experiences such as depression, which are widely discussed and acknowledged in the anarchist scenes we’ve participated in, Schizophrenia is something that most anarchists have probably not experienced themselves or necessarily had many intimate, first-hand interactions with. That said, for some of the authors of this text, this topic happens to be a highly personal one; some of us have witnessed up close the impacts of schizophrenia on the lives (and deaths) of our loved ones. This is partly why we want to try to give this context the attention and nuance it deserves.

A tricky thing about schizophrenia is that its presentation shares many surface features with conspiracist beliefs. People with schizophrenia often experience paranoia, delusions of persecution, and see patterns that aren’t really there. In a world rife with conspiracy theories, it’s not surprising that for some people, these delusions are also informed by readily available cultural narratives. From the outside, all these things can be hard to tell apart.

There’s also a fair bit of literature that makes some clear distinctions between paranoid delusions and belief in popular conspiracy theories. Without getting into it too much here: experiencing clinical paranoia might make one more inclined to conspiracist beliefs and people who hold conspiracists beliefs might be statistically more likely to be experiencing clinical paranoia, but most conspiracists are not schizophrenic, and most schizophrenics are not conspiracy theorists. Many schizophrenics experience paranoid delusions but don’t also start hating feminists, Jews, and trans people, or courting the far-right.

We don’t have any special insight into how Crow experiences the world. We have a lot of empathy for people who live with schizophrenia, but we also don’t think that it makes sense to simply assume that this diagnosis is the root cause of Crow’s political trajectory. What feels most relevant to us (and why we still think its important to publish this text) is the very real impact these beliefs have on the world. People who are hurting, people whose paranoid beliefs might have some pretty understandable origins, can still end up doing quite real harm to the people around them.

In Crow’s case, we know him to be actively propagating some incredibly harmful ideas about women, about trans people, about Jews, and about his former anarchist comrades. He has been connecting with others who share similarly harmful beliefs and has built a growing media platform dedicated to promoting these ideas as widely as possible. At a certain point, the origin of these beliefs matters less than how they manifest themselves in the world.

Second Addendum

Paul Who?

Crow’s relationship with Paul Cudenec seems to have been essential to his increasingly reactionary drift. Crow describes Cudenec as “the mystic and philosopher increasingly recognized (albeit not by himself) as the world’s greatest living anarchist thinker.”

According to Crow:

“The truth is that were it not for Paul Cudenec, Nevermore would not exist, and I do not know what I would be doing with my life.

When I encountered his writing, everything changed for me. I knew what I had encountered. This was the antidote to the poison of post-modern nihilist bullshit which had infected the Left.”22

Because Crow clearly understands Cudenec’s influence as such a critical one, we have decided to give Cudenec and his ideas some extra attention for those who are curious…

Cudenec is a British anarchist who claims to have been active in anarchist movements in the UK since the late 90s. Apparently he has been living in France for the past several years. Along with a personal blog, he also maintains Winter Oak (which seems to be primarily a platform for publishing his own writing) and another website called “Organic Radicals.”

Paul Cudenec is deeply inspired by the work of René Guénon, an esoteric anti-modernist French philosopher, who founded the school of thought known as “Traditionalism” (which Guénon also called “perennialism”). Guénon “believed that certain ancient religions, including the Hindu Vedanta, Sufism, and medieval Catholicism, were repositories of common spiritual truths, revealed to mankind in the earliest age of the world, that were being wiped out by the rise of secular modernity in the West.”23

While Guénon himself was not necessarily a fascist, his philosophy went on to directly influence several notable fascist thinkers, and continues to inspire various currents of the European New Right. Most significant, perhaps, was Julius Evola, a proponent of esoteric, anti-modern fascism, who considered Guénon to be his “master.” Other acolytes included esoteric Nazi, Savitri Devi, and Aleksandr Dugin, the founder of “Eurasianism.”

Follwing Guénon, Cudenec has called his own philosophy “anarcho-perennialism.”24 It should be said here that Cudenec is, by his own declaration, certainly no fan of Evola. Rather, he seeks to rehabilitate ideas popular on the far-right (Guénonian Traditionalism, the German völkisch movement) by dismissing any suggestion that there might be some continuity between these philosophies and the more overtly fascistic schools of thought that they inspired.

Of course, we could probably argue forever about about whether examining such connections is at all helpful, or whether it is simply an exercise in guilt-by-association. Suffice to say that it would certainly be easier to take Cudenec’s disavowals of proximity to the far-right at face value if he were not also actively propagating far-right conspiracy theories about Jewish bankers and trans people. These disavowals are further undermined whenever Cudenec praises people like Mircea Eliade,25 Oswald Spengler,26 and Ernst Jünger.27

Cudenec is also a big fan of contemporary thinkers like Renaud Garcia, Jaques Luzi, and Alexis Escudero, who represent a faction of the “anti-industrial” French left that has become known for promoting the idea that trans people, reproductive healthcare, and the “gay lobby” are all tentacles of a global transhumanist plot.28 And let’s not forget Sylvia Guerini, an Italian TERF and conspiracist involved in the Resistenze al Nanomondo network, which has been criticized for its eager collaboration with fascists.29 Cudenec has been rubbing shoulder with these characters in real life too.30 In 2022, he travelled to Italy to attend the Three Days Against Techno-Sciences gathering, where he gave a talk called: “A developing evil: the malignant historical force behind the Great Reset.”31

While Winter Oak was embroiled in some minor conflict in 2018 for defending Assadists and promoting Syria conspiracies,32 conspiracism was not the majority content on the site until sometime in 2020, when Cudenec seems to have gone all-in on full-throttle conspiracy mongering. His writing now focuses almost entirely on The Great Reset, on The Rothschilds (who he believes are uniquely evil),33 on defending obscure historical antisemites like Hilaire Belloc,34 and on exposing how most other anarchists are actually funded by the ruling class, and have been sent to smear people like him who are resisting “the bio-technology industry’s transgender cult.”35

But wait, there’s (Never)more!

As mentioned, Winter Oak has been tightly integrated with Nevermore since pretty early on. Not only is Paul Cudenec Crow’s intellectual hero, and someone he considers a “true spiritual master,” but he was also one of the earliest contributors to Nevermore. But, while Cudenec seems to have kickstarted Crow’s interest in antisemitic Rothschild conspiracy theories, it’s clear that he’s looking at other sources as well. In a comment on one of his blog posts, he mentions one of these sources in particular: a book called None Dare Call it Conspiracy, which Crow says “blew his mind.” This is a 1971 pamphlet written by Gary Allen (an anti-communist John Birch Society affiliate), which argues that The Rothschilds are responsible for WWI, communism, Hitler, the Federal Reserve, and the Black Power movement.

Meanwhile, back at Nevermore, the project appears to have gained a number of additional contributors. We think it’s worth mentioning a few of them here, since they include James Corbett36 and an assortment of other conspiracists ranging in prominence:

Whitney Webb, for example, is a “journalist” for Mint Press who has just published a book arguing that Jeffrey Epstein was actually a Mossad honeypot sent to blackmail the American political class on behalf of the Jewish mafia.37 Others, like fringe Houston mayoral candidate Derrick Broze, might call themselves anarchists, but clearly mean something very different than we do by this word—something more along the lines of “I really hate the Federal Reserve and really like cryptocurrencies and meditation.”38

Another “anarchist” contributor is Nowick Gray, whose personal quarantine reading list39 features people like: David Icke, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck, Kevin Barret,40 plus plenty of content from the “Philosopher’s Stone” blog,41 and some crazy video about how UNDRIP/WEF is coming for your land because of #landback.

Gray and fellow Nevermore contributors Cory Morningstar, Whitney Webb and James Corbett also all write for the prominent red-brown platform, The Centre for Research on Globalization.42


Our point in discussing Crow’s influences and collaborators is to demonstrate that Crow hasn’t simply adopted some wingnut ideas in isolation. Rather, he’s embedded in a transnational echo chamber of conspiracists who have been embracing increasingly reactionary, transphobic, and antisemitic ideas. The other point is that the “anarcho-perennialism” that Crow now champions is just a rebranding of Traditionalism, and is fully compatible with many of the underpinnings of European New Right philosophies. That Crow continues to peddle these ideas as “anarchist” and tries to involve himself in anarchist movements also suggests that his projects have the possibility to become dangerous points of fascist entryism into our scenes.

This isn’t about smearing all green anarchists, anti-industrialists, or people who are into alternative spirituality as proto-fascists. We know many comrades who are inspired by these tendencies but who remain steadfast in their ethical, anarchist, and anti-fascist commitments. Nor is it about some bullshit horseshoe theory of politics. Rather, we think it’s important to pay attention to the variety of trajectories that can lead anarchists to decide to make common cause with the far-right, whether that’s uncritical populism, transphobia masquerading as a critique of techno-industrialism, or the anti-imperialism of fools. That so many of these tendencies seem to converge in the conspiracist quagmire of far-right internet forums should tell us something about conspiracism’s cross-tendency appeal, and should highlight the need to develop better firewalls against red-brown alliances and more robust analyses of power.


1If you are interested in a deeper dive into the history of these ideas, this remains one of the best overviews of red-brown alliances that we are aware of: [archive]

2A long-time conspiracy theorist and early adopter of Soros conspiracies who believes that “Hitler was a Rothschild” and seems to see shadowy Jewish hands behind everything from WWI to 9/11.

3A particularly vitriolic TERF whose main contribution to the discourse seems to be promoting the idea that George Soros and a variety of other wealthy Jewish financiers are secretly behind “the trans agenda.”

For more on Bilek: [archive] [archive]

4A far-right, conspiracist, Catholic bishop who rages against the “globalists religion” of the “Davos Sanhedrin” and believes (among other things) that Bill Gates and George Soros are the true architects of “the ethnic substitution plan in Europe,” and that the current Pope is beholden to the “homosexual agenda of the New World Order.” [archive] [archive] [archive]

8Removed – see correction.

9See footnote #3 for more information on Bilek. [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive] 12109277 [archive]

15Crow says: “At least as many Russians died as a direct result of de-Kulakization as Jews died in the Holocaust. Im going to go out on a limb and say that it was probably a lot more. In any case, Stalin killed more people than Hitler, and we havent even talked about the greatest mass murderer of all time, Mao, which was of course also a Marxist.”

We should also note that we are definitely not trying to minimize the horrors wrought upon the world by Stalinism. This said, we do think that it’s important to put Crow’s rhetoric around genocide in context. The Mennonites certainly suffered from religious persecution in the USSR. However, unlike in the case of the Holodomor, or the deportations of the Chechens and Ingush, we are unaware of any scholarly literature that discusses this persecution as a genocide, least of all as one carried out by “Jewish bankers.”

In trying to inform ourselves about this topic, what we found instead was a far messier history of Mennonite participation in the Holocaust. As historian Ben Goossen puts it:

Mennonite experiences of and involvement in the Holocaust differed widely. We know that a handful of individuals actively participated as executioners and concentration camp guards. We also know that a substantial percentage of Europe’s Mennonites benefited from and often sympathized with aspects of Nazism. Around 120,000 people, or about one-fourth of the denomination worldwide, lived under Nazi rule at the height of Hitler’s expansionism. Generally categorized as members of the Aryan racial elite, Mennonites sometimes received goods taken from murdered Jews or moved into their vacant homes. Others leased slave labor for their farms and factories, or otherwise profited from genocide. […]

Arguably more impactful than Mennonites’ own actions, however, was the denomination’s enrollment in Nazi propaganda. In 1929, popular opinion had pressured German politicians to help approximately 4,000 of the Mennonite refugees in Moscow relocate to Germany. The event became a founding myth of the Third Reich.”

See: [archive] [archive]

17If you *are* confused about how to think about antisemitism, Mathew N. Lyons offers a pretty good overview here: [archive]

18Incidentally, this also highlights some more questions about the “journalistic integrity” of Rob Brown’s reporting, whose CBC story failed to mention that the source he was quoting not only seems to have a fairly tenuous grasp on reality, but was also actively threatening him. Not that as anarchists we should spend too much time getting worked up about the CBC…but still… [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive]

25A Romanian religious historian, notable for his association with the Iron Guard and his later involvement with the French Nouvelle Droite.


Weitzman, Mark. 2020. “‘One Knows the Tree by the Fruit That It Bears:’ Mircea Eliade’s Influence on Current Far-Right Ideology.” [archive] [archive]

26A proto-fascist thinker of Germany’s “Conservative Revolution” whose ideas were profoundly influential on the Nazi party.

See Vagabond’s article for more information on Spengler and the Conservative Revolution: [archive]

27Another of the “Conservative Revolutionaries.” Jünger has a complicated and much contested legacy but has remained inspiring to many in the New Right.

28For more information on this tendency in France: [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive] [archive]

32See: [archive] [archive]

33He has written an entire book on the subject: Enemies of the People: The Rothschilds and their Corrupt Global Empire. This is also one of the books that Crow cites as being particularly formative in opening his eyes to the “truth” about The Rothschilds. [archive] [archive]

36See footnote #2 for more information on Corbett. [archive] [archive] [archive]

40A holocaust denier.

41This blog has some truly mind-boggling, neo-nazi level antisemitism on it.

42Again, see Vagabond’s excellent article for more information on Global Research.

15/05/2023 – Correction: In the original version of this text we wrote that the Stirrer was a blog run by Helen Steel. It has since come to our attention that this is not correct. We apologize for any confusion that this has caused.

Bash Back! Is Back: Reviving an Insurrectionary Queer Network (An Interview)

 Comments Off on Bash Back! Is Back: Reviving an Insurrectionary Queer Network (An Interview)
May 022023

From CrimethInc.

In 2007, in the course of preparations for actions against the 2008 Republican National Convention, an insurrectionary network of queer anarchists formed under the umbrella Bash Back! Over the following three years, this network participated in a vibrant array of confrontations, organizing efforts, and publications, expanding and intensifying the struggle against sex and gender normativity. Today, as fascists and other bigots renew their assault on queer and trans people and anarchists fight back, there is an urgent need for renewed coordination and innovation. In this context, participants in the original Bash Back! network have called for a new Bash Back! convergence in September 2023.

As they put it,

The intervening years have been marked by intensification—of crisis, alienation, loss, and struggle. The right wing no longer hides behind euphemisms: they want to exterminate trans and queer people. The left offers only false solutions: vote, donate, assimilate. A decade of representation, symbolic legal victories, social media activism, and mass-market saturation has left us worse off by all metrics. Our fair-weather friends won’t save us from the consequences of their strategy of empty visibility. The inescapable conclusion is that we must come together to protect ourselves.

History confirms the queer legacy of building connection in a world that hates us, the legacy of riotous joy—the legacy of bashing back. The attacks will continue on our nightclubs, forests, story hours, and siblings. To hold on, we need spaces—underground if necessary—to re-encounter each other, spaces to remember, build, share, and conspire.

To explore the legacy of Bash Back! and what it has to offer today, we conducted the following interview with previous participants in Bash Back! who are helping to organize the upcoming convergence.

Tell us about the gathering in September. What can people do to participate or contribute?

The 2023 Bash Back! Convergence will be taking place in Chicago from September 8-11. We’re inviting all of our queer comrades for a weekend of building connection, learning from each other, and developing new strategies and tactics to fight against the social order. We are organizing this because there have been so many inspiring examples of queer people bashing back against bigots—for example, the reactionaries who try to shut down drag shows. However, there is still a need for increased cohesion and strategizing, especially in light of the escalating attacks against queer and trans people across the country and across the world. Of course, these attacks come in the context of a deeply-rooted and escalating crisis of capital more generally and a climate crisis that deepens with every passing day.

More specifically, there is an obvious need to build anti-capitalist, anti-statist, and anti-assimilationist militant queer tendency. The liberals and leftists have pushed assimilation so that queer and trans people can be used as political pawns, to be sacrificed when electorally convenient. Any gains in the culture war have led only to the subsumption of queerness to the logic of capital and the false freedom of consumer politics.

In terms of what folks can do to participate or contribute, the main thing right now is that we are looking for folks to propose programming for the convergence. We’re accepting proposals until June 20. Beyond programming, the biggest thing that people can do is to start building relationships and affinities with people in their communities. That’s always been the essence of Bash Back!; it’s never been a centralized organization but rather a network to share ideas and camaraderie.

Bash Back! originated in the run-up to the 2008 Republican National Convention. Did the fact that it began largely in the Midwest rather than on the coasts influence its character and the way that it developed?

Bash Back!’s origins are rooted in a context that, a decade and a half later, seems worlds away. Two things, I think, were central to the political climate that gave rise to Bash Back!: the summit-hopping method of protest and a surge in the popularity of insurrectionary anarchism within the anarchist/radical milieu at the time. By summit-hopping, I mean the large demonstrations against the gatherings of capitalists, such as the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle in 1999 and the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, G8, and G20 throughout the 2000s. In hindsight, these protests were dramatic and high-profile, but largely symbolic. Then you had insurrectionary anarchism becoming more popular—especially, I think, with people who had been politicized or radicalized by the anti-war movement but also saw that movement for the utter failure that it was. In terms of tactics, the focus was on affinity groups and black blocs.

In that context, the original idea for Bash Back! came out of the organizing that was going on to disrupt the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) in 2008. A strategy session in Milwaukee in 2007 gave rise to the idea of a queer/trans blockade of the RNC, and Bash Back! grew from that initial idea.

One of the most significant things about the original iteration of Bash Back! is that it was largely a product of anarchists from the Midwest. At the time, a lot of the more visible “radical” or progressive queer activism was coming from the coasts, with established activist scenes that often stifled new ideas or were under the stranglehold of the ideology of non-violence. There was also a degree of cultural elitism, in which the assumption was that being a “radical queer” had to happen in the big, liberal, coastal cities. So Bash Back!, coming out of the Midwest and not beholden to any established “radical queer” scenes, opened up new possibilities for militance, especially in direct resistance to the extremely anti-queer churches, politicians, and other assorted gay-bashers of that time.

Recount some of the major events, struggles, and court cases in the first phase of Bash Back!

This is a tough question to answer, because there was so much that happened across the country because of Bash Back! But a few things that I think are important to highlight:

  • DNC/RNC 2008: the nascent Bash Back! network was involved in protests in Denver (for the Democratic National Convention) and the Twin Cities (for the Republican National Convention)
  • Pittsburgh 2009: Bash Back! held a rowdy march in Pittsburgh during the G20 Summit.
  • Mt. Hope Church: In November 2008, Bash Back! people disrupted a Sunday service at a notoriously anti-gay megachurch in Lansing, Michigan. This led to a lawsuit by the Alliance Defending Freedom against Bash Back! that, after a several-year legal fight, resulted in a permanent injunction against church disruptions.
  • Avenge Duanna campaign: In February 2008, Duanna Johnson, a black trans woman, was beaten by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee. She was murdered in November 2008, presumably by the cops that beat her months prior. This sparked a campaign in Memphis to avenge her death.

Participants in Bash Back! Lansing, interviewed in Details magazine after disrupting the service at a homophobic mega-church.

In addition, Bash Back! organized three convergences:

  • Chicago 2008: this focused on planning actions around the DNC/RNC in the summer of 2008.
  • Chicago 2009: this focused more on developing Bash Back! as a tendency, building connections, and sharpening our attacks on the social order. A street march in Boystown, the gay neighborhood in Chicago, was attacked by police. This caused a bunch of conflict within the convergence between those who fought back against the police and liberal/identity-politics types who pushed for non-violence in the face of police violence.
  • Denver 2010: this was the last convergence of the original iteration of Bash Back!; the same liberal/identity politics vs. queer insurrection divide was the elephant in the room for this entire convergence. These tensions were as palpable as they were insurmountable, and so Bash Back!, in its original iteration, was declared dead.

However, these highlights do not even scratch the surface of what Bash Back! did. Chapters across the country were involved in countless acts of vandalism, numerous street confrontations with police, protests against assimilationists and exterminationists, physically bashing bigots, and innumerable acts of propaganda. These things are the legacy of Bash Back!

Promotion for the 2010 Bash Back! convergence in Denver, Colorado.

Tell us how Bash Back! worked from existing identity politics frameworks in the late 2000s, but also pushed against them.

When Bash Back! was starting, the ideology of non-violence had a stranglehold on the activist milieu. In terms of identity politics, there was an assumption among many of these liberal/“radical” activists that any confrontation was inevitably pushed by macho, middle/upper class straight white men and thus was racist/sexist/homophobic because queer/trans people, women, and people of color would take the brunt of police repression and violence. Bash Back! pushed directly against that narrative; that was a big part of the drama around the Chicago 2009 convergence. Some people really could not believe that queer/trans people, poor people, women, and people of color had agency to fight cops or be more confrontational. Part of Bash Back!’s appeal was that marginalized people were unapologetically fighting back in a concrete way. In a very practical sense, Bash Back! was pro-violence, and people were not used to hearing this perspective from marginalized groups.

Further, Bash Back! always took a stance against assimilation and liberal identity politics that saw social/political/economic representation as an end goal. So back when issues like gay marriage and military service were the big issues for mainstream LGBT organizations, Bash Back! was firmly opposed to this, and even targeted groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the Stonewall Democrats for being assimilationists or for selling out trans people for political gain.

A Bash Back! poster opposing the assimilationist campaign to make the military more inclusive.

On a more abstract level, I think that competing approaches to identity were actually a central part of why the original iteration of Bash Back! dissolved. There was a spectrum of views about identity in Bash Back! On one hand, you had a tendency influenced heavily by queer nihilism and insurrectionary anarchism; for this camp, queer identity was an identity of opposition to the capitalist social order and its heteronormativity. Then, on the other hand, there was a more positive approach to queer identity; positive in the sense that it was not based on political opposition to the social order but instead more tied to an individual’s experience of gender/sexuality. Because Bash Back! was an identity-based organization, these competing understandings of queerness led to competing visions for Bash Back!, which ultimately dissolved the network.

What has changed since the heyday of the original network? What does the Bash Back! model have to offer today?

The original Bash Back! started just before the economic crisis in 2008. It feels like we have been moving from crisis to crisis since then—and on top of that, the crises are intensifying. I think that’s probably the biggest change since Bash Back! first started; the permanence of crisis and the sort of hopelessness about the future hadn’t really set in at that time. It used to be controversial to say that things were going to keep getting worse and that we effectively had no future; now, that’s the common understanding of the plight of millennials/Generation Z. Between the seemingly permanent crisis of capitalism and the ongoing climate disaster, things seem bleaker now than they did before.

Bash Back! participating in anti-fascist action at a time of lower social conflict.

But on the other hand, I think that many of the ideas that were being popularized not only in Bash Back! but also in the anarchist milieu more broadly in that era have gained traction in a way that opens up a lot of potential. For example, the concept of prison abolition and the idea of mutual aid have spread into the broader discourse. Labor organizing has also grown in sectors that seemed unreachable previously, and it seems like that has led to a rise in class consciousness as well. More along the focus of Bash Back!, the idea of people being non-binary or genderqueer has also moved into the mainstream in a way that I at least would not have anticipated, given the social climate that Bash Back! originally existed in.

Without diving too much into dry economic analysis, I think it’s indisputable that the contradictions of capitalism have become more glaringly obvious in recent years. And history pretty clearly shows us that crises in capitalism translate to an increase in reactionary politics and repression. Historically, we can look to the example of Magnus Hirschfeld, who was an early advocate for queer and trans people in Berlin in the 1930s. People know that Nazis burned books; what’s often lost is that they burned the library of Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, which was perhaps the first organization specifically advocating for and supporting queer and trans people. So there is a clear history of queer and trans people being the first targets during reactionary moments in history.

A poster for the first Bash Back! convergence in 2008.

Ultimately, that’s what makes the current moment so important and where I think that we can draw on the lessons from the initial era of Bash Back! I think that the fundamental strength of the Bash Back! network was that it was focused on building power not only outside of but in staunch opposition to the state and capitalism. This is really important, because the selling point of the Democratic Party in recent years has been that things will be even worse if Republicans are in control. And that covers up the fact that the Democratic Party is ultimately a party of capitalism; they have no capacity or will to make things better for people. All they will offer is a sort of managed descent into fascism, and the price is assimilation. The alternative, of course, is the outright exterminationist approach of the Republicans.

Bash Back! rejected the assimilationist, statist, and capitalist politics of the mainstream LGBT organizations at that time and focused on queer people building community among comrades, practicing mutual aid and solidarity, and attacking the state, capitalists, and reactionaries. It’s the unapologetic and uncompromising militance that was, I think, the most important contribution of Bash Back! and should be the focus going forward.

How can people get involved? What are some tactics and strategies people can employ in their own communities on an ongoing basis, so this will not just be a convergence but the emergence of a new wave of momentum throughout the continent?

It’s hard to say exactly how to get involved with Bash Back!. Obviously, we want people to come to the convergence and share ideas, make connections, and build bonds of solidarity. But in terms of how to get involved, there is no really easy answer. Part of what made Bash Back! so important was that it was a fairly loose network with autonomous chapters doing what made sense for the people involved in those chapters to do locally.

But generally speaking, Bash Back! has focused on confronting bigots, mutual aid, self-defense, and propaganda. Fundamentally, there has to be an understanding that the state is not going to protect us, that politicians will not protect us, that we have to build solidarity within our communities as a matter of survival. For that reason, building trust and camaraderie is essential. Confronting those who would destroy us is essential. And in a world that seeks to keep us miserable, expressions and celebrations of queer joy are essential.

As for guidance, the old Bash Back! Points of Unity are a good starting point:

  1. Fight for liberation. Nothing more, nothing less. State recognition in the form of oppressive institutions such as marriage and militarism are not steps toward liberation but rather towards heteronormative assimilation.
  2. A rejection of capitalism, imperialism, and all forms of state power.
  3. Actively oppose oppression both in and out of the “movement.” Racism, Patriarchy, Heterosexism, Sexism, Transphobia, and all oppressive behavior is not to be tolerated.
  4. Respect a diversity of tactics in the struggle for liberation. Do not solely condemn an action on the grounds that the state deems it to be illegal.

You too can be Bash Back! Organize a chapter and take action in your community!

Further Reading

Report Back on the April 2, 2023, Community Self-Defense Action in Sainte-Catherine

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Apr 042023

From Montréal Antifasciste

Conspiracy theorists, the far right, and a few neo-Nazis got together to intimidate drags queens;
Standing shoulder to shoulder, the LGBTQ+ community and anti-fascists drew a line and resisted these despicable trolls;
In what has become a tradition, the far right found itself isolated at the far end of a parking lot…


The drag artist Barbada de Barbades was invited by the municipality of Sainte-Catherine, on Montréal’s south shore, to host a drag queen story hour on April 2, 2023, for twenty interested families from the area, the key goals being to encourage children to read, to demystify gender diversity, and to promote openness to difference. The event was to take place at the municipal library in Sainte-Catherine.

Barbada has hosted story hours since 2016 (and she has not been the only drag queen to do so), but it is only in recent years —and in a particularly apparent way in recent months— that a section of the local far-right adjacent conspiracy theory milieu has had a bee in its bonnet about the issue, under the combined influence of the conservative evangelical right and the anti-protocol conspiracy milieu that coalesced around the so-called “freedom convoy.” This anti-drag hysteria is one element in a larger movement meant to demonize sexual and gender identity minorities, trans identities in particular, on the basis of a variety of conspiracy fantasies, including, for example, the “grooming panic,” “pedosatanism” (a key theme in the QAnon milieu), and, in some particularly extreme cases, the racist and antisemitic “great replacement” theory. This fundamentally far-right transphobic movement has, at this point, made legislative and institutional headway in the US.

In this case, it was the anti-protocol militant François Amalega Bitondo, best known for his shenanigans during the COVID-19 pandemic, who decided to lead the charge against the drag queen story hour, because opposition to health measures is no longer getting him the attention he’s clearly grown accustomed to. It seems that Amalega has grown increasingly fanatical in recent years, particularly as a result of his contact with the evangelists at Théovox and André Pitre (Lux Média), a key source of disinformation. He has become pro-Trump, pro-Putin, and has generally drunk the various flavours of conspiratorial Kool-Aid available, including the anti-drag hysteria, which is explicitly constructed around transphobic rhetoric. In recent weeks, he mobilized his followers to demonstrate against Barbada’s story hour in Sainte-Catherine. With a handful of his sympathizers, he also unsuccessfully tried to disrupt a story hour at the Westmount library on March 25.

In the face of the imminent threat posed by this reactionary movement, which in the final analysis wants to marginalize and suppress their communities, an ad hoc network of queer and trans antifascists and their allies decided to organize a community defense intervention in Sainte-Catherine. At the same time, other initiatives were spontaneously organized on social media to mount a festive counterforce in support of drag queens and against the conspiracy theorists and haters.

A week before the event, Barbada and her entourage indicated that they would prefer no response of any type against the anti-drag demonstration, labouring under the peculiar illusion that simply ignoring this movement will naturally lead to it dissipating and fading away. As we have often said, when it comes to fascist and fascist-adjacent movements, magic thinking doesn’t work. The organizer of the “OUI aux DRAGS” (Yes to Drag Queens) demonstration nonetheless chose to respect Barbada’s request and cancel her event. In reaction to this evasion, an anonymous statement was published two days before the event and circulated by the P!nk Bloc and Montréal Antifasciste addressing why this analysis is problematic and confirming that the self-defense mobilization would be going forward.

The Day Came. . .

Story hour was planned for 10:00 a.m. Amalega and his trolls called for a demonstration at the community center where the library is located at 9:30 a.m. Amalega arrived at 8:45 a.m. and parked his car at a small strip mall across the street from the community center. He was immediately encircled and blocked by a dozen militants, who prevented him from crossing the street and effectively trapped him in the parking lot. On his webcast, he claims he was the “victim of aggression” and “feared for his life,” but the video clearly shows that the militants simply blocked his way and demanded that he leave. This face-off lasted for a few minutes, as a growing number of anti-drag demonstrators gathered, (at that point, one particularly aggressive sympathizer decided to play the big man and needed a gentle reminder not to cross the line). Meanwhile, the community defense contingent was also growing, and the police from MRC Rousillon arrived and separated the two groups.

In the following half hour, the two camps continued to grow, and the confrontation gradually became static. The core of the anti-drag demonstration gathered around Amalega remained confined to a sidewalk behind a police line for two hours. While a section of the self-defense demonstration surrounded this core group, others circulated in the neighbourhood to greet the anti-drag demonstrators and make it clear to them that they were in a hostile environment. There were a few minor skirmishes but nothing serious. Over time, both sides gained reinforcements. There were a number of vehicles in the parking lot decorated with the nauseating flags and ornaments familiar from the conspiracy theorists of the “freedom convoy,” and a bus chartered for the event arrived with around thirty community defenders, who brought snacks and coffee, festive costuming accoutrements, and a sound system. For the subsequent hour and half, the defensive bloc took on a festive, colourful, and irreverent quality, with comrades dancing in the street to popular songs and Disney classics, while the mortified anti-drag demonstrators remained trapped on their bit of sidewalk.

It’s worth noting that the conspiracy theory milieu was largely spared having to deal with anti-fascists during the last three years of the pandemic. In spite of the close and often explicit proximity of the far right to conspiracy theory fantasies, the challenges raised by the health measures had to do with personal decisions, and responding to people and vaguely defined organizations whose key shortcoming is to adhere to anti-scientific nonsense is complicated and far from straightforward. Nonetheless, a line is crossed when these conspiracy theory fantasies directly target our communities and compromise our security, whether in the short-, medium-, or long-term, and that is the line the anti-drag movement has crossed with its ridiculous panic, and it is absolutely essential to deliver the message that queer and trans communities will defend themselves in the face of this intimidation. There should be no doubt: if the queerphobes/transphobes persist in their demonization exercise, they will always come face to face with us. Queers bash back, darling. . .

Finally, at around 11:00 a.m., the information began to circulate that the story hour had been moved to another municipal building and had unfolded as planned undisturbed. Anyway you look at it, the anti-drag contingent lost, and the community defenders can feel a certain pride in their strategic victory.

The Neo-Nazis Came Out to Play. . .

The media reported that there were altercations and arrests, and that chemical irritants were used. What they didn’t say, however, was that these altercations involved individuals clearly identified with the most radical fringe of the far right—a handful of neo-Nazis and white supremacists we are entirely familiar with.

As well as a few veterans from the glory days of the national-populist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic milieu (2017–2019), including Michel Éthier and Luc Desjardins (La Meute, Storm Alliance, Front patriotique du Québec, gilets jaunes/Vague bleue, etc.) and the disinformation commander in chief André Pitre (Lux Média), some surprise guests made an appearance.

At a certain point, three individuals had the questionable idea that they would plant themselves in the middle of the defensive contingent and unfurl a banner that read “sales pédos hors du Québec” (filthy pedos out of Québec). While ultimately it is entirely noble to denounce and combat pedophilia, in this instance one can safely presume that these dubious characters were not there with good intentions, and as a result their banner was immediately confiscated, which led to some pushing and shoving when one of them tried to reclaim it. He got knocked around a bit, so the police intervened to end the altercation and escort the three intruders off to the side at some distance, but another altercation occurred, which led to the arrest of one of these irritating individuals. When examining the photos of the people in question, comrades identified the leader of the local White Lives Matter network, which was the topic of a Montréal Antifasciste article in March 2022.

The banner unfurled by whites supremacists at the anti-drag protest in Sainte-Catherine, on April 2 2023, and quickly confiscated by antifascists.
On the left, Raphaël Dinucci St-Hilaire, a leader of the whites supremacist project White Lives Matter; on the right, someone we believe to be Bruno Lacasse-Freeman, an (ex-)militant of the Soldiers of Odin.

The banner unfurled by whites supremacists at the anti-drag protest in Sainte-Catherine, on April 2 2023, and quickly confiscated by antifascists.

On the left, Raphaël Dinucci St-Hilaire, a leader of the whites supremacist project White Lives Matter; on the right, someone we believe to be Bruno Lacasse-Freeman, an (ex-)militant of the Soldiers of Odin.

This very active white supremacist militant, whom, up to this point, we have only identified by his Telegram sobriquet “Whitey,” is a Laval resident named Raphaël Dinucci St-Hilaire. This little neo-Nazi twerp got his warning shot last winter and has had an entire year’s reprieve to give up his militant activities, but instead he has redoubled his efforts, putting up hundreds of white supremacist stickers in the Montréal area and participating in banner drops. He made a fatal error in Sainte-Catherine. The gloves are off, and Mr. Dinucci can take it for granted that the Montréal anti-fascist community’s patience with him has run out.

Raphaël Dinucci St-Hilaire, a leader of White Lives Matter Québec.

As to his comrade, who was arrested, we can’t be a 100 percent certain, but we believe he is a (former) member of the Soldiers of Odin, Bruno Lacasse-Freeman, aka “Burn SOO,” who was never at pains to disguise his white supremacist proclivities.

Bruno Lacasse-Freeman, aka« Burn SOO », who we believe is the white supremacist that was briefly arrested by police during the anti-drag protest on April 2, 2023.

That, however, wasn’t the last surprise! A few minutes later, another neo-Nazi, and not the least of them, showed up at the edge of the demonstration: none other than Sylvain Marcoux, a special target of antifascist surveillance activities (a raging antisemite, a great admirer of Adolf Hitler and Adrien Arcand, a close associate of the Fédération des Québécois de souche, the leader of the Parti nationaliste chrétien, etc.) in the company of two young adults. He was intercepted and politely encouraged to join the anti-drag contingent to avoid any escalation. He chose instead to strut his stuff and increase the tension, which didn’t take long. He met some opposition and started flailing about like a madman before finally hitting a comrade, after which he ate a knuckle sandwich. The police intervened with pepper spray and detained Marcoux, who it seems was later released with no charges.

The Nationalist Identitarian -> Conspiracy Theory -> Queerphobe Hatred Pipeline

In a video released several hours after the event, the doddering fascist and former Farfadaa, Luc Desjardins, who was decompressing and recovering from the stress all by his lonesome at home (20 Chemin Talbot, L’Assomption), whined about the complete humiliation suffered by the anti-drag crowd and called for a “militant” alliance to “really, really, really” resist “the antifa and all the crazy faggots,” while pouring bile on his old comrade Steeve Charland.

It’s no coincidence that all of these known far-right figures (soft and hard) now find themselves together sharing the conspiracy theory hysteria that is currently in vogue. For some years now, these milieus have submerged themselves in various social media bubbles where all manner curious amalgamations, disinformation, and toxic fantasies that incessantly promote fanaticism on the part of those exposed to them circulate freely, leading to these crazes being imported from the US. The vast majority of the people involved are completely unaware that they are being pulled into a down spiral that gradually desensitizes them to hatred and inexorably pushes them into the sphere of the far right and neo-Nazis.

Faced with this phenomenon, we have no choice but to mobilize our forces, develop community self-defense, and do everything in our power to deconstruct and defeat the hateful discourse targeting our communities. Transphobic discourse in particular has been increasingly resonating in mainstream society for some time now. Laws have been adopted in the US to strip sexual and gender minorities of their rights, influential comedians have normalized mockery and threats targeting the trans community, and the religious right is gaining greater traction every day.

It would be a grave error to think that these phenomena will stop at the border and Québec will remain impervious to them. The mobilizations against drag queens are only the first sign of the contamination, and we think this movement must be nipped in the bud, as is the case with any attempt by the far right to impose its ideas and its program.

Never forget that together we are stronger, and that when our rights and our very existence are attacked the only possible response is community self-defense.

A few notes and explanations of the April 2nd situation

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Apr 012023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

On the 2nd of April (this Sunday) a far-right group with close ties to evangelical and conspiracy movements has called for a protest of a drag queen story hour hosted by Barbada, at the Ville Sainte-Catherine municipal library. This group is openly transphobic and homophobic and has explicitly indicated that this new effort targeted at child-friendly drag performances is the beginning of a campaign against our community.

Faced with this reality, a network of trans individuals, groups and allies has elected to launch a call to counter-protest this far-right presence and protect the event and the families attending the story hour. Other individuals/groups have also made calls supporting a similar reaction.

In the last few days, Barbada has opposed these tactics and prefers a non-confrontational strategy: to ignore the far-right presence in the hopes that by ignoring them we may limit their visibility and potential growth. Some initiatives have been cancelled to respect Barbada’s will.

We have elected to maintain our call to action and maintain our presence on the ground. While we respect the other groups’ strategic and political choices, we consider our strategy to be preferable, here’s why:

First, we must understand that this campaign is just emerging here in Québec and also reflects the importation of a movement with a strong presence in North America. This movement is organized against child friendly Drag shows, specifically story hours, with the goal of creating a predation narrative (grooming panic) around « transgenderism ». This effort has already led to the adoption of anti-drag/anti-trans laws in the United States ( These recent developments are what follows in a larger movement which favors the oppression – and eventual eradication – of trans people. With this in mind, we cannot tolerate the appearance of this movement on the territory on which we live our lives.

Ultimately, this is about our security and our survival. (These movements come too often with waves of murders targeting trans people, especially trans women.)

It also seems to us be a poor analysis to believe that this situation only concerns Barbada as an individual. While her performance is indeed being targeted, with the possibility that this situation can have repercussions on her career, this far-right group and its protest are not just about Barbada. We are all affected by their actions and their discourse. To do nothing might be the best course of action for Barbada’s activities, but that would be sending the message that we let these groups operate unopposed. It is unfortunate that Barbada finds herself in the middle of all of this, and we sympathize with the situation. However, we consider it necessary to oppose this proto-fascist group and any others who might want to erase our existence whenever and wherever they might show their ugly faces. We have neither hopes nor expectations for police and politicians to protect us.

We express all this in a spirit of honesty and dialogue. We invite all drag/trans defenders to listen to their conscience when choosing how they want to act in response to this situation. We are not looking to denounce anyone for their choice of strategies or actions, and hope to receive the same treatment from our community.

With love and solidarity.

Is the SPVM the Schutzstaffel? Was the Schutzstaffel the SPVM?

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Apr 012023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

“S— / S— / P-V-M ! Po- / lice / politique!” goes the chant.

I heard this a lot in 2012, when I was a baby anarchist, new to the raucus culture of the Montréal manif. Back then, the chant was often accompanied by a bevy of ironic sig heils directed at the police. It always felt a bit uncomfortable to find oneself in a crowd of largely white people making Nazi salutes, and eventually those ironic sig heils even caused a minor scandal in the anglophone press. The media uproar surely involved a great deal of bad faith, navel-gazing, and quotes from centre-right advocacy organizations, but at the end of the day it’s hard to argue that Nazi salutes (ironic or not) are anything but a bad look.

In the years that followed, the sig heils (thankfully) dissapeared from the protest culture of Montréal’s streets, and for a while it seemed that maybe the SS-PVM chants were gone too. But recently I’ve been hearing them again, not just at big demos full of liberal student-types but at demos organized by anarchists and anti-fascists—the comrades I tend to hope might know better. Even worse, the chant now seems to have been memorialized on a spiffy new bannière de tête.

So what’s up with this chant, and why won’t it die? Essentially it says to the SPVM: “you are the state’s secret police, used to repress social movements and political dissidents, much like—famous example from history—the Schutzstaffel, e.g. the SS.”

For those who skipped history class, the SS was a paramilitary wing of the Nazi state, instrumental in the implementation of the Final Solution. It oversaw the deportation of Jews across Europe, ran the death camps for which the Nazi regime is so well-remembered, and participated in the mass extermination of Jews on the Eastern Front, in what is often called the “Holocaust by bullets”.

Under the command of the SS, the Gestapo was the political police force of Nazi Germany. It investigated, rounded up, and liquidated dissidents and “enemies of the state”: queers, communists, trade unionists, Jews, and Roma. Before the war, the Gestapo was the de facto enforcer of Nazi race laws, and during the war, it orchestrated mass deportations and participated in mass killings. It is the Gestapo, presumablly, that is the “police politique” of our aforementioned demo chant.

So why am I telling you things that you likely already know about Nazis? What does any of this matter? In short, I think it matters how we talk about history, and how we use history in our political discourse in the present. And because I think that comparing the SPVM to the SS is a generally bad and frustrating analogy.

Now let’s be very clear, I’m certainly not here to convince you that, actually, the SPVM are some pretty alright dudes. Nor am I worried, for instance, that by comparing our local cops to the SS, we are being too mean. I am all for bullying cops. Please be very mean to the police.

What’s more, I have no doubt that, like many police forces, the SPVM has more than a handful of neo-fascists in its ranks. And as the armed enforcers of a racist social order, it comes as no suprise that the SPVM has also been responsible for numerous extra-judicial murders of racialized people.

My issue with comparing the SPVM to the SS is not a liberal fear of overstating just how bad the SPVM are. Rather, my concern is that, in comparing the SPVM to the SS, we risk obscuring the nature of the SS itself. Let’s go back to the chant in question: “SSPVM! Police politique.” It seems notable here that we’ve chosen to chant “police politique” rather than, for example, “police raciste” or “police génocidaire“. I think that says something about the subjectivity of the chant, or at least about the analysis of history it implies.

One might imagine a not-so-different chant, in a slightly different context, that uses one of the more visible historic genocides (the Holocaust) to point out police complicity in the genocidal project of settler statecraft. That would be, I think, a pretty different kind of conversation to have. But the “police politique” chant is not a chant about genocide, and that’s probably what makes it so uncomfortable.

The chant points out (correctly) that the SPVM is an instrument of political repression, and then compares it to another historic police body that was also an instrument of political repression… among other things. And the nature of those other things matters quite a lot. Because we would be remiss to remember the SS primarily as the henchman of anti-leftist repression, rather than primarily as the henchman of genocide.

At best, we make it sound like we think that the SS was more or less just like your standard 21st-century, North American, municipal police force: murderous, racist, certainly our enemy, but definitely not responsible for the coordinated extermination of millions of people. And, like other peddlers of ill-conceived Holocaust analogies—think of anti-vaxxers with yellow stars—it starts to sounds like maybe we did skip history class after all. An earlier, snarkier title for this text was: “I came for the annual anti-police riot, and all I got was some softcore Holocaust revisionism.” And while I ultimately revised this title, I think that the orginal still points to something important about the poltics of memory, and about the distortion of history by way of analogy to the present.

In 2023 this also feels like a more dangerous way to distort history than it did back in 2012… It’s 2023 and, only a few months ago, a former U.S. president sat down for dinner with a popular Holocaust denier; neo-Nazis keep showing up to harass people outside drag shows, shuls, and Broadway musicals; #hitlerdidnothingwrong is trending on Twitter again; and armed fascist attacks on mosques, synagogues, and gay bars have started to feel a little too familiar.

In lots of ways the mainstreaming of neo-Nazi ideas relies on overt or implicit Holocaust denial. Sure, there are always some whackjobs that will tell you that those six million Jews totally deserved to get it, but if you want to praise Hitler in the 21st century, it’s probably a lot easier to simply distort the facts of the genocide in the first place. Your 21st-century Holocaust revisionist will throw up their hands and say things like: “Oh sure, some people died in P.O.W. camps from typhus and malnourishment, but that’s just par for the course during a war… Were there really gas chambers? Was there really a genocide?”

Or as the lawyer for local neo-Nazi shitposter, Gabriel Sohier Chaput, recently said in a Montréal courtroom: “According to the dictionary, nazism means National Socialism. It was an ideology. There was no initial plan to exterminate the Jews. Were there really six million victims? I think if people died in concentration camps, it was to save money.”

To be sure, no one at any leftist demo I’ve attended in Montréal has been chanting anything remotely close to “Did / six / mil- / -lion / real- / -ly / die?” or whatever. But I guess it’s still harder to brush off an ill-conceived Holocaust analogy in a moment when Holocaust distortion, outright Holocaust denial, and various flavours of neo-Nazism are enjoying unprecedented mainstream approval.

Now look, I get it. Who doesn’t like to engage in some “everything I hate is literally Hitler” discourse from time to time? But by now, if you’re still unclear on the difference between the SPVM and the SS, then, oh boy, do I have a book (or ten) for you. And assuming that you can tell the difference between tear gas and Zyklon B, shouldn’t you feel at least a little embarrassed to find yourself in a crowd of people who seem kinda hazy on the details of what it was the SS actually did? I know I do…

Ottawa: The “Battle” of Billings Bridge

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Feb 142023

Anonymous submission to North Shore

A year ago now, on February 13, 2022, Ottawa residents blocked convoy vehicles on Billings Bridge and held it for hours. Since then, much has been written about this mass mobilization from left and liberal commentators. This generally celebrates it as an immense, glorious victory over the convoy, and the beginning of the tide turning in the convoy’s occupation of Ottawa[1]—and don’t get me wrong, it was. But in speaking to friends outside of Ottawa, it feels more and more necessary to complicate this narrative by adding some of my and my comrades’ experiences on that day.

The purpose of this piece is to add to that collective memory contained through this patchwork of publicly available accounts. An entire year has now passed, and people learn and grow. Some (though certainly not all) of the people I critique here, I consider comrades. I share this not to reopen those discussions, but because I think it is politically valuable for our memories of these events in and of themselves to be as complete as possible. While first person is used throughout, multiple people contributed their own perspectives to this write-up.

As a bit of necessary context, the main author is a cisgender and straight-presenting racialized woman. I am also a militant antifascist with a non-zero amount of experience predating the convoy.

I have never experienced peace policing so intensely, before or after that day, as I did on Billings Bridge. Like the author of that article in The Breach, I arrived to the site early in the morning after having planned to support a different blockade further along the convoy’s route.

I spent the first few hours blocking a truck. During that time, numerous strangers (all white—a recurring pattern—and including even a local politician) came up to me. They asked after me, checking in, again and again, if I was alright, something that was mundane on its own. And then they expressed concern, again and again, that I was putting myself in danger of being run over—as though blocking trucks was not what we had all come there to do. They tried, again and again, to convince me to move away from the truck because it wasn’t safe, because they were scared for me—as though I was not well aware that I could be in danger, and they were compelled to explain this to me. They milled around at such a safe distance away, doing seemingly little aside from making the rounds.

It quickly became clear to me that all of these interactions were not just expressions of genuine concern, but a peculiar white liberal anxiety about confrontation or other even remotely militant tactics. And, specifically, confrontation when done by racialized women—that whole time, a white couple was holding it down next to me (the only strangers that day I interacted with and didn’t resent), and somehow, as far as I saw, no one felt the need to patronizingly inform them that that truck might try to move.

As the day went on and the numbers grew, I circled through the crowds with friends who arrived later. I saw the wide spectrum of politics one might expect at a mass demonstration like this—everything from eager patriots giving supplies to the police, to other radicals linking this white supremacist movement to the larger colonial project. Unfortunately, the crowd seemed to me to by and large lean more towards the former sort. Probably most people were enraged at the police, and I witnessed so many residents berating them for how they were facilitating the convoy (or, in the liberal view, the “lack of police response”). This, though, was usually couched in a sense that as white citizens, they were owed protection from the state, and came along with obnoxiously snarky signs like “I’d f🍁ck Trudeau.”

Tired of seeing people thanking the police, one friend I was with then, also a racialized person, began a chant of “fuck the police.” Pretty much immediately, an older white woman in the crowd cut them off, physically grabbing at both of us. She lectured us about how she found it inappropriate and wrong; if anyone in the crowd had a problem with her starting a physical altercation, there was no indication.

This was not even the only time a white woman physically laid hands on me at Billings Bridge. As word went out about what was happening, convoy participants tried to mobilize their supporters to come out. Not many showed, but the crowd had no idea how to react to the few who did. Seeing fascists trapping people in useless debates to invade our space, I went about trying to crowd them out. I was not arrestable that day; I simply stood as close as I could to them, pressuring them to either back up or use force to get through me. And it worked—until liberals in the crowd, again, somehow took offence.

At least three or four times—I lost count—(white, of course) strangers suggested, sometimes demanded, that I back down and “deescalate.” Again, I did not say a single word to the fascists; I did not ever touch anyone; I simply stood there, even as they yelled insults and sexual harassment at me. (I am well aware of how criminal charges work, and I had no intention of doing anything that could get me arrested, especially while surrounded by hundreds of white people who would proudly and happily snitch.)

One woman on “our side” harangued me while taking hold of my arm, trying to physically force me to stop blocking a fascist. Amusingly, another politician there, the local MPP, tried to guilt-trip me about it—talking about how they didn’t want violence in their ward; they would feel like it was their responsibility; as long as I was off to the side there with the fascist, they would feel obligated to remain too. Somehow this was the least enraging interaction of the bunch—at least they were honest that it was about their own feelings. Of course, every time (because this happened often enough that there were multiple times!) I became too exhausted to argue with the liberal peace police and left, the fascist retook any ground I had gained on him within seconds. It did not seem to occur to the people angry at me for “escalating” that it was far more risky for convoy participants to be roaming freely through the crowds, baiting exhausted and traumatized people into arguments with them.

Those attitudes were an ongoing theme through the course of the convoy, and I had so many infuriating exchanges that they’ve largely blurred together. Peace policing is a classic hallmark of liberal civility politics, but it was out in full force in particularly bizarre ways at Billings and other responses to the occupation. On another occasion, I mentioned antifascist militancy to a group, only for a white stranger (who had no idea what I looked like) to lecture me about how they had learned in an anti-oppression workshop that militancy was for white men. (I responded that I was already getting threatened by fascists in the street, and if I was going to get attacked or worse, it might as well be on my own terms.) I began joking that if I had a nickel for every time a white person peace policed me, I would be rich by the end of it. It was a particular strain that usually went something like this: a white person is afraid of confrontation, or risk, or getting hurt. All of these feelings are, in themselves, legitimate; I believe in choosing your own risk, and there’s no shame in having a lower risk tolerance. But then, that white person builds a sense of pride around being a White Ally who “listens to people of colour” and “puts their body on the line.” They see a racialized woman taking risks that they themself are not comfortable with, espousing politics that they want to dismiss as extremist, and it hits at their ego. And in response, instead of acknowledging their own limitations, it turns into this overwhelming sort of paternalism as they decide to make it my fucking problem.

Returning to Billings, one of the most striking scenes may have been that of the crowd surrounding a truck, demanding that its driver remove his Canadian flag, mounted on a hockey stick, before allowing him to go. People chanted “flag down!” and, once the flag was gone, “no sticks, no flags, no go!” One person shouted “this is community policing! This is what it looks like!” as he removed that stick. And then, in celebration, the crowd followed it all up with “our flag!” For probably most of the participants, that moment was not about the Canadian flag as a representation of white supremacist, colonial violence, but of the sullying, to them, of a beloved national symbol.

Many people designated themselves “organizers” or spokespeople for the action. Often this took the form of trying to encourage the groups further down the road to leave their posts and join with the main group gathered towards Bank Street—whether for “safety,” because “the police were coming,” because “more convoy are coming,” or just because they wanted to make sure you knew how much food, and fun, was being had. Usually, these self-appointed people would leave to go find a more receptive audience upon being rebuffed. However, one stands out for their especially offensive tactic of both collaborating with the police and actively lying to everyone there in an effort to take control of the situation.

As the afternoon wore on, the aforementioned MPP approached us in our position further down the off-ramp with their megaphone to declare that they had conversed with the police, and they had pinky promised that if we left, they would get the trucks to turn around and leave. This was, quite obviously, ridiculous—and they were told such, repeatedly. They then tried the tactic of telling the group that the larger gathering up by Bank Street had agreed to these terms—but, in their magnaminity, this politician would not go ahead with telling everyone to disband unless all groups agreed. They were, again, told that there was no way in hell anyone was going to just leave, and left to return to the main group.

I was a bit suspicious, because for all their asks to rejoin with the main group, no one else had seemed keen on leaving. I asked a friend who had been up with the larger group at the time, and learned that they had in fact told that person the same thing we had—and that “spokesperson” had, in turn, pretended that we (the other group, with whom they had not yet spoken to at all) had already agreed with them.

The author of The Breach piece had said also that he and a few others took it upon themselves to “liaise with police and politicians, deescalate both the convoyers and residents, and figure out a safe exit strategy for everyone.” I won’t pretend that I had any answers worth offering, and certainly it could have been worse, but I think anyone reading this here can guess how such “deescalation” from labour and community leaders might go south.

As the afternoon drew on, dozens of cops had come together in lines facing us. Throughout the day, there had been moments where police had gotten lightly physical with demonstrators. But once most of the vehicles had been let out and the sky was growing dim, it seemed like their patience ran out. The police wanted us to clear the streets—and rather than challenging that, the leaders on the megaphone just repeated that demand. I saw those rows of cops physically shoving people off onto the sidewalk all the while those self-designated spokespeople stood with their backs to the police, also facing us, and just echoed that we should all do as we’d been told[2]. This is how the “battle” actually ended.

On February 8, 2023, three days ago as I write this, hundreds of people once again came together to defend our communities from fascist organizing. I saw so many people now stepping up to do their part in that collective self-defence, including some of the same who had, less than a year ago, shied away from any confrontation or even lectured me for “provoking” police. I share this to again say that this is not a condemnation of the Ottawa left; people learn, grow, and change. And still, at the same time, I will always feel embarrassment more than anything else when I hear people celebrating “the Battle of Billings Bridge.”

[1] Remembering, of course, that until it is wholly returned to the Algonquin Nation, Ottawa remains occupied territory.

[2] I was later told that police had warned them that if the crowd didn’t begin to allow the trucks to leave, the police would begin making arrests. I sympathize—perhaps more than some people reading this will—with the difficulty of the decisions made in the moment there. I am also certain that, if I had not known some of those people personally, I would have concluded that they were police sympathizers who would blame me or justify any racist violence I might be subject to. I add this to reiterate that I am not writing this to push any vendetta against specific people, only to get across what I saw happen then.

The Public Order Emergency Commission

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Jan 162023

From From Embers


Interview with an anti-fascist observer about insights gained from the Public Order Emergency Commission hearings, a public inquiry into the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act to repress the so-called Freedom Convoy in February 2022.

We discuss why governments invoke emergencies, OPP’s Project Hendon, how the Convoy was funded, the relationship between convoy organizers and police, comparisons with #ShutDownCanada, liberal conspiracy theories, the scale of economic disruption during the Convoy, and more.


Public Order Emergency Commission

Our previous episodes on Yellow Vests Canada and the Freedom Convoy

Ill Winds From Ottawa – Crimethinc report on the Freedom Convoy

Anarchist report from Ottawa during the Convoy

Music: Lee Reed

Note: Due to a technical glitch, this episode was removed, edited and re-published after it’s initial release on January 11, 2023.

Three Myths about Fascism

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Jan 022023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

A broader definition of fascism

As we know all too well, the definition of fascism tends to vary. In the last few years, politicians have been repeatedly throwing the word at each other, to the point that it means everything and its opposite. A more serious definition that gets thrown about a lot is the “Ur-Fascism” definition written by Umberto Eco. While Eco’s article is very interesting and absolutely worth a read, it is too often taken out of context. Eco describes the fascism he experienced, namely 1930s and 1940s fascism, and more precisely, Mussolini’s fascist Italia. It is a very historically accurate definition, but one rather limited for our times.

Another approach used more recently is the “duck definition” of fascism. The point is, if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, flies like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. Or, to put it clearly:

  • If it represses opposition like a fascist does,
  • If it promotes the importance of one strong leader like fascists do,
  • If it scapegoats, oppresses and enslaves minorities like fascists do,
  • If it pushes for a police state like fascists do,

Then it is fascism.

It is a larger, wider definition of fascism, and yes it does include a lot of authoritarian and dictatorial regimes. But does the difference between “Ur-Fascism” and a dictatorship matter to us? While that distinction remains important for scholars, in practice, in the street, in our workplaces, in our houses, the color of the boot stomping on your face forever matters little.

What matters is that we, our comrades, our friends, suffer. What matters is that the mechanisms of the State increasingly become hostile to us. What matters is that this authoritarianism, whatever the shape and name it takes, is for many of us an existential threat. Fighting it is a matter of survival. It does not matter whether the boot is black, brown, red, white or blue: the boot itself must be destroyed.

But under that new definition, a lot of current and past regimes show, at the very least, fascist tendencies. China’s enslavement of the Uighurs certainly sounds fascist. Modi’s India and its treatment of its Muslim population looks eminently like Nazi Germany. Putin’s Russia and its satellite totalitarian states definitely walk like fascists. The current governments of Italy, Hungary, certain states of the USA and Israel, to name only them, make more and more place to supremacists and religious integrists.

To say nothing of ancient regimes. Imperial Rome typically relied on a large militarized state apparatus to maintain order and, more importantly, to keep slaves in line. The reign of absolute monarchies in XVIIIth and XIXth century europe, with a reliance on an elaborate and strong police apparatus, exhibits strong fascist traits.

Myth 1: Fascism is Rare

or : why bother, it’s all in the past

And here we come to the crux of the matter. Fascism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorships, whatever you want to call it, are rather the norm than the exception when you study States’ histories. The fact is, as bad as the situation is today, we don’t live in exceptional times. To be free, even relatively free, remains the exception.

And even this relative freedom is constantly threatened. Not only through a violent coup d’état, but simply from people voting them in. India’s Modi and Hungary’s Orban keep getting re-elected. Israel just resurrected Netanyahu. Millions of people voted for Trump, and will most probably vote for his next incarnation. Italy just elected an openly fascist government. Even Quebec voted in an advocate of Duplessis, an advocate for the return to “La Grande Noirceur”.

The current so-called “culture wars” are nothing new: it’s the neverending fight between the ancient landed gentry against the rest of us who struggle to be more than simple servants. Conservatives fight to maintain an hierarchy stretching back centuries, and they have nearly unlimited wealth to push their agendas forward. To do nothing is leaving them with all the space they need to distribute their poison. To do nothing is to dig our own graves.

Myth 2: Fascism is Universally Despised

or: why bother, it’ll never catch on

The current rise of authoritarian regimes, and the crumbling of the so-called Western democracies, show one sad fact: a lot of people actually like fascism. After all, if you are a part of the faction catered by the fascists, what’s not to like? The people you hate have been expelled, enslaved or killed. Their jobs are yours, their houses are yours, their wealth is yours. That’s the siren call of fascism, the fact that the scapegoating and massive exploitation of part of the population, whether immigrants, jews, muslims, LGTBQ+ or any other minority, is extremely profitable to the rest of the population.

It is, after all, what makes imperialism and colonialism so attractive. The exploitation and enslavement of part of the world for the benefit of the other is very profitable for us. For instance, Canada is home to 75% of the mining companies of the world, and many people here work in their administrations, their accounting departments, their banking schemes. The same mining companies who keep committing war crimes and other atrocities outside Canada. Now, a factory worker might not have the choice but to work for Nestlé to survive, but an accountant could probably work somewhere else than Talisman Energy, for instance. And the fact is, a lot of people in Tio’tia:ke willingly work for companies like Talisman Energy, companies with blood on their hands. A lot of blood.

One of our main objectives should therefore be to act before they get a taste of what fascism can bring to them. Because once a fraction of the population get a taste of what it can bring to them, once this fraction is well catered (and often well-armed) by fascists in power, it becomes very hard to dislodge them. It’s a recurring theme in Latin America, for instance, where we see a middle-class which is only a sliver wealthier than the rest of the population, that fights tooth and nails when their privileges are questioned.

And it’s easy for the actual wealthy elites, who own all the media, to push propaganda down their throat. It’s easy to make that precarious middle class believe that the menace comes from those living in absolute squalor who just want to survive, and not from the fact that 99% of the wealth they produced is siphoned by them. There’s a reason why networks like Fox and TVA always target the left: we are in their way.

Myth 3: Fascism is Self-Destructive

or: why bother, it’ll be done in a few short years

We often laugh at the fact that Hitler’s thousand years Reich barely lasted a decade. Unfortunately, the nazis are rather the exception; most fascist regimes are very stable. Mussolini was in power for over 20 years, and might have lasted even longer if it weren’t for Hitler’s hubris. Pinochet’s Chile lasted 25 years. Franco’s Spain lasted more than 35 years. Salazar’s Portugal lasted more then 45 years. And while some of these dictatorial regimes survived through external support (in many case supported by the US), the fact is they managed to navigate both internal and external threats and survived for a long, a very long time.

The definition of the State is usually the determination of who has the monopoly of force in a specific area. Who writes the law, yes, but more importantly, who enforces it. Fascists regimes can be extremely stable because they strive on exploiting part of the population to lavish benefits on another, usually well-armed, part. The well-armed beneficiaries of the regime have no interest in seeing it toppled, and will often brutally defend it.

Fascist regimes typically have two points of failure :

  • The reliance on a “one strong leader” who, despite State propaganda, is merely mortal. A lot of theses regimes therefore fall apart when the “dear leader” gets sick, senile or finally croak.
  • When they start believing their own propaganda. They might claim to be the superior race, the superior people, the superior caste, they are merely humans like the rest of us. There’s no check to your power like a reality check.

But these are not under our control… If a fascist regime come into power, we cannot wait 35 years… hell, we might not survive the first few weeks.

What should we do?

As bad as our current liberal society is, it does offer us a bubble of freedom to express our ideas, even in the wider imperialist and colonialist context. Minorities have some rights, even if they are very often violated. People can live on the margins of society, even if they are typically ostracized for it. The reality is that, outside of this liberal bubble, most of us would not even have the right to exist. It is something we can see in marxist theory: it is difficult for a social revolution to take place in an authoritarian regime. We need a space to share our ideas, where we can practice our ideals, even as limited as it is right now.

Our goal should therefore be to expand this bubble as much as possible. To test and push the boundaries of our freedoms, so as to expand them even further. How can we do this? In our current context, where the bubble keep shrinking, it implies that we must defend that bubble. As much as we loathe this liberal society, we would be in a heap of trouble if it were ever to crumble. That does not mean that we should play the political game: our time and energy is too precious for that circus. But, as the IWW like to say, we should organize. This means:

  • Organize protests and denounce its inevitable police repression,
  • Organize minority defense groups,
  • Organize right defense groups: anti-racist, anti-borders, anti-landlord, anti-police, anti-prison…
  • Organize independent media and actually free internet forums,
  • Organize anti-fascist actions and block fascists events,
  • Organize solidarity spaces and cooperation networks, and invent new ways to work together,
  • etc.

As our tiny bubble is threatened, exercising each of these threatened freedoms is antifascist action. As the fascists clamp down on what we can do, what we can say, where we can say it, doing it *anyway* is antifascist action.

Because the liberals won’t save us. The signs are everywhere: liberals are poised to sell their freedoms, our freedoms! for a little more security, a little more stability. After all, they have little interest in protecting a bubble which they don’t need themselves to survive.

To finish like we started, let’s quote Umberto Eco : “Our duty is to uncover [fascism] and to point our finger at any of its new instances — every day, in every part of the world.”

History tells us that it is much easier to prevent fascism than to topple it. So let’s get to it!

Love and rage!
Dance and riot!
Organize and revolt!

Ukraine: Solidarity Collectives – No Rest ’till the Last Dictator Dies

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Dec 232022

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

“Solidarity Collectives” (former “Operation Solidarity”) is an anti-authoritarian volunteer network formed before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine to help comrades on the front line and civilians affected by the war. “Collectives” isn’t merely a name but the essence of our initiative which was joined by various organizations and groups from Ukraine, Germany, Poland, France, US, Netherlands, Canada, and many other countries.

None of it would be possible without a huge number of people united by the idea of helping the Ukrainian resistance movement. The ABC network (especially ABC Dresden, germany – ABC Galicja, No Borders team poland, 161crew poland, XVX Tacticaid, The Antifa International from US, Yellow peril tactical from US, Ecological Platform from Lviv, and many others- they all made it happen. And without our friends in Labour initiatives, we wouldn’t have a beautiful office/warehouse in Kyiv.

Based on our anti-authoritarian values, we decided to actively resist Russian aggression. We support the right of the Ukrainian people to self-defense and consider the Russian invasion an imperialist act. Despite the multidimensional characteristics of any global event, the key reasons for this war are the imperial policy of the Russian Federation, the belief in the historical mission of the Russian elites, and an attempt to establish control over what they think is their sphere of influence. The reasons should not be sought neither in the economic interests of the Russian oligarchy nor in “Russian security precautions”, and especially not in NATO’s scheming. Full support of the Ukrainian people in their struggle (which doesn’t necessarily mean supporting the government’s policies) is the only consistent stance for anarchists and leftists worldwide.

Ukrainians wage an armed struggle against Russia because there is no other way of effective resistance now. Classic pacifist recipes don’t work here because the sides of the conflict aren’t equal. If the Russian army surrenders, the war will end. If Ukrainian soldiers lay down their weapons or “turn them against their government”, as some ‘experts on Ukraine’ suggest, the Russian army will occupy more territories and commit more war crimes. Both solutions are equally unrealistic though. And reality requires practical answers and specific actions.

On a big scale, Ukraine has no choice other than to defend itself with weapons. However, on the individual level, many Ukrainian men and women, including our comrades, joined armed units voluntarily and consciously.

So what do we do? We’ve created a volunteer team of very different people and initiatives, managing to maintain its work despite crises and reformatting. We’ve established a logistics network and strong partnerships with many anarchist and left-wing initiatives in Europe and beyond. Domestically, we cooperate with anti-authoritarian groups, labor unions, local activists, and institutions in areas near the front line.

The soldiers we support are activists of various convictions: anarchists, human rights defenders, trade unionists, eco-anarchists, anarcho-feminists, punk-rockers, political refugees from Belarus and Russia, etc. Many of them would not agree with each other’s vision and ideas before the war. There are also people of various political views, and members of different organisations and movements, who oppose the Russian aggression today. 

Most of the fighters are regular workers of different professions without political parties or foundations to back them. That’s why we in Solidarity Collectives try to support trade unions whose members have been mobilised or have volunteered to go to the frontline. First of all, these are the unions of railway workers, construction workers, and miners. We also stand in solidarity with them in the fight against the passing of the anti-social laws pushed by some odious politicians under the pretext of war necessity.

All those we support, however, are united by a common enemy, because the Russian imperial machine will not allow any of us to exist. 

Here some presentation of different comrades we are supporting:

– We are members of the Bread for life cooperative. Before the invasion, we were popularising the ideas of freeganism and DIY. We were freelancing, cooking, feeding at local events, squatting and building open workshops on the squat. In February, part of the group decided that we would stay here in the South (of Ukraine) in case of invasion to fight back. At the beginning of March, we joined one of the armed groups to form our medico-evacuation crew on its base. At that stage, we were supported with equipment by comrades from Operation Solidarity, and now we continue to be supported by Solidarity Collectives. Currently, we are working in different directions, no longer in the same group. But united by a common idea – the idea of freedom, equality, sisterhood, fraternity and everything that can only be achieved through fighting.

– Our friend Oleg: he’s a political scientist, musician, photographer, animal rights advocate, and activist. And now he serves in the 72nd Brigade which is fighting in the east of Ukraine. Among other things, they’ve been holding the Lysychansk – Bakhmut road. We’ve been supporting Oleg for quite some time now.

– The resistance committee was born as an initiative a few weeks before the full-scale invasion of Russian forces started. Its purpose was to coordinate efforts of different anarchist/antiauthoritarian groups and individuals in the military field. Now it is more coordination than organisation. It corresponds to its original task then. Our common ideological grounds are defined in our Manifesto. Our immediate enemy currently is Russian imperialism. However, we oppose authoritarianism and oppression in general. From the very start and up to now, anarchists from Belarus and Russia who survived in Ukraine from political repressions in their respective countries actively participated in the Resistance Committee along with Ukrainian comrades. We define the Resistance committee as antiauthoritarian coordination, so a little bit broader than just anarchist. The exact number is both not secure and not that easy to specify since there is no fixed membership in the RC. It is not that big, and we can’t say that it’s growing, even though since the full-scale invasion had started, more anarchists have joined the fight.

Currently, we have several small groups of anarchist and antifascist comrades integrated into territorial defence, regular army and volunteer units.”

– In 2013, our comrade «Swallow» was a member of the anti-authoritarian self-defense group of Kharkiv’s Euromaidan, then participated in creating the «Autonomia» squat in Kharkiv, organized a social and cultural center, and was an active participant in several activist initiatives. On the morning of February 24, Swallow was already performing air reconnaissance on the frontline using ordinary civilian drones.

Currently, “Solidarity Collectives” have three main areas of work:


From the onset of the war, our primary task has been to provide the anti-authoritarian activists who joined military units with everything they needed. Thanks to donations, we purchased and handed over a hundred bulletproof vests (4th protection standard), dozens of helmets, night vision devices, thermal imagers, rangefinders, drones, tactical medicine, military uniforms, shoes, clothes and much more – both special and everyday equipment. Today, Solidarity Collectives regularly supports up to 80 fighters, many of whom are on the front lines.


Thanks to the logistics network we built that includes 4 warehouses and cars, we have been receiving and transporting humanitarian aid to where it is most needed since the beginning of the war. To date, we have organized our own humanitarian convoys or delivered cargo to Bucha, Bilohorodka, Chernihiv, Kryvyi Rih, Mykolaiv, Kramatorsk, Malyna, Kharkiv and other cities. These transports consist of medicines, clothes, food, sleeping bags and mattresses, gas bottles with cylinders, and electronic equipment.


People discuss the “Ukrainian question” all over the world. Explaining why all anti-authoritarian forces, despite everything, should support the Ukrainian resistance movement is our primary task today. Therefore, we are always ready to take part in conferences, debates or share our vision with journalists.

We work daily collecting fighters’ needs, making purchases in Ukraine and abroad, organizing humanitarian trips to war-affected regions, communicating with friendly initiatives, and publishing the results of our work. For many, this is the most important part of our lives now.

Practice is one of our founding principles. We came together to help the Ukrainian resistance fight off Russian aggression. But we aren’t just against something, we also stand for. Our goal is a free and just society, our main values are social, economic, and gender equality.

We believe that the Ukrainian reconstruction which politicians and diplomats already discuss should benefit the people. It shouldn’t be based on neoliberal dogmas that the authors of the reconstruction plan are trying to include there.

We think feminism today should be based on a proactive position. Now, female activists of the anti-authoritarian movement bravely fight the aggressor, head military units, and provide medical aid on the battlefield. Also, most of the ‘Solidarity Collectives’ members are women, and they do most of the work in the military direction.

We support anti-authoritarian and anti-colonial movements around the world. Today, anti-authoritarian activists in Ukraine acquire experience which might be useful to topple dictators and authoritarian regimes both in post-soviet countries and other regions.
We support animal rights movements and fight against climate change. We pass vegan food to vegan fighters and advocate for the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. It’s not just about preventing climate disasters in the distant future but also about reducing the dependency on the resourse-oriented Russian economy.

Our goals are incompatible with Putin’s authoritarian regime. But we’re ready to fight for them in post-war Ukraine too opposing authoritarian tendencies in our society.

We’re grateful for the support to everyone who’s been working with us through all these months. To those who help raise money, transfer vehicles, organize public events, or come to Ukraine with humanitarian aid. Today, we feel the strength of international solidarity which is capable to do great things, despite the international left’s split on the ‘Ukrainian question’. We realize this solidarity isn’t easy but we call for you not to give in to the war weariness, especially now when your support is crucial to us.

We are also ready for open dialogue with those who still hesitate but are ready to hear the position of the Ukrainian anti-authoritarian community. We want to see you on our side of the barricades!

Meanwhile, our work continues.

No rest ‘till the last dictator dies.

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Auxane Jonot: The Racist Cop Who Is Coming to Live in Québec

 Comments Off on Auxane Jonot: The Racist Cop Who Is Coming to Live in Québec
Dec 102022

From Montréal Antifasciste

Montréal Antifasciste monitors hate groups whether they are active in the real world or online.

In recent years, the radical fringes of the far right have tended to leave traditional platforms like Facebook and Instagram in favour of platforms that they judge to be less regulated (e.g., GAB) or more secure (e.g., Telegram). That has not prevented us from continuing our surveillance work, as has been the case this year with the Québec section of the nebulous White Lives Matter.

Despite their loss of some platforms, this year we’ve been interested in the community gathered around Alexandre Cormier-Denis and his media tool Nomos TV. Specifically, we were able to observe much of interest on the Telegram chat reserved for subscribers.

Recently, one user of this chat in particular caught our attention.

The user “Aux” is a young man from France who is preparing to move to Québec. He is a fervent supporter of Éric Zemmour (a former journalist who was a far-right candidate during the 2022 French presidential election, who makes Marine Le Pen seem like a cuddly kitten) and his organization Reconquête. Obviously, “AUX” ended up on the chat reserved for paying subscribers of Nomos TV because its host Alexandre Cormier-Denis was a strong supporter of Éric Zemmour. He’s been active on the chat since August 29, 2022.

From Mr Deez…

“Aux” is active in the video gamer community. He is most notably known as a player on the game Call of Duty, using the pseudonym “Mr Deez.” He also hosts a Twitch channel with 2,200 followers under that name and is behind the YouTube project “5 choses à savoir.” There is evidence galore that makes it virtually effortless to connect “Aux” to “Mr Deez”:

to the Cop Jonot

“Aux” finally divulged that he worked as a cop somewhere in the Parisian region. As well as posing in his uniform, he started sharing photos from his workday, e.g., photos of his Taser.

Even more shocking, he decided to share photos of arrestees in police custody—people handcuffed to a chair, obviously photographed without their consent. Growing increasingly uninhibited over the course of several weeks, he started to regularly publish the names and photos of people he questioned in a way meant to justify his racist ideology. He ended up publishing the photos and coordinates of at least fifteen detainees, revealing their arrest histories and the charges they faced, with tasteless racist commentary.

Here is a sample of the pictures of detained individuals that Auxane Jonot published on Nomos’ Telegram channel. We have blurred the faces and other elements that could be used to identify these persons.

He even went as far as to publish extracts from his notes with names, birth dates, addresses, and telephone numbers—and a photo of the police internal computer system with details about a police intervention, with names, addresses, etc.—all of that as a pretext for a discussion of the “great replacement theory” and to denigrate people of colour.

“My four current interrogations will give you an example of the names 🙂 It’s us, we write very quickly 😭 they barely know how to write ahah In fact, I’m showing Québec that in France everything is going quite well and those who say otherwise are conspiracy theorists”

His behaviour and actions say a lot about the culture that reigns within the police services, which are submerged in systemic racism.

“Basically, it’s simple, I’ve been in the police force for four years and I’ve taken into custody five people with French or Western first names. All the rest had African/Maghrebin or East European first names.”

The Police and Systemic Racism

That the police is an institution that embodies systemic racism is not open to question—study after study proves it, with devastating consequences for BIPOC people (violence, death, imprisonment), as even police forces in large cities in Canada are recognizing. As we have seen, the Toronto police have lost the right to randomly stop people (the “stop and frisk” policy) because of flagrant racial profiling—and more recently Québec police lost the right to stop drivers without cause for the same reason.

There is also increasing documentation of substantial police sympathy with far-right movements, with some cops being members of far-right groups. In the case of the last January’s so-called Freedom Convoy, we saw examples of police being filmed offering their enthusiastic support, and even more shockingly have heard allegations of strategic leaks from “all police forces” to the convoy. In the US, we’ve seen the police offer support to militias intimidating Black Lives Matter activists, as well as not wanting to arrest Kyle Rittenhouse after he killed two demonstrators and seriously injured another at a mass demonstration. Rittenhouse was finally acquitted of all charges. In September, the Anti-Defamation League published a study addressing a leak about the American militia the Oath Keepers, which includes 373 police officers among its members, as well as relaying information about how they spread the militia’s anti-immigrant values within police forces. An ex–FBI agent also produced a report in 2020 that documented the extent of the connection between “law enforcement agencies” and militant racist activity in at least twelve states over the previous decade. In Europe, there are numerous studies addressing the far right in police forces—as the Guardian put it, there is a “culture of extremism,” including evidence that 81percent of police in France voted for the Rassemblement National, reminding us of the leak of a French police WhatsApp group riddled with racism.

Qui est « Aux »?

Auxane Jonot
Aux Tonoj:
Twitter :
Twitch :
Youtube :

Emeline Maire
Facebook :

A number of clues scattered around the Nomos TV subscribers’ chat allowed us to quickly learn more about him. His first name is Auxane, he was born in the Bretagne region, and he lives in the Parisian region, where he worked as a police officer in Val-de-Marne (Department 94), specifically in the city of Arcueil.

His partner is a pharmacist who largely shares his racist ideas, which was confirmed by her Twitter account. It was from exchanges on their Twitter accounts that we were able to verify with certainty the identities of the couple Auxane Jonot and Emeline Maire.

An Imminent Arrival in Québec

Fortunately for French youth, Auxane announced his resignation from his police position in November 2022. The French couple are now planning their move to Québec. They are scheduled to arrive on January 11, 2023.

They anticipated settling in Montréal, where Auxane would study computer science. On a chat, for example, Auxane asked:

“From your point of view, what are the best neighbourhoods in Montréal? The neighbourhoods most devoid of diversity”

An exploratory visit last autumn changed everything. After that visit to Québec, Auxane said on the chat:

 “Montréal is far too LGBTQophile/anglicized to death/and great replacement for me.”

The couple have decided to settle in Québec City, which they judge to be more conservative. They have already found an apartment in the Lebourgneuf neighbourhood.


In a surprising moment of lucidity, Auxane Jonot posed this question on Nomos TV’s Telegram channel:

“Are we sure that there are no infiltrators on this channel? Because we’d quickly find ourselves the focus of attention on Mediapart”

This indicates that Auxane is entirely aware of the seriousness of his actions and statements, which expose hatred in a shared racist environment that he hopes is anonymous. But as Alexandre Cormier-Denis himself says: “We can be certain of absolutely nothing at all.”

Let’s make Auxane and Emeline feel unwelcome. And why not have them prominently covered in Mediapart!

There is room for everyone in Québec, except a former racist cop.

Refugees welcome, racists fuck off!


P.-S. Here is a last screen capture of a racist post by Auxane Jonot on Nomos’ Telegram channel. Surely, the ironic nature of this little “joke” will be lost on no one…