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

Devil’s Night Against Landlords

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Nov 172023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Devil’s night is traditionally a time of mischief and subversive activity, striking fear into the forces of order. On this night, the weekend before Halloween, we took the form of mischievous creatures and decided to haunt the Upper Westmount mansion of the real estate boss Stephen Shiller. Stephen is one half of Shiller Lavy, and his son Brandon Shiller runs Hillpark Capital. These firms are responsible for renovicting and pricing out many tenants in the Montreal area in the past decade, putting hundreds of people out on the street.

The action was simple, any trickster could do it: we inserted a garden hose left outside into the mail slot of the front door and turned on the water, before disappearing into the night.

We summon others in the fight against Bill 31 to join the incantations of anti-landlord discourse with nocturnal rituals of anti-landlord action.

While we targeted Stephen Shiller for being an especially horrific landlord, we recognize authority must be washed away wherever it appears.

– some anarchist ghouls

Action Against Luxury MTL Real Estate Agency

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Jul 122023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

July 1st is moving day in Montreal. It’s always chaotic, but with the threat of Bill 31 rent reforms the situation may become far worse.

We are told there is a housing crisis, a term used to avoid naming those responsible. Why is housing scarce, unsafe, expensive, and precarious in Montreal?

  • Greedy landlords who renovict, charge damage deposits and “finder’s fees” to maximise profits.
  • To avoid rental laws and increase profit landlords convert housing into short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb). This caused several deaths in the spring.
  • New housing is built for investors, not residents. While low-income housing is “impossible”, dozens of towers with luxury housing are built, units sold to investors just to sit empty and appreciate in value.

Over 500 people are newly homeless since moving day. The eviction of people living in tents under the Ville-Marie expressway is imminent. They build skyscrapers and pander to rich urbanite investors while people sleep rough. Bill 31 is part of this plan. The landlord lobby, developers, property managers and real estate agencies profit from a Montreal where you must pay up or get out. The powers that be want a city made for the rich – high rent, expensive food, yuppie gentrification – the rich get richer.

We say fuck a housing crisis, housing is everywhere. Luxury MTL, also known as Montria Real Estate, is part of the problem. Luxury development creates a world for the rich. We will attack it. Their windows are just the beginning.

Solidarity with rent strikers in Toronto. Squat the world!

Call for Solidarity : Has the Ante been Upped in Montreal Tenant Union’s Struggle with the State and Major Local Landlord, the Cucurulls?

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Jun 142023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

This is a call for solidarity and support for the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union – known by most as their French acronym, SLAM. The tenants’ union has put together a picket line for this Friday, June 16, at 4:00pm in front of the landlord offices of 5301 Parc. This callout explains the ongoing situation of state and landlord repression, and why it is important that we, as a movement, help match these adversaries in their upping of the ante.

If this renewed mobilization is anything like the last SLAM picket, weekly picket lines will follow at the offices of the Cucurulls. It is probable that further actions will be organized to increase pressure.

We have copied an excerpt from the GoFundMe – donate if you can – written by SLAM, explaining their current situation in their mobilization against the Cucurull real estate family:

After beating a court injunction, our union is calling for renewed solidarity in organizing against the Cucurull family, a group of major local landlords. Our tenants’ union initially called for support after a delivery of a petition to the offices of the Cucurulls turned sour. The Cucurulls have spent tens of thousands of dollars to secure injunctions stopping our union from publically releasing information on their actions. All public information on the company was ordered to be taken down, picket lines could not move forward, and our legal fundraiser was taken off of public pages.

A recent victory over parts of the injunction allows union members to once again speak publicly about the company. Not only have the Cucurulls still not provided an action plan for tenants’ demands listed in their petition, but a $380,000 lawsuit targetting the union has been initiated by the real estate family. Tenants request compensation for the Cucurulls’ actions during the petition delivery at their office, and an action plan for repairs, respect, and smaller rent increases.

The Cucurulls run as many as 29 buildings and up to 446 units. The real estate family has been involved in hundreds of cases in the housing tribunal in the past two decades. In 2019, their offices were subject to an occupation by tenants condemning long-time residents being evicted so the companies could raise rents. The family attempted to use injunction proceedings to secure the de facto eviction of one tenant who participated in the recent petition delivery, but failed.

This legal and solidarity fund has been set up to assist tenants in the union facing court proceedings initiated by the Cucurulls.

Join our regular Friday picket lines outside of their offices at 5301 Parc, donate what you can, and organize tenants in your building to build tenant power on our streets and in our neighbourhoods! A better city will grow from solidarity and community! Solidarity in each and every struggle with landlords!

Donate! Share! Unionize your building!

An open letter was signed by about 20 local, national, and international organizations. It published by the collective Premiere Ligne, called “La justice fait taire les locataires! – Communiqué.” The letter explores the reprehensible actions of the landlords, Ian Cucurull & Martha Cucurull, against members of the SLAM delivering an innocent petition. Hair was pulled, a SLAM member was choked, a tenant of the landlord was trapped in the landlord’s office as the landlord, on video, smiled out their window, waving a knife.

The police, not charging the landlords, have chosen to target tenants involved in the petition delivery with such charges as extortion (for organizing for demands), harassment (for generating continued public pressure against the landlord) and breaking and entering (for visiting the landlord’s office collectively). Other details on the later court injunction, which included a failed attempt at a “de facto” eviction of a tenant, are explored above in the Gofundme text.

As for some reflections on the need for a movement response and continued solidarity with Montreal’s tenant union:

1) Tenant unions are new in Montreal. The state and landlord’s response today to tenants organizing on a basis of collective action will determine their future responses. If tenants organizing together and taking action together using pretty traditional tactics is criminal or worthy of court injunctions, and we allow that to go uncontested, we lose one of our most useful strategies to confront the housing crisis. Essentially, tenants’ right to organize publicly is being challenged here. Will that challenge succeed?

2) Relatedly, we can only assume that landlord organizations like CORPIQ and other landlords may be watching these situations and taking key lessons. Will this intensive repression – including a $380,000 lawsuit, court injunctions, thousands in legal fees, criminal charges and police investigation – lead to defeat or victory?

3) An opportunity has presented itself for organizing against a major local landlord. This is a public campaign at a moment of intensifying public concern with housing relations and the relationship of power between renters and landlords. As a popular movement, let’s organize where the class tensions and antagonisms, the failures of our courts and police, are clearest to people outside of our movement. Anyone knows when learning about this situation that a serious injustice is being committed.

4) Finally, these strategies of repression should never be tolerated by our movement, against any of our members. Solidarity, today, is a call to action against the Cucurulls and their companies: Immopolis and Topo Immobilier!

In case people want more information on keeping up with SLAM’s activities or find their events:

[Note: The above message is a sign of solidarity, that was not done with the permission or knowledge of SLAM]

Tenants’ Union March into the Offices of Transport Québec

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Feb 242023

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Monday, February 20th, members of the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union (SLAM-MATU) stormed into the offices of Transport Quebec. Any plans for a future eviction of the Ville-marie encampment must be cancelled, and encampment members need to be given housing that fits their needs. We marched on TQ’s offices, just as we march on the offices of landlords, because direct action gets the goods.

We’re calling on members of the public, supporters, and unhoused comrades, to take to the streets this coming Monday, February 27th, 5:30pm, Atwater Metro (Cabot Square) to help put an end to these evictions.

These evictions are not solutions to homelessness and do not improve the lives of people who are homeless. Homelessness is caused by our broken shelter system, the predatory rents and evictions of landlords, and the modern austerity politics of capitalist governments who underfund and mismanage mental health, social, and housing services. The housing crisis affects us all! Defend your neighbours!

Music is once again from Action Sédition. Go check them out.

Tenants Escalate Against Cromwell Renoviction

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Dec 062022

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

The views expressed within this text are not those of the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union (SLAM). The following is an account and analysis by one union member. SLAM is built on anarcho-syndicalist principles but is not an explicitly anarchist organization and contains many (if not mostly) non-anarchist militants. Working together has not been a question of compromising our principles, but of growing our strength based on tactical agreement.

This article provides an update to a previous article published by another member of SLAM. Read for more context here

On Saturday, November 26, dozens of banners were dropped from the balconies of 3605 St-Urbain, painted with slogans such as “SOLIDARITÉ ENTRE LOCATAIRES” and “WE NEED HEAT!”. SLAM members danced to union tunes and handed out flyers at the street corner. 

Fourteen tenants remain in the 130-unit building, holding out against a large-scale renoviction by notorious landlord George Gantcheff, owner of Cromwell Management Inc. Quebec. These last few tenants live scattered throughout a dangerous and distressing construction site. Recently they have joined forces with the Montreal Autonomous Tenants Union (SLAM), fighting for compensation, rent reductions, heating, transparent and consensual construction work, and that the renovated units remain affordable. The banner drop is the most recent escalation in their campaign, following several ignored attempts at “playing nice.” When tenants sat down for a good faith negotiation with the management company a few days before the banner drop, Cromwell’s representatives walked out after less than ten minutes of discussion.

On Saturday, union members joined tenants across the street from the newly decorated building. They played music, talked, and handed out over 200 flyers to curious passersby. Neighbours and community members expressed outrage, distress, sympathy and solidarity.

Cromwell aims to profit as much of they can off their property, regardless of the human consequences. So long as housing is bought, sold, and rented on the basis of profit and not need, Cromwell is a prime study of companies acting intelligently in a competitive market. As profit-oriented corporations seize larger portions of the market, Cromwell is an example – not an outlier. With a tenant class increasingly unable to afford housing, more and more people are organizing with their neighbours to take matters into their own hands. Oft-used pressure tactics serve short term goals, demonstrate power, and win concessions. 

These actions lay the basis for a tenant movement capable of revolutionary change. Through the practice of pushing systemic boundaries and wielding our collective power, we make immediate improvements to our lives while preparing for a larger fight. 

To support the tenants of 3605 St-Urbain or join in on our other projects, email us at or stay up to date on our instagram @slam.matu

​​​​​​​Check out the union’s Kolektiva account for an upcoming mini-doc on the banner drop.

More information is coming out soon on other anti-eviction actions from the month of November, including a tenant union demo against the eviction of the Ville Marie expressway encampment and rallied in and outside the Quebec Housing Tribunal to stop an eviction by landlord Satish mantha. Stay tuned to learn more!

Windy Morning for Condo Sellers

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Nov 242022

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

On Monday, November 14, gusts of air were the only visitors to the Le Moden condo sales office by Frontenac metro.

The city is already fucking ugly but new condos make shit worse. The yuppification of Place Frontenac and Centre-Sud is imminent. The domination of capitalism advances quickly. Don’t wait a second more to practice your window-smashing throw with your friends!
– accessibility 10/10
– impact 9/10
– discretion 7/10 (less loud than we thought)
– handling 10/10
– fun 10/10

Tenants Resist Renoviction by Cromwell, Anarchist Solidarity is Key

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Oct 232022

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

The views expressed within this text are not those of the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union (SLAM). The following is an account and analysis by one union member. SLAM is built on anarcho-syndicalist principles but is not an explicitly anarchist organization and contains many (if not mostly) non-anarchist militants. Working together has not been a question of compromising our principles, but of growing our strength based on tactical agreement.

A short documentary, based on a community tour of 3605 st-urbain discussed further into this text, explores the conditions of Cromwell tenants.

The residents of 3605 St. Urbain are fighting back against a renoviction by Cromwell Management. Their corporate owner, one of Quebec’s richest men, is George Gantcheff. Gantcheff and Cromwell’s relentless, unpredictable, and initially unlawful renovation project has reached a boiling point. Since January, more than 100 tenants have been renovicted from a 130 unit highrise. This construction has required turning off the building’s heating. Tenants are bracing for a freezing cold winter. Their only heat will come from space heaters provided by Cromwell. 

All but 14 tenants in the 130 unit building have left. Many tenants accepted the landlord’s offer to end their lease early and abandon their homes rather than live out intrusive renovations. Many elderly tenants had been living in the building for years. Cromwell has a history of performing renovictions and hiking rent in both Montreal and Toronto units. 

Renovictions provide an excuse for a landlord to drastically increase rent. This contributes significantly to gentrification and the acceleration of rent increases. The consequence is the enrichment of landlords at the expense of the continued impoverishment of working class people. 

3605’s landlord initially justified construction work as needed to fix the building’s heating system. Cromwell then took the opportunity to carry out massive renovations. Construction was further delayed and expanded. Tenants’ have since faced a lack of hot water, rusty water, dust and dirt everywhere, unbearable constant noise, and power outages. Cromwell turned the building into an unbearable construction zone– and used these conditions to pressure tenants to leave their units. One by one tenants moved out. Once a unit was cleared, the apartment would be gutted, allowing for construction to continually expand.

The majority of remaining tenants at 3605 have formed a tenants council that has been meeting regularly over the past two months. A member of the Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union, who has been active in organizing tenant councils in nearby buildings, assists at their meetings and coordinates between their council and the broader union. Hundreds of flyers and posters have since been distributed through the Plateau neighborhood, alerting the tenants’ neighbours to the situation and calling for solidarity.

The current tenants of 3605 refuse to be displaced for the sake of corporate profit.

​​​​​​​Revolutionary Tenant Unionism: Organizing on the Ground

The Montreal Autonomous Tenants’ Union, which is organizing with the building’s tenants is a union based on internal non-hierarchy, solidarity, the use of direct action, and tenant leadership. The broader goal is of a mass movement that can dramatically remove the power relations between people, not just for tenants, but everyone. SLAM (its French acronym) is devoted to the construction of tenant councils in tenants’ buildings and blocks. Members from SLAM attend these autonomous council meetings. Their role is to encourage and educate on direct action, provide advice when asked, and to help coordinate actions or support with the broader union apparatus without dominating discussion.

At the moment of writing, SLAM, which is less than a year old, has helped organize tenant councils in close to a dozen buildings across Montreal. Active tenants include over 40 unionists or participants in councils. There is a broader support network of some 100-150 that have signed petitions or come to events. 

The two-and-a-half months of organizing in 3605 St-Urbain (the building under renoviction), has been a rewarding challenge for organizers. The remaining tenants are all older than 40. They come from a plethora of backgrounds. The meetings are unconventional. Group discussion is only sustainable for as much as 30 seconds before interruptions lead to impromptu side conversations. Attention and “the floor” are very difficult to hold. Added to this is the fact that, because of this working class crew’s disjunctered set of schedules, meetings are held late at night. They can sometimes drag past 11pm.   

When the union first heard from a tenant in 3605, they were contacted by a kind and respected leader figure in the building. This person already organized a first meeting between tenants. With only small encouragement from the union these council meetings continued. 

When SLAM’s organizer first entered the group, tenants were primarily axed on using housing Tribunals to resolve their issues with Cromwell. This was too bad. Without getting too much into the weeds, it’s fair to say that a mass and combative movement capable of replacing corporate control with tenant control will not come from starting court cases. Engaging with tribunals is individualization of social problems at its finest. 

In the early meetings of 3605’s council, SLAM’s organizer brought several samples of collective letters other tenant councils had written to their landlord, discussed the benefits of collective action, and even played videos of direct action and showed news clippings. These videos included SLAM’s June march on Cogir’s head offices. The march won tenants thousands of dollars in reparations, rent savings, and construction work without tenants opening a single case at the Tribunal. Through continuous discussion, some proposals for above-ground collective action were finally proposed and accepted by 3605’s tenants. These resolutions were catered to tenants’ specific situation and comfort zones. 

Once some actions were decided, SLAM helped call a general assembly of its tenant organizers and supporters. Roughly 16 tenants crammed into the union’s usual meeting space, including several older working class tenants. These older tenants had involved themselves in the union out of need, became leaders in their councils, and were now ready for more. At this meeting, two banner paintings were planned, media liaisoning, a social media strategy, and a guided tour of 3605. 

The banners turned out beautifully and several were strung up Saturday in the lobby and on the exterior of 3605. The tour of the rundown building was attended by more than 30 neighbours, union members, and supporters. Some neighbours had been contacted during the door knocking of apartments on the same street showed up. They were absolutely enraged and engaged. They had their own analysis and experiences and wanted to support in any way they could. One woman requested to join SLAM. 

Tenants have been encouraged by these initial actions (the company, on the other hand, had met the plan for a tour with a firm and aggressive response, posting threatening semi-legal notices and showing up at tenants doors in response). As the campaign moves forward past these first steps, the union will countinue to push for further direct action and escalation. Tenants continue to be increasingly open to these tactics as they feel the power of solidarity from tenants outside their building.


The purpose of this short anecdote about organizing the beginnings of this campaign against Cromwell is to emphasize the importance of anarchists creating and inserting within groups where class antagonism is the clearest. We stand to help create councils, meeting places that build everyone’s collective power and autonomy. We aim also to push the struggle deeper and strengthen it. Maybe our ideology of non-hierarchy and combative revolutionary spirit does not make sense to everyone, but our tactics when proposed to people’s specific situations always should. This syndicalist strategy allows us to build respect and popularity for our methods among non-anarchists and become local “robin hoods” (in the words of one tenant from 3605).

The benefit of this form of syndicalism countinues to prove itself for SLAM. The union is not just the usual crowd of monolithic, ideologically inclined, younger, consciously committed organizers (although this demographic is important, and in majority at biweekly meetings). It has the capacity to organize in the diverse circles that make up the real core of our oppressed classes. 

Continued support and activation of anarchist comrades across Montreal remains as important as ever. Solidarity is essential! 

Our goal is not just the amelioration of conditions. As Lorenzo Kom-Boa Ervin writes in Anarchism and the Black Revolution, “we should throw out the rich bums and just take over! Of course we will have to fight the cops and security guards for the crooked landlords, but we can do that too! We can… build an independent tenants’ movement that will self-manage all the facilities, not for the government… but for themselves!”

Looking to support? Get in touch with the union: or stay up to date on our instagram @slam.matu.

​​​​​​​Check out the union’s Kolektiva account for our documentary and future videos from SLAM.

Berlin: Rigaer94 Calls for International Solidarity – Destruction of our Space Expected

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Feb 182021

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

After the eviction of the anarcha-queer-feminist house project Liebig34 on 9th of october 2020, the offensive of state and capital against self-organized structures in the northern area of Friedrichshain and other parts of the city did not cease. The Liebig34 is since then under the control of the owner and the presence of his gang had also an affect on the local life. The so called Dorfplatz (“village square”) lying directly in front of the house was during the last months less used by residents and visitors as a common space and saw some minor confrontations with the invaders. With having taken one of the strategic points in the area and in the same time removing a political obstacle, state and capital could focus on the Rigaer94, which lies just some meters away from the Dorfplatz and has been a constant topic in the medias over the last year.

A few days ago, cops and diggers destroyed a settlement of homeless people in Rummels Bay, a few kilometers from us. The pretext here was the extreme frost, in reality it is also there to serve the profit of investors. Also expected in the next few weeks is the eviction of the Potse Youth Center – the city is in the process of removing any rebellious site.

What started with ridiculous complaints of the parliamentary opposition about the fire-security in the house became one of the central issues of the forces of order. All those who were spending their energy for years to create a depoliticized image of Rigaer94 as a house full of brutal gangsters began to speak about their worries that the inhabitants could tragically die in a fire. Their rhetoric is very transparent because it was based mainly on the fact, that the house has several mechanisms to quickly barricade the main entrances. These barricades are in fact a central piece of the safety of the inhabitants. Not only the social media is full of fascist threats to target the house but also the cops proved over the last years that they are not only capable to launch very violent legally supported actions but also to openly coordinate with parastate forces, namely organized fascists and the mafiotic structure of the real estate industry. For example the owner of Liebig34, but other companies as well, are well known in Berlin for evicting houses by setting them on fire. The message behind the fake discussion about our safety was nothing but a direct threat and a call for parastate forces to set our building on fire. In the same time it was aiming to create a public opinion and legal base to destroy the house structure without having to get an eviction title.

The legal obstacle on the way to an eviction title came up in 2016, when the Rigaer94 repelled a three weeks long major police action. Under public pressure, a court had declared the invasion in the house as illegal and did not recognize the lawyers of the owner which is, by the way, a mailbox company in the UK. Recent developements changed this condition from scratch. In the beginning of February a court decided that the police has to support this mailbox company to guarantee the so called fire security in Rigaer94. By this decision the owner is officially recognized and will now soon try to enter the house in company of a state expert about fire security and, of course, huge police forces. In similar raids against Rigaer94, the entering special police forces and the construction workers caused heavy damage to the building. It was always their goal to make the house uninhabitable before it could be evicted and luxury renovated.

We expect that the pretext of fire security will be used not only to remove our barricades but to legally raid the entire building and to evict flats to create permanent bases for the owners gang that will start to destroy the house from inside. As planned, the fire security is used now as a tool to terrorize the rebellious structures that took hold of the house more than 30 years ago and had been involved in many different social struggles as well as the defence of the area against state and capital. Generally we think that the importance of a combative community in combination with an occupied territory can not be underestimated. The Rigaer94 with its autonomous youth club and the self-organized, uncommercial space Kadterschmiede is a place for convergence for political and neighbourhood organization, giving not only home to struggling people but also the legacy of the former squatting movement and the ongoing movement against gentrification and any form of anarchist ideas. Many demonstrations, political and cultral events took its start from the house and, not to be forgotten, numerous confrontations with the state forces in the area were backed up by the existence of this stronghold. It’s for this political idendity that the Rigaer94 and the outreaching rebellious structures and networks are traumatizing generations of cops and politicians and thus has become a main focus of their aggression against those who resist. At the very moment when the last non-commercial, self-organized places in Berlin are being evicted, when the pandemic is used to spread the virus of control, exploitation and oppression, we have to take serious the threat of a very possible try to evict us in the upcoming days or weeks and therefore, we choose to continue getting organised through collective procedures to defend our ideologies and political spaces. However, there is a political importance to continue fighting for all of our social struggles of the revolutionary movement also outside of this house and not to let those in power to intervene in our political agendas and resistance.

They might evict our house but they will not evict our ideas. To keep these ideas alive and add fuel to them we invite everybody to come to Berlin to send the city of the rich to chaos. We call for any kind of support from now on, that can help us to prevent the destruction of Rigaer94. But if we lose this place to the enemies, we are willing to create a scenario without winners.


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Another Ending is Entirely Speculative: Reflections on the Eviction of the Notre-Dame Encampment

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Dec 122020

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

On Monday, December 7th at 7am over 50 people attempted to gather outside the Notre-Dame tent encampment in support of residents facing eviction by the cops that morning. This camp was established earlier in the summer of this year by those living without safe and secure shelter. The SPVM had already set up a perimeter, and they defended it to prevent supporters from approaching the camp. As a result, the police were able to easily remove the camp’s residents, as planned.       

While it was inspiring to see so many people come out to demonstrate, the morning’s solidarity demo ended similarly to many of the anti-fascist actions at the Lacolle border – the cops immobilize the crowd, and then they are prevented from achieving their goals. By this point, the only thing left to do was to shout profanities. It was disempowering and ineffective considering that the objective of that morning’s action was to stop the evictions.       

How might this have looked different? How might the people showing up have related in a manner that deterred the cops from forcefully removing people from their homes and community they had established? This reflection recalls another possible ending, one that is entirely speculative.        

I want to begin by acknowledging a few important points to situate how I relate to Monday’s morning call for solidarity: a) while some residents from the camp expressed a willingness to be relocated by the SPVM and social services, several residents expressed an ardent commitment to remaining there despite the threat of eviction. This reflection is an attempt to imagine how supporters could have facilitated conditions so that these residents might have been able to stay; b) there are no certainties in any strategic (re)imagining, so I offer this as a way to consider future responses; c) there were several people present that morning who had already been collaborating with the residents of notre-dame’s encampment and they shared critical information that permitted the solidarity action to materialize. These existing relationships are crucial to any solidarity response; d) I do not have existing relationships with any of the residents or organizers of this tent city.

With the above in mind, I would like to reimagine Monday morning’s action through the lens of deterrence. So, permit me to speculate…

Back in early November, when the weather was changing, the nights becoming colder and the days shorter, many people in the constellation of Montreal’s radical left, anarchist and autonomous organizing community came together to discuss what to do when the residents of the Notre-Dame encampment would face an eviction. They expected this scenario not only because of past experiences, but also because they had prior relationships with people at the camp, and the police had already done similar evictions in other parts of the city as well as in other large cities, like Toronto. They knew to expect a police perimeter restricting access to the camp beginning early the morning of the eviction.

Through conversation and collaboration, organizers of this rapid response coalition arrived at a proposal to bring to the residents of the tent-city: when police came with their eviction threat, supporters would discreetly move into the camp the night before, pitch their tents and be ready in the morning to respond when the cops, firefighters, and social services arrived.

The response by residents to this proposal was mixed. Some were willing to relocate with the support of social services and expressed concerns that such an action would prevent them from being relocated with the limited support they knew the city could offer. Other residents expressed some hesitation, but were generally down with the overall idea of remaining in place and keeping their autonomous community intact. This was super important to many given the fact that for the last 4-5 months many of them had been building relationships of support within this camp. After much discussion, the decision was made that this proposal would go ahead with the understanding that no resident would be blocked from receiving the support the city was offering, even if they knew the support being offered was limited and superficial at best. Everyone walked away from that meeting with a clear understanding of what would happen when the threat of eviction arose.

One month later…

Sometime around 6am, on the morning of December 7th, the first cruiser pulled up. The cops thought they had the upper hand given that the solidarity actions had been posted on Facebook and Twitter for later that morning. However, the organizers of the overnight action made sure to spread the word via secure communication tools and word-of-mouth only. Forty people showed up the night before with tents, and they were all ready to respond. As the cops approached the camp, supporters poured out of their tents and formed a perimeter around the camp’s core area. In the meantime, they were able to get word out to people outside the encampment who were on stand-by. Once these people got the word, they could tell more people to show up so as to reinforce the lines around the eastern and western edges of the camp.

The cops were taken aback by the outpouring of support as well as the willingness of supporters to hold the line. By 730am, the cops were surrounded by an outer and inner line of supporters and people were still showing up by 8am. The police assessed the situation and concluded immediate action could not be taken. While the eviction was avoided that day, the threat was still present. The morning’s action emboldened many residents who began discussing the ways they could try and reinforce their position. The outcome remains unknown, but both residents at the camp and their supporters felt empowered by this initial success.

And while this is just a speculative outcome, I hope it offers something for further reflection about the ways we can shift from a reactionary stance of solidarity towards a stance that carries within it the possibility to truly deter the cops from fuckin’ with the neighbourhood.

Vers une vie sans flic.

Montreal Rent Strike – Beginning April 1, 2020

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Mar 202020

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

11″ x 17″ Poster

8.5″ x 11″ b&w Poster / Bilingual Flyer

See also:

Poor, unemployed, laid-off, precarious, undocumented, contract and other workers — all of us who live month-to-month — will not be able to pay rent this April 1st. Many of us were struggling to pay rent before this crisis hit, and are likely already behind. In a perspective of direct action and social solidarity, ALL tenants can refuse to pay rent on April 1st.

Even if you are able to pay your rent, please consider joining the strike to support those who aren’t. If we all go on rent strike together, we’ll make it impossible for the authorities to target everyone who does not pay.

Together, we can:

  • Stop paying rent;
  • Block evictions and renovictions;
  • Open up vacant housing — including Airbnb, empty condos, and hotels — to house homeless people or those who lack safe housing.

The urgency of the moment demands decisive and collective action. Let’s protect and care for ourselves and our communities. Now more than ever, we must refuse debt and refuse to be exploited. We will not shoulder this burden for the capitalists. Tenants must not be made to pay the price for a collective health crisis.

  • The Régie du logement has suspended eviction hearings. For the immediate future, your landlord cannot take you to the Régie to evict you for not paying rent.*
  • If you nevertheless experience harrassment or intimidation from your landlord, talk with your neighbors about a collective response.

* If the Régie restarts regular operations and you are called to an eviction hearing, you can, as a last resort, avoid an eviction order by paying all outstanding rent on the spot in cash plus fees, as long as you haven’t paid late frequently. But if we’re enough to go on rent strike, we can support each other and make it impossible for evictions to proceed as normal. Further legal information will follow. [See Legal Considerations]


11″ x 17″ Poster

8.5″ x 11″ b&w Poster / Bilingual Flyer

See also: