Comments Off on Message to Those Who Do Wheatpasting and Postering in the Streets of Montréal
Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info
Hello to y’all,
This message is addressed to people who do wheatpasting in the streets of Montreal. Please feel free to spread the word, I think it’s important for everyone to know this.
Recently, the city of montreal sent a warning to the DIRA anarchist library, in relation to posters that were put up near the library. The city demanded that the DIRA library remove this “promotional material” under threat of legal action and also that an invoice for cleaning the posters would be sent to them. These posters have no connection with the DIRA, and were not put up by the DIRA itself, so the DIRA is not going to remove them. However, this may be an indicator that the city of montreal is changing its policies regarding wheatpasting.
Wheatpasting have been allowed since the Singh ruling in 2010, which follows an arrest in 2000. You can see more details here (in French only) and the text of the Singh judgment here (especially paragraphs 41 to 45). Basically, this ruling allowed wheatpasting because the city did not have enough billboards, they were not in all neighbourhoods and they did not cover major streets. Note that this ruling does not authorize postering: it authorizes postering as long as the city does not provide enough places to place them.
It is possible that the city now considers that there are enough places to post, and is now trying to crack down on people and organizations that post on the streets of montreal outside of billboards. It is possible that we are facing a new form of repression from the city of montreal. We are not going to stop placing posters on city materials, but I would recommend that you :
* If you are placing posters, make sure you have at least one person to “copwatch”, i.e. someone to look around for cops or city employees, * If you are arrested or know someone who has been arrested, contact the LDL (Ligue des droits et libertés) and send them the message: https://liguedesdroits.ca/a-propos/contact/ * If you know of an organization that has been penalized by the city because of its posters, contact the LDL: https://liguedesdroits.ca/a-propos/contact/
This new episode of repression underlines the importance of defunding the police: when the police doesn’t know what to do with their money, they use it to crush the most vulnerable and those who oppose their established order. Any social housing that is not built because the city wants to keep its poles black, boring and depressing should be seen as what it is: a fucking scandal.
Love and rage,
Don’t hesitate to check out our posters section and to submit your creations in pdf format.
A year ago now, on February 13, 2022, Ottawa residents blocked convoy vehicles on Billings Bridge and held it for hours. Since then, muchhasbeenwrittenabout 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—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 itwasn’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. 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.”
 Remembering, of course, that until it is wholly returned to the Algonquin Nation, Ottawa remains occupied territory.
 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.
In 1851, Victor Hugo wrote what would become the well-known slogan: “Police everywhere, justice nowhere”. We have to admit that he was right, and that his words are still relevant today. The function of the police is not and has never been to serve and protect; nor is that of the prison to help the offenders to repair the harm (when there is harm!) and to reintegrate society. The police and prison apparatus are part of the repressive machine of the state, which has the primary function of maintaining the established order and allowing capital to profit, and only secondarily of preventing violence and abuse. No wonder it is so inefficient.
As every year for more than a quarter of a century, the journal “Police State” is a platform used to denounce how the current social order is relying on such state violence to maintain itself. We therefore call for your contribution in the form of texts, drawings, comics, photos, poems or any other ideas for the newspaper of this 27th edition of the IDAPB.
This year’s thematic will be : “In the streets or in jails, police brutality prevails”. You can also send us your already published texts, or existing links.
Contributions to the journal should be no more than 2 pages long and can be written in French, English or Spanish. Authors who wish to have their texts translated must let us know in a reasonable time frame so that we can find translators. We also invite you to attach images to accompany your text, if you wish. The images will not be counted in the two pages.
The final deadline for the content of the paper journal is February 8, 2023.
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.
We denounce the death of migrants detained at the Detention Center in Surrey, BC, and at Roxham Road.
We are, once again, infuriated and saddened to learn of the death of two migrants within a period of two weeks.
The death on Christmas Day of a person detained by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the Surrey’s CBSA detention center in British Columbia was announced on December 27 by CBSA. On January 5, Sûreté du Québec confirmed they found the dead body of a man near Roxham Road, an irregular crossing of migrants between the USA and Canada.
We deplore the death of the migrant man near Roxham Road and hold the Canadian government responsible and accountable for it. While we do not know the cause of the death, we can say with certainty that no one should have to die alone trying to cross the border at great personal stress, danger, and grave expense. Every person has the right to migrate, the right to resist forced displacement, and the right to return to their country of origin if they so choose.
Let us recall that it is the Safe Third Country Agreement that forces people to choose riskier ways to cross the border. The STCA is an agreement between Canada and the United States that has been in place since 2004 and states that the United States and Canada designate the other country as a safe country for refugees and close the door to most refugee claimants at the US-Canada border. This agreement has been widely criticized by many organizations and by migrants and refugees themselves, particularly because it undermines the right of anyone fleeing persecution to seek asylum. Under this agreement, migrants and refugees who make asylum claims at official border crossings in Canada not meeting the criteria are automatically removed to the United States without due process. As a result, many migrants and refugees resign themselves to crossing the US-Canada border through so-called “irregular” ports of entry, including Roxham Road, sometimes at great risk to their lives – as seen in this case.
As for the death of the person detained by CBSA, their statement mentioned that the next of kin of the deceased migrant were contacted, but gave no information concerning the name, age, gender, country of origin, let alone the reason or duration of their detention. The information on the circumstances under which the person died in the detention center — as to why they could not get the person to a hospital in time to save their life — was also withheld. As usual, CBSA claims to do so “due to privacy consideration” (source: CBSA statement).
The death of this migrant in the Surrey BC prison echoes that of another person detained in Laval QC in January 2022. The CBSA similarly shared no details, particularly of the circumstances of the person’s death, and insisted that no information would be released as an “investigation is ongoing”. Almost a year later, there have been no updates. It is now becoming more and more clear that the CBSA means only to obscure the extraordinary violence of their detention regime and ensure that they are never accountable for the deaths in their custody, as they attempt to outwait the public scrutiny.
The person in Surrey, BC who was under CBSA custody died in the newly built immigration detention center. Ironically, in Montreal, groups have been protesting the newly built migrant prison – the so-called detention center, that is marketed as a more comfortable place for those detained. A prison is a prison whether there is a yard inside or not. These facilities are inhumane and the treatment of people detained therein remains harsh and as we saw, at times, lethal. Millions of dollars spent in new facilities does not replace freedom. No imprisonment provides justice or dignity.
We repeat: Borders Kill, CBSA Negligence Kills. No migrant, no human being, should have to suffer such inhumane treatment. We will fight until every person is free.
The way CBSA handles the detention and the medical care of people detained makes it clear how they dehumanize people while in detention and also in their death. This treatment of people detained is evident from the number of deaths of people while under CBSA custody; over the past twenty years, at least 17 people have died in detention:
Bolante Idowu Alo Abdurahman Ibrahim Hassan Fransisco Javier Roméro Astorga Melkioro Gahung Jan Szamko Lucia Vega Jimenez Joseph Fernandes Kevon O’BrienPhillip Unidentified man Shawn Dwight Cole Unidentified man Joseph Dunn Unidentified person Sheik Kudrath Maxamillion Akamai Unidentified person Unidentified person
“As long as the CBSA continues to detain migrants, deaths in detention will continue,” said a joint statement issued by migrant justice organizations based in BC.
We, the undersigned groups, stand in solidarity with the family of the person killed and with the groups in BC on the frontlines fighting this injustice.
Let us recall that detention is an inherent part of the repressive matrix of the Canadian immigration system. It’s a tool of the Canadian imperialist state that ignores any responsibility towards the people who are migrating for a better life, seeking to leave situations of poverty, exploitation and violence, where the Canadian state and companies are often complicit in creating these very conditions.
The aim of the detention apparatus of the State is to deter people from entering fortress Canada. This oppresses migrants and forces them to live in the margins, isolated and underground, constantly fearing arrest and imprisonment. The practice of putting migrants in prison promotes exploitation where the vulnerable people resort to working and living in abusive and unsafe conditions without recourse or protection.
We denounce the deaths of migrants at the Roxham Road and in the detention center in Surrey, BC and demand that this violence and impunity of CBSA ends. Not one more death.
We demand open borders, no Safe Third Country Agreement, and the free movement of people seeking justice and dignity. That is, freedom to move, freedom to return, and freedom to stay.
Stop the detentions, stop the deportations! We demand a comprehensive, ongoing regularization program without any exceptions and discriminations!
Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network) Carranza LLP Migrant Workers Alliance for Change Migrante Canada Migrante BC No One Is Illegal Toronto Parkdale Community Legal Services RAMA Okanagan RAMA Isla Sanctuary Health Sanctuary Students Solidarity & Support Collective Solidarity Across Borders Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights Workers’ Action Centre
Valérie, your cheap little speeches with their weak leftist flavor no longer convince even the staunchest citizens. Your determination to increase the SPVM’s budget over and over again motivated us to attack the equipment of the city of Montreal a bit. Last Thursday night, in Rosemont, the tires of 15 city vehicles, cars, vans and small trucks, were slashed with a knife and a nail. Watch out for your personal vehicles. Have a nice day!
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.”
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.
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…
We were out holding up a banner with a phone number on it to connect with prisoners at the Barton jail in Hamilton, Canada, the way we usually do, but we thought we would also take a moment to express our solidarity with anarchist prisoners in struggle.
Alfredo Cospito has been on hunger strike in Italy’s Bancali prison since October 20th to demand that he be moved out of segregation and have his phone calls, mail, and visits restored. He was placed in these conditions back in May essentially to punish him for staying involved in the anarchist struggle from inside.
As the Barton Prisoner Solidarity Project, we strongly believe in not leaving prisoners behind and in supporting them when they struggle against the prisons that oppress them. Some of us have done time and others have supported their locked up friends, and we all know how important and valuable it is to keep anarchist prisoners present in our lives. Not as an act of charity for people who are locked up, but because of the comradeship and valuable contributions they can still make.
Ivan Alocco, Anna Beniamino, and Juan Sorroche are also anarchist prisoners who launched hunger strikes in solidarity with Alfredo, and we extend our solidarity to them as well. It is only through the multiplication and convergence of struggles that we gain the power to win, and know that as we work with prisoners in Barton to destroy prison here, all of you are in our hearts.
Our ugly, quick little banner is a small gesture, but know it represents your presence alongside us in struggle.
Comments Off on Announcing Creeker Vol 2 and The Creeker Companion Vol 2
Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info
Creeker is a grassroots, anti-authoritarian zine series that aims to bring depth, variety, critique and continuity to the ongoing process of reflecting on the Ada’itsx/Fairy Creek blockade and related efforts. It is intended for creekers themselves, land defenders elsewhere, and the land defenders yet to come.
Last summer on so-called Vancouver Island, thousands of people moved through a de-facto autonomous zone spanning multiple watersheds. A constellation of struggle burned bright, welcoming into its fold a new generation of land defenders. We cannot begin to fathom the amount of stories of collective and individual experience that have piled up, but we also recognize how sleep deprivation, trauma loops, burnout, and the shock of returning to society can preoccupy our minds.
In response to an open invitation to contribute to this zine project, many have shared some of what they have begun to process. Creeker Vol 1 and Vol 2 include art, analysis, photography, history, personal reflection and poetry that were anonymously sourced from participants at the blockade.
Creeker Vol 2 expands on some of the themes of Vol 1 with eloquent and hard-hitting writing exploring the dynamics of autonomous forest defense in conflict with recuperative tendencies at Fairy Creek, and the ever-present treachery of environmental NGOs and the non profit industrial complex. Vol 2 also begins to revive vital histories of radical, uncontrollable resistance in the nearby Kax:iks/Walbran and Elaho Valleys, helping to bridge emerging generation gaps caused in part by decades of pacifist liberal whitewashing.
The Creeker Companion zines are curated to complement the Creeker zines with material that’s relevant to Ada’itsx and similar movements, but much broader in scope. Companion Vol 1 and Vol 2 both explore topics such as movement history, state repression, and thoughtfully critical approaches to identity politics. Vol 1 features mostly longer form pieces, while Vol 2 samples briefly from various material including essays, poetry, communiques and more, joined together with a playfully insurrectionary vibe.
At around 9am on Sunday, August 7th, Fierté Montréal informed the public via Twitter that they were cancelling the pride parade. While they initially claimed that there had been an impasse between organizers and the SPVM on questions of ‘security’ following early-morning negotiations, Fierté later retracted that statement, assuring the public that the SPVM had nothing to do with the decision. The current media line coming out of Fierté seems to be that the person responsible for making sure there were enough volunteers on the ground to block off the streets simply ‘forgot’ to do exactly that.
There is something surreal about the speed with which these stories are changing. It should anger us that Fierté can’t give us a straightforward, honest answer. Did they or did they not meet with the cops Sunday morning? What happened between the time they publicly announced that negotiations with the cops had led to an impasse and the time they retracted their statement to assure the public that the decision was, in fact, theirs and theirs alone? Why did Gamache later feel such a need to stress, publicly, how great the SPVM has been? The less said about the narrative according to which someone at Fierté simply ‘forgot’ to come up with 80 volunteers, the better. Why is it that they can’t speak to us plainly?
Angered by the decision to cancel the Parade, queers on social media called for the community to meet at Place Émilie-Gamelin. A spontaneous demonstration, led by queers and anarchists on site, left the square, heading West on Sainte-Catherine Street. There were no paid staff or trained volunteers, but there was a banner, black marker on cardboard, “Queer liberation without authorisation”, and another, “Fuck le cis-tème”. Rather than private security, politicians, or corporate sponsors, we had anti-police chants. We’d like to think the latter put out the right energy, because when we doubled back past the square, the street rapidly filled with more people.
The march continued through the Village, growing in size as it went, and up to Sherbrooke street, where it headed west. The demo was so big that we could never see the back of it from the front; one participant estimates we were at least 40,000 people. Bike cops surveilling the march were overheard telling participants: ‘You really don’t know where you’re going, do you?’ True, but as always, the cops missed the point. Folks might not have known where they were going, but they sure as hell knew exactly what they were doing. Refusing police presence at the march and pushing back against the anti-queer police/security logic which led to the cancellation of the parade, folks chanted, ‘La fierté, sans sécurité’. After the march turned north on Saint-Laurent, folks started chanting ‘Tou.te.s, uni.e.s, contre l’homophobie’, later holding a minute of silence for the victims of HIV/AIDS. The march then headed south and from afar, marchers could see the SPVM’s riot squad gearing up to protect… its headquarters. The march ended at the Quartier des Spectacles, with folks taking advantage of the water-works and blending into the crowd. As the march came to an end, a jock-strap sporting twunk said, ‘You see, this what happens when you say no to the gays’. Indeed.
Earlier that day, the SPVM had taken to twitter to let us know that “like every year, we were ready to oversee the event and we will be there for every edition”. It would seem, however, that very few cops were there for this year’s edition. While the SPVM did have a few bike cops present for the march, it was unable to adequately block streets, outpaced by the spontaneity of the march, as marchers looked out for one another rather than relying on police to keep us safe. This is precisely the kind of scenario that Gamache feared when he made a statement discouraging Pride-goers from joining “disorganized” marches throughout the city. This year, however, neither Gamache nor the SPVM had anything to say about what took place. Let’s make sure it stays this way.