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

Seeds Against the New Migrant Prison in Laval

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Jun 122019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

As we all know, the Canadian government decided to invest more than 56$ million into locking up hundreds of people in a brand-new prison in Laval, slated to open in 2021. On June 7th, we decided to take back this site of suffering and grief and transform it into a place of life and hope.

Thanks largely to a donation of organic seeds by a Quebec-based cooperative farm, we sowed the 377,500 square meter construction site with 490kg of oats, peas and fava beans. This action builds on the work of other community members and aims to encourage further efforts to stop the construction of the prison. We also see it as a way of preparing the ground for other projects to collectively reappropriate this land for the common purposes. No prisons, no borders!

Key facts:

In 2017, Canada detained close to six thousand migrants, including 162 minors, in various carceral institutions;

The new prison in Laval is part of a 138$ million package announced by the federal government to accompany its 2016 National Immigration Detention Framework (NIDF). Of the total, 122$ million is allocated for the construction of two migrant prisons. Two Quebec-based firms, Lemay and Groupe A, have signed 5M$ contracts to build the prison in Laval. We are impatiently awaiting the announcement of the general constructor;

A true marketing ploy, the NIDF attempts to shift the public debate from the question of why migrants are detained in the first place to that of the conditions of their detention. In this way, the government prides itself in building a prison that camouflages the fact that it is a prison.

People who are detained often suffer psychological and physical violence at the hands of Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents. Since 2000, at least 16 people have died in CBSA custody.

Why do we oppose this prison?

Since its inception, the machinery of the Canadian state has been at the service of economic elites whose sole objective is to exploit resources here and in the Global South, in the process displacing Indigenous peoples throughout the world and extinguishing all forms of life. It is no secret that Canadian companies (Barrick Gold, Goldcorp, Pacific Rime, SNC Lavalin, etc.) working in Africa, South America and the Middle East are accused of violence (murders, gang rapes, forced evictions, etc.) and political interference. Old-style colonialism has been replaced by new forms of control over the bodies and wealth of the Global South, under unbridled capitalism and neoliberalism driving us inexorably towards ecological collapse.

The governments of the Global North promote a utilitarian vision of immigration where migrants are viewed solely as cheap labour; replaceable and temporary. But this migrant workforce has been created by ecological disasters (desertification, deforestation, air and water pollution, floods, etc.), economic and political crises, famine, war – in short, by destruction affecting the entire world, resulting from the greed of a handful of corporations and their masters, which organise this world order.

In this context, the prison, deadly and dehumanising, emerges as a global strategy employed by the west. The objective is twofold: first, to pursue an economic programme characterised by dispossession and unfettered capitalization of remaining resources by the private sector; and secondly, to establish spaces outside the law to confine those deemed “disposable” or a “burden.”

The investment of millions of dollars into the construction of a new migrant prison is not haphazard but exclusively economic necessity and is the result of decades of racist, xenophobic and colonial policies.

Our opposition to the detention of migrants is part of a broader fight against imperialism and colonialism.

— The Rise Up against Prisons and Borders Collective

More information:

Sign on statement against the new prison:

From Embers: Anarchist Bookfair XX

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May 032019

From From Embers

The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair is the largest anarchist gathering in North America and 2019 is it’s 20th year.  In this episode, I interviewed two members of this year’s bookfair collective.  Topics include:

– what, if anything, does the bookfair have to do with books?

-is the bookfair for “us,” for “recruitment,” or both?

-how much should event planners try to shape a space like this? what kinds of policies are appropriate and how, if at all, should they be enforced?

-what should we expect at this year’s bookfair?

The bookfair is coming up on May 25th and 26th!



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Ctrl-Alt-Delete: AI Development in Montreal

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Apr 052019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Our lives are increasingly characterized by algorithms that mediate our relationships to each other and to the world around us. By analyzing our behaviors, our preferences, our networks, and many other aspects of our lives, those who exert power over us manage to stay one step ahead. What’s at stake here is our capacity to have secrets, to resist, to agitate, to attack what destroys everything we love and protects everything we hate. It’s a fight against the new panopticon.

Montreal has become a hub for Artificial Intelligence (AI) development. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been allocated to several companies that now offer tons of specialized yuppie jobs in the domain. At the end of 2018, a document of principles surrounding AI development in Montreal was drafted. These principles were written up by some of the biggest players in AI in an effort to address public concerns about the potential of these new technologies. The document, now known as the Montreal Declaration, lists 10 unattainable and ridiculous principles such as: “The development and use of artificial intelligence systems must permit the growth and well-being of all sentient beings”. Such pitiful public relation stunts by the engineers of social control are no longer surprising. AI will soon be integrated into nearly all spheres of society, from finance and the extractive economy to healthcare and policing. From now on, in a multitude of domains, any entity that wishes to be competitive will need to integrate AI into its operations. States will apply these technologies to expand their capacity for social control, surveillance, and military intervention. We think that it can be useful to shed some light on different projects in the city to demonstrate the intentions of some key players. In order to start a conversation and develop ideas for intervention, we decided to map out Montreal’s AI industry and its allies.

The AI milieu in Montreal is extremely interconnected. Dozens of companies work together to simultaneously develop AI systems for a variety of economic, social, and political goals. The Montreal Institute of Learning Algorithms (MILA), operating out of the University of Montreal (UDM), is one of the leading institutions in terms of research and coordination of projects. According to Valerie Pisano, the president of MILA, “today, there is a buzz around Montreal and artificial intelligence, we are one of the world leaders in terms of creation, production, and inspiration of talents”. MILA’s mission, according to their website, is to federate researchers in the area of Deep Learning and Machine Learning (see FAQ for definitions). They want to share their infrastructure, knowledge and skills with a pool of companies that could benefit from opportunities opened up by their research.

“The machine learning laboratory at the University of Montreal is led by seven professors, Prof. Yoshua Bengio, Prof. Aaron Courville, Prof. Pascal Vincent, Prof. Roland Memisevic, Prof. Christopher Pal, Prof. Laurent Charlin, and Prof. Simon Lacoste-Julien, all of whom are leading world experts in machine learning, especially in the rapidly growing field of deep learning.” MILA also has offices in the O Mile Ex building located in the Parc Extension neighborhood, at 6666 Saint-Urbain Street. O Mile Ex is a part of MILA’s effort to provide a platform for collaboration, share infrastructure, and provide access to their research to a pool of companies. The space hosts numerous companies specialized in research and development for deep-learning, defense, security, and transportation work. Institutions such as Thales, QuantumBlack, the Institute For Data Valorization, and Element AI all have offices at O Mile Ex. Designed by the Lemay architecture firm (known for designing police headquarters, a migrant prison, etc), this tech hub is a hostile force for the residents of Parc-Ex. Not only are these projects likely to negatively affect the lives of the people living there, but they also contribute to gentrifying this largely immigrant neighborhood to accommodate the developers and students working there.

Yoshua Benjio, professor and director at MILA, is one of the pioneers of AI research worldwide, and his expertise has been sought after by various institutions throughout the years. Although Benjio and his team claim to be firmly opposed to the weaponization of AI systems, MILA seems to be working closely with Thales. Thales Canada develops and provides information systems for defense and security, aerospace, and transportation markets in Canada and internationally. It offers command, control, communications and computer-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products, force protection products, and radar and night vision systems. Thales has opened its own private lab at the O Mile Ex building.

MILA has also accepted 4.5 million dollars over three years from Google, which brings us to our next players in Montreal’s AI industry: Hugo Larochelle, Shibl Mourad, and Aaron Brindle. Hugo is Google’s AI research director in Montreal and works at the Google Brain Lab, Shibl is the tech engineering director at Google’s Montreal offices, and Aaron is responsible for communications at Google Canada. Google is planning to double its capacity to operate in Montreal by 2020, when they will move from their current offices at 1253 McGill College to a space twice the size at 425 Viger Street West.

Google has been providing AI technology for drone strike targeting to the Defense Department of the United States. Google tried to obscure this relationship by routing this collaboration through a northern Virginia tech company called ECS Federal. They use deep learning tools to help drone analysts interpret the vast array of image data from the military’s fleet of drones in countries like Syria and Iraq.

Whether it’s the US Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work talking about working with ECS/Google on algorithmic warfare designed to “accelerate [the Department of Defense’s (DoD)] integration of big data and machine learning” and “turn the enormous volume of data available to DoD into actionable intelligence and insights at speed,” or Google devices normalizing the use of forensics like voiceprint, GPS location, search histories and preferences, and so much more, these kinds of developments and future Google projects should be recognized as what they are: tools of social control meant to reconfigure the way that capital flows and the world is governed. It is unclear which projects are being developed in Montreal specifically, but technological advances made in one field can easily be re-purposed and adapted to many other fields.

This arsenal of domination is being pushed forward by companies and people working here in Montreal. Such developments are being used internationally to police communities, silence dissent, and limit people’s capacity to attack the existing order.

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is so ubiquitous that it has become part of our language as a verb. But behind its cool, friendly, 21st-century tech image lies a business model based on surveillance capitalism. Examples include:

“Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond [user’s] expectation of privacy.”

“In Toronto Google is part of the ‘smart city’ project. Its sister- company ‘Side Walk Labs’ is specialized on the matter. This cool name stands for a city where equipment can detect, analyze and collect data in real time, being present at every street corner, installed in the ground and attached to the walls . Everyone will be monitored, for the sake of ‘efficiency’ or saving costs.”

“Machines are increasingly making decisions that influence every aspect of our life. People are being turned into mere series of numbers: Who gets access to credit, how much does insurance cost, who has the right to board a plane, who gets killed by a drone. This is only possible through the harvesting of data by companies like Google.”

(from, website from the fight against Google in Germany)

All of the usual suspects are also very active in Montreal. For instance, Facebook’s artificial intelligence research program or FAIR directed by Joelle Pineau is actively working on Internet of Things (IoT) projects, and Microsoft owned lab Maluuba specializes in deep learning and is trying to double its size by 2020 to have 80 engineers. Microsoft President Brad Smith “is excited to engage with faculties, students and the broader tech community in Montreal, which is becoming a global hub for AI research and innovation.” Several lesser-known but similarly fucking huge companies are also working in Montreal. CGI is a company headquartered in Montreal with hundreds of offices worldwide. Founded in 1976 by Serge Godin and André Imbeau as an IT consulting firm, they soon began branching out into new markets and acquiring other companies. They have customers in a wide array of industries, with many in financial services, public safety (police forces), and defense. CGI also develops products and services for markets such as telecommunications, health, manufacturing, oil and gas, posts and logistics, retail and consumer services, transportation, and utilities. On their website, CGI says it works on developing deep learning, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, smart cities, and automated data analysis tools.

Another firm, Deloitte, has offices in Montreal, and has clients from San Diego to Buenos Aires to India. They are inspired by disturbing case studies in predictive policing and crowd-sourced repression. Here are a few examples from their website:

“The 2011 riots in London were an incredibly chaotic time. There were more than 20,000 emergency calls to police, a 400 percent increase from a normal day; and almost 2,200 calls to the London Fire Brigade, which is 15 times the normal amount. To help catch those involved, the London Metropolitan Police crowd sourced the identities of 2,880 suspects using a smart-phone application. The police asked citizens to download the Face Watch ID app and help identify the persons through images taken from CCTV footage. If an image was known to them, citizens entered the name or address of the person, which was sent to the police immediately and confidentially. This enabled the police to effectively apprehend suspects and led to charges being filed against 1,000 perpetrators.”

“In a city of over four million, and with a crime rate that rose in all categories in 2015, the Los Angeles Police Department knew that it needed to take action. To help tackle crime, Los Angeles piloted a new tool incorporating some of the top Smart Security thinking: PredPol. The mission of PredPol is simple: place officers at the right time and location to give them the best chance of preventing crime. The tool, which has been piloted in the Los Angeles and Santa Cruz police departments, uses three data points – past type, place, and time of crime – to predict criminal behavior. These data points are fed into a unique algorithm, which incorporates criminal behavior patterns. Law enforcement then receive customized crime predictions, automatically generated for each shift in their jurisdiction. These predictions are highly specific and lay out the places, mapped to 500 by 500 feet squares, and times where crimes are most likely to occur. While still only a pilot, PredPol has already brought down property crimes by 13 percent in one of the divisions.”

“Risk Assessment and Sentencing Tool or RAST is a sophisticated data analytics engine that helps classify offenders as low-, medium-, and high-risk and makes targeted sentencing recommendations based on a host of case-specific factors. The RAST canvasses large data repositories across multiple states and jurisdictions, accounting for both static and dynamic factors. Static factors are unchangeable circumstances related to crimes and offenders, such as offense type, current age, criminal history, and age at first arrest. Dynamic factors, sometimes called criminogenic factors, can be mediated by interventions and include attitude, associates, substance use, and antisocial personality patterns. The RAST is more advanced and more useful to judges, juries, and parole boards in three specific ways. First, since the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice administers it at the federal level, it relies on an exceptionally large, nationwide data set. Second, the data is continually reassessed for its predictive validity: It is reviewed annually to determine how often RAST correctly classifies offenders, accounts for static and dynamic factors, and makes effective sentencing decisions as measured by the rate of recidivism. Finally, RAST differs from traditional risk assessment tools because it takes into account more than answers to questionnaires. Static and dynamic factors are used in combination with specific, real-time data such as an offender’s behavior and location.”

The Canadian Bar Association is also talking about implementing AI in the justice system here. Karim Benyekhlef, the expert on the matter, is responsible for the cyberjustice lab at UDM.

Fujitsu has also been making waves in the city. Montreal is planning to sign a 2-million-dollar contract with the Japanese company to make the city “smarter”. Fujitsu is supposed to develop systems that will help direct traffic in order to improve emergency response time. The company would link all of the city’s traffic cameras into a single network to analyze the flow of traffic in order to increase efficiency and monitor traffic.

So why are all of these institutions choosing Montreal? Partly because of ongoing research and a skilled workforce that was established over a decade ago, but also because of incentives created by the state. In September 2016, the Canada First Research Excellence Fund allocated $84 million to McGill University for their Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative and $93.5 million to Université de Montréal for Optimization of Deep Learning and Knowledge Sharing (IVADO). In March 2017, $40 million was allocated to Montreal from the Government of Canada’s $125M Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, administered by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). In spring 2017, $100 million was allocated by the Quebec government for the creation of a province-wide cluster and institute for Artificial Intelligence. In March 2018, the Quebec government announced a grant of $5 million toward the establishment of an international organization on artificial intelligence and $10 million to NEXT.AI and CDL, initiatives of HEC Montreal, over the next five years. SCALE.AI, now partnered with NEXT.AI, is part of a new consortium that will form an international platform of logistical chains that integrate AI. In December 2018, the government of Canada gave 280 million dollars to this new giant managed by Hélène Desmarais, wife of Paul Desmarais – President of Power Corp. She is also executive president at IVADO.

Moving Forward

This research on the network of AI players in Montreal is by no means complete. The list keeps getting longer and the scope of the industry is not about to stop expanding. Others can take this as a starting point and dig deeper.

Although the scope of these projects seems to be all-encompassing, odds are that a lot of the development and applications of these technologies are still in their infancy and quite vulnerable. However, the possibility that these projects will reach their completion in the near future is very likely. We like to think that through our actions, we can inspire others to attack these developments on which systems of domination and social control will increasingly depend. Through conversations and research, we can find the weaknesses of these architects of complacency, and strike.

– some individuals against authority

April 2019, Montreal // Tio’ti:ake



What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning (ML) is a subset of artificial intelligence in the field of computer science that often uses statistical techniques to give computers the ability to “learn” with data, without being explicitly programmed. While ML is often described as a sub-discipline of AI, it’s better to think of it as the current state-of-the-art – it’s the field of AI which today is showing the most promise at providing tools that industry and society can use.

What is Deep Learning?

Deep learning is a particular subset of machine learning. While this branch of programming can become very complex, it started with a very simple question: “If we want a computer system to act intelligently, why don’t we model it after the human brain?” That one thought spawned many efforts in past decades to create algorithms that mimicked the way the human brain worked—and that could solve problems the way that humans did. Those efforts have yielded increasingly competent analysis tools that are used in many different fields.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) comes down to the concept of connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet (and/ or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. The point is that data moves in a web of interconnected items to make everything ‘smart’.


You come home at night. Your smart home recognizes you, and automatically adjusts lighting, temperature, ambient sound. Your domestic items chatter among themselves. “What’s up?”, your computer asks your mobile phone, camera, and all your smart mobile devices, which provide it with daily data. Your smart fridge notes that you eat the last yogurt, and orders more immediately on the Internet.[…] A glance to one of your screens reassures you of your old mother who lives alone: the sensors securing her smart home do not report anything unusual about her blood pressure and medication consumption. She does not need help. In short, without you, your life unfolds just as it should. It’s such a convenience.

(IBM & the Society of Constraint)

Anticapitalist MayDay 2019 – Cabot Square – 6:30PM

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Mar 262019

From the Convergence des luttes anti-capitalistes

On Wednesday May 1st, at 6:30pm, in Square Cabot, the anticapitalist caravan is back at it again to say fuck your borders and fuck your prisons!

For people fleeing miserable living conditions, what are borders if not fences around prisons? After all, what’s the difference between forcing people to live inside arbitrary perimeters against their will and imprisoning them?

Being forced to work for a Canadian company in Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, or elsewhere isn’t much better than being detained. These companies produce all of the useless junk that forms the basis of our modern comfort. The fact that the factories are so far away from Canada makes the exploitation less visible for westerners, though it is clear that slavery has not vanished; it’s only been given a different label. Exploited people pick our fruits, sew our clothes, catch our fish, and die for the rich to get richer, day after day, after day, after day…

When those exploited try to rebel, imperialist states are always happy to sell corrupt governments, armed groups, local prison guards all the weapons and tools to repress anyone who wishes to change the system. Police officers in Central America, guns in Africa, funds in Asia… everything needed to keep local populations under control. Everything needed to support the shaky pyramid of capitalism.

Under these circumstances, how can we not see migrant caravans as people fleeing prisons of poverty and misery? Escaping endless exploitation? This escape is however unacceptable for an imperialist state. States finance complex networks to kidnap freedom seekers and take them back to their original cells where they can waste away working; a network made up of border agents, prisons for migrant families, and immigration police. An entire chain running from Canada to international neo-colonies. A chain made up of imprisoned children, families torn apart, abused women, dead men, and assassinated hopes.

Capitalism is the accumulation of wealth up North at the expense of the global South. It’s the construction of a padded fortress destined for a privileged handful, at the expense of all human decency. Capitalism is the eternal exploitation of three quarters of humanity. This Mayday, let’s attack the sinister agents of capital, the bloodied hands of slave masters: the border infrastructure, the companies gaining wealth building prisons, the inhuman deportation machine. This Mayday, we say fuck borders, prisons, and all who continue to build fences between peoples.

This Mayday, let’s march for freedom! Let’s march for the death of a system that spits on humanity! Let’s march against Capital!

Main Starting Point

Other Demonstrations and Starting Points

  • IWW demonstration (détails to come soon)

Queen Victoria Statue in Montreal attacked with green paint in advance of Demonstration Against Racism and Xenophobia

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Mar 242019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Montreal, March 24, 2019 — A landmark bronze statue to Queen Victoria, unveiled in 1900 and located on Sherbrooke Street at McGill University, was vandalized last night, in advance of the upcoming Demonstration Against Racism and Xenophobia.

Queen Victoria statues in Montreal were targeted at least three times last year: this past Christmas Eve by Santa’s Rebel Elves, on Victoria Day by the Henri Paul Anti-Monarchy Brigade, and on St. Patrick’s Day (2018) by the Delhi-Dublin Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade itself.

According to Séamus Singh of the Brigade: “This year we decided to wait one week after St. Patrick’s Day, to better time our action with anti-racist organizing in Montreal.” The Brigade emphasizes, however, that they are not involved directly or indirectly with the organization of today’s important anti-racist march.

Lakshmi O’Leary, also a member of the Delhi-Dublin Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade, explained: “Actually, we had to spend a considerable amount of time to remove the thick plastic covering which has kept the statue hidden since December, when it was covered in red paint on Christmas Eve.” She added: “We left the hood on Queen Victoria’s face, since, if Irish and Indian anti-colonial rebels in the last century had their way, she would have been properly hanged for her crimes.”

The Brigade asserts that the presence of Queen Victoria statues in Montreal are an insult to the self-determination and resistance struggles of oppressed peoples worldwide, including Indigenous nations in North America (Turtle Island) and Oceania, as well as the peoples of Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent, and everywhere the British Empire committed its atrocities.

The statues are also an insult to the legacy of revolt by Irish freedom fighters, and anti-colonial mutineers of British origin. The statues particularly deserve no public space in Quebec, where the Québecois were denigrated and marginalized by British racists acting in the name of the putrid monarchy represented by Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria’s reign, which continues to be whitewashed in history books and in popular media, represented a massive expansion of the barbaric British Empire. Collectively her reign represents a criminal legacy of genocide, mass murder, torture, massacres, terror, forced famines, concentration camps, theft, cultural denigration, racism, and white supremacy. That legacy should be denounced and attacked.

Last night’s action is motivated and inspired by movements worldwide that have targeted colonial and racist statues for vandalism and removal: Cornwallis in Halifax, John A. Macdonald in Kingston (Ontario) and Victoria (BC), the Rhodes Must Fall movement in South Africa, the resistance to racist Confederate monuments in the USA, and more.

In the words of another Delhi-Dublin Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade member, Udham Connolly: “Our action is a simple expression of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist solidarity, and we encourage others to undertake similar actions against racist monuments and symbols that should be in museums, not taking up our shared public spaces”

Séamus Singh concludes: “This time, however, we are not asking for this statue in particular to be taken down; as long as it remains vandalized with green paint, with Queen Victoria’s head in a hood, it can stay up.”

John A. Macdonald Monument in Montreal vandalized on International Day Against Racism

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Mar 222019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

MONTREAL, March 17, 2019, 5am — At dawn today, on the International Day Against Racism, the racist and colonial John A. Macdonald Monument (1895) was again vandalized with paint.

This time, the #MacdonaldMustFall group in Montreal claims responsibility. Our action is undertaken in solidarity and support with worldwide actions and mobilizations against racism and fascism, including #UniteAgainstRacism demonstrations across Canada, coordinated by the Migrant Rights Network.

The vandalism this morning marks at least the sixth time that the Macdonald Monument has been vandalized in the past two years (previous actions, by our count, on November 12, 2017, June 27, 2018, August 17, 2018, October 7, 2018, and December 24, 2018).

The #MacdonaldMustFall group reminds the media: John A. Macdonald was a white supremacist. He directly contributed to the genocide of Indigenous peoples with the creation of the brutal residential schools system, as well as other measures meant to destroy native cultures and traditions. He was racist and hostile towards non-white minority groups in Canada, openly promoting the preservation of a so-called “Aryan” Canada. He passed laws to exclude people of Chinese origin. He was responsible for the hanging of Métis martyr Louis Riel. Macdonald’s statue belongs in a museum, not as a monument taking up public space in Montreal.

Macdonald statues should be removed from public space and instead placed in archives or museums, where they belong as historical artifacts. Public space should celebrate collective struggles for justice and liberation, not white supremacy and genocide.

Notes on Our March 15th

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Mar 182019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

I want to remember how it felt to be shook by the beauty of the crowd. Fear and anxiety dissipate as a hundred-strong black bloc takes the street, realizing its collective power that compels police units to maintain a safe distance. It’s happening. We can do this.

Attacking luxury cars, hotels, and banks when the police have been made unable to defend them is an attack on the police, which depends on the perception that it can maintain law and order to be respected by good citizens and feared by the excluded. A call-and-response of shattering glass echoes down Peel Street, as projectiles fly at bank windows in quick succession. Not to worry, several rocks, flares, and at least one decent firework are reserved for the SPVM.

Spontaneity works pretty well sometimes, and it’s cool when people roll a dumpster out of an alley, someone else drops a flare in it to start a small fire, an “ACAB” gets tagged on the front, and others decide to charge with it at some cops up ahead, all in the span of sixty seconds, as though carefully choreographed. Our time together is limited, yet expansive.

Riot cops arrived from behind on Maisonneuve and quickly shot tear gas, which had its usual effect on such a relatively small demo. Two people were arrested, and some people were hurt. This brings us to the requisite tactical suggestions for next time:

Making dispersal dangerous (for the cops): when a demo splits into multiple directions after the police attack, we could try to keep our composure, check in with our friends and new surroundings, and see if we can regroup with the others who turned the same corner. We may be smaller in number, but the cops’ attention is divided, and they are unlikely to be positioned to attack us again right away. We might even come across isolated groups of police that are unprepared for a hostile crowd. The state is using chemical weapons and blunt force to cut short a joyous departure from the devastating routine of a prison society, and it might be injuring our friends: let’s respond to the height of their aggression.

Accelerant: let’s bring some/use it? The aforementioned dumpster would have made a better battering ram if it was more fully on fire.

Review of Black Bloc Manual 13th Edition, Chapter 12: choosing the right tool for the job. Not everything is a substitute for a good hammer. Secondly, covering your face isn’t enough to be anonymous. If your mask or something else about your attire stands out amongst the crowd, it could help the cops track you (via undercovers, livestream, or video footage after the fact), which could put you in greater danger as the demo is ending or afterwards.

The rear of the demo: the dispersal tactics on Friday and in the election night demo last October were identical: riot cops arrive about a block away behind the demo and shoot tear gas. The panic that circulates can allow them to drive vehicles straight into the running crowd, accelerating the dispersal. What could a combative crew of people holding down the rear of the demo accomplish? No specific proposals to make here, but we think this is an area for improvement.

Warm greetings to all the other crews and individuals who came out, and to everyone who was there in spirit. Let’s take care of each other and destroy all authority. We would like to hear how you experienced this March 15th.

Sending love to all the rebels behind bars. Fire to the prisons.

We also remember the sacrifice of Anna Campbell, an anarchist who fought with the YPJ in Rojava, who was killed along with four comrades by the fascist Turkish army one year ago, on March 15, 2018.

See you on May Day, or sooner! Fuck the police.

Banner Drop in Solidarity with Unist’ot’en

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Mar 152019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

14th of March, 2019
Tiohtiá:ke, so-called Montréal

This morning at 7:34 AM at the intersection of Papineau and St-Grégoire streets, a banner with the writtings “Solidarity with Unist’ot’en” was erected on a viaduc.

This action is a symbolic gesture in relationship to the 15th of march, on this day two importants protests are to be held, the student protest in defense of climate and the protest against police brutality.

It is important to remember that day in and day out, native peoples find themselves everyday on the frontlines defending against environmental colonialism defended by the police and state institutions.

On the 7th of January of this year, RCMP agents dismantled by force the access point Gidumt’en of the unsuceeded territory of the Wet’suwet’en nation, where is located the Unist’ot’en camp. The native peoples protecting the access point were brutally removed from their territory by the armed forces of the RCMP in order to allow the start of the construction work of the pipeline (Costal GasLink project) of the TransCanada company.

The Unist’ot’en camp, established on the Wet’suwet’en territory since 2009, is an important living environment, that holds a healing center by reconnection to the environment. One of the camps roles is to assure a presence on the territory in order to protect it from the many high-environmental-risk projects that are planned without the consent of the first-nation peoples. Up until now, the presence of the camp has lead to the abandonnement of many pipeline projects.

This banner drop is also a denouncing the hypocrisy of the Trudeau government. The prime minister feigns reconciliation with the first nations, while remaining silent when faced with the recent events in Unist’ot’en. Moreover, his support for the numerous environmentally damaging projects demonstrate an opportunistic immobilism that defies all logic in the current environmental crisis.

“The invasion of the Wet’suwet’en territory by TransCanada is but one example among many that proves the proximity between climate violence, police brutality and native struggles. This banner is a reminder of the convergence between theses struggles as well as a message of solidarity with the peoples who are currently fighting in Wet’suwet’en territories” cries a participant of this action.

WTF Their March 15th and Ours!?

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Mar 052019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

We’re asking ourselves if we want to go to the March 15th climate demo. We tried to go to a reformist demo for the planet a couple months ago. It felt like crap. We’ve been in demos before where we weren’t feeling it, where we didn’t feel in our place (like in a union demo). But there it was really of an entirely different order. Like total incommunicability between our bodies and theirs (or something like that). Like, we didn’t even feel like we were on the same side of the barricade.

The thing is, we came to realize, in that struggle there is no barricade whatsoever.

It’s a struggle without conflict, without antagonism (moreover, it isn’t a struggle). These citizens see themselves as all in agreement and all guilty (as is proper to citizenship, we might add). So we don’t hold it against this movement that it isn’t going far enough, as we reproach so regularly syndicalism’s remaining elements of class struggle. We hold against it what it prevents, by mobilizing people as interior to the system, therefore amputating the negativity of their struggles. We take issue with it for spreading so widely the myth of entirely positive action, where “initiatives” are not corollaries of the destruction of that to which they claim to be alternatives.

That said, as weak as these foundations appear to us, one really gets the impression that people seem to be doing shit. They’re becoming zero-waste, they’re refusing to eat pork roast in their family dinners, they’re dropping out of social sciences to go study agriculture in VICTORIAVILLE (?!?)

Maybe it doesn’t only suck.

We ought to think through the fact that anxious anticipation in the face of the present environmental disaster is an affect widely shared by our generation. And ask ourselves why a certain atemporal anti-capitalism doesn’t succeed in resonating with this affect. We should maybe consider our contemporaries’ obsession with modifying their behaviors and individual lives not only as a variant of their obsession with the construction of their own personal identities, but also as the neoliberal disarming of a rage of which they’ve been dispossessed. To see the compulsive agitation around environmental concerns as not just another fashion, but as the system’s last chance for channeling a panic that traverses our generation. A panic that we feel too, even if, when we think about it for more than 15 seconds, we deal with it by telling ourselves that capitalism is the problem.

In any case, this panic doesn’t start the first time we learn whatever catastrophic statistics on climate change: it is felt, it circulates, it exists between us. The endless awareness campaigns targeting us don’t set it off: they pacify it. Because it’s indeed an unprecedented achievement in pacification that a generation that has been told since a very young age of the coming collapse of the world it inhabits is not already in armed struggle.

Their March 15th and ours shouldn’t prudently ignore one another. Because, you know, our infinite capacity for disinterest in what’s going on outside of our milieus maybe isn’t among our best qualities. Maybe, in fact, it’s interesting that mainstream environmentalism is seeing the possibility for a certain offensivity opened up (offensivity that of course exists already in land defense struggles and among radical environmentalists).

Guys! We really don’t want to be the 50 dumbasses just doing their annual March 15th demo, believing we’re experimenting with the actions of their civil war, and not even able to feel concerned by the fact that people who have never gone on strike have begun saying that the climate is a structural question. How about we admit that environmental concerns are one of the rare things right now that are pushing people to make changes in their lives. Perhaps we shouldn’t let this momentum pass us by completely, even if sometimes it seems driven solely by the winds of neoliberalism. We could work to return to it the conflictual dimension that should in all logic be its foundation.

The night of March 15th, we’ll be happy to find ourselves amongst one another. But we’ve got to remember that when something really goes down, we’re always the first to be surprised, so let’s keep on the lookout for what could surpass us.

Attacks against OSHA Condo Advertising Billboards

 Comments Off on Attacks against OSHA Condo Advertising Billboards
Jan 262019

Anonymous submission to MTL Counter-info

Last night and the one before, different crews bombarded the colonial-themed advertising billboards for the new condo project OSHA with paint.

The OSHA Condo project is simple: the destruction of Hochelaga. How? With the arrival of more than 200 condo units (selling for between $200 000 for a 2 and a half and more than $500 000 for a 4 and a half). Meaning 300 to 500 more yuppies in our neighborhood, and in a particularly sensitive location home to many of those tossed aside in recent decades by different real estate developments. The arrival of opulence, where misery reigns. Raising the number of cops and patrols, of expensive eco-ethico-responsible-biodegradable stores, of chic restaurants daring to name themselves “Les AffamÉes” (“the starving”) in one of the largest food deserts in Montreal. A social cleansing in every respect.

Adding insult to injury, the owners decided to use an indigenous theme. The billboards’ use of an image of the encounter between peoples reinforces the idea of a peaceful and consensual exchange between colonizers and first peoples. We shatter this image. The Americas were built in violence. Montreal is a city made possible by a genocide. Its modernization rests since its foundation on the exploitation of stolen land. The OSHA condo project is only the latest, most pathetic example.

And you thought we would let you do as you like? The plurality of groups currently organizing against the construction of these condos testifies to the feeling of anger, widely shared in the neighborhood, against this latest offensive of gentrification. In the months to come, the forms of contestation and sabotage will multiply. Despite the advances of gentrifying projects in Hochelaga, an expertise of struggle against them has developed, and there is no doubt we will put it to use.

These attacks are just a first warning
We are many and we are determined
These condos don’t stand a chance