The role of anarchists in the Quebec student movement: An interview with Rémi Bellemare-Caron

[b]Linchpin: Can you tell us what your role is in the anarchist and student movements in Quebec?[/b]

[b]Rémi:[/b] At the moment, I'm a “supporter’’ of the [url=]Union Communiste Libertaire[/url] and I have been a member of the UCL for several years in the past. As for my role in the student movement, since I am not taking any courses in the current session, I'm not a member of any student union. But I am a student at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) studying for a Masters degree in Political Science. I am also on the executive committee of my teaching and research assistants union, which is a Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) local.

Inside the student movement I mostly do support work. I facilitate general assemblies and congresses. I organize workshops to share skills such as how to facilitate general assemblies and how to protect oneself from police in demonstrations, etc. I obviously also participate in the demonstrations and the different actions organized by the student movement.

Besides this, I am also writing a chapter on anarchism in the Quebec student movement for a book about anarchism in Quebec today.

[b]Linchpin: Historically, has the anarchist movement played an important role in the student movement in Quebec?[/b]

George Horton, Living as a G20 Defendant

By Zach Ruiter and Misha Synder

George Horton’s Toronto G20 Summit trial was set to conclude on February 14th 2012 but it has been held over to May 16th 2012. Horton plead to three counts of Attempted Mischief and is still on trial for assault, intimidation, and obstruct a police officer involving cruiser number 766. Horton was arrested in Peterborough Ontario on September 28th 2010 and delivered to the G20 investigation team and then spent one week incarcerated in Toronto West Detention Centre. George’s case has been on going for approximately sixteen months. This online-documentary was filmed in Peterborough Ontario on February 5th 2012 at a local café, and the apartment Horton shares with his partner Jennifer, their dog Kasey, a cat, and a rabbit.

Supreme Court to Hear O.P.P. Appeal Against Justice for Levi

By Zach Ruiter

Justice for Levi is a collation dedicated to the memory of Levi Schaeffer. The coalition had successfully challenged the Ontario Police at the Ontario Superior Court. The court ruled the conduct of police who shot and killed Schaeffer violated the Police Services Act. The Ontario Police have successfully appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, which is expected to hear the case sometime in December 2012.

The officers in question, Kris Wood and Mark Pullbrook collaborated with police lawyer Andrew McKay to write/fabricate their notes. This allowed the officers to get their stories straight before submitting them to the Special Investigations Unit.

The coalition Justice for Levi hosted an event at the Peterborough Library on January 31st to release a 15-minute video presentation detailing their struggle. (Justice for Levi Video, We Want Justice For Our Communities Not Police Impunity.")

The video presents a simple yet compelling graphic narrative in black and white. It communicates the reluctance of the Ontario Police to be accountable to the families of those they kill. As an example, the video details how police requested a portion of $92,000 in legal costs from the Schaeffer family.

According to Kenny Hone, a Justice for Levi spokesperson, “the 3000 person strong O.P.P. with millions of dollars at their disposal are trying to crush poor families who are only seeking justice”.

Lessons From Tahrir: An Interview with Nadim Fateh and Ali Mikkawa

[i]23 year old filmmaking student NADIM FATEH was born in Cairo, Egypt and moved to Toronto in his early life. After making it onto the Toronto Police’s “top 40 wanted list” for his alleged role in the fiery G20 protests, he spent the last spring and summer in Cairo, Athens, and Madrid, participating and documenting the revolutionary movements there before becoming a part of Occupy Toronto.[/i]

[i]34 year old architect ALI MIKKAWA was an active participant in the Egyptian uprising. He helped organize demonstrations and to establish the initial sit-in in Tahrir square. [/i]

[i]Both Nadim and Ali spoke with Linchpin separately. [/i]

[url= Nadim's full interview[/url]
[url= Ali's full interview [/url]


[b]What were the first protests or meetings that got you involved with events in Egypt?[/b]

[b]Ali:[/b] I got involved with the Kefaya protests that started seven years ago. This movement was the first to take to the streets to protest for the long rule of Mubarak and it stands for “Enough”. The movement started to gain momentum slowly but surely... and I really got engaged later when [former IAEA head] Mohammed El Baradei returned to Egypt. From that point onwards I was more active campaigning for his One Million Signature campaign to change the constitution.

Organizing To Occupy: Inside Occupy Toronto

By Brandon Gray

[b][i]For forty days this past autumn, approximately 500 people, mostly youth, maintained a protest camp in St. James Park, a couple blocks from the third largest stock exchange in North America. As part of the global 'Occupy' movement against economic inequality, the park was a base in which a political dialogue could happen using direct action and non-hierarchical decision-making.[/i][/b]

I had intently followed the Tunisian uprising, watched the battles for Tahrir Square and paid close attention to the Spanish Indignados as the wave of revolt headed westward and finally reached Wall Street. Through facebook I signed up for the logistics and outreach committees nearly two weeks before the occupation, hoping that one area of work would compliment the other. The first logistics meetings were awkwardly tense because nobody knew each other, a proper meeting structure was absent, and almost everyone there was new to activism. However the people showing up to meetings were working very hard to make the occupation a success and had diverse backgrounds to draw on. We soon had a long list of needed items, beginning with the big stuff: generators and toilets. I thought that the best relationship to have with the unions was one in which all materiel support would be welcomed but any members taking part would do so just like everyone else at occupy.

I was hand-billing at U of T campus before heading down to Berczy Park for the second planning assembly, when a man walked up to me to ask me about Occupy. It turned out he had participated in the early protests that evolved into the Egyptian uprising. He helped me get our flyers out to people before we headed down to the assembly together, discussing how to build a movement here based on the specific tactics they had used in Egypt. It was very exciting: revolutionaries were finding each other and sharing experiences and advice, integrating the nodes of this world struggle.

Linchpin Issue 15

Issue 15 of Linchpin, the newspaper of Common Cause, is now available online.

Inside you will find articles on CUPE's upcoming strikes and lockouts affecting the City and University of Toronto, the struggle against Caterpillar being waged by locked out workers at Electro-Motive in London, reports from Occupy Toronto and Occupy Hamilton, interviews with participants in the Egyptian Revolution and more!

Download Linchpin here!

Stopping the Bulldozers: CAT and the EMC Lockout

[i]Protest signs and work boots hang off a fence at the front gate of the Electro-Motive Diesel plant in London Ont. on Jan. 21[/i] [b] Photo: Mick Sweetman[/b]

By Alex Balch

There was little to celebrate this New Years Eve for workers at the Electro-Motive Canada (EMC) plant in London, Ontario. As midnight struck, the factory's 465 employees found themselves locked out of their workplace and forced into a labour dispute with one of the largest industrial equipment manufacturers in the world – Caterpillar Inc (CAT).

Making matters worse for the workers represented by Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) local 27, is the fact that CAT - like most industry-leading conglomerates - is notoriously brutal. This brutality has built the company a reputation as a strident enemy of organized labour. Its rise to prominence in the corporate world owes much to the ruthless manner in which it has historically employed union-busting tactics and cost-cutting measures. Beginning in 1992, United Auto Workers (UAW) members in Decatur, IL fought a bitter six-year strike with CAT. The company's threats to hire a permanent replacement workforce eventually pushed a frightened UAW leadership into accepting humiliating concessions. The betrayal of Skilled Trades Unions – whose members crossed picket lines to service industrial machinery operated by scabs - left workers in the community thoroughly disillusioned and their union local broken. This is CAT's legacy in the United States.

After acquiring the London EMC plant as part of their $890 million dollar purchase of US-based Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) in 2010, CAT introduced a new contract that would cut workers' wages in half (from $34.00 to $16.50) and drastically reduce their pensions and benefits. In justifying the massive rollbacks, CAT cited their concerns that the EMC plant's workforce wasn't “sufficiently flexible and cost-competitive in the global marketplace.”

Common Cause London's Statement on the EMC Lockout

Common Cause supports the locked out workers of CAW Local 27 in their struggle for a living wage. The year of 2012 has begun with a blatant attack on the working class. Electromotive Canada (EMC), owned by Caterpillar, has demanded a 50 per cent wage cut and major pension and benefit concessions. When the workers refused to accept that offer the company locked them out at the start of the year. This shows that the capitalist class, aka the 1%, is only interested in their own profits and will stop at nothing to meet this goal.

The events at EMC will set the tone for the struggle against exploitation in London, Canada, and beyond. Whether this ends in victory or defeat, this struggle is important for all working people, but we must do everything we can to win. If mobilized, the power of the labour movement can stop the bosses in their tracks.

Common Cause will support the factory workers on the picket lines, if they choose to occupy, and in other actions they decide to take. This is an opportunity for workers to take control of their own workplace - to stop being defensive and go on the attack.

We encourage other anarchists, community activists and trade unionists to mobilize in support of the EMC workers. The Ontario Federation of Labour has called for a [url=]day of action[/url] on Jan. 21 against Caterpillar. There will be a large rally to show our strength starting at 11 a.m. in Victoria Park.

If you can't make it to London for Jan. 21, talk to your neighbours and coworkers to start organizing secondary pickets [url=]at a Caterpillar store near you[/url].

- Common Cause London

Class War on the Work Floor - Audio Recording

Between October 22 and October 25, Common Cause organized a speaking tour entitled “Class War On The Workfloor” in four Ontario cities (Hamilton, Toronto, Kitchener & London). The speaker was postal worker, anarchist and rank-and-file trouble maker, Rachael Stafford, from Edmonton.

Below is the audio recording from the Hamilton stop of the tour, held on October 22, 2011. The talk outlines a perspective on workplace organizing not dependent on union executives, but rather on empowering workers to fight their own battles. In the audio recording Stafford explains why it’s important to deal with issues as they arise on the floor through direct action, worker education, and participatory decision making in order to build the kind of struggle that can aim for the whole pie -- not just a bigger piece. The talk also offers first-hand context to the recent CUPW struggle, which saw postal workers go from being on strike to being locked out and quickly legislated back to work. This bitter experience was a clear example of the bosses' ongoing campaign to claw back the very rights workers fought for (and won) decades ago. Because postal workers are not alone in facing cutbacks, exploitation, greedy bosses, and the like, they have a lot in common with other workers -- and we all stand to learn a lot from one another's struggles.

[url=]Listen to Part One:[/url]

[url=]Listen to Part Two:[/url]

Mon corps, mes règles:

[b]Un argument pour que les survivantes(s) de viol et de violence domestique deviennent des militantes(s) syndicalistes[/b]

Liberté Locke, une militante au syndicat des travailleurs de Starbuck, écrit dans cet article la similarité entre la violence au travail et la violence sexuelle. Elle explique en effet que les agresseurs sexuels et les patrons utilisent les mêmes techniques de contrôle et qu’il nous est nécessaire de se battre contre ces deux formes d’oppression.

[b]AVERTISSEMENT: Cet article parle du sujet de la violence sexuelle.[/b]

J’ai été violée par mon chum le 18 Août, 2006. La journée suivante, je retenais mes larmes pendant que je mentais à un inconnu au téléphone expliquant pourquoi je devais manquer ma 2e entrevue pour un emploi que j’avais besoin désespérément. Quand j’ai finalement raccroché, je reçu un nouveau message texte. ‘’ Ce n’est pas terminé. Ce ne sera jamais terminé entre nous...’’

Le lendemain, je suis allée à ma 2e entrevue. C’était à l’intérieur de la Tour Sears au Starbuck à Chicago. J’ai pris le train pour aller à l’entrevue regardant constamment autour de moi et tremblant de peur. Mais, j’avais besoin d’un travail. Je venais d’être renvoyée du magasin Target deux semaines plus tôt et je n’avais d’autres options. Je savais que j’allais avoir à passer le détecteur de métal afin de pouvoir entrer dans l’édifice et malgré mon instinct me disant autrement, je n’ai pas apporté un couteau avec moi.

‘’ Que feriez-vous si vous surpreniez un collègue de travail en train de voler?’’

Mes pensées défilaient à toute vitesse. Je me disais que je risquais ma sécurité en sortant de la maison pour un emploi stupide qui paie seulement 7,75$ de l’heure. Ne valais-je pas mieux que ça? Ne valons-nous pas beaucoup plus que ça?
‘’Je le dirais à mon supérieur tout de suite, évidemment. Je n’ai jamais compris pourquoi certaines personnes volent au travail…’’