Struggles and organization in the community
Mayday was celebrated in Hamilton this year with the second annual "Mayday 2008: A Festival of Liberation" held from April 26 to May 3. The festival was organized by the Sky Dragon Community Development Coop (Hamilton's major hub for all things left) and co-ordinated with the Hamilton District Labour Council, the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, and Hamilton Artists Inc.
Common Cause Hamilton participated by organizing several events. As part of the week long series of discussion groups and film screenings, we organized a showing of the documentary, Grass Through Concrete, which chronicles the hard-fought but ultimately unsuccessful struggle to stop the building of a major highway through Hamilton's urban forest, the Red Hill Valley.
The Free women of Spain strikes its readers into thinking about equality, empowerment community and revolution, Karine from the Hamilton local delves in further to what sounds like a brilliant book.
Martha Acklesberg, in Free Women of Spain, reviews the history of the struggle for women's emancipation in Spain, before and during the Spanish Revolution (1936-1939), focusing on the major anarchist women's organization, the Mujeres Libres (Free Women) a group of libertarian women in many parts of Spain.
Anarchistblackcat.org is a moderated discussion board, set up by platformist anarchists. It was set up for a number of different reasons, here one of the moderators gives us her take on why the site was set up and what role it can play in our movement.
University of Toronto Students Occupy President's Office
Police violence used to force students out
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2008 – Toronto
March 20, 2008 thirty-five University of Toronto students occupied Simcoe Hall, the home of the President's Office, to protest a 20% fee increase. The nonviolent sit-in was accompanied with a peaceful rally outside the building—until the police began brutalizing those inside. This was captured by multiple video cameras.
On Tuesday, as a result of the death of another homeless person, an Aboriginal man who froze to death in a stairwell at Yonge and Charles, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty organized an emergency action at Toronto City Hall. According to Gaetan Heroux, an OCAP organizer, city officials laughably claimed that there were adequate shelter spaces and service provisions for the homeless, defying claims by the very people, social workers and others, staffed at the shelters.
by Greg Macdougall
The next Ottawa Anarchist Assembly is tentatively set to be held on Sunday February 24 (see info above). Judging from the success of the previous three Assemblies, it should be both a good time and a useful gathering point for people involved and interested in radical struggle in the Ottawa region.
Lia Tarachansky, an Assembly organizer, describes how “the first assemblies have been great venues for social organizing in Ottawa ... They had allowed for a space for sharing of activities, gathering voices for campaigns, and for community building.” Attendance has varied, between 40 and 80 people, with over a dozen local activist groups making presentations to those in attendance.
The purpose behind the initial idea to hold these events was
clear: “There was a consensus in the Ottawa activist scene that a space for regular large gatherings was needed.” The first Assembly was held in April of 2007, and every 3-4 months since there has been another.
Canada is getting ready to play host to the 2010 winter Olympic games and the 2010 G8 summit, and is also preparing to ratify the SPP agreement.
But resistance to these events has already started! From coast to coast anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, anti-poverty activists and folks opposed to the military and economic occupations at home and abroad are mobilizing and organizing to confront these institutions!
On February 12th PGA Ottawa is launching its “Capital Punishment 2010” campaign, aimed at disrupting business as usual for the corporations that will be profiting from the Olympics, the SPP and the G8 summit. Join us on Feb 12th (two year countdown to the games). We will be marching through the market area to expose and oppose the NACC, CCCE and Olympics sponsors operating in our city.
You are encouraged to bring noisemakers, a fiery heart and any other instruments to light up the night.
by Matt Morgan-Brown
The Ottawa Anarchist Discussion Group (OADG) is regularly held every second Sunday afternoon and is made of local Ottawa community organizers and participants who share an anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-oppression politics. We are involved in diverse struggles and prioritize maintaining a link between theory and practice.
by Gesyk of Exile Collective
Exile started off with a bunch of young, like minded activists, who came together to discuss the possibilities of opening up a anarchist store front/resource centre in central Ottawa. We all knew that Ottawa needed a safe space for radicals and the like to be able to discuss ideas and organize, and in our country’s political crapital, of all places, it is absolutely crucial that members of the community have access to alternative media and resources.
The Exile Infoshop is a collectively-run, volunteer-based, worker owned and operated project organized around the anarchist principles of anti-oppression, equality, community building, and worker control. We believe in egalitarianism, cooperation and a collective struggle against abuses of power.
The history of the working class is a history of remarkable innovation and constant renewal. Whenever the bosses think they have buried forever the threat of workers' revolt, workers find, time and again, the means to fight back. Today, the recent blooming of resistance among workers in the low-wage service-sector is one important sign of a renewed struggle against the bosses and their system, writes Lucian.