Solidarity with Katenies and Kahentinetha!

[i]We are circulating the below call for solidarity with two reporters from the Mohawk Nation News whom Common Cause worked with on the cover story in the last issue of our newspaper Linchpin. The story was on the police siege of Tyendinaga activists involved in a blockade of a gravel quarry on unceeded Mohawk land as well as the arrest of spokesperson Shawn Brant on trumped up charges.[/i]

[i]We stand in solidarity with Katenies and Kahentinetha against the violence and charges inflicted upon them by the Canadian state and encourage people to circulate the news of this assault and arrest as well as make donations to the defense fund.[/i]

[b]Solidarity with Katenies!
-- "Canada" has no jurisdiction over Mohawk land[/b]

On July 14, 2008, Mohawk grandmother and activist Katenies has again been ordered to appear before a judge in the Superior Court of Cornwall, Ontario. Again, Katenies will refuse to recognize the authority of the courts and demand that Canadian officials prove they have jurisdiction over her as an Indigenous woman.

One month ago, on June 14, 2008, Katenies -- accompanied by Kahentinetha of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory - was targeted for arrest by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) guards on an outstanding warrant for allegedly "running the border" in 2003, and offenses resulting from her refusal to appear in court and validate the colonial justice system.

Review: Kim Keyser "Prefigurative Organization" Speaking Tour

A review of Kim Keyser's "Prefigurative Organizaiton" speaking tour, by Jeremy of the Richmond Left Libertarian Alliance, courtesy of

Kim will be speaking in Hamilton, Ontario on July 18 at 7pm at the Sky Dragon Centre located at 27 King William St.

June 30th, 2008

On Thursday I attended the talk of a Norwegian anarchist, Kim Keyser, who explored the topic of decision making structures within anarchist organizations. Entitled “The Prefigurative Organization”, Keyser did an admirable job of presenting a number of outside-the-box ideas by which anarchists could realize a powerful yet directly democratic movement. About ten Richmonders attended, including Brady and I from the Richmond Left Libertarian Alliance. We learned a lot, not only as a result of the talk but also by the open and dialogue-oriented manner in which the meeting was conducted.

The talk’s emphasis was on large scale organizational behavior: who makes the decisions, how they are arrived at, and what conditions are attached to those decisions. By “prefigurative”, Keyser was referring to the need for groups and practices which are structured according to the principles and values we’d like to engender in the world at large. While postulating decision making mechanisms that could scale up to the kind of mass movement we all want to build, he was cognizant of the immediate application of these ideas to our small activist groups. Certainly if we intend to be successful, we cannot ignore the challenges that growth poses to our organizations, let alone to the future anarchist society we envision.

It's the Stupid Economy

by Big B

There’s value in not declaring a recession if you’re the U.S. or Canadian financial regulators responsible for the economy – let alone a depression. And it may not be for what regular readers of Linchpin would think the reasons are either. There are few signs that the right-wing strategists who analyse world security and the markets – and whose analysis goes on to influence the conservative governments here and in the U.S. – are worried about scenes from the Grapes of Wrath enveloping the heartland, or that ten thousand fresh memberships in communist organizations will be filled out tomorrow if a depression proves real.

They’re worried about consumer panic that will halt the unprecedented economic growth of the last ten or fifteen years ... they’re worried about having offered every innovation that can grow an economy (like the car did, and flat screen tv’s can now) faster than they can develop new ones ... they’re worried about having to replace sheer profit with widespread social programs – the fallout of Hurricane Katrina – only all the time, and everywhere – and the one apparent lesson learned from the last great depression. They’re worried about their bottom line.

What’s clear is that the Western economies can’t be saved this time out with the innovation and new economies created through war, since the U.S. adopted the model of permanent war post-9-11. And in the case of the U.S. they’re worried because any recession now would be a clear indication that the world no longer values its currency, and can no longer afford the way the U.S. has chosen to secure its energy routes. It’s feeling a little like the end of empire. Especially when the East can afford, and manage permanently, scenes from the Grapes of Wrath, and in fact spin, like finely woven silks, that misery into an asset of their economy – much like England did at the start of the industrial revolution.

Residential School Apology

by Rev

On June 11th 2008, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, claimed to apologize for residential schools and the government’s plan to destroy the cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada. This apology came after a similar apology was given to indigenous people in Australia. Residential or boarding schools were part of colonial policy in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada. Harper’s apology talked about the abuses and cultural assimilation of Indigenous peoples in Canada by the Canadian government, especially the forced removal of children from their families. However, there is so much that Harper did not say. What he left out was that the residential schools were just one aspect of colonization.

Residential schools were run by churches, led by the Department of Indian Affairs for most of their existence. They focused on a total approach to assimilation: physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. The Indigenous children stolen from their families were to be made into Canadians by force. The curriculum was created to allow the destruction of Indigenous ways of living on the land. The idea of “killing the Indian and saving the man,” was really about making way for capitalist ways of living on the land. In essence, residential schools aimed at handing over Indigenous land to corporations and turning Indigenous people into workers. Since Canadian society was based on private property while most Indigenous communities held the land in common, residential schools taught skills for private property ownership and taught the values of a capitalist society to the children. In the mind of the churches and the government, the Indigenous person was to become a settler and worker for the ruling class.

Autoworkers - Nothing to Lose

by Mick S

Ontario – An estimated 5000-7000 jobs were lost in the Ontario auto industry in the last couple of months as General Motors (GM) announced that it will close its flagship Oshawa truck plant in 2009 and auto-parts companies like Progressive Moulded Products and Magna followed suit shortly afterwards. According to the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW), the Canadian auto industry including both assembly and parts has lost a total of nearly 30,000 jobs since 2001.

This comes hot on the heals of a controversial no-strike agreement between the CAW and auto-parts giant Magna Inc. as well as early concessionary contract agreements between the CAW and the big three auto-manufacturers: GM, Ford and Chrysler.

Upon news of the Oshawa truck plant closing, hundreds of CAW members responded by setting up a blockade of GM’s corporate offices for two weeks before getting slapped with an injunction and a lawsuit by GM. Union leaders complied, urging their members to “stay tuned,” but ruled out any workplace or strike action. Over one month later there has been no signs of any resumption of any protests.

“At this point, we’re not going to pull our workforce out of the plants,” CAW Local 222 president Chris Buckley stated on June 16th, “We understand the auto industry is not very healthy at this time and we’re not going to put our members’ jobs at risk.”

One has to question if the announcement that GM was slashing tens of thousands of jobs in a panicked effort to stem GM’s hemorrhaging of money at a rate of $3 billion a quarter doesn’t already put jobs at risk.

An Anarchist FAQ

FAQ stands for “Frequently Asked Questions” and An Anarchist FAQ is a collection of answers to questions related to anarchism, hosted in different places on the Internet. Its aim is to present what anarchism really stands for and indicate why you should become an anarchist. It is produced by a small collective of people who work on the FAQ when they can (mostly in their free time, after work). They are not a corporate funded think-tank or full-time members of a party apparatus.

An Anarchist FAQ is due to be published by AK Press ( later in 2008. Volume one (sections A to F, plus the introductions and appendix on the symbols of anarchy) is now ready for publication.

There are 10 sections (A through J). These are: A) What is anarchism?; B) Why do anarchists oppose the current system?; C) What are the myths of capitalist economics?; D) How does statism and capitalism affect society?; E) What do anarchists think causes ecological problems?; F) Is “anarcho”-capitalism a type of anarchism?; G) Is individualist anarchism capitalistic?; H) Why do anarchists oppose state socialism?; I) What would an anarchist society look like?; J) What do anarchists do?. There are also four appendices, and a bibliography.

Here are some samples of what you can find in this comprehensive FAQ:

A) What does anarchism stand for?
“... anarchists consider it essential to create a society based on three principles: liberty, equality and solidarity. These principles are shared by all anarchists.”

A) What is the essence of anarchism?
“Anarchists are anti-authoritarians because they believe that no human being should dominate another. ”

More “justice” for Indigenous in Ontario

n recent months, Native leaders in both eastern and northern Ontario have been jailed for standing up for their rights to due consultation and consent, with respect to prospecting and mining on their traditional territory. The ongoing “Six Nations” Haudenosaunee land dispute continues (where Caledonia `squats`, near Brantford). Most recently, the location was Tyendinaga (near Belleville), site of on ongoing land occupation and also of last year’s rail and highway blockades. Here are some reports:

Taken from MNN Mohawk Nation News,

April 25:
... On Sunday, April 20, the Mohawk had set up an encampment to resist the development [$35 million condominiums on the Bay of Quinte in Deseronto on Mohawk Territory] that was to start on Monday morning. They did not come in. On Monday night rowdy non-natives roamed the streets of Deseronto carrying signs and shouting racist threats at the Mohawks. They looked pretty organized.

On Tuesday morning over 900 troops swarmed onto Mohawk Territory in a military style “shock and awe” tactic. Fully armed SWAT Teams, cops, choppers, police boats in the Bay and a lot of undercover swooped in at 9:45 am. They spared no expenses. They closed the perimeter on the encampment to start kicking heads, beating up people and arresting us. They arrived and were disappointed to find there wasn’t a Mohawk in sight. It was a traditional disappearing act. There was no evidence that any Mohawks had ever been there. Not one was touched or arrested...

The state can’t stop rape

The state can’t stop rape
by Rev (Sudbury)

We need to stop imagining the government and police as being able to prevent women from being sexually assaulted. The police operate as an organized force to punish crimes and investigate other possible crimes. Very rarely do they prevent crimes or assaults from happening. Common statistics that come across the Canadian media proclaim that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 3 women experience sexual assault in their lifetime. Obviously the government, through the police service, is choosing or not able to investigate or prosecute all of these offences. Often people who are forced into sex or are drugged without witnesses are left without legal recourse to pursue. Often the police will actually tell women what happened to them was morally wrong but not legally wrong, leaving them to deal with their pain themselves.

Similarly, sexual assault crisis centres are left with marginal funding and limited counsellors, forcing women who show progress to be denied further support so that more recent victims can get priority. Often this can cause a blockage in the healing process as a trustful relationship is broken. The centres are also restricted by government-controlled funding. Rape Crisis Centres are unable to conduct public wide campaigns because of funding limits or go beyond the law to make assaulters accountable for their actions.

(Road)Block Capitalism!

By the Disgruntled Crossing-Guards Collective

How do we resist? How do we resist capitalism, this system based on a logic that reduces human bodies, nature and life itself to mere economic inputs to be bought, put to work and then sold for profit? How do we resist its exploitation in our homes, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our communities?

This question is about how we organize ourselves and what tactics we use. It has always been the key question and all of our struggles, past and present, are dedicated to answering it. And it is through struggle, not some sort of so-called intellectual activity separate from struggle, that we come up with our answers.

The struggles of French workers that was the Paris Commune (1871) gave the radicals of Mikhail Bakunin's and Karl Marx's days a vision of participatory democracy and of an economy run by those who actually do the work. The sit-down strikes of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and of American auto-workers in the 1930s showed how the newly-emerging assembly line, itself meant to weaken the power of skilled or craft workers, could be brought to a standstill by workers siting down at their machines and refusing to work. Beginning in the 1960s campus strikes and occupations showed how students too could resist by refusing an education meant only to turn them into obedient workers.

Today it seems that our various struggles are coming up with another “answer” or rather part of an answer as no single form of organization or tactic is ever enough on its own. The struggles I have in mind include most loudly the piqueteros or the unemployed workers movement of Argentina that began in the mid-1990s.

The history of May Day

by David Brons (Ottawa)

May 1 has a special significance for the labour and anarchist movements. In almost every country of the world, except for Canada and the U.S., it is observed as International Workers’ Day. Ironically, the observance of May 1 has its origins in the struggle for the eight-hour day in Canada and the US.

On May 1, 1886 there was a general strike in support of workers’ demand for an eight-hour day. Most factory workers of the day were immigrants who faced discrimination both on and off the job. It was normal for them to work fourteen-hour days seven days a week. The strike was organized by the major radical labor organization of the time, an anarchist group called the International Working Peoples Association. Prominent organizers with this group were Albert Parsons, Lucy Parsons, and August Spies.

Between 300,000 and 500,000 workers went on strike, including 90,000 in Chicago alone. The police and militia were mobilized but the first day passed peacefully enough. On the third day of the strike, there was a confrontation between strikers and strikebreakers at the McCormick Reaper Works in Chicago. Police opened fire on the crowd, killing four and wounding many others including several children. The people of Chicago were outraged and some were calling for revenge against the police.

A protest rally was called for the evening of May 4 in Haymarket Square. As people listened to speeches by August Spies and other organizers of the strike, the heavily armed police marched into the square, pushing back the crowd and demanding that the rally disperse. As police confronted the strikers, an explosion occurred in police lines, killing one officer. In the darkness and confusion, police opened fire, killing six more of their own and an unknown number of strikers. The Chicago Herald described the scene as “wild carnage” and reported that there were at least 50 dead or wounded civilians lying on the street.