Against the War Machine: Direct Action against CANSEC in Ottawa

by Sarah Claudette (PGA Bloc)

Background

CANSEC is Canada's largest weapons fair, held annually in Ottawa during the month of April. The two day event brings together weapons and security systems manufacturers, brokers, lobbyists, military personnel, and government officials to showcase new technological developments and to schmooze. This year's gathering of war profiteers, including Boeing, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, General Electric, and Blackwater, was held on April 9th-10th at the Ottawa Congress Centre. The event is closed to the public.

The Network to Oppose War and Racism - Pacte Contre l'Agression, l'Intolerence et la Xenophobie (NOWAR-PAIX) and the People's Global Action Bloc (PGA Bloc) organized a number of lead-up events and two days of protest and resistance to oppose CANSEC, the war machine and the brutal occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Palestine and Turtle Island.

The Call-out to Shut Down the War Machine

The Solidarity & Action Committee of PGA Bloc began organizing resistance to CANSEC in late February. Educational events and active resistance were both on the menu. Call-out for autonomous actions, media interviews, and a youtube animation video set the tone for the confrontational style endorsed by the PGA Bloc.

In collaboration with NOWAR-PAIX, efforts were made to ensure that resistance to CANSEC was both well-informed and inclusive. Educational materials and events were planned out for the weeks leading up to the death market. The panel discussion, in particular, brought out over 45 folks from many activists circles. Common Cause's Anarchist Discussion Group also hosted a CANSEC-focused session.

Stand up – Fight Back!

Upsurge in Student Activism met with Repression

by anonymous

Over the past month, the University of Toronto has experienced an upsurge of student activism. This recent upturn began with a rally and sit-in, organized against the New College residence rent increases. With supporters outside, over 40 students entered Simcoe Hall, where the administrative offices are located, demanding to speak to President Naylor and to have rent increases stopped. Student concerns were met with police aggression on order from the administration, indicative of the administration's illegitimacy, unaccountability, and undemocratic nature.

Students remained undeterred, forming the Ad-hoc Committee for Just Education and organizing a second rally on March 25 in response to the actions of the administration and, once again, to oppose rent and other fee increases. The second rally drew over a hundred students, workers, and community members, but again, our voices were ignored and the rent increase passed. An assembly on the inaccessibility of education was organized on April 7th, where three demands were formulated:

1. An end to all fees.
2. Student, worker, and faculty parity on University decision-making bodies, including the Governing Council.
3. An immediate end to repression against student dissent.

With these demands, a third rally was organized on April 10th, when Governing Council was to vote on tuition fee increases. In an unprecedented move, the speaking times of student union representatives were both reduced and removed, in a decision-making body where students and workers are already vastly underrepresented. During attempts by students to have a petition opposing the fee increases read out, the meeting was quickly recessed and moved behind closed doors. As expected, tuition fee increases up to 23 per cent carried.

University of Toronto Continues Crackdown on Student Rights

University of Toronto Administration threatens Code of Student Conduct against student representatives speaking out against tuition fee increases

TORONTO, May 8 /CNW/ - Student representatives at the University of Toronto have received letters threatening Code of Student Conduct sanctions after peaking out against tuition fee increases. Those threatened include the President of the University of Toronto Students' Union (U.T.S.U.), the former U.T.S.U. Vice-President University Affairs, an executive member of the Arts and Science Students' Union (ASSU) and a student governor.

"I am disappointed that our institution is continuing in its attempt to scare students silent," said U.T.S.U. Vice-President Internal Adnan Najmi. On March 20th, members of the University of Toronto community staged a sit-in protesting the rising cost of residence fees. In the aftermath, the University filed Code of Student Conduct charges and assisted in the arrests of 14 members of the University of Toronto community who were allegedly involved.

"Already students may be facing up to 15 years in prison for speaking up against fee increases. Now the University is saying four additional students could be facing expulsion for protesting financial barriers to post-secondary education. This is unbelievable," said Najmi.

On April 10th, 2008, alongside organizing a rally against tuition fee increases, student representatives at the University of Toronto spoke out against tuition fee increases at Governing Council, the highest governing body of the University. Each student who spoke was cut short after approximately three minutes of speaking time. A student governor was cut short after four minutes; this is highly unusual for governors.

Common Cause Hamilton's Mayday activities

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.

Hamilton Anarchist Bookfair 2008

UPDATE: COMPLETE LIST OF VENDORS (WITH DESCRIPTIONS) AND WORKSHOP SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE

Hamilton's Anarchist Bookfair

Fellow underdogs unite in underdog city for a day of workshops, discussion, networking and of course literature!

Date: June 14, 2008
Time: 10am - 4pm

Place: Westdale Highschool
700 Main Street West,
Hamilton, Ontario
L8S1A5

June 14th marks the day that the Common Cause Hamilton local will be hosting our first Anarchist Book Fair. In a city with a vibrant history of working class struggle such as Hamilton, the Book Fair presents a unique opportunity for people coming together to network,learn and build community.

The Hamilton Anarchist Book Fair is a one day event being held at Westdale Secondary School at 700 Main St. West, just outside downtown. The day will kick off at 10am and go until 4pm. Radical bookstores, publishers and collectives will fill the cafeteria space of the school while the Hamilton Food Not Bombs chapter will be providing free vegetarian meals. Admission is free or by donation (pay what you can) and child care is provided.

Over 20 vendors have confirmed so far and we expect the number to grow as the date approaches. So far they include Exile Infoshop, Red and Black Notes, Upping the Anti, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), Great Worm Express Distro, Empowerment Infoshop, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Insurgence Records, Rebel Time Records, Free Society Distro, Internationalist Notes and others.

We have three workshops featuring a number of experienced organizers and activists involved in a wide range of struggles.

Workshop Schedule

11:15 – 12:30 – Fighting Back on the Job in the 21st century.

New workplaces and new forms of production require new ways of fighting back.

Outrage mounts over the arrest of 14 students

CALL TO ACTION: UofT PRESSES CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST 14 FOR MOBILIZING AGAINST FEE HIKES

***URGENT CALL FOR SUPPORT – PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY***

SIGN THE PETITION: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fightfees/index.html

Outrage is mounting over the arrest of 14 students who are facing criminal charges for allegedly participating in a peaceful sit-in at the University of Toronto on March 20, 2008. The sit-in, held to protest rising fees, ended when police acting on the orders of senior UofT administrators forcefully removed demonstrators. Students and organizers are being subjected to a campaign of intimidation by the UofT administration, who sought a criminal investigation of the matter and encouraged Toronto Police to arrest 14 individuals and have pressed charges against them. After turning themselves in last week, the students have been released on strict bail conditions, which ban them from associating with one another outside of courts and classes, thereby prohibiting their freedom to organize on campus. In addition, UofT staff, students and an alumnus have been completely banned from UofT property. UofT is attempting to further repress student organizing on campus by investigating at least 13 students under the Code of Student Conduct.

Outrage at the arrests and disciplinary actions by UofT administration
has been expressed by a growing number of professors and staff at the
University of Toronto. "I am urging the university administration to exercise
restraint in these matters and avoid what appears to be a crackdown on
political activity and freedom of expression at the university," stated George
Sefa Dei, a professor in Sociology and Equity Studies at OISE, University of
Toronto.

CALL TO ACTION: UofT PRESSES CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST 14 FOR MOBILIZING AGAINST FEE HIKES

University’s level of hostility and repression against students unprecedented in the last decade

Community Release: Toronto; April 25 2008

WHAT: Allies for Just Education - Community Support Meeting
WHEN: Monday April 28, 6pm
WHERE: Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St (http://tinyurl.com/4sn49c)

Dear Allies,

Over the past several weeks, a wide coalition of students, alumni and workers at University of Toronto have come together to protest and organize against proposed fee hikes and to demand accessible education. This coalition has organized public meetings, a sit-in and demonstrations which have received wide community support (see www.fightfees.ca).

Due to a peaceful sit-in, organized to protest against tuition fees on March 20, students are being subjected to an intense campaign of intimidation by the UofT administration and Toronto Police. Students have been followed by campus police, both on and off campus, as well as being monitored and photographed during meetings. UofT has pressed charges against 14 students and organizers, who have now had to turn themselves over to Toronto Police. They have been released on strict bail conditions, which ban them from associating with one another outside of courts and classes, as well as being barred from protesting anywhere on UofT property. In addition, several UofT students, staff and alumni have been completely banned from UofT property. One student organizer, Oriel Varga, is currently being held in custody overnight. Additionally, UofT is investigating 12 students under the Code of Student Conduct. This campaign of intimidation comes at a time when the administration is publicly lobbying for the deregulation of fees, and is thus undertaken to prevent students from continuing to organize around university fees.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SHOW SUPPORT:

Consultation, Not Consent: The First Interview with KI Political Prisoner Cecilia Begg

Cecilia Begg is the Head Councillor of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation. She is the lone female community leader in what has come to be known as the KI6, a group serving six months for contempt after blockading a mining company from its licensed operations on disputed land near their community. In her first interview since her incarceration, she spoke with The Enterprise’s Jon Thompson at the Kenora jail about the road that has led her to this point, the reasons she is fighting the development, and the path that she hopes will emerge from her imprisonment.

The land entitlement claim that KI filed back in 2000 had been licensed to junior mining company, Platinex. Did that claim have anything to do with the fact that the government licensed a mining operation on the traditional territory of your people?

We’re still trying to get the Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE). That was one of the things we asked for. A solution has to accommodate (the government) revoking the license to Platinex.

How do you feel it would affect your community if the Platinex mine were to go ahead?

From the way things are, it would be a drastic change for our community. It would endanger the animals, our tradition and the culture of our people.

On September 24th, 2007, Platinex company employees were met at the KI airport by members of the community. They then charged you and the others with contempt, which you did not defend in court. What really happened that day?

They came into town and they were going to set up an office in the community and then fly into the site. They were there to do what they called archeological studies. We had been saying no all along and they
came anyway.

Israeli Apartheid banned on McMaster University Campus

Jamila Ghaddar is a member of
MacMaster Universities Student's for Palestinian Human Rights. She recently talked to Linchpin about the banning of the term Israeli apartheid on campus by the administration and student union.

Linchpin: O.K. Can you start by telling me what Israeli apartheid is?

Free indigenous uranium mining activist Robert Lovelace!

FEBRUARY , 2008- Robert Lovelace, former chief of the Ardoch Lake Algonquin First Nation, has begun a six month jail sentence for his role in peacefully resisting uranium exploration near Sharbot Lake this passed fall. He and his community will also have to pay $35,000 in fines. Frontenac Ventures, A uranium exploration company has claimed 30,000 acres of land in eastern Ontario around the headwaters of the Mississippi system, which feeds the Ottawa River.

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