Since the time we are young we are saturated with images of the friendly cop, there to help you and your community. We are told the police are here to protect us from the "bad guys" and keep us safe from the salivating hordes of criminals just waiting for an opportunity to harm us. But what really is the function of the police? Who are they really here to protect? Here Devin K tries to answer such questions.
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.
When panhandlers in Ottawa came under attack from a the city’s new police chief they were left with little option but to begin organizing for mutual defense. Here David Brons interviews Andrew Nellis about his work with the Ottawa Panhandlers’ Union.
LINCHPIN>> What is the Ottawa Panhandlers Union and how was it started?
Andrew Nellis>> The Ottawa Panhandlers Union is a shop of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). It's a real union. What we do is run by the panhandlers themselves. The idea is to empower people on the street to fight for themselves…
In practice we find that our most valuable members are those who have just come off the street or are in the process of getting off the streets. Their lives are somewhat less chaotic than people who are actually on the street although we do have some [key] people who are hardcore street.
This newspaper is a publishing project of the Ontario anarchist organization Common Cause. With it we hope to help build communication between people engaged in struggle and inform a growing proportion of the population of Ontario of the real facts of such struggles, explains Andrew Fleming.
We are anarchists so the other related aspect of the paper will be articles that sketch out what anarchism aims to achieve and what the history and current reality of that struggle is, both in Ontario and globally.
To achieve this we are distributing copies where we live and work and at radical events. Each member of Common Cause distributes on average 100 copies of each issue of the paper. It will be a long time before we have a large enough membership to generate a distribution that starts to have the reach of the mainstream media but that is our goal. We want this paper going into every household and workplace in Ontario.
Prior to Christmas, two AWOL American troops lost a final appeal for refugee status - the Supreme Court refused to even hear the case. Then on December 6th a committee on immigration voted for a recommendation orchestrated by the NDP's Olivia Chow. It called for the Canadian government come up with a program to allow Iraq War resisters and families to stay.
Hear any of the Toronto based war resisters speak at a public meeting and patterns become clear in their experiences. Kim Rivera, a red head in her early twenties, served in an Artillery unit in Baghdad, that shipped out first in August 2006. Tales of gore, IED's and guts quickly changed her mind about the mission. The dehumanisation of Iraqi workers forced to etch out employment inside forward operation bases added to it.
Dave interviewed Ottawa anarchist Andrew Nellis for Linchpin. Andrew is an organizer with the Ottawa Panhandlers Union. A shorter version of this interview appears in Linchpin 2.
Alex went to a talk at McMasters University by Alan Sears and sees a point to his argument that we need collective investigation into how today's movements and oppressed communities are rebuilding the infrastructure of dissent.