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News ::
Update on the O16 Anarchist contingent
02 Oct 2001
We know that the political climate has changed since September 11 -- we know that the looming war will only bring ruin to millions. We know that the state will use the attacks as a pretext to step up oppression. In this new climate of fear and war hysteria, we have some suggestions for anarchists traveling to Toronto to take part in the actions.
Update on the O16 Anarchist contingent
by the Freyheyt collective.
Sept. 25, 2001.

We are pleased to announce that the Oct. 16th mobilization to shut down Toronto's capitalist heart -- its financial district --is still happening as planned.

The situation in Ontario has not improved in the wake of the devastating attacks on the American Empire. If anything, we expect it to get worse. Therefore, it is our responsibility to continue to resist and end the long and shameful retreat. It is time to walk our talk. It is time to fight to win.

We know that the political climate has changed since September 11 -- we know that the looming war will only bring ruin to millions. We know that the state will use the attacks as a pretext to step up oppression. In this new climate of fear and war hysteria, we have some suggestions for anarchists traveling to Toronto to take part in the actions.

1. Anarchism is not a fashion statement

We would like to suggest that anarchists not dress all in black for the mobilization. We will still be marching in an united anarchist contingent, under the banner "Enough is Enough", but we would like to suggest that this anarchist contingent NOT be a "Black Bloc". The reason for this is that we don't want to separate ourselves from the broader mobilization and single ourselves out for police repression. It is not a statement on tactics often associated with Black Blocs, such as self-defense, unarresting, or pushing through police lines. We are only questioning the tactic of dressing all in black at this particular mobilization.

We would like to state that we are only calling for an Anarchist contingent to march together within the broader mobilization. Unions, anti-poverty and social justice groups will march together -- so will we. All other tactics are left to affinity groups who we trust will use their heads and not endanger anyone but themselves. We must be fluid with the situation.

2. Brains before boots! Direct action not symbolic posturing.

In our view the term "direct action" has been misused quite frequently. In this mobilization the goal is the disruption, and if possible, the shut down of Toronto's financial district. Like everyone involved, we would like to accomplish those goals with a minimum of violence. Getting into needless confrontations with the police when it won't advance the goals of the day is not direct action, it's machismo and bad tactics. At the same time, being timid in confronting the police when necessary will lead to tactical failure and arrests (or worse). Be brave, daring, and unafraid to fight -- but do it in a smart, disciplined and tactical way.

Regarding confrontations with commuters -- we would like to avoid that as much as possible. A situation where there are hundreds of demonstrators and hundreds of commuters facing off has the potential to turn ugly really fast.

Finally, while we certainly have no love for bank windows putting bricks through them is symbolic protest not direct action. This doesn't mean that property destruction is less valid than other forms of symbolic protest, such as placard waving. To shut down the financial district, however, we need more than mere symbolism. We need to take direct action -- blockades, pickets, strikes, walkouts,occupations and other actions. So, again, we call to you to come to Toronto organized with new and creative ideas on how to effectively shut down Bay Street. For the NEFAC statement "this is what direct action looks like" see: http://www.abolishthebank.org/en/nefac_statement.html

3. We would like to strongly suggest that people who are able to, attend the Toronto assembly / spokescouncil on Saturday Oct. 6 and the convergence and training hosted by the Toronto Common Front on Sunday Oct. 14th. We also encourage people to come to Toronto beforehand to organize with either ourselves for the anarchist contingent or with the OCF for the broader mobilization.

4. October 16th is only the beginning!
Following the 16th there will be a province-wide campaign of economic disruption throughout the fall. We hope that anarchists will continue to mobilize in their communities, workplaces, schools, bars --everywhere-- against the Harris government and the capitalist system that spawned it.

At the same time we would like to see people continue to travel around Ontario to back up the actions in the smaller cities and communities. After all, Rome wasn't toppled in a day.

As long as we have no justice they shall have no peace,

The Freyheyt collective. (Supporter-NEFAC, Toronto)
Box 116, 339a College St., Toronto ON, M5T 1S2
or email freyheyt (at) tao.ca
See also:
http://ocap.ca
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