A riot for every police murder

  • Posted on: 13 April 2016
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From MTL Counter-info

On the night of Monday, April 11, a demonstration in Montreal in response to the second police killing in under two weeks attacked the SPVM. Sandy Tarzan Michel, an Anishinabe man, was murdered by police on the anishnabeg reserve in Lac Simon, Quebec, last Wednesday, April 6. Police shot him several times after running him over with a police cruiser. Sandy’s nineteen year-old brother was also assassinated by police in Lac-Simon in 2009.

After Sandy was murdered, other people who live on the reserve confronted local police and tried to block the entry of provincial police (the Sûreté du Québec) who were called to assist the local force, leading to three arrests. When someone is killed by police in Quebec, a different police agency is called in to “investigate”, and the SPVM has since received the assignment in Lac Simon.

Around 100 people gathered outside St-Laurent metro station and listened to speeches from Anishinabe organizers. As the demo took the street, participants could be seen donning and distributing masks. The demo turned east on Ste-Catherine as bike cops flanked both sides of the march at the point where the most masked people were located. Over the next forty-five minutes as the demo proceeded relatively calmly, people were clearly expressing their grief, sadness, and anger in different ways, with some marching silently and encouraging others to do the same, and others chanting slogans wishing violence upon the police.

At the intersection of Ste-Catherine and de Lorimier, members of the crowd struck the flanking bike cops on each side with rocks, while setting off smoke grenades on the sidewalks that obscured the cops’ visibility. The bike cops quickly fled. With no cops in the immediate vicinity of the demo, a few minutes later, people paint-bombed and smashed the windows of the Ministry of Public Security building on Parthenais. The Ministry of Public Security oversees the provincial prisons in Quebec (which are disproportionately populated by Indigenous people) and the Sûreté du Québec – both institutions that maintain colonial occupation in so-called “Quebec”. The riot police charged the demo quickly thereafter, and succeeded in dispersing the demo despite some attempts to fight them off with volleys of rocks. No arrests were made.

As anarchists, we initiated attacks in this space because we’re not struggling for less murderous police, but for the destruction of all forms of policing. When the police kill someone, sexually assault someone, imprison someone, we believe in vengeance, but we don’t want to stop there. By opening up space and time in the streets through attacking the police, people create the conditions to destroy other components of the material infrastructure of colonial society. We believe this is an important step to nurture the relations of care, trust, and reciprocity that are essential to any rupture with the colonial, capitalist, and patriarchal control of life. In the particular setting of this demo, we acted to open the possibility of complicity with Indigenous people who see the inherently colonial institutions of Canadian policing, in their entirety, as enemies. While aware that some Anishinabe participants were calling for a peaceful protest, we hope that others recognized us as possible future accomplices.

After Monday night, we’ve noticed some self-proclaimed settler/white allies reacting harshly to the direct actions that took place against institutions they ostensibly oppose. The way in which they have taken one or two individuals’ call for a peaceful march to represent the interests of a whole community speaks to the failure of allyship politics. The idea of being a good ally by following the instructions of an oppressed group inevitably confronts the problem of contradictions amongst people of the identity category in question. In so-called Canada, there is no shortage of combative anti-colonial resistance to take inspiration from; whether it be from the people who confronted police on the anishnabeg reserve last Wednesday, the struggles against ecological devastation in Elsipogtog and Lelu Island, the fight from the barricades over two decades ago during the ‘Oka Crisis’, or the continual war against colonialism that has been fought on many fronts since settlement began.

There are a multiplicity of ways that people are fighting the systems that harm them and their environment. While some Anishinabe and other Indigenous people want the institutions that dominate them to be violently confronted, others place hopes in the channels that these institutions present to them as means of change, such as symbolic protest. Would-be ‘allies’ need to reckon with this reality, and find our own paths in fighting domination instead of following a representative out of guilt and moralism.

We want to foster relationships of complicity, rather than allyship, with all those who struggle against systemic violence. Fuck the police, fuck quebec, fuck canada.

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Comments

Now that's what I call strugglismo! Well done!

God, you are so butthurt...they really got to you, huh?

No, I honestly think strugglismo is a good term for what we want to participate in. Among other advantages, it helps distinguish us from those who specifically prefer not to venture out of doors.

So, preliminary point: "anarchist struggle" is part of my life, in some sense, in the past and the present and (presumably) the future. I could get into what is meant by that - really, it's many things - but yeah, my life aspirations and my notions about what the real cool twentysomethings get up to in their free time is probably pretty standard strugglista.

It is from this place that I want to think about what the original point of this term is, before it went totally memetic and got associated with people I really dislike. And basically, I think it was putting a name to certain behaviours that are (potentially) problematic. Like seeing struggle as an end in and of itself (rather than as a fact of surviving for most creatures on Earth), for instance. I could list disparate things that I call "strugglismo", but that's not the point.

While the initial comment was funny, I think the defense comment (after the anon who just didn't get the joke) was worrying, in a sense, because saying that "strugglismo" is a good term for "the shit we want" (and I suspect I am included in that "we") is also to completely obscure the initial critique, or kernel of a critique, that motivated the term's coining. Which I don't think should happen.

And, like, people doing badass shit in the streets is maybe more appropriate to call "adventurism" or "prole strollin'", ya know?

There was no 'initial critique' in coining strugglismo, only one tacked on as an afterthought to mean pretty much whatever the user wants it to.

Yeah, I for one have yet to see a coherent definition for that critique. WHich is not to say there isn't one--but even if there is, the term is not used in a way that would be coherent with such a definition. "Lifestyle anarchism" was stupid enough, but the vulgar application of the term strugglismo tends to denote precisely the things we could stand to see more of as anarchists.

But strugglismo is supposed to be an attitude, a perspective, or an ideology, right? That's what that suffix indicates. Strugglismo is not "real stuff that happens".

We wouldn't look at something badass shit going down and say "now that's afropessimism" or "now that's libertarian Marxism". Lol, I suppose there are things like "feminism" or "egoism" or "anarchism" that might get used in this way, but still, that's shorthand essentially for whatever getting "put into practice".

Inversely, "black bloc" is not a politics/ideology/perspective, nor is "queer dance party" nor "riot" nor "dumpster diving", even if it assumed that this is the case sometimes. These are things that can happen in the world.

Anyway, strugglismo "put into practice" might look like "stuff we want"... but couldn't we get stuff we want by other means? Like, I do think an attitude of struggle-for-it's-own-sake-always (on top of other things I think of with regard to what strugglismo is) has worrying elements to it. And so I would say "seriousness", "commitment", "discipline", but also things like "adventurism" and "courage" and perhaps even "fanaticism" would be better.

To what extent are strugglismo and insurrection the same? Some? Not at all? Is insurrection an end in and of itself if it exists wherever one is oppressed in any way, or even just doesn't like something about the situation they're in? It seems this would be largely a good thing, and that it would be, at least generally, very different from strugglismo. Are there problems with this sort of constant insurrection orientation?

Please explain by which means anarchist struggle is a part of your life I mean outside the rented communal apartment/studio/loft. Just curious what that accounts to for an anarchist of your caliber/reach in a place like Mtl or any other Kanadian city you might be in at the moment. Such question still puzzles me.

No need for infos of interest to cops, of course...

And honestly, I might be inclined to tell you more specifics of my life / intimate thoughts if we ever met up in real life at some point, conhabitant-de-ce-coin-du-continent. I am not hard to find, ya know?

Shortly, though: it is possibly something I think about more than often than I "do" these days, which might be a problem. But I also don't see struggle (of an anarchist variety, meaning in this case a mass or mass-ish struggle on the geographic scale of at least a city) as being good for it's own sake. Like, anarchist struggle (whether small groups against the world, which I've done, or anarchists participating in larger "social struggles" that are problematic, which everyone did in 2012) ought to be fun, empowering, helping out others who deserve to be helped, or it at least having the potential to be any of these other things after some time and energy has been put in.

But life under capitalism is a struggle, for most of us anyway. You mentioned a rented apartment... Basically everything to do with housing, from paying rent to finding new shelter when necessary, is a struggle. I say that generally, but at least some specifics apply to my life, and that may or may not have to do with how "anarchist struggle" fits in these days.

Sounds like everyprole's everyday struggle for survival, and all the alienation and submission that induces. So not much an anarchist struggle. Not wanting be smug or bitchy... That's just how it is.

If you want an anarchist struggle addressing those issues, look for opening occupations, or some sort of open cooperative housing if you want it more legal. Occupations that aren't much clandestine won't last long, but be sure that there are people like me who've been waiting for the Bat signal for a long, long time.

I said some very non-specific things instead, and told you nothing of what anarchist struggle consists of in my life... Just that it's a thing I think about more than do, at least right now.

And unfortunately, that's what our conversation will be on this platform.

ps. Occupations sound cool tho!

Fuck canada fuck quebec fuck the police and fuck canada

and fuck canada as well!

What's a canada?

Some very big and mostly empty thing. You know... Like an over-inflated conceptual bubble, held together by highways, power lines and Tim Hortons.

Awesome, unprecedented actions that leads us back to the pre-2012 powder keg situation. This made me somewhat regret having fucked off to Europe lately, and it seems like the best crap gets to happen in Quebec when I'm far away. Vibrations I guess.

But you could have spared the whole "Good Ally" crap... it's dumb and maoist in a victorian way. Uuuugh!

Mao was just a marshmallow baby in Victorian era!! But Europes not good enough for yu? I hear they have riot cycles over there.

The text seems to oppose allyship discourse in a pretty par-for-the-course sort of the way, assuming one has read "Accomplices Not Allies" [typo fixed!] or been in a scene that has taken that text seriously (i.e. most/all insurrecto scenes in North America).

Is that rejection "dumb and Maoist in a Victorian way"? Cuz, like, that's a new take, lol.

|:|:| (genuinely interested, not taking the piss) |:|:|

NA leftists make funny kinds of politicultural sythesises, I knows! But look closer down the paychecks of those people (or their former families... Yes yes the activist caste did have families too I believe).

You also are acting strange... Wasn't this famous text (that I know well enough fort having tanslated to French, here) titled "Accomplices not Allies", or did I just fell in Bizarro world when the plane landed on this land?

I meant to say in my incomplete sentence that being from any managerial class has a lot of influence on managerial perspectives and morality among the radial Left, though of course it's not a deterministic relation. Just a somewhat strong correlation.

Sometimes spelling errors generate unintentional puns; "radial Left" is a keeper.

You're talking about the leftists that the communiqué is criticizing for their shit talk with regard to the confrontational stuff that happened at the demo. Yes?

Also, I totally fucked up the title of that text, lol. Fixed it now tho.

This is the kind of thing so few passive radicals can appreciate and the pigs and most other types of thugs (I'm a thug myself) almost immediately understand. It's the big stick! For those who comfortably apply violence as a tactic, you instantly speak volumes to power and your enemies. A rock leaving your hand at a decent velocity is worth 1000 words. If your aim is any good, it's more like 10,000! Just ignore the rhetoric and watch their eyes, do they feel threatened? Good ...

No I think we should keep politely arguing with lines of riot cops, because democracy and stuff.

Yeah, you're right. Don't fix what ain't broke, etc.

one of the most enjoyable reads i have seen on @news in quite some time. not without critique in some areas, of course, but i'd like to see much more stuff like that. not just the writing, the actions behind it.

At the intersection of Ste-Catherine and de Lorimier, members of the crowd struck the flanking bike cops on each side with rocks, while setting off smoke grenades on the sidewalks that obscured the cops’ visibility. The bike cops quickly fled. With no cops in the immediate vicinity of the demo, a few minutes later, people paint-bombed and smashed the windows of the Ministry of Public Security building on Parthenais.

fucking A!!!!!!!!!!!!

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