Friday, October 28, 2011



The first part of this series was published over at my Facebook page a little while ago. Yet a movement such as the 'Occupy' protests deserves far more than one comment. There is little doubt that this has become the most extensive political movement of the last century even if the number of participants says that it is not as intensive as many others. Yet, without plan, direction or control a worldwide movement has arisen that directly challenges class society worldwide. While anarchists, especially in Spain, have been at the forefront of this movement and while anarchist methods of organizing have become the accepted standard of the protesters it would be utterly false to say that this is solely an "anarchist movement". The central themes of the movement have been those that anarchism shares with a broad left consensus. The only "point of pride" is that anarchists have shown the way to a much broader constituency that actually extends far beyond the traditional left. This is "propaganda of the deed" at its best, without self-destructive violent acts, without the illusion of provoking an immediate uprising and without the arrogant supposition that the so-called "revolutionary vanguard" (cough, cough) are the posessors of all truth. In other words the Occupy movement is amazingly morally clean for a protest movement.

But one thing I would like to point out now is how what seems to external observers as a fault is actually a virtue. I am hardly the first to point this out, and I would like to refer the reader to the Bureau of Public Secrets website for a much more thorough discussion. What I refer to is a very frequent so-called "criticism" of the Occupy movement as to its lack of "specific demands" and it seeming to be a collection point for a wide spectrum of grievances. All that I can say to this criticism is that it is "true" but it misses the point entirely. The Occupy movement has arisen as a broad protest against the inequalities and injustices of our present class societies. OF COURSE every interest group and demand will attach themselves to such a broad based movement. Perhaps even some of their activists will recognize the fact that their grievances cannot generally be solved under the present socioeconomic system.

Thus they attach themselves to a movement that (metaphorically) goes for the jugular because of the insufficiencies of their single interest group/issue groups. Make no mistake about it, the Occupy movement has "gone for the jugular". What it presents in a world diluted manner is the challenge to the representative "democracy" that revolutionary movements have laid out for almost 150 years (since the Paris Commune) ie the challenge of "direct democracy". This goes far beyond any simple reforms. It is not the question of whether the billionaires will pay their fair share of taxes. It is a question of how ordinary citizens can have enough influence to prevent any such perversions of law occuring.

The Occupy movement merely seems incoherant because its goals are far removed from what is usually considered "politics" in our societies. Its basic message is not this or that reform but rather a totally new way of "doing politics". The Movement Is The Message.

Thursday, October 20, 2011



The following appeal is from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).


Stop the Sell Off of Toronto Community Housing!‏

Statement from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

In a move that falls in line with the plans of Rob Ford, Toronto CommunityHousing is looking to sell off close to 1000 homes. The money raised in the sale would, we are told, go to meet the $600 million repair bill that years of neglect have created in public housing owned and operated by the City of Toronto. The sell off will involve ‘stand alone’ homes throughout the City.

Tens of thousands of desperate people sit on the 10 years’ long waiting list for rent geared to income housing in this City and the housing authority is now looking to sell off a major portion of this precious resource. Displaced tenants will have to be moved into units presently standing idle, that will be renovated with the money from the sale. This will mean that few people on the waiting list will get housed while the stock of public housing is reduced massively.

As bad as this move is, for Rob Ford and his allies, this is only a first move. They will carry on until public housing is entirely privatized.

This attack is a major part of an austerity agenda to destroy public services in Toronto and it has to be fought. TCH tenants and their allies must mobilize to stop the sale and defend their homes.

On Friday, October 21, from 9.00 AM to 2.00 PM, the TCH Board is meeting at their main offices at 931 Yonge Street. A call has been issued for people to make deputations to the Board by Tenants for Social Housing which we are including with this statement. However, it is beyond doubt that the fight will continue beyond this Friday and a serious and determined struggle on this vital issue will have to be taken up.

Join Toronto Stop the Cuts Network in the fight-back against city cuts!

Join a neighborhood committee or start a new one!


Join with the Tenants for Social Housing - We Are Not for Sale Mobilization:

Stop the Sell Off of Social Housing - We are Not for Sale!

Toronto Community Housing Corporation Board Meeting

THIS Friday October 21, 9 am to 2 pm 931 Yonge Street

TCHC will be recommending the sale of your home and over 1,000 more at a Board meeting on Friday, October 21. We still have a chance to stop the sale of our homes and the dismantling of our communities!

• Register to make a deputation at the Board meeting by or call 416-981-4232 before October 21,2011.

• Send TCHC CEO Len Koroneos an email at today and let him know that you do not support the sale of our homes! Join tenants at the Board meeting and let TCHC know that We’re Not For Sale!