According to NOW Toronto, No One Is Illegal (NoII) is the best of Toronto’s activist organizations. NoII led the pack of Black Bloc anarchists during the G20, it was a day few will forget considering the amount of damage and violence that occurred. It wasn’t until I understood that NOW has Trotskyist roots that their decision to include NoII in their poll made any sense to me. And, in case you forgot, one of the fundamentals of Trotsky’s philosophy was that the revolution needs violence. Ugly stuff…
One of the more interesting parts about NoII is how, despite their support of racially based violence, they’ve managed to get a lot of support from members of the NDP establishment. In Vancouver, NoII has been supported by politician David Eby (who’s rumoured to be running in Christy Clark’s riding in the next BC Election), NDP MP Don Davies, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). In Toronto, they are very close with NDP elder Judy Rebick. It astounds me how these people could imagine supporting NoII- considering the racial violence. Who knew that Don Davies and David Eby would tolerate people who sing “take back the land, kill the white man“…
Today was a more civil day for NoII. There were many members of the anarchist intelligentsia about- there were also a number Roma people there. They seemed quite genuine in their beliefs, it’s unfortunate for them that they’ve got mixed-up with the Anarchists. Watching the interactions reminded me a bit of how some of the indigenous people I’ve met had got mixed-up with Kevin Annett.
The next problem is that, despite being genuine in their beliefs, the messages they carried were incredibly inflammatory- subtlety doesn’t appear to be their strength. There were signs like the one above talking about German ovens during WWII- many people had signs with swastika’s on them. It was obvious that these people were deliberately trying to ignite confrontation. There’s very little difference between their signs and the Cupcake incident at this year’s Al Quds day event. Here’s a video with more of their signs:
Someone pointed out to me that there was a reporter there from the Jewish News who was trying to take pictures of the protesters. It was like history replaying itself from the Robocall rally where a member of the Jewish Defence League was trying to get pictures of the inside of the Al Quds truck. Israel vs. Palestine, Spy vs Spy style- right here in downtown Toronto!
The anarchists made up the bulk of the people who came to the march today- mostly the usual crowd. While the Israel/Palestine protesters stayed on the South side of the Royal York hotel, the Anarchists marched to the north side. They began by blocking the entrance to the parking lot in the Royal Bank building. Syed Hassan, one of their more prominent leaders, thought it was a good idea to scream through his megaphone at the drivers who were trying to get through. I don’t see how that helped.
Here’s a video of the anarchist contingent:
This is probably my biggest issue with No One Is Illegal- they just don’t appear to be that effective at making change. I once asked the question What Did Harsha Walia Do (WDHWD)- not one person could give an answer on actual change she has effected.
That said, it appears to many that NoII’s primary intention has much less to them than the causes they support, and much more about initializing a socialist revolution. Now, it’s their absolute right to try and mobilize people- but, equally, the leadership at NoII has a responsibility to have transparency in their intentions. It’s also important that they not be so hypocritical when they choose their targets.
One of my readers shared an enlightening comment with us today- they said that if NoII really cared about immigrant rights, they would be a lot more vocal about what’s happening with the new Parti Quebecois government. I found a great synopsis of what’s happening from an article in the Vancouver Province:
“If she had won a majority government, she would have made it illegal for Quebec civil servants belonging to religious minorities to wear their religious garb in public. No hijabs for Muslim women, no yarmulkas for Jewish men and no turbans for Sikh males. Only Christians would be allowed to wear a crucifix, and the crucifix in the National Assembly would be allowed to remain, not because Marois is an observant Christian — she’s not, apparently — but because it is part of Quebec’s culture and history.”
Wow, that’s pretty horrible sounding, isn’t it? NoII has one of their larger chapters in Montreal- it’s run by the notorious Jagi Singh. But, as my reader pointed-out, “The PQ you see, is a big government, socialist, statist party”. Ah-ha, solidarity brother- racism is just fine if it is being implemented by fellow socialists!
Therein lies the problem with No One Is Illegal- they’re using issues about racism and sexism as a lever to organise people for an NDP revolution. The problem is, many of the useful idiots who support them on the sidelines aren’t fully cognizant about their intentions. Equally, they fight in the most dirty of ways- if they got into power, we’d have a very dirty world.
These people are why many avoided OV and why many who attended didn’t do much—what’s the point if a bunch of obedience-cultists are going to threaten you physically? The whole point to nations like Canada is supposed to be (at least in TV land) that we have a polite society where people may disagree politically without violence, as they’re united by a peaceful, non-violent morality.
I guess to these reds, tho, there is no such thing as morality, only politics. The more I observe these kids, the more I think that Mr. Leary’s cynical view of exo-politics as the answer may be more on the money than not, simply for preserving one’s own sanity and enjoyment of life. One rational individual cannot compete against a mob of irrational reds—except by forming his own irrational mob, to pit against them. And who wants to do that?
The other problem with them is that they’re inherently inconsistent. IF they don’t believe in positive law/behavior control, fine. No borders. But that means _no borders_ of any sort, not on speech, not on gender discrimination, etc. etc. Like most nationalists, they only want the borders that benefit their nation, however conceiced. If it were a state, would be like the one Plato describes where some infants are left exposed to die, excluded from society simply because they don’t measure up to the self-appointed vanguard’s standard.
As an aside, Greg, have you read the Straight’s recent article about British Columbia’s math curriculum? They’ve more or less stopped teaching math properly, let alone calculus. Luckily, in place of debatable mathematical reasoning, we now have lots of emotive cultural theory/critical stuidies, which easily dismisses rational, methodical logical proofs as “patriarchal”, “hegemonic”, and whatever other lovely words are used to slag the better parts of our nervous system. I’m pretty glad reason has a measure of hegemony in my mind…
It was disturbing when Pauline Marois first started talking of these policies during the campaign. I kept waiting for NoII to start making noise. Nothing ever showed up. The only politicians they ever seem to have a problem with are Jason Kenny and Stephen Harper.
I was at the No One is Illegal protest event , and , as usual, the same usual , mindless, meaning chants of things like this is fucking class war, fuck the police, b make the rich pay and so forth. What was really laughable about these morons is how they really thought that trying to stop people from entering a parking facility was somehow going to win them allies. All that got them was a few choice words from people who actually HAD jobs. i love the whole ‘ make the rich pay ” crap they spew as well. These nut jobs don’t ever consider that if THEY ( these professional protestors ) had jobs, they too could be wealthy . It seems to me they they simply like to blame others who have reached a level of financial success, on their own personal state, yet, forgetting to realize that these professional protestors are in deed the architects of thier own demise and position. they have nothing because they want everything handed to them, and when they don’t get things handed to them, they go on rampages blaming everyone else for their own lot in life, a lot that THEY designed for themselves. they have nothing and want to blame everyone else for it. Well what have , and don’t have is their own doing.
So many of these activistocrat-led groups are the same. That radical environmentalist video you had up a few days ago is an example. The first thing shown is a clip from an old movie of a cop being shot followed by several clips of people smashing police cars. In the middle he shows a clip of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the UN. He then goes on to ridicule Netanyahu for being concerned about Iran having nuclear weapons. What does any of this have to do with the environment?
I have also seen with the activistocrats in my area. Alex Hundert and Sterling Stutz are part of an activist called [email protected], Anti-War @ Laurier. Yet there they are at the G20 encouraging their flock of sheep to vandalize police cars and attack banks and big businesses to try and hurt capitalism. Julian Ichim leads a ton of protest marches here. Most of them are “Anti-poverty” marches. Protesting cuts to social services and the like. Every single protest march he has makes a stop at the police station so Ichim can stand on its steps and spews anti-police rhetoric through a megaphone.
Hammer, that’s the point exactly. these morons have no idea as to even what they protest any more . One other very interesting here that you raised is, these guys seem to have no trouble getting from point a to point be, yet these trips are not free… or, are they, and if so, who is footing the bill? I would really like to see these groups get shut down and their leaders arrested for their acts of criminality at these and other events
The irony here is that NOII and Kenney are probably answering to the same powers. Our immigration numbers are extreme and not sustainable at 250,000 new immigrants per annum for the past 20 yrs. It comes down to supply and demand. If our unemployment rate is 7%+ with youth (18-24) and long-term unemployment (unemployed over 1 yr) is at 14% how are we ever to provide new jobs to all the new immigrants. We can’t! The majority become recipients of the welfare state. Hence, socialism! Their propaganda is working as immigration Canada is considering increasing the immigration numbers. And, we cannot play into their race card because it is one of economics. Also, we cannot play into the card that we require skilled workers because the statistics are evident – we have the highest percentage of highly skilled graduates amongst all of our peer nations including science and trade graduates. The losers here are taxpayers footing the bill for this ever increasing socialism and the unemployed whose standard of living is comparable to that of third world countries. Our food banks feed 1 million people per month and growing.
That Pepper Spray/Demo handout you have a photo of isn’t issued from NOII. I know that maybe you can’t read it because your finger is in the way, but it’s a release by a medical collective in TO.
Just one way in which you take things out of context.
It’s from the march. I do understand it was from an anarchist medic collective- but, it is still representative of the mentality of the people involved…
It was passed out at the march – and also many other actions within Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. It is a street medical collective, unaffiliated with NOII/OCAP or any other group, in any way aside from their collective decision to provide medical support to an action.
I would argue that it is only representative of that medical collective’s fear, knowledge and understanding of what people may face during a demonstration – not of the general mentality of people attending the demonstration.
I, for one, am glad the information is out there. If people can take care of their friends I’m sure it helps during a panicked situation. Better safe than sorry.