I walked into the Ryerson University Student Union building this afternoon and was welcomed with a shocking surprise. I was only half-way through the front door when I recognized someone who I’ve been looking for since we last met. His name is Alex Balch, and he’s the anarchist who came charging after me and attacked me with a Black Bloc flagpole back in June.
It was at that moment I realized I needed to hide myself from him. I slipped the hood of my raincoat over my head, dashed into the coffee shop, and quickly back outside to where I could see him from the front window. It was an exhilarating adventure- would I be able to get the police there in time to catch him, would he see me and run away?
I called the police from the front of the building. I first tried calling Detective Williams of 14 Division, the officer assigned to my case. He wasn’t there but another officer listened to my story, he told me to call 911 and then tell them he sent me. Five minutes later they agreed to send a car.
Balch was sitting at a table at an exhibition of Ryerson University’s student groups. He was at the table for World in Exile an organization that describe themselves as “Ryerson’s Counter Culture Campus Group”. There’s not much about this group online- but, they did post an invitation to the event on Facebook:
Iconoclast Media is one of the most hardcore Anarchist publishers in Canada- their site’s banner currently sports an image of a burning police car from the Toronto G20. Balch writes for them and was presumably there as a representative.
In addition to Iconoclast’s magazines, Balch was offering a book of poetry by incarcerated G20 Anarchist Kelly Pflug-Back titled “These Burning streets”. Some of my long-time readers may remember back in July when Pflug-Back very inaccurately compared herself to Jesus. She’s currently serving a two year sentence in prison for her G20 crimes.
It took about 20 minutes for the police to arrive (but felt like ten hours). I gave them Alex’s description and told them where he was sitting. After a short phone call (which also felt like 10 hours) they went inside of the student union building, approached Balch and told him he was under arrest. They handcuffed him when they reached the back of the police car.
Balch is part of an incredibly dangerous and violent gang of youth who have been exercising political violence across Ontario. From my experience it’s clear that they’re capable of a whole lot more than simple property damage- if you get in their way they will get violent.
My really big question for Ryerson is how does it turn-out that a violent anarchist with an arrest warrant is able to run a recruiting table in their Student Union Building? I’ll be calling Ryerson tomorrow to ask for an explanation- will keep you updated as I learn more…
Oh, yes, and a special thank you to Curtis Nixon- without his assistance I may never have caught Balch. Thanks Curtis!