Archive | March, 2012

reportback on anti budget protest, fuck austerity!!!!

31 Mar

Today, march 30th at 1 oclock members of APA, PMUS, AW@L and The SPOT Collective had a rally and a march against austerity and the Liberal budget. The event began with speakers, food from FOOD not Bombs as well as Chicken Tom Yom soup and people just kicking it and building community. People were chalking slogans like Stop the war on the poor, no to opulence and police not welcome while listening to good music and speeches. People from the various groups gave there speeches as well as members of Food Not Bombs and the Justice for Ashley Smith coalition which was followed by poetry and open mike. All the speeches denounced the new austerity budget as something that is not just numbers and statistics but actually affects people and is an attack on poor people. Highlights that were raised include the links between the cuts to community start up, necessary services etc. to stoping people who are in an abusive relationship from accessing necessary services to leave, people dieing from drugs because of lack of programs to get them off drugs, freezing on the streets and ending up in jail because of the criminalization of poverty which they are forced into because of the budget. The speeches defiantly took the discussion from academia and allowed people to see what the human impact of this budget is.

We started to march and took the intersection at king and gaukel which was followed by us taking over the condo developers model unit on king st. We got into a yelling match with the manager and made it plain to them that we would not let them destroy our community by building condos out of the downtown. When the police came the people that entered with me left and a police liaison entered. The police was threatening to arrest me if i didnt leave and i was refusing to leave with crowd staying directly across the street letting people know why we were targeting the condo, i opened the door and started speachafying from inside at which point the cop just pushed me out. We made it plain at that point when we were speeching on the steps that this is just the beginning and through acts of disruption such as occupation etc we will make it too expensive for them or undesirable for there clients to move in the downtown core. Call it the Spots austerity program…lol (Austerity meaning create uncomfort).

We then marched to the new bomb proof monstrosity of a courthouse and denounced the fact that in this time when people are starving they are building this model courthouse with all sorts of security features such as sniper proof windows in the judges chambers because they know that what they are doing will drive people to do desperate acts.

We then went to the cop shop to demand there response to our letter from a year ago. They locked the doors and tried to get us off there steps. We refused to leave and kept on demanding that they give us a reply which they refused because they did not have the authority. After trying to engage and get ahold of the staff Sargent in charge even calling him and seeing him talk on the phone with us through the glass windows we realized that our ownly reply will be military like postures and silence. So we decided to hang out outside and tell our stories. People who were attacked and brutalized by police courageously spoke in the face the police attempts to intimidate and were not silenced. Police turned many people away who were seeking there services which shows that they care more not to be held accountable and stay locked inside then do there jobs.
All in all today was a day were the people stood up to those who everyday have the power of life and death over us and did not back down. We showed the police, the condo developers and the austerifiers that we wont suffer silently. This is, after all, just the beginning.

Dream Deciever

30 Mar

Last night when i was asleep i had the most beautiful dream. I dreamt that I was hanging out with this girl who, in the words of niki menage is slicker then the guy with the thing on his eye, and we were just kicking it. I didnt have my cane and we started talking about highschool, both of us failed grade 12 math and she was commenting on the fact that the reason that i failed was that half the time I was in class i would prop my book up so the teacher couldnt see and just nap, my response was that the purpose of 8 am class was to catch up on sleep. We were talking about finite math and how i got a scholarship cause its ten times easier then algebra and she started to tell me about her post doc in millenial studys during the middle ages. We went down the street to get a coffee and as i left she passed me a note saying that she had such a great time and thinks that she likes me, i phoned her and told her what I thought about her when I woke up.

I had a dentist appointment at 9 am and almost missed my appointment due to the fact that i slept in, my dad wanted me to wash the spilt pop on the front porch because someone important was coming today, i swept the living room, still half asleep and poured water all over the front porch. As I was doing this someone who looked like they were up all night grinding there teeth asked if I had a pop can and smoke, obviously so he can smoke crack, i ignored him or told him theres a pop can in the recycling or something and went inside and pretty much started crying.

My mom at one point in time had a near death experience where she saw a beautiful mountain and other esoteric things and when she came back she felt like everything was ugly and horrible. and that was how I was feeling. The normalcy of my dream when contrasted to my everyday existence was a slap in my face. What I mean is that given the fact that I am a political organizer having such a normal interaction is outside of my experience and as much as i love what I am doing i feel robbed of the day to day normality that I should be having. I cant think of a single relationship that I have been in where i could just talk about algebra vs finite or such simple things because most of my relationships have been heavily influenced by two facts a. Im broke all the time and b. whoever dates me will come under heavy surveillance and or attack by the state not allowing things to develop in a normal way. Compound that by the fact that my friends due to the fact that they are poor are going from crisis to crisis and many of them turn to me for assistance and you can see how I cant just have a normal relationship or life.

I go to the dentist, and the dentist prep person is very cool, shes asking my how im doing and really concerned when im grimacing in pain. We chit chat about the fact that this is too early in the morning to deal with this and we joke around. Im all done and the issue of money rears its ugly head, i dont remember what exactly I said but it somehow got sorted out and i go outside to wait for the bus, i get downtown and talk to someone about my dream then im like back to the ugly reality in front of us lets talk about the dealing with drugs as a social issue program we sort that out and i have a coffee light a smoke and start to think. Did i give up normality for politics, in other words is my activism the thing robbing me from having a normal life. I start to thing and realize that to have a real understanding of this I cant use my dream as the starting point but rather my own reality.

What was I like before I got political and what were my material conditions before I started organizing. As I said earlier in my blog, i grew up in a two bedroom apartment with 6 kids moms dad grama aunt uncle and everyone from the village. When we moved we moved into a gang neighbourhood and violence and poverty were common. My friends were thugs and to a certain extent I was a bad ass myself. I think of how many of friends have actually achieved normalcy, and i realize most are either in jail doing hard time, in and out of jail dead or can only think of there next hit. Is this normal? I further think of the fact that my politisization was not something that started with books and study but rather came from trying to understand my environment and act to change it. My theory comes from examining the problems, organizing my community and implementing solutions. In this context my politics actually saved my life by giving me something to live for and helped my community by creating solutions to the problems we are facing and demonstrating that our security comes from struggle, in other words by building our collective we are not at the mercy of the system and markets but have our organizations which defend us and show us the way forward. Our hope comes from the new society that we are building where the working class are sovereign and set the agenda. Normalacy and love are not found in a dream with petty bourgeoise implications but rather from recognizing that we are exploited and our environment sucks and working to change it.

So now that I think about it this dream is just magical thinking that doesnt correspond at all with my reality or show anyway forward. Yes it would be nice to be able to talk about finite etc. divorced from all the problems we are facing but that is not reality, so instead of wishing for things i can never have I chose to fight for what I can so maybe future generations can live a life where there biggest worry is if i have acne or stuff like that. For myself i realize that my future and happiness lies in struggle not silly dreams!!!

To maintain your spirit when all seems lost

30 Mar

“What time is it” I yelled this morning seeing if i slept in or not, my friends, use to my antics were like its not yet time for you to wake up, i turn over go back to bed then finally when im going back to sleep, i hear a knock and yelling “wake up julian”, “five more minutes” i yell, but those five minutes went by too quickly, i go downstairs, mooch a smoke, take a puff and look for secret pepsi, there is none, so i finish my smoke and go sit down, P. walks in and he has to go postering, so we start shooting the shit and hes commenting on my apparel, im wearing my friends sweater (cause all mines were dirty) which has a gun and different colors, on top im wearing a Irish Republican sweater covered by a girly cardigan with my leather jacket on top, im layering all these cause its freezing as hell, so we start joking that if i get arrested, given the fact that its racketeering pressing the blogging charges i will get charged for being a queer irish republican gangster, P. is like yeah those gay irish republican mafias, they are taking over the bloody streets.

We continue to chit chat about what i need to do today and i complain that I have to take the four hour go bus to Kitchener to help this woman who has serious legal issues with a governmental instituion and we have to get our shit done tonight cause all the stuff has to be in tomorrow and im going to have to miss this important campus meeting to do this. As well i am owed an article by this person but given the shit they r going through im not gonna pull a i need this but rather be there to support her.

I ask if anyone wants to walk me to the bus and my one friend, the king of the dumpsters is like yeah, so we start walking. I have 2 dollars i borrowed from someone and im like do you want to split a pepsi or a coffee he says he doesnt care, so we grab a pepsi and split a smoke, he notices the book im reading on apocalypses and asks where i got it, i tell him and hes like shit a new he was a secret spiritualist all along (this friend is who gave me the book is a militant atheist) and i tell him how a muslim friend tried to get me to convert by telling me that in Islam there are prayers that can give you money, my friend replys by telling me a “magical ritual and incantation to produce money” he says you get a spear of destiny, find a heretic (or a banker would do nice) point the spear of destiny to this person and chant the sacred words, give me all your money, i start laughing and keep walking.

As soon as i get off the bus I run into several friends at the coffee shop where I am waiting for this friend to do the legal shit with. We start talking and i ask whats the reasonable time to wait for someone, they say half an hour, i wait and wait and they dont show up. I start talking to my other friends, while planning for saturdays rally and im mulling over the situation. Why would someone in a fucked up position not show up to change it? I think about how i feel in my darkest hours nd realize that when your under attack you will feel overwhelmed and the more shit that hits you the harder it is to act because you have no hope. In the face of attacks by the state on your person, you dont only feel the physical consequences, but also the emotional and spiritual consequences. For example if you get cut off Ontario Works unjustly you not only have the consequences of having no money but you also face the consequences of having to take on a big machinery and beurocracy with its strange and alien rituals to get your money back. Given that the system is set up in such a way that the average person has no idea whats going on you feel that nothing can be done because you dont know where to start and even thinking about starting is too scary. In this way the system paralysis you and disempowers you stealing from you your spirit and hope. Without the necessary conviction to fight the battle, the battle is already lost. Its easy to sit back and just say that people should maintain there spirits and hope in the face of these government institutions but reality is different. You cant just wish someone to feel better and they do. Our emotions are a direct result of our environment and without changing the enviroment you cant change how someone feels. So the question is how do you maintain your spirits when all seems lost and how do you support someone in this situation so they can themselves find the conviction to fight this battle and win?
When the state attacks us we feel alone and isolated, in the face there machinery its very easy to feel like its you against the monolith, our response is to show that is not so. In other word we must fight there isolation with community, whenever anyone of us are attacked we must come together as an organized force and support whatever way we can. its not just legal support that im talking about but also emotion support, being there for them and listening. Conviction, as i said earlier and helplessness are a product of ones environment so to fight helplessness we must create an environment of hope and solidarity. By doing this, no matter how dark it seems we can show that the sun will rise again and we as a community can be the hope in times of darkness.

Our sacred duty to resist even at the cost of our lives!!!!

27 Mar

So yesterday was a crazy day, before my meeting about dealing with drugs as a social issue i ran into a friend of mine that i have not talked to in a bit, i was feeling like shit and totally off my game, not the usual annoying smiling happy julian who will eat your ear off about what is going on in Cuba, or the political significance of Judas priest, or talking about nice nices (cute animals that i like). Still i tried to pretend its all good and make small talk, see if anyone wants coffee etc..

So anyone who knows me knows i suck at small talk and my idea of small talk is are you coming to this meeting, or what do you think of suicide, drugs in our community etc.

Since I dont want my dad to know if i ever get arrested (my absence can be explained by a variety of factors, my favorite is i fell in love and ran off in the sunset, probably to Toronto, knowing me probably to george st or Lansdowne, which i think is a really romantic enviroment…lol im weird) I decided to ask if i got arrested would they be my surety, this was quicky followed by a disclaimer and all the thinks i would do not to be julian and annoying. They said yes but told me to stay out of jail and avoid situations that could lead to me going to jail. Sound advise to anyone who is not julian, cause for some reason situations that could possibly lead to my arrest are as simple as handing out free food, speaking on a panel (in kingston back in the day,) or simply sitting at home typeing on my computer, as we can see from the new charge. Not to mention noise compliants, parties, me having fun or hanging out with my friends etc.

Of course i dont want to go to jail and hate jail and want to avoid it almost at all costs, but there are things i wont do to avoid going to jail, which is renounce my right to organize, betray someone, or shut my mouth.

Still i have been on charges before and usually when on charges you try to avoid getting new ones and find ways to be political despite conditions put on your person to stop you from engaging in politics (im talking about in the past regarding conditions) so I do sort of know how to stay out of trouble.

i left my friend and took a bus back to the place where we were holding the dealing with drugs as a social issue meeting. i was not dressed for the weather and the cold was chilling me to my bones, as well i took the bus that went through all sorts of twists and turns and it was 48 minutes until i got to my destination. Some people i knew were on that bus and when i started to swear because i was slipping on my seat they noticed me and came up to talk. There arm was fucked up from fixing a window and workers comp didnt do anything because the accident according to the board was due to “his negligence”. i got off the bus and walked to the meeting when i ran into a friend of mine who was turning tricks to get a fix. I was talking to her about life and she was telling me the most fucked up story about how she was pretty much beaten hardcore by a john. i asked her if she wanted to come to the meeting but she was working so she couldnt.

We started the meeting and i really didnt want to facilitate cause we had to pretty much re write the proposal on the basis of events, programing and projects. During the meeting someone came to apologize that they couldnt attend because they were to strung out on methadone cause the docter fucked up there dose or some shit. After the meeting i had to talk to a mom whose children were stolen by CAS cause shes poor and a racialized woman.

Seeing all of this and just what is going on in the world due to the greed of some, colonialism, genocide, exploitation, domestic abuse, poverty misery and drug and alcohol addiction one cant sit by silently and do nothing. One of the criticism that people make of post WWII Germany is that many people sat by silently and did nothing while human smoke rose from the chimneys of Dachau. While this view is problematic because there was resistance and it is a generalization, when the next neuremburg happenneds to condemn the colonialists and capitalists for there crimes against the people i dont want to be known as a good german who sat by quietly while millions died for the greed of the few. in the face of this genocide against poor people, and colonized people here and abroad one was an obligation to take a stand and resist even if it means putting your freedom and life in jeopardy, those who are conscious politically have an obligation not just to resist but also to educate and mobalize others because they know whats really going down and if you know you have to speak or act or else that knowledge is worst then wasted because by not sharing you are depriving others of a framework in which to fight and win. In this context i will theorize, act and learn even if it means im fucked because i have the sacred duty to resist event at the risk of being deprived of my freedom. Knowing this i fear not jail or screws or cops or whatever the state can throw at me because of whatever happenneds to me, it will happened in the context of me fulfilling my obligation to the people.

Community BBQ and Campout against Liberal cuts, against Gentrifiction

26 Mar

Community BBQ and Campout Against Liberal Cuts and Gentrification
Sunday April 15th 7pm Kitchener City Hall
Raise The Welfare ODSP Rates!!!
No To Austerity, No To Gentrification!!!!

The Liberal Government is implementing a budget that does nothing to benefit poor or marginalized people. More people are using foodbanks today then they were under Mike Harris. At the same time we are being pushed out of the downtown core due to the fact that we are poor which is a direct result of there economic policies that favour the rich. This is unacceptable.

While shelters and factories close denying us of income or a safe space to sleep condos for the rich are being built right in our core displacing us. The is a spit in the face to marginalized people who have always resided in the downtown core.

Join us to take a stand and let the liberal government and gentrifers know that we will not stand silently by while we are attacked on two fronts. Free Food, Speakers and music!!!

What We Want is accountability, Rally against CAS outside of Courthouse tommorrow!!!

26 Mar

Rally against CAS impunity
Tuesday March 27th 11:30 am
Kitchener Family Court 200 Frederick St.

Almost a month has passed since CAS unlawfully removed four children from a single racialized poor woman, we have been outside of the courthouse every Tuesday since this has happened. The response from the public so far has been supportive since the people who are poor or marginalized know the role that CAS plays in our community, they destroy families by targetting poor and racialized people for child abduction. CAS is a private corporation that receives public funding and is accountable to no one.

We feel that this case is a perfect example of how CAS feels that they can act like they are above the law because they are accountable to no one. We of the Spot Collective will not sit by silently while children from our community are abducted and put into homes that do not reflect the ethnic, religious and cultural beliefs of the parents they were stolen from.

We call all people to come and join us tomorrow to resist this blatant act of aggression on poor people by CAS and let them know that an injury to one is an injury to all. United we stand together we will win!!!!!

its eaiser not to try then to engage

26 Mar

The world is a fucked up place, especially if you are poor. Not only do you lack the money to make basic ends meet, but you are robbed of any dignity by a society that cares more about how much cash you have in your pocket as opposed to who you are as a person. To make matters worst you and those close to you are always under attack and you are dealing with crisis after crisis. Those who are suppose to be your allies are quick to denounce you, turn your back on you or just plain give up on you, forcing you to fend for yourself. In this context it is easy to feel overwhelmed and just think of the immediate as opposed to trying to think about the bigger picture.

Dealing with evictions, CAS, shitty workers, police brutality your friends ending up in jail etc. it is easy to feel that life is to much and very hard and that there is nothing you can do about. Depression and inertia, as well as drugs booze and what have you may help you to cope with the harsh darkness that permeates the whole of your being, but the root problems of the heavy feeling of caring the weight of the world on your shoulders is not addressed. In this context thinking about building a new society or replacing the brutal institutions that attack us with grass roots initiatives doesnt even cross ones mind due to the fact that it feels like too much and even though the status quo sucks the life out of you, you can still find a million reasons why fighting the state or organizing your community cant be done. the shock and awe of the attacks of the state on poor people is so tremendous that even the most seasoned resistor at some point in time will feel that nothing can be done.

This is how the system survives, not because people love the status quo but because they feel powerless to do anything about it, and when people do eventually agree with taking on the state it is easier to analyse all the problems of any method of attack or community mobilization and find a million flaws in it, but the reality is until you engage in the problem and activate the human factor, in other words until you try you have already failed, because it is through actively engaging to change your environment that you learn. in other words theory must come from the act of participating and engaging from your enviroment and analysing that experience, not from a book or discussion that is divorced from your immediate environment. By engaging and organizing you are not only changing the conditions that actively affect you, learing in the process but you are taking back the power that the system has robbed you of by becoming the decision maker and presenting solutions to the problems of society. In this process the problems that one faces day to day are not seen as random acts of misfortune that just happened to you because you are unlucky but rather you see them as part of a broader offensive unleashed against the working class and in the process realize that the solution is not to give up and be overwhelmed but rather to organize your class and in the process deal with these problems in a political way thereby solving them. In other words when you act based on the analysis of your concreate conditions even if the results are not what you forseen, you learn adapt move forward and carry on. This is how we fight, this is how we win!!!!!!