Archive | September, 2017

Report back from Ireland and ILPS in Kitchener a success

30 Sep

Yesterday a comrade with the 32CSM International Department did a report back about her visit to Ireland, the political situation there and the the recent ILPS congress in Toronto.This report back is part of broader speaking tour that will take place over the next few months.

The Kitchener stop was attended by among others members of the tent city who were quite interested in learning about the situation their and the 32CSM which is the group that hosted our comrade which inspires many of the street youth to organize and resist the attacks on their basic rights that they have by virtue of being human. It was quite obvious that they were hungry for information on revolutionary history of Ireland and the forces that are resisting the occupation. Although I was not able to attend for health reasons i have received many facebook msgs from people who attended telling me about the presentation as well as wanting more information.

This politicization of street youth in and of itself is a victory and I look forward to joining this comrade on the rest of the tour.

Our proposal to solve the drugs crisis

29 Sep

Community Space Proposal
Downtown Kitchener Coalition of Social Justice
DATE

Table of Contents

Cover Page Pg.
Table of Contents Pg.
Summary Pg.
Objectives Pg.
Organization and History Pg.
Background Pg.
Project Description Pg.

Community Space Proposal

I. Summary
We propose a new community drop in space in Downtown Kitchener that will help to fill shelter service gaps, build bridges between the various stakeholders in the area, and develop another community space, one that will give all members the right to participate in agency decision making. The City of Kitchener has access to many properties especially those that are derelict, an eyesore, or otherwise vacant, and we would like access to two houses side by side; one serving as a drop-in space, the other functioning as a community enterprise: a consignment shop. Additionally, the second floors of both of these houses will function as emergency/low income housing units.

II. Objectives
To maintain additional access to essential services and resources to members of the Downtown Kitchener community
To participate in public and community education and outreach surrounding social justice and community based issues
To build and maintain a community run drop in space and community enterprise
To provide the Downtown Kitchener community with a space that aims to empower community members through equality and respect
To contribute to cross cultural experiences by spearheading community cultural exchanges and supporting the development of multi-cultural relationships.
To provide space to engage with Indigenious Folx on a Nation to Nation basis
To provide front line support to those transitioning out of instutions such as the prison system and the mental health system.
To treat drugs as a social issue and implement intentional harm reduction strategies that benefits all community members.
III. Organization Description and History
The Downtown Kitchener Social Justice Coalition or DTK SJC is a coalition of many groups and projects currently working out of Downtown Kitchener. They include the Tent City Organizing Committee, Drugs as a Social Issue, the Anti-Colonial Working group, and the Southwestern Ontario branch of the 32CSM. The coalition meets to determine project steering and individual organization commitment. Individually these organizations have worked to build sustainable campaigns, for example Tent City has at least a decade long history in Victoria park; the development of information capital via participatory action research, which lead to a multi-page spread in the paper when Drugs as a Social Issue worked closely with The Record; and the raising of community awareness and education around various social issues, such as the Anti-Racist organizing that the 32CSM has been working on in the wake of the recent political climate.

The DTK SJC is committed to this project because as members of Downtown Kitchener Community, we see the need for greater access to essential services and we’ve analysed the services that already exist Downtown to fill in gaps when services are less or not available, for instance when drop-in’s have closed, but shelters have yet to open. With the further gentrification of downtown Kitchener, we see a growing divide between those who benefit from the upgrades and those who don’t, such as those displaced by landlords doing renovations. We see a growing need to develop spaces that are accessible to all the members of the Downtown Kitchener community and that are holistic and participatory in nature.
IV. Background
We know that additional shelter beds are not what this community needs, however service limitations do exist for those who need to access the shelter system. The closure of the Out of Cold program has created a situation where the motel overflow program is utilized at huge capacities every night, which is not sustainable. There are gaps every night during which service users must wait outside in the cold while they wait to see who has room for them to sleep. Additionally, those with immovable service restrictions are forced to choose between sleeping on the street or sleeping in jail cells. We know that there are folks who do not feel safe in the shelter system, but sleep in tents yearlong instead, which creates multitudes of health and safety issues. There is a noticeable tension between the street and poor community of Downtown Kitchener and the up and coming community. Creating a new community hub will serve to build bridges between different stakeholders in the community. Theoretically, service provision is understood to be the most effective when service users actively participate in making the decisions that affect them. There are already community spaces that allow various levels of community participation, however none of them rely on community decision making at their core. Though Waterloo Region’s Housing First Strategy is to close ineffective shelters and house people instead, the only update that has occurred is a lack of shelter beds. The wait list for housing is still five years long.

V. Project Description
The Tri-cities currently has many service providers who offer various essential and community based services. This collective aims to compliment the services that already exist in this community and fill in the cracks of service delivery

1. Goal: To create more access to community lead services, resources, and tools through a drop in community space.
We plan to provide a space for community to gather and have access to resources like phone charging, wifi, computers, OW, ODSP, and CAS casework support, Court support, bus tickets, and access to clothes and other essential items. We plan to provide these services and other programs via a collaborative model in which all community members are welcome to become decision making members. We aim to give community members, with a specific focus on youth, the skills to learn and teach others how to organize themselves around issues like court support, OW casework, and other vital situations. We will encourage and empower community members to take leadership positions.

2. Goal: To fill service gaps.
We plan to fill service gaps by primarily by filling the space left by lacking services, as identified by community members. For example there is currently no free food serving in Downtown Kitchener, so the 32 CSM has started a campaign to provide food during that time. In addition we plan to maintain open hours during the “in-between” times when folks would otherwise be forced to stay outside. These times include evenings for those who face service restrictions and those who must wait on the shelter system to find them a bed. Our drop in centre would provide a temperature controlled place for folks to wait.

3. Goal: To build and showcase Downtown Kitchener’s skills through a consignment shop community enterprise.
We plan to build a framework that centers on a collaborative, empowering model because we know that all community members are capable and willing to do the work. All community members will be invited to participate in decision making, which has proven to increase community engagement in other projects.
We would like to build fundraising efforts by making space for the unique skills of all community members. We plan to maintain a consignment shop that would provide a place for community members to showcase their talents and receive compensation for the work they do.

4. Goal: To build bridges between community stakeholders; such as small businesses, people that live and work in Downtown Kitchener, folks who access service in the Downtown core, and the various people who use Downtown generally.
We plan to build bridges via active outreach in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

5. Goal: To provide additional low income housing units in the Downtown Kitchener core.
Downtown Kitchener needs more low income housing units if we’re ever going to see the housing first strategy bear fruits. We plan to use the space above the drop in and consignment shop as an emergency and low income housing. Based on size we plan to provide at least 2, hopefully 4 units.

6. Goal: To prevent overdoses by having a place with a nurse where drug users can be open about their addictions and use in a safe space. To streamline recovery options, reduce the strain on emergency personnel and keep downtown safe from criminality.

VI. Project Timeline/Budget Timeline
Secure Space
Space Start up
Open for drop – in
Outreach Start Up
Outreach Open
Upstairs housing Start Up
Consignment Start Up
Consignment Open
Housing Open

VII. Budget

Example:

Expenditure Category
Fund Request
Funds from other sources
Total
Salaries
One Full time staff
One Full time Nurse.
5 volunteer staff
3 Volunteer Nurses
$10 000
per month
Equipment
Office supplies and start up, basic medical supplies
Computers, furniture,
$15 000
Building/Space
119 Joseph Street
derelict properties
Hugo and Lorne
Scott and Weber, or shared space with other agencies

In kind repairs

Utils

Central air, heat hydro,
$300 per month
Phone/Internet

Land Line
Wifi
$200 per month
Totals

$10 500 Per Month
Start up $ 15 000
Building cost: TBA

Public meeting on Overdose Prevention Team and safe injection site a success

29 Sep

Yesterday we held a public meeting to discuss the work of the overdose prevention team and the tent cities and the need for a safe injection site.

The meeting started with us presenting our proposal to solve the drug problem, which will be published on my blog shortly. This proposal was met with wide approval by everyone there. This was followed by wide discussion on our experience at tent city preventing deaths from drugs poisoned with fentynol, including in two instances weed.

One medical student talked about how his class mate lost ten friends this year all from Fentynol laced weed. Ichim responded that among poor people the fentynol crisis was going on since 2009 and its only become an issue when the middle class started losing their children .

Regardless the consensus was that the drug problem is killing to many people and that the present way of dealing with it is not working. Furthermore the idea of waiting years for the city to negotiate a safe injection site means the loss of hundreds of lives of people we know grew up with and are part of our community and to sit back and do nothing while people die is not an option.

The discussion ended with the presentation that since the tent cities have moved out of Victoria Park police and state attacks have made it harder and harder for us to get Naloxone to the sites and that the way things are going if these acts of harassment and outright theft of tents etc continues its only a matter of time until someone dies. As such unless these acts stop or we move forward on our proposal for the sake of safety and saving lives we will be forced to regroup in a public place on October 6th this year.

The meeting ended with support for this and a broad consensus for us to move forward with our agenda.

Hands off Tent City/Overdose Prevention Team!!!! Safe Injection Site Now!!! Phone and email Jam

17 Sep

Starting Monday September 18th-October 5th

Mayor Berry Vrbanovic
Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West, 2nd Floor
Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7
Canada

Phone: 519-741-2300
Fax: 519-741-2800
Email: mayor@kitchener.ca

Since August we have been running a tent city and an overdose prevention team to find people housing and create an area patrolled by the Overdose Prevention Team that has been administering Naloxone and saving lives to those whose drugs have been poisoned by scum with fentanyl.
As of September 1st we have been continuously hassled and attacked by state forces which has been making it harder and harder for us to perform our duty to save lives and house people.
Despite discussions with the region over the issue of the creation of a safe injection site, as well as other programs including prevention programs, tents have been seized, people who administer Naloxone have been followed, as well those known to the police to be involved in Tent Cities/ Overdose prevention team.
This has been done to find out where our sites are and to shut them down.
As a result of this people have died because they could not reach the site with one more recent death yesterday.
We have acted in good faith and followed our part. We ask that people call and email the mayors office and ask that the region call off their dogs- the police, bylaw etc.- and give us breathing space so we can engage in the discussions we are having and house people.
We also ask people to call the mayors office and demand that the opioid crisis be immediately addressed by implementing our proposal that includes prevention programs, harm reduction programs and a safe injection site now.
These people who are dying are our family members, mothers, sisters, brothers and part of our community and they don’t deserve to die simply because they have developed addictions.

Alan Ryan People Community Defense Brigade statement on attacks on Overdose Prevention Team and the cost of human lives as a result as well as anti social crimes against the people.

16 Sep

It has come to the attention of the Alan Ryan People’s Community Defense brigade that the police have been interfering with our tent cities and naloxone pipe line. As a result of this there have been four ODs because people could not get to the site and this morning if it was not for the quick thinking of a there was almost a death at one of the sites because of police interfering with our naloxone pipeline. Further more police and all their agents deny stealing the tents despite witnesses that are willing to come forward to speak to the media. We may be publishing our video of police denial in the immediate future. This must immediately cease and desist. If people start dying and we do all we can to save them but they die anyways we will equip everyone with cellphones to take pictures and make posters with their dead image and their life stories and post them all over downtown. If we have to see their face every night in our sleep as one more person that we couldn’t save so should those that are responsible. As well we want to humanize these friends of ours so people see what he face of the opioid epidemic really is; it’s not a bunch of hoods and criminals but rather someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, someone’s brother, sister etc. with hopes and dreams. Hopefully those responsible will see what they are doing and follow the Nuremberg principles on the duty to disobey unjust orders. Furthermore it has come to our attention that a young woman was roofied, sexually assaulted and then injected with two needles of fentynal. To us this shows not only premeditation in the rape but also premeditation to something much much worst to cover up their heinous crimes. Our friends at the hospital stated that the injections were not self inflicted and that their was evidence of forced entry. We are currently investigating this matter and will do what we can once the investigation is concluded to stop harm. At this point we feel that this person is beyond rehabilitation and will likely offend again shortly. We ask people no matter how thirsty you are DO NOT ACCEPT DRINKS FROM STRANGERS AND DO NOT TAKE A SWIG OUT OF A BOTTLE UNLESS YOU KNOW THE PERSON AND THEY TAKE MANY SWIGS FIRST!!!! THE ALAN RYAN PEOPLES COMMUNITY DEFENSE BRIGADE FURTHER NOTICED THAT THE PERSON ATTACKED WAS A VULNERABLE PERSON AND THE REASON THAT THEY WERE CHOSEN WAS BECAUSE IN THIS SOCIETY OUR LIVES DO NOT MATTER AND THEY THINK THAT WE WILL NEVER BE MISSED. WE WILL NOT STAND IDLY BY WHILE OUR COMMUNITY IS UNDER ATTACK INTERNALLY FROM PREDATORS AND EXTREMELY FROM A ROGUE POLICE FORCE WHOSE WORDS MEAN NOTHING!

Report back from Ireland in Montreal a success

12 Sep

Written by Quebec Branch International Department 32CSM Comrade on their recent visit

On September 2nd, i went to a community bbq where i was able to give a report of my time in Ireland. Members of several organisations, including Revolutionary Student Movement, Industrial Workers of the World, Centre for Philippines Concerns, the Immigrant Workers Centre, Women of Diverse Origins, the Temporary Foreign Workers Association and Anakbayan were present and took great interest in the miniature harp that was made by irish republican political prisoner Martin Rafferty. The harp, which is a symbol of the irish people and culture was made with the few materials afforded to the political prisoners in jail, such as matchsticks, string etc. The craftul art fascinated and impressed the small group of listeners, and symbolized my trip through the republican movement of Ireland, hosted of course by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement members. I spoke about, my time in Belfast, the apartheid city, Derry, Kilkenny, Kildare, and Letterkenny and Fanna. I spoke about how the north is under an invisible British occupation, and how the south is under imperialist domination from the most powerful nations in the world. I spoke about the issues of youth suicide, housing, social services and healthcare, employment and export labor markets that currently haunt the Irish people. I also touched on the last 100 years of resistance to the 800 year-old English colonisation, occupation, and exploitation of Ireland.

One of the things that marked me the most during my trip was how, despite the torture that the majority of my hosts experienced because of their republican convictions, I was welcomed with open hearts. The sweetest, kindest and most passionate people welcomed me into their homes, their cars, their offices, their cemeteries, their communities and their lives. I was so marked by the class character of the Irish Republican movement, and the strong and profound feeling that I felt the Irish have: that we must stand up to our oppressor if we are to have any self confidence, pride or dignity at all in this life.

Irish hospitality and fierceness of the Irish republican movement and principles gave me the food for thought that I needed to realize that sovereignty is the main obstacle, in Canada or Ireland, to a better life.

In Belfast, I was able to see the famous Falls area, where the british occupation and loyalist paramilitary terrorist campaign of the Irish instigated some of the fiercest resistance in the entire city. In Newlodge area of Belfast, an estate with one of the highest concentrations of irish-catholic population in the city faces the headquaters of the Orange Order, an organisation that promotes the colonial and racist myth that the North of Ireland should be under English occupation. Although the Republican activity still exists in New Lodge, the issue of drugs and child and teen suicide is plaguing the empoverished area.

The class carachter of the irish-catholic population is clear as you drive to county down, where all the best land is owned by the loyalist populations, and where the flags of the English Flag, the Union Jack and the Loyalist paramilitary groups fly high in the downtown lamp posts, and where the sidewalk stones are painted blue red and white. The irish-catholic usually have the hardest, least qualified, worst paying and most flexible jobs in the country. They live in the smaller houses, many are unable to afford more than the social housing. The irish catholic live under regular police harassment from early on in their lives, with the children being treated and punished as adults by the british occupation forces and their cronies, similarly to the Palestinian, and the African amercian children.

The South of Ireland is dealing with issues around the privitisation of the country, where the waters, coasts, highways and healthcare are being sold out to muiltinational companies. The issues of under and unemployment, house evictions and labour exportation are a plague in the South. The South is also a place where the superrich owners of multinationals come to stash their millions in order to avoid paying taxes.
In both the North and the South, the issue of Svoereignty is clearly at the forefront of the peoples problem. The southern economy is not strong enough to compete with the imperialist nations ever since the great recession and finance market held back the economy. The imperialist european nations as well as America use this to their advantage, nevermind the consequences on the people.

The North is a different situation, where the surveillance and years of occupation have had their effects on the population, who are trying to fight youth suicide and addiction rates, police harrassment and ethnic and political persecution, and class exploitation and terror of the ruling ulster-scott population.

The issue of sovereignty is so broad and all emcompassing that it traverses all the other social issues.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement is in a renewal phase, where their greatest task at this moment is explaining to the Irish people why their everyday problems are actually all connected to the issue of sovereignty. This project is expressed through the upcoming Proclamation Project, which is a coalition project with 32 CSM at the leadership, going back to proclamation of 1916 and linking it to the relevance today, and to everyday issues of the masses of Ireland.

Tent City Update, when 1 becomes 7, long live our overdose prevention site!!!Long Live Tent City

10 Sep

On Aug 31st as a sign of good faith we evacuate Victoria Park and moved our tent cities to 7 locations to disburse the police forces that are not acting in good faith and are attempting to hunt us down like dogs. Our 7 sights are operational and will exist until there is no longer use for them. Given that fact that we agreed to prevent overdoses through the use of Naloxone these services are still available at tent city.

Since we started we have faced attacks by pimps nazi’s whom spray painted our tents and other such anti social elements. Some of criticized us for our use of force in extreme circumstances. I would like to point out a legal interpretation of the new self defense laws stated by Lawyer and former Conservative Party member Stephen Woodworth responding in his capacity as MP which clearly indicates Party approval. Not only can you use force to defend yourself and your property but you can go as far as to point a fire arm at someone threatening yourself or your property. This apply s to self defense of a third party. Anyone with basic fire arms training knows you don’t point a fire arm unless you are willing to shoot the thing you are pointing to.

Given that the police clearly has no interest in sorting our problems and acts like a criminal gang the issue of defending ourselves and our community falls on us. This is clearly not a cart Blanche to do what we want but it is a legal indicator that we have the right to defend our community by all available tools. However our power derives from the people who sit discuss and find solutions our aim is not to punish but rather to isolate anti social behavior if words will not suffice and the anti social element attacks us using force by legal definition not only is the use of force correct legal but also morally. To sit by and watch a pimp take a 16-year-old and make her work the streets is not only legal wrong but morally wrong and if force must be met with force so be it.This is not only legal right but morally right and to sit and watch this while doing nothing not only makes you a coward but allows these anti social elements to have control. If you give in one inch to these forces they will take you for all you got. Until the police force stops murdering people like Beu Baker in the street and stop being an armed political wing of the state it falls on us to defend ourselves. Last year the region saw first hand with what we deal with when during a discussion we were attacked with a machete by a racist nazi hopped up on meth. I don’t know about you but I prefer to fight and live rather than die for some stupid pacifist principles that only make sense on university campuses.

Another issue we are facing is that police are taking our tents ignoring the supreme court decision that one of allowed to have a tent up between 9pm to 7 am. This shows that the police no longer follow the law of the land but rather do whatever they want. We are calling on this practice to stop as we see it as either a sign of bad faith on the part of the region or a police force that has gone rogue and does whatever they want. If these tents are not returned by the end of next week serious political action will be taken.

We call on the region to implement our proposal and although people from tent city are being housed as a result of our housing clinic and through our own efforts the root cause is not addressed and until the root cause of poverty and violence are addressed these problems will continue. Our proposal has a solution to these problems and the quicker it is implemented the more lives will be saved.

We desperately need donations of tents naloxone and food but most important we need political support share this article and when we put out a callout for a safe injection site and solutions to the drug problems as well as call outs for support when we are under attack please respond.

32CSM statement read at commemoration of Alan Ryan in Toronto

5 Sep

On Sept. 2nd we held a commemoration for RIRA Volunteer Alan Ryan. The commemoration was held at an undisclosed location and was attended by our international comrades and dignitaries. Below is the speech I read on behalf of the 32CSM discussing the pragmatic elements of his legacy as well as its practical applications here.

We are gathered here today to remember a fallen soldier who gave his life for the Liberation of Ireland from British Imperialism and for the Liberation of the working class from exploitation and oppression. As a result of the political stand that Alan Ryan took, he was executed by drug dealers whom were used by the state to take out this great man. The state, unhappy with simply killing Alan, colluded with the media to smear him and destroy his legacy.
In this they have failed! All around the world people remember Alan Ryan; what he stood for and what he died for. Yet, for us to truly understand why Alan died, we must understand his legacy and its applications today, here in our current context, and to articulate our positions on the issues that he dealt with and practically what it means to honour his legacy here.
First and for most, Alan Ryan was an Irish Republican and a socialist. His primary task was the Liberation of Ireland from British Occupation, which would fulfill the goals of 1916.
This Liberation is not just a Liberation in name only, but a true Liberation where the people of Ireland control Ireland politically, militarily and economically.
This could only be done by relying on the working class as a base of support. As such, Alan took upon himself to deal with the problems the working class took on, including the drug problem which is a political tool of the ruling class to decimate the ranks of the working class through addiction, criminalization, gang violence and all the problems that come along with this political tool used against the working class.
For this, and for standing up to the occupation in the north, and the betrayal of republican principles by the freestaters, he payed for his life.
In understanding what Alan stood for, we have to understand his love for the people of Ireland who are being decimated by the drugs problem and the inability to stand back and watch while his community fell victim to the terror imposed by gangsters, capitalist elements within working class communities, and the impacts of drugs on his community.
So the issue that Alan was dealing with was a material problem. His community was facing the drugs problem as an issue that was impacting the communities he was organizing. As such, he looked for solutions.
The opiate epidemic is something currently haunting our community. Dead bodies are being found every day in the washrooms of shelters, and fentynol is being found in pretty much every substance, a useless drug that is causing the people to OD. This issue must be taken up by us, not in a moralistic way, but rather in a political way, which is why we must ask ourselves the question What serves the interests of the class that we are organizing? and how will we sort out this problem in a way where the interests of the class are served and respected?

Some have stated that it is hypocritical that the Alan Ryan Peoples Community Defense Brigade, which has taken on the name of Alan Ryan and protects members of the community from exploiters, such as pimps and racist death dealers, have in the past not only advocated the Portuguese model for sorting out the drug problem, but did security this year at a safe injection site set up at tent city. This false understanding comes from confusing tactics with principles, aims and objectives.
Without a political analysis of this problem, based on material conditions that face us and a plan to move forward, the community can get behind us. Being here is just role playing at best. At worst, a counter revolutionary strategy, that not only will fail, but will cost many lives and put the movement backwards.
So what is our analysis of the drug problem? What is our strategy? What is our way forward?
The drug problem for the most part is a problem created by capitalism, exploitation and colonialism. In our society today, these problems are creating many mental illnesses which, aside from physical pains, is forcing part of society, throughout all statas, to rely on a drug of some sort; whether it’s booze, marijuana or heroine; to numb their feelings, helping them to accept the way life is, even though deep down, the root cause not being addressed.
60 percent of opiate users in Kitchener are users because of injury in the workplace. As a result of the failure of the medical system, people are attempting to score on the street because its faster. Many of these people have to still work despite these injuries so they use opiates to cover the pain so as to perform and be better slaves to the capitalist system.

Drugs such as clamazepham, diazapham, lorzapham etc. are so prevalent in Kitchener because these are the drugs that one uses to stop panic attacks, PTSD and other symptoms stemming from the fact that the life expectancy of the exploited is quite low. In Native communities, people have been dying around the age of 27 more and more frequently. These people are not the enemy, but rather, are those whom are the victims of the exploitation.
Until the root cause with is capitalism, colonialism and the unbearable violence that one faces from being exploited are removed, there will always be drug and mental health problem.
With that being said, until capitalism falls, we still need to protect our communities and our bases of support from this problem.
We do this by having a class analysis of the make up of the drug scene. We need to recognise whom is exploited, whom is doing the exploitation, and find results so we can stop this.
At the bottom of the chain you have the addict, whom is exploited and in a state where they are vulnerable due to their addiction and mental health. The false scarcity economy imposed on the drug problem, which allows the top of the chain to set prices so high that they are 500% higher then real market value. The high price that the addict must pay for their drugs, as well as the fact that they must hide their problems and not seek help due to legal reasons, put the addict in a position where they are caught between the violence of the dealer, and the violence of the state.
Above them, but still exploited, are those who score for other people so they can maintain their habit, yet are still exploited by the dealers at the top.
These are the type of people who will get you drugs, only if you share or give them a pill as well.
On top, you have the dealers who don’t use. They are not exploited, but rather are the exploiters, who profit off the misery of others.
Our strategy is to unify the addicts against their exploitation, win over the middle strata and isolate the dealers.
To do this we must take the drugs out of the hands of the dealers and fight so that those whom are addicted can be open about the problems they seek. They can use in a safe way and have the option to seek out medical help and peer support to quit drugs.
As long as there is capitalism and exploitation there will be a drug problem, and as long as the dealers control the drugs, there will be violence and criminality around this problem.
So our strategy is to take drugs out of the hands of the dealers, deal with addiction as a social issue and stop people from using drugs and hiding their mental illnesses in the first place. This will fill the gap in their soul, caused by having no hope, giving them hope in a better tomorrow through demonstrating that victory against capitalism is possible.
This can only be done by pushing for the Portuguese model. Forcing people to go hide in bathrooms to use drugs, that in many cases are poisoned with fentynol, will not solve this problem. Rather, it will create the problem that we are currently facing, which is dead bodies of people we know and grew up with, being found daily in shelters for woman, hostels and around the whole city, outside and inside.
Forcing people to hide their addictions, as opposed to feeling free to seek the help they need, will only drive these people further and further underground. When their tight rope act crashes, so do they, in many cases, losing their lives.
By fighting and winning things like safe injection through mass action, we teach the addict that only by struggle we advance. If we as a collective can fight and win this, what else can we fight and win together? We created a place where someone can use by minimizing the risk of death. We see this as a small victory.
This is one prong of our approach. The second is to fight and create alternatives to drug use which will be unveiled in the next few days, as our proposal to the region, which is being discussed right now, between those whom set up the tent city.
Does this mean that we sit ideally by why dealers attack and exploit our community? Hell no! It just means being strategic about it and not being used as a cats paw by the state. A state which sets us against whomever they choose, and sit back and watch us decimate ourselves.
When isolating a dealer, we first and foremost talk to the community through our mass organizations; find out who the real scumbags are that no one can defend and are a threat to our community. Through social investigation and mass work, we make sure we have the support of the community, and are able to mobilize them because we identify a common class enemy that the people want to fight, instead of just attacking random kids selling dime bags on the corner.
We stand here today to honour Alan, not just in name, but in act. We stand unified in struggle for a 32 County Irish Republic; unified in our desire to solve the drug problem and to build socialism in our life time. Let us not say we honor Alan by coming to events and then going home and forgetting about it, but rather by carrying on the struggle of what he fought and died for.

Ends
Edited by: Amanda Smith

Alan Ryan Graveside Oration by 32CSM Chair Francis Mackey Read at Toronto Commemoration

3 Sep

Oration delivered by Francis Mackey at the Graveside of Volunteer Alan Ryan

In these changed times we must invoke the courage and commitment of Volunteer Alan Ryan and his brother Vincent to help us grasp the nettle of change that is now required of Irish republicanism.

In these changed times we must recognise that unless there is a fundamental reclamation of Irish republicanism from reckless elements Irish republicanism will be reduced to the state of perpetual tabloid fodder.

In these changed times if the understanding of the totality of sovereignty and self-determination is not at the heart of the republican struggle the marginalisation of Irish republicans will be irreversible.

We are where we have allowed ourselves to be. And it is only ourselves that can address this predicament. In recent times an insidious cloud has descended on the Republican Movement. Specific events of outright criminality have brought this entire struggle into disrepute.

These acts cannot be dismissed as anomalies. They are a distinct pattern of a reckless and deeply flawed political and military acumen and must cease forthwith. They are the epitome of betrayal to the volunteer we honour here today. Furthermore, the onus is now on the broader republican family to reclaim the core of Irish republicanism and place it within a secure framework of progressive and revolutionary politics.

The right of the Irish people to use disciplined armed force to end the violation of our sovereignty is beyond question. What is in question however is the negligent belief that being in possession of that right somehow confers an automatic ability to discharge that right in a responsible and effective fashion. As it stands neither of these criteria are being met.

The national army has only one function; the defence of the sovereignty of the people in whose name it has risen. It has no political wing nor can it ever be utilised as a military wing of a political group. That was the way of the Provisionals and their legacy is plain for all to see.

At all times the national army must be fully cognisant of the political environment in which it exists. At all times it must seek out genuine political alternatives to advance its goals. Armed struggle is an option of last resort. Reckless and undisciplined actions are no option at all.

The legitimate position of the national army and armed struggle was correctly and publicly articulated by the leadership of the national army in 1997. In a parallel action the cause of armed conflict and what was required to end it was articulated in international law before the United Nations. This dual expression remains the contemporary legal foundation for the republican struggle.

The question that republicans now face is not a simplistic one of being for or against armed struggle but rather can we build a strategic political movement that is not predicated on armed struggle being a prerequisite? To win this struggle we cannot simply offer our people war.

A political movement by its very definition must be fluid and adaptable. But it also must be relevant. The republican vision for a sovereign Ireland must come hand in glove with a strategy to achieve it. The insular nature of Irish republicanism has developed within us a mindset that sees our people as incidental to our struggle. We need to cease struggling for them and begin to struggle with them.

Fortunately there are republicans who have grasped this nettle. For some time now republicans throughout Ireland have met in unity and comradeship and begun the task of putting in place a radical policy platform which brings the logic and language of sovereignty to the everyday struggles of our people.

Its purpose is not to bring a new group into existence but to establish a new republican narrative that groups and individual republicans alike can adopt and develop. The challenges of contemporary times demand a contemporary pragmatism to meet them. Slogans on a bodhran, masks and sunglasses or references to historic loyalties are not enough.

The importance of this new republican narrative in the face of constitutional developments after Brexit cannot be over emphasised. At present the republican position has no bearing on these developments. And this is evident by the recent brash comments by Free State leaders concerning Irish unity and the border.

These comments do not represent a shift in Free State thinking toward republican demands. They are in fact a most dangerous departure from any concept of Irish unity that entails national sovereignty. What we are witnessing now is the horse-trading of Irish unity in return for the surrender of Irish sovereignty to Westminster, Brussels or international corporate entities

And this is where a republican understanding of the totality of sovereignty and self-determination is essential. The term Irish unity is no longer sufficient. We must demand political sovereignty, economic sovereignty and sovereignty over our natural resources as the national fundamental rights of a sovereign Irish Republic.

The door is now open to establish a political movement to advance these aims. I urge all republicans to step through it.

Beir Bua.