Toronto: SOAR Statement on Mainstream Media and Why We Resist
“Cops versus Protestors” they write, as if the people gathering together to demonstrate is somehow on par with the largest security deployment by the canadian state since the Second World War. ‘Who are these scary violent protestors,’ the newspapers ask, ‘and why won’t they answer my emails?’
But they never manage to ask the important questions, like why do we accept 15 000 cops invading our streets, while being scared when a few of our neighbours gather to protest? In this statement, we seek to answer some of the questions that the mainstream media should be asking, if their work was to be at all worthwhile.
Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance, or SOAR, is the name some people are using to organize actions around the G20 summit in Toronto.
We are anti-capitalist, which means we reject an exploitation-based economy and the ability of the rich to control the things the poor need to survive. We are anti-colonial, which means we challenge the ongoing conquest and exploitation of this land and of its original inhabitants by the canadian government and corporations, and that we stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples against the many faces of colonialism and cultural genocide. We recognize colonialism not as a historical phenomenon, but as an ongoing process of the canadian state and corporate apparatus.
The canadian state was founded through acts of genocide, and can only continue to function with ever increasing amounts of violence. In Toronto and around the world, people find themselves in conflict with the canadian state just for standing up for their right to survive.
canadian mining companies destroy the land and intimidate those who resist in Central America and in territories across this land. canadian police maintain a campaign of repression against marginalized communities, as demonstrated by a string of murders of racialized youth over the past years. Meanwhile, the environmental racism of the canadian government condemns already marginalized communities across the country to a slow death-by-poisoning, because their existence is inconvenient. All around the world, canadian financial interests are attacking people’s basic needs. The list of atrocities is without end, but that does not mean that they are forgotten or forgiven.
As anarchists, we stand in solidarity with those who are on the receiving end of capitalist and colonial violence. For this reason, we too see ourselves as in direct conflict with the canadian state. And we – along with oppressed people around the world – refuse to be forever on the defensive, to fight simply to survive against the systemic violence. The machinery of this system grinds on, and if we can’t throw a wrench into it, someday we will all feel its teeth as keenly as do oppressed and exploited people everywhere.
This June, when the orchestrators of the worldwide system of exploitation gather in Toronto to congratulate themselves and plot their next move, we will take to the streets and fight back.
The state’s violence is routine and deliberate. It is not an accident. This violence is necessary for the capitalist, colonial system to continue. The mainstream media presents each killing, each oil spill, each military coup, each case of corruption as being an isolated incident, as an exception. They make all the right sounds, pretending outrage and regret, and sometimes they show us some lone scapegoat getting punished. They make excuses for the system, lulling us with sweet lies even as the system lurches already towards its next victim.
And when we rise up to demonstrate our discontent, the mainstream media faithfully make a few broken windows seem like unacceptable violence. But it doesn’t take a lot of thought to see who are the truly violent members of our society. Are a few broken windows more important than the growing pile of corpses left by the occupation of afghanistan? Than entire communities stamped out by canadian mining companies? Than ecosystems and habitats destroyed by oil spills? Than yet another racialized youth murdered by cops? This system is built on violence, and as communities of resistance we must respond.
The ruling elite, using the mainstream media as a tool, counts on us forgetting about the past obscenities by the time the next one rolls around. They count on us to have short memories, to not recognize the patterns, and certainly not to follow those patterns back to their root.
And when we resist, they tell us that we’re the ones in the wrong. Then they carry on reporting about the world and about communities as if violence was not in every aspect of our modern civilization. But the destruction of the earth is far more violent than sabotaged machinery, and the presence of armed uniformed thugs enforcing capitalist rule in our communities is far more violent than the destruction of corporate property. The capitalist state threatens our very lives with its violence — capitalism exploits us to sell ourselves by the hour, and this earth is being poisoned at an increasing rate. The same money that runs the corporate media is the money that is running this earth to the ground.
For their role in pacifying us and excusing the ongoing, heinous actions of the canadian state and corporations, we consider the mainstream media to be totally complicit in those acts. For their lies, they share in the responsibility with the scumbags who will be assembling inside the security perimeter this June in Toronto. They are part of the oppressive structure that we want to dismantle.
By taking to the streets, we are rejecting the power of self-proclaimed leaders to control our lives and to go on destroying the planet and enslaving its inhabitants. We are not asking the G8/G20 to change their policies – we do not want a kinder, gentler system of oppression. We are trying to stop these “leaders”, to make it impossible for them to enforce their twisted policies.
As anarchists, to achieve this goal, we build the alternatives we want to see – we organize grassroots community services, create spaces for education, publish media, grow our own food, and explore direct democracy and alternative models of conflict resolution. And as well, we use direct action to protect ourselves and our communities from destruction when they come under attack. We seek to build communities based on freedom and mutual aid while actively resisting the violence of the state. We believe in a diversity of strategies and tactics, and we stand with all who resist.
As we said, the capitalist system is, and always has been, a constant attack against people everywhere. The G20 represents this system of destruction on a global scale. We do not accept Stephen Harper or anyone else’s power to make the decisions that will affect us all. The capitalist, colonial, racist, patriarchal, homophobic, transphobic Canadian state is totally illegitimate – we reject it completely, and want to remove the state and capitalism entirely from this land, along with all the other G20 regimes.
This is why we fight – because the only other choice is submission. We can either beg for the scraps of our freedom, or we can take our power and create freedom ourselves.
Forever and everywhere,
Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance
For more information about what’s going down in June and how you can get ready to throw down, check out our sexy callout.
Drop us a line at torontospokes @ ecologyfund.net if you want to get in on the action.
Radical dance party in the streets? Yes please!