Doth protest too much? Rating the threat levels of anarchists, anti-capitalists and other G20 haters
The big dailies are issuing their warnings about the onslaught of G20 protesters, many of whom are already converging on our normally well-groomed streets. Careful not to offend anyone, each article clarifies that the majority of protesters, no matter their cause, will remain peaceful. Then they dive right into fearmongering.
Part of the problem is that with so many groups coming, it’s hard to know which ones are patchouli-tinged, pot-smoking folkies and which ones are balaclava-wearing urban terrorists. A chant heard downtown yesterday that will likely be thrown around a lot this weekend is, “We’re all here for our own reasons, they are a few, we are a million.” (Or something like that. Note to chanting protesters: annunciate.) The Toronto Star’s recent roundup of protest organizations was helpful but lacked any kind of ranking and ratings guide. Luckily, we excel at that.
Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance
Cause: Opposes “the capitalist, colonial, racist, patriarchal, homophobic, transphobic Canadian state.” But these anti-authoritarians aren’t afraid to let their hair down and party between fence shaking and belting out “any means necessary” rhetoric. Even the most battle-hardened anarchists need some incentive to pull them off the couch.
Important date: June 26, when they plan to “humiliate the security apparatus.”
Threat rating: They may cause some ruckus, but any group that has been this transparent about planning isn’t going to be planting any bombs. 3.5 Rage Against the Machine CDs (out of 5)
Cause: They’re against prisons, obviously, but in what appears to be a moment of bong-induced profundity, FWFP has extended its reach past penitentiaries: “Prison is everywhere… With the deepening of surveillance, the integration of police forces, the increased use of private security, the existence of courts, repression and isolation, the walls of prison are already built around us.”
Important date: June 27 at Bruce Mackey Park, where they will be protesting—what else?—prisons.
Threat rating: The group refuses to speak to the media and actively encourages confrontation. Its credibility, however, took a plunge when it signed a recent missive, “Bring tha MOtha fuckin noize!” 4 Public Enemy CDs (out of 5)
The Council of Canadians
Cause: An established mainstream group with perhaps the most non-threatening Web site ever works “to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.”
Important date: June 25, Shout Out for Global Justice. People who purchase tickets will hear speakers denouncing the G20 at Massey Hall. Roar.
Threat level: We think our grandmother might be a member of this political action group. 1 Joan Baez CD (out of 5)
No One Is Illegal
Cause: An established group that “wants the government to grant full status to all, to end deportations, and to allow undocumented residents full access to services.”
Important date: June 25 at the Justice for Our Communities protest at Allan Gardens.
Threat level: When the main motivation of a group is to offer aid to non-status immigrants who are afraid of deportation, it’s likely that confrontation with authority isn’t a high priority. 1 Raffi CD (out of 5)
Cause: It’s unclear if this is a group with specific demands or just an odd hobby site created by “one of the most cheerful men you’re ever likely to meet,” who also happens to be an anarchist with a cheerful hate-on for the G20.
Important date: Tough to say. We’re betting Securimetric will be everywhere.
Threat level: None.
Cause: FFFC is angry at capitalism and the alleged damage it’s doing to the environment. This might be why the group firebombed a bank in Ottawa last month.
Important date: Last Saturday, when charges were supposed to have been laid.
Threat level: After claiming responsibility for the firebombing (and posting a video of it on its Web site), FFFC ominously warned that it would be at the G20, as well. As the only group with real terrorist bona fides, it might actually cause trouble. 4.5 Hans Grubers (out of 5)