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Toronto Anti-Corporate Action

Economic Disruption Works! We shut down the Financial
District! Here is a quick report written immediately after we left
the streets around 11:30 am.
Economic Disruption Works! We shut down the Financial
District! Here is a quick report written immediately after we left
the streets around 11:30 am.

O16 Economic Disruption in Downtown Toronto a smashing success!
Quick report by a member of the T2 Affinity Group

This morning (O16) thousands of anti-poverty, global justice, union, social
justice, and First Nations activists converged in downtown Toronto and shut
down its gigantic financial district. A series of snake marches maneuvered
around blockades of riot police to shut down vehicular and pedistrian traffic
in the district. By 8:00 am we learned that employers were encouraging people
not to come to work today. We shut down the heart of Corporate Canada. By using
the tactic of Economic Disruption we (probably) caused Canada' s financial
elite to lose millions of dollars (2 billion dollars circulates through the
financial distict every single day!).

This was an amazingly successful event. At 5:00 am thousands of activist met at
Nathan Phillip's Square (City Hall) for breakfast, music, speeches and
preparation. While a number of activists were pre-emptively arrested for
wearing bandannas, gas masks and bike helmets, the massive police presence
failed to deter activists from assembling.

Around 6:00 am we were notified that riot police had surrounded the square and
that we were effectively boxed-in. We were also notified that the large
Montreal contingent (400 strong?) had been stopped and searched by the police
en route to the square. After a number of good agitational speeches we took to
the streets, but were immediately blocked by a huge wall of riot cops armed
with rubber bullet guns, shields, battons, and riot gear. After an intense
standoff the communications team informed us that they had discovered an escape
route and we left the standoff and escaped from the square.

We re-assembled on one of the biggest streets in the downtown and began to
march towards the financial district. We by-passed a number of police blockades
and managed to turn onto a major street that led right into the heart of the
financial district. It was an amazing feeling to outsmart the cops, whose
authoritarian command structure had prevented them from reacting effectively to
our movements. Suddenly we were at the intersection of Bay and King, the heart
of the financial district. All traffic was stopped. No one was getting into the
banks and brokerage houses. There was no profiteering.

Our large march then broke down into 3 marches and all three marches continued
to snake their ways through the financial district, disrupting traffic,
picketing doorways to the major buildings, dumping newspaper boxes into the
street, chanting, dancing, and pumping our fists. Chants included: "Stop the
War on the Poor, Make the Rich Pay!" and "Down with Harris (the Premier who
just announced that he was resigning!)" and "Smash Capitalism, Smash the
State!"

The police were totally outsmarted. They had hundreds of goons ready to beat us
up but they couldn't react quickly enough to catch us. Occasionally we would
have to hurry to avoid being boxed into a block, but for the most part, the
police were unprepared to deal with us. We continued to weave our way through
the financial district until we heard the best news of the day--that the
financial district had been shut down! Apparently, the radio stations said that
drivers should stay out of the financial district and that employers were
asking employees to work from home today. When we heard this news we screamed
with excitement. It felt like Seattle and Quebec City all over again. In fact,
it felt better...

Anyways, a few minutes later we witnessed another amazing event: An activist
had climbed onto the large overhang covering the front doors to one of the
glitziest hotels in Toronto, grabbed the American flag hanging above,
spray-painted "murder" across it, and set it on fire while thousands of people
below chanted "No racist war! No racist War!..." This was amazing!

By now, our numbers had swelled to several thousand people. We then set our
sights on the American consulate. Everyone gathered outside the consulate and
we heard a number of amazing speeches. All of a sudden, the black bloc started
tipping over police barricades and vehicles. However, since the cops were so
disorganised they couldn't stop the actions. (I forgot to mention that a number
of big bank windows were broken earlier).

Our goal was to disrupt the financial district and disperse by 11:00 am. Around
10:30 we marched to a more open area of the downtown and people started to
disperse to prepare for the Mob4Glob event at noon and the massive labour rally
at 5:00 pm.

This was a great event. Despite all of the threats from the police (activists
were pre-emptively arrested, spied-on, harrassed, delivered intimidating
letters from the Chief of Police, photographed [the Montreal contingent was
surrounded by cops and photograhed as soon as they pulled into Toronto!]), we
took to the streets with courage and won the first battle in the Fall Campaign.


Today's event was the kick-off event for the Ontario Common Front's FALL
CAMPAIGN OF ECONOMIC DISRUPTION that will attempt to create a political crisis
for the Tory government by shutting down the profit system in this province.
Today's action included activists from the union, student, global justice,
socialist, anarchist, social justice, and First Nations movements. Activists at
today's event will now take the struggle back into their workplaces. They will
engage in strike actions or other activities of economic disruption that will
create a crisis of legitimacy for the rulers of the province. For example,
CUPE-Ontario (Canadian Union of Public Employees; 140,000 members) will start a
general strike in the next few months. Other actions will also occur across the
province.

Lessons? Organise locally and be confident. Take to the street and attack the
root sources of our oppression. For more info, check out
 http://ontario.indymedia.org and  http://www.ocap.ca

As we said in Quebec, So-So-So, Solidarity!
And as we now say in Toronto, Economic Disruption! Fight to Win!