Vancouver Anarchists say “Another War is Possible”
by the Anarchist Analytical Laboratories – Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
March 22, 2004
On March 20, a small group of anarchists marched amongst thousands of other people against the ongoing imperialist military occupation of Iraq. Carrying a banner with the words “Class War” and flying black flags, the anarchists yelled “Victory to the Iraqi resistance!” and “Bring the war home!”, disturbing the pathetic pacifist and middle-class tone of the protest. When the top bureaucrat of the BC Federation of Labour began to speak, we anarchists heckled the parasite by chanting “General Strike! General Strike!”, much to the displeasure of a few zombie peaceniks. Unable to stomach the New Democratic Party (NDP) politicians coming up on the speakers list, the anarchists disengaged from this nightmarish social-democratic pep-rally and promptly returned to real life. Anarcho-poser Noam Chomsky also spoke after we left.
Later that night, we anarchists joined the Vancouver and Secwepemc Native Youth Movement (NYM) chapters at a NDP party gala event which Noam Chomsky was also speaking at. NYM, Gustafsen Lake defenders, and No One Is Illegal – Vancouver organized a counter-event because of the NDP’s role in the police paramilitary assault on indigenous Secwepemc sovereigntists in 1995 (at that time the NDP was the ruling provincial government) and their ongoing asshole behavior since then. Chants of “Indian Land!” and “NDP-Enemy!” annoyed more than a few “progressive” middle-class ticket-holders who would rather ignore the war and occupation which has been going on in BC since European settlers colonized this land. A significant number of socially-maladjusted freaks known as “Police” also showed up to “keep the peace” at this oh-so-high-priority “public order incident”.
In the present context of increasing Canadian military occupations in Afghanistan and Haiti, and the continual suppression of indigenous people’s self-determination, now more than ever we must fight the democratic illusion which props up this system, attacking politicians and pigs of all kinds whenever they appear in public. We can’t and don’t want to demand that our oppressors “bring the troops home”, because this isn’t their home, this is a settler state on stolen Indian land. And against wishy-washy calls for “peace”, which can only mean the continuation of this exploitive and miserable society, we still say that another war is possible – unrelenting class war!!!
Anti-War Demonstrators Block Georgia Street Viaduct
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Towards the end of an anti-war rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery police officers began to aggressively clear the streets, pushing and hitting people. One person was thrown to the ground and roughly arrested by several cops. The crowd became very angry and tussled with the police while chanting “Let him go! Let him go!”
People then sat down and blocked part of the street for about half-an-hour, directly disobeying the police order to move on to the sidewalk.
About 30 demonstrators then marched down Georgia Street chanting “No justice. No peace. U.S. out of the Middle East!” and “What’s the solution? Revolution!” The group sat in an intersection for a few minutes and then proceeded on to the Georgia Street viaduct where the group sat down again and blockaded the bridge, in spite of a massive police presence. After a few minutes the demonstrators got up and marched across the viaduct to Main Street where a cop reportedly had brought out a giant gun (possibly tear-gas). The demonstrators then headed down to the police station and court house where they were told that the man who had been arrested was released. Many young children led the march.
The break-away march created several hours of traffic disruption and inspired those who took part to escalate the struggle and to push for direct action in the local anti-war movement, in solidarity with people all over the world. Go San Francisco!
Ongoing Anti-War Action in Vancouver, Canada
March 22, 2003
Thousands of people marched through the streets of Vancouver against the war on Iraq Saturday afternoon, March 22, 2003.
Along the way demonstrators closed the doors of businesses on Robson Street, chanting “When people are dying, how can you be buying?” A group of demonstrators spray-painted the wall of a building, the street and the U.S. consulate building itself with “Class War” and “Stop the war” slogans. A CityTV corporate news van and a wall of the Art Gallery were spray-painted with the anarchist circle A.
Demonstrators encircled the U.S. consulate and a group of students sat in the street and blocked a road near the building for a short time.
The night before, on Friday, March 22, at 5pm about 200 people marched through the streets of Vancouver against the war on Iraq.
A person in a red sports car drove right into the demonstration, speeding up, hitting demonstrators and nearly killing several of them. Luckily there were only minor injuries. Many people from the march chased after the car but could not catch up. Reportedly someone got the license plate of the vehicle. When one person who was hit by the car explained the event to a police officer the cop responded by saying “I don’t care.”
The shocked but defiant group marched on to the Burrard Street Bridge, stopped in the middle and blocked it off for a short time, yelling “US out!”
The demonstrators then marched down to the US consulate and joined the anti-war camp there.
On Thursday, March 20, hundreds of students walked out of classes, marched around their campuses and then boarded busses to head downtown to the US consulate. Throughout the day groups of students marched around the city, sat and blocked streets and at one point sat down in front of a Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Centre.
Two fights broke out during the day outside the US consulate over American flags. In the morning a man drove by in a car waving an American flag and a demonstrator grabbed it and threw it on the ground. The man got out of his car and a scuffle broke out as cops intervened and demonstrators tugged on the flag. Eventually the flag was grabbed and taken away. Later on, as demonstrators attempted to burn US and UK flags, “peace activists” violently assaulted the demonstrators, pushing and pulling, and grabbing the flags. At an anti-war rally later that night demonstrators managed to climb on a platform and burn the US and UK flags to the cheers of the crowd. A picture of George Bush was burned in effigy as the crowd chanted, “burn Bush burn!”
On Wednesday night, hours after the beginning of the US-led war on Iraq, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery in opposition. The march through the streets of Vancouver that Wednesday night arrived at the US consulate building, and the demonstrators expressed their rage at the latest US imperialist attack. Later that night a rock was thrown which smashed a window at the US consulate building.
Anti-Capitalist Contingent at February 15 Anti-War March in Vancouver
February 15, 2003
by Angry Prole
More than 30,000 people took part in the February 15 march against the war on Iraq in Vancouver.
Anti-capitalist groups that took part included the Anti-Poverty Committee, No One Is Illegal – Vancouver, the Vancouver chapter of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees, and the Filipino Youth Alliance.
A small black bloc of anarchists and some supporters formed at the beginning of the march and initiated several anti-capitalist chants and songs such as “Sabotage the war machine!” and “All we are saying is give class war a chance.”
One anarchist yelled “Solidarity with the hooligans in Greece” in reference to the anarchist mobilizations in Athens and Thessaloniki that developed into clashes with the police.
Near the end of the march the black bloc pushed over a newspaper box into the street, prompting a few marchers to yell at the black bloc and then pick up the newspaper box and put it back into place.
Anti-capitalists attempted to organize a last-minute breakaway march to the US consulate but were not able to pull enough people together to carry it out.
The Vancouver police appeared to be using undercover officers to moniter and control the demonstration rather than their usual aggresive uniformed and horse units. The crowd was so massive that it could not fit in the art gallery square where the march ended and many streets around it were blocked by traffic as a result.
Overall the day’s efforts were a small step in the right direction, a step out of the swamp of pacifist symbolic protest and towards cohesive anti-capitalist organizing in Vancouver.