Statement On The Sept.11 Attacks And Struggle In Ontario

Statement on the Sept.11 attacks and struggle in Ontario
by the Freyheyt Collective

The attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and the State Department
on Sept. 11 took everyone by surprise. As we condemn acts of state terror, we
also condemn these acts of non-state terror. Whether planes smash into
buildings or drop bombs, poor and working people always suffer the most. We
want a world where innocent people can live their lives in peace and safety.
But before we can have peace, we must first have justice.

There has been a lot of debate among activists and within social movements
about how to proceed now that the political climate in the west has shifted.
We say that now is not the time for fear and retreat -- it is the time for
determination and resolve. In times such as these, a lot of radicals and
anarchists lose their politics as the overall political climate swings hard
to the reactionary right. We do need to reassess our tactics and campaigns,
but we must remain calm and level-headed. If we cease revolutionary activity
and organizing, we will have succeeded in doing what that state has not --
silencing dissent in a time where dissent is needed the most.

What we need to do now is put ourselves at risk, both politically and in the
streets. To quote Ward Churchill: "struggle is called struggle for a reason."
This will be a turning point for the Left in the West. We have to put
ourselves on the line to stop the murder of Afghani people by NATO and
internal state repression. Our other option is to stand on the sidelines of
safe, liberal protest while NATO slaughters thousands of Afghani civilians
and our comrades at home are spied upon, harassed, beaten, shot and jailed.
This will be either our finest moment or our most shameful.

The Sept. 11th attacks were mass murder, and we condemn them as the
atrocities they were. Let us not, however, believe that they didn't happen
for a reason. The American Empire has always wreaked terrorism all over the
world. From the genocide of North American Indians, slavery, the nuclear
bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, to the more recent bombings of
Yugoslavia, pharmaceutical plants in Sudan, and virtually all of Iraq's
infrastructure (including civilian) over the last ten years, it has destroyed
lives to preserve its economic and political interests. Sanctions against
Cuba and Iraq that have literally killed millions of people, mostly children.
It has been an eager partner in Israel's repression of the Palestinians. At
home, it has jailed and killed mass numbers of Blacks, Latinos, and Puerto
Ricans. The USA trains and supports death squads in Central America, teaching
torture techniques to them at the School of the Americas. Even the terrorist
network of Osama Bin-Laden was set up by the CIA to recruit, train and fund
the fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

What sets the Sept. 11 attacks apart from these acts of terror were that the
targets were rich and powerful people who were integral to the economic and
military might of the American Empire. We have no doubt that the government's
response would have been far less severe if the terrorists had crashed the
planes into low-income housing projects in NYC or DC, even if more people
were killed. On Sept. 11, 2001, the terrorist war the United States has been
waging since its inception came home to the people responsible for it. Of
course, many innocent workers and children were also killed in the attacks
and we send our deepest condolences to all friends and families.

America does not commit acts of terror simply because it is a huge imperial
power. The basic structure of capitalism and the state invokes the same
terror wherever it exists, though on a much smaller scale. A classless,
stateless society remains the basis of a safe and just world.

Canada's role in America's empire is clear. We are its fuel tank. We export
energy, food, water and raw materials to the United States. Looking at things
from this angle can change our perspective on struggle within Canada or
Ontario. The context of the Ontario Common Front campaign of economic
disruption changes from one that is intended to oust Ontario's Conservative
government to one that must damage the orderly transport of goods and
administration of the American Empire's most important province.

The government of Ontario will be under enormous pressure to resolve any
economic disruption as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the state has
never ceded anything without a struggle. Instead of becoming weaker in
dealing with disruption, the state will become even more brutal and
authoritarian.

In times of repression, the forces and resolve of our class weakens as many
self-proclaimed labour leaders hunker down and make peace with the state and
the bosses. We have already seen this start with the Public Service Alliance
of Canada ending walkout strikes against the federal government and Canadian
Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove calling for the cancellation of the
worldwide anti-WTO demonstrations on Nov. 9th.

Fortunately, autonomous class struggle in Ontario is on a fairly high
organizational level with the Ontario Common Front and the planned campaign
of economic disruption for the fall. It is vital that the campaign go ahead
and that we not lose the tremendous momentum we have worked so hard to build
over the last few years. The Oct. 16th mobilization and the fall campaign are
not only against the Ontario government. They are an effective attack on the
American Empire's war machine itself. We will end the long and shameful
retreat of the labour and Left movement. We will shut down Toronto's
financial district on Oct. 16th and disrupt Ontario's economy throughout the
fall. No war but the class war!

Along with continuing with class struggle, we see an immediate need to do
anti-racist organizing in this reactionary political climate. With the media
placing the blame on Osama Bin-Laden, Afghanistan and more ominously
on "Arabs", "Islamic terrorists" or "Muslims", we have already heard first-
hand reports of racist harassment and attacks on our brothers and sisters in
the street. People are pulled off buses at gunpoint by Toronto police. We
have heard of teens beaten in Oakville, stabbings in Toronto, and shootings
in the US. There have been arson attacks in Hamilton, St. Catherines, and
Montreal. We expect that violence will escalate as shock turns to anger. We
must work to dispel the hatred, scapegoating and racism against Arabs, Muslim
and Sikh people taking place, and ensure that we physically have each other's
backs.

One concrete thing that activists in Toronto have organized is a defensive
phone and email tree. The phone tree goes into action if there is a request
for people to help with security or there is an urgent need to respond to a
racist threat. The tree is also organized by neighborhood and volunteers can
make themselves available to escort people in their day-to-day errands upon
request. To volunteer with the Toronto Anti-Racist Response Network you can
email: torontoantiracists@yahoo.com or leave a message at 416-330-9064.

Another consequence of the attacks has been the virtual sealing of American
and Canadian borders. We expect to see a rapid escalation in the closing of
borders to the world's desperate and needy people, people who are fleeing
persecution, war, famine, and genocide. People may be deported on little or
no evidence, sending them to their deaths. As anarchists, we say that
everyone has the right to freedom of movement and the bosses' borders should
not be closed to the world's people -- or exist at all. A Fortress North
America will not make the Empire safe. It will only increase the suffering
and death of millions of would-be immigrants, often from places where
American foreign policy is causing the suffering. Borders are murder!

If people are interested in getting involved in direct-action immigration
casework or responding to immigration actions contact OCAP at: 249 Sherbourne
St. Toronto ON, M5A 2R9, Phone: 416-925-6939 Fax: 416-925-9681 email:
ocap@tao.ca

For a safe and just world,

The Freyheyt collective. (supporter-NEFAC, Toronto)
Box 116, 339a College St., Toronto ON, Canada, M5T 1S2
freyheyt@tao.ca