Return to Video

vimeo.com/.../271940455

  • 0:02 - 0:05
    Greetings Troublemakers...
    welcome to Trouble.
  • 0:05 - 0:07
    My name is not important.
  • 0:07 - 0:11
    Capitalism, as an international
    and inter-connected system of
  • 0:11 - 0:13
    economic domination,
    assumes different forms
  • 0:13 - 0:15
    in different parts of the world.
  • 0:15 - 0:19
    This is partly due to the need to adapt
    to local customs and conditions,
  • 0:19 - 0:20
    and partly by design.
  • 0:20 - 0:24
    In some territories, local life is
    coloured by the region's significance
  • 0:24 - 0:27
    to the global economy as a
    source of agricultural production,
  • 0:27 - 0:29
    or a site of resource extraction.
  • 0:29 - 0:31

    I come from coal country.
  • 0:31 - 0:35
    My grandfather was a coal miner
    … actually all my grandfathers.
  • 0:36 - 0:39
    Others, such as the Pearl River Delta
    region in southeast China,
  • 0:39 - 0:43
    have been selected for their
    deep reservoirs of cheap labour
  • 0:43 - 0:47
    and built up into global epicentres
    of low-wage industrial manufacturing.
  • 0:47 - 0:49
    Here, high-tech gadgets are mass-produced
  • 0:49 - 0:52
    under the watchful eye of
    the Chinese Communist Party
  • 0:52 - 0:55
    and shipped off to consumer markets
    in the Global North,
  • 0:55 - 0:58
    ending up in any number
    of metropolitan cities,
  • 0:58 - 1:01
    each competing for prominence
    as hubs of cultural production,
  • 1:01 - 1:03
    research and development,
    and IT.
  • 1:03 - 1:06
    But although the local character
    of capitalist exploitation
  • 1:06 - 1:09
    and alienation differs,
    each corner of its global empire
  • 1:09 - 1:11
    is connected by a unifying logic,
  • 1:11 - 1:15
    one that aims to coerce the vast majority
    of us to toil our lives away
  • 1:15 - 1:18
    for the benefit of a tiny minority.
  • 1:21 - 1:24
    Gentrification, as one of the primary
    methods of urban transformation
  • 1:24 - 1:26
    under capitalism,
  • 1:26 - 1:29
    plays out differently in different cities
    and neighbourhoods for similar reasons.
  • 1:29 - 1:32
    But like the broader
    economic system it's part of,
  • 1:32 - 1:35
    gentrification has a tendency
    towards homogenization,
  • 1:35 - 1:37
    creating neighbourhoods
    that look strangely similar
  • 1:37 - 1:40
    to their counterparts
    half-way across the world.
  • 1:40 - 1:42
    As we saw in the
    first part of this series,
  • 1:42 - 1:44
    those caught up in this process
    experience these changes
  • 1:44 - 1:47
    through the first-hand
    violence of displacement,
  • 1:47 - 1:49
    and the general dislocation
    brought about by changes
  • 1:49 - 1:51
    to the communities they grew up in.
  • 1:51 - 1:53
    Many people,
    rather than be passive observers
  • 1:53 - 1:57
    to their own forced removal
    from their homes, decide to resist.
  • 1:57 - 1:59
    Over the next thirty minutes,
    we will look at some of
  • 1:59 - 2:02
    the stories of resistance coming out of
    the San Francisco Bay Area,
  • 2:02 - 2:04
    Berlin
    and Montreal.
  • 2:04 - 2:07
    Along the way, we will speak with
    a number of individuals
  • 2:07 - 2:10
    who are marking their territory,
    fighting back against the encroachment
  • 2:10 - 2:13
    of tech companies and high-price
    boutiques into their hoods
  • 2:13 - 2:14
    ... and making a whole lot of trouble.
  • 2:44 - 2:47
    Silicon Valley is south of
    San Francisco and Oakland,
  • 2:47 - 2:53
    and emerged as this Cold War project
    that was receiving a lot of military and
  • 2:53 - 2:56
    government funding to produce
    different technology during the Cold War.
  • 2:56 - 3:01
    After the Cold War a lot of these
    companies became more consumer-oriented.
  • 3:01 - 3:05
    And we can really see this moment
    coinciding with the birth of the Internet
  • 3:05 - 3:07
    and the rise of the dot com boom.
  • 3:07 - 3:11
    And what we’re seeing now is that
    the models of Google and Apple
  • 3:11 - 3:13
    aren’t going to necessarily
    bust in the same ways
  • 3:13 - 3:16
    that the companies of the
    late 90s and early 2000s busted.
  • 3:16 - 3:19
    In San Francisco there are
    lots of smaller start-ups.
  • 3:19 - 3:22
    There are also now big companies,
    like Twitter, right in downtown.
  • 3:22 - 3:25
    These companies in Silicon Valley
    have enabled their workers
  • 3:25 - 3:28
    to reverse-commute to and from work,
  • 3:28 - 3:31
    so that they can live in these
    kind of cool, culturally interesting
  • 3:31 - 3:35
    neighbourhoods in San Francisco,
    or in Oakland.
  • 3:35 - 3:38
    Gentrification is impacting
    all of the Bay Area.
  • 3:38 - 3:41
    There are smaller, personal,
    beautiful acts of resistance
  • 3:41 - 3:44
    committed by exploited and oppressed
    people in their daily lives everywhere.
  • 3:44 - 3:49
    The largest flashpoints of resistance
    have been in San Francisco and Oakland.
  • 3:49 - 3:51
    Many galleries and artists,
    even the well-intentioned,
  • 3:51 - 3:55
    participate in this process by
    developing spaces and creating works
  • 3:55 - 3:57
    that cater to a gentrifier audience.
  • 3:57 - 4:01
    And by not honestly engaging with
    the dynamics around how their projects
  • 4:01 - 4:06
    actually assist the real estate industry
    and the erasure of local cultures.
  • 4:12 - 4:18
    KHY serves as a graffiti crew,
    a network of creatives and radicals,
  • 4:18 - 4:22
    as well as a broader movement
    through which people from various hoods,
  • 4:22 - 4:26
    spaces and communities express
    their love, rage and solidarities.
  • 4:26 - 4:30
    We participate in local
    street-rooted projects that produce
  • 4:30 - 4:34
    both cultural and material resistance
    and prioritize building with
  • 4:34 - 4:39
    local oppressed and exploited folks.
    Many who have had little or no access
  • 4:39 - 4:42
    to established activist
    and art institutions.
  • 4:42 - 4:44
    Most street art is legal,
  • 4:44 - 4:47
    thereby not challenging
    the concept of private property.
  • 4:47 - 4:51
    Nor contributing to the fight against
    capital for our public social spaces.
  • 4:51 - 4:55
    Every act of graffiti challenges the logic
    of property and shatters the illusion
  • 4:55 - 4:58
    that the state can
    control us at all times.
  • 4:58 - 5:02
    Even so, graffiti writers and their work
    can align with the goals of gentrification
  • 5:02 - 5:04
    if they are aren’t conscious
    of several factors.
  • 5:04 - 5:09
    When graffiti is both illegal
    and explicitly radical in intention,
  • 5:09 - 5:12
    it is not only a material
    act of resistance,
  • 5:12 - 5:16
    but also a way through which
    to communicate and inspire,
  • 5:16 - 5:21
    to explore and familiarize ourselves
    with our physical environments,
  • 5:21 - 5:26
    and to develop confidence in one’s agency
    and the capacity to execute actions
  • 5:26 - 5:29
    alone and as part of
    an affinity group or crew.
  • 5:30 - 5:33
    The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
    is a data visualization
  • 5:33 - 5:37
    and digital story-telling collective
    that makes web maps,
  • 5:37 - 5:39
    that creates community events,
  • 5:39 - 5:43
    and that does collaborative research
    to fight the eviction crisis.
  • 5:43 - 5:46
    We work collectively with a number
    of different community partners
  • 5:46 - 5:49
    and right now we have probably
    about 50 people working in it.
  • 5:49 - 5:52
    We’ve actually found that
    evictions are proximate
  • 5:52 - 5:56
    to these phenomenon that
    people call Google bus stops.
  • 5:56 - 5:59
    But basically they’re bus stops that
    big companies - not just Google -
  • 5:59 - 6:03
    can use to transport their workers.
  • 6:03 - 6:06
    So we’ve found that 69%
    of evictions are happening
  • 6:06 - 6:08
    within four blocks of these bus stops.
  • 6:08 - 6:12
    Around 2013,
    we decided we would block one.
  • 6:12 - 6:16
    And it was a collective of different
    housing activists in the Bay Area
  • 6:16 - 6:18
    that engaged in the first bus protest.
  • 6:18 - 6:21
    Afterwards other groups
    like Eviction Free San Francisco
  • 6:21 - 6:23
    created its own bus blockade.
  • 6:23 - 6:26
    Different anarchist collectives in Oakland
    also created bus blockades.
  • 6:26 - 6:29
    The media got very involved in these.
  • 6:29 - 6:32
    And everyone suddenly,
    I think, became aware locally
  • 6:32 - 6:34
    but also nationally and internationally,
  • 6:34 - 6:38
    of the sort of correlation
    between real estate speculation
  • 6:38 - 6:40
    and eviction and high tech.
  • 6:42 - 6:44
    The police are complicit in gentrification
  • 6:44 - 6:47
    because they provide
    the physical violence necessary.
  • 6:47 - 6:49
    The police carry out evictions,
  • 6:49 - 6:52
    intimidate and threaten
    working-class venues and projects,
  • 6:52 - 6:58
    harass houseless folks, criminalize
    sex workers, enforce gang injunctions
  • 6:58 - 7:01
    and just wage general violence
    against us to show that
  • 7:01 - 7:03
    we aren’t “allowed”
    in these spaces anymore.
  • 7:03 - 7:06
    In both cities there
    have been police murders,
  • 7:06 - 7:10
    primarily of Black and Latinx folks,
    related to gentrification.
  • 7:10 - 7:15
    Many were of people who were simply
    existing in contested social spaces,
  • 7:15 - 7:19
    such as working-class streets and parks in
    areas being targeted for gentrification.
  • 7:20 - 7:24
    The city has created apps so that
    you can reserve public playgrounds.
  • 7:24 - 7:30
    You can pay on this app to reserve, y'know
    a portion of a public park or playground.
  • 7:30 - 7:34
    And there was this very epic event
    in which some employees
  • 7:34 - 7:38
    from Drop Box and from Air BnB
    scheduled a soccer match
  • 7:38 - 7:40
    in this public playground
    through their app,
  • 7:40 - 7:45
    and proceeded to try to kick youth
    of colour off the playground because,
  • 7:45 - 7:46
    y’know, they had reserved it on this app.
  • 7:46 - 7:49
    And meanwhile these youth of colour
    had been playing soccer
  • 7:49 - 7:52
    for years on this playground
    and didn’t know about the app.
  • 7:52 - 7:54
    Never had to pay
    … that’s just where they played.
  • 7:55 - 7:57
    If you wanna play pick-up,
    you play pick-up like the rest of us.
  • 7:57 - 8:00
    It’s not pick-up. You can book the field.
  • 8:00 - 8:02
    Just because you got money
    and can pay for the field
  • 8:02 - 8:05
    you don’t get to book it for an hour,
    to take over these kids fuckin, like…
  • 8:05 - 8:07
    It’s like 80 bucks!
    It’s like 80 bucks per person.
  • 8:07 - 8:08
    It’s bullshit. No, it’s bullshit!
  • 8:08 - 8:13
    Luckily there was a protest
    that ensued after that incident
  • 8:13 - 8:17
    and the youth won their right to keep on
    playing in their playground
  • 8:17 - 8:18
    without the app.
  • 8:24 - 8:27
    Sideshows are essentially large,
    unpermitted moving car shows
  • 8:27 - 8:29
    that perform stunts.
  • 8:29 - 8:32
    These shows are hosted by mostly
    working-class youth of colour,
  • 8:32 - 8:36
    are organized in a decentralized manner
    and gather dozens to hundreds,
  • 8:36 - 8:39
    and sometimes even thousands,
    of participants.
  • 8:39 - 8:42
    Approaching police vehicles have
    their dispersal commands ignored
  • 8:42 - 8:46
    and are often attacked with bottles,
    other projectiles, and are stomped out.
  • 8:47 - 8:49
    Fuck the police!
  • 8:53 - 8:55
    When sideshows hold space in the streets,
  • 8:55 - 8:58
    it is a group effort which can
    relieve the alienation,
  • 8:58 - 9:00
    anxiety and depression
    that comes with living
  • 9:00 - 9:03
    in neighbourhoods struggling
    with violence and poverty.
  • 9:07 - 9:12
    In Berlin, average housing prices
    jumped more than 20% last year,
  • 9:12 - 9:15
    earning the city the dubious title of the
    hottest real estate market in the world.
  • 9:16 - 9:19
    Much of this increase has to do
    with a wave of property speculation,
  • 9:19 - 9:22
    triggered in part by the
    large-scale sell-off,
  • 9:22 - 9:25
    by the city’s former mayor,
    Klaus Wowereit,
  • 9:25 - 9:29
    of over 110,000 social housing units
    to private real estate firms
  • 9:29 - 9:31
    and investment banks like Goldman Sachs.
  • 9:32 - 9:34
    The rapid spike in property values
    has been accompanied
  • 9:34 - 9:37
    by a flurry of new high-rise
    condo construction
  • 9:37 - 9:40
    that is transforming the character
    of working-class neighbourhoods.
  • 9:40 - 9:44
    And this is happening in a city
    where 85% of residents are renters.
  • 9:45 - 9:48
    Alongside this meteoric rise
    in the cost of living, for years now,
  • 9:48 - 9:52
    Berlin has been positioning itself
    as the new Silicon Valley of Europe.
  • 9:52 - 9:56
    Already home to a growing number
    of global tech start-ups,
  • 9:56 - 9:59
    the city was recently chosen
    as the site of a new Google campus,
  • 9:59 - 10:02
    planned to set up shop in the trendy
    working-class neighbourhood of Kreuzberg.
  • 10:03 - 10:06
    This announcement triggered an
    immediate backlash from local residents
  • 10:06 - 10:08
    and digital privacy advocates alike,
  • 10:08 - 10:11
    transforming the proposed
    Google outpost into a potent symbol
  • 10:11 - 10:14
    of the city's IT-fuelled
    gentrification woes,
  • 10:14 - 10:17
    and the broader restructuring
    of the global economy
  • 10:17 - 10:18
    being led by the tech industry.
  • 10:21 - 10:24
    People are very much concerned
    here that Berlin would turn into
  • 10:24 - 10:28
    a new San Francisco, or a new Toronto,
    or a new London,
  • 10:28 - 10:33
    where the most vulnerable people
    got evicted from the centres
  • 10:33 - 10:36
    and pushed towards the periphery.
  • 10:36 - 10:41
    Kreuzberg has historically been
    the hot spot for social struggles.
  • 10:41 - 10:45
    Anarchist communities have
    thrived there since the 90s,
  • 10:45 - 10:49
    and many movements
    got organized in the neighbourhood.
  • 10:49 - 10:53
    Since last year,
    many communities and individuals
  • 10:53 - 10:56
    mobilized against the implantation
    of the Google campus in Kreuzberg.
  • 11:09 - 11:11
    On the one hand many
    people from the neighborhood
  • 11:11 - 11:13
    who are affected
    by the ongoing displacement
  • 11:13 - 11:15
    are fighting against capitalist
    restructuring of the city.
  • 11:15 - 11:18
    They have felt the increase
    in living cost during the past years
  • 11:18 - 11:20
    of start-ups moving into the area.
  • 11:20 - 11:23
    Google Campus
    will only accelerate this process.
  • 11:23 - 11:26
    On the other hand more and more people
    are starting to realize that Google
  • 11:26 - 11:31
    is at the center of a growing system
    of totalitarian technological control.
  • 11:32 - 11:40
    In a very decentralized way,
    a network of opponents got together.
  • 11:40 - 11:42
    First, posters in the streets,
  • 11:42 - 11:46
    then public meetings
    in the anarchist library, Kalabal!k.
  • 11:46 - 11:52
    What is really impressive here is
    to see these decentralized networks
  • 11:52 - 11:59
    of actors with no real center engaging
    in many diverse direct actions
  • 11:59 - 12:04
    from graffiti on the walls of the
    Google Campus, to paint attacks.
  • 12:04 - 12:06
    There have been unregistered
    noise demonstrations
  • 12:06 - 12:08
    every month at the campus site,
  • 12:08 - 12:12
    and a Molotov attack on tech co-working
    space Start-Up Factory Görlitzer Park.
  • 12:12 - 12:15
    Also, The newspaper "Shitstorm"
    with a print of 8000
  • 12:15 - 12:19
    contains articles criticizing Google
    and the world it stands for,
  • 12:19 - 12:20
    from an anarchist perspective.
  • 12:21 - 12:23
    Google is one of the strongest forces
    behind the present convergence
  • 12:23 - 12:28
    of information tech, cybernetics,
    nano-tech, neuroscience, and bio-tech.
  • 12:28 - 12:31
    And this is more than just an
    upgrade to the industrial system,
  • 12:31 - 12:34
    it is a fundamental change
    towards power-as-domination.
  • 12:35 - 12:40
    Therefore we don’t want
    this entity at all as a neighbour.
  • 12:40 - 12:44
    It’s not any form of hyper-capitalist
    driven gentrification.
  • 12:44 - 12:46
    It is Google.
  • 12:46 - 12:52
    The Google empire responsible for mass
    surveillance of everyone on this planet.
  • 12:52 - 12:57
    That actually normalized this business
    model based on that mass surveillance.
  • 12:57 - 13:02
    Where fighting gentrification
    also means fighting mass surveillance.
  • 13:02 - 13:06
    Also means fighting
    technological dystopia.
  • 13:06 - 13:10
    Also means fighting
    this hyper-capitalism.
  • 13:13 - 13:17
    Security around the site of
    the projected Google Campus
  • 13:17 - 13:24
    has tremendously increased when activists
    started attacking the building itself.
  • 13:24 - 13:29
    We don’t count anymore the number
    of paint attacks and graffiti attacks.
  • 13:29 - 13:33
    In several fonts and colours
    already was written ‘Fuck Google’
  • 13:33 - 13:37
    all over the facade of the building.
  • 13:37 - 13:42
    So at first they put some security guards,
    then some security guards day and night.
  • 13:42 - 13:45
    Then several security guards.
  • 13:45 - 13:48
    Then frequently we
    also see the police there.
  • 13:49 - 13:52
    Google has been trying to counter
    our efforts to articulate this critique
  • 13:52 - 13:54
    by throwing money at business owners,
  • 13:54 - 13:56
    politicians and other
    institutions in the city
  • 13:56 - 13:59
    and doing their own
    counter public relations.
  • 13:59 - 14:02
    Until recently most of the groups
    had been united in their practices
  • 14:02 - 14:04
    of not negotiating with officials.
  • 14:04 - 14:06
    But divide and conquer
    strategies are starting
  • 14:06 - 14:08
    to take hold within this community.
  • 14:08 - 14:14
    The Berlin police are reacting as
    a way to serve these financial interests
  • 14:14 - 14:19
    of Google and the ones
    who want to take over our city.
  • 14:20 - 14:25
    We also see that there is a political
    will by the local administration
  • 14:25 - 14:28
    of the city to accompany
    this tech-based gentrification.
  • 14:28 - 14:32
    This ‘start-up-ification’ of
    our lives and neighbourhoods.
  • 14:32 - 14:35
    It is clear to us that it doesn't
    matter what politician is in power
  • 14:35 - 14:38
    since they will decide
    in favour of capital every time.
  • 14:38 - 14:42
    What we hope to do is somehow to lower
  • 14:42 - 14:46
    the attractiveness of the city
    for these companies.
  • 14:46 - 14:50
    If we kick Google out of Kreuzberg,
    we hope that other companies,
  • 14:50 - 14:53
    other giants from Silicon Valley,
    would think twice
  • 14:53 - 14:56
    before thinking to do the same.
  • 15:02 - 15:06
    Within the colonially-occupied
    territories ruled by the Canadian state,
  • 15:06 - 15:08
    Montréal stands out among large cities,
  • 15:08 - 15:11
    both in terms of its militant
    culture of resistance,
  • 15:11 - 15:12
    and its relatively affordable rents.
  • 15:12 - 15:15
    But while it hasn't seen
    the same rapid pace of gentrification
  • 15:15 - 15:18
    as the country's other
    metropolitan regions,
  • 15:18 - 15:20
    such as the Greater Toronto
    and Vancouver Areas,
  • 15:20 - 15:24
    Montréal still faces many
    of the same gentrification pressures
  • 15:24 - 15:27
    seen in countless other
    urban environments around the world.
  • 15:27 - 15:31
    Namely, an increase in condo construction
    and other luxury development projects,
  • 15:31 - 15:34
    a saturation of Air B&B rentals,
  • 15:34 - 15:38
    and the opening of countless boutiques,
    trendy restaurants and hipster cafes
  • 15:38 - 15:42
    seeking to cater to tourists
    and the city’s more affluent residents.
  • 15:42 - 15:45
    We bought a building in,
    you know, what was once considered
  • 15:45 - 15:52
    a 'hood’ and transformed what was a,
    you know, disheveled building into this,
  • 15:52 - 15:57
    you know, overly-luxurious,
    fantasious, men’s club-type place,
  • 15:57 - 16:00
    that we could only dream of attending.
  • 16:00 - 16:03
    These changes are leading to
    significant levels of displacement
  • 16:03 - 16:06
    from working-class
    and immigrant neighbourhoods,
  • 16:06 - 16:08
    which in turn has provoked
    widespread community resistance,
  • 16:08 - 16:10
    including a good number
    of anonymous attacks
  • 16:10 - 16:14
    emerging from the shadowy ranks of
    the city's sizable network of anarchists.
  • 16:19 - 16:24
    In a lot of ways people tend
    to use a lot of settler colonial tropes
  • 16:24 - 16:27
    as a way of legitimizing
    gentrification in Parc Ex.
  • 16:27 - 16:31
    People frequently refer to
    the neighbourhood as being “exotic”,
  • 16:31 - 16:35
    as a “hidden gem”,
    or a “newly discovered neighbourhood”.
  • 16:35 - 16:39
    People express a lot of interest in
    its restaurants but very little concern
  • 16:39 - 16:44
    with respect to the lives of the folks who
    actually do live in the neighbourhood.
  • 16:44 - 16:48
    Parc Extension is a
    predominantly working class,
  • 16:48 - 16:51
    immigrant, and poor
    people of colour neighbourhood
  • 16:51 - 16:56
    located in sort of the central north part
    of Tio’tia:ke, or so-called Montréal.
  • 16:56 - 17:00
    Today Parc Extension is one of Canada's
    poorest neighbourhoods.
  • 17:00 - 17:04
    Plaza Hutchison has long served
    as a community center
  • 17:04 - 17:06
    and meeting place for Parc-Ex residents.
  • 17:06 - 17:10
    In Spring 2017, the Plaza Hutchison
    building was purchased
  • 17:10 - 17:15
    by the BSR group to be converted
    into luxury apartment suites.
  • 17:15 - 17:19
    From the outset, its manager Ron Basal
    has been very up-front
  • 17:19 - 17:23
    about stating that the units are all to be
    rented out at so-called "market price"
  • 17:23 - 17:25
    and are not meant
    to be affordable housing.
  • 17:25 - 17:28
    We tried to intervene
    in the permit approval process,
  • 17:28 - 17:33
    we also disrupted a number
    of city council meetings in an effort
  • 17:33 - 17:36
    to prevent elected officials
    from granting the permit.
  • 17:36 - 17:40
    We were fairly violently
    forced out of the room by the police.
  • 17:40 - 17:42
    And committee members
    were actually forced to the ground,
  • 17:42 - 17:44
    arrested and charged.
  • 17:44 - 17:48
    I think it’s very clear from his actions
    that Basal is not in the least bit
  • 17:48 - 17:50
    interested in the well-being
    of the neighbourhood
  • 17:50 - 17:54
    and is only seeking to profit off
    of the displacement of its residents.
  • 17:54 - 17:58
    Our experience suggests
    that engaging in municipal politics
  • 17:58 - 18:00
    only ever brought us to a dead end.
  • 18:00 - 18:01
    There’s a number of instances
  • 18:01 - 18:05
    - be it through the rent strikes
    in Toronto and Hamilton,
  • 18:05 - 18:09
    or building occupations
    that have taken place in Montréal -
  • 18:09 - 18:12
    that there’s actually a number
    of tactics that exist outside
  • 18:12 - 18:15
    of administrative and
    political channels that can be
  • 18:15 - 18:18
    far more effective
    in terms of stopping gentrification.
  • 18:18 - 18:23
    I think we’ve drawn some inspiration
    from Hochelaga and St. Henri
  • 18:23 - 18:27
    as places where there have been
    broader based community movements,
  • 18:27 - 18:30
    but also autonomous,
    affinity-based groups that have been able
  • 18:30 - 18:34
    to engage in much more
    confrontational actions,
  • 18:34 - 18:36
    and we believe those groups
    have done really important work
  • 18:36 - 18:40
    in terms of highlighting the ways in
    which gentrification is a violent process
  • 18:40 - 18:44
    and how a lot of the
    cafés and vintage stores
  • 18:44 - 18:47
    actually are very inaccessible
    to the people who
  • 18:47 - 18:51
    live in those neighbourhoods
    and we definitely hope to do more work in
  • 18:51 - 18:55
    the coming months to sent a clear message
    to developers and would-be gentrifiers
  • 18:55 - 18:58
    that if they try to get
    these projects off the ground,
  • 18:58 - 19:01
    that they will be confronted
    at every step along the way.
  • 19:01 - 19:05
    We know that gentrification
    tends to be accompanied
  • 19:05 - 19:07
    by more police violence
    and state repression.
  • 19:07 - 19:12
    And Parc-Ex in particular is a
    neighbourhood where there already exists
  • 19:12 - 19:18
    a significant amount of racial profiling,
    of police surveillance and harassment.
  • 19:18 - 19:21
    An important question we’ve been
    asking ourselves is how we can work
  • 19:21 - 19:25
    to make the neighbourhood an uncomfortable
    place for would-be gentrifiers,
  • 19:25 - 19:28
    but also to try to limit the
    ways in which that could contribute
  • 19:28 - 19:30
    to police presence in the neighbourhood.
  • 19:31 - 19:34
    So, St. Henri was a historically
    white working-class neighbourhood.
  • 19:34 - 19:37
    Well... historically
    it’s Kanienkehaka territory
  • 19:37 - 19:40
    but this is one of the problems
    when talking about gentrification.
  • 19:40 - 19:43
    It can erase ongoing colonial
    violence and dispossession.
  • 19:43 - 19:47
    Sometimes, anti-gentrification
    struggles get framed as just
  • 19:47 - 19:50
    “we want to stay” and that can lend
    itself to some pretty shitty things,
  • 19:50 - 19:54
    especially in the context of a white
    working-class francophone population
  • 19:54 - 19:57
    and reactions to displaced folks
    from elsewhere in the world moving here.
  • 19:57 - 20:00
    There have been some
    good moments in the South West.
  • 20:00 - 20:04
    For example, the squat in 2013
    that the POPIR was involved in
  • 20:04 - 20:08
    that forced the city to take a few lots in
    the neighbourhood off the private market.
  • 20:08 - 20:12
    I have nothing, no sympathy, zero!
  • 20:12 - 20:17
    They’re punks, they’re anarchists.
    They’re from the black bloc.
  • 20:17 - 20:20
    There is a wide range of tactics
    used by the struggle
  • 20:20 - 20:23
    against gentrification in Montreal
    and there always has been.
  • 20:23 - 20:27
    The sausage heist was an interesting one.
    A very Robin Hood-inspired action.
  • 20:27 - 20:30
    Just before closing Saturday night
    at Maxine Tremblay’s store,
  • 20:30 - 20:33
    30 people in masks stormed in.
  • 20:33 - 20:37
    Half of them came inside with bags,
    put food in their bags...
  • 20:37 - 20:41
    They told the employee
    ‘just shut up, don’t move.’
  • 20:41 - 20:44
    'Don’t do nothing,
    we just want to steal some stuff.'
  • 20:44 - 20:47
    They threw smoke bombs,
    stole food, spray painted graffiti
  • 20:47 - 20:49
    and glued posters to the windows.
  • 20:49 - 20:52
    Their message?
    Gentrifiers, get out.
  • 20:52 - 20:54
    It was a brazen attack
    on several businesses
  • 20:54 - 20:56
    at close to midnight on Saturday.
  • 20:56 - 20:59
    A group of individuals
    wearing ski masks at the time,
  • 20:59 - 21:01
    broke the windows of four businesses.
  • 21:01 - 21:04
    Dressed all in black,
    the vandals damaged store fronts,
  • 21:04 - 21:06
    as seen in this security video
    obtained by Global News.
  • 21:06 - 21:10
    If we’re just talking about attacks,
    I’d say that most of the communication
  • 21:10 - 21:13
    happens through anonymous
    communiques on the internet.
  • 21:13 - 21:16
    Sometimes there are posters,
    sometimes there is some graff,
  • 21:16 - 21:19
    sometimes, you know,
    people drop off flyers somewhere.
  • 21:19 - 21:22
    People have gone door to door
    to put flyers in mailboxes.
  • 21:22 - 21:25
    The mainstream media, they pick up
    the most spectacular attacks,
  • 21:25 - 21:28
    and they're not on our side and
    I wouldn't say that people rely on them
  • 21:28 - 21:31
    to communicate motivations
    and rationale fairly.
  • 21:31 - 21:33
    It’s no longer vandalism,
    it’s causing terror
  • 21:33 - 21:36
    to the people who are living in the area.
  • 21:36 - 21:39
    Corey Shapiro owns
    several businesses in St. Henri.
  • 21:39 - 21:41
    Two of them were attacked
    over the weekend.
  • 21:41 - 21:43
    A few years ago, Corey Shapiro,
  • 21:43 - 21:47
    the almost comical evil figurehead
    of gentrification in St. Henri…
  • 21:47 - 21:51
    Or as they call me in the area
    where we populate in Montreal
  • 21:51 - 21:53
    ... ‘The Notorious Gentrifier’.
  • 21:53 - 21:55
    called for business owners
    to band together
  • 21:55 - 21:57
    and hire private security for their shops.
  • 21:57 - 22:01
    His super fancy glasses store,
    L’Archive, kept getting spat on
  • 22:01 - 22:02
    and he was pissed about it.
  • 22:02 - 22:05
    One person got a ticket for spitting
    on L’Archive cause undercover cops
  • 22:05 - 22:07
    were stationed outside the store at night.
  • 22:07 - 22:09
    Cops have always protected
    those with money.
  • 22:16 - 22:20
    In Hochelaga specifically,
    the coming of yuppie businesses,
  • 22:20 - 22:24
    the place valois, and the condos
    were definitely a major factor.
  • 22:24 - 22:28
    The city is trying to rebrand the
    neighbourhood by renaming the area HOMA
  • 22:28 - 22:32
    - which is just some fuckin’ hipster
    remix of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
  • 22:32 - 22:36
    They wanna change the image of this
    neighbourhood from a rugged working-class,
  • 22:36 - 22:39
    like, somewhat criminal area
    to a yuppie playground.
  • 22:40 - 22:42
    And of course that is just a continuation
  • 22:42 - 22:45
    of the colonial capitalist
    project of occupation.
  • 22:45 - 22:48
    Montreal’s police force plays a huge
    role in the process.
  • 22:48 - 22:52
    They remove street-based sex-workers,
    drug-users, and homeless folks.
  • 22:52 - 22:55
    They can pretend to be
    objective and neutral all they want
  • 22:55 - 22:58
    but the laws that they enforce
    benefit business and property owners.
  • 22:58 - 23:01
    There’s been numerous
    demands by business owners,
  • 23:01 - 23:04
    specifically those who’ve been
    targeted by direct action,
  • 23:04 - 23:07
    for an increase in
    cameras in the neighbourhood.
  • 23:07 - 23:09
    They wanna make sure that
    if anyone steps out of line
  • 23:09 - 23:11
    there’s gonna be proof and convictions.
  • 23:11 - 23:16
    The collaboration between the state
    and capitalists is pretty fuckin’ blatant.
  • 23:16 - 23:19
    It’s Projet Montreal calling
    for so-called 'social mixity',
  • 23:19 - 23:22
    a fucking code word for gentrification.
  • 23:22 - 23:25
    These people are friends and they
    just can’t wait for the area to be nicer,
  • 23:25 - 23:27
    meaning richer and “cleaned up”.
  • 23:27 - 23:30
    There are community groups
    doing harm reduction
  • 23:30 - 23:31
    and mutual aid which is good work.
  • 23:31 - 23:34
    There’s interesting
    decentralized direct action
  • 23:34 - 23:37
    that goes on which has
    been effective in some ways.
  • 23:37 - 23:42
    Some businesses were so badly hit,
    they were forced to close for clean-ups.
  • 23:42 - 23:45
    It’s scary,
    because it’s not the first time.
  • 23:45 - 23:48
    It worries business owners.
    It angers the rich.
  • 23:48 - 23:51
    It shows that cops
    are somewhat ineffective,
  • 23:51 - 23:54
    and definitely allows
    for some cathartic revenge.
  • 23:54 - 23:58
    When we think of territoriality,
    we should think about it in terms of land
  • 23:58 - 24:01
    and not neighbourhoods
    as clearly defined spaces.
  • 24:02 - 24:06
    We shouldn’t be dividing the
    island into lots and smaller lots.
  • 24:06 - 24:09
    It’s not our decision to make and
    it’s usually just used by the state
  • 24:09 - 24:13
    to map out and better
    control the city anyways.
  • 24:14 - 24:18
    Municipal politicians try to
    pacify struggles constantly.
  • 24:18 - 24:23
    If we listened to them, action other
    than voting would never be the solution.
  • 24:23 - 24:25
    They’re inherently against conflictuality.
  • 24:31 - 24:34
    While it can often feel like it,
    the struggle against gentrification
  • 24:34 - 24:36
    is not a zero-sum game.
  • 24:36 - 24:39
    By organizing and mounting
    collective resistance
  • 24:39 - 24:41
    to the forces fueling
    and pushing this process,
  • 24:41 - 24:44
    communities grow stronger
    and more resilient,
  • 24:44 - 24:47
    even as they face the attrition
    brought on by displacement.
  • 24:48 - 24:50
    Lessons learned in a campaign
    to stop the construction
  • 24:50 - 24:53
    of a luxury condo development
    can be applied to future battles
  • 24:53 - 24:56
    to halt the selling-off
    of social housing units.
  • 24:56 - 24:59
    Tactics developed
    in a battle against a new cafe
  • 24:59 - 25:02
    can be used to bring pressure to bear
    against a notorious slumlord.
  • 25:05 - 25:07
    When we navigate
    new terrains intentionally,
  • 25:07 - 25:10
    whether they be darkened back alleyways
    to take out surveillance cameras,
  • 25:10 - 25:14
    or the hallways of apartment buildings
    to knock on our neighbours doors
  • 25:14 - 25:16
    -- each provide us with skills that
    we wouldn't have developed
  • 25:16 - 25:19
    if we hadn't first taken
    the initiative to act.
  • 25:19 - 25:21
    Confidence and militancy are contagious.
  • 25:21 - 25:24
    Tactics and strategies honed
    in one struggle can be catalytic,
  • 25:24 - 25:26
    spreading beyond
    their initial participants
  • 25:26 - 25:30
    and inspiring others to take similar
    action to defend their own blocks.
  • 25:31 - 25:35
    I think a great deal about
    the importance of, you know, of centering,
  • 25:35 - 25:38
    directly affected folks in organizing.
  • 25:38 - 25:42
    We believe it’s important to think about
    who’s coming to our meetings.
  • 25:42 - 25:47
    Who are our events being geared towards?
    How are we reaching out to people?
  • 25:47 - 25:50
    Are we doing the important groundwork
    of handing out flyers,
  • 25:50 - 25:53
    of you know,
    of knocking on people’s doors,
  • 25:53 - 25:55
    of reaching people where they’re at?
  • 25:55 - 25:58
    Start with homies and
    comrades you really trust.
  • 25:58 - 26:01
    You can start as small as stickering,
    or as big as you’d like,
  • 26:01 - 26:03
    but act as soon as you can.
  • 26:03 - 26:07
    Make sure your crew is not only
    rooted in shared views,
  • 26:07 - 26:09
    but also in friendship and solidarity.
  • 26:09 - 26:13
    Above all, we also think it’s
    important to align ourselves with
  • 26:13 - 26:18
    other struggles against poverty, racism,
    and displacement in the neighbourhood.
  • 26:18 - 26:23
    Learn from and grow and build
    with folks who occupy different spaces
  • 26:23 - 26:28
    and cultures so that networks grow
    beyond smaller, radical circles.
  • 26:28 - 26:34
    Organize these networks
    from the local perspective
  • 26:34 - 26:38
    but with a global objective
    and a global reach.
  • 26:38 - 26:42
    Ensure to do all to inspire
    the world with what’s happening.
  • 26:42 - 26:46
    I think it’s important for us to
    remember that we’re on stolen land,
  • 26:46 - 26:49
    to remember those who
    were initially displaced
  • 26:49 - 26:54
    and to continue to support struggles
    for Indigenous solidarity as well.
  • 26:54 - 26:57
    To create that knowledge
    and that fight from the ground up
  • 26:57 - 27:02
    and to do data work but
    to also do direct action work.
  • 27:02 - 27:05
    Different groups can
    prioritize different things.
  • 27:05 - 27:08
    Not everyone has to work on policy.
  • 27:08 - 27:10
    Not everybody has to produce the maps,
  • 27:10 - 27:13
    not everybody has to, you know,
    organize direct actions.
  • 27:13 - 27:16
    But if different groups can
    kind of take on different things,
  • 27:16 - 27:18
    or maybe different groups can, you know,
    work in different neighbourhoods
  • 27:18 - 27:23
    or have different regional scopes,
    I think struggles can be
  • 27:23 - 27:25
    more powerful and effective.
  • 27:25 - 27:29
    So, you gotta broaden your analysis, you
    gotta find ways to connect your struggle
  • 27:29 - 27:31
    to community autonomy and mutual aid.
  • 27:31 - 27:34
    You gotta be focused on
    your short-term goal,
  • 27:34 - 27:36
    but also connecting them
    to the longer term goals.
  • 27:36 - 27:38
    Try to stay in your neighbourhood,
  • 27:38 - 27:41
    build relationships with your
    neighbours who aren’t anarchists
  • 27:41 - 27:45
    … don’t be afraid of combative tactics,
    but don’t fetishize them either.
  • 27:45 - 27:49
    Fighting gentrification isn’t necessarily
    fighting capitalism and colonialism.
  • 27:49 - 27:53
    It has a more limited scope,
    and that opens it up to recuperation.
  • 27:53 - 27:56
    Unfortunately, I think that
    there has been a fetishization
  • 27:56 - 27:59
    of tactics and discourse on all sides.
  • 27:59 - 28:02
    Both in community organizing
    and decentralized attacks.
  • 28:02 - 28:04
    I guess I’d say I’m annoyed
    with populist discourse
  • 28:04 - 28:06
    and abstract community-building
    on the left,
  • 28:06 - 28:09
    and badass posing in informal circles.
  • 28:09 - 28:12
    I think it’s interesting to
    discuss these different tactics.
  • 28:12 - 28:17
    To be honest about what they accomplish
    and what are their limitations.
  • 28:17 - 28:19
    And to be open to
    different things happening.
  • 28:19 - 28:23
    And engaging in these fights
    through a variety of scales
  • 28:23 - 28:25
    and with a variety of tactics,
  • 28:25 - 28:30
    is really important, and I think
    it’s imperative that these processes
  • 28:30 - 28:36
    and these struggles maintain
    anti-racist, and anti-capitalist, feminist
  • 28:36 - 28:40
    approaches to their organizing
    and to their theorizing.
  • 28:40 - 28:42
    I think that’s extremely important.
  • 28:42 - 28:46
    The conscious desire for total freedom
    requires a transformation of ourselves
  • 28:46 - 28:49
    and our relationships in the
    context of revolutionary struggle.
  • 28:49 - 28:53
    It becomes necessary not merely to rush
    into this that, or the other activity.
  • 28:53 - 28:56
    But to grasp and learn to use all
    of those tools that we can take
  • 28:56 - 28:59
    as our own and use
    against the current existent
  • 28:59 - 29:00
    based on domination.
  • 29:00 - 29:04
    In particular, the analysis of
    the world and our activity in it,
  • 29:04 - 29:07
    relationships of affinity and
    indomitable spirit.
  • 29:07 - 29:09
    It has also become necessary
    to recognize and resolutely
  • 29:09 - 29:13
    avoid those tools of social change
    offered by the current order
  • 29:13 - 29:17
    that can only reinforce
    the logic of domination and submission,
  • 29:17 - 29:21
    delegation, negotiation,
    petition, evangelicalism,
  • 29:21 - 29:24
    the creation of media
    images of ourselves, and so on.
  • 29:24 - 29:28
    These wider tools precisely
    reinforce hierarchy, separation,
  • 29:28 - 29:30
    and dependence on the power structure,
  • 29:30 - 29:33
    which is the reason why they are
    offered to us for use in our struggles.
  • 29:33 - 29:44
    Fuck off Google (x 6)
  • 29:44 - 29:45
    I don’t know if it helps.
  • 29:58 - 30:01
    As our cities continue
    to be steadily transformed
  • 30:01 - 30:02
    according to dictates of capital,
  • 30:02 - 30:06
    tossing more working-class,
    racialized and immigrant populations
  • 30:06 - 30:07
    into new suburban ghettos,
  • 30:07 - 30:11
    struggles against gentrification will only
    become more urgent and more desperate.
  • 30:11 - 30:14
    But as long as people
    continue to live in cities,
  • 30:14 - 30:17
    these urban environments
    will continue to be sites of resistance.
  • 30:17 - 30:21
    The shape that this resistance takes,
    and the measure of its effectiveness
  • 30:21 - 30:25
    will depend on the concrete actions taken
    to build solidarity among our neighbours,
  • 30:25 - 30:28
    prepare our collective defences,
    and sharpen our tools of attack.
  • 30:28 - 30:32
    This process will require
    active and dedicated engagement
  • 30:32 - 30:34
    on the part of revolutionaries
    equipped with the patience
  • 30:34 - 30:37
    to build relationships of
    mutual trust and respect,
  • 30:37 - 30:41
    and the humility to learn and adapt
    our strategies and tactics as required.
  • 30:42 - 30:44
    So at this point,
    we’d like to remind you that Trouble
  • 30:44 - 30:46
    is intended to be watched in groups,
  • 30:46 - 30:49
    and to be used as a resource to promote
    discussion and collective organizing.
  • 30:49 - 30:53
    Are you interested in getting
    more involved in fighting gentrification
  • 30:53 - 30:54
    and defending your block?
  • 30:54 - 30:56
    Consider getting together
    with some comrades,
  • 30:56 - 31:00
    organizing a screening of this film,
    and discussing where to get started.
  • 31:00 - 31:03
    Interested in running
    regular screenings of Trouble
  • 31:03 - 31:07
    at your campus, infoshop, community center
    or even just at home with your friends?
  • 31:07 - 31:08
    Become a Trouble-Maker!
  • 31:08 - 31:11
    For 10 bucks a month, we’ll hook you up
    with an advanced copy of the show,
  • 31:11 - 31:14
    and a screening kit
    featuring additional resources
  • 31:14 - 31:16
    and some questions you can use
    to get a discussion going.
  • 31:16 - 31:19
    If you can’t afford to support us
    financially, no worries!
  • 31:19 - 31:22
    You can stream and/or download
    all our content for free off our website:
  • 31:25 - 31:28
    If you’ve got any suggestions for show
    topics, or just want to get in touch,
  • 31:28 - 31:30
    drop us a line at:
  • 31:31 - 31:35
    This month, sub.Media bids a fond farewell
    to one of our collective members,
  • 31:35 - 31:40
    Tierra Morena, as they leave
    to focus more attention on other projects.
  • 31:40 - 31:43
    Tierra has been an integral
    part of our team here at Trouble,
  • 31:43 - 31:45
    and we look forward to the chance
    for future collaborations
  • 31:45 - 31:46
    further down the line.
  • 31:46 - 31:48
    Last but not least, this episode
    would not have been possible
  • 31:48 - 31:51
    without the generous support of Magdalena.
  • 31:51 - 31:53
    Now get out there
    …. and make some trouble!
Title:
vimeo.com/.../271940455
Video Language:
English
Duration:
32:13

English subtitles

Revisions Compare revisions