Getting to the Roots, Issue Two

Halloween has come, along with issue two of

Getting to the Roots Issue TwoGetting to the Roots: An Anarchist Paper from within the Southern Ontario #Occupy Movement.

Inside we got a report from #occupy oaklands raid & retaking, A call for students to join in on the fun, An Introduction to General Assemblies, & this issue we define Mutual Aid and Autonomy.

Be the star of your local occupation and print out a couple hundred copies to share.

Check out this issue for onscreen reading:

Getting To The Roots Issue Two_Screen

If you are into it, you can print it double sided at your own occupation on 11 X 17″ paper Here:

Getting To The Roots_Issue Two Print

If you have content for the next issue, send an e-mail to: gettotheroots (a) riseup (dot) net

Why are anarchists involved in the Occupy Movement?

At the base of the Occupy Movement, is the fact that capitalism isn’t working. This is a global movement against a system that sees a wealthy few controlling the majority of money, resources and land.

These same few people control politics on parliament hill, decisions made in our communities and have vested interests in continuing wars abroad and the war here against the poor.

The Occupy movements over arching goals of challenging the class divisions in this society can never be negotiated without a revolution.

In the streets and squares, the Occupations are organized horizontally so that everyone can speak for themselves, without appointing leaders.

The Occupations around the world have liberated space for us to organize autonomously against capitalism. They have created a space for us to help each other out for our mutual interests, sometimes known as “Mutual Aid”.

With 1500 occupations across the world, each one expresses solidarity with those attempting to occupy the major financial districts where all the countries wealth is exchanged. These are also places for us to start conversations about addressing issues face us in our communities too.

The Occupy Movement is already ripe with anarchist ideas in action, and we want to to our part to see this through to it’s inevitable conclusion…


Some Southern Ontario Anarchists

Johnny Cariqueo: the Permanent Riot

Getting to the Roots presents:

A Movie Screening and discussion with the Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu (WCCC)

Saturday @ 7pm
49 Alice St. (the Print Shop)

About the Movie:


An emotional depiction of love & rage within the context of
repression and permanent struggle against authority. It was impossible that a Young Mapuche Anarchist, Jhonny Cariqueo, would go unnoticed by the murderous repression and racist authority of the Chilean State.
Jhonny was murdered within the mobilizations of the Day of the Young Combatant, on March 29^th , 2008. A MUST SEE film for today’s youth.


Prisons and capitilism

The occupy movement has began to shine light on the exploitation, racism, control, and destruction that capitalism both creates and relies on. The project of building a new world not based on profit, exploitation, and dominance involves recognition of the role prisons play in our current system. Prisons isolate us from our communities and our own lives. Prisons function to keep money in the pockets of corporations and politicians at the expense of our lives. Prisons epitomize business and the government’s control over individuals and destruction of communities. In other words, prisons rely on and create the same fucked up world that capitalism does.

We are fed the idea that prison is a place for ‘others’, however when we break the isolation of prisons we recognize the label of ‘criminal’ is created by those who profit of the prison system This profit is made by the continues expansion of prisons and the compliance of those on the outside, as well as societies continues belief in the judicial system. Prison is ‘legal’ slavery, both institutions are isolating and reinforce power structures and racism. They destroy communities and exploit individuals for profit. In a very real way prison had simply replaced slavery.Slavery and prison exist because of the myth propagated by elite that the only way people, in particular people of color and poor people, can contribute to society is by force and enslavement. By punishing us and our community members for disobeying laws made by the elite few, prisons take away the ability to create community and autonomy.


How is this relevant to occupy ?

The same people who benefited from slavery, are the same fuckers who benefit from prisons: the capitalist, the police, the corporate media, politicians, the corporations so on: these are the enemies of the occupy movement, the “1%”. Prison has a long legacy of providing the capitalist class with its means. To capitalism, prisoners are raw material. Prisons have provided the upper class white people, who couldn’t use slavery, a new cheap work force, as those in prison are forced to work for little to no wages. This trend still continues today. Prisoners, mainly people of color and poor, are rendered dispensable on the outside but major source of profit in the prison world. Through the use of prison labor, the production of prison products (food, clothing, etc.) many corporations benefit from prisons. The prison is an industry that profits off the caging of individuals. It’s no doubt why convict labor is hidden in our history unlike black slave labor: government and corporations don’t want us to recognize that forms of slavery still exist. The prison industry also benefits politicians, who promise to build new prisons and protect the people from an unseen evil: crime. But in reality these prisons function to isolate us and further control us-for their benefits.

The rise of prison sentences came about with the rise of industrial capitalism. As human value became quantified by wage labor, so did our freedom, or lack thereof. Therefore if we wish to resist the quantification of our lives, whereby money is equal to time and life, were our value is measured by time and wage, prison must be destroyed.

In the early 80s global capitalism emerged its no coincidence that a major prison boom also took place then. In this context poor people ability to survive became constrained by the looming presence of the prison. Prison building project started in 80s created means of concentrating and managing what the capital system had declared to be a human surplus.


Without capitalism and power, prisons would be called what they are: abusive, racist and isolating. Like capitalism we cannot reform prisons because at the essence of prison and capitalism is domination and power over communities and individuals, so let’s destroy capitalism and free our communities by exposing prisons for what they are; revolting.


Introduction to the General Assembly

From Getting to the Roots Issue Two

What is a General Assembly?

The General Assembly (GA) model has been adopted by most of the occupations as a way to discuss and make decisions. The GA is a horizontal, leader-less, open meeting. The GA is where decisions are made that affect the whole group and general discussions are held. There are no leaders nor a governing body of the GA – everyone’s voice is equal.

Working groups help things run more smoothly by figuring out specifics and taking care of day-to-day tasks. Examples of working groups are: food, media, events, direct action, etc. They have open membership, and all who have concerns or ideas related to a working group are encouraged to join it. Working groups would give a report-back at every GA so everyone knows what they’re up to and how to get involved.

Only decisions that affect the entire group need to be brought to the GA. Many projects can happen independent of the GA model. For example, if people wanted to issue a public media statement on behalf of the group, it would require GA approval. If someone wanted to write a pamphlet to distribute that was not on behalf of the group, it would not require GA approval.

The Agenda

An agenda is a list of topics to cover at a meeting. It is either compiled by a facilitator before a meeting or at the beginning of the GA. Here is an example of an agenda:

  1. Welcome, agenda overview, and explanation of GA process
  2. Working group report-backs
  3. Proposals (see below)
  4. Announcements


Facilitator (or MC)  moves the conversation along to stay on topic. They don’t get more space to express opinions. They remind people to respect each other. They assert the decided process into the discussions. In large assemblies, there may be several facilitators.

Stack keeper keeps a list of people who would like to speak, to make sure everyone has a chance to talk and people aren’t interrupting each other.

Note taker takes notes of announcements and decisions made during assembly.

Decision Making Process

Here are steps in a decision making process at a GA. They can be modified by the group at any time and continuously changed as need be.

  1. A proposal is presented by one person or a group. Sometimes a GA will require multiple people to present a proposal, to ensure that it’s already been discussed.
  2. Clarifying questions are raised by anyone to the presenters.
  3. “Straw poll.” The facilitator takes a show of people who approve  and disapprove of the proposal to determine whether further discussion is necessary. This is not an official vote. If the proposal has a lot of support, the group would skip steps 4 and 5.
  4. Concerns and Amendments. Here, if there are a lot people at the general assembly, the group could break up into smaller groups for 10-15 minutes to consolidate their concerns and questions and everyone has a chance to discuss the proposal. Someone from each small group would express the concerns and amendments to the GA.
  5. The proposal is presented again, with any changes discussed.
  6. Every participant votes to approve, disapprove, or stand-aside. 90% approval passes the proposal. If there is less than 90% approval, it doesn’t pass and can be brought up again at a later GA.

#Occupy Oakland

From Getting to the Roots Issue Two

800 Police Evict Oakland, Oscar Grant Plaza Retaken

Compiled from IndyMedia Sources

Oakland – Early in the morning of Tuesday, October 25th, a massive police presence began a coordinated raid on Occupy Oakland. Despite the erection of barricades, the site was cleared several hours later and 70 people were arrested. Occupy Oakland was occupying Oscar Grant Plaza, named after a man executed by the BART transit police in 2009.

That evening, hundreds of occupiers and their supporters gathered to attempt to retake the park. Police aggressively broke up crowds with tear gas, flash grenades, and rubber bullets, and some protesters responded by hurling projectiles and paint bombs while police broke up crowd.

One man, a 24-year old Iraq war veteran named Scott Olsen, was struck in the head with a tear gas canister. Protesters were repeatedly prevented from protecting the man by intentional flash grenades which was videotaped and posted online. Eventually he was carried out by friends. Olsen has a fractured skull and is currently hospitalized in stable but critical condition at Highland Hospital.

Occupy Oakland had announced that gatherings at 6pm at 14th and Broadway will continue, and that “We will do this everyday until we #RetakeThePlaza.”

The following day, a vigil for Olsen took place at 3pm in downtown Oakland. At 6pm massive crowds began showing up, upwards of 3000 people. The crowd surged towards Oscar Grant Plaza, and began tearing down the fence that had been erected by police around the park.

Once torn down, having reestablished the occupation, the occupiers held a belated general assembly, in which an Oakland general strike was proposed and passed with 96.9% support. The General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.

The date of the general strike is set for Wednesday, November 2nd. Since this announcement, social media has been abuzz with calls for a US-wide General Strike and a Global General Strike!

General Assemble to General Strike

Proposal Given to the Occupy Oakland General Assembly:

We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.

Stay tuned for much more information and see you next Wednesday.

#Occupy School

From Getting to the Roots Issue Two

More Money, More Problems, More School, More Debt

By K. Fed

From a young age we are told that the only way to become something in this world is by getting a “real education” i.e. going to university or college. For many, this period comes when we begin to question the very nature of our society, yet we are thrown full force into the realm of post-secondary prisons, locked in a perpetual wheel of due dates, exams, debt and headaches

In school, many of us have to take boring classes because they are required, study hours of useless information, only to forget it after the exam. Why do we waste our time? Is it to teach us discipline, study skills and a good work ethic, or to keep us exhausted and stuck in the cycle of study – drink – repeat

We are taught that going to university is the only way to make a decent wage, to participate and be an active member of society. Beyond the bonuses of taxes, tuition debt and long work weeks, what has university given us – a diploma and a faint prospect of a reputable job?

We have all heard that tuition rates keep going up, that an undergraduate, even a master ’s degree can’t get us a proper job. Every year students are graduating with no job prospects and are forced to work minimum wage jobs to pay back their loans. Every year more and more first year students enter the university system.

We are told by the administration that student tuition rates must go up to meet costs and deliver quality education; yet has the quality of our education really kept up with these necessary costs? Ontario has the worst student to teacher ratio in the country; huge class sizes, frequent disruptions and a serious lack of one on one time with our professors.

This is not an welcoming environment for engaging with your education.

When exam time strolls around we push our bodies to the limit, staying up on coffee and Adderall – scanning information bases for publications and ideas we can steal, (as long as we site our sources.) Relying more on the words that have been written by other people instead of our own ideas is effectively selling ourselves short. Yet we justify this by reaffirming that we are the elite, we are university students- we deserve to be here, because we work hard- if that doesn’t work, well than there’s always the excuse – everyone else is doing it.

What is your goal in your education? To become a unique individual; or to just fall in line, to compete, to fight for a spot among the best and the brightest. Shouldn’t you demand to learn about things that really interest you instead of being subjected to useless assignments and trivial statistics? After all your paying to be here.

If we are stuck working minimum wage jobs before, during and even after university, all just to pay off our debt is there really an added benefit to “higher education”? With debt, stress, alienation and blind obedience. Is university really a stepping stone or is it a mere reflection of a broken and passive system.

Satirical Anarchist News Video Screening

Event in Guelph, Ont.

(Tommorrow) Friday Oct. 28th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

Occupy Guelph @ St. Georges Square

We will be screening a collection of short videos on the Arab Spring uprising in the Middle East from Tunisia to Egypt and the current #Occupy movement, and more put together by

what is Submedia?

Submedia in a nut shell is anarchist news from around the world. It is vulgar, crude, hilarious and action packed. Bring a strong stomach for excitement, profanity and satire. This is definitely not a show to designed to heighten the dialogue, but to excite the spirit.

To Read more about the Show, Check out their blog: “It’s the End of the World as We know it and I Feel Fine”

Brought to you by,

Some Anarchists

Getting to the Roots, Issue One

Today We released the first issue of

Getting to the Roots Issue OneGetting to the Roots: An Anarchist Paper from the Southern Ontario #Occupy Movement.

Be the star of your local occupation and print out a couple hundred copies to share.

Check out this issue for onscreen reading:

Getting To The Roots Issue One_Screen

If you are into it, you can print it double sided at your own occupation on 11 X 17″ paper Here:

Getting To The Roots_Issue One Print

If you have content for the next issue, send an e-mail to: gettotheroots (a) riseup (dot) net

#Occupy Guelph

From Getting to the Roots Issue One

Occupation Enters Second Week

On Saturday October 15th, about 40 people came out to join 1500 other cities by erecting tents and establishing an occupation in St. Georges Square. The occupation that has now entered its 13th day. Speeches were made on various topics, including the recognition of the history of Guelph as colonized land.
The Occupation Movement began in New York City on Sept. 17th after a call to Occupy Wall Street. This Movement has spread across the globe and on October 15th a call for solidarity was released.

The motives behind Occupy Guelph are diverse, varying for each individual participating in it, but the over arching reasons for these global protests are expressing frustration against a system that sees a small wealthy minority controlling the majority of the money, resources and land. This wealthy minority is made of a class of people in society which are entangled in government and businesses worldwide. They are sometimes referred to as the ruling elite.
These occupations are creating an alternative to challenge that, coming from the grassroots, which encourages decision making without leaders, where every ones thoughts are welcome. The General Assemble held each day creates a space for residents of Guelph to talk about problems we face here, creating a collective power and autonomy.

The Occupation continues today, with more people joining each day. Tons of support has been provided by working folks, dropping off supplies, food and tarps for the rain drenched occupiers. The General Assembles continue to grow as more people take part.

This past weekend saw many events at the occupation. On Friday, a projector was set up to screen movies of other occupations across the globe and a black flag was hung from the statue downtown. Saturday saw families and children come out for Occupy Guelphs family day event. On Sunday, a film was screened about the 2006 uprising in the state of Oaxaca, arising from an occupation in the town square.

General Assembles are held everyday at noon and 6PM in the square. Friday, October 28th at 7PM a screening of Submedia, anarchist news shorts with hilarious truths, will take place. And on Sunday, Oct. 30th a zombie march will take place, originating in the square.

Anarchist Discussion on Cooperation with the State

No Compromise: Taking Space Without Permission

This flyer has writings about not compromising ourselves further through cooperation with the State.

Here are some quotes:

“We gain momentum in struggle when people see our unwillingness to compromise – we become dignified, empowered, and attractive to the discontented. We become an uncontrollable collective force that instills fear in the system – the police realize when they fuck with us, it’s on.”

“If we do not wish to find ourselves in a world where no one really lives, where no one really knows anyone else, where everyone has become a mere cog in a machine meshing with other cogs but remaining truly alone, then we must have the strength to attack alienation in every way we can. Otherwise, we may just find there is no place left where we can meet face to face.”

It is relevant everywhere, not only Southern Ontario.

Print and distribute freely! click the link below.

No Compromise Flyer