Taking it Back

November 4, 2012 § 8 Comments

Every year in November, people in Canada become highly religious. Their rational thinking shuts down and en masse, they worship the fallacy of Canadian altruism, duty, and military service. So called Remembrance Day.

We absolutely should salute those who fought against Nazi fascism. But this is not the way to honour them. Remembrance day is a tool of indoctrination. A day of nationalist propaganda to paint Canada as a morally enlightened country that fought fascism in WWII out of duty and altruistic ideals. But this is of course a lie. If Canada was so altruistic why did it turn away the ships of Jewish refugees who were fleeing the horrors of the Nazi holocaust – implementing the anti-Semitic immigration policy of “none is too many?” If Canada was against fascism why did it punish Canadian communists who went to fight the fascist Franco regime during the Spanish civil war? Because WWII, like all wars, was fought in the interest of the powerful. It was merely a coincidence that Canada’s opponents in WWII were actually bad people. And Canada has used this coincidence as a propaganda tool ever since, vilifying anyone who doesn’t go along with the popular dogma of “our military heritage.” The misplaced honour of WWII has even been stretched to justify other wars and silence their opponents: “if you oppose the war, or don’t support the troops, then you’re taking your freedom for granted and you must not hate Naziism” they say… Bullshit! Canada fought Naziism because it was a threat to the economic interests of the powerful. Not out of any kind of moral enlightenment. And every other war Canada has taken part in before and after WWII was completely unjustifiable, and a shameful act of imperialism.

Your grandparents didn’t fight the Nazis so the government could trick you into state-worship and unconditional support for the military. The freedom to bomb the third world to smithereens and steal their resources wasn’t what grand pappy had in mind. How can Canada valorize its dead while not even bothering to count the piles of bodies it’s left behind? When we adopt the dogma of remembrance day, we loose touch with reality: The reality of aggression, self interested invasions, proxy occupations, mass slaughter and the brutal killing of civilians, drone attacks and perpetual oil wars, and the geo-strategic and economic interests that lay at the root of every war. All this in the interest of weapons manufacturers, oil and mining corporations, the political class, and other unscrupulous profiteers. It’s no wonder we need such an intense day of propaganda and indoctrination to keep the population in check. Nothing could be further from the interests of average working class women and men. But this is where vast amounts of our resources go – to death and theft on the largest scale imaginable. This is what you worship on November 11th – whether you realize it or not. There is nothing noble or heroic about Canada’s wars. We should all be very ashamed.

While we sympathize with the working class interests of those tricked into fighting Canada’s wars – we can not support them. In fact, we condemn them. Many of us grew up poor and disadvantaged. We saw some of our schoolmates join the military, get scholarships, and lucrative careers. And we saw them go off on “peacekeeping” missions, and to Afghanistan and other far away places to kill their working class sisters and brothers. But we did not join the military in order to better our financial situation. We knew it wasn’t right, and we found other ways to survive. Anyone who blindly participates in mass murder because their government told them to is a danger to us all. This is not to say that all soldiers in Canada are beyond redemption (some likely are). But they must come to learn that their actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated by their peers. We dream of a day when Canadian soldiers desert their posts after killing their commanding officers!

We have kept quiet year after year on remembrance day – grinding our teeth in disgust at the nationalist military spectacle. We have argued with our friends and allies about how to approach this taboo without alienating anyone or making enemies. No more! We are taking November 11th back. This is a day to remember the victims of Canada’s horrific legacy of imperialist genocide. On November 11th we remember the millions of indigenous people who were exterminated during the creation of the Canadian state. We remember the countless victims of Canada’s wars and predatory economic policies. We remember the life of Norman Bethune who died on November 11th while treating the victims of war overseas. We remember the Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion who fought – suffering many losses – in the struggle against fascism, only to be shamed by the Canadian government upon their return home. And we remember the Haymarket Martyrs – some of who were executed by the state for their political beliefs on this day.




In love and struggle,

Anti-Colonialist Working Group – Toronto, 2012


§ 8 Responses to Taking it Back

  • Smash capitalism? You do realize where your website is hosted? You fucking anti colonist are stupid. You say down with capitalism yet you benefit from it. Your a damn hypocrite . What is this free world that you imagine? Who will keep the peace? Who will keep the roads and city clean and in shape. What the fuck kind of world do you think you could make?? Yes, Mad Max was a cool movie, but we do not need to live like that.

  • hm says:

    Why target Parkdale, as the Tibetan and Roma heavy population largely doesn’t participate in Remembrance day?

    • these posters have gone up in many different neighborhoods. regardless of whether a group participates in remembrance day or not, it’s still important to have an awareness of how the canadian state uses the day as a tool of nationalist indoctrination.

    • Parkdalian says:

      Also newcomers are often specifically targeted by the states pro-nationalism propaganda. I mean, we live in a country where bibles are given out at citizenship ceremonies … A LOT of empathsis is put on creating the “Canadian identity”..

  • D M R says:

    You are fortunate that the very people whom you slander, were willing to give their lives so that you would have the freedom of speech to do what you have done. Shame on you.

    • lol.. i think you have the canadian military confused with grassroots political activism. exactly what war ever gave me my freedom? the limited freedom i enjoy was won by social struggle.

  • Kevin Lucas says:

    I want you to know that your actions and statements are hurtful and ignorant. You compose your revisionist manifestos with the bold false-confidence and ignorance typical of those who spend their lives sheltered from the harshness and violence of the world by the very people you seek to defame.

    You are completely ignorant of the freedoms that the armed forces protect on your behalf. Your basic needs are so well provided for in our country that you can be concerned about self actualization, yet you fail to recognize that without the armed intervention of brave young Canadians and our allies in armed conflicts across the globe your basic needs would not be met as they are.

    Social activism plays a large role in protecting your rights, I would not argue against that, but where would those social activists be if they were living under Nazi or Soviet rule and not protected by the constitution and the charter? If you could walk a mile in the combat boots of a soldier on operational deployment, you would probably have a better idea which of your freedoms are being protected.

    I applaud you for speaking out for what you believe in while most Canadians can’t be bothered to pick up a newspaper and form some educated opinions about what is going on in the world outside of their reality entertainment. However, I condemn you for choosing Remembrance Day to express them in such an ignorant and inflammatory manner. Specifically, your slogan “FUCK THE TROOPS” is very concerning. You preach social responsibility and yet even your own individual actions are socially irresponsible. Your intent is obviously to shock the public in order to garner interest in and support for your cause with no consideration of the pain it will cause a large portion of Canadian society

    If you want to blame someone for the manner in which our armed forces are employed then don’t blame the soldier, look in the mirror. The military is employed by our government in accordance with foreign policy objectives as shaped by national will. If you don’t like how the military is employed, then change the government in an election. One of the many benefits of democracy is that violence isn’t required to change the government.

    Soldiers swear their loyalty to the Canadian people (you) and follow their direction through their chain of command and the government. They agree to lay down their lives, if necessary, to accomplish the tasks you give them (unless such direction is unlawful or unethical). They live their lives by a strict ethos which demands dedication to duty, integrity, loyalty and courage; concepts which I’m certain you don’t know the true meaning of. If he fails to follow a strict code of conduct he is held accountable through the National Defence Act and the military justice system.

    I am also concerned by the imagery on your website. I hope that your use of a Molotov cocktail is meant to be figurative and not literal. If you are advocating violence as a means of implementing your flawed theories on what Canada’s foreign policy goals should be then you are the worst facist among us. Any such use of violence would not be a popular insurrection but senseless violence. Again, your glorification of violence is typical of someone who has not seen real violence and fails to cherish the safety and security enjoyed by Canadian citizens. I pity you because you are blind to the fact that you are privileged.

    I hope you can find more productive ways to express your frustration and build support for your organization. This isn’t one.

  • WeTakesItBack says:

    ‘your glorification of violence is typical of someone who has not seen real violence ‘- To use a term used earlier in your incredibly ill thought out diatribe glorifying the colonial conquest pursued by those dressed in camo defending the expansion of the imperialist politico-economic will of those government figure heads which you proclaim the soldier to be beholden to (by chain of command ), ‘look in the mirror’.
    I hope that one day you will come to realize the ignorance displayed by yourself and others in your equating structural violence with ‘peace’ and resistance with ‘senseless violence’.

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