bookmark_borderOttawa Organizing Guide: Planning Timeline, Accessibility Checklist, Spaces & Places

With the aim of increasing local organizing infrastructure, Punch Up has begun assembling a series of resources we hope will help organizers plan and carry out effective social justice events, demonstrations, and actions.

So far, we’ve put together 3 short guides:

  1. Event Planning Timeline
  2. Event Accessibility Checklist
  3. Map of Event Spaces & Places

Please use these, modify them to suit your own organizing context, and share as needed.

We’ll be adding to these resources over time. If there’s an issue or topic you’d like to see addressed, or if one of the above guides is missing something crucial, contact us at

bookmark_borderThe Ottawa Police’s Long History of Violence and Racism

With the ongoing trial of Constable Daniel Montison in Ottawa, we contributed an in-depth article on the Ottawa police to the new issue of The Leveller. This is a companion piece to our timeline of Ottawa police violence featured in the previous issue. Drawing on public records, media accounts, and independent investigations, we examine a history of violence and racism, ineffective oversight, reports that go nowhere, and bloated budgets. We argue that taking all of this together clearly indicates that the OPS, as an institution, is rotten to the core. While there’s a lot that we couldn’t cover in this article, we do hope this piece helps to share some context for understanding and challenging the police in our city.

bookmark_borderTimeline of Ottawa Police Violence

We contributed a detailed timeline of Ottawa police violence to the new issue of the The Leveller. We developed this timeline in preparation for the upcoming trial of Constable Daniel Montison, who was charged with manslaughter following the death of Abdirahman Abdi in July 2016. While the timeline is obviously incomplete, we hope it’s helpful in creating a context for understanding specific incidents of police violence in our city. Stay tuned for the longer, in-depth article we will be releasing soon!

bookmark_borderOttawa Organizing Guide – Spaces and Places

Things are really hard for a lot of us right now. Alongside thinking that it’s important for us all to take good care of ourselves and each other, Punch Up is committed to supporting social infrastructure for collective liberation. So we made a map of Ottawa that we hope will be useful! It has a handy list of meeting and event places for when you want to plan something along with info about them, descriptions of outdoor spaces with the same, and more than twenty of the targets for protests or political interventions available in town. 

Let us know what we’ve missed! Please share!

bookmark_borderGetting It Together: Organizing Collectives for the Real World

During 2017, Punch Up Collective spent several months developing curriculum for a four-hour workshop we call “Getting It Together: Organizing Collectives for the Real World.” In early 2018, we facilitated this workshop for the first time and also wrote “Getting It Together: Ideas for Organizing Collectives,” a companion article which Briarpatch Magazine published.

We were primarily motivated by what we see as the demands of this political moment. As Toronto-based organizer Syed Hussan writes, “If there is a hope in hell of us transforming our society, and building the kinds of worlds we want to live in, we need masses of people organized, disciplined and militant. It may seem that media moments are where change happens, but that is fleeting. Large scale movements rise up and dissipate. Organizations, collectives, affinity groups are needed to build up to them and beyond them.” We wholeheartedly agree.

Our hope, in developing these materials, was to create easily-shareable resources to support and encourage the development of collectives. We crafted the workshop curriculum to be clear and accessible, we included detailed notes and options for facilitators, and we designed a helpful handout and sample planning timeline as well. We revised all of these further after our experience of facilitating the workshop. We encourage you to take these materials, modify them, and run collective-building workshops where you live.

Again, find our curriculum here, our handout here, our planning timeline here, and our article here. We’ve also listed some further readings below. These may be texts you want to incorporate into the workshop (for example, as preparatory reading for participants) or use as stand alone resources.

We sincerely hope that what we’ve put together is useful to you! If you have any thoughts on these resources, or the workshop itself, we’d love to hear it – drop us a line at

Further Reading

  • Cold B and T Barnacle, Building a Solidarity Network Guide
  • Virginia Coover, Ellen Deacon, Charles Esser, and Christopher Moore, Resource Manual for a Living Revolution: A Handbook of Skills & Tools for Social Change Activists, 4th ed. (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1985)
  • Chris Crass, “Strategic Opportunities: White Anti-Racist Organizing and Building Left Organization and Movement: An Interview with the Heads Up Collective,” in Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy (Oakland: PM Press, 2013), 179-196
  • Chris Dixon, “‘Vehicles for movement-building’: Creating Organizations,” in Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements (Oakland: University of California Press, 2014), 199-219
  • S.K. Hussan, “You can’t change the world alone, but all of us can together
  • Bruce Kokopeli and George Lakey, Leadership for Change: Toward a Feminist Model (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1984)
  • Jeremy Louzao, Someday We’ll Be Ready, and We’ll Be Enough: Building Anti-Authoritarian Movements With the Size and Resilience to Win
  • Starhawk, The Empowerment Manual (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2011)
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project, SRLP Collective Member Handbook
  • Harsha Walia, “Overgrowing Hegemony: Grassroots Theory,” in Undoing Border Imperialism (Oakland: AK Press, 2013), 173-202

bookmark_borderLaunching the Radical Events Ottawa List!

Punch Up is super excited to announce the launch of the Radical Events Ottawa (REO) List, a weekly email announcement list for radical protests, meetings, events, workshops and other activities in our region!

Yep, we’re going old school with a legit listserv to help organizations keep people informed while avoiding some of the pitfalls of social media. That darn social media can definitely be handy, but it’s also often a real drag. Plus, not everyone’s on here, and how are they going to hear about your cool event?

If you sign up, you’ll receive one email a week, each Monday, containing details on upcoming events and actions in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Your email won’t be shared with anyone and won’t appear publicly anywhere. And please note the REO List is not a discussion forum; the only email you’ll receive will be the once-weekly events email from Punch Up. You can unsubscribe anytime.

If you’re part of an organization or group, please start submitting events! You’ll find details on how to do so via the link.

We’re really looking forward to helping spread the word about the fantastic community organizing you all are up to!

bookmark_borderGetting It Together: A workshop on organizing collectives for the real world

Facilitated by the Punch Up Collective, this workshop is for anyone interested in starting a collective, or those keen to discuss how to make a collective they’re already a part of more effective and sustainable.

This workshop will be capped at a maximum of 30 participants. This post contains a range of details about the event, but should you have additional questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

In Sol,
Punch Up Collective


1. Event Description and Details
2. Registration
3. Cost
4. Reading 
5. Accessibility
6. About Punch Up Collective 
7. Contact Information

1. Event Description and Details

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
1-5pm (doors open at 12:30pm)
Room 101, Jack Purcell Community Centre
320 Jack Purcell Lane
Ottawa, on unceded Algonquin territory

Number of participants: 30

(Facebook event page)

We live in a frightening and unpredictable period, faced with the growing challenges of climate catastrophe, ongoing economic austerity and state violence, and emboldened white supremacy. Countering these challenges will take widespread, powerful, and resilient social movements that can sustain themselves over the long haul. But how do we get from here to there, when so many of our organizations and projects seem temporary, ad hoc, and dysfunctional?

We think building vibrant, sustainable collectives in our communities might be a good place to start. This workshop hopes to help start that conversation in Ottawa. Some topics the workshop will cover include:

  • what exactly is a collective?
  • why meaningful anti-oppression analysis and practice is essential for collectives
  • tools and features of effective collectives
  • how are collectives structured?
  • plus plenty of time for discussion and reflection on the experiences of participants

The workshop will last 4 hours (with breaks, of course) and be facilitated by the members of the Punch Up Collective. It will be capped at 30 participants.

There will be drinks and snacks available with vegan, kosher and gluten-free options. There will be no nut products, but we cannot guarantee a nut-free environment. Please contact us if you have specific dietary needs. Also, please see accessibility info below.

2. Registration

To register, please fill out this form. Because this workshop has limited attendance, we would like people to register by Wednesday, January 24th. If you’ve registered but won’t be able to attend, please also tell us that by emailing us.

3. Cost

There is no cost to participate in this event, however donations to cover costs associated with the workshop are appreciated.

4. Reading

It’s not necessary but, if you’re a keener who wants to do some advance reading, we recommend Syed Hussan’s short but vital article “You can’t change the world alone, but all of us can together” which you can find here.

5. Accessibility

  • Childminding is available. If you require childminding, please email us by Saturday, January 27th.
  • The room where the workshop is taking place is on the first floor and is wheelchair accessible.
  • The first floor has gender-segregated wheelchair accessible washrooms. On the 2nd floor, there is a washroom that is wheelchair accessible and unisex (gender neutral).
  • Bus tickets will be available for transportation.
  • We request all participants refrain from wearing scents to better allow people with chemical sensitivities to attend.
  • Portions of this event will be recorded. Participants can ask not to be recorded.
  • If you have any other accessibility needs not listed here, please get in touch with us.

6. About Punch Up Collective

Punch Up is a small anarchist collective based in Ottawa, Ontario, on unceded Algonquin land. A more detailed description of the collective is available on our website.

7. Contact Information

The Punch Up Collective can be reached at  

bookmark_borderWhat is Anti-Fascism?

In the past year, we’ve seen the rise of emboldened white supremacist groups and networks globally. In response we’re also seen a resurgence of anti-fascist organizing. To help us make sense of these developments in the context of recent, and not-so-recent history, Punch Up Collective is very excited to be bringing organizer, historian, and writer Mark Bray to Ottawa. 

Thursday Oct 19th 
7:00 pm (door open at 6:30) 
Room 31, Dalhousie Community Centre 
755 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, on unceded Algonquin territory

(Facebook event here)

Mark will be speaking about his new book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. He will focus on the history of anti-fascism, exploring its development from resistance to Mussolini and Hitler in the 1920s and 1930s into contemporary struggles against white supremacists. Based on interviews with anti-fascists from around the world, Antifa details the tactics and ideas of the movement, offering insight into the growing but little-understood resistance fighting back against fascism in all its guises.

We’ll also hear a presentation from a former member of Toronto Anti-Racist Action (ARA), a group that actively organized against white supremacists in the Toronto area and in Ontario more broadly during the 1990s and early 2000s. This speaker will share recent regional history of anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing in our context, drawing out lessons for today’s struggles.

Following the speakers, there will be lots of space to think and talk together about how these histories are relevant to our lives today.

Endorsed by Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement OttawaCUPE 4600, COPE 225 SEPB, Ottawa-Outaouais Industrial Workers of the WorldSolidarity OttawaCriminalization and Punishment Education Project, and Ottawa Against Fascism 

Accessibility Info

  • There is an elevator up to the 3rd floor.
  • ASL translation and French whisper translation is available. Please email us ( if you require translation by October 6th.
  • Childminding is available.  Please email us ( if you require childminding by October 6th.
  • The ground floor has a unisex (gender neutral) wheelchair accessible washroom. The washrooms on the 3rd floor are wheelchair accessible but gender-segregated.
  • Bus tickets will be available for transportation.
  • We request all participants refrain from wearing scents to better allow people with chemical sensitivities to attend.
  • This event will not be recorded.
  • If you have any other accessibility needs not listed here, please get in touch.

Who is Mark Bray?

Mark Bray is a historian of human rights, terrorism, and political radicalism in Modern Europe who is currently a lecturer at Dartmouth College. He was one of the organizers of Occupy Wall Street, and is the author of Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street, and the co-editor of Anarchist Education and the Modern School: A Francisco Ferrer Reader. He has published widely, and he has appeared on major news programs, including CNN and NBC News, to speak about radical politics and movements. You can find out more about Mark at his website:

Who is Punch Up?

Punch Up is a small anarchist collective based in Ottawa, Ontario, on unceded Algonquin land. You can find out more about Punch Up at our website.

bookmark_borderEndorsement: No On Prison Expansion (NOPE)

The Punch Up Collective endorses the No On Prison Expansion (NOPE) initiative and their call for a nation-wide moratorium on all prison expansion projects.

The NOPE initiative, a campaign by the Criminalization & Punishment Education Project (CPEP), monitors prison expansion projects across Canada and works to increase understanding of the negative impacts of human warehouseing.

Punch Up is in full agreement with NOPE’s statement that:

It is undeniable that prisons disproportionality impact racialized minorities, most notably Indigenous peoples, as well as other marginalized groups including the poor. Imprisonment is also an ineffective way to address the needs of those in conflict with the law, survivors of criminalized harms, as well as their loved ones and communities.

NOPE engages in prison justice work through a variety of avenues, including:

  1. promoting carceral divestment strategies to diminish the use of incarceration, such as the decriminalization of prohibited drugs and supporting the transition of prisoners into their communities
  2. encouraging the reinvestment of government funding away from human warehousing and into projects that address the social inequalities that give rise to ‘crime’
  3. building capacities for restorative and transformative justice alternatives

Punch Up rejects the idea that mass incarceration is an effective means of securing and sustaining justice and dignity for individuals and communities. Human warehousing runs counter to this stated goal of the prison system, by creating the conditions for recurring cycles of harm, marginalization, criminalization, and punishment that can affect individuals, families, and communities for decades.

We also strongly support NOPE’s calls for public funds invested in prison expansion to be redirected towards restorative and transformative justice projects. Lasting healing and justice are possible when we have the capacity to create processes of accountability that address the needs of all those affected by social conflict, including survivors, perpetrators, and their communities.

We encourage all organizations and collectives to endorse NOPE’s important work. You can learn more about the campaign here.

No More Prisons!

In solidarity,

The Punch Up Collective