Founding of Common Cause - Ontario


On September 29th in Toronto a new Ontario anarchist-communist organization, Common Cause, held our founding conference. Preparation for this founding conference had taken place over several months culminating in a speaking tour of six Ontario cities under the title 'Building a Popular Anarchism'.The conference agreed a basic policy document (below), a constitution, a structure for the specific conditions of Northern Ontario, affiliation with and a basic publication plan both online in terms of a website and a free printed newspaper which will be distributed in large numbers. The name 'Common Cause' was selected for the new organization and individual officers were elected to fill various administrative tasks.

In advance of the founding conference, a statement of intent had been circulated which included "Our intention is not to build yet another small group of a dozen or so people but to begin the process of building an organization of thousands that will have a presence in every town, workplace and neighborhood across the province."

By the time of the founding conference we were still a long way from this eventual goal but dozens of people in ten Ontario cities have become involved with developing Locals in Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Sudbury, Windsor and Kitchener-Waterloo as well as other members around Ontario. It is our hope this will greatly expand in the days, months and years to come. We hope you will unite and struggle with us to build a world free from exploitation, oppression, ignorance and war.

To get there, we think and feel in the most earnest way, in the bottom of our hearts, organization and commitment to tactical and theoretical unity will strengthen our ability to achieve our goals. Collectively we will struggle daily in our workplaces and communities to improve our conditions and move forward towards social revolution.

This is not a revolution that will come by summit hopping or singing and dancing in the streets. It will come by organizing every workplace and neighborhood for change. When regular working people come together and fight for what we are due then the world will change.

If you're in Ontario and want to get involved in Common Cause please read the statement below and then, if you agree with it, contact us at


Basic Policy Of Common Cause

Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful social revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously, it is up to anarchist militants to participate in the existing social struggles as an organized force.

A major focus of our activity is work at those crucial points where working class people are organizing together for control over their lives, the decisions affecting them and against oppression. These areas stretch from workplaces activity in the unions, to neighborhood activism, an ecology movement that remembers class and in community resistance to forms of oppressions targeting particular identities.

We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, colonialism, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and work within these movements, in order to promote anarchist methods of organization involving direct democracy and direct action.

We actively oppose all manifestations of oppression such as racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia and we struggle against them. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.

We oppose imperialism and colonialism but put forward anarchism as an alternative goal to nationalism. We defend grassroots anti-imperialist movements while arguing for an anarchist rather than nationalist strategy.

We recognize a need for anarchist organizations who agree with these principles to federate on an regional, national and international basis. However, we believe the degree of federation possible and the amount of effort put into it must be determined by success at building organizations capable of making such work a reality, rather than a matter of slogans.

To achieve balance between humanity and the natural world, we must create a society which is based on the satisfaction of true needs such as food, shelter, water, and community. Modern environmental destruction is a result of capitalism's strive to commodify the natural world, for the wealth of a small minority. We recognize that social transformation is the first step towards ecological balance, not lifestyle changes or technological innovations. We recognize that the destruction of capitalism is the only avenue towards rescuing the planet's biosphere, and by extension, ourselves.

(as agreed Sept 29 2007)