Announcing the Municipal Socialist Alliance Shadow Council

After the 7th MSA convention on Monday, Nov. 21, the MSA announced our shadow council on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

A group of MSA candidates and supporters visited city hall for the beginning of a new term of Toronto city council. We intended to hold a press conference outside of Mayor John Tory’s office to announce the formation of the MSA shadow council and to observe the first session of city council.

Instead, we were informed by security that this first session of city council is private and “by invitation only.” They arranged for us to view from an overflow room, but only if we designated someone to collect our flyers and signage and removed them from the building.

Indeed, security told us that we cannot even remain inside the building with our small signs and flyers. This is despite all of us successfully passing through security, where no signage indicated that signage is prohibited (meanwhile, noise makers were clearly marked as forbidden).

Security further warned us that any disruption would result in us being escorted out for trespassing with us being “indefinitely” barred from returning.

We held our press conference outside. When a few members decided to re-enter to take up security on their offer to view council proceedings from an overflow room, they packed up their signs (which I brought home), and re-entered city hall only for the offer to view proceedings to be reneged. After spending some time in the cafeteria, police were called because of a false claim of someone shouting and making a disruption.

As one of our members pointed out, between the strong mayor powers and the arbitrary way in which organizers and community members are treated at city hall, authoritarianism is not just creeping but galloping.

Despite MSA members garnering nearly 15,000 votes, despite three candidates finishing second in their races, the corporate media continues to ignore us and city hall continues to try and make the socialist alternative to capitalist domination invisible.