Articles

  • Pushing back on Canada’s war on drug users

    Every night that Overdose Prevention Ottawa ran its illegal supervised injection site, we opened with a ritual: a moment of silence for everyone we’d lost to the war on drug users and to recognize the shit disturbers who came before us — those who made our work possible. In his book Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction, Travis Lupick tells the story of those organizers and their incredible impact.

  • Capitalism: A Crime Story

    Harry Glasbeek is a real oddity — a lawyer and professor of corporate law who specializes in exposing the way in which law is manipulated to provide aid and comfort to the dubious maneuverings of corporate power. In this short but concise book he moves beyond his earlier critique of the shield provided by corporate personhood to examine the ways in which the spirit of liberal jurisprudence is undermined by the way courts interpret corporate malfeasance.

  • David Camfield’s We Can Do Better

    David Camfield’s We Can Do Better is a concise introduction to social theory that attempts to address this zeitgeist in general, and the newcomers to anti-capitalist politics in particular. Throughout, Camfield presents a case for what he calls “reconstructed” historical materialism. This is essentially a Marxist theoretical orientation incorporating aspects of feminist, anti-racist, and queer theory perspectives — an approach, argues Camfield, that can reveal to us both how we got into this mess and how we can get out.

  • Pacification by pipeline

    Canadian Politics

    The framing of TMX as vital to the national interest, and further cloaked with a national security rationale, could make infringement all the more compelling. At the same time, it provides the justification, within Canada’s legal framework, to take measures to prevent opponents from disrupting Canada’s imagined energy future by defining them as threats to (future) national security.

  • When these streets talk, do we listen?

    Canadian Politics

    Whether through the blood rinsed down sidewalks and into our sewers, or through organized protest, the streets have spoken many times over. They have told us that Toronto, like so many other cities in this land we call Canada, is a place of grotesque violence, abuse, and shame. As I wait for the streetcar, I picture a young Black man, not yet grown into his adolescent body, being pinned down to the ground. The officers kneel on the boy’s spine as his lips and teeth gnash against the ground below. “I didn’t do anything!” he yells. “You’re hurting me!”

  • “If Bernie Runs?” Wrong Question

    USA Politics

    Sanders did better than I expected, pushing the Clinton machine to the wall with essentially no support from Big Business – no small accomplishment in America’s money-drenched political system. Still, even after the Clinton machine and the corporate-/Clinton-captive Democratic National Committee had treated him with elitist abuse and clearly rigged the primary races and the Democratic National Convention against him, Bernie dutifully campaigned for her (as he promised to do from the outset) right up until the terrible Trump victory day.

  • NAFTA renewed. Now what?

    Globalization

    Was the push to renegotiate NAFTA only about Trump playing to his base? Was Trump reacting to a decline in the American empire? Was it about moving away from multilateral agreements to bilateral ones where U.S. strength weighs heavier? Is the narrowing of options that the renegotiation of NAFTA exposed just about free-trade agreements, or does it point to a more general characteristic of capitalism today?

  • For a grieving optimism

    Environment

    Organizing out of our grief for this planet and all of us on it rests on the certain knowledge that, for the vast majority of us who are not rich, most of the problems facing us now are at a scale beyond our individual capacity to solve. The way to be a grieving optimist is to band together with others who care about this world, and to struggle. We can be wonderful. We can be magnificent. We can turn this shit around.

  • JNF Canada Has Supported Israeli Army, Settlements

    Human Rights

    A comprehensive complaint has been filed with the Canada Revenue Agency regarding the Jewish National Fund of Canada (JNF Canada). The complaint, submitted in October 2017 with the support of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), presents detailed evidence that JNF Canada works in violation of the Income Tax Act and in contravention of Canadian foreign policy in various ways.

  • The Canadian Carceral State: What is to be done? Ask prisoners!

    Human Rights

    To borrow a concept from the critical criminologist Michelle Brown, we live in a culture of punishment, a milieu where public understandings of how punishment impacts the lives of the punished is more often than not consumed through cultural representations that are sensational and stereotypically mediated, making penal spectators out of the public and a spectacle out of the punished.

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