Articles Human Rights

  • 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!”

  • 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.

  • The criminalized lives of others

    Canadian Politics

    The Stanley verdict drew attention to a system marked by hypocrisy that results in unfair treatment. It was a harsh reminder that the criminal justice system has been deployed ever since Canada’s inception to protect the use of the land for European settlement, to maintain and promote business ventures and private investments, and to control people living in poverty, especially in urban areas.

  • Why is Israel so afraid of Khalida Jarrar?

    Human Rights

    When Israeli troops stormed the house of Palestinian parliamentarian and lawyer, Khalida Jarrar, on April 2, 2015, she was engrossed in her research. For months, Jarrar had been leading a Palestinian effort to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Her research on that very evening was directly related to the kind of behavior that allows a group of soldiers to handcuff a respected Palestinian intellectual and throw her in jail with no trial and with no accountability for their actions.

  • The World Cup is a Crime Scene

    Human Rights

    But it’s because the World Cup, much like the Olympics, has become a profit-hungry corporate behemoth. Its crimes are not unique but those endemic to global neoliberal capitalism; a gangster capitalism of “free” markets, lax state regulations, and low taxes that enriches the global 1% and leaves the rest of us behind. Here’s a rundown of the World Cup’s crimes.

  • Lessons from the 70th birthday of the National Health Service

    Human Rights

    This summer marks the 70th anniversary of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). When it was established in 1948, the NHS was the world’s first universal healthcare system. It quickly became a beacon of what a decommodified public service could be: open to all, free at the point of service and paid out of taxes. Healthcare was dispensed according to need and funded according to ability to pay.

  • Child-separation: an ugly Canadian tradition

    Human Rights

    Alternatives to incarceration must be found both for the still relatively small numbers of migrant families detained in Canada and the disproportionately high numbers of Indigenous youths populating Canadian prisons. In the latter case it is well worth investing in and expanding recourse to restorative justice programs, aimed precisely at reintegrating offenders into their communities. Until Canada radically reforms its prison system and ceases to criminalize asylum seekers, our smug responses to the egregious actions of the United States are unwarranted.

  • A State That Belongs to Only Some of its Citizens

    Human Rights

    There is a form on the Israeli Interior Ministry’s website, where one can order duplicate and translated copies of a birth certificate. On that form is a drop-down menu, above which it is written: “Nationality.” In that drop-down menu you will find a list of nationalities which defies all logic. The nationalities listed include ethnicities without their own states, states without distinct or exclusive nationalities/ethnicities, and long-defunct “minority rule” colonial constructs.

  • Israel Effectively Declares Itself an Apartheid State

    Human Rights

    On July 19, Israeli lawmakers gave their final approval to the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” bill that unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian. Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the law, which enjoys constitutional power, as an “apartheid law.”

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