Articles Human Rights

  • NDP Suppresses Palestinian Solidarity Again

    Canadian Politics

    For those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, ask yourself these two questions: Since polling reveals a higher percentage of Canadians support Palestinian rights than vote for the NDP federally, why won’t party officials allow a clear statement of support for Palestinian liberation? Is there a point when explicitly antidemocratic behavior that contributes to Palestinian subjugation will no longer be tolerated in a party claiming the mantra of social justice? It is time the NDP leadership listened to its membership.

  • Open Letter to CLC President Hassan Yussuff on labour opposition to Canada-Saudi arms deal

    Human Rights

    In April 2016, the Canadian Labour Congress endorsed an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which expressed profound concerns about the issuance of export permits for Canada’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia, “despite flagrant incompatibilities of this contract with the human rights safeguards of our export controls.” The letter urged Prime Minister Trudeau to rescind this “immoral and unethical” decision. Since then, the silence of the CLC has been deafening.

  • Canada adopts Israel lobby’s contested definition of anti-Semitism

    Canadian Politics

    Canada has announced that it will formally adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that could characterize Palestinian rights campaigning as anti-Jewish bigotry. The definition is contained in the Canadian government’s new strategy to “combat racism and discrimination in its various forms.” The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says the definition is “is extremely vague, open to misinterpretation” and a “threat to freedom of expression.”

  • 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.

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