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Our Times 3

Media

  • Transparency is voided when police weaponize copyrighted music

    An unsettling trend in law enforcement is occurring whereby police officers are weaponizing copyrighted music to thwart bystander recordings of police from going viral. It is not a mistake or a game but a growing police tactic. During a recent exchange with Black Lives Matter activists, an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy in California was caught on camera pulling out his phone to soundtrack the interaction with Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.”

  • Amnesia and fragmentation in the narrative of Israel’s occupation of Palestine

    Apartheid lives long after headlines have declared one or another victory, and discomfited politicians praise this or that ceasefire. But the fragmented nature of mainstream media coverage serves Israel’s narrative well, distracting from the unbroken continuity of the Nakba and Israeli apartheid, and making it difficult for the Canadian public to grasp the magnitude of Israel’s battering of human dignity.

  • Who is considered an expert? News reporting on drugs must do better

    Shifting perspectives is no easy task because news media has immense power to inform public discourse about drug use. Simply put, we urgently need coverage that gives space to the most marginalized folks in our society in order to humanize decades of drug policy failures. This would go a long way in an effort to change attitudes about drug use during the worst public health crisis in a century.

  • Writing politics during the pandemic

    We should take this moment to reflect on political writing as a collective act. The writer comes from a community, physical and digital. The writer produces material that goes into those communities, even if we do not all experience life in those communities the same. Even during a pandemic, these spaces can be productive and powerful, serving as a part of the struggle for justice and accountability.

  • Social media has done more for transparency and accountability than police body-worn cameras

    Following the circulation of a recent video of a violent altercation with police, Montréal mayor Valérie Plante has renewed calls for police body-worn cameras. The cameras are also currently being discussed in Winnipeg. Viral videos on social media have arguably done more for police transparency and accountably than body-worn cameras. Perhaps a better idea is to encourage the public to record police encounters with citizens.

  • Yes, the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is intended to censor political expression

    Pro-Israel groups have long tried to shut down Palestine activism in the name of false anti-Semitism charges, but they hope that by implementing the IHRA working definition, institutions will be obliged to comply with their demands. If the IHRA definition is indeed enforced in a way that silences critics of Israel, it will be the definition’s intended outcome—the very thing it was built to do.

  • Taking a byte out of Big Tech with economist Rob Larson

    The unassailable power of Big Tech is the subject of economist and professor Rob Larson’s latest book, Bit Tyrants. In this wide-ranging interview, Canadian Dimension spoke with Larson to discuss the anticompetitive practices of the world’s biggest tech corporations, renewed pressure to rein them in, and his vision for a transparent, publicly-controlled and socialized internet.

  • Canadian media’s double standard on ‘foreign influence’ has become painfully clear

    Lately, the Globe and Mail, Canada’s ‘paper of record,’ has been so gripped with anti-Chinese fervour that it has become blind to a blatant double standard. Contrasting the newspaper’s reporting on Chinese influence in Canada with its coverage of the Israel lobby highlights the increasingly Sinophobic nature of its journalism and commentary.

  • Watching football in Trumpland: Sports and the populist right

    Culture informs politics, and politics inform culture. The often confounding questions of why people vote against their own interests, get swept up in conspiracy theories, or rally behind politicians who only seek to further their own agenda has answers that can be difficult to articulate, given the complex intersections at play. But to understand it, we don’t need to look much further than the field.

  • The cost of resistance

    Two of the rebels I admire most, Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher, and Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, are in jail in Britain. That should not be surprising. You can measure the effectiveness of resistance by the fury of the response. Julian courageously exposed the lies, deceit, war crimes and corruption of the ruling imperial elites.

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