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Social Movements

  • ‘Caremongering’ groups show what social movements can accomplish in a pandemic

    Torontonians and Canadians looking to make a difference in responses to COVID-19 should keep these lessons in mind as they volunteer their time and resources to help those most vulnerable. Our kindness is only as effective as the politics that backs it, and we all deserve to live full, secure, and dignified lives even after this pandemic passes.

  • It’s time to meet the new generation of climate leaders

    Teenagers are not expected to care about anything that expands further than the world of their high school. They are not expected to spend their winter holidays learning about the environment. They certainly aren’t expected to mobilize the masses. That is, unless, you’re referring to Elliott Anderson.

  • Bottom-Up Strategizing for Social Change

    Increasingly, activists and organizers are discussing the question, “What’s your theory of change?” For the most part, this is positive. As climate justice organizer and activist-scholar Jen Gobby explains, a theory of change lays out our thinking about “how we will make change in the world and why we think it will work.”

  • Why is Jagmeet Singh ignoring progressive voices on Palestine?

    It’s no secret that many members of the NDP think that Canada’s historically progressive party needs a makeover in its relationship to Israel and Palestine. Nowhere was this clearer than at the party’s 2018 policy convention in Ottawa where the leadership blocked a massively supported resolution in favour of Palestinian rights from hitting the convention floor. Remarks made recently by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh signal another alarming backslide when it comes to standing up for human rights and international law in Israel and Palestine.

  • Canada Must Not Suppress Free Speech on Israel

    In December, a member of the Ontario legislature introduced a private member’s bill calling for the IHRA definition to be adopted in that province. The bill has already passed its first reading. Clearly, we have our work cut out for us. But we are encouraged by the fact that our members and allies understand the gravity of this matter. As a result, we have collectively enjoyed some major successes in defending freedom of speech with regard to the Palestinian cause.

  • Indian Government Going to War Against Its Own People

    On December 13, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights released a powerful statement that criticized India’s new citizenship law. This “fundamentally discriminatory” Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 would expedite citizenship for persecuted religious minorities from India’s neighboring countries. But in the list of those minorities, it names only Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians. It does not mention Muslims.

  • Hope Lies in the Streets

    The loss of credibility of the reigning ideology has led the ruling elites to forge an alliance with right-wing, neofascist demagogues. They accelerate the hatred, racism and violence that act as a diversion. Hope lies in the streets. Millions of people in Hong Kong, India, Chile, France, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon understand. It is time to join them.

  • Remembering Seattle: Class, Globalization, and the State

    The protest in Seattle demonstrated the power of a convergence of class and new social movement politics but without a plan to seize state power the left will always be reactive. The lessons of Seattle are the power of solidarity but also the power of the state. Protests are empowering, they generate solidarity, but they can only slow down capital momentarily.

  • What Democracy Looks Like: Reflections on Trauma, Protest, and Quebec City, 2001

    I left Quebec City with the knowledge of how far my government would go tosilence us. And I am a coward. So I have never participated in another protest since that weekend in April 2001. I lost my faith in elected governments. I lost my faith in direct action. I lost my faith, in some ways, in social change. Maybe I just grew up. I try to keep fighting, but Quebec City changed me forever. It turns out that was what democracy looks like.

  • Protesting the Israel Defense Forces is not anti-Semitic

    Objective journalism and principled politics require that we hear from both sides—as well as impartial witnesses—before drawing conclusions. So long as all criticisms of the Israeli state are immediately and uncritically branded as anti-Semitic, Palestinian voices will be silenced and barred from public discourse, and coverage of the issue will remain one-sided and unhelpful.

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