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BTL 5

Social Movements

  • The July 11 protests in Cuba

    Protests began in Cuba on July 11, and a clear transformation in the institutional political discourse has occurred in recent days. Since the president’s J-11 “combat order,” the language has progressively transitioned to a vocabulary of conciliation and calls for solidarity, unity, and peace. That matters. Now, an extensive discussion and political transformation that allows the protests to be processed is essential.

  • Shaking up the status quo in the NDP

    Assessing Avi Lewis’s run for a parliamentary seat and possible longer term ambitions must be put into context if it has any meaning for the left other than to shake things up a bit. The real question is whether this can be seen as part of a larger effort to radically transform Canadian politics and the New Democratic Party, and whether such a project has any real prospects.

  • The Peace and Justice Project with Jeremy Corbyn and Paul Rogers

    This episode of Habibti Please explores the arms trade and why we must move towards disarmament. The international arms trade fuels forever wars, bloody occupations, and the military-industrial complex. As this episode highlights, COVID-19 serves as a canary in the coal mine; a warning for how things can only get worse if change does not happen now. A virus cannot be nuked, yet the rush to create and sell arms from the imperial core has continued without challenge even during the pandemic.

  • Statues, churches, vandalism, and the nationalist and colonial tales we like to call ‘history’

    Those who want to save these statues in the ostensible name of history are the same people lighting the planet on fire, refusing to acknowledge climate change, refusing to honour the spirit of the treaties, and refusing to fund history and the humanities in the first place. They are not protectors of “History.” On the contrary, they are the hand-maidens of its demise.

  • What will it take to transform Canada’s foreign policy for the better?

    The international community’s rejection of Canada’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council was a message to Canadians to demand better from our government. And while difficult to sustain, it is grassroots anti-war and international solidarity activism that will change Canadian foreign policy for the better. If we want a foreign policy based on peace, human rights and care for the planet, the only way forward is to organize.

  • Tear down that statue!

    Today, things are changing as marginalized groups including Indigenous peoples fight for rights, recognition and justice. There is and will continue to be a backlash against them and their work, but the struggle continues. That work will include rethinking our history and tearing down the symbols of oppression and orthodoxy that represent, even glorify, past wrongs and underwrite current ones.

  • Free speech on Palestine: Time to push back

    There is a need for bold and wide-ranging approaches to Palestine solidarity at this time. However, we must also confront a major barrier that stands in the way of such forward movement. In the last few years, Israel’s enablers have made progress in attacking the legitimacy of support for the Palestinian struggle by falsely equating it with anti-Semitism. These accusations have seriously obstructed the work of left movements and activists.

  • The JDL is a violent extremist group—so we should treat it like one

    Considering its influence and long history of racist violence, there’s been far too little critical scrutiny of the JDL. While the group has been banned from Facebook and Twitter on a number of occasions, politicians, police and other officials have turned a blind eye to its criminal acts, while major media outlets and anti-racist groups have generally ignored its political activities and ties to the far-right.

  • Interview with Palestine Youth Movement and Palestine Resolution 2021

    May 15 marks the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba. At the same time, the Israeli occupation has once again increased their assault on Palestinian civilians in east Jerusalem and Gaza. Habibti Please was honoured to be joined by guests from Palestinian youth Movement Toronto and some of the core organizers behind Palestine Resolution 2021 at the NDP Convention.

  • A post-pandemic social peace accord?

    The key consideration is how the left should orient itself in the period that is now opening up. The concessions that employers and states make aren’t driven by wishes and hopes; they hinge on the willingness of those in power to provide them. The post-war approach was based on a capacity to broker social peace, while ensuring a robust flow of profits. There is no such prospect before us at present.

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