Articles Social Movements

  • Boycott, Anti-Boycott

    It should not be surprising that the growing world-wide boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which also has taken root among some Jewish Israelis, would spark anti-boycott campaigns–internationally and within Israel.

  • Determined Defiant DePape

    Former Senate page Brigette DePape’s bit of parliamentary pluck has garnered near universal praise from the Canadian Left. But while her mute entreaty during the Throne Speech to “Stop Harper” earned loud applause, her appeal in subsequent statements for “a Canadian version of an Arab Spring, a flowering of popular movements” provoked some fiery debate.

  • Wanted: Bright ideas for dark times

    Social Movements

    The far-Right capitalizes on the rage of a declining middle-class by offering “simplistic answers for exceedingly complex problems, and [developing] effective rhetorical strategies to motivate people to vote against their own long-term interests”; it appeals to “people’s sense of betrayal and victimization,” while avoiding “the real social and economic processes that left them vulnerable.”

  • Web Exclusive: Revisiting Chomsky

    A current context for Chomsky’s 1967 essay ‘The Responsibility of Intellectuals”.

  • How the ‘black bloc’ protected the G20

    Social Movements

    One of the most intriguing things about the chaos of the G20 in Toronto has been the effectiveness with which the black-clad violent individuals (who we’ll indulge by calling the ‘black bloc’) have contributed to the protection of the G20, its message, and what it represents.

  • Web exclusive:Witness to the Saturday Protests

    Social Movements

    I can still remember, as an undergrad, the debate at York University about the War Measures Act in 1972. That will give you some idea of my age and that I am not a black-shirted anarchist.

  • From Mothers to Activists

    Disability, Mothers, and Organization: Accidental Activists, by Melanie Panitch, looks specifically at the development of the community living movement across Canada, an organization that (broadly speaking) assists people with developmental disabilities in meeting their needs.

  • Building Resistance

    In western Canadian cities like Winnipeg, a new and particularly destructive form of poverty has emerged over the past thirty years. It is inextricably linked with racism, is disproportionately concentrated in the inner city and has especially damaging effects on Aboriginal people. At the same time, it is Aboriginal people and especially Aboriginal women who are in the lead in developing effective, close-to-the-ground strategies to combat this new poverty.

  • The Left’s Review

    Most English-speaking leftists over the age of forty grew up reading the New Left Review (NLR). Founded in 1960, the journal brought together the first British New Left, which exited the Communist Party in 1956, publishing the New Reasoner, and a younger generation that put out the Universities and Left Review.

  • From Apathy to Activism

    Regarding the deeply rooted apathy that many students exhibit, my observation, and that of those with whom I have consulted in writing this article, is that it is an offshoot of a sense of self-entitlement. Most students have yet to experience any political upheaval or economic hardship for themselves. The wave of relatively steady economic growth in Canada, and the consumer culture that accompanies it, results in a dangerous combination of political complacency and consumer insatiability. Coupled with the demolishment of the welfare state, the resulting competitive individualism produces a sense of hostility expressed as self-entitlement, which has had a potent demobilizing effect across campuses nationwide.

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