Fighting for transit in a world on fire
Conditions are dire, but transit riders and workers continue to fight for change. Canadian Dimension spoke with two organizers with TTCriders about their current campaigns, organizing during the pandemic, the relationship between transit politics and climate justice, and advice for people who want to get involved in transit organizing in their own communities.
From Clayoquot Sound to Fairy Creek: What have we learned?
For those who lived through BC’s legendary War in the Woods nearly 30 years ago at Clayoquot Sound, the blockades and mass arrests at Fairy Creek are indeed a déjà vu experience. The question is: Why is this still going on? Why is history repeating itself while the world burns, oceans rise and irreplaceable ancient forests disappear? What will it take to change the script?
Electoral politics can’t solve climate change
Climate change isn’t a technical problem, it’s a power imbalance problem. And polite participation in electoral politics—perform your civic duty then return to a quiet life of economic production—has never successfully challenged power before. We shouldn’t expect it to be able to now. Instead, we need to draw our lessons from major social breakthroughs of the past.
Skyler Williams is a political prisoner
Skyler Williams is dangerous in the eyes of the state because he is politically active; because he refuses the shackles of shame and poverty; because he speaks and refuses to be silenced. He is seen as dangerous because he questions the government in court, challenging development on the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee people with injunctions and peaceful resistance.
Organizing for prison abolition and racial justice on the Canadian Prairies
The Canadian Prairies remain a sprawling example of disproportionate incarceration rates and profoundly troubling conditions for inmates—made only worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, a vast enclave of organizations have found solidarity under the banner of the Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta Abolition Coalition, which aims to address and correct the abuses and systemic racism that are widespread in these provinces’ justice systems.
Can we really fight for a left agenda within the NDP?
We are often told that voting is a form of ‘harm reduction.’ But consider all the energy and resources poured into trying-and-usually-failing to get NDP candidates elected to a parliament where they likely cannot or will not make any difference in the actual policy output. What if we put those resources and energy into the actual harm reduction itself?
Time for craft brewery workers to organize
It is imperative that the impetus created by the public response to the sharing of allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination within the craft brewing industry builds into an enduring movement that extends beyond the current moment. The possibility for a necessary shift away from a toxic workplace culture comes from the increased support and solidarity that a labour organization or union can provide.
CUPW’s difficult choice
Over the past few weeks, CUPW members across Canada and Québec have been debating whether or not to accept the extension of their collective agreement as proposed by the union’s National Executive Board (NEB). They will have to reach a decision by September 3. Whatever the outcome, writes André Frappier, the decision belongs to the members, and the struggle must continue.
All must change utterly: We need a ‘People’s Green New Deal’
Clearly and starkly, the “progressive” climate proposals Max Ajl critiques in his new book, A People’s Green New Deal, are frighteningly inadequate. Dire human threats and the meeting of human needs require an informed, people-collaborative implementation in varied regulatory jurisdictions worldwide. The current system is steeply regressed and must be changed utterly to provide basic human needs.
Resisting sectarianism, growing the left
Today, in a time of overlapping crises and fast-paced social media cultures, sectarianism has taken on new and destructive forms. We regularly put energy into tearing down the efforts of others who share many of our aims but who we see as wrong-headed. But many of us, as activists and organizers, are exhausted from cycling through teardowns and hungry for something more constructive.
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