ya, the revolution really isn’t here. Could we keep working on other things?

It is weird how life can change as certain people enter or exit one’s life, even tangentially, because of the ideas those people bring. I can look back over the last half a year and see how certain people’s ideas about revolution instead of reform have entered my social circle. I can see their effect not just on myself, but on some of my friends. It’s interesting to look at. Some of the people attempting to boycott the Ontario election have expressed a belief that revolution is going to come soon. I remember hearing the same belief during the Occupy Continue reading

why I’m not supporting boycott2014

“I don’t need to spend this morning rethinking my view on violent overthrow of the government, do I?” I teased my husband as he prepared to leave for work. My morning emails included one telling me that: “Unless you unequivocally reject parliamentary politics (as 50% of people already have) you cannot even begin to think seriously about building the kind of mass movement capable of ending colonialism capitalism imperialism, and that will reflect in your organizing.” The context of that comment is my lack of support for a Revolutionary Communist Party inspired boycott of the election campaign. Despite believing that Continue reading

A is for Activist

I found a neat book for children of activists! It is called A is for Activist and it is by Innosanto Nagara. While the book is a baby board book it held more interest for my six year old than my three year old, as he could relate to the abundance of poster-carrying protesters. Each letter is tied in with at least one activist-related word, including those normally hard to use letters: V is for Vox Populi, the voice of the people, X is for Malcolm X and Z is for Zapatistas. There’s lots of room for discussion of concepts Continue reading

Twitterstorm for an Emergency Homeless Shelter in Sudbury

The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty is leading a campaign for a new emergency homeless shelter. This is to fill the gap that was created when the Elgin Street Mission announced they would no longer be open all night during the winters. S-CAP first wrote to the city, then disrupted city council on the 10th of December, then had a meeting with the community service committee on January 20th. On the 28th of January they again interrupted city council – this time with sleeping bags and signs. At first the mayor, Marianne Matichuk, attempted to continue the meeting speaking over the protestors. Continue reading

Raise the Minimum Wage campaign meeting

The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage held an organizing and strategy meeting this weekend. It started on Friday with talks by Sterling Harders about the SeaTac citizen’s initative campaign and Janah Bailey from Chicago talking about the organizing and striking of fast food workers there. They spoke again at Friday evening’s public forum, where we were treated also to a performance by spoken word artist Ritalin. Here’s two videos of Ritalin performing elsewhere two of the poems he performed Friday night: And the second one: Saturday included some inspiring discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of our organizing, and Continue reading

when religion again challenges me to stop spinning my wheels, but I don’t know how

Last Sunday I heard a wonderful sermon about how Jesus was wanting to bring changes here on earth, right now, not in heaven in some futuristic time. I was amazed at the courage of the (guest) speaker for being willing to pose challenges quite directly. Jesus was persecuted for his beliefs. Why aren’t we? Is it because we’ve toned our beliefs down, created a nonthreatening religion?  He talked briefly about some of the injustice in the world – I think one of his examples was the plight of the First Nations in Canada – and said, ‘how does what we do here Continue reading

Defend Our Climate

Today I went to a “Defend Our Climate” rally. There are reports of protests in 130 communities across Canada today, but I take slight hope. With the Harper government praising Australia for removing their carbon tax, what hope do we have that the government will take action now? How do we defend our climate in the face of such obstinacy? I have to take inspiration from the little things people are doing. Sudbury has a solar energy cooperative. The local food movement continues to grow and there are people locally working to prevent the splitting of local farmland into residential Continue reading

Does everyone really hate environmentalists and feminists, and if so, what can we do about it?

There are various articles I’ve been wishing to write commentary about, but never had time to. One of these is an article at Salon.com about a study on people’s attitudes towards feminists and environmentalists. The article is titled: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists and it claims people’s opinions of the stereotypical feminist and environmentalists makes them less interested in adopting the behaviors promoted by those groups. According to the article: “Unfortunately,” [the researchers] write, “the very nature of activism leads to negative stereotyping. By aggressively promoting change and advocating unconventional practices, activists become associated with hostile militancy and unconventionality or Continue reading

deep green resistance, gender, and transgenderism

I wrote about going to a Deep Green Resistance presentation. Then after a few days I ended up hearing about the controversy around DGR’s position on transgenderism. Basically, they argue that women are an oppressed group and for people born male to attempt to invade female-only spaces they are adding to the oppression. DGR describes it this way: We are not “transphobic.” We do, however, have a disagreement about what gender is. Genderists think that gender is natural, a product of biology. Radical feminists think gender is social, a product of male supremacy. Genderists think gender is an identity, an Continue reading

For a Diversity of Tactics

I went last night to a presentation by two women from Deep Green Resistance. It was an interesting presentation focusing on the question of how we make change in our world. The two presenters critiqued the myth that if we just bring enough awareness out there we can create a mass movement that will bring about change through solely nonviolent means. The presenters talked about how historians and story-tellers get to choose from a huge variety of details which ones they present, and so by focusing on Gandhi we ignore Bhagat Singh (and, for that matter, the fact that Gandhi Continue reading