• activism,  politics

    dreaming of a good government…

    I am withdrawing from an organization I have been very involved in for about three years. There is some sadness to leaving and some relief. This whole last half a year I’ve been stepping back big by bit. I wrote during the summer about my difficulty trying to care about things while still maintaining the emotional calm necessary for caring for the kids. Worries about the issues – poverty, environment, violence, destruction of democracy, etc – are hard enough. On top of that there is another challenge, that of trying to find efficient, effective methods of creating change. Different people have different ideas on how things should work. I have…

  • This is my daughter's hand reaching out to touch a thistle. It seemed strangely appropriate.
    activism,  parenting,  politics

    How does one homeschool, with all the intensity that involves, and be a compassionate, informed person at the same time?

    Sometimes it is really hard to keep balance. How does one balance parenting with everything else? I don’t want to undervalue my husband’s contribution to our family life – his is amazing – but I suspect I’m the support pole the children lean on and there are times when the burden of having them lean on me feels to tough. I feel all hollow and empty and like I have nothing to give them and then I’m so keenly aware of them pulling on me, talking to me, seeking approval and asking for attention and I don’t know what to do. There are people in the world whose houses are…

  • activism,  politics,  science

    food regulations

    A friend on facebook posted a link to this article: Michigan Officials Destroy $5,000.00 worth of Good Organic Food from Family Farm. Besides leaving me wondering whether the inclusion of the “.00” was meant to make the amount appear larger to the quick casual reader, the headline makes me think about a time when I was a teenager, and a bunch of 4-H beef was seized from a butcher’s shop because his license was as a mobile butcher and he had butchered it all on his property instead of the other farmers. There was a big outcry over that because it was good prime beef raised by kids and bought…

  • activism,  politics

    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 movement. People thought revolution was on the way. For that…

  • activism,  politics

    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 this is an incredibly disappointing election, called for petty reasons…

  • activism,  books,  politics

    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 that don’t always come up in every day life, like…

  • activism,  politics

    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. Then she called a recess and suggested the councilors retire…

  • activism,  politics

    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 then a panel discussion of different tactics we can use…

  • activism,  religion

    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 change any of that? How, if we continue doing what…

  • activism,  climate change,  politics

    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 lots, thus protecting a necessary resource and working towards reducing…