User: flenvcenter Topic: Sustainability-Independent
Category: Social Justice
Last updated: Apr 23 2019 22:28 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Canadian politics need a civility pledge 22.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Penney Kome During the three-week 2019 Alberta election, the only televised leaders' debate drew poor reviews. Viewers said they were turned off by all the arguing. Yet voter turnout reached 71 per cent, the highest level ever. And although the United Conservative Party (UCP) won a 72 per cent majority, Rachel Notley's NDP holds 24 (or 27 per cent) of the legislature seats. Historically, in the 1990s the NDP proved they can be quite effective in Opposition. United Conservative Party (UCP) Leader (and soon-to-be premier) Jason Kenney ran a campaign that proved mainly that anger sells. Every time he sees a microphone, he's ready to fight someone. Anger can be contagious. It's energizing. Like Doug Ford's "buck a beer," anger is cheap, intoxicating and impairs people's judgment. One way to unite a group of strangers is to encourage them to blame another group for some (real, impending or imagined) misfortune, as with U.S. President Trump's warnings about an "invasion" from Latin America. Another way to win ...
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Alberta politics meets the federal NDP's 'island of calm' 15.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Penney Kome "Alberta punches way above its weight in Confederation," said Anne McGrath, "particularly in the last few years, when we've led the way with climate change plans." She should know. McGrath has served as chief of staff to Jack Layton and other federal and provincial NDP leaders, winning kudos for her strategic planning and for keeping cool under stress. She has also run for the Alberta legislature before, in 1993 and 1995, and is the current NDP candidate for Calgary-Varsity. No wonder conservative gadfly Danielle Smith -- whose scorn is a medal of honour for some progressives -- has dubbed her "the candidate I am most afraid of in this election."    British-born to Irish parents who moved to Montreal when she was five, Ann graduated from the University of Ottawa and moved to Edmonton to work as a field officer for the Alberta Federation of Students. From there, based in Calgary, she went on to be executive director for Oxfam-Canada, and to work at the Canadian Mental Health Association. In ...
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United Nations Special Rapporteur on toxins to visit Canada 11.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson Baskut Tuncak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, will conduct an official country visit to Canada this coming May 24 to June 5. The Special Rapporteur's call for submissions notes, "In addition to the cases within Canada, the Special Rapporteur is also interested in cases concerning activities of Canadian businesses operating abroad." In both instances, this would include the impact of the "exposure to hazardous substances and wastes" on Indigenous peoples. In this country, there is notably the example of the Mount Polley tailings dam disaster in August 2014 that released 25 million cubic metres of mining waste -- containing toxins like arsenic, mercury, selenium, lead and copper -- into nearby lakes and rivers on the territory of the Xat'sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in British Columbia. There are numerous other examples that could be highlighted ...
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Trump escalates attack against asylum-seekers from Central America 11.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
US Politics U.S. President Donald Trump is intensifying his vicious crusade against asylum-seekers from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Last weekend he declared, "Our country's full." He ousted Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen by tweet, reportedly because he thought Nielsen, who oversaw the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents and then lied about it to Congress, was not tough enough. Tens of thousands of people are seeking asylum in the U.S., fleeing systemic violence. The desperation and fear that drive them north derives in part from decades of U.S. policy in the region that has overthrown democratically elected governments, destabilized civil society, and trained and armed repressive militaries. The U.S. cultivated this crisis for over half a century; it won't be fixed by a wall. The effort to challenge Trump's policies got a bit harder this week with the death at age 89 of Blase Bonpane, a lifelong peace activist. Based in Los Angeles, Bonpane devoted his ...
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Native American athletes and fans face ongoing racism 10.4.2019 High Country News Most Recent
The U.S. has seen a rise in hate crimes, but data shows that bigotry is a constant in Indian Country.
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Arms industry a significant force in the suppression of Indigenous peoples 8.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson The weapons industry plays a significant role in the ongoing oppression of Indigenous peoples. The weapons that are used by the military, para-military groups and police against Indigenous peoples are manufactured, bought, sold, provided as aid and generate profit. They are used to suppress territorial sovereignty and to contain struggles in defence of land and water. Historically, Popular Mechanics has noted, "The U.S. Army used the Gatling [manual machine gun that could fire 200 rounds per minute] extensively throughout the 1870s during its campaigns against Native American tribes in the West." In more recent times, a mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) armoured vehicle was deployed by police against Indigenous land and water defenders opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline on their territories in North Dakota. In this country, tanks, Grizzly infantry fighting vehicles, trucks and artillery pieces were deployed in and around Kanehsatà:ke and Kahnawake during the Oka Crisis in 1990. ...
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Bill C-92's Indigenous child welfare act risks continuing the status quo 5.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Pamela Palmater Bill C-92, An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families, has been heralded as a "historic turning point," an "important first step," a "major milestone" along with other similarly over-used and under-impressive political phrases to describe yet another top-down initiative from the federal government. While the Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde (AFN) claimed that this legislation was "co-drafted" by the AFN and the federal government, that was not the case. In fact, Dr. Cindy Blackstock confirmed that First Nations did not co-draft the legislation and First Nations were not even permitted to see the second draft before it was tabled. This should be no surprise as Justice Canada does not co-draft legislation with anyone other than the French and English legislative drafters at Justice Canada -- this is their long-standing practice. Bill C-92 content is glaring evidence that First Nation experts in child welfare did not hold the pen on ...
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Jason Kenney's discriminatory and unfair refugee rules lie in ruins 5.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Jason Kenney's discriminatory and unfair refugee rules lie in ruins
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Canada is warming faster than we thought. What can we do about it? 4.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Bronwen Tucker While global temperatures have increased 0.8 C since 1948, Canada has seen an increase of 1.7 C -- more than double the global average. And in the Arctic, the warming is happening at a much faster rate of 2.3 C, the Changing Climate report says. A  new report  leaked one day early from Environment and Climate Change Canada shows that Canada is experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average. The changing climate report was prepared in a similar way to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, as a synthesis of hundreds of peer-reviewed studies. It included details on a familiar catalogue of the impacts we can expect, not limited to increases in precipitation (particularly in winter), "extreme fire weather" and water supply shortages in summer, threatened freshwater systems, marine ecosystem collapse and a heightened risk of coastal flooding. As the  Toronto Star  noted, the report ...
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Colombian human-rights group opposes fracking, seeks to protect freshwater 3.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson The community-based Corporación Regional de Derechos Humanos (the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights or CREDHOS) works on a variety of public interest concerns in Colombia, including environmental issues such as opposition to fracking and stopping the pollution of freshwater. The organization is based in Barrancabermeja, which is known as the oil capital of Colombia. In 2017, Colombia produced on average more than 850,000 barrels of oil per day. The country has four refineries for domestic and export markets. The largest refinery -- with the capacity to refine about 250,000 barrels of oil per day -- is in Barrancabermeja. Notably, CREDHOS has been supporting the case of Dr. Yesid Blanco. The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre notes that, "Dr. Blanco is a recognized environmentalist and founder of the Yariguíes Regional Corporation and the Magdalena Medio Extractive and Environmental Studies Group-GEAM in the city of Barrancabermeja." It adds, "The ecologist and ...
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Colombian journalist Claudia Julieta Duque faces adversity for her investigative reporting 2.4.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson Colombian journalist Claudia Julieta Duque has faced danger many times to report on significant issues of public interest. Notably, Duque and her daughter were targeted by Colombia's DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad) intelligence service beginning in 2001. That was when Duque was investigating the murder of journalist, comedian and peace activist Jaime Garzón who was shot to death in August 1999. El Espectador explains (in Spanish), "Duque found clues that could link state agents to the crime. After her findings, she began to be intimidated, through threatening calls and funeral wreaths that arrived at her home, until she was kidnapped that year for a few hours." Duque says, "I do not hesitate to call Jaime Garzon's assassination a state crime, not only because active, high-ranking members of the military took part, but because a strategy was devised around his death to let the case go unpunished, with the participation of members of the state security organizations." It ...
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Jody Wilson-Raybould doth protest too much 29.3.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Michelle Weinroth It has been a hellish winter. Snowfall upon snowfall, followed by rain and ice, have plunged many into the doldrums. But as if to rescue us from the drudgery of an interminable winter, our mainstream media has staged a political drama, channelling attention away from routine woes to an all-consuming soap opera. Indeed, when news broke out that Canada's former attorney general had submitted her resignation, many Canadians -- pundits, news junkies, and more -- were all atwitter. So loud was the din that it drowned out not only the cardinal's first toots of the year, but also some less savoury truths that some would sooner not broadcast. Political truth has been a casualty in this whole affair, rendered virtually inaudible -- like the cardinal's piercing tweets of spring, muffled by yet another winter storm. Jody Wilson-Raybould, whose name to date was relatively obscure, suddenly stepped into the limelight in late February 2019 -- not, however, as a distinguished government figure, but as ...
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Bigotry, ignorance and high school basketball in Montana 28.3.2019 High Country News Most Recent
Oppression of tribal nations denies our shared potential to harness the power of sport.
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She Wanted Her Town To Breathe Clean Air. She Got Death Threats Instead. 27.3.2019 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
How neighbors in a small town exposed the dirtiest secrets of our broken recycling system.
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Black lives matter in Canada, as well 27.3.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Robin Maynard It is not too soon to express the view that the police killing of Machuar Madut, 43-year-old father of three, living with mental health issues, and facing possible eviction -- was unjustifiable and unnecessary. I am unwilling to entertain the notion that Machuar Madut's death was sad but inevitable. Regardless of the conditions that led to this incident, killing a Black man in crisis simply cannot part of what it means to "contain the scene" (the words of a mental health expert interviewed in CBC news ). A recent Ontario Human Rights Commission interim report on racial discrimination by the Toronto police services -- found, to much publicity, that Black people make up 70 per cent of police shootings resulting in civilian death. Less discussed, however, was that the study also showed that Black victims of police shootings were less likely to have been carrying weapons, less likely to have threatened and attacked police and 50 per cent less likely to have been carrying a gun during the ...
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Defending the Bolivarian Revolution, one commune at a time 26.3.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Fernando Arce In Venezuela, socialist communes play a key role in the production and distribution of food directly to families as hyperinflation, price speculation and illegal U.S. and Canadian sanctions limit access to many necessities. In the wake of Juan Guaido's unconstitutional self-proclamation as president, communes have also taken a more active role in the defence of the Bolivarian Revolution by holding those who are leading it accountable, including incumbent president Nicolas Maduro's government. Direct democracy A commune is an amalgamation of communal councils, each made up of at least 250 neighbouring families. Each council elects members to be part of working committees that identify the issues affecting their communities as well as brainstorming solutions as a community. Those solutions are presented to a citizen's assembly made up of at least 10 per cent of the families within each communal council. Funding and resources come from government ministries. Communes are not only large ...
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Brussels forum celebrates the role of women in mining struggles 22.3.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Brent Patterson On March 20, Cristina Auerbach of the Pasta de Conchos Family Organization in Mexico met with MEP Tania González Peñas of the Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left, GUE/NGL, at the European Parliament in Brussels. González, who is with the left-wing Spanish party Podemos (a member of the GUE/NGL), organized a "Leadership of women in mining communities" (Liderazgos femeninos en las comunidades mineras) forum that included Auerbach, Spanish anti-Franco militant Anita Sirgo, and Scottish anti-Thatcher activist Margot Russell. While coal miners have historically endured poor wages, dangerous working conditions, silicosis and other health issues, and a shorter life expectancy, they are now also being hit by the closure of mines without just transition strategies in place. González, who is from the Asturias region in Spain where the coal mines have now been closed, said the conference was intended "to make visible the historical role of women in the claims of the ...
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Liberal budget leaves behind Indigenous women and children -- again 21.3.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Pamela Palmater As expected, the Assembly of First Nations was first out of the gate offering glowing praise for this Liberal government's federal budget, followed shortly thereafter by the Metis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami -- the three male-dominated national Aboriginal organizations. Their organizations have seen substantial increases in funding for their political organizations in recent years. Meanwhile, the Native Women's Association of Canada -- the only political organization representing Indigenous women at the national level -- issued its own press release criticizing the government for failing Indigenous women. They accused the federal government of, once again, ignoring the pressing needs of Indigenous women and in so doing, not only hampering reconciliation but breaching their core human rights. NWAC is especially aggrieved about this lack of funding for Indigenous women and families, given the urgent need to address murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. The ...
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Student organizers report back on March 15 climate strike 20.3.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Maya Bhullar Many of us supported and were heartened by students coming out on March 15 to demand that local and federal government take real steps to combat climate change. There were many great interviews and news stories which talked to kids out on the street . The Activist Toolkit, however, decided to take a different approach. I contacted all the local organizers I could find and asked them: 1. How did your local climate strike go? 2. What worked and what did not? 3. What will you be doing for the national day of action in Canada on May 3? 4. What did some of the students that participated say? 5. What are you trying to win in your communities? I am posting edited versions of the responses I received below. If you would like to connect about your experience organizing the strike in your community, please send it my way. The Activist Toolkit will continue stay in touch with organizers and continue to help support the demand for real action on climate change. The reports below are the personal ...
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The water justice movement's fight against commodification and extractivism 19.3.2019 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Emma Lui Last month, I gave a keynote presentation called "Come Hell or High Water: The Water Justice Movement's Fight Against Commodificaton and Extractivism ." The presentation was part of  the Institute of Political Economy's 20th Annual Grad Conference at Carleton University. The conference theme was "Perspectives of Power," and speakers where asked to grapple with questions like: how is power manufactured and deployed? How is power contested, transformed and embodied?Panel topics included labour, (de)colonization, inequality and food.  This blog is part one of a three-part blog series based on my presentation at this conference. This part includes an overview of the water justice movement in Canada and the ways in which power is manufactured and deployed in water governance. Water is a cross-cutting issue among many social movements in Canada and in Indigenous nations. The water justicement movement here is diverse and includes grassroots groups, individual activists, Indigenous nations and groups, ...
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